A COUPLE who were told that the derelict house they were renovating in Pembrokeshire ‘could never be a hotel’ are having a five-star celebration.

Grove of Narberth has just been awarded five star hotel status by tourism governing body, Visit Wales.

It is the first hotel in south west Wales to achieve this accolade, and only the fourth in Wales.

Since Neil and Zoe Kedward bought The Grove in 2007, they have transformed it into a 26-bedroom luxury country house hotel.

Said Neil: “Grove has a special place in our hearts, as it is where our journey in south west Wales started for Zoe and I.

“It has been a long and winding road and for that reason we feel it’s very important to acknowledge the huge contribution of the current team, all previous staff and our local suppliers and contractors.

“There are many steps that we have taken over the last 12 years to take this property from a derelict unloved house to a high-quality hotel, and without their support this would have not been possible.

“Zoe and I were once told that the ‘Grove could never be a hotel’. We are delighted that not only have we been able to prove them wrong, but we have achieved five star status which is the benchmark that any hotelier aims for.”

The couple have also expanded their business to launch The Seren Collection of high-quality hospitality venues in south west Wales, which includes Coast Restaurant in Saundersfoot.

Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism, Lord Elis-Thomas, who visited the hotel to congratulate the team, said: “This is excellent news for Pembrokeshire – and for Wales. High-quality products such as The Grove are what keeps Wales competitive.

"Being awarded five stars is no mean feat, and is a true reflection of the hard work and dedication of Neil, Zoe and their team to deliver the best possible experience to their visitors.”