We love to hear about our guests' experiences at Port Lympne Hotel & Reserve. We were especially pleased to receive a review from one young guest with an obvious talent for writing and a passion for wildlife. 14 year old Louis enjoyed a summer break at Hog Deer Creek along with his parents for the special occasion of his father's 50th birthday.
"A brilliant stay that I would highly recommend to anyone"
"On Thursday 28th July, my parents and I arrived at Port Lympne Hotel & Reserve, and even as we drove in, we admired the sheer vastness of the park, and, of course, we were in awe of the size and beauty of the mansion and gardens, from the spectacular hippo water feature to the wonderful staircase down from the Pinewood café, everything was so appealing to the eye.
Before we visited the Concierge to pick up our golf buggy, we embarked on the Safari, which was truly amazing, as I saw so many unique creatures throughout each of the continental “Experiences”, many of which I’d never seen before other than in documentaries. It was thrilling to get so close to these creatures, such as the peaceful rhinos dozing in the long grass and the caravan of camels, lounging in the midday sun. However, the cherry on top, for me and many others on our specific expedition, was the giraffes, who, up close, looked larger than life. It was a moment I will remember forever, when the giraffes stopped in front of our truck, and two of them obliviously ate some plants across the road we were driving on. Then, they began to saunter over to a large pool of water, and one of the younger giraffes began to sit down. All in all, it was a surreal experience to commence our stay."
"Another fairytale-like moment was visiting the gorillas at the Gorilla Palace and the Gorilla Pavilion; it was something that I had only seen online and in movies, and my favourite part of the primate section was climbing the ramp to the lookout point over the gorillas’ outdoor area. After spending an unknown amount of time observing the gorillas, in awe of how close they were, a phenomenal thing occurred: the two youngest gorillas, who share the same father, the breath-taking silverback of the troop, began playfighting and rolling around the emerald grassy banks, frisking like toddlers would, which was a stunning moment. Further adding to the surrealness of the occurrence was when the elder of the two youngsters hid behind their father, and the naïve younger child proceeded to hit the silverback on the head! Then the sheer power behind the silverback’s stare made both youths crumble, and they retreated sheepishly. This was an experience that is unforgettable as it showed how closely related, we, as humans, are to these wonderful creatures, in the way that a parent’s glare can silence their children, and the mischief a child can get up to during their early years."
"Afterwards, we were shown to our wonderful accommodation via golf buggy; we stayed in one of the Shepherd’s Huts at Hog Deer Creek, which was yet another awesome experience because of the herd of buffalo that were ambling around the water hole, just mere metres away from where we slept. We also managed to catch a glimpse of the hog deer themselves, but they were understandably anxious around multiple families and golf buggies driving around."
"As the day wore on, and the buffalo began to retreat to their shelter for the night, we once again set off on our buggy, but this time, we were en route to Bear Lodge Restaurant. The restaurant is at the other side of the park, and during the journey, we explored new areas of the now-closed retreat, as the animals began to settle down for the night. In a way, this was even more thrilling than during opening hours because the animals act more like themselves when countless humans aren’t nearby their enclosures.
The meal was beautiful, and the restaurant itself was aesthetically pleasing, as well as the staff being welcoming and very polite."
"The following day, we explored the park for the last time during our stay, revisiting our favourite animals. We also walked around the manor house and gardens and ate at the Pinewood Café.
After returning our buggy, and waving goodbye to our Shepherd’s Hut and Port Lympne, we drove to sister park, Howlett’s, where we visited the other animals for a few hours to conclude our two-day affair.
All in all, it was a brilliant stay that I would highly recommend to anyone, and I look forward to returning in the future."
By Louis, age 14.