Anybody can make a romantic event with Champagne and rose petals, but one French zoo is shaking things up a bit by offering a luxury getaway with Champagne, fine food, and a couple polar bears.
According to The Local, a zoo in the French city of La Fleche has opened up a romantic lodge with a fireplace and windows looking into the enclosure of Taiko the polar bear, allowing tourists to have “a night at home with the bear” for about 200 euros or $250 a night.
For the money, guests get to enjoy Champagne on ice; a high-end, “gastronomic” dinner; and huge bay windows attached to the enclosure of two polar bears who will swim for their enjoyment, or possibly just ignore them all night.
Adding hotel facilities to the zoo has been a way to drum up interest and increase the zoo's earnings, which had been flagging as people seemed to lose interest in merely visiting exotic animals for the day and going home without Champagne or dinner. Since the overnight lodge opened, it has reportedly been wildly successful, and the zoo staff says the polar bear enclosure and another, Asian-themed one overlooking some tigers have been booked solid for months.
Zoo owner Stephane Da Cunha said, "The idea is that visitors feel like they're in a cocoon suspended in time, totally immersed in the animal environment."