The concept was developed by 35-year-old Abi Purser who opened the first hotel in Welwyn Garden City in 2010 in response to the “poor standard of care offered by most catteries in the UK”.
Gill Reynolds, 54, has set up the business in the back garden of her home in a leafy part of the town overlooking Alban Way, where there are plenty of birds and squirrels to keep the guests entertained. She explains: “I came across Longcroft when I needed somewhere for my two cats to stay and was so impressed by how special it was I knew straight away that I would love to run a business just like it.”
The custom-built five-star accommodation is made up of six individually decorated bedroom suites designed around the feline guests’ wellbeing and their owners’ peace of mind. Every detail has been meticulously planned with hygiene, safety and, above all, luxury in mind.
Longcroft is small for a reason, Gill explains: “You can only give a great service with small numbers, particularly when what we are offering is a far cry from just a feeding and cleaning exercise.”
From wrought iron designer cat beds with soft pillows and gourmet ‘A La Cat’ menus served on bone china, to mood music and personal grooming sessions, the guests at this hotel are in for a real treat.
As well as living her dream of looking after cats, Gill says that the business will also provide a useful supplement to her pension.