A luxury boutique hotel where guests can get up close and personal with giraffes is due to open in Kent next year and will specialise in locally made wines.
Part of the Port Lympne Reserve, Giraffe Hall is a Grade II listed house with 10 bedrooms and five luxury cabins with room for 40 guests.
Owned by the Aspinall Foundation, the waiting list for stays at the hotel, which dates back to the 15th century and boasts landscaped gardens, is already over 9,000-people long.
The first venue of its kind in the UK, the giraffes will be free to roam the grounds and stick their heads through the dining room windows while guests are eating.
Combining the best of both worlds – a luxury safari feel with the comforts of an English stately home – the interiors, designed by Victoria Aspinall, will stay faithful to the space’s historic roots and will make a hero of period features.
The five cabins offer views of Kent’s largest wild animal park – Port Lympne Hotel & Reserve, a 600-acre site that’s home to over 900 animals, including tigers, lions, leopards and black rhinos.
The venue’s Lapa restaurant will serve African-inspired brais cooked in an open firepit. Keen to champion local seasonal ingredients, Lapa’s dishes will feature freshly picked vegetables from the hotel’s market garden near Howletts, alongside dairy, meat and fish sourced locally in Kent.
Giraffe Hall is also due to specialise in English wines, particularly those made by local producers in Kent, along and will also offer a selection of Kentish beers. A natural amphitheatre will guests the chance to get closer to the giraffes and watch as they wander about the grounds.
Hythe MP Philip Sassoon used the estate as his country retreat, entertaining Sir Winston Churchill, Lawrence of Arabia and Charlie Chaplin.