Lookout Lodge

Lookout Lodge

ZSL Whipsnade Zoo Whipsnade, Dunstable LU6 2LF England
Traveller (223)
Welcome drink out of the rain.
Room & Suite (37)
Dining (9)

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5.0
#1 of 1 lodge in Dunstable
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Location
4.9 of 5 bubbles
Cleanliness
4.8 of 5 bubbles
Service
4.7 of 5 bubbles
Value
A once in a lifetime opportunity to experience ZSL Whipsnade Zoo as no-one else gets to see it. This is your chance to sleep next to our white rhinos and find out what our animals get up to at night. Led by our experienced host team, you will be taken to visit some of our animals and find out all about what they like to get up to once all our visitors go home. After refueling with a delicious dinner you will have the option to explore on a torchlight walk to who likes to stay up late and who has already gone to bed!
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Property amenities
Free parking
Free breakfast
Restaurant
Breakfast buffet
Complimentary Instant Coffee
Walking tours
Non-smoking hotel
Outdoor furniture
Complimentary tea
Complimentary welcome drink
Kids' meals
Special diet menus
Wine / champagne
Room types
Non-smoking rooms
Family rooms
Good to know
HOTEL STYLE
Family
119Reviews6Q+A23Room tips
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Detailed Reviews
Tony C wrote a review Apr 2022
Chalgrove, United Kingdom3 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Fabulous - highly recommended. Here's why. Not only do you get to see the usual sights as a visitor to the Zoo, you then get a closed door insight into the animals from some very clued up Keepers. Some of our highlights were seeing Chimps using tools to get food which had fallen outside their enclosure, Lemurs running past you - much closer than you will experience during the daytime scheduled sessions - getting within feet of the Rhinos when they are in their sleeping quarters and an altogether much more personal experience. Our Guides were exceptional, and we came away with far more knowledge of what ZSL does than we would have done on a "normal" visit. You get fed, they had thoughtfully turned on the heating whilst we were out on our evening session (foolishly we turned it down on our return, so it was a bit chilly later on. The Lodge was clean and had everything we needed. If I have one criticism, it was that the breakfast was not particularly warm, and that included the coffee. However, it did not overly detract from the experience, and we would certainly do it again, despite this being our second time.
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Date of stay: April 2022
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
4.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from Visitor Experiences Team Leader, Guest Services / Front Office at Lookout Lodge
Responded 17 May 2022
Thank you for taking time to review your Lookout Lodge experience, and I'm really pleased to hear that you enjoyed your visit. We would like to thank you for your visit and staying with us, because by taking part you make a direct contribution to our field activities and maintaining the threatened species in our zoos. Through your stay you also help us provide training and technical assistance to other conservation groups and individuals in many countries around the world!
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carol O wrote a review Aug 2021
3 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
An amazing time with our grandchildren!!! we all enjoyed it so much ,lodge was fun very clean, Children thought they were on an adventure ,food and staff were wonderful very helpful very informative .As we all the reviews below could not fault our stay !!!!
Every grandparent, should enjoy the experience with there grandchildren.

Thank you to everyone who made it so special .
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Date of stay: August 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Julie S wrote a review Sept 2023
2 contributions3 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
We really enjoyed our overnight stay in one of the lookout lodges. All 3 of the tours were great! The guides Lisa, Liv, Hannah and Joel were knowledgable, professional and kept everyone entertained and engaged. It was great to be in the zoo after it had closed and before it opened. Having the wallabies hop about around us on the way to the bathroom block in the morning was lovely. We arrived at the zoo when it opened on the day of check in and stayed until it closed the day after.
Our 6 year old had an amazing time as did we. The torch lit tour finished at 21:45 which is late for the little ones but they all did well (largely thanks to the guides keeping them engaged) and the staff can rescue anyone who is struggling so don’t let that put you off.
The food was great, We were happy with the choices for dinner and the breakfast exceeded our expectations. It consisted of a tasty freshly cooked full English with cereal, fruit and pastries. You’d have to be quite fussy to complain about it! The service in the restaurant was efficient and friendly.

The lodge was comfortable and perfect for the 1 night stay. It would have been nice to have a bit more time around the lodge, check in at 16:30, out for the 1st tour at 18:00, not back until 21:45 and then check out at 07:30 before breakfast. The early morning around the lodges was my favourite part of the experience, the morning mist rolling over the Chilterns with playful wallabies hopping about was magical.

We will definitely do this again, will wait until our little one is old enough to do one of the “meet the…” experiences. We saw people on the meet the giraffe experience and it looked great. Hoping to do this next time!
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Date of stay: August 2023
5.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
Trip type: Travelled with family
Room Tip: Good value, 3 tours, an overnight stay and 2 meals included in the price. Be prepared for a...
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from Visitor Experiences Team Leader, Guest Services / Front Office at Lookout Lodge
Responded 26 Sept 2023
We're so glad to hear you had an enjoyable stay at Lookout Lodge. Thank you for taking the time to leave us a review and we will pass on your feedback to your guides.
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JaneAliceBell wrote a review Oct 2023
NorfolkUK116 contributions7 helpful votes
+1
3.0 of 5 bubbles
An overnight glamping experience in the zoo had the potential to be just what we needed before winter. We set off from Norfolk in sunshine but it was grey when we arrived at mid-day. We made the best of it exploring by car before check in, retiring to the wonderful aquarium when the rain started.
It was raining and blowing hard at 4.30, so we had our welcome drink in the lodge. Four hardy couples, well wrapped up
then met Amy and Joel for our sunset walk to dinner. The rain was torrential, we spent a good time in the rhino house but the walking was very unpleasant. Amy and Joel were joined by Hannah when we had dinner at Basecamp restaurant. It was very welcome and delicious. We two 75 year olds declined the torchlight second walk and were given a lift to our lodge which was a great refuge with a heater and decent beds. We did go to breakfast (in our car which we had retrieved from the car park first thing). It was a very good breakfast but with sodden wet outer clothing and poor conditions for photography we decided to miss the final walk and st off for home.
The keepers did their best but a contingency plan for very wet conditions needs to be drawn up:
1. The walks between sites of interest - could we not have driven?
2. Somewhere to dry clothing overnight ?
3. Not having to leave cars in car park the other side of the public loo/shower block which was itself quite a distance from the lodge compound away in torrential rain.
Amy, Joel and Hannah did a good job in very trying circumstances, a big thank you to them !!
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Date of stay: October 2023
3.0 of 5 bubblesValue
4.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
4.0 of 5 bubblesService
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from Visitor Experiences Team Leader, Guest Services / Front Office at Lookout Lodge
Responded 24 Oct 2023
Thank you for taking the time to leave us a review of your Lookout Lodge experience. We are pleased to hear that you enjoyed your experience, and Amy, Joel and Hannah did a good job in tough circumstances. We are really sorry that the torrential rain caused some disappointment, and we will take your recommendations on board. Once again, many thanks for staying at Lookout Lodge and helping to contribute to ZSL's conservation work.
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Adam M wrote a review Aug 2023
London, England, United Kingdom19 contributions18 helpful votes
+1
2.0 of 5 bubbles
I waited to see what kind of response I got of ZSL on the below email and as I got a very poor response and been over a week for a replay thought best to post. First off, the tours were great and can’t thank the staff enough we had an amazing time with them but;

> The lodges the pillows are shocking and when you don’t have the comfiest of environments having completely flat and useless pillows is not great for a night sleep.
>
> The showers and toilets, really surprised these where the public toilets and that the cleaning is so poor, makes you really not want to shower and brush your teeth, even more so when there is a big sign saying no drinking water. I would have expected the lodges to have private facilities that were clean.
>
> The base camp cafe, the evening menu was terrible for choice, the service wasn’t great, lots of incorrect food being delivered and the food that did come was also terrible, dry and didn’t taste great, sorry I can’t say anything positive about this and just see the toilets picture. That was the same in the evening and morning for breakfast, disgusting doesn’t cut it. This massively let down the whole experience and just isn’t acceptable. Even to point at breakfast we couldn't get a coffee until breakfast had been served as not enough staff.
>
> This is an expensive night and these thing don’t need to happen.
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Date of stay: August 2023Trip type: Travelled with family
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from Visitor Experiences Team Leader, Guest Services / Front Office at Lookout Lodge
Responded 26 Sept 2023
Thank you for taking the time to feedback about your experience at Lookout Lodge. I understand from our designated feedback team that you have been in communication with them regarding the issues that you encountered during your stay and that we have agreed a resolution. If you have any further comments regarding this resolution please do reach back out to our team. Many thanks.
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lindaandsteve2014 wrote a review Sept 2021
Doncaster, United Kingdom52 contributions35 helpful votes
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Family visit with me, my partner,my son and daughter in law and 3 grandchildren. The lodges are compact but comfortable and spotless with all you need for an overnight. The shower and toilet block close by was nothing special but adequate.
Our guides walked us round lots of animals, bongos, rhinos, flamingos and chimpanzees telling us lots about their behaviour natural habitat and how the species were doing in the wild and their knowledge is very impressive. There were a lot of young children in our group and we enjoyed seeing them all so excited and full of questions.
The walk back in the dark was exciting for the children and we learned lots more on the way back to the lodges.
After breakfast we fed wild boar and the brown bear. We did the lemurs walk through and watched them feeding.
Our time with the keepers and animals was fantastic.
Unfortunately not everything was good. The evening meal was frankly awful. A small piece of very dry chicken with a big pile of kale that was so undercooked that you couldn't get your fork in a lot of it The child's meals were tiny, 6 chips is not enough for a 12 year olds dinner!.
Breakfast was better but service was really slow. I was a bit jealous when I saw the hot chocolate with cream that was delivered to the keepers when I had asked if we could have lattes and was told we would get a black coffee with a jug of milk.
We did this experience a couple of years ago and the catering was excellent, I am sure covid will be blamed and I get that as a reason for less choice and the changes in breakfast service but it's not an excuse for poor quality food and tiny portions .
Considering this cost almost a thousand pounds for the 7 of us we expected better.
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Date of stay: September 2021Trip type: Travelled with family
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Kez wrote a review May 2022
10 contributions2 helpful votes
+1
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Before I start I want to say the lodge was amazing and slept like a baby and the tour guides were wonderful! The food was great and catering staff were lovely too.
However we were disappointed with the choosing of animals on our tour.

1st tour Africa and asian- bongo, Rhinos, (giraffe by accident while waiting for people), hunting dogs (no show) chimps, red panda. Where were the lions? The elephants? The hippos? These are the species you expect to see when told your taking a tour round Africa. When I asked of we would see them I just got told there not on the tour. But why? If there's a reason then fair enough!

2nd tour midnight wall- tiger (could of stood in a better spot but they insisted on starting on this platform which took us further away form the tigers and as it was getting dark it meant it was harder to see them. Why couldn't we of stayed by the fence where we could clearly see them? or looked at them before tea), flamingos, ostrich (they said to move on as they weren't active and we were running late), scimitar oryx. We didn't find much point to this tour we was very disappointing as this was the main reason I wanted to go. Thought we would see the more active animals at night. Not birds and goats. I asked about seeing the hippos which we walked past but was told no not on the tour. Why???

3rd tour Europe- lemurs (no fault here they were great!), lynx (no show), boars, rockhooper penguines (only 1 due to nesting) again I was hoping for more exciting animals as at this point I feel I could of just bought a normal visitor ticket and seen the exact same animals and information.

Unfortunately we just didn't think the tours were anything special we could of seen these animals by ourselves and paid much much less for it!
For so much money for one night I'd hope to be shown something special that I wouldn't see on my own or at least more well know animals like lions and elephants and hippos!
This could all be solved by writing what animals are on the tour before buying the experience.
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Date of stay: May 2022Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from Visitor Experiences Team Leader, Guest Services / Front Office at Lookout Lodge
Responded 17 May 2022
Thank you so much for taking time to review your stay at Lookout Lodge. I am sorry to hear that your Lookout Lodge experience wasn't quite what you hoped for. We don't advertise the exact animals visited on our tours as this is always subject to change last minute, however our visitor experience team will always visit as many animals as possible to ensure the best stay possible. If you would like to discuss further, please do get in touch with us on experienceenquiries@zsl.org
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Sandra M wrote a review Sept 2023
2 contributions
+1
5.0 of 5 bubbles
I visited the lookout lodges with my niece, having visiting previously with my Husband. I am a regular at Whipsnade and having already stayed overnight I thought I already knew all about the Zoo, so this was just for my Niece.
How wrong I was!! The full evening was just as magical as the first time I stayed and I heard lots of information from our amazing hosts (Laura, Liv and Hannah) that I hadn't heard before, and visited some of the animals that we would normally just walk past. Which was lovely.
The lodge is cosy and comfortable and even having to leave the lodge in the middle of the night to use the bathroom was magical!
The tours are well thought out and planned, with the hosts keeping us to time perfectly. We loved all of the tours but enjoyed the torchlight tour the most as it was great to see some of the more elusive animals. And to experience the Zoo at night.
The food was delicious - especially the breakfast, and the staff in the restaurant were all friendly and professional.
We stayed at the Zoo the following day as I had booked a Meet the Giraffes experience for my Niece as an extra treat. She loved it and the host Scott was excellent, he moved between groups passing knowledge but also gave her plenty of time just to be with the Giraffe she was feeding.
I would definitely recommend these experiences - it was a perfect treat for my niece and I.
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Date of stay: August 2023
5.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
Trip type: Travelled with family
Room Tip: If you like fluffy pillows take one of your own - you can always leave it in your car afterwards
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from Visitor Experiences Team Leader, Guest Services / Front Office at Lookout Lodge
Responded 26 Sept 2023
Thank you for taking the time to leave us a review, we are so pleased to hear you enjoyed your stay at Lookout Lodge. Once again, thank you for staying at Lookout Lodge, and helping to contribute to ZSL's conservation work.
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Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Bosley77 wrote a review 11 Jun
Lugano, Switzerland5 contributions8 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
We had a great stay at the Lookout Lodge Whipsnade Zoo. Lucy, Lisa and Laura were fantastic with their amazing knowledge of the animals. We saw so many animals that would usually be more elusive during the day on our sunset, torchlight and early morning tours. The hosts know where the animals are most likely to be seen at dusk and early in the morning. We loved seeing the animals at these different times of day and as well as seeing free roaming wallabies and mara we also spotted a badger walking through the giraffe paddock late at night. It was special knowing we were the only people walking around at those times, felt very privileged! The lodge was cosy and had everything we needed with the toilets and showers nearby. Everything was very clean and comfortable. Dinner was wonderful too with good portions and compliments to the chef for the most delicious vegan chocolate torte I've ever had! We enjoyed seeing the animals the following day at Whipsnade and loved the Bird of the World display-not to be missed! Thanks for an amazing stay.
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Date of stay: June 2024
5.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
5.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Room Tip: It does get chilly at night so make sure you have an extra layer, even during the summer.
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
James B wrote a review Aug 2023
5 contributions
+1
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Amazing experience. I have been to the zoo a few times and it's a great zoo really well looked after. The lookout lodge experience is amazing from Start to finish. The lodges have all you need for a one night stay and then the tours are great with the staff doing really well to remember all the information and answer questions. I want to do it all again!
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Date of stay: August 2023
4.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from Visitor Experiences Team Leader, Guest Services / Front Office at Lookout Lodge
Responded 26 Sept 2023
Thank you for staying at Lookout Lodge, and we are pleased to hear you had a great time, and want to come back again! We look forward to welcoming you again in the future!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Dani A asked a question Feb 2024
Didcot, United Kingdom2 contributions1 helpful vote
Has anyone ordered a birthday cake and if so how big was it and what was it like?
London, United Kingdom7 contributions
Hi Becky, Thank you for your question to our Zoo-box, I am thrilled to hear you have booked onto our one of our Lodge stays. We are excited to welcome you. If you are no longer able to attend the date booked, this can be amended with up to 2 months notice. If you would like to do this please call our friendly team on 0207 449 6200. I hope this been of assistance , if you have any more questions please do not hesitate to contact us. We'll get back to you faster than a cheetah. Roaring Regards, The ZSL Team
Raj A asked a question Sept 2018
Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom16 contributions
Hi, would people recommend spending the second day at London Zoo or staying at Whipsnade Zoo?
Answer from Alan H
Wymondham, United Kingdom215 contributions121 helpful votes
I would definitely stay at Whipsnade. Loads to see and do over two days - we barely managed to fit everything in.
Answer from Experiences M
Hi CJH70, the toilet and shower block is a short 30 metre walk from the lodges. There are 2 men's showers and 2 ladies showers. These are each in separate cubicles and towels and toiletries are provided.
Bosley77 wrote a tip 11 Jun
Lugano, Switzerland5 contributions8 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"It does get chilly at night so make sure you have an extra layer, even during the summer."
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rebecca r wrote a tip May 2024
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"The Mara and Wallabies have not escapers they roaming free "
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Iain A wrote a tip May 2024
Lancaster, United Kingdom169 contributions111 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"We went for birthday and ordered a birthday cake but ate to much dinner to eat any of it; so it came home. But it looks fabulous"
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Voyager39196517826 wrote a tip Oct 2023
Hazlemere, United Kingdom2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"Take good footwear and dress for the fact that this is on a ridge edge so can be cool and windy."
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mia n wrote a tip Oct 2023
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"Wrap up warm. "
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LOCATION
United KingdomEnglandBedfordshireDunstableRegent's Park / Kings Cross
NUMBER OF ROOMS
9
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LOOKOUT LODGE - Reviews (Dunstable, England)

Frequently Asked Questions about Lookout Lodge
Which popular attractions are close to Lookout Lodge?
Nearby attractions include Locked Escape Rooms (4.7 km), Mead Open Farm (6.8 km), and College Lake Nature Reserve (7.4 km).
What are some of the property amenities at Lookout Lodge?
Some of the more popular amenities offered include free breakfast, an on-site restaurant, and free parking.
What food & drink options are available at Lookout Lodge?
Guests can enjoy free breakfast, an on-site restaurant, and complimentary tea during their stay.
Is parking available at Lookout Lodge?
Yes, free parking is available to guests.
What are some restaurants close to Lookout Lodge?
Conveniently located restaurants include Vantage Indian Restaurant, Lumpini Thai Restaurant, and Chez Jerome Restaurant.
Are there any historical sites close to Lookout Lodge?
Many travellers enjoy visiting Aldbury Stocks (6.2 km) and Church of St Mary the Virgin (4.3 km).
Is Lookout Lodge accessible?
Yes, it offers wheelchair access. For specific enquiries, we recommend calling ahead to confirm.
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