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“A real treat”
Review of The Ickworth Hotel

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The Ickworth Hotel
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Horringer
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed August 20, 2013

A fantastic opportunity to stay in a period property, full of charm & history swell as being next to Ickworth House; Lord of the Manor. Beautiful grounds for walking/cycling. Lots of facilities.
The only gripe is the cost & value for money.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Thank Hooray H
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 feedback on your recent stay. Delighted that you were able to enjoy The Ickworth and all of its charms.
Hope to welcome you back in the future.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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618 - 624 of 739 reviews

Reviewed August 20, 2013

We have been coming to Ickworth since 2005, with our 2 children - aged 9 months and 6 on our first stay and now almost 9 and 13 years. We love Ickworth and this is our 4th visit, but somehow things are just not what they were. Please don't not book as a result of my comments, as it is a special place and if you stay at the right time, in the right room and you have small children I am sure you will have a lovely & memorable time.

The hotel is beautiful and tolerant of little ones, the pool is fab - the outdoor space with bikes and croquet, trampolines and outdoor activities are all a huge bonus for younger children, and with older children the downstairs playroom with table tennis, table football and ping pong are a big advantage.

However, with our current stay something is just not right. In terms of the right room, I would suggest that you don't opt for the Suite in the main house. Previously we have stayed in large double rooms with 2 very comfortable camp beds (or the first time a camp bed and a cot). On booking this time I was told we could be upgraded to the suite whilst still paying for a large double room. On arrival the suite is on the first floor, tired, dark, very hot in the afternoon (even with the two fans in the bedrooms) and airless. On previous stays there has been a biscuit barrel in the room with what I have always presumed are biscuits made in the Ickworth kitchen - we had driven the 4 hrs from Manchester with all 4 of us looking forward to the biscuits or arrival but they weren't there and this, our third of four nights here, still no biscuits in the room.

It feels as if cost efficiencies are being attempted – no homemade biscuits, no second soap for the second basin in our bedroom or a third for the bath, our tissues ran out in the bathroom on Day 1, we are now Day 3 and no replacement tissues left, no table cloths on the tables in the Conservatory at supper or breakfast and staff cleaning the tables during meal times with a cloth and spray cleaner (as you would see in far lesser locations) instead of the cover table cloth being taken off and refreshed with new after the first sitting. All little things, but these are the sorts of things that you would expect from a hotel charging £290 per night for B&B – these are the differentiators.

When we went to swim on the day of arrival I stopped off at reception and asked if there was another room we could transfer to on the basis of the darkness and airlessness of the suite – the girl on reception said she would look into it, she was finishing in 30 mins but would leave a message with the chap who would be covering reception later. I stopped off on the way back from our swim but he knew nothing of our request, so I went through it again – was there another room – even adjoining rooms with an increase in cost, if necessary, and he said he would speak to his manager in the morning to see if she would agree to a swap. No one has been in touch at all today to let us know the outcome of this request, so we remain in the suite. Observations on the suite would be that it needs a dressing table in the main bedroom with a decent mirror, otherwise there is nowhere with decent light that allows you to dry your hair and apply make up. I had to sit on the loo with a hand held mirror to do my eye make up and stand in the inner hall to straighten my hair with the only decent mirror. Lighter paint on the walls and new carpets, plus some nicer furniture would transform the suite. The bathroom is a lovely room with two basins, but with only one piece of soap left and a temperamental shower that scorched my daughter and was difficult to control.

Supper this evening was bemusing – eating in the Conservatory, as children are not allowed in the main restaurant in the evening. Service was incredibly slow – 2 members of staff covering 10 tables of > 50 covers, just whilst we were there and we were the second sitting. No napkins on the table, 10 minutes before we got our menus, my son’s requested tomato ketchup never arrived for the full duration of his main course, I had to pour my husband’s wine through the meal as no one came to top up his glass and the cooler was on my side of the table.. The waiting staff did a great job and special mention to Alexandra who was waiting on and did a fantastic job of remaining helpful, professional and loyal throughout the service. It was clear to all that something was wrong – too few staff – but she remained smiling and charming throughout. On the upside, the food was delicious – ham hock terrine, duo of lamb, chocolate brownie, just slow to arrive. Children’s ice cream was £4.00 for a tub of ice cream identical to, but priced at far, far more than in, the National Trust refreshments at the gatehouse. We haven’t seen a Maitre d’ on this stay and that may well be the problem with eating in the conservatory and the dining room. Flies and wasps are a problem at breakfast and display cabinets with covers for the ham, cheese, croissants etc would be a benefit.

I know that this sounds like a long list of complaints, but I list them because I want to see Ickworth back where it was and want other families to have the experience we had when we first came to stay. I really hope that Ickworth sort out these issues as it is a lovely, lovely place and one that has given us many happy memories and I would hope families that follow will have a similar experience.

Earlier complaints about the state of the conservatory and the dead rubber plant on the walls have clearly been heeded; new young plants are now in place to grow over the conservatory wall and the conservatory has been painted, so I am hopeful that other points will be noted.

Do book – just don’t take the suite – ask for a garden facing room, and face into supper with a relaxed attitude….

Room Tip: Ask for a garden facing room and don't accept the Suite in the main house.
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  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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3  Thank BettsyLD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 18, 2013

We stay for a weekend in August and had a wonderful time. The hotel as promised is family friendly, our 2.5 year old boy loved it!!

The location is perfect on the grounds of the National Trust and even though it was a weekend the grounds were never busy.

The free bike hire, with bike helments and a seat for the little one was an excellent perk. The pool was very good (toys to play with available). The only down side is there is one shower for everyone (mixed change room), which made for a long que.

Green space and toys everywhere, with a very understanding staff.

We used the babysitting which was very professional and ate in the adult dining room Fredricks which was excellent, though I prefer the family dining room for appearance.

The food in all restuarants was generally very good (our breakfast the second day was overcooked, but very minor). Only complaint about food was on Saturday the resturant wall full with people not staying in the hotel and consequently we had to eat in the lounge which was not ideal, as did many other familys staying at the hotel. If staying over a weekend pre-book lunch.

The room was excellent, we had two bedrooms a sitting area and a huge bathroom. The room needed some work, the windows were all broken and didn't stay open, making for a warm room in the evening. Beds were comfortable and the room was quiet. Excellent free wifi!!

For families with young children I can't recommend this hotel enough and we will stay again.

We did book last minute and it was expensive, but worth it.

Room Tip: We stay in the Theodora, lots of space, big bathroom.
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  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Crazyteamtravel
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 give us valuable feedback on your recent stay at The Ickworth. I am pleased that you were able to enjoy what we have to offer at The Ickworth.
I was sorry to see that you were not able to be seated in the restaurant for lunch on Saturday but as you can see the restaurant is very popular with our local residents too. As you suggest it would be wise to book if intending to dine. 7
I have passed on your comments regarding the window in Theodora to our maintenance team to see if the issue can be rectified.
Thank you once again for your comments.

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Reviewed August 17, 2013

We have just had a wonderful visit to The Ickworth. It was our first visit and we stayed in the Lodge. The room was lovely, staff really helpful and friendly, we could not fault it. We had breakfast in the Lodge and found the service excellent. Bike hire was a real bonus, and we made good use of the indoor pool. We ate at the main hotel once, and again this was faultless. We look forward to returning!

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Thank Richard J
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

Richard, thank you for taking time to give us comments on your time at The Ickworth. I'm glad that you and your family had a great time and want to come back for more!
Hope to see you soon.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 12, 2013

My husband booked us and our 6 year old daughter in for 4 days (at my urging) after a recommendation from friends. The grounds are amazing, the main hotel was gorgeous and the staff were excellent. Our rooms in The Lodge, however, were a huge disappointment. I understand that they went through a refurbishment but they seem tired, dusty, had cracks in the ceilings and our bedroom room had cobwebs. The main living space was cramped with tired furniture although the kitchenette was very nice. Although the bathrooms were spacious, we would have hoped for a better finish, a shower that didn't appear to have a screw as an attachment and very old, damp damaged linoleum on the floor for the price that we paid. Finally, I totally appreciate that the buildings are old but would rather not have been kept awake by the love making of the couple above.

A real pity as we were excited about staying at the Ickworth (daughter loves it by the way).

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank CK L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 23, 2013

My Husband booked us a night here with our 19 month old as a suprise for my birthday, we'd looked at staying here several times but could never really justify the cost.

We arrived on 22nd July and stayed overnight in the room called Molly's, which is on the second floor and overlooks the gardens. It's a stunning room with a huge bathroom and everything was spotlessly clean. The Hotel and grounds are beautiful and very well maintained.

Reception
Pleasant and friendly but not particularly helpful. On arrival we weren't told about High Tea for our daughter, or where any of the facilities were, where the swimming pool was for example, or about the baby listening service etc etc All things we had to return to ask about.


Room
It was the hottest day of the year and unfortunately because of the age of building there is no air con so it was a bit stuffy and hot in the room, but no fault of the Hotel. There was a fan in the wardrobe which we used and gave us some respite from the heat.

We had asked for a travel cot for our daughter, which was supplied, however it was tiny and our daughter is on the small side, so I would recommend taking your own if you stay here. It was a little tatty as it had a fist sized hole in one of the sides of the cot. It was also placed next to a double plug socket, not a huge issue, but the fact that only one socket had a guard in it was a bit sloppy, bearing in mind this hotel touts itself as family friendly. We moved the cot to the other side of the room.

The windows have heavy blackout curtains, but the curtains don't reach the window sill, nor meet in the middle so let in loads of light. We took our own blackout blind which alleviated the issue slightly but still, a niggle.

Eating
The kids food was served in the Conservatory, but again we had to wander around to find someone to ask, when we did find someone we were told that his colleague would be with us in a minute and were then ignored for about 5 minutes while we hovered about like a pair of numpties waiting for the staff to finish their conversation.

When we arrived for our daughter's food at 5 again we were ignored while the staff stood about chatting. When we asked if we'd come to the right place for the food, they said we would have to wait until a member of the creche arrived before we could sit down!

The food was generously portioned and very nice so no complaints there, however we were asked if we would like a drink, we asked for two beers and asked what beers they had, the waiter told us he "thinks they have Budvar and Tiger, but I can't remember the others" I asked if they had anything local which was met with a stunned silence. We ordered 2 Budvar, to be given Budweiser. Nothing major again, just another sloppy niggle that when you are paying £250 a night DBB you expect more.

We had dinner in Frederick's and took advantage of the free baby listening service, also going up and checking on our room between courses, as we'd never used a facility like this before. The atmosphere was very relaxed, although a bit stuck in the past, with the main course being silver served. The food was pretty average. The service in here was better though.

Breakfast was far better, with a completely different team on who seemed to know what they were doing. The choice of food was good, with a cold buffet, cereals etc and a hot breakfast option.

All in all it's a bit hit and miss. I appreciate it's hard to do luxury and family together and they do try here, they are just let down by some of the staff being inconsistent and the small things that get missed, like the damage to the cot, the blackout curtains, the socket guard and placing a cot next to a plug socket!

Unfortunately the Hotel doesn't live up to the hype which is so disappointing.

We would return to visit the National Trust grounds and Ickworth Hall just not the Hotel.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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1  Thank essexsnowhounds
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 22, 2013

Just spent a weekend at Ickworth House Hotel with husband and three children and was really impressed with the feel of the place (relaxed, intimate environment), the friendliness of the staff and the facilities. We we there for a surprise 40th and had an impromptu rounders tournament in the garden, played tennis, went cycling and enjoyed some v lovely food. It is a great place to take kids as they have the run of a walled garden, can play in the fairy playground& the downstairs games room without you feeling concerned about their whereabouts. There is also a creche with v calm, smiley and experienced staff. It was quiet when we were there and we felt so at home. The Hotel has an interesting history, is nicely done up without being fussy or too perfect and set in the most beautiful grounds. I totally recommend the bike rides - go right at the Lodge out into the countryside and enjoy the views! Robert the porter was a charming and v warm front of house and we we v sorry to leave. I thoroughly recommend.

Thank Myriam W
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 kind feedback regarding your stay Miriam, it is our aim to make sure that everyone leaves The Ickworth feeling totally relaxed and having enjoyed their stay. Perhaps on your next visit try and visit the main Rotunda and get a further insight into the wonderful story of The Ickworth and the family history.
Thank you once again and hope to welcome you back soon.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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: $154 - $553 (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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