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“Snow Leopard lodge experience”

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The Big Cat Sanctuary's Overnight Lodge Experience
Certificate of Excellence
Nottingham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Snow Leopard lodge experience”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 May 2014

What can I say? This whole experience is beyond awesome. I've been here a few times now and currently adopt three of the feline residents but was lucky enough to spend the night in Snow Leopard Lodge with my niece this weekend. The staff were absolutely amazing and the accommodation is a really high standard - they've thought of everything! The VIP tour and experiences with these fantastic animals are a chance in a lifetime and nearly reduced me to tears - ok, I actually did cry. A great chance to meet some critically endangered species up close and obviously the money goes to a great cause. Thanks to Beccy, Andy, Tanith, Faye, Sophie, Freddie and the rest of the team for a great weekend! We'll be back!

Helpful?
1 Thank Joanne C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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298 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (27)
Date | Rating
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English first
Leuven, Belgium
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 April 2014

My husband is very fond of cats, small and big. For his 40th birthday, I booked a two-day experience with the Wildlife Heritage Foundation. It was an unforgettable experience. The staff was very friendly, the food exquisite, and the cats amazing. We got lots of info about them, got the opportunity to feed some of them, and help out with some of the daily chores like training sessions. The lodge was very comfortable. I can really recommend staying there and waking up to the roar of the lions.

Helpful?
2 Thank idepre
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 April 2014

We stayed over night for valentine's day and despite the weather it was an absolutely fantastic experience. The day we arrived there was a torrential storm so we were worried we would not get to see any of the animals, however after the lovely champagne reception we headed out with our guide who kindly took us into lots of the inside areas of the cats' habitat. On reflection I think the storm actually helped us because all of the animals were inside so we got to see them up close. We even helped medicate one of the tigers by feeding him chunks of meat that had been injected with his medicine.

That night we went for dinner in the restaurant and the food was gorgeous. The duck starter in particular was excellent and had loads of meat and overall was as good a meal as I have had in some 4/5 star hotels. The lodge we stayed in was beautifully decorated with a safari theme and was a really good size with massive living room as well as bedroom and bathroom. A complimentary bottle of wine was provided, along with valentine's day decorations including rose petals on the bed was a lovely touch. There were gale force winds outside but we still managed to get a good night's sleep and the lodge survived the battering.

The next morning we awoke to sunshine which was a great relief. We had breakfast in the restaurant and the lions were out and prowling. They came right up the walkway and up to the glass window of the restaurant and even posed for photos! It was so much fun having breakfast so close to these amazing animals.

We then headed out for a tour and got to see all the animals we had missed the day before. We got to watch the family of white lions playing together and could go right up to the fencing where the young ones would climb up and say hello. Mum and dad would also come right up to you and give a growl to make sure you were not thinking about stealing one of their babies! It was a privilege to see and the highlight of the weekend for me.

You can tell that the animals are really well looked after and because the sanctuary is not open to the public you can see they are really relaxed and content. We got to see all the animals except for the jaguars who were being stubborn and did not come out and then got to choose which animal to hand feed. As we had fed a tiger the day before we chose the lions. We fed the ones that had had breakfast with us and were shown how to feed them safely by our guide. It was an experience I will never forget and I even managed to get one of the lions to stand up fully stretched out to take one of the morsels.

I would not hesitate to recommend this trip as it really is once in a lifetime stuff. The staff are excellent and you can tell they love the animals. We had a fantastic time and there is the added bonus of knowing the money you spend goes towards keeping open the wonderful sanctuary so they can continue their outstanding conservation work.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Michael B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 April 2014 via mobile

Had a wonderful overnight stay in one of the lodges. Got really close to all the cats and fed the Snow Leopard too!Lovely food and drinks, accommodation and all the staff were great. Highly recommended!

  • Stayed February 2014
    • Value
Helpful?
1 Thank Gareth W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 March 2014

After booking our overnight stay in one of the lodges for my fiancee's 40th,after our long journey we were greeted with a much welcomed champagne reception followed by afternoon tea overlooking an enclosure with two handsome brother lions enjoying some sunshine.After being showed to our beautiful lodge we went out to see the big (and some small) cats in their enclosures and learned about their backgrounds and also the conservation work and breeding programmes being implemented there,before getting up close and personal with the servals whilst the weather was still kind.with just enough time to shower & change ready for our evening meal made by the lovely Sophie,it was both enjoyable and plentiful.
Getting back to the very comfortable lodge for a nice bottle of wine and falling asleep listening to the roars of the animals.
Up next morning in time for hot beverages and pastries in the conservatory again, then heading out with Becci to do some hand feeding with Bruno and a close encounter with Mia the cheetah before heading back once more for a lovely cooked breakfast to keep us going on the journey home.
Definently a weekend to remember.would recommend to all.there are different packages to suit various budgets,the only thing I would say is if the weather's been bad,take some wellies or similar footwear as we went ill equipt but the staff were good enough to lend us some for our visit.
Well worth it for those special moments in life!

  • Stayed March 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Katalfie1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Coulsdon
Level Contributor
17 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 March 2014

I went with my sister for her 50th birthday and we felt like part of the family. Beccy was our tour guide on both days and nothing was too much trouble. she's such a mine of information. We saw the male and female snow leopards being introduced for the first time - nerve-racking for the keepers but a successful first meeting. The white lion pride are stunning. Even though we visited after the wettest Winter ever all the animals looked clean - except the white lion cubs who, as typical children, had been playing in the mud! Got to feed my favourite cat - Manzi one of the African lions.
The food was fabulous - thank you Sophie - we certainly didn't leave hungry.
The lodge was luxurious and very warm. We couldn't have asked for more - except another night!!
Overall a fantastic experience - not to be missed.
Will be bringing the family down on one of the open days.

Stayed February 2014, travelled with family
Helpful?
Thank Janine H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Herne Bay, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
11 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 March 2014

Once again following a family day we booked for our 23 rd wedding anniversary.All the previous reviwers have mentioned the welcome the food the comfort being 1st class and we agree entirely.Usual victims Tanith and Sophie were beyond compare.Our ranger,Claire,we bonded with instantly.The cats are the real stars from the Rusty cat up to the Amur tiger and the lions every one of them is beautifull.So many highlights.My wifes beyond doubt tickling Lalea,the snow leopard's neck under the very carefull watch of Claire.My moment was with Mia,who Ive adored from the open day and continue to do so even more now.To stroke a cheetah is to be in touch with heavenfor just a few seconds.The other Cats are wonderful and very fond memories will remain for ever.The grumpy Pallas cats through to the elegant Puma,everyone a star.It all went too quick.
Others have mentioned that this is a once in a life time moment,we will dissagree.....The reason being we have booked to return on our silver wedding anniversary in two years time.again with Claire as guide.
If your as fortunate as our selves treat your self to this stay over you will never regret it as long as you live.

Room Tip: We had the Lion lodge,the closest to the lions ..... that roar is magnificant
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank thojj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Big Cat Sanctuary's Overnight Lodge Experience

Property: The Big Cat Sanctuary's Overnight Lodge Experience
Address: Headcorn Road | Ashford, Smarden TN27 8PJ, England (Formerly Overnight Lodge Experience at Wildlife Heritage Foundation)
Region: United Kingdom > England > Kent > Smarden
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Speciality Lodging in Smarden
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The overnight big cat safari experience - a hidden gem in the village of Smarden in Kent, UK. The Big Cat Sanctuary is a 34 acre peaceful conservation site whose primary objective is conservation and offering sanctuary to homeless or rescued cats. On our big cat safari experience you will get up close and personal seeing our amazing and diverse collection of cats from the world's smallest Rusty Spotted cat to the world's most endangered Amur leopard and also learn about the conservation work we do both at the centre and overseas. We operate by way of personal experiences only, this is an incredible experience in which you will encounter all we have to offer at our at the sanctuary with an overnight stay. The agenda for guests to the overnight big cat safari experience is below: You will arrive early afternoon for afternoon tea with a glass of bubbly on our terrace over-looking one of our lion enclosures, after this you will enjoy a 2 hour VIP tour in which you will learn about the various species of Big Cats at the sanctuary. During the tour you will get the opportunity to get up close and personal with the cats, you may go in with our African Servals,these activities vary depending on what is happening with our cats at the time of your visit. In the evening, you will firstly be greeted with pre-dinner drinks and enjoy a sumptuous 3 course meal cooked by our resident chef which you will enjoy in our conservatory which adjoins our African lion enclosure, they are curious and regularly check out what you are eating for dinner! Once the evening meal is over you will retire to the comfort of your luxury lodge accommodation, most likely to the roar of our lions! The next morning you will have a choice of full english breakfast or continental style. Your morning will continue with the target training of one of our cheetahs and also an opportunity to hand feed one of the Big Cats which for most people is most memorable. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
The Big Cat Sanctuary's Overnight Lodge Experience Smarden, Kent

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