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Luxury Longcroft cat hotel with 'climate controlled bedrooms' opens in Bury St Edmunds




A new luxury 'hotel for cats' has opened in Bury St Edmunds.

The 'five-star' boutique hotel is run by cat lover Lady Lorna Belhaven in the spacious grounds of her eight acre Suffolk estate in Drinkstone.

According to the owner, each of the hotel's eight suites has its own 'climate-controlled bedroom', leading to a 'private, safe, garden play area, complete with multi-storey viewing platforms for feline guests to play or relax'.

Feline guest relaxing in a wrought iron cat bed.
Feline guest relaxing in a wrought iron cat bed.

The cat hotel was opened by West Suffolk Council leader, John Griffiths, on Saturday.

Lady Lorna, who moved to Suffolk two years ago from Somerset, said: “I live with my husband Freddie, who runs his business from home, as well as our gorgeous two British Shorthair cats, Poodles and Bluebelle, who most definitely rule the roost.

"For many years I lived in the centre of London and was self-employed as a property developer and landlord.

Lady Lorna presents the hamper to Margaret Spratt of Cats Protection Bury St Edmunds, with Cllr John Griffiths MBE and Longcroft Founder Abi Purser.
Lady Lorna presents the hamper to Margaret Spratt of Cats Protection Bury St Edmunds, with Cllr John Griffiths MBE and Longcroft Founder Abi Purser.

"I've been a life-long cat lover but was unable to have cats for many years when I lived in London. A month after getting married and moving to the country, our gorgeous two cats joined us.

"I now fully embrace country life and I’m so excited about opening the cat hotel."

Lady Lorna has opened the cat hotel under the Longcroft Luxury Cat Hotel franchise which oversees 25 similar hotels around the country.

She discovered the company when searching for suitable holiday accommodation for her two cats.

“When it came to finding somewhere for Poodles and Bluebelle when we went away, I was extremely disappointed by the vast majority of catteries available, and was uncomfortable leaving them in an environment that I felt was not caring enough," said Lady Belhaven.

Cutting the Ribbon: Cllr John Griffiths MBE (centre) joins Lady Lorna Belhaven ( left) and Longcroft Founder Abi Purser (2nd left).
Cutting the Ribbon: Cllr John Griffiths MBE (centre) joins Lady Lorna Belhaven ( left) and Longcroft Founder Abi Purser (2nd left).
But then I read an article Longcroft and a light went off in my head.

"This was exactly what I wanted to be able to offer to other people who feel the same as I do, who want to be able to leave their beloved cats, knowing they will be looked after with love and the highest level of care and expertise.”

According to Longcroft, the hotel is already receiving bookings as it is 'answers a surge in demand' that the UK has seen since the Covid pandemic - with a rise in pet ownership nationwide.

Longcroft Bury St Edmunds is described as set in more than 'eight acres of gardens with stunning, far reaching views over the glorious surrounding countryside.'

It is also set in a 'quiet, rural site - conveniently located just five minutes from the A14 and 15 minutes from Bury St Edmunds."

Prices range from £18 a night for one cat to £54 a night for four cats.

On Saturday afternoon Lorna and her husband Freddie welcomed local residents, customers and friends to the opening of thehotel.

They were also joined by representatives from charity Cats Protection, including Margaret Spratt of the Bury St Edmunds branch, to whom Lady Lorna donated a lovely cat hamper to be raffled for the worthy cause.

Lady Lorna, said: “What a purrrfect day we had."

Longcroft was founded in 2010 by Abi Purser, who opened the first hotel in Welwyn Garden City.

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