The Cedar Suite at The Grove
The Grove, the 5* luxury hotel and resort in Hertfordshire, has unveiled a spectacular transformation of its events spaces, with the new Cedar Suite at its heart. Easily accessible from London – and offering a tranquil alternative to the fast pace of the city – The Grove commissioned Martin Hulbert Design to revisit its private events spaces. Martin was the original designer of the luxury resort which won ‘Best New Hotel’ at The European Hotel Design Awards when it opened in 2003.
The result is a brilliantly refreshed series of social spaces, including the Cedar Suite, a brand new space with architecture and interiors envisioned by Martin Hulbert Design. The Cedar Suite has already turned heads, securing a European Hotel Design Awards nomination in the ‘Event Spaces’ category.
Martin Hulbert, founder of Martin Hulbert Design, talked to Premier Hospitality about his involvement with the project:
“I first worked with The Grove 13 years ago when I designed the original interiors for the hotel. The design was witty and unexpected, taking lots of inspiration from its setting in 300 acres of parkland and gardens.
“The original interiors had lasted really well, but as a forward-thinking hotel, The Grove felt the need to push forward into the future to add more social spaces to its portfolio, and respond to the demands of their clients. People now want a beautiful space to work with so they can be creative, with a sense of freedom, and put in exactly what they want for their event. In effect we were tasked with designing a beautiful blank canvas!”
The project has taken around two years to complete. Responding to a two-fold brief – firstly, to bring the events spaces right up to date and secondly, to re-configure the existing social spaces so that they could be hired as a whole or used as separate spaces – Martin and his team looked to push the boundaries of the design of the spaces and subsequently the breadth of events that The Grove could host.
The transformation brings The Grove’s events offerings together into one flowing, organic space, which can be hired as a whole, and reconfigures the three individual spaces so they can be used concurrently but entirely exclusively. Each one now has its own entrance and with connected informal breakout, networking and social spaces, so every event client will feel as if they are exclusive guests of The Grove.
“The Cedar Suite, embedded in the hotel’s formal gardens, works as the keystone, a beautifully proportioned oval pavilion that we envisaged and a completely new building. More than half of the pavilion’s walls are floor-to-ceiling glass, bringing the great outdoors in, plenty of natural daylight and open views. We knew that the space needed to be inspirational and creative.
“The interior is largely bespoke, in all aspects. The creativity of the Cedar is carried through the rest of the spaces; the art has all been chosen to make people smile, and think out of the box while much of the furniture has been specially designed by us to fit the space alongside state-of-the-art technology and brilliant acoustics. Natural materials and a palette of greens, teal and earthy colours, carries the outside/in feel. We didn’t want to create something that was just another version of a space that exists anywhere else, the aim was always to create something unique and special to the hotel.”
With its copper entrance gate, a wall covered in metal leaves, a central moveable bar/table/console that is suspended from the ceiling and a vast pale tapestry hand made in India, the Cedar suite is inspired.
In addition to its events spaces, The Grove lives up to its reputation as London’s cosmopolitan country estate with the perfect balance between city and country, classic and contemporary. The hotel is home to three distinctive restaurants, with a collection of chefs that includes Russel Bateman, National Chef of the Year in 2014, while Sequoia is an award-winning spa and health club. The hotel’s 18-hole championship golf course hosted the British Masters in October 2016.
The transformation brings The Grove completely up-to-date and ready for the future while retaining the spirit of the original design. The award nomination for Martin Hulbert Design is testament to the truly innovative approach of the design. Martin concluded:
“It is brilliant to be recognised for our hard work for everyone at Martin Hulbert Design, as well as the team at The Grove, without whom this project wouldn’t have been possible. As a company we always pride ourselves in being forward thinking and our attention to detail. We are open minded and love to be challenged and that opportunity is exactly what The Grove continues to give us.”
Mollie Regan Textiles
Mollie Regan Textiles specialise in the design and supply of handmade embroidery for use in interior design projects. The company offers a full design-through-to-production service, suitable for a wide range of purposes, including wall panelling, headboards, cushions and curtains.
Mollie Regan Textiles has been in operation since 2002, but has specialised in interior works since 2005. Founder, Rosalyn Chivers was a production manager in couture and embroidery design for international companies for many years before establishing the company. Rosalyn has an extensive knowledge of fabrics, embroidery and techniques for production.
Over the years, Mollie Regan Textiles has been fortunate enough to have worked on a diverse range of commissions from metal beaded headboards and chair upholstery to ecclesiastical work for the Vatican. The company has the capabilities to work on a wide range of fabrics including leather and heavy linens and they hold an extensive archive of collections for clients to select from.
Mollie Regan Textiles has worked on projects for the Dorchester Group and Ralph Trustees Ltd with Martin Hulbert; has provided panelling for the Budapest Hilton and headboards for the Southbank Tower (Goddard Littlefair Ltd); and was extensively commissioned to work on the Corinthia Hotel London, and ESPA Life for GA Design International and the Massimo Restaurant (David Collins Studio Ltd). The company has also worked with Martin Hulbert on The Grove.
Discussing their involvement with The Grove, Rosalyn Chivers, said:
“Martin Hulbert approached us with his concept to create a space of approx. 50m² with hand embroidered tapestry work on a natural fabric. He wanted very textured, expressive stitching in traditional techniques and materials that could be scaled up to accommodate the area and that would work in tandem with the natural light and views of the garden at The Grove.
“The embroidery had to work effectively in both natural light and artificial light, as The Cedar Suite is an all-day events room. The embroidery is in ivory, creams and neutral wool, silk and cotton threads along with some other materials such as raffia and bullion, with shots of turquoise and copper metal threads.”
Mollie Regan Textiles developed a series of initial samples on a heavy linen, whose elements were combined to make the final design. From design to final delivery took five months. The final embroideries were in panels at nearly 3m tall each that were stretched onto frames and linked together.
“We’ve been working for Martin Hulbert for about a decade on large projects for interiors and were delighted to be approached for this commission and have the opportunity to work with him again. He has a strong appreciation and understanding of stitched textiles, and gave us freedom in this project to experiment and develop ideas.
“The amount of natural light in the space made it easier to work with a wider range of materials and use the asset of the light to enhance the colours on the embroidery. We always enjoy working on the scale that hotel projects often offer and this was a perfect space for being able to work in a very intricate and detailed way, but on a large area.”
“Hand embroidery is a complex process and our intention is to always create a seamless journey for the client from design to production. We also keep to moderate lead times so clients do not need to wait months for delivery of our products and we work hard to maintain an ethical approach towards our production sourcing.”
Objects in Glass
Objects in Glass is a bespoke glass specialist, designing and manufacturing stunning pieces, from unique glass furniture through to fine glass art. The company provides glazing solutions to the architectural and specification community and pride themselves on their ability to offer the most diverse sheet glass on the market.
Ross Curtis, Managing Director of Objects in Glass, said:
“Years of research and development has resulted in Objects in Glass having some of the world’s best decorative glass systems. We have really pushed the boundaries in terms of what can be achieved with this amazing, versatile and durable surface.”
Over the years, Objects in Glass has worked with numerous leading designers including Hill House Interiors and Peter Millard and has been involved in various projects, including works for Armani/Casa and a 132-apartment project at Grand Central – a large, high-end residential development.
Most recently, Objects in Glass has been involved in The Grove – the 5* luxury hotel and resort in Hertfordshire.
Working on The Grove, Objects in Glass manufactured and supplied decorative glass fins, containing 100% organic materials. This material was cast into toughened and laminated certificated glass and completed to the highest standard.
“The Grove was a great project to be a part of and we valued our involvement.”