CONTROVERSIAL tourist lodges at Warwick Castle will provide a major economic boost to the district say bosses.
The 28 new year-round medieval-themed woodland lodges form part of the £5million Knight’s Village which also includes 41 seasonal glamping tents.
The lodges come three years after the first glamping accommodation opened, and two years after the launch of two year-round luxury Tower Suites in the castle itself. The lodges means more than 300 guests can stay overnight daily at Warwick Castle during the summer months.
Castle bosses say the new lodges, as well as directly creating 50 new jobs, will also economically benefit the district by an estimated £2.1million a year through guests visiting surrounding towns.
Castle divisional director Nick Blofeld said: “We’re evolving as a world-class visitor destination and now offer a more compelling experience than ever before, putting Warwick firmly on the tourism map.
“Our all-year woodland lodge and Tower Suite accommodation, in addition to our seasonal Medieval Glamping, significantly upgrades the diversity and quantity of guest beds offered in Warwickshire.”
Helen Peters, Chief Executive of Shakespeare’s England, also welcomed the new accommodation.
She added: “Warwickshire was recently named as one of Lonely Planet’s Top 10 destinations in Europe – the new Knight’s Village at Warwick Castle further increases the appeal of Warwick as a tourist destination and ensures the region is well placed to capitalise on the interest that this accolade has generated.”
But not everyone is pleased to see the lodges. The Warwick Society and a number of neighbouring residents fought the application claiming Merlin Entertainments, which runs the castle, was turning it into a theme park.
The society argued the site of the lodges was among the most historic landscapes in England, with the same status and protection as Grade 1 listed buildings, and should be treated as such.
The lodges – Woodland Lodge or Knight’s Lodge – feature non-medieval luxuries such as cable tv, wi-fi and even a wet room. A Saturday night stay in a Knight’s Lodge later this month would cost a family of five just under £500.