Cou­ple’s lux­ury ho­tel for pets

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Busi­ness Kent Up­date - By Molly Mile­hamChap­pell

A cou­ple have opened a new cat ho­tel, al­low­ing pets to also en­joy the ‘suite’ life while their own­ers are away.

Dar­ren Songhurst, with help from his wife Natalie, has cre­ated Ho­tel Kitty, a 16-room lux­ury tim­ber cabin specif­i­cally for fluffy fe­lines.

Each room holds up to three cats and fea­tures toys, games, cat scratch­ers and a flap which leads to an out­side bal­cony cage, so house cats can still safely en­joy some fresh air.

“We set up Ho­tel Kitty to cre­ate some­thing a bit dif­fer­ent for cat own­ers,” said Dar­ren, 47.

“We wanted to cre­ate some­thing which was pretty much home from home.

“Peo­ple can ex­pect their an­i­mals to be treated as they would be at home ... so spoilt is a word I would use!”

The Songhursts came up with the idea in 2015 when they ap­plied for plan­ning per­mis­sion for their land in Brom­ley Green Road, be­tween Kingsnorth and Ham­street.

Mr Songhurst said: “We’ve al­ways been around an­i­mals, so do­ing it for a liv­ing is prob­a­bly the best job in the world.

“We had a lot of friends with an­i­mals who said they were al­ways ask­ing about board­ing or whether to have peo­ple come to their house.

“Our vi­sion was to have rooms pretty much like ho­tel rooms. When most peo­ple go away, they like to stay in a nice comfy room. We thought, ‘why should it be any dif­fer­ent for an­i­mals?’.

“Your an­i­mals are your ba­bies, so it’s about hav­ing con­fi­dence that you can leave them and not worry while you’re away.

“We do treat the an­i­mals pretty much as if they were our own. We spend time with them. They are pam­pered. I’m pleased to say that af­ter years in re­tail I’m now do­ing a job that I can get up in the morn­ings and ab­so­lutely love.”

The ho­tel is open 365 days a year. Prices start at £12.40 a night. For more in­for­ma­tion visit the web­site www. hotelkitty.co.uk

Dar­ren and Natalie Songhurst have cre­ated Ho­tel Kitty

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