This was our first visit to the Ickworth and on the whole, we had a great time.
- The grounds were a real treat and having the bikes to use made them all the more accessible. The games room also proved a great hit and the swimming pool was always warm and there were plenty of floats/woggles so that our non-swimmer felt confident.
- The room we had in the Lodge was a great size with plenty of space although 1 bathroom between 6 of us meant queues in the morning, not a major problem though. The bed however was awful – my husband slept in one of the children’s beds as, even with a small child sharing with me, it felt like I was sleeping on a trampoline. The sofa & chair whilst fitting with the character of the room were not very comfortable to sit on for any length of time. The low ceiling height also meant the shower was of little use to adults, but I appreciate you can’t change the character of the building!
- For me, buffet breakfasts do not work – I like my food hot and having to use cold plates meant that it was lukewarm by the time I sat down. That said, the quality of the produce was excellent.
- My main gripe was in relation to dining. On our first day there we attempted to get a table in the Conservatory at just after 5.00pm but couldn’t – it was fully booked. There was no effort made to suggest an alternative – we could have a table much later (7.30 or 8pm) which was of no use with small children to feed. It was very much a case of, ‘the hotel is fully booked, the restaurant is fully booked, nothing we can do’. Eventually we were offered the library – perfect, no problem, but why wasn’t this offered immediately? We didn’t really care where we ate, just as long as we could feed the children! I appreciate that the hotel advises advance booking but I think on a first visit most people prefer to book when they get there and see what the alternatives are; I would also suggest that perhaps on check-in that new guests are advised that it really is essential that they book a table early. With this in mind, we then booked for Thursday and Friday. We went to Reception and I booked a table for Thursday for 3 children in the Conservatory and then a later booking for Fredericks for my husband, son and myself (pointing out my son as I booked it). Next night, the 3 of us went to the Drawing Room and had a drink – we were given 2 menus and then the waitress asked if our son was also dining, when we said he was, he was also given a menu. Half an hour later I think it was the dining manager who asked if we were ok, I replied, ‘yes, can we please order’; he replied ‘order?’; ‘yes’, I said, ‘food?’. ‘To eat where?’ he asked. ‘In the restaurant?’ ‘How old is your son?’ he asked. ‘14’. ‘I’m sorry, but it’s adults only’. At this point my husband made his displeasure known. Why was the booking taken, why was my son given a menu? Then we were told that it was ok, he could eat in the restaurant. By this time however the atmosphere had been spoiled especially as the chap then crashed and banged around us and was clearly not happy. It was all unnecessary. I appreciate people enjoy getting away from children – I do too! But, in the literature sent to us it refers to ‘adult only’ dining but does not mention that it applies to Fredericks. My son has impeccable table manners and thoroughly enjoyed his venison but the initial greeting marred the evening for him also.
As I said at the beginning, overall we enjoyed our visit but a more ‘can do’ approach by some of the staff would have made a huge difference.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC