The Pembrokeshire hotel on a star-par with The Ritz

Grove of Narberth has been transformed from an 'unloved and derelict' building. Picture: Owen Howells Photography
Grove of Narberth has been transformed from an 'unloved and derelict' building. Picture: Owen Howells Photography

A PEMBROKESHIRE hotel’s success at this week’s 2022 AA Hospitality Awards has put it in the same league as The Ritz.

Grove of Narberth collected three major accolades at the ceremony, hosted at Grosvenor House in London on Monday night to recognise and reward the very best hotels and restaurants in the United Kingdom.

Grove achieved five Red Stars for the hotel and four Rosettes for its Fernery Restaurant, as well as Wine List of the Year for Wales.

It is now one of just 11 UK hotels to hold both five Red Stars and four Rosettes or above from the AA.

Other hotels currently achieving this standard include Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, The Ritz, Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, The Connaught, The Berkeley, The Dorchester, Gleneagles, The Balmoral, Coworth Park, Gravetye Manor and Gilpin Hotel and Lake House.

Fifteen years ago, Grove was an unloved, derelict building when it was bought by business owners Neil and Zoe Kedward.

Grove of Narberth stands in its own secluded grounds a short distance from Narberth. Picture: Owen Howells PhotographyOwen Howells Photography

The journey to restore the property began with a small b&b, and it’s now a thriving 25-bedroom hotel with two restaurants.

The four Rosette Fernery restaurant. Owen Howells Photography

Grove was previously awarded five Black Stars in 2021, while the hotel’s flagship Fernery restaurant has held three rosettes since 2014.

It is one of several properties in the Seren hospitality group, of which Neil is managing director.

He said:"Our success at Grove in particular is a win for smaller and emerging operators, like ourselves, up and down the country who grow their businesses organically.

"We take great pride in the fact that many of the hotels that reach this level are long-established iconic hotels, often owned by nation states and large international luxury brands.

"In an industry that requires so much investment to achieve success, the odds are stacked against the smaller operator, but it can be done."

Coast Saundersfoot, Grove’s beachside sister restaurant, was also celebrating after collecting three Rosettes. The restaurant had previously held two Rosettes, which it was awarded on opening in 2014.

Coast has a beachfront vista and a foodie vibe

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Neil paid tribute to the 'amazing team' who had made these results happen.

He said: At Grove, hotel manager Karen Weisheit, and executive chef Douglas Balish, have worked tirelessly to meet this exceptional standard under the careful guidance of Thomas Agius Ferrante, previously Grove general manager and now Seren operations director.

"The wine award is the icing on the cake, and we could not be prouder of head sommelier, Alexios Stasinopoulos, for all he’s achieved.

"At Coast, head chef Fred Clapperton, and restaurant manager Ryan Kenyon, have together taken the standards to a new level at the restaurant in Saundersfoot."