If you’ve ever wanted to spend the night next to elephants and cheetahs then now’s your chance.
A collection of brand new luxury safari lodges have opened in the UK, and families can now book a holiday there.
West Midland Safari Park’s lodges offer the only overnight stay with elephants in the whole country, with the option to spend the night next to the cheetahs as well.
The lodges were originally scheduled to open last summer but the pandemic delayed this – bookings did initially open last year before being forced to pause due to the massive demand.
There are eight suites available, with six located in the elephant park and two next to the cheetahs, with fantastic close up views from your bedroom.
Each lodge can accommodate five guests, and feature open-plan living rooms with outdoor seating and balconies, as well as a king-size bedroom on the lower floor and room for three people to sleep on the upper floor, with the option to add a cot.
From your suite you’ll be able to watch elephants like the young male Sutton, his aunt Latabe and mum, Five, while two of the lodges overlook the cheetah area, where cheetahs like Asrael and Bappe – recently brought over from France – live.
Chris Kelly, Managing Director at West Midland Safari Park, said: “It’s been a long journey, but we are absolutely delighted to have finally opened our doors and welcome guests to our Safari Lodges experience.
“I’m incredibly proud of what we have achieved, in delivering beautiful accommodation to offer guests the opportunity to stay onsite for the first time, but also in upgrading stimulating and enriching environments for the wonderful animals we have in our care.
“Our lodges are going to offer a special and unforgettable Safari-stay right here in the Midlands. Guests will be able to get closer than ever before to our wildlife and make friends with their animal neighbours.
“Being located on our reserves, guests will also have the chance to spot some of our other species and experience all the great attractions we have to offer, making it the perfect retreat for all the family.”
Chefs based on-site will prepare your breakfast and dinner and deliver it to your room, so you can eat while taking in the fantastic views.
For the price of the lodge, you’ll also get admission to the park and wristbands for the rides at the theme park, with prices starting from £147 per night for children and from £171 per night for adults.
While availability for the rest of 2021 is now limited due to huge demand, there are still lots of options available for next year.
You can check out the West Midland Safari Park website here for more info.
You can now stay in the original Spice Girls ‘SpiceBus’ on Airbnb
This bus will truly spice up your life…
Calling all Spice Girls fans: You can now spend a night (or two) in the actual bus from the 1997 Spice World film.
The SpiceBus, which one graced Geri Halliwell (Ginger Spice), Emma Bunton (Baby Spice), Mel B (Scary Spice), Melanie Chisholm (Sporty Spice) and Victoria Beckham (Posh Spice), is now listed on Airbnb for Spice Girls fans far and wide to hire.
The bus has since had an incredible makeover since its glory days in the ‘90s and now resides in the Isle of White, right on the doorstep of a stunning marina.
Though the owner of the bus did stress that, as a Spice Girls fan herself, she has kept it as authentic to the original design as possible. On the bus’ listing, she wrote: “The outside of the bus looks exactly as it did in the Spice World movie, with its iconic Union Jack-painted exterior.
“I’m a huge fan of the band and have tried to include as many little touches as possible inspired by the girls and their music, to make the inside just as iconic as the outside!”
Guests will have full run of the double-decker bus, which can sleep up to three guests across two bedrooms and one living room. For those wanting to snack and keep their tipples cold, a mini fridge is included.
Towards the back of the bus, visitors will also find a spacious seating area with a table and three Union Jack cinema-style chairs for relaxing in front of the TV or listening to music (Spice Girls preferred) on the old school CD player.
Shops, restaurants and bars are within walking distance, and there are bathroom and kitchen facilities on site.
The bus has proven to be a huge hit with guests so far, with one happy Airbnb user writing: “The best Airbnb i have ever stayed in. The attention to detail, the facilities, the location and easy check in was all amazing. If you are a spice girls fan PLEASE book this!”
Another wrote: “This is the perfect place to stay with your bestie if you are spice or 90s obsessed. So many lovely little nostalgic touches. Was such a joy, would absolutely recommend.”
This will definitely be a trip to remember – for more details and to make your own reservation, visit the Airbnb listing here.
You can now hire a massive luxury 6 berth canal boat in the middle of Manchester
Who’d have thought a barge could get so fancy?
There’s a luxury canal boat smack in the middle of Manchester, and it’s available right now for you to hire.
You’ll all know that Manchester is famed for its winding canals and abundance of barges – but have you ever envisioned treating yourself, your friends, or your better half to a night or two of luxury in one of them?
No, you probably haven’t – but, low and behold, a ‘luxury barge’ now exists.
Courtesy of Prestige Worldwide, founded and run by friends and business partners Erin and Harry with the aim to create something a little different, we have perhaps the boujiest barge to ever grace Manchester’s waters.
Prestige Worldwide aim to eventually have a ‘fleet of floating luxury’, but for now, they’re just getting started with their debut canal boat, the Vätten Hüs. This barge, located in the heart of Castlefield locks, accommodates up to six guests in two plush king-sized bedrooms, with additional sleeping space in the main collective area.
It features a large, open-plan kitchen-dining and living-room – intended for sharing and celebrating, of course – with rich furnishings and an exclusive outdoor seating on the deck, perfect for those warm summer nights.
Harry and Erin also partnered up with local florists Frog Manchester for the most exquisite floral displays that are found suspended over the lavish kitchen island and adorn both bedrooms.
The interior designer, Claudia Chez, said of the boat: “The Vätten Hüs interior design is modern style with clean, crisp lines strategically softened by French Art Deco hints.
“Art Deco represented luxury, glamour and exuberance back at the 1920’s, and this is subtlety expressed throughout the boat with gentle undulating curves, scalloped furniture and bronze details all on top of a light oak herringbone floor.”
Now fully complete and on the water, the Vätten Hüs’ diary is open and ready for visitors – though for insurance purposes, the boat cannot be moved.
Government asks people to ‘holiday at home’ this summer to avoid foreign travel
‘My advice to people would be holiday at home’
Holidaymakers should choose to visit the ‘great places’ that exist in the UK rather than head abroad, according to a government minister.
The environment secretary George Eustice dashed any slim hopes for a summer holiday abroad this morning, telling Sky News his advice to the British public ‘would be holiday at home’.
He warned against foreign travel unless absolutely necessary, adding that people need to be aware of the ‘risks’ in travelling outside the UK under the current circumstances.
He told Sky News: “I will be staying at home. I have no intention of travelling or going on a holiday abroad this summer.
“Some people may, but they have to understand that there are obviously risks in doing so because it is a dynamic situation.
“But I think most people will probably decide this year to stay at home, holiday at home.”
When asked if he was advising people to stay in the UK, Eustice added: “I think, my advice to people would be holiday at home.
“We’ve got some great places here, there aren’t many places that are on that list.
“But obviously some people will want to travel abroad. There are still a small number of countries on that green list. If they want to do that they can, but obviously they will have to understand there are risks in doing so as well.”
While official government guidance says ministers ‘continue to advise against all non-essential travel to some countries and territories’, that doesn’t include all countries and there are still some on the ‘green list’.
The government’s website says: “The Covid-19 pandemic continues to affect international travel.
“No travel is risk-free, and many countries have closed their borders or restricted entry to UK travellers.
“Any country may further restrict travel or bring in new rules at short notice, for example due to a new Covid-19 variant.”
According to reports this morning, the easing of lockdown restrictions on June 21st could be delayed by two weeks following the latest Covid-19 data and news of the Delta variant.
England’s chief medical officer, Chris Witty, and chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance delivered a ‘downbeat’ briefing expressing concerns about the transmission rate of new strains of Covid-19, as well as vaccination not being able to give 100% protection, the Times reports.
According to a cabinet source that spoke to the Times, the easing of restrictions could be between ‘two weeks and a month’.