Booking a hotel room is usually a treat in itself but now a Canadian hotel is offering guests a unique thrill: the chance to sleep among lions.
At Quebec’s Hôtel de la Cité Perdue, the lion experience begins at reception, where guests will be greeted by the kings of the jungle behind a glass wall.
Twenty lions reside at the hotel and from the comfort and safety of their hotel rooms guests will be able to see the creatures enjoying freedom in the grounds. Indeed, it will be hard to miss the animals as guests will effectively be surrounded. “There are lions on both sides of the hotel,” explained co-owner Tommy Gagnon in an interview with Narcity Québec.
Gagnon is also President and co-owner of the nearby recreational park called Atlantide Complexe, which boasts Canada’s largest campsite, waterslides, inflatable games and refuge for 400 native and non-native species. He won funding 2 million dollars of Quebec government funding for the project in 2020, with the aim of bringing jobs and tourists to the area. Tourism is Quebec’s fifth biggest industry.
Initially the refuge was intended to be for Canadian species. According to Gagnon, Covid-19 protocols prevented the refuge from sterilising the lions which were kept one male to two females.
Eight brown lions and 12 white lions live at the 83-room which is situated about 90 km north-west of Montreal in the Lanaudiere region. The animals are from the Familizoo refuge on-site. They were born in captivity and cannot be returned to the wild.
The hotel treats its lions like its guests. “We aim to offer these animals the best possible life,” says the website.
We provide a suitable habitat, good nutrition, care and enrichment.Tommy Gagnon, co-owner of Hôtel de la Cité Perdue
Familizoo’s mission, according to the hotel website is to “to inform the general public about the importance of conserving the fauna and flora that make up our great natural resources, as well as the protection of animal species throughout the world.”
As well as promoting animal welfare and peaceful cohabitation, the pride at the Familizoo acts as a place of conservation of genetic material for biodiversity.
The long-anticipated hotel will open on June 23rd 2023 and reservations are already being taken on the website starting from 250 dollars (170 euros) a night. Ground floor rooms are pricier for an up-close experience with the kings of the jungle. It’s not known whether the lions speak English or French, but let’s just hope they are not loud snorers.