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Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Just returned from a 3night stay at Ivy House. We booked this through Travelzoo which was excellent value for money. Upgraded to an executive room which was enormous as was the bathroom with both a bath and shower. Plenty of tea and coffee and clean. We ate in the hotel restaurant twice and was impressed with the quality of the food. Breakfast was also good. Restaurant staff were very pleasant and efficient. What you have to remember here is that the Ivy House is a 3star hotel, dont go if you are expecting 5star facilities. The rooms are tired and do require updating but if you book through Travelzoo, you will pay for 3nights what you could easily pay for one elsewhere.
You can walk from the back of the grounds into Oulton Broad by turning right and to Carlton Marshes by going left, well worth doing.

Room tip: If you can get a room in the garden area you won't be disappointed.
Date of stay: September 2021
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Janet R
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

I only tend to use trip advisor for praising restaurants and venues however this was a sad and frustrating experience for anyone with an allergy and I would not wish for anyone to waste their time or money like we did for our wedding anniversary.
My family and I travelled 45 minutes to reach the Ivy after seeing their message online about being able to cater for any allergy and speaking to a member of staff on the phone prior to our visit who assured us a soya allergy was no problem for them. Anyone with an allergy or intolerance reading this will understand how hard it is to eat out and commit to taking your friends and family out for the problems it can cause and like me, will have done a lot of research before booking a table.
On arrival we were blown away with the restaurant, it was stunning and the greetings were fantastic. We ordered our drinks and we all agreed the wine was some of the best we’d tasted in a long time. Then the problems started, I asked for their allergy menu and was met with a confused face which we were shocked about as we were told prior to visiting allergies weren’t a problem. The waitress whipped the menu away from me and said “I’ll go ask the chef what you can have”. Within 2/3 minutes she was back advising me I could “eat everything in the menu”. It was clear that nothing on the menu had been checked, and I replied saying it is impossible to check the whole menu in that time frame for any information never mind an allergy. I asked what oil they used as certain vegetable oil can include soya bean, and she had to go and check, which proves that they had not done a sufficient check as they could have cooked my food in soyabean oil. We went backwards and forwards for a while, and I was repeatedly advised that the chef in the kitchen knows all the menu as he makes everything himself. My biggest alarm bell was the fact there were two dishes containing tofu, which to my knowledge is a soyabean product whether it is homemade or shop bought, therefore the whole menu was not “soya free” and I was unable to trust that any other dishes on the menu being soya free and that I could eat them within being very poorly. I explained this, but the waitress was unwilling to see the point I was trying to make. I politely advised the waitress about how ill I would become and that the chef could get in a lot of trouble but she would repeat phases like “well if you don’t trust the chefs cooking” like we were trying to be difficult. I can assure you I would have loved nothing more than to eat a nice meal with my family as we had been looking forward to going all day. My family understand how serious the allergy is and ended up trying to get my point across for me as I knew I was fighting a losing battle. We decided to leave as we were going round in circles with no understand of the allergy, and they charged us for the drinks we had and were happy for us to go. The waitress then advised us that the chef in the kitchen had phoned their head chef to confirm everything was soya free, so all the answers from the kitchen we had at the start were not from the person making the food all along, so I was so relieved to have chosen not to eat here. Soya is one of the main allergens, so I would assume this will be the same service if you have a nut allergy, dairy allergy etc. It’s a real shame.
It was nearly 9pm at this point and I was so upset to have to take my family out of the restaurant after the long drive and us getting all dressed up and excited to go out to celebrate. We looked online and saw that The Wherry next door had an allergy menu online and nice views of the water so we headed there.
I really do apologise for the long and negative review, but for anyone like myself who has to spent a long time researching what restaurants we can go to will hopefully use this to save time, and I believe the understanding of allergies here needs to be improved.

Date of stay: September 2021
Trip type: Travelled with friends
Thank HollyVeronica
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 14 September 2021

We booked direct with the hotel and it became apparent speaking to other guests that we vastly overpaid compared to what they were paying. We did speak to Reception and they confirmed that it was cheaper to book on booking websites as opposed to direct with them! The hotel has the potential to be so much better. The grounds were lovely but again on speaking to the gardener he was working flat out to get the grounds looking good as he had been furloughed which he didn't understand why as he was working in the outdoors. Our executive room was far from executive and looked very tired. Our shower cubicle was so tiny and we are not big people, in fact I am a size 8, but my face was nearly up against the shower door. The cleaning of the room was not what we expected - the bed covers were just pulled back up no fluffing of pillows and no removal of glassware from our bedside tables. We felt as though we had been ripped off to be honest and we did email the hotel with our thoughts etc. but the problems were not really addressed. We did feel that we should have received some monetary compensation and better service whilst staying. Having said the staff in the restaurant and bar were superb and the food was very good.

Room tip: Don't book direct with the hotel or book an executive room!
Date of stay: July 2021
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Radley3
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 10 September 2021

This hotel has the potential to be first class. It’s location near the marshes/broads and it’s expansive grounds make it an ideal spot for a quiet and peaceful stay.
However the hotel desperately needs some TLC from the garden borders, paved areas and bedrooms. The majority of the staff were helpful and pleasant although one member of the bar staff needs to go on a customer care course.
The food (breakfast and evening meal) was very good and well presented.
Ok but could do a lot better.

Date of stay: September 2021
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank daphneknaresborough
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 9 September 2021

I had booked for a meal for 6 people tonight at 7.30 p.m. Upon arrival, we were informed that we had not booked. I then asked did they want me to go back to my off site accommodation and get the email confirmation? She didn’t say no! I then asked whether she would like us to leave and not have our custom? Reluctantly, and I mean reluctantly she said that she would accommodate us. This left a bad feeling and we sat down. The food was exceptional, I had the seafood linguine whilst my fellow diners had sea bass, duck and pork. All of which was fantastic. However, due to the original response, we were somewhat perturbed and disappointed in the way we were initially treated. Upon coming home, I checked our reservation and it clearly states a table for 6 at 7.30 p.m. for tonight. I await their response.

Date of stay: September 2021
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Clive E
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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