Published: 00:01, 02 September 2018
| Updated: 20:51, 12 September 2018
More than 1,000 people have registered their interest in staying at an upcoming giraffe hotel set to open next year.
Giraffe Manor - a guest house where the gentle giants poke their heads through windows while guests eat - will be launched at Port Lympne wildlife park in 2019.
The accommodation will become the first of its kind in the Western Hemisphere.
A similar animal experience in Nairobi is renowned for attracting hundreds of tourists each year.
The house is a Grade II listed Wealden hall house, dating back to the 15th and 16th century.
It is currently undergoing restoration work to create a 10-bedroom hotel, plus six more luxury cabins, with views of the reserve grounds, run by the Aspinall Foundation.
The resident herd will be able to peer into a lofty drawing room, or wander up to the bedroom windows, where guests can feed them.
The interiors will be designed by Victoria Aspinall, retaining many of the original features. The gardens are also undergoing improvements to include a route for the giraffe to wander the grounds and a ‘cabana style retreat’, where drinks will be served.
The venue is expected to open in the latter part of next year and a waiting list has been created for potential guests to register their interest.
As well as short breaks, it will also serve as a venue for weddings and private parties. The accommodation differs from the pre-existing Giraffe Lodge, which consists of safari tents, while Giraffe Manor will offer accommodation all year round.
A spokeswoman for Port Lympne said: “The plan is for the giraffe to wander along pathways and trails through the grounds. Our waiting list is growing daily with over 1.000 people registering their interest so far.”
Originally part of the Port Lympne estate, the manor house was extended by Philip Sassoon during renovation work carried out in 1920. Sassoon was MP for Hythe and Private Secretary to Field Marshal Haig during the First World War. He used the estate as a weekend retreat, entertaining guests including Winston Churchill, Lawrence of Arabia and Charlie Chaplin.