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Family Hotels -The Ickworth Hotel, Suffolk

26 replies

Rhiannon · 07/08/2002 15:11

Anyone been there? It's a new one in the chain of Moonfleet Manor, Woolley Grange and Fowey Hall.
Thinking of going for DH's 40th. R

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Ems · 07/08/2002 17:26

Ooooh, it does look dreamy doesnt it Rhiannon, frighteningly expensive but perfect for DHs 40th I'd say, havent read any reviews or reports on it yet, think its only had the doors open for a month now.

ExpatKat · 07/08/2002 17:45

We are hoping to go in a few weekends. If trip works out as planned, I'll report back with my responses.

Rhiannon · 07/08/2002 18:38

Thank you! R

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tasha · 20/08/2002 15:05

To Rhiannon and everyone

I have just come back from 5 nights at Ickworth and it was fabulous. Expensive but a wonderful location, very comfortable rooms (we all slept well), excellent service. There is an indoor swimming pool, horse riding, cycling, a spa, adventure playground, and the creche (or Den as they call it) is very well set up. You are literally part of the Ickworth House estate and can cycle around the deer park and access wonderful gardens. A few quibbles from some guests, though not us, was that the restaurant was a bit lacking in atmosphere and that the portions were on the small side. I personally cannot recommend it too highly and cannot wait to return.

tasha · 20/08/2002 15:07


I might just add (having read your message again) that we have been to Moonfleet and Woolley Grange and Ickworth is in a different league.

ExpatKat · 20/08/2002 16:03

Tasha--I'm so excited to be going after what you say. We'll only go for 2 nights, though. I've been to Moonfleet Manor and was rather lukewarm about it, so I'm happy to hear the Ickworth Hotel is rather nicer. The receptionist at the Ickworth urged me to prebook/prepay for dinners, explaining that the dining room gets booked up very quickly. Would you agree with this?

chiara71 · 24/08/2002 14:14


sorry if I digress, but why were you unhappy about Moonfleet? We've just come back from Woolley Grange and we liked it so much that we're planning to visit the other 3 in the chain as well. (in time)

thanks a lot

tasha · 28/08/2002 10:10

I would defintely book dinner if you want to eat at a popular time, ie 8 or 8.30. We changed our booking at the last minute and they could only manage 9.30 (which in fact was fine for us). Also I recommend Fredericks for dinner rather that Inferno, which although ok, is where you have your breakfast/lunch. Enjoy!

Chiara - re Moonfleet, we've been twice and really enjoyed it, but each time found the service chaotic/non-existent and the rooms rather small.

ExpatKat · 03/09/2002 15:41

Just back from 2 nights at Ickworth. My reactions were a little more mixed than Tasha's, but still favourable. I agree the rooms are fab, and so are the grounds. In general the location is stunning. Nice creche for the kids; nice tea for them as well. Lots of animals aboutmore sheep than I've ever seen in all my life. (Also cows, deer and other fauna.) Very nice pool. Gorgeous buildinghotel comprises a wing of a National Trust home and the mansion itself can be visited for free by hotel guests. Decor well thought out: an interesting mix of old, new, and funky retro.

My quibbles may have to do with the newness of the placewrinkles that have yet to be ironed out and perhaps will be in time. For example, I found the service mixed. Some of the employees seemed young, inexperienced and unsure how to handle questions/problems; others were just plain indifferent; but others were excellent, particularly the dining room staff. The food was good, butyes--small portions, and extremely fiddly and architectural, which is not my thing these days. . .but obviously that's a matter of personal taste.

Rhiannon--I asked about private parties out of curiosity. (Was it just going to be you and DH or were you thinking of having a bunch of people to celebrate?) They have a pretty little boardroom overlooking the front of the property, which can seat 30 people max.

Definitely lots to do there, but I felt saddled down with ds, who is a difficult 2.5, plus I'm 8 mos pregnant--not much horseback riding, cycling and hiking for me, I'm afraid. It's possible that those circumstances coloured some of my impressions negatively.

Chiara: We went to Moonfleet dead of winterplace had a depressing air to me, as a result. Rooms small and a little dreary, not at all a "grand" place in general, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Also I found the surrounding area, towns not greatly interestingagain that could be a personal thing. But we did find a fab farm with pony rides for ds not too far from the hotel. And to be truthful there are lots of great things about the place, such as a enormous play/game/ball area for children. Didn't mean to discourage you from trying the place out. Maybe don't go in January, though.

Rhiannon · 03/09/2002 19:05

Thanks for all your messages, it's great to get some feedback. R

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Ems · 04/09/2002 17:08

R, I think Mail On sunday had a write up from a Dad who had been there, dont know if they have an internet site with it on.

Overall he enjoyed it, but for the amount of £ he spent, he felt he could have been made more of a fuss of, and no one fussed over his little one etc.

I think with anywhere, it just needs to settle and find its feet.

Rhiannon · 04/09/2002 21:19

Thanks Ems, for us to go we worked out it would be around £1000 for a long weekend. For that I'd expect to be fed peeled grapes and have my backside wiped for me!!

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Ems · 05/09/2002 18:09


Rhiannon · 03/01/2003 20:25

Anymore reports on this hotel? They've just sent their new brochure. R

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bayleaf · 03/01/2003 21:53

Thanks from me too - we're busy planning a mini break at Easter with some friends and are actively considering one of these so it's great to hear them compared by people who have actually visited them - much more helpful than just looking at the Mumsnet ratings.

bayleaf · 03/01/2003 21:54

Thanks from me too - we're busy planning a mini break at Easter with some friends and are actively considering one of these so it's great to hear them compared by people who have actually visited them - much more helpful than just looking at the Mumsnet ratings.

prufrock · 03/01/2003 23:05

Bayleaf - if you are going with friends you might be better off in the Dower House apartments at Ickworth - I haven't been, but they have just sent me the brochure and they look lovely. More privacy and room, kitchen facilities, and you still get to use the hotel facilities.

Rhiannon · 04/01/2003 10:16

No, sorry have booked Center Parcs again. They come up trumps for me every time, lovely restaurants, plenty for the kids to do and those 'oh so wonderful babysitters'. You can now book Elveden from 11th July (remember the fire?). R

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ellasmum · 12/01/2003 23:19

Glad I have read this - was just about to book Ickworth for a few days in a couple of weeks and will definitely go ahead now. They are doing a deal for Sunday - Thursday.

Good to read views from people who have actually been.

sis · 13/01/2003 11:08

ellasmum, could yopu post and let us know how it was - I'd be interested to know if the teething problems have been resolved before considering booking for a long weekend later in the year. TIA.

ellasmum · 13/01/2003 15:20

Will do - am probably going to go middle of February - had wanted to wait until weather a bit better to take advantage of outdoor activities, but am so desperate to get away that we are going sooner.

willow2 · 13/01/2003 19:59

ellasmum - what's the special deal?


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ellasmum · 14/01/2003 13:45

The deal (which is still quite expensive) is from Sunday - Thursday. 2 nights for £430 which includes dinner, bed and breakfast both nights plus £54 worth of treatments in the spa. This is obviously for the whole room and not per person. This price is for a standard double room and for a few pounds extra you can get a deluxe double / large double etc...

Am going Sunday after next, so will let you know what it is like.

ellasmum · 28/01/2003 19:13


Have just returned from a visit to Ickworth so here is my review as promised!!

We had a fantastic time - DD is 9 months and loved the 'Den' they have there. One thing that did make the stay even better was that they upgraded us to a suite which meant we didn't have to sleep in the same room as DD - this totally made the trip for me as I sleep really badly when in the same room as her.

The rooms were large - we had a nose in some of the other ones and could easily take a cot (which they provide). The room was well equipped for a baby with changing mat, non-slip mat for bath etc..

The staff in the Den were excellent - really on top of what the children needed. They run a tea time for little ones which was great as all the children were together and it made it nice and sociable.

Activities were good, although we were slightly hampered by the weather.

Food good for adults - as mentioned before the portions are small but very tasty.

All in all it was a great trip and it was a complete joy not to have to think about what DD was having for every meal and who was cooking it /tidying up etc.. The hotel is so used to children that any mess you make is not an issue. We will definitely be going back.

ellasmum · 28/01/2003 19:15

Sorry, meant to add that the staff were excellent across the board so maybe early problems have been sorted out.

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