Home / Safari / You can stay in an amazing treetop hotel at a safari park an hour from London

You can stay in an amazing treetop hotel at a safari park an hour from London

Picture this. You wake up in a luxury treehouse hotel, draw open your curtains and see rhinos roaming in front of you.

Where do you think you might be?

Most of you would guess an exclusive safari lodge or an animal reserve in Africa.

But the experience is much closer to home, in Kent in fact.

The experience is one of many enviable stays available at The Port Lympne Hotel and Reserve in Hythe, just 50 minutes from the Dartford Crossing.

The late John Aspinall opened the safari park
(Image: Daily Mirror)

The reserve is a breeding sanctuary for rare and endangered animals created by John Aspinall, the man affectionately known as “Aspers”, who brought the first casinos to London.

The gambling tycoon‘s other passion was animals, and he created two pioneering animal sanctuaries, one of which you can even stay at.

Read More
Brave ghost hunters are wanted to stay overnight in one of London‘s most haunted houses

And you can reach Port Lympne by catching a quick train to Ashford from St Pancras or Sandling from London Bridge, which is slower but drops you off much closer.

If you’re driving you need only head down the M20 towards Dover before turning off onto the A20 at Junction 10 and following the signs for Port Lympne.

The Treehouse Hotel

The luxury retreat boasts several breathtaking types of accommodation for animal lovers to enjoy on the 600-acre reserve.

Some of your temporary neighbours may include rhinos, gorillas, wolves, bears, lions, tigers, giraffes, ostriches, monkeys, zebras and wildebeest.

Perhaps the highlight is the unique Treehouse Hotel, set high in the canopy of the Kent woods.

Read More
Hyde Park Winter Wonderland dates have been confirmed

Naturally, it offers unrivalled views across the reserve and from the balcony, where you can watch the rhinos and cheetahs roaming in their paddocks.

The treehouses all have glass fronts so you can see the reserve‘s animals at all times.

While you’re staying there, you will also have exclusive access to the reserve outside of normal visiting hours, and even have your own golf buggy to roam the area.

Inside one of the treetop rooms
(Image: Port Lympne Hotel and Reserve)

Each treehouse is even self-catering with your own kitchen, as well as a private, furnished balcony and an open plan living room, with a TV, larder and coffee machine.

The creature comforts don’t end there, with toiletries, slippers and bathrobes included and free entry into the reserve, as well as its sister park, Howletts, just half an hour away.

If you don’t fancy cooking in your treehouse, you can eat at the Port Lympne Hotel restaurant, and afterwards visit the clubhouse for a drink at the bar, or even sit by the fire pits, toast marshmallows and play board games.

All that luxury doesn’t come cheap, with prices starting from around £409 per suite per night midweek and £849 per suite, per night at the weekend.

Read More
Open top London bus tour where you can drink booze is the ‘city’s first ever bar bus’
Tiger Lodge

If heights aren’t your thing, try the Tiger Lodge.

“There’s nowhere else in the world where you can wake up with a tiger at your window,” according to the zookeepers.

You can stay in one of two luxury lodges kitted out with log burner, mini bar, TV, games, books and a coffee machine.

You probably won’t even notice them, though, as both lodges have huge windows which face out onto the tiger enclosure, so the animals can come right up to your lodge.

You might not get much sleep knowing there’s a tiger at your window
(Image: Port Lympne Hotel and Reserve)

Each of the lodges has French doors which lead out onto private balconies where you have views across to the sea.

Like the Treetop Hotel, you also get a private golf buggy so you can explore the reserve.

Prices for these lodges start from £1,000 per night.

Glamping with giraffes

For something a little more affordable, you can stay in one of 10 luxury glamping tents from which you can watch the giraffes, zebras and wildebeest drinking from the watering hole in front of you.

Far from basic, as part of this stay you and the other glampers will get a tour of the reserve with a Port Lympne ranger.

Imagine waking up and feeding a giraffe before breakfast
(Image: Handout)

Each tent has a four poster or sleigh bed, comfy mattresses, towels, dressing gowns, heating and lighting.

There are even en-suite options.

You can also choose to feed the giraffe from a balcony and try food cooked in a fire pit. Prices start from £395 per night midweek, and £545 per night at the weekend, based on two people sharing.

Read More
A massive rosé fountain is coming to London and we are so ready
Giraffe Manor

A grade II listed house on the grounds is being converted into a hotel with 10 bedrooms, each with incredible views over the reserve.

More importantly, the giraffes will be free to wander up to the hotel and have a peek at you inside, and you can even feed them from your bedroom window.

The hotel will have a “luxury safari feel, similar to lodges in Nairobi” along with an English stately home decor.

Prices have not been released yet and it is set to open in 2020. 

Read More
Today’s most read stories on MyLondon

‘Man with gun’ seen at Croydon estate

Woman falls from overpass in Hayes

Dead body found at Brent building

‘People had sex on balcony’ at rave

Bear Lodge

Unlike bears, if you like to travel in packs, you can stay in this part of the reserve, which has 19 luxury tents for up to eight guests. All of them have views over the bear paddock so you can see what the animals get up to.

Inside the tents, there are b, furniture, a fridge, a wood burner and private deck with seats. The tents are all in a secure, gated site so you and your family or friends can safely enjoy the views which roll on for 30 miles.

Prices start from £300 per night midweek and £450 per night at weekends.

You can have tigers or wolves as your neighbours in some of the lodges
(Image: Port Lympne Hotel and Reserve)
Wolf Lodge

Why not take it all in, in a luxury historic cottage. There are two king-size bedrooms, a cinema room and a kitchenette nook.

And just like in Tiger Lodge, there are large windows which look out directly into the wolf area, so the wolves are often to be found peering into your living room.

Prices start at £409 per night and rise to £849 per night.

Like the MyLondon Facebook page

To keep up to date with all the latest breaking news, stories and events happening across London, give the MyLondon Facebook page a like.

We will provide you with the latest traffic and travel updates, including updates on train and London Underground services, and the roads around the capital.

The latest breaking news will be brought straight to your news feed including updates from the police, ambulance and fire brigade. We will also bring you updates from our courts and councils, as well as more lighthearted long reads.

We also publish your pictures and videos, so do message us with your stories.

Like the My London Facebook page here.

You can also follow us on Twitter here and Instagram here.

There are even more ways to stay at Port Lympne including the Port Lympne Hotel, the Forest Hideaway, Pinewood and The Bubble, where your accommodation includes a transparent pod for you to stargaze in.

For more information about Port Lympne and details about stays and how to book, visit the Port Lympne website.