After 10 successful years filled with an abundance of tiny paws, a multitude of cat cuddles, hundreds of 5 star reviews and a new life ahead of her, Gill Reynolds, the hotel owner of award winning boutique Longcroft Luxury Cat Hotel St Albans is hanging up her feather wagglers and retiring to pastures new. Her beautiful hotel based in Longacres, St Albans was the first franchised hotel for Longcroft and opened shortly after the founding hotel in Welwyn Garden City.Gill recalls her decision to open her own Longcroft cat hotel:
“I can honestly say it was a true ‘light bulb’ moment! I always said I would end up looking after hundreds of cats but wasn’t sure how I was going to do it … and then I met Longcroft founder Abi! I visited Abi with a view to boarding my two kittens at her hotel in Welwyn Garden City and came away thinking ‘I’ve got to do this!’. I’ve always been quite an impulsive person and I knew straight away this was how I was going to realise my dream. I only wish I had met Abi a few years earlier!’
I have loved running my own business. I have been a huge cat lover all my life, so this has been a dream come true for me. It is of course a huge responsibility and commitment, one that I don’t take lightly. But to know Abi and her team are always waiting in the wings, should I have any issues, is very reassuring. Everyone is always intrigued to learn more when I tell them I run a luxury cat hotel – it’s definitely a great conversation starter!”
“The highlights without doubt are being able to look after such gorgeous kitties and to meet all their lovely owners. Over time I have built up a special relationship with my customers. It has been so worthwhile and rewarding to provide such reassurance for them when they go away. Although it is a 24/7 commitment, I have loved the flexibility of not being tied to an office from 9 to 5. The fact that I can do my job from the comfort of my own back garden has been especially appealing.
All cats are individual and I love to see their personalities come out once they get to know me. It is very rewarding to see the shy cats come in, become at ease with me in their luxury surroundings and then go home full of confidence.
Taking the decision to retire was a real dilemma. I can’t believe the years have gone by so quickly! My husband is semi-retiring and, coupled with the fact that we now have a little holiday home in Norfolk, I think the time is right to start a new adventure in my life. I will miss my furry guests and their lovely owners so much, but I will definitely keep in touch with many of them.
I would like to thank all my lovely customers for giving me the opportunity to look after their precious fur babies over the past years. I can’t stress enough how immensely enjoyable and pleasurable it has been for me. I have loved every single guest (even the one or two that haven’t loved me back!). This has truly been my dream job and, although I am sad it is coming to an end, I will remember you all with great love and affection.”
Abi Purser, Founding Director of Longcroft:
“It has been a privilege to work with Gill since she opened Longcroft St Albans. She has truly flown the flag for us over the last 10 years, has been a fabulous cat lady, and I only wish I’d found her sooner! Gill has shown great dedication to Longcroft and huge loyalty and love for her customers and of course all her furry guests over the years. She is as natural with people as she is with her feline friends. I can’t thank Gill enough for being such a hard working and inspirational member of the Longcroft family, and for being so supportive to the team. I will miss her dearly and wish her every success in the future!”
Although customers are sure to miss Gill, they can rest assured that we at Longcroft can still answer their needs for five-star accommodation for their beloved cats. Longcroft has a number of hotels near St Albans, including Welwyn, Cuffley, Cole Green, Barnet, Letchworth, Luton, Flitwick and Tring. Every hotel offers the same impeccable standard of accommodation, with owners who are dedicated to offering the very highest level of feline care.
Call 020 3887 2443 with any enquiries or view our locations at https://www.longcroftcathotel.co.uk/hotels/
Could you join the Longcroft family?
Here at Longcroft, we would be delighted to hear from anyone who would be interested in continuing Gill’s legacy in St Albans and opening a hotel in the area. To find out more about running your own Longcroft franchise, call 020 3887 2443.