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Review of The Ickworth Hotel

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The Ickworth Hotel
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Horringer
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 13 April 2014 via mobile

Fab room, stunning grounds, warm pool, BUT service appalling, not enough staff, food arriving at the different times cold and bland, Ickworth you can not afford such mistakes, get it together or you won't last, such a shame. Your regulars.

  • Stayed: April 2014
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2  Thank Danny 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 17 April 2014

Thank you for your comments with regard to your recent stay, I was very sorry to read your comments with regard to the staff and food, plainly we had issues which should not have occurred and for this I apologise. we have been going through the change to different ordering and billing software and this has given us challenges. be assured we are working on the improvement to ensure that we are back to standard, again my apologies, I trust we will be allowed an opportunity to show that this was an aberration and not the norm.
yours sincerely,

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535 - 541 of 722 reviews

Reviewed 13 April 2014

Booked Sunday lunch for today as we had previously booked Mothers Day but had to cancel due to a family bereavement. Maybe Mothers day may have been better however today, from our first point of contact at the conservatory restaurant, Sophie greeted us with "how can I help you" with an attitude we all noted. Not the best start to what we hoped would be a nice lunch. We had booked for 2.30pm and admittedly we were 10 minutes late however we didn't expect to stand waiting for our table, which we had to stand watching being cleaned and then set. The set Sunday lunch menu only had 3 options for starter and main and one of the mains, beef, was off and replaced by chicken. Pretty poor. the third option and only option on starter and main was vegetarian and as one of our party was vegetarian, they had NO choice. Again incredibly poor.
Whilst we were eating, staff were dismantling tables and moving furniture and preparing tables for what looked like breakfast service. A relaxing family Sunday lunch this was not. I am shocked and surprised by the attitude and lack of thought for customers trying to have a pleasant Sunday lunch experience. We live very local to Ickworth House and had heard good reports, maybe today was a bad day for them, it certainly was for us. On the basis of our experience would we go again, doubtful, but we wouldn't want Sophia's attitude to ever greet us wherever we went.

Hate to give bad reviews and this is the first time I've felt the need to, but it was not good. We could have been food critics but we're not , however it was not great. Bury St Edmunds has loads of eating places, unfortunately the majority being chains, however they do better than our experience at the Ickworth. So sad I expected so much more.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with family
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2  Thank jay d
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 17 April 2014

Dear jD, Thank you for your feedback with regard to your Sunday lunch experience. I have spoken to another member of your party with regard to this experience. The Sunday lunch menu is a table D'hote menu. I did note that you arrived 10 minutes late and this would have made your time sitting down at 20 minutes to three, which would run into our afternoon tea period, which is what they were laying up for at that time. As stated I have discussed this another of your party and resolved with him the issues., however please accept my sincere apologies for the inconvenience.
Yours sincerely,

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Reviewed 9 April 2014

This was our second stay at Ickworth and whilst it has many good points the service was terrible!

The main problem with Ickworth's service is lack of staff and when you do find an elusive member of the Ickworth team they sometimes don't speak enough English to help or they have 'the computer says no' attitude'........I could give many examples but will stick to a few.

The Lounge area - you can NEVER find ANYONE to take a food or drinks order. We had to hunt down a staff member every single time we wanted to eat or drink. It took my husband 25 minutes to get a glass of Champagne!! In a nutshell you CANT spend money easily in this hotel. On our arrival day, a Sunday, we waited 20 minutes for someone to take our lunch order. That was after being told 3 times someone would be over to help us.....

When we arrived at dinner (all pre booked) we asked what the Amuse Bouche was.....that had been plonked in front of us.......the waitress had no idea what I was talking about. Then the manager said, it's Pork and walked off.........
I asked for a Bellini before dinner one night, but again the manager just looked at me with a blank face! Then he said, I can get some peach schnapps and add it to champagne.....he was tired and couldn't be bothered with my request.

The manager at breakfast thought it would be a good time to do some staff training on the new computer system whilst we sat in front of dirty plates and had to get up and ask for service......! The same thing last night too.....whilst we were all waiting to order our pre dinner drinks the food and beverage manager at 19.30pm in the evening started training staff on the new system!! We all sat there looking stupid. No offer of water with our meal, no wine list.......! It was like Faulty Towers!

The hotel could be fab. This hotel used to be very good......now I can't recommend this hotel to friends or family,

I asked for a bacon sandwich at breakfast and got 1 buttered slice of toast with a piece of bacon on top!?! I said, this isn't a bacon sandwich and again the waitress couldn't understand me! You honestly lose the will at the hotel.

I called reception from our room many times and never, ever got hold of anyone. The whole problem is not enough staff and not enough training with food and beverage being the main problem.

Come on Ickworth, bottom line is we could have spent much more money with you but no one was ever free to take it........

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with family
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3  Thank AMBER30049
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 17 April 2014

Dear Amber30049, Thank you for your feedback on your very recent stay. I am very sorry that you have had such an issue with service during your stay, you do state that this was during the period of our new software system being trained to the staff and I am afraid this has caused quite some issues as we bring all our staff up to date with the system. This has very regrettably interrupted the quality of service that we give and I deeply sorry that this so affected your stay. We have continued to get up to speed and improve the issue over the last week, I do apologise for this interruption to our service .
Yours sincerely,

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Reviewed 8 April 2014

ICKWORTH Hotel & House
What a fantastic place to stay.
We had a three day midweek break special rate which included room, breakfast and two course candlelit dinner.
The Hotel and land is now owned by the National Trust, and you can have a free entry to the Ickworth House which is well worth the full tour, the Georgian silver collection is one of the finest we have seen.
The grounds are landscaped by Capability Brown and a joy to walk around. You can hire bikes for £5.00 a day, there is a large swimming pool, SPA, and table tennis and separate Conservatory for breakfast and dinner, and Frederick’s restaurant.
One word of caution is that it can be busy and noisy with children at breakfasts and they do run crèche facilities down in the basement two to three times a day.
Also we do not feel they should have let children use their games and bikes in the end room facility, as it made it untidy and also smelt a little.
All in all what a great place to stay to explore the delights of the area.
Regards Gary Saunders

Room Tip: The Louis room is great, with large size bathroom and double sinks.
See more room tips
  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Gary S
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 17 April 2014

Dear Gary s, Thank you for your kind comments , I am delighted you enjoyed your stay with us and that you enjoyed Louis , which overlooks the Italian Garden. The Library is an area which is very popular for families with small children where they can have some quiet time, whilst being with their children whilst they play.
Thanks again for your very kind comments.
yours sincerely,

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Reviewed 7 April 2014

we stayed at the Ickworth on the Sunday night stay and dine offer. We don't often stay at nice hotels so I may be easily pleased, but we had a lovely time! so great to stay in a stately home and everyone was so helpful. The room was great and had a fabulous bathroom. The pool was warm and the provision of armbands was really useful. the only problem was there weren't many changing rooms. We borrowed bikes and cycled through all the lambs on the estate-the bikes were in great condition and a good range for the kids to choose from. As others say, I wouldn't go if you don't have children as at mealtimes etc it was certainly noisy. loved the kids bathrobes! am just gutted that we'll probably never be able to afford to stay here again as our oldest starts school in September and so we won't be able to do this offer again

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with family
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Thank Helen 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 17 April 2014

Dear HelenH, Thank you for your lovely feedback, I am delighted you enjoyed your stay. We are always putting offers out at various times of the year and as you will now be on our database, we will be writing to you in advance with these offers, I sincerely hope you will find one that you will be able to take. Again thanks and I hope to see you again soon.
Yours sincerely,

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Reviewed 1 April 2014

Our recent stay at The Ickworth was our third - but our least special so far.

The service standards seem to have slipped a bit.

There are still some great staff, our room was great and, overall, we still enjoyed our short stay. But it seems to have started to rest on its laurels.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with family
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Thank 171iainw
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 17 April 2014

Thank you for your feedback , I am disappointed that you feel we are starting to rest on our laurels, be assured this is not the case, we are constantly training new staff and at times their rawness is an issue, which I believe may have given you the impression of slipped standards. We continue to work and improve the Ickworth and I thank you for the timely reminder.
Yours sincerely,

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Reviewed 19 March 2014

All the other reviews about the child-friendly nature of this hotel are completely accurate. Unfortunately though the hotel's website does not ably convey that this means if you are thinking of a spa day or stay and aren't ok with children everywhere then this just isn't the location for you. It is a wonderful, wonderful venue and the grounds and activities are great, but my husband and I were bought an Overnight Spa Break as a Christmas present and sadly it just wasn't for us.

I also concur with another reviewer's point about the staff not really knowing what's what. At times they just seemed confused. At pre-dinner drinks they were bickering amongst themselves as to who should be doing drinks orders whilst we waited and waited to order ours.

The Spa treatments themselves were great though but it's unfortunate that the Spa is also located next door to the crèche and children's cinema, so you can hear tantrums whilst you're meant to be completely relaxing.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank agoodwin00
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 17 April 2014

Thank you for your comments, as you state we are a very child friendly hotel and nearly 50% of all who stay are children. I am very sorry that there was some confusion as to who was to serve your drinks in the drawing room, this is unacceptable and for this I apologise. The location of the spa is on the lower ground floor relatively close to the crèche, this is normally not an issue but we do try to control any excessive noise from there. Again I appreciate your feedback
Yours sincererely

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Additional Information about 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: £101 - £270 (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 Suffolk/Horringer, Bury St Edmunds

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