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Review of the Port Lympne Reserve Treehouse Hotel

Abby Smythe reviews the luxurious Port Lympne Reserve Treehouse Hotel, situated just outside of Ashford.

Great views of the Kent countryside and coast, the real safari experience and the comfort and luxury of a modern hotel room all in one. The Treehouse Hotel at Port Lympne Reserve offers the opportunity to get up close and personal with a variety of fascinating animals over 600 acres of Kent countryside – and it’s only 30 minutes down the road from the University.

Last week, I had the brilliant idea of staying at a new and exciting treehouse hotel for my birthday. It was an amazing experience which started at Howletts Wild Animal Park in Canterbury. After a day spent exploring the more traditional zoo, where the baby rhino was the highlight, we made our way to the location of the hotel, Port Lympne Reserve. Friendly staff helped us along the way and from the very beginning we were immersed into the safari experience as we were taken to the clubhouse in a safari truck, passing Barbary lion and snow leopard enclosures.

At the clubhouse we were offered a complimentary glass of champagne and unlimited marshmallows to toast by a large, central fire. Whilst we made full use of all the clubhouse had to offer, including a game of trivial pursuit, someone ran our luggage up to the room, where it was waiting when we were ready to settle in. As you could have guessed, the apartments aren’t actually balancing in the treetops, rather at the top of a steep hill surrounded by trees, but this didn’t take away from the experience at all.

A simple and naturalistic theme was continued throughout the house, with a fully equipped kitchen and open plan living area boasting an impressive 50” Smart TV. Behind the sliding doors you find two bedrooms and a good-sized bathroom. The floor to ceiling glass front led out to a terrace on which you could fully take in the Kent countryside and even catch a glimpse of the rhino enclosure just below. The apartments are completely self-catered, with the exception of the mini bar snack selection, so we spent the evening cooking pizzas and other treats in the sleek, modern kitchen.

One of my favourite aspects of the experience was the use of our own personal golf buggy Mushie – named after a gorilla at Howletts – which we made full use of the next morning, driving around the park in areas not accessible by foot. After exploring every corner and coming across many weird and wonderful animals, we jumped on one of the multiple safari trucks that run throughout the day. We were taken out into the open where animals graze freely in what they call the ‘African Experience’, a surreal encounter where deer, ostriches and even giraffes were close enough to touch.

In the off-peak winter season, one night at the Treehouse Hotel will cost you £300. An apartment sleeps four and so at £75 per person per night, it works out quite a good deal. Entrance to Port Lympne and its sister park Howletts in Canterbury is included, along with one night’s stay in the hotel and the use of a golf buggy. As an animal lover, this retreat was perfect for me and if you can get together with three others it is the perfect place to treat yourself to a weekend break from studying or working.

To find out more about the Port Lympne Reserve Treehouse Hotel visit their website here.

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