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“Great family hotel”
4 of 5 bubbles Review of The Ickworth Hotel

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The Ickworth Hotel
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Horringer
Wellingborough, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Great family hotel”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 September 2013

Brilliant stay here 1st September for 3 nights. Stayed in the Lady Montague room which was lovely, nice and big with more than enough room for our cot - could easily fit 2 other beds in if you have older kids.

Staff fantastic, food really nice and the setting almost unbeatable.

My only criticism would be that the pool is just a pool - if it had a sauna/hot tub/steam room etc it would be perfect.

Will definitely be returning and look forwards to trying others in the chain.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank heather 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 review, 8 September 2013
Thank you Heather for your kind words regarding your recent stay at The Ickworth. Look forward to welcoming you back and let us know if you would like recommendations on other hotels within the group too!
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615 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (164)
Date | Rating
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English first
Hertford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
364 reviews
90 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 158 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 September 2013

We were here with our grandchildren aged 7 & 8 at the end of August and had a wonderful time. We were there for only 3 days and could have stayed longer. I was greeted by Robert, who gave me a handshake that felt as though I was an old friend returning, and he explained where everything was. It felt like you were the guests at a friend's country house as everything was relaxed, but of course, professional. We had a large room called The Nursery with stunning views across the parklands. A large comfortable bed for us with a sofabed and a campbed for the children. Little snacks were on the bed for them as we arrived.
We had just been to the bike shed to look at the bikes; we had brought the children's with us, when our grandson skidded on his bike and badly grazed his knee. Paolo, a waiter, quickly retrieved an anitseptic wipe and plaster which soon stemmed the tears. This was the feeling throughout our stay. There were many children at the hotel but the staff simply steered around them especially in the Conservatory restaurant. Their patience was endless. Again, Paolo at work here was very professional and very approachable.
The Conservatory restaurant was a pleasant place to eat with views across the gardens. The food was good and the children were happy with the choices available (as were we).
The relaxation is enhanced by the activities available, all natural and energy absorbing. In the Den were some tables with games such as air hockey but only one tv and Wii consoles. Great.
We felt relaxed because the children's play area was contained within a walled garden called The Fairy Garden. No outside access was possible from here. So after bike rides and swimming, they played in this garden and we sat across the lawn at tables and chairs outside the Conservatory, drinking tea/beer/wine and reading papers etc.
The only thing I would say is, they shouldn't advertise that they have wifi. We didn't particularly want to be online during our relaxing stay but there were a couple of occasions where we needed the inernet. Impossible to get a signal or anything sent through or received. It was the same for other guests.
Would I recommend this place? Absolutely. An oasis in this busy world with a little refinement and an understanding of the needs of people with children and babies. Well done, Ickworth.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank SueWithaView
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 review, 8 September 2013
Sue, thank you for your lovely review, indeed the welcome and ambience you have experienced during your stay with us, is exactly what we want people to receive whilst staying with us. I'm glad that Paulo was able to come to the rescue with a 'magic' wipe and that a crisis was adverted!
I will ensure the team members are made aware of this review and once again, thank you for taking the time to write about your stay.
We hope to welcome you 'home' again soon.
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London
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 September 2013

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.

Room Tip: check that its going to be big enough. The lodge apartments are in a building half a mile from hotel...
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  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank twodocs
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 review, 8 September 2013
Most glad to read that you have enjoyed your time at The Ickworth and you have made full use of the facilities of what's on offer at the hotel. I was sorry you were unable to use The Spa facilities but are in the process of recruiting a further therapist to hope alleviate the some problem of not being able to accommodate most people at peek times.
Next time you stay, please do ask about our Lodge rooms, they can accommodate the larger families more easily and being located in 4 acres of private land, they are just as quiet and secluded as the main house.
Thank you again for your feedback and look forward to seeing you again.
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Cambrdige
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 August 2013

This beautiful hotel is a real treat. Excellent food, service and a brilliant place for children. Acres of wide open countryside for cycling or walking. The staff are very efficient and nothing seems too much trouble, even warm milk delivered to your bedroom at 6.30 am. The rooms are huge ( large double) and very quiet. The view over the gardens are beautiful. The bikes are free to use as is entry into the rotunda. Hope to be back soon!

  • Stayed August 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank MessyNessyCambridge
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 review, 8 September 2013
Glad to see that you had a great time with us recently and look forward to seeing you again soon! Thanks for taking the time to give us your kind feedback!
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suffolk
Level Contributor
75 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 August 2013

This hotel is certainly child friendly with meals for the whole family being available in the Conservatory restaurant whilst Frederick`s restaurant is restricted to adults only and the peace of dining in smaller rooms with subdued lighting brought a much appreciated ambiance to our ruby wedding celebration. As we were looking forward to a relaxed evening and most of the other guests were presumably staying at the hotel, the pace of service was fine and mostly "silver service" standard.
We selected seared scallops for our starters and poached fillet of lemon sole with crab stuffing for the main course to be washed down with a French sauvignon. So the food and presentation thereof was faultless. The only minor criticism of of our dining experience was that the wine bucket was placed adjacent to my wife, being therefore away from my reach and no attention was paid to the need for our glasses to be refilled until I enquired fairly loudly whether my wife would like some more wine, thus prompting the requisite attention from a nearby waiter. However, I accept this may well have been a one off slip.
Would we go again? Certainly there is no reason not to, but the cost, whilst certainly not unreasonable for hotel prices, would perhaps require the event to be a celebration.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank tydur
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 review, 8 September 2013
Thank you for choosing The Ickworth to celebrate your Ruby wedding anniversary with us. I'm very happy that you had an enjoyable meal with us. I must apologise though for the 'slip up' with regards to the wine - not our usual standard of service for our fine dining restaurant.
If you are intending to come again and don't want to spend the same amount as Frederick's, who not try Our Conservatory, with individually priced dishes and if you are wanting to dine without too many children, after 7.30pm is usually a more quieter time especially during the week.
Hope to see you again soon.
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Brighton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 August 2013

This was part of our summer holiday. We stayed in the lodge in the beautiful ground floor 'scarlet' room. Very comfortable and opened out onto the garden. The only problem was the windows didn't open. It was fantastic to be able to use the bikes and the swimming pool was clean and the kids loved it.

The main issue that lets the side down is the awful food. We paid 21.50 for a steak and it would barely cut it in a Frankie and Bennys! Generally everything was below par for an average restaurant let alone a luxury hotel. Warm bottles of beer. Stale sandwiches etc. The problems go on with the food.

Other than the food, it is a fantastic family break.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Jonnybrigden
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
UK
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 August 2013

This was our second stay at the 'Family friendly' chain this year, following a recommendation by a colleague who stayed here some years ago with his young family.

We can see the business model but unfortunately the vision is poorly executed. Some proper, professional, hotel management input is urgently needed to rescue this chain. At the moment the attitudes reminds me of the British NHS; the place seems to run for the benefit of the rather sniffy staff and guests are regarded as somewhat of a hindrance to the smooth progress through their working day. We are happy to pay premium prices for good hotels but the prices currently are mismatched to the actual quality delivered.

We arrived after a long drive to be greeted by a flight of stairs inaccessable to pushchairs or prams (why no ramp?) and a completely disinterested reception- we were booked into the Lodge that requires a motor car as it is 1/2 mile away from the hotel; we were given no directions or instructions when we got there and had to rely on other guests for info about breakfast, amenities etc.

The restuarant is an utter shambles; pretty average food and service just farcical.

Overall I would mirror all the comments of SallyannLD- it is very sad to watch this slow motion car crash of a hotel chain. Hopefully not too late for someone senior at FFH to salvage?

Room Tip: Lodge good but you need a car!
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  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Jojo061
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Ickworth Hotel

Property: The Ickworth Hotel
Address: Horringer, Bury St Edmunds IP29 5QE, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > East Anglia > Suffolk > Bury St Edmunds > Horringer
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre 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 (Based on Average Rates): ££
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 Suffolk/Horringer, Bury St Edmunds

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