Having taken six years and a small fortune to create, the 227-room Grove (Chandler's Cross, Rickmansworth, England; 44-1923/807-807, www.thegrove.co.uk; doubles from $400) is a one-of-a-kind extravaganza designed for a clientele that's just as comfortable playing croquet in a large walled garden as it is sleeping in a feather-trimmed Lucite four-poster bed. The décor—courtesy of Fox Linton Associates—is an arty mix of antiques (marble fireplaces, claw-foot tubs), 21st-century opulence (white silk walls, red leather tables), and provocative modern design (see-through closet doors). The former estate of the fourth earl of Clarendon, the Georgian mansion-turned-hotel practically invented the concept of the country-house weekend: in the 1800's, it was where England's elite flocked to party. Today, guests eat at one of three restaurants, enjoy Ayurvedic treatments in the spa, tee off on an 18-hole course, and scoot around the countryside in motorized carts.
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