Could easily be outstanding and is definitely worth booking. Fantastic setting in National Trust grounds (1800 acres) as one wing of enormous country house. Staff fantastic, food good, facilities for children outstanding. We stayed for 1 week in Lady Montagu with 3 young boys. Room was sold as large double suitable for our family but in reality was a tight squeeze with all available space occupied with camp beds. Bathroom good although shower controls were much harder to turn than they should be and my wife would not have been able to use unaided. Would definitely insist on larger room next time (there are some, we paid the full rate for our room which was equivalent to a moderate discount on the larger rooms - £440 vs £475 per night DBB). The hotel was fully booked during our stay over the August Bank Holiday so upgrading wasn't possible.
Lots to do on site; excellent free bikes available to tour the grounds including little bikes with stabilisers for little ones and infant seats behind saddles on adult bikes. In reality, if the children need stabilisers it's not worth going for a ride as the surfaces are largely gravel and impossible for them to cycle through. The indoor swimming pool is large,1.4m deep and very warm. We were there for 2 hours and nobody was cold. It wasn't crowded at full hotel occupancy.
The Bears Den is the on site nursery. The 4 yr old twins went for 2 hrs each day. It didn't seem very inspiring and the staff were practical rather than friendly but the twins loved it and enjoyed their time colouring.
The separate games room for older children has table-tennis, air hockey and table football with 3 wii consoles.
We couldn't use the "spa" as no free slots were available despite emailing a few days in advance (they didn't get back to us). This could definitely be improved. It didn't seem big enough for this size of hotel and other guests had similar difficulties.
Restaurant food was a good standard and the restaurants were well managed with chatty, friendly, helpful staff. The bar manager has a top CV and is a real professional. Eating in the garden was lovely despite the wasps.
The children found lots of others to play with and would leave the conservatory restaurant as soon as possible to play in the garden/play area. This was perfect - a huge lawn for cricket/croquet or the walled play area with safe trampoline, swings, little houses, trikes etc.
Overall a nice week for families with a need to relax in nice surroundings with all the facilities for children immediately to hand. We didn't really need to leave but went to Bury St Edmunds(very interesting), Southwold (delightful) and Eastman Farm Park (not that special)
It wasn't cheap - 3k for 1 week (August) but represented fair value given that the children's food was quite cheap and most of the cost was the high room rate. If booked cleverly, this cost could be reduced. Going inclusive for the dinner isn't good value as most nights we couldn't eat more than 2 courses (less than £35) and if you eat with the children in the conservatory restaurant the options would probably only just get to £35 per head. Breakfast is great and fully covered by the rate (including the full English option with sausages/black pudding etc) except for the children which is £5 or £7.50 depending on age.
- 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 Suffolk/Horringer, Bury St Edmunds