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The Ickworth Hotel
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Reviews (793)
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All reviewsnational trustswimming poolafternoon teafamily hotelstately homehigh teagames roomsandwichesspa treatmentsfamilies with young childrenlovely poolchanging roomsthe main hotelbike ridegrand tourhalf termwalled garden
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Reviewed June 16, 2014

It was our anniversary so we visited this hotel for lunch. I expected a proper restaurant but it transpires that the restaurant is only open for dinner, so we were shown to the conservatory. Initially, I thought this was really nice. I liked the decor and especially the novel light fittings but the food! OMG, I haven't ever had such an awful Chicken Caesar Salad. Heaven knows how long they had been harbouring the lettuce as it was uniformly brown around the edges. The chicken was dry and the bacon was not crispy as listed on the menu. For this "haute cuisine" one is charged £13.50. I was not prepared to accept this substandard offering and asked for fresh lettuce. When my dish was returned, it was almost as bad as the first offering. Needless to say, I hardly ate any. The waitress did say that they would not charge for this which was only fair in the circumstances.

The waiting staff are fairly pleasant and obviously the quality of food is not their department. I would suggest to the Management that they acquire a decent chef. We shall not be returning.

  • Stayed: June 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Pollyshill
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 June 18, 2014

I am sorry that yoi8 had issues with your Ceasar salad on your recent visit to the hotel and fully understand your wishing to have this re done, which I gather was carried out for you and no charge made. Your points I believe were made to the Chef on duty at the time. Ickworth uses only fresh produce and I am surprised that this quality made it past the Chef on the pass and the waiter to your table. We will certainly make even more checks to avoid such re occurrences. regarding the availability of the Fredericks Restaurant, you are correct in your submission that this is in fact only available in the evening, however we do find that dining in the Conservatory usually is a very pleasant area for our guests.

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Reviewed June 10, 2014

the food in the restaurant was lovely and the treatments in the spa were great - the mixed review comes from the planning of the layout of this place, the kiddies play area in in the reception next to where you relax for morning coffee and the spa in next to the childrens creche - if you say anything about the children screaming - you are met with a well rehearsed phrase "its a family friendly hotel" but dont they realise that a spa is where you go to relax - so why put the creche next door as small children cant help being noisy and toddlers and relaxation do not mix !!!!

  • Stayed: June 2014, traveled as a couple
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Thank normanHertfordshire
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 June 18, 2014

I am very sorry that the position of the Creche and the Spa are on the same lower ground floor and that the noise from children upset your relaxation in the spa, regrettably being a Grade I building we were unable to site the spa anywhere else on the property. We try at Ickworth to meet all the requirements of our guests, most of the time this works very successfully regrettably on this occasion it did not.

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Reviewed June 4, 2014

We began our stay by taking a tour of Ickworth House (the hotel is a wing of the house that is now in private use). We have National Trust membership, but I believe that guest of the hotel are allowed to look around for free, which is a perk. As are the free bike loans which can be ridden around the grounds - a nice touch.

The beauty of the National Trust property with its unusual rotunda and Italian-esque architecture is a total joy to behold. The Hotel is byt the same standards, grand and has been refurbished quite sympathetically. It makes a few modern twists with the décor but keeps focus on period features.

The receptionist who showed us to our room was absolutely lovely - she walked us up, showed us around the room, asked us if we needed anything... was extremely polite and made us feel welcome. I was impressed! The room (you can see on the fire escape map the exact dimensions of each room in the hotel) is the smallest of all of the bedrooms. But the view was breathtaking. The bathroom with was lovely, the bed was good, as was the bedding, furnishings, fittings and cleanliness levels. I looked out for dirt but could spot nothing. It was certainly what I would expect from a high-class establishment.

We decided to use the swimming pool (free to guests) which was again, sympathetically done. Not too big an outbuilding, not too imposing on the grounds or on against the backdrop of the stately home... a modern and clean effort. We couldn't have much of a swim because the pool was absolutely filled with children.

In fairness: the website does sell itself as a 'family' hotel, so there was due warning. But, as a childless couple, hoping for a romantic break, I would be lying if I said the sheer level of noise from the children throughout the stay was not off-putting. The pool was filled, at dinner the dining room was filled and at breakfast the breakfast room was filled. All with shouting children, who dominated the atmosphere.

The hotel does have a dining room that does not allow children... but it was so intimidating that we opted for the conservatory.

This is where the hotel lets itself down, unfortunately: the food was not great.

I have certainly had worse, but for the prices we paid, I would have expected better.

We each ordered antipasti for starters - mine vegetarian and my partner's meaty. Both plates were missing ingredients (clearly they had run out) and to cover up how how/missing ingredients they had placed rocket all on top of everything. Very disappointing.

We did not stay for dessert, as the mains too were rather bad. My partner's shepherd's pie was dull and my pasta was incredibly oily and salty. Not made with love, sadly. Some of the staff were clearly a little new or confused - I had to ask for bread and water several times. The bread never came, but i was too embarrassed to ask again so I left it.

We enjoyed a drink in the 'bar' area where there was an array of magazines. We both slept well and awoke to a nice breakfast - the good side of average for sure. The dining room was very crowded and noisy with crying children so we didn't really feel like we could relax and take our time.

At check out, again, the staff were lovely, but they did try to charge us for our evening meal again,as apparently the staff who took our money in the restaurant did not mark this up as paid... thereby making the management think we had not paid. There was a little confusion, and I am worried about the fact that if I had not checked so thoroughly I would have been charged twice...

I think there may be a bit of mis-communication between staff in different parts of the building, which they would be wise to address.

On the whole we really enjoyed it however, and would stay again under the right circumstances.

  • Stayed: May 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Chloe H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Michael K, Manager at The Ickworth Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded June 10, 2014

Hello Chloe

Thank you for taking the time for valuable feedback on your recent stay to the Ickworth. I was pleased to see that most of the aspects of your stay was to your satisfaction but naturally disappointed to see your comments about the food.

As mentioned in previous responses all of our team read these review and I will ensure that at our management meeting the points you have raised are discussed in some detail. They will be very disappointed to see that we let you down in this area.

Thank you again for your feedback as we cannot ensure we are always at the top of our game without it.

I'm very happy to see that your experience won't deter you from coming back again.

All the very best.
Michael

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Reviewed June 2, 2014

We had the misfortune to go to this hotel for 2 nights.The younger receptionist was most unwelcoming. The mature lady was great. We were shown to one room so dark so depressing we asked to change. The next room was not much better. The furmiture was heavy dark wood. Old fashioned sofa and chair which had no stuffing.The bath was so deep you could drown in it.
The shower did not work and the hot water to ages to reach us.No drawers.
The lighting was awful and not suffient to read as the bedside light was dull.
The restaurant food was good, but the 2 waiters on duty were untrained an not even polite.
The whole experieince was awful and I could not wait to leave. Certainly not 5 star..

Room Tip: not sure if there are any
  • Stayed: May 2014, traveled with friends
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1  Thank sueborne
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 June 18, 2014

I am very sorry that the room allocated to you was not to your liking and that on request to reception they made the change for you. All our rooms are individual and furnished in a number of different ways with antique furniture, we do not claim to be a hotel where all our rooms are the same. The bedside lights are all 60watt bright lights , but I am sorry that this was not sufficient for you to be able to read. It would appear that this hotel was not at all what you were expecting and I am very sorry that you unfortunately made a what you believe to be a wrong choice.

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Reviewed June 2, 2014

We spent three fantastic days at the Ickworth, our second visit which was actual just as good as the first. I was a little worries about the service after having stayed at Polurrian and Woolley Grange but have to say that the staff were on the ball and restaurant staff in particular very good especially the lovely lady who kept topping up our water. There seemed to be a good sense of staff being managed here which was good to see.the Butlers Quarters were perfect for us too with having brought our Labrador having the garden was great. Pool was brilliant, bikes were also fantastic and not having to pay was simply great. A 12 mile bike ride was just what the doctor ordered. Am now thinking about holding my 40th birthday celebrations here next year so will be in touch!! Food too was excellent and enjoyed the wine pairings too. A lovely stay, my favourite hotel of the group.

  • Stayed: May 2014, traveled with family
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Thank beachgirl018
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Michael K, Manager at The Ickworth Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded June 10, 2014

Hello Beachgirl018, so lovely to hear that we met your expectations once again and that you had a lovely time with us.

The team love to see that people have enjoyed their time with us and that return visits are in the planning.

If you are thinking about coming back for your 40th - speak to our events manager, who will tell you about the great opportunities for The Lodge (in fact read one of our earlier reviews - Bifty Nottingham) who did just that .

See you again.
Michael

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