I am a big fan of mini breaks, and usually take the cats along with me. But this time… I guess after months of being stuck indoors and woken up at five o clock sharp everyday, I needed a little time away from both the house and the cats.
Usually we’ll ask a friend to watch them, but this time we decided to try out a friend’s new venture – The Tortoise Shell, a boutique cat hotel in the northern suburbs.
The owner loves cats and has plenty of her own. The cat hotel was a dream in the making, and it shows in the care and the detail she’s put in.
Princess Kate and Hannibal stayed in Calico Cottage, a completely enclosed garden cottage with two patios and real grass. The interior features a bunk bed, with a secret hidey hole underneath for extra privacy and an owl’s nest in the roof if the guests really want some time apart. A sliding door opens up onto one patio with tree stump, grass, viewing decks and windows. There is a walkway to the second patio which has grass and a privacy kennel.
Amenities include two litter boxes, a water fountain, food bowls, comfy cushions, a cat bed in the hidey hole and calming music and mist on arrival. When you book you can also choose free ‘activities’ like catnip, boxes, crinkly paper and brushing – I only signed up for three but got all four.
And the best part about the experience is that the hotel is equipped with motion sensor cameras. On arrival you receive a link where you can check in on your cats throughout their stay. Mine spent most of their long weekend sleeping, which wasn’t surprising at all.
As much as I would love for my cats to be world famous influencers, they are not, and the stay was fully paid for. The rates are extremely reasonable, and the owner is the gentlest and kindest soul you will ever meet. She even won over Princess Kate, who is so feisty she will bite and slap anyone, even (especially) me.
I would highly recommend The Tortoise Shell for your fur babies. Knowing they were in good hands meant I could completely check out over my holiday and get some proper R&R.
Check them out here.