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“Fantastic for all the family”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Bear Lodge

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Bear Lodge
Colchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
78 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“Fantastic for all the family”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 28, 2012

Our family of 5 (children of 24, 19 and 16) all really enjoyed our glamping experience. My husband had organised it as something different for my birthday treat.The tents are very comfortable and the views from the site are fabulous. On one side, a mountain cat taking his nightly walk in the tree walkway, in front of the tents you look across for miles to the sea; look down and you can see an elephant and to the right, cheetahs.

The food in the restaurant was good; the Mongolian bbq was delicious and different.

The nightly safaris are excellent and all the staff are very friendly and the talks interesting. A brilliant place for young and old.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank KAliceG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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226 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (53)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Hythe, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
16 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 19, 2012

Location Location Location! On a Summer evening, sat on your tent terrace you could easily imagine you are looking over the plains of Africa.

Service Service Service! Was first class. Everyone we had contact with from the Rangers, Management, Waiters & Waitresses and Chefs - all were top notch.

Accomodation Accomodation Accomodation! Was such fun!! You have to experience it ;-)

Kids Kids Kids! They loved it! and because the Lodge gounds are very safe and secure mums and dads can enjoy dinner in the club house after a busy day while the kids enjoy the freedom to play.

Room for improvement? As a passport holder and regular visitor to the zoo I sometimes pop into the marketing tent and I have found some of the staff manning the tent a bit austeer. This is a shame because I got the impression the Lodge would be snooty but that is not the case. It is very friendly and guests are made to feel very welcome.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Trish_Gooch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
13 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 13, 2012

We booked two tents at Elephant Lodge for a hen weekend and it was brilliant! The staff were really friendly and helpful throughout our stay and the safari with Barry was great. The tents are really comfy, we took our own toaster so we could have crumpets for breakfast! but the fridge was an ok size and there's a kettle and crockery too. We booked dinner up at the mansion on the Saturday evening and had a brilliant time. Sam and her team really looked after us and the food was delicious. All in all a completely different, relaxing and very fun weekend!

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Rachael J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Haywards Heath, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 31, 2012

We stayed for three nights over the weekend a few weeks ago. Beat all expectations! The evening animal talks are fantastic. I've been to lots of zoos but this was first time I've seen all the animals really close up. They take you around at dusk when they are feeding the animals so you get a great close up view. The accommodation is really cool. Proper beds, a sink, fridge, log burner and hot shower... In a tent! The cafe is a bit pricey, but all the staff were excellent and there's a co-op shop near by if you want to get your own food in.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Siruarjo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hastings, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
29 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 30, 2012

My husband arranged a 3 night stay at the newly opened PortLlympe Elephant Lodge near Hythe. We had both just finished work and on arrival at the Lodge, the stress of work melted away instantly. The view from the tents are amazing, we had our 7 year old son with us, who soon made friends and was playing on the open field between the tents and the 'Lapa', there were outdoor games that were supplied for the children; and a good selection of board games in the 'Lapa' as well. There website shows the amazing interior of the tents, which are excellent and clean, it doesn't show the toilet and shower, which to my surprise is the same quality of a hotel one, so no worries there either. Definately do the safaris they are amazing and of course due to the animals habits, you get to see them, especially the small cats, on there feed when you normally wouldn't.
Waking up in the morning, listening to the animals and seeing the rhino being let out, and the elephant and watching the wildcats walking across there walkway, (down the end near tents 9/10 there are the wildcat walkways) its amazing :-) so different. If you have them take your binoculars. We also paid for a private safari with Rosie, a 9.30am one, definately recommend this as well, as a Land Rover gets to places the trucks can't, this was a birthday treat. Rosie is fab, tells you lots of info, however all the rangers were fab. As I love elephants she definately recommended I went to Howletts, it was well worth the visit, it's free as you get unlimited access to both parks during your stay, and if you love elephants they have a very large herd over there. On my birthday my friend and her children joined us for the last night making our numbers upto 8, it was nice we had the option to do this as well. Staff and food, all excellent. Reading other reviews some people say the Mongolian bar b is expensive for what you get? Well the prices of all the food are on par with any Beefeater/Harvester WITHOUT it being packet food, everything cooked fresh using fresh ingredients, and the Mongolian bar b is limited to the amount you put in the bowls, but the meal is more than substantial (the homemade flat breads and sauces are out of this world). (I think in this day and age we get used to eat as much as you like - then waste it all, and when people are limited it can be taken the wrong way). The food in the Lapa was good tatsy, and not wasted. The curry is fab by the way, so do give that a try if you can, but it's easy to get hooked to the Mongolian Bar B.
Thank you for such a fantastic weekend, I'm hoping we can return on our Wedding anniversary in October as I have fallen in love with the place.
May I say all the staff were excellent, more of a family run business atmosphere than employees, nothing is too much for them, one young girl Jasmine deserves a special mention. Excellent customer service/communication skills which you don't always find with young people today, do you do employee of the month? Hint Hint :-)

Room Tip: The safaris in the evening of course have to work around the animals, so some people ate early, othe...
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank SeaHayley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Maidstone, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
20 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 28, 2012

We have just returned from a 4 night stay in an 'Elephant Lodge' at Port Lympne Wild Animal Park. Not one for basic camping, this was just the trick! With 3 double bedrooms, a kitchen, dining room and separate WC and shower rooms, it easily slept the 7 of us (3 adults & 4 children) and the beds were extremely comfortable. There's a log burning fire for cool evenings and patio furniture for sitting out on the decking taking in the view .... and boy what a view!! Overlooking the elephant and cheetah enclosures, up on the hill you can see out across the coast for miles. We had brilliant weather which obviously helped as most of the local activities are outdoor (zoos, beaches, etc.). The staff could not have been nicer or more helpful if they tried. Service a little slow in the restaurant, but I think there was a chef shortage due to sickness, and the food was definitely worth the wait (I can highly recommend the Kentish pork chop!!). Each evening there was a different form of entertainment; we experienced the big cat, small cat and giraffe talks and feeds. There's also unlimited access to Port Lympne zoon and it's sister park Howletts in Canterbury (about 30 mins drive). It was fantastic to to get so close to the animals, and the rangers and keepers were all really enthusiastic and well informed. For an animal lover like myself this holiday certainly ticked all the boxes. I would certainly recommend it and would love to go again. The only thing I'd mention is that there are no facilities for preparing hot food in the tent; there is a fridge but it's quite tiny, so it's had to store much cold food if you want to keep the cost down taking some of your own supplies.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Chelly74
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Maidstone, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 24, 2012

We stayed for three nights and found the staff to be friendly, relaxed and informal.
The tent was clean and very comfortable. We would recommend the experience to anyone, whether or not they have an interest in wild animals. There are enough attractions in the surrounding area to suit all tastes once the wildlife park has been covered.
The site clearly has just opened and has one or two teething problems, but none that impacted on our stay. (Battery powered lights were not really up to the job and unless they change the hooks in the tent bathrooms they will end up with torn towels.)
If you fancy sitting under a shady awning looking out over the wildlife park and being supplied with a steady supply of Pyms (There are other drinks available) this is for you.

Room Tip: It's camping, Jim, but not as we know it..
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank GME197
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Bear Lodge

Property: Bear Lodge
Address: Port Lympne Reserve, Lympne CT21 4LN, England (Formerly Elephant Lodge)
Location: United Kingdom > England > Kent > Lympne
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 5 Specialty Lodging in Lympne
Hotel Class:2 star — Bear Lodge 2*
Number of rooms: 19
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Bear Lodge is a luxury 'glamping' experience in spacious tented accommodation, with stunning views over our brand new bear enclosure, out to the Romney Marsh and English Channel. Formerly known as Elephant Lodge, family and friends can stay for 1, 3, 4 or 7 nights on our secure gated site, with parking. 19 luxury tents with en suite facilities, each comfortably sleeping six people, surround our central Bear Lodge Clubhouse and children's play area. Inside the tents, there's a spacious living area, including the 'bear necessities' such as cutlery, crockery, a small fridge and sink, plus, separate sleeping areas with real beds and comfy mattresses. The on-site clubhouse restaurant has a brand new menu for 2016, including traditional South American dishes, to compliment the arrival of our bear pair. We've also fully refurbished our bar area and alongside our new cocktail menu, guests can sample our exclusive 'spectacled beer'. A stay at Bear Lodge, includes entry to Port Lympne Reserve and sister park Howletts, near Canterbury and additional experiences are available to book including private Ranger guided safaris, animal experiences, archery, fishing, cycling and zorbing, so every day can be filled with wild adventures! ... more   less 

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