The Ickworth Hotel
What We Love
- An elegant, family-friendly stately home, with full English breakfast and dinner creditThe after-hours access to the Capability Brown Italianate gardens
- Romantic candlelit dinners in Frederick's Restaurant
- The extensive treatment menu, using luxury Elemis products
What To Know
- Located just two hours from London on 1,800 acres of lush ground
- All 27 guestrooms are dog-friendly
- WiFi is patchy
- Free WiFi
- Kids Club
- Parking On Site
With a stay at The Ickworth Hotel in Bury St Edmunds, you’ll be minutes from Ickworth House and close to Suffolk Regiment Museum. This 4.5-star hotel is within close proximity of Bury St Edmunds Art Gallery and Theatre Royal.
Make yourself at home in one of the 38 guestrooms featuring DVD players and flat-screen televisions. Complimentary wireless Internet access is available to keep you connected. Bathrooms have shower/tub combinations and hair dryers. Conveniences include phones, as well as complimentary bottled water and irons/ironing boards.
Spa, Wellness & Premium Amenities
Relax and unwind with massages, body treatments, and facials. If you’re looking for recreational opportunities, you’ll find an indoor pool and an outdoor tennis court. Additional amenities at this hotel include complimentary wireless Internet access, concierge services, and babysitting/childcare (surcharge).
Food & Drink
Grab a bite at one of the hotel’s 2 restaurants, or stay in and take advantage of room service (during limited hours).
Business & Travel Amenities
Featured amenities include dry cleaning/laundry services and an elevator (lift). Limited parking is available onsite.
How to Get There
Ickworth Hotel is a magnificent hotel set in a huge National Trust country estate which is not just grand but supremely comfortable too. We have stayed there three times and simply cannot speak highly enough of it.
The staff are amazing and the food in the restaurant very good indeed.
If you go. make sure you ask reception for a free entry ticket to Ickworth House, the National Trust house which is joined on to the hotel. And when you're in there make sure you viisit the huge 'below stairs' basement area which is pure Downton Abbey/Upstairs Downstairs - everything from the butler's pantry to a very early electric generating station for lighting the house.
Some gold star staff members, great facilities but we wouldn’t return because of the poor quality of food and the over-pricing of drinks - £7 for a Peroni is more than in 3 Michelin star restaurants and just not justifiable - it leaves you feeling as if you are being ripped off and as if the hotel is just desperate for money – I’d rather pay more for the room and reasonable prices for drinks to avoid this feeling. I do go on below to say a lot of positive things but if you have children it is important you know that the children’s high tea is abysmal!
I was appalled by this, as were other parents. The options on Saturday evening were: pizza, chips, overcooked pasta, a bowl of soggy peas and that was it. It was so unhealthy, there was no protein at all and when I requested some protein, deep fat fried fish fingers were brought down! It made me feel quite angry that the very cheapest options that were easy and less admin for the kitchen were being given to our precious children. They have never been given such utter junk.
The night before that the pudding option was some sort of trifle of chocolate biscuits cream and sugar, which again nobody I know would give to their baby or toddler. There should at least be some healthy alternatives such as yoghurts, different pieces of fruit, cheeses etc. Given that the hotel markets itself to families and children, this really was a huge letdown. At New Park Manor the food takes an age to arrive for the kids but at least all of the highchairs have crudités laid out on them for the arrival of the children and the meal options are healthy. However, it was a good idea to provide a buffet so that children can eat immediately given that they are not known for their patience. I would have thought the chef would have some fun inventions for the children such as vegetables cut into different shapes with dips of houmous and alike. The concept of the children’s tea is a great idea but the food options really were shocking. When I spoke to staff about this they seemed aware and embarrassed.
Staff were extremely good on the whole. In particular, a young woman with long hair serving in the conservatory, another young woman called Emily, a man called Sam H and the wonderful Michael all had excellent customer service skills. Michael in particular built up a rapport with every diner and created a really friendly, warm atmosphere in the restaurant.
I overheard a table nearby complaining about the length of their wait for food and Emily‘s response was to thank them for letting her know, which I thought was fantastic.
The facilities are absolutely fantastic. We stayed in Louis and it was a brilliant room with a lovely view. I didn’t think the tea and coffee facilities matched up to the room – I would have expected some coffee pods and a wider tea selection but otherwise we were very impressed. The cleanliness of the room was also to an exceptionally high standard!
The room service was probably the most efficient prompt service I have experienced in any of the other many hotels we have reviewed. From the time we rang down to ask for an ice bucket or milk for a bottle or a toddler bath robe to them being delivered was under five minutes each time. This genuinely is very impressive.
Unfortunately, the aspect of the hotel that really disappoints is the quality of the food. It’s overpriced, which we expected following our stay at New Park Manor, but the quality doesn’t go even half way to matching the price. Neither of us really enjoyed anything we ate during our stay at all - it was average at best with some real low points. The £18 burger was unremarkable and the chips were the same served throughout the rest of the day. The mushroom pappardelle was totally overcooked so the pasta was soggy - I left this.D The menus were identical for both the Friday and Saturday nights – most people would be staying for both of those nights and expect some specials at the very least for variation.
The cooked food options at breakfast were pretty dated and the ingredients were poor quality, for example the sausages looked cheap and unappetising and the bacon looked as if it had been boiled! There were no bananas and fruit options were extremely limited. It was hard to eat healthily.
Apart from the food, our stay was fantastic and the hotel has some excellent staff who make the experience positive. In particular the restaurant staff seemed as if they had all had recent training in customer service – Emily said a number of times to us and other people “enjoy your holiday“. Those little details really make a difference.
A couple of minor things could improve the experience for a couple with children even more.
1. Having the towels in the swimming pool rather than at reception would be very helpful because when carrying a toddler and a baby outside over to the pool the last thing you want to do is carry four towels as well.
2. The slippers provided in the rooms are not robust enough to walk over the gravel between hotel and the swimming pool. Given the walk, flip-flops or a sturdier alternative are needed.
3. Although all the staff were extremely friendly and good at what they do, there could have been more smiles and interaction with our two-year-old, just putting the focus on the child given the child centric experience that is part of their USP.
I particularly liked the big bowls of apples around the hotel and the chests of toys and children’s books everywhere were brilliant.
Amy and Abbey in the creche were simply fantastic and this facility is absolutely brilliant for the children, which in turn is wonderful parents. There are other facilities available for children and I think reception could do a better job of selling these when you arrive and talking them up because they really are fabulous, for example being able to put a DVD on the cinema screen during the day if you so wish. I discovered this was possible by asking but had we been told that would have been another feature that we were impressed with. Upon arrival, if parents are told about all of the child focused features in one go it would really create a wow experience.
In summary, go for it but take your own food for your kids or eat a big lunch out during the day.
Arrived for a sandwich lunch. Menu has recently changed, waiter not aware of this. High prices. After a fair wait, cheddar cheese sandwich arrived. Stale sliced brown bread, two tiny slithers of sliced cheese which did not cover the base of the sandwich and masses of chutney, yellowing salad leaves. Complained. Management offered alternative when he finally arrived. Asked for ham. Another cheese sandwich arrived again not much better than the first. On a positive note, the management did not charge for the lunch. As we left the hotel, another lady was ranting over incorrect booking. From today's experience I would suggest that there needs to be substantial training and improvement.
Christmas present which incorporated husband/dad birthday.
Lovely stay with afternoon tea, dinner and breakfast. Stayed in Amelie which had amazing views over the gardens.
We were a couple that thought ummm would babies bother us,? as our baby days are behind us.... we didn’t hear any! But we knew there was a baby in next door in Louis.
This is a very friendly child and dog place,lots to do child wise of all ages and dog friendly.
Looking to return
Right from when we were greeted we were provided an excellent service by the staff. Having turned up on a Sunday out of season the staff took the trouble to offer us a choice of accommodation showing us each room individually. Later staff came up to us to explain the history of the house, of which there is plenty. Decor wise the place is showing its age but if like quirky this is spot on. Dinner in restaurant slightly pricey.
Ideal for families. Great grounds. National Trust house open at Easter but tours were available for the "under the stairs." Nice stay.