Port Lympne Hotel
What We Love
- A unique stay at an Edwardian mansion near the sea, in grounds roamed by African wildlifeAn elegant Edwardian summer home with Italian terraced gardens overlooking the sea
- Entry to two wonderful wild animal parks – one within the grounds of the mansion
- The glittering guest list of visitors past, from Charlie Chaplin to Winston Churchill
What To Know
- Acres and acres of manicured gardens surround the mansion
- Enjoy stunning views across Romney Marsh and the English Channel
- Free WiFi can be hit or miss
A grand Edwardian mansion with a colourful history and its very own wildlife park, Port Lympne is the perfect spot for a luxury country break. This beautiful house was built as a weekend and summer home in 1914 and its original owner hosted the cream of English society, from Winston Churchill and Lawrence of Arabia to Charlie Chaplin.
It has recently been restored to its former glory, boasting six en-suite boutique rooms individually designed to an excellent standard. With wonderful views of Romney Marsh and the English Channel, the house is bordered by an elegant patchwork of Italian terraced gardens and lawns to discover during your stay.
Port Lympne Reserve is home to a magnificent array of wildlife and endangered species. Entrance to the park and to the Howletts Wild Animal Park are included in your stay, so go wild and meet some of the beautiful residents. Whether it’s the majestic black rhinos, awe-inspiring Siberian tigers or the pint-size pudu deer that steal your heart, you’re bound to find a favourite.
How to Get There
I arranged a conference for 55 delegates at Port Lympne Hotel for AIG Life in the Aspinall Suite.
The experience prior to our conference at Port Lympne Hotel was average, i was handed round at least 3 different event organisers over 6 months, meaning at times i was left with no one to contact. In the run up to the event, Rebecca was helpful and answered our questions. When we arrived, this was a different story.
This venue is not fit for conferences, the Projector screen we were given was far too small and not fit for 55 delegates, when we highlighted this the staff were useless. The set up for the room the staff suggested meant over 10 seats were unable to see the tiny screen.
We decided to move the tables/chairs in the room, and presented onto a white wall instead of the screen provided, there were no staff on hand to help us move the furniture as the event organiser had gone home and other staff were at the hotel.
I discovered a leak behind the bar, which continued after getting a plumber out and made the room smell the following day.
Check in process is slow and un-organised, they want a seperate pre authorisation of each room (we had 10 treehouses, 2 lodges and 4 hotel rooms booked). The buggys for the treehoiuses are left by them, which meant we were waiting around for 30 minutes whilst 1 truck ferried our attendees to and from treehouses/lodges.
The safari was good, and the commentator, Trevor was very knowledgable and friendly, we enjoyed this experience, however it did have to be brought forward by an hour due to unforseen circumstances on their part which meant we needed to rearrange our agenda.
Later in the evening we had a BBQ, this was all set up outside the room, and due to be served at 7:30pm. The hour came and went, and food came an hour late, when complaining about this post event, i was told i was in fact wrong and it was only 10 minutes! The burgers ran out, the bread was hard and the salad had been sat there for an hour.
20 Minutes into them opening up the bar in the Aspinall suite, the beer ran out! Their draught systems were not working and all bottled beer had gone. The bar manager was un sure of what to do and was very slow. I had to give him a plan to use the bar in the hotel! When informing the event planner of this the following morning, the response was 'i wasn't here so i can't do anything' teamwork needs to be improved with the staff.
We resumed our meeting in the morning to find the important paperwork we had left (we were told it was safe as they would lock th room) had been thrown away. The room was not set up and ready for a 9:30am start, we had to put paper and pens out ourselves, and even brought our own pens(luckily) as they ran our of the 'port lympne' pens after two tables.
As the process of taking individual pre authorisation would have taken too long, we did this from 1 card, the hotel knew the reason why yet still proceeded to invoice as 1 whole tab, rather than detailing what each treehouse/lodge/hotel room spent meaning we had no idea which rooms incurred costs.
The overall service was poor, and the way this hotel have dealt with our complaints afterward has been appaling. I've been trying to resolve these issues and get some form of compensation post event, however the hotel will not admit fault and have been slow and unhelpful with their responses.
Do not use this venue if you're planning a corporate event as frankly they are not geared up to support.
We stayed in the Herbert Baker room for one night last week and it was absolutely amazing with fantastic views which allowed us a glimpse of France. The history of the hotel is so interesting and is incorporated into the beautiful murals throughout.
Probably the most impressive part of the hotel were the staff. Every one of them were so friendly and helpful. I must mention Joy and Zoe whose tips and advice enabled us to make the most of our stay.
We will definitely return.
We had a rare child-free break at this stunning hotel and location, for my 40th bday. We had actually 'upgraded' our stay to a forest hideaway, but when we arrived we didnt feel that that location was superior to the hotel, with its stunning views and luxury rooms. I spoke with the hotel reception, and luckily the Mountbattan Suite was free for our 2 night stay, a suite that looked straight out to the sea, so we snapped it up. The Suite felt quite newly decorated, had a sitting area, large fireplace, windows with amazing views and a window seat to enjoy the view from. The bathroom was well equipped with a huge shower head, and great water pressure. We had robes, slippers, an espresso coffee machine, hairdryer, shampoo/conditioner/body wash and lotions and bottled water. To top it off we had our own golf buggy, to use throughout our stay. The breakfast was very nice, not as much selection on the continental side, as we've had elsewhere, but it was fresh and restocked quickly upon request. The cooked breakfast was also very good, and a great start to the day. There were a couple of niggles/observations, not enough to spoil our stay, but worth mentioning all the same. We felt a full length mirror was missing from the room, as well as somewhere to hang robes. With no hooks in the bathroom, or on the back of the door, they ended up over the back of a chair. The bathroom had some cleaning issues, which were dealt with, once reported, by house-keeping the following day, although the chocolate wrappers under the bed remained in suti throughout our stay. The breakfast service fell a bit short. Things like having to ask if someone could take our order, after being sat there for 20mins or so, both mornings, and noone clearing bowls ect from the tables before bringing your cooked choices out. Both mornings we had to pick up empty bowls/plates in order for the cooked food to be put down, and then the waiting staff simply walked away leaving us holding the empties, giving us no other choice than to put them on the table next to us. I did ask on the second morning, what we should do with the empty dishes, to be told to just 'stick them' on another table. Im not sure why they couldnt have just been taken away in to the kitchen? The only other observation was the tiny milk jugs given out with the huge coffee and tea pots. Enough tea and coffee for 3/4 cups each, but only enough milk for 1 cup of either. These issues did not spoil our stay, and we would absolutely return, but feel they need pointing out as other people may not be as laid back as us, and may make a real issue out of them, especially given the prices being paid. On the whole, a fabulous hotel and stay, and a great place to spend a 40th, or any other special occasion.
My husband booked a romantic weekend away for us at the hotel & reserve as I have always wanted to visit. Despite the park & reserve being great we were extremely unhappy with the service and quality of the accommodation experience.
We booked to stay in The Charlie Chaplin Suite and paid £369.00 for the privilege.
A summary of the issues were as follows;
- The room is tired and tatty - the ceramics in the bathroom are particularly old and decrepit.
- The room was unclean with a dead spider and marks in the sink. See photo.
- Staff were unprofessional with lots of private conversations being had on walkie talkies in front of other guests that we were able to hear. A lot of these were derogatory.
- Upon check in we were advised there was a wedding taking place and likely to be noise until 00:00. There was nothing on any of our booking paperwork to notify or forewarn us of this. Windows are single glazed and the noise did mean we were unable to sleep until after 00:00.
We requested a full refund at the time on the basis of us not wanting to stay there however were notified that we would not be given one.
As a result we rather begrudgingly agreed to stay so we didn’t lose any further money and to salvage our romantic weekend away.
We are still waiting for a reply from a member of their senior management team a week later which is seriously disappointing considering the amount of money we paid. All in all a very poor experience.
I took my husband here for a special birthday treat. We stayed in the Herbert Baker Room which had lovely views. The food was AMAZING. As there was private dinner party in the house, we were unable to have a nice quiet nightcap as they were all in the small bar. Just had to go to our room. Shame. The staff are friendly and helpful. Take a camera and binoculars to enjoy the spectacular views.