Longcroft Luxury Cat Hotels are the world's first 5-star catteries. Launched by Abi Purser in response to the fact that she could not find a premium cattery in her area for her own beloved cat Norman, the first boutique cat hotel opened in Welwyn Garden City in 2010. The huge success has lead to the launch of several Longcroft franchises across London and the South East, including one in our home town, Margate! We chatted to hotel owner, Judith, all about opening the first Longcroft Hotel in Kent and how it all got started...
Special guests The Mayor of Margate, Cllr. Robin Edwards, Abi Purser (founder) , Judith Andrews (hotel owner) and Mayoress Mrs Dorothy Collins (left to right)
Can you tell us a little bit about Longcroft in your own words?
Longcroft is an innovative, multi award winning franchise business operating 25 luxury cat hotels in England and Wales. The luxury group was founded in 2010 by female entrepreneur Abi Purser. Every decision at Longcroft is centered around animal welfare and every hotel offers a high human to guest ratio. Our tailored approach includes owner requirements such as special diets, or expert care for diabetic guests or kittens loving extra play and regular and often feeding. We also ensure we keep our owners happy by sending regular updates and photographs.
Longcroft Margate offers just 6 thermostatically controlled suites. Each suite offers a spacious bedroom, beautifully equipped with a wrought iron bed and soft bedding, leading to a safe play area offering a three-storey play centre with sunbathing platforms allowing our guests plenty of space to relax, explore and play. We offer peace of mind to all cat owners when they go away, by providing a tailored, home-from-home experience for our feline guests.
Snooze time in the temperature controlled suite
How long have you been running the cat hotel & how did you get started?
Chris and I are the proud owners of Longcroft Margate, we live here with our own 4 cats; Angel, Buzz, George and Peaches. I have been a cat lover from a very young age, my first cat Sidney would always wait by the school gates and would walk me home!
After nearly 30 years’ working in banking and insurance, I was offered redundancy and so my husband and I decided to use the opportunity to take the plunge and open our own Longcroft hotel. Longcroft Margate opened in May 2017.
We were inspired by a family friend who had taken the plunge and opened her own Longcroft hotel the year before … it seemed perfect timing for us and we can’t believe how special the hotel is.
What is your favourite thing about running the hotel?
Every day brings something new and exciting as each feline guest has their own unique personality and needs. With just 6 suites we are able to offer every guest a tailored stay and their owners exceptional service and loving care in our stunning hotel by the sea.
Recently, we have seen a huge surge in customers looking for a safe and caring place to leave their kittens. Kittens have proved purrrfect playmates in many families who have been spending more time at home and have provided a mental boost for many during the recent lockdowns. We are perfectly placed to offer a caring, home-from-home environment for every feline guest that stays with us, whether they’re a rambunctious, playful kitten, or a senior feline with particular medical needs.
Just one of the luxurious wrought iron beds on offer!
We love your A-La-Cat menu! What is the most popular item?
It’s fabulous isn’t it! We find that the Longcroft lean is really popular with our guests. It’s hand prepared and cut into tiny morsels!
We know you're all about adding some luxury to the life of our feline friends, do you think it is important to pamper your pet every once in a while?
We pamper our own cats all the time, so pampering our guests is just something that we love to do! At Longcroft, animal welfare is at the heart of everything we do so, pampering for our guests would mean a morning of birdwatching, bathing in pools of sunlight from the comfort of their private exercise area then perhaps a spot of organic chicken followed with an afternoon of feather play finished off with lots of cuddles and head bops before they are safely tucked up in bed for the evening.
A spot of bird watching
What tips would you give to the owners of an anxious cat who are looking into their boarding options?
Do your research, look at reviews, call the cat hotel directly and chat to the person that will be taking care of your cat. Longcroft are incredibly selective in choosing the right hotel owners to run their hotels which ensures a high level of service and consistency. If there are any nervous cat owners or cats out there feel free to call me and I will happily chat through what we offer here at Longcroft Margate. We’re also happy for people to visit our hotel so they can meet me and see our lovely surroundings.
Enjoying play time!
Has covid affected your business and the way you operate?
Covid has surely had an impact on our business. We have had over a year of uncertainty, particularly as international travel is going to be one of the last things to return to any kind of normality. We have remained on the ball and agile and have put lots of new covid safe processes in place such as “Virtual Viewings” for our customers to view our hotels from the comfort of their homes. We also adopted a contactless check in and check out process. We also consulted with the BVA ( British Veterinary Association) and our Head Vet to ensure our hygiene protocols remain the most effective and safest in the industry.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Feel free to get in touch for a friendly cat chat or to arrange a viewing … either virtually or in person of our beautiful cat hotel on 01843 636033 or firstname.lastname@example.org . We wish you and your favourite felines many happy holidays!
A huge thank you to Judith for taking the time to chat with us today! We absolutely love Longcroft and their luxurious stays for our feline friends. Keep your eyes peeled over on the Longcroft Blog for an exciting giveaway featuring one of our best selling cat collars!