If you or a loved one is suffering from, or has battled cancer, motor neurone disease, Parkinson’s or other life-threatening illness you know all too well that feeling of monotony, of feeling trapped or that yearning to make some positive plans. Rather than completely ruling out the benefits a complete break from the routine and trip away could give you, why not look into a stay at Bournemouth’s The Grove Hotel, a holiday property run by Macmillan Caring Locally?
The Grove’s motto is: “Your illness might not take a break, but you can”, and they’re set up to accommodate most additional needs whether for accommodation, for meds, for catering or general accessibility. Bournemouth has long been associated with respite and recuperation with its sea air and relaxing pine-scented walks believed to promote wellbeing since the town’s early days as a resort back some 200 years ago.
Bespoke break away
The Grove Hotel was opened by Macmillan Caring Locally in May 2011 to replace their successful Southbourne property Albany Lodge, which was falling into disrepair. It was extensively refurbished and refitted to accommodate their prospective residents and take the helm from Albany Lodge which was a favourite spot for cancer sufferers and their families to enjoy a holiday by the sea with a nurse on call 24 hours a day.
The hotel is located (unsurprisingly!) on Grove Road in Bournemouth’s East Cliff area just set back from the Overcliff. It is conveniently situated just off St Peter’s Roundabout at the top of Bath Road, which runs past the main pier. The town’s train and bus station is one mile from here, the airport six and a half and Bournemouth Hospital less than four miles. To get to the sand you can take the cliff path and be on the beach in just ten minutes (0.4 miles) and the pier is one mile away.
The Grove Hotel is non-profit making and relies on charitable donations from businesses and individuals. There are 30 bedrooms on three floors of the hotel including three DDA compliant rooms, three profile beds and three recliner beds and guest comfort is their absolute priority. They endeavour to provide accommodation with all the home comforts but also the support and facilities needed for a restful and worry-free stay. There is also, of course, a lift to each floor of the hotel.
Standard or superior?
All bedrooms at The Grove are warm and comfortable with private bathroom, heated towel rails, a flatscreen television with Freeview and radio and direct-dial telephone. Plus, free WiFi internet access, an emergency call button, emergency pull cords, hairdryer, safe, tea and coffee making facilities, toiletries and fresh towels.
There are 17 standard bedrooms at the hotel, with a mix of singles, doubles and twin room accommodation. To add a touch of luxury, choose one of The Grove’s 13 superior rooms with more specious dimensions to accommodate a larger television and fridge with a king-size bed or two singles plus dressing gowns and slippers for the ultimate cosy stay.
Wheelchair friendly accommodation
If you use a wheelchair there is one fully DDA (Disability Discrimination Act) compliant bedroom in the hotel offering full access plus a remote-control bed and recliner chair plus a further two with DDA compliant bathrooms and complete wheelchair access.
If you need to borrow a wheelchair during your stay The Grove may be able to lend you one to make your time here more manageable.
As The Grove is one of the only hotels dedicated to cancer patients in the UK, you can rely on them to cater for everything you might possibly need – right down to the catering itself! If you’ve got a poor appetite or restricted diet the hotel’s three dedicated chefs can whip you up something that you can enjoy from local delicacies to fresh-baked goodies, snacks, tempting desserts and slap-up evening meals.
The Grove’s dining room is a beautifully grand affair overlooking the property’s well-kept gardens. Come and enjoy a leisurely breakfast – perhaps a Full English with the works or a lighter continental selection of fruits, cereals and toast – whatever you fancy. Breakfast is served between 8:30 and 9:30am every day.
Catering around the clock
If you’re staying close to the hotel for lunch, the bar offers a variety of hot and cold snacks and light bars such as sandwiches and baguettes, fish and chips, omelettes and burgers between midday and 2pm and refreshment are available around the clock.
The dinner menu changes seasonally but a hearty menu would contain popular dishes such as a salad or home-made soup for starter, roast leg of Dorset lamb or grilled fillet of Scottish salmon as a main with a tempting caramelised citrus tart to follow. Dinner is served between 6:15 and 7:15pm every day.
If you find you need a snack in the night or your condition or medication means you have to eat regularly, the night porter service, which runs from 11pm to 7am will prepare you bar snacks, sandwiches, teas, coffees and hot milky drinks on request.
This comfortable space offers a welcome retreat whether you want to enjoy a tea or coffee, settle down with a good book or spend some time with friends and family. There is a lounge service every day from 10am to 5pm serving hot drinks and biscuits to enjoy in these comfortable surroundings.
The conservatory overlooks The Grove’s beautiful outdoor space just a short stroll from the sea. If your spell in the conservatory happens to fortunately coincide with the daily afternoon tea (served between 3 and 5pm) you could take your traditional cream tea, muffins, flapjacks, teacakes and other treats in this delightful venue.
There is also a large lounge, where guests can socialise or enjoy some quiet time. Perhaps meet up with friends or family members or catch up on the soaps. It’s your holiday so make sure you take some time for yourself.
Private dining experience
If you’re staying at The Grove to celebrate a special occasion, the hotel can offer a private dining experience in the Albany Suite for a group of up to 16 people. Just make your booking ahead of your stay and The Grove will give you a memorable experience in your own separate dining room.
The Dining Room is also available for private hire for local charities and businesses who want to use the space for an event, function or conference, a quiet and comfortable space for any occasion. This room also offers higher than standard tables if you or your family member cannot sit at the standard restaurant tables for any reason.
Meetings and conferences
The Albany Suite meeting room is light and bright and can be set up in boardroom style to accommodate 24 delegates, ‘U’ shape for 15-20 attendees or 30-40 in a theatre-style layout. Delegates can access a 42-inch LCD television for delivering presentations, free WiFi and unlimited iced water, pens and paper plus hot drinks and pastries or biscuits and a buffet lunch. Additional audio-visual equipment available for hire includes a PA system, LCD projector and projector screen.
If you’re throwing a party you might want to use the space for a sit-down meal, a drinks reception or informal gathering. Whatever the occasion The Grove Hotel can accommodate. And you’re right next to the stylish hotel bar too!
If you need more space, the hotel’s Garden Restaurant can also be hired out from 10am to 5pm. It will seat 100 delegates in theatre style, 60 in a cabaret shape and 40 as a ‘U’. If you wish you add accommodation to your booking there are rooms available from £60 per person. Give the team a call on 01202 552233 to discuss your plans.
The Grove Hotel is set up to make your stay here comfortable and enjoyable so you return home feeling like you’ve really had a break away. If you need a mobility scooter to get everywhere you want to go you can hire one from the hotel. Fancy spending some time by the sea but don’t fancy the sand? The Grove has its own private beach hut you can borrow – in the summer you can even catch the little land train from the East Overcliff down to one of the town’s bays or chines.
If you’re up to exploring the local area the hotel lays on a variety of free local coach trips to guests visiting places including Salisbury, Swanage, Poole Quay and Christchurch. For those would rather stay close you can enjoy The Grove’s beautiful lawns whether with a good book, a glass of wine or a few garden games.
Turkey and Tinsel
Christmas can be a time of year where you just need some time away. Why not check in to The Grove for a Turkey and Tinsel break, where you stay for four nights with all the trimmings taken care of? You get the full English breakfasts, a welcome cocktail party, 3-4 course evening meals, a traditional Christmas lunch plus a full programme of festive entertainment and games, sightseeing excursion and much more besides to take care of Christmas for you.
Bereaved families are also remembered with their own dedicated Christmas Cracker Break at the end of November, a chance to rest and enjoy a little Christmas indulgence well away from the big day itself.
Not forgetting anyone, The Grove also offers a series of three-night healthcare worker breaks when the hotel is otherwise closed after the winter run. As well as offering a chance for carers to take a break for themselves and be treated to a few days’ stay in The Grove’s peaceful surroundings. The stay includes breakfast, four-course evening meals with half a bottle of wine per person and a night of entertainment.
To reserve your break or to enquire about general availability or amenities / facilities please give the team at The Grove a call on 01202 552233.