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“Like having your own estate”
Review of The Ickworth Hotel

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The Ickworth Hotel
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Horringer
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed July 19, 2013

We stayed here for 2 nights over the period of my wife's birthday. We very much enjoyed our stay. We had a very good room ,large ,well equipped (50's style),light with a lovely outlook to the front with good views of the main building and the grounds. . We were able to hire bikes and cycle over the huge estate without hardly seeing another person. We were there on a Wednesday,when the National Trust is closed to visitors to the main building. This meant very few people and it was like having your own private estate. There is a large pool a few metres from the main hotel entrance. The place is geared for families of '30 somethings' and has plenty of attractions for toddlers. Meals were fine . We had a few niggles such as
a) when we arrived at lunchtime we decided to have lunch in the lovely area outside the conservatory. We sat at a table and waited to give our order, and waited and waited. In the end we gave up and went into the café at the National Trust where we were served instantly b ) at breakfast on the first day of our stay,we waited so long to give our breakfast order that I had to hunt down a waitress to be able to give our order c) we like a drink before dinner and in the lounge adjacent to Fredericks we sat for ages before someone took our order.
The young staff were extremely pleasant but we felt they needed direction. On our second night , ,there was a manager who told us he had just arrived and to be fair ,we were served much more quickly. However, I emphasise,we did enjoy our stay and have no doubt management will iron out these service niggles

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank ALANJL55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Michael K, General Manager at The Ickworth Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded September 8, 2013

Thank you for taking time to comment on your stay at The Ickworth. I was pleased to see that you enjoyed most aspects of your stay and naturally concerned you did not receive an acceptable standard of service in our restaurants. As you have stated we have welcomed a new restaurant manager to our team and the necessary steps have been taken to address the timeliness of taking orders.
Thank you once again and we hope that you will come back and visit us again in the future.

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578 - 584 of 690 reviews

Reviewed July 18, 2013

What a lovely hotel, we took advantage of the midweek break offer( as we retiree,s do). We enjoyed a very relaxing 2 days here and were really pleased with this hotel, the room (Francesca) was spacious although th decor was very much 60's it was very comfortable with a large comfy bed and excellent en suite including Elemis toiletries. The food was extremely good for this midweek break with excellent service from Liam in Fredericks restaraunt, beautiful evening overlooking the gardens and candlelit to, very romantic, the breakfuast in the Orangery was 1st class completely spoilt for choice ( had to try the Suffolk breakfast,no lunch that day)The hotel is situated in spacious grounds with excellent facilities( swimming pool ,spa, and free bicycles to,) also you have free access to the Rotunda if you are not a National Trust member, really enjoyed the tour.
If there are any more retired couples out there , give it a try , you will not be disappointed. Thank you to all the staff , they were extremely friendly and helpful.
p.s.it was nice to see the children enjoying themselves.

Room Tip: We stayed in the main building which was very quiet, next time I will ask for the Grand Tour ? Lord...
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  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank 2706Dolphin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Michael K, General Manager at The Ickworth Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded September 8, 2013

Thanking you for taking the time to give us most welcome feedback on your stay at The Ickworth. You have highlighted that the hotel is one that can be enjoyed by all ages and we have a number of families with several generations coming to savour what is on offer.
Hope that we have the opportunity to spoil you again in the future.

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Reviewed July 17, 2013

We spent three-nights in the Lodge at the Ickworth Hotel on a bed-breakfast basis plus two nights evening dinner in Fredrick's Restaurant. We were a family of three with a 17-month old. First impressions of the hotel property, which is in a National Trust site, were positive. Reception greeted us with a smile and provided all of the information we needed for our stay.

In summary, we would recommend this hotel for families as there is a wide range of excellent activities and services for children whilst something for parents. The only negatives are the finishing touches to the room and the inefficient performance of the restaurant staff (read below for more details).

Set in the beautiful Suffolk countryside and within a National Trust park, the hotel consists of the main building, the Lodge and other lodgings. The Lodge is located a short five to 10 minute walk from the main building. We stayed in a two-bedroom apartment overlooking the rear of building and it consisted of kitchenette (most useful) and bathroom (bath tub). The room itself was perfectly fine and was well stocked with water and even whole milk on our arrival. Everything we needed for our son was provided including travel cot, nappy bucket, steriliser and bottle warmer (we only requested the first two). However, in our view the room was not quite luxury standard because of the chipped furniture (antiques), pealing plaster in one part of the ceiling and the use of vinyl (or linoleum) in the bathroom. This is despite the room recently undergoing refurbishment. We also found the bed rickety and too soft, though the latter is very subjective. These were not great negatives and certainly was not off-putting, but kept it from being a true luxury room.

We were fortunate to have been able to have breakfast in the Garden Room throughout our entire stay. We understand that normally this is over the weekend (we stayed Sunday through Wednesday). Otherwise, breakfast is served in the Conservatory in the main building. On the breakfast, it was the standard fare consisting of scrambled eggs, mushrooms, rashers of bacon, sausages, baked beans, toast, cold cereals, cooked eggs, fruit, an assortment of pastries and juices along with tea or coffee.

What was really great about the Ickworth was how it tries to maintain a fun, family environment but also something for the parents. For instance, in the basement of the main building for little ones there is crèche on the site offering various two-hour blocks to watch children (we choose the morning session, which our son enjoyed). There is also a games room and cinema room (for older children). In the Lodge there was even a TV downstairs with a games console and DVDs that could be taken up to the rooms. There were also outdoor toys. Bicycles could be rented to ride around the property, which was very pleasant and a pool to cool off, though we did not use it.

For adults, there was a drawing room to have a drink and a library to relax and read. There was also a tennis court. Of particular interest is that the hotel will arrange a babysitter (for a fee). We used this service to have our son watched as we dined at Fredrick's for two evenings. Though we understand that if staying in the main building there is a baby listening service. There is also a spa, which was quite relaxing and very well needed.

The only true downside to the Ickworth is the level of service by the restaurant staff (Fredrick's and the Lodge breakfast staff excluded). On the whole and with a few exceptions, we would describe it as perfunctory. The one evening where we dined as a family in the Conservatory the staff were friendly but service was slow and often tedious at times. This came to a head during lunch the following day when it took 40-minutes for our water to arrive (and it was the wrong water) and then five minutes later our sandwiches. These sandwiches should not have taken that long. It did not appear to us to be particularly busy and with many small children on a hot summer's day this was without excuse. However, the manager personally apologised for the delay and there was no charge for the food. Good save!

Overall, for a family seeking a fun relaxing time with a wide-range of activities we would whole heartedly recommend the Ickworth Hotel. Furthermore, we would recommend spending the extra money and staying out in the Lodge because it provides a great sense of privacy and space for children to play. The positives far outweigh the negatives and we can easily see this becoming a regular visit.

Room Tip: The Lodge the Laurel room which receives the morning and evening sun.
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  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
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Thank HochEV
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Michael K, General Manager at The Ickworth Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded September 8, 2013

Thank you for your posting your feedback on your time at The Ickworth. I am delighted that you had an enjoyable 3 night stay with us. I have noted your comments regarding your room in The Lodge and have had our maintenance team look into the points you have raised and rectify where possible. I apologise for the standard of service your received in the Conservatory, as you will see in previous response that since your stay we have welcomed a new restaurant manager who has ensured that that this doesn't occur again.
I am pleased to see that you will look to visit us again in the future and we look forward to seeing you soon.

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Reviewed July 16, 2013

Spent a wet June weekend in this stunning hotel. Beautiful building and location. Our room, Belle Isle, very comfortable with superb view of the Rotunda. We found our meal in the restaurant a little disappointing, service from the young waiting team enthusiastic but a bit hit and miss. Food was OK, but not special. Glad we ate out in Bury St E one evening. Conservatory lovely for breakfast, but disappointed that the 'freshly prepared' waffles were actually not, and hadn't been warmed up properly. We sat in lounge for hour and a half on Saturday afternoon reading papers, and no-one approached us to see if we'd like drinks. Lovely swimming pool, a real treat having it to ourselves for our morning swim. Having booked via Secret Escapes, and pre-paid, it was a little galling to be asked to pay again on checking out!

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank RFE1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 12, 2013

The occasion was a birthday lunch in this delightful conservatory restaurant. The food was of an impeccable standard, and delicious. However; having booked by telephone, they knew nothing about the reservation, and whilst the girls looking after us were friendly and helpful nothing quite gelled. Menus arrived without a wine list, water arrived without glasses,staff were never quite there when you wanted them and it was difficult to pay the bill. All of this did really detract from the lunch,but think how much better it could have been.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank Christopher C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Michael K, General Manager at The Ickworth Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded July 13, 2013

Thank you for posting a comment on Tripadvisor. I am delighted that you liked our Conservatory Restaurant however there seemed to be an issue with the continuity of service, we have since your visit welcomed outr new Restaurant manager Poalo who ahs made significant changes in a very short period of time. I have noted tat you enjoyed the food, be assured that the service has changed significantly and i am sure that any future visit will be a distinctly better experience.
Again thank you for posting a comment on tripadvisor.

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Reviewed July 7, 2013

We had dinner in the conservatory last night & it was terrible. The waiting staff were really trying & very polite but that doesn't change the fact that the service was slow, food terrible and very very very overpriced for what you get. We booked a table for 6.30pm and left a t 8.10pm we only had a main course and dessert for 3 adults. My curried chicken was terrible, the chicken its self was tiny and not worth £15.50 it was the quality of a Little Chef, not hotel quality at all. I was so hungry when I got home I made a bacon sandwich, not very happy after paying £63.00 for a meal...My wife told an Italian man in reception about the slow service & poor quality of food but he didn't even acknowledge her, he just shoved a card machine in front of her & asked for her pin number. We were one of 3 tables complaining about the food we were the only table who paid I believe!! All in all an experience not to be repeated!!

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank AndyBrown1961
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Michael K, General Manager at The Ickworth Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded July 13, 2013

I read your comments with some sadness, i would certainly like the opportunity to discuss this with you, however we do not have any record of a contact telephone number and you were not resident with us. I did notice in your Tripadvisor comments that you also came last December and had an unfortunate experience, perhaps when you receive this response you would contact me so that I can discuss the issues further with you. The telephone number is 01284 735350
Thank you

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Reviewed July 3, 2013

We booked this hotel on a deal not realising it was “family friendly”. As empty nesters we liked the idea of staying in a former stately home and it was conveniently located.

The first clue came when we were emailed about the babysitting service. On arrival we noted the rows of little wellington boots in the hall; our room had a cot and free baby food – all promptly removed when we explained we did not have the grandchildren with us.

Ickworth is part of the Luxury Family Hotels chain and I wish we’d had it when we were toting toddlers. It must be lovely to go to a hotel where you are not worrying about disturbing the wrinklies in the corner. As not-quite-wrinklies ourselves we found the staff extremely welcoming, the service excellent and the room spacious. The decor was an odd mixture of 90s urban chic and 80s hotel de luxe but pleasant enough.

We were staying in the week in term time so it was relatively quiet. Breakfast is taken in the lovely orangery and, while I am quite happy with toddlers tugging at my Telegraph, those who tend to fragility in the morning might seek room service. Sensibly, children are banned from the Frederick dining room in the evening – though the “adults only” (i.e. 18) rule seems a bit harsh.

As to Frederick’s it is a comfortable place to eat with a good view out onto the grounds and we had a decent meal there. Sadly for them you can eat much better for the same money in nearby Bury if you don’t mind a fifteen minute drive to Maison Bleue, which teeters on the special rather than the merely respectable. But if you don’t want to crank up the motor the cooking here is decent and the service friendly and attentive though tending to the green of the surrounding parkland.

Frankly I would not want to pay rack rate here, but if you can get a deal and enjoy having children around it’s a great place to stay.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank Jandelle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Michael K, General Manager at The Ickworth Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded July 13, 2013

Thank you for your kind comments and whilst i note that you came as a couple, i trust that you enjoyed your stay. You are correct we do have a unique offer to families with younger children and the pre school families but our staff are trained to ensure that our guests staying just as couples should receive the peace and quiet they wish to enjoy.
Thank you again your comments are most welcome.

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Additional Information about The Ickworth Hotel

Address: Horringer, Bury St. Edmunds IP29 5QE, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > East Anglia > Suffolk > Bury St. Edmunds > Horringer
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Horringer
Price Range: $137 - $436 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — The Ickworth Hotel 4.5*
Number of rooms: 27
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The East Wing at Ickworth was home to the Hervey family before it passed to the National Trust. The surroundings are as grand as ever but the idea that “children should be seen but not heard” has gone right out of the hundred or more windows. Where else can you go that offers luxurious surroundings, outstanding facilities, exquisite cuisine and family friendly activities? Ickworth is unique. It's also one of the finest luxury family hotels in the UK.we have recently added a Cinema room to our facilities and show children's films every day. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Ickworth Hotel Horringer
The Ickworth Hotel Horringer, UK - Bury St. Edmunds

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