Located in beautiful grounds which are home to many rare and endangered species, this will be the only hotel to be found inside a wild animal park, offering guests a truly unique experience.
The Mansion at Port Lympne Reserve has opened its doors to guests as a new boutique hotel.
The Edwardian Mansion is also steeped in history, having once b
een a private home visited by the likes of Sir Winston Churchill, Prince Edward and Mrs Simpson and Lawrence of Arabia.
The living quarters have now been transformed into six individually decorated bedrooms and suites for visitors to relax in while enjoying unrivalled views across the Romney Marsh and English Channel, before waking to the sounds of exotic wildlife.
Inspired by their unique settings, the suites include:
Rex Whistler Room
Named after the artist, designer and illustrator who decorated the Tent Room in the 1920s (which can still be seen today), this bedroom above the entrance enjoys charming views across the unique hippo water feature. Decorated in blue and yellow and benefitting from the original built-in wardrobes and en-suite bathroom, the room includes a king size sleigh bed.
Chaplin Bridal Suite
Indulge in a stay in this romantic bridal suite, with private sitting room, original luxurious marble bathroom and king size bed. With a colour scheme to compliment the indulgent bathroom and views of the sunrise, couples are sure to adore this beautiful suite on the night of their wedding. Charlie Chaplin was a regular guest at the Mansion in the 1920s, when he would enjoy parties and himself entertain fellow visits.
Sir Herbert Baker Room
A beautiful twin bedroom with views across the south terrace and Romney Marsh and extending to the English Channel, this room is inspired by the man who designed the original house, taking inspiration from the Dutch colonial style. Guests can relax in their own en-suite or doze on their individual sleigh beds.
Sir Winston Churchill Room
A regular guest at the Mansion – indeed within the Churchill Collection are many paintings of the grounds by the great man – it is only right this famous leader is celebrated in the name of a room. With a colour scheme inspired by the vibrancy of the southern terrace, this bedroom looks out over the grand pond and cascading fountain. It also includes a king size bed and en-suite.
TE Lawrence Room
Another famous visitor, Lawrence of Arabia names this bedroom to the west side, giving guests the opportunity to enjoy evening sun from the king size four poster bed (without canopy). With a colour scheme prompted by the evening autumnal light, the room overlooks the famous Lime Tree Avenue, Trojan Steps and West Terrace. One particular visit saw TE Lawrence take part in a fly past of the surrounding area with other guests – cheered on by residents who had never before seen aeroplanes.
Sir Philip Sassoon Bridal Suite
This politician and art collector was the original owner of the Mansion, having commissioned its creation shortly before the First World War because he needed a home in his constituency where he could live for two months of the year during the summer recess. It is therefore only fitting that this most luxurious of the bridal suites is named in his honour. Couples can indulge in beautiful sunsets and enjoy the comfort of a four-poster canopy super king size bed. The suite also includes private bathroom and dressing room.
The renovation of these rooms and suites has helped restore the grand building to its original purpose, providing an elegant and luxurious escape.
Sam Lloyd, Hospitality and Events Manager at Port Lympne Reserve, explains: “I’m very excited
about the renovated Mansion as it starts its life as a hotel, weddings and events venue for the people of Kent and beyond.
“The Mansion’s early life was as a home where parties were thrown and guests could then spend the night, so I am particularly proud to be able to return the property to its original use.”
Once guests have finished their delicious breakfast, hotel guests will have the opportunity to combine a relaxing and luxurious retreat with a wild day of safaris and animal experiences as the
package includes entrance to Howletts Wild Animal Park as well as Port Lympne Reserve. In addition, afternoon tea or picnics will be offered on selected weekdays and Sundays, as the perfect way to relax after a day exploring.
The transformation of the Mansion into a boutique hotel was the ultimate step in Port Lymnpe
Reserve’s plans to create a truly unique safari resort, which already offers family glamping at Elephant Lodge, VIP luxury at Livingstone Cottage and an authentic African safari at Livingstone Lodge.
This is soon to be followed up with plans to create a new Tree House Hotel, a luxurious treetop retreat offering breathtaking views across the park; and Pinewood, an immersive overnight experience for school children. The latter will be in close proximity to the animal enclosures, giving guests the real feeling of camping in the wild.
In addition, a new restaurant that allows guests to take freshly made pizzas and a selection of other delicious food to their tents was opened for the 2014 season.