Following years in the works at Chester Zoo, it’s finally been revealed that the popular zoo plans to go ahead with its grassland lodges, which were previously delayed by the Coronavirus pandemic.
Consisting of a number of stunning luxury lodges which will bring together a range of different African habitats – from bushland wildlife to rich plains – guests will get to enjoy the highly unique accommodation right next to the park attraction, which is home to thousands of rare and endangered animals.
The development was previously approved by councillors at a planning meeting back in 2019, and now, Chester Zoo aims to pick up where it left off, resubmitting plans with the aim to open later next year. Plans include 63 lodges all surrounding an open body of water, alongside a restaurant, bar and wildlife pond, fitting with Chester Zoo’s conservation ethos.
The Grasslands centrepiece – a large, open savannah – will be home to multiple rare and endangered species including Rothschild’s giraffe, Grevy’s zebra, ostrich and antelope, all living alongside one another.
The space will also be home to giraffes, too, who will be welcome to graze and wander within the savannah-style habitat. Guests will be lucky enough to watch as they go about their day, while two of the lodges will have their own private feeding and viewing zone, away from the other guests. An additional feeding paddock will be open to all guests at Grasslands.
Jamie Christon, the zoo’s Chief Operating Officer, said back in 2019: “Grasslands will be a phenomenal experience and will cement Chester Zoo’s standing as one of the world’s very best attractions.
“Featuring state-of-the-art conservation breeding facilities for a range of threatened African species, Grasslands will yet again see the zoo push the boundaries of world-class animal care.
“Crucially, it will bring our vital, global conservation work to life for visitors, while boosting the zoo’s charitable income to further help achieve our mission to prevent extinction, here in the UK and around the world.”
The new restaurant will seat 120, with gorgeous first-floor views overlooking the savannah and the giraffes.
It’s unclear when work will begin, however, plans reveal that Chester Zoo aims to open the lodges sometime in mid-2023.
Also published on Medium.