Published: 19:47, 26 August 2020
| Updated: 20:19, 26 August 2020
The waiting list for a newly-approved giraffe hotel has now reached 9,000 people.
It will be the first destination in the western hemisphere to allow such contact with the gentle giants.
Being named Giraffe Hall, the Grade-II listed French House is to be restored and 10 luxury en-suite bedrooms will be created.
Alongside this five pods will be installed in the Aspinall Foundation-owned grounds, allowing a maximum capacity of 40 guests.
If every space was sold-out, it would take 225 nights to accommodate all of the guests currently on the waiting list.
Guests will have views over the Romney Marsh and the coastline, as well as front row seats as giraffes wander up to the bedroom's windows.
The Lapa - a restaurant already on-site - will be extended as part of the plans and cater for guests.
An events building is also included in the scheme, which features a new access road and 50 car park spaces.
The Giraffe Hall project was approved despite objections from nearby residents , ranging from increased noise, traffic and damage to the Area of Outstanding Beauty.
Regarding the permission, Port Lympne's managing director Tony Kelly commented “We are delighted that the application was approved and will now start the detailed work to restore and develop the French House into Giraffe Hall to add to our portfolio of luxury accommodation here at Port Lympne.
"It is too early to announce an opening date at this stage as there is much work to do. We expect Giraffe Hall to be exceptionally popular as we already have a wait list of over 9,000 people.”