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A Day in the Life of the World’s Most Pampered Hotel Cat

Caviar treats, pure gold jewelry, and cat spa days: Lillibet’s world is simply divine.

For most of us mere humans, checking into a five-star stay is a once-in-a-while treat. But for the cats of Europe’s prestigious Oetker hotels, it’s a 365-day occurrence.

Felines are somewhat of a trademark in the group’s ”masterpiece collection.” Le Bristol in Paris has Socrate and Brenners Park in Baden-Baden has Kléopatre. In my hometown of London, The Lanesborough is home to Lilibet, a Siberian Forest cat named after the late Queen Elizabeth II.

She arrived in 2019 as a kitten and has since become the property’s most fawned-over inhabitant and London’s most talked-about bundle of fur. This glamour-puss never fails to stop guests in their tracks, and even has a hotel cat committee tending to her every need. Not to mention the online adoration: Lilibet is partly responsible for the hotel’s social media success. Engagement skyrockets whenever she makes an appearance. I checked in to uncover just how fabulous life can be when you live in a luxury hotel.

The Lanesborough

Hello, Kitty

I walked through Hyde Park for my first meeting with a cat, more nervous than the time I tried to get in the same elevator as Anna Wintour. Like Madame W., cats are famously aloof creatures, yet adored the world over. Lilibet has strutted her stuff on BBC News, been photographed for high-end editorials, and is consistently captured by fans on countless social media reels.

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I was greeted by handsomely-dressed doormen at the grand entrance, and took a seat at check-in. No sign of Lilibet yet. The suspense! The cat committee was deciding on festivities for her fifth birthday. “Last year she enjoyed a photoshoot with a beautiful cake,” I was told. Lilibet’s an Aries like Mariah Carey, Elton John, and Posh Spice: Darling divas partial to a splash of opulence. I was led through an intricate marble hallway within the former 18th-century home of Viscount Lanesborough, today akin to the V&A museum. A passage flowing with ornamental plasterwork, gold leaf accents, and trompe l’oeil. It’s a catwalk like no other.

Each room is uniquely decorated and has a dedicated butler. The Lanesborough

Rooms Fit for an Aristo-Cat

It goes without saying my room was equally a showstopper. Each of the hotel’s 93 boudoirs is uniquely furnished with regal interiors and cleverly placed technology. TVs are concealed behind classical oil paintings. My personal butler demonstrated how to operate it. Lili and I would be watching a movie of her choice tonight. “Would you like us to prepare the film on this television, or the other one?” I looked around. Which painting was it in? At the flip of a switch, another screen lifted out of what I initially thought was a bookshelf at the foot of the bed. There’s my answer. “We’ll have popcorn ready for you, and some Dreamies for Lili. They’re her favorite treat,” the butler added.

I noticed a cake decorated with pink paws on the table and a card beside it. The inside read, “Welcome to my humble abode. I can’t wait to spend some quality time with you. Love, Lilibet.”

Lilibet enjoys cuddles with the hotel staff, whom have taken care of her since she was a kitten.The Lanesborough

A Quick Catnap

With a couple of hours before dinner, I ventured down to The Lanesborough Club & Spa, an underground cavern of serenity for R&R. No sign of Lili en route. The concierge offered clues. “She often sits on the balcony overlooking the Basia Hamilton portrait of Queen Elizabeth II and sometimes she helps Victor greet guests at the door.” So I quizzed Victor the doorman. He talked about her kitten days, and how he’s one of the few humans she’s never clawed.

“Lilibet loves being pet by guests, but not for too long, she’ll let you know when she’s done,” he laughed. “Visitors can’t get enough of her, regardless, and gifts are delivered all the time.” Gifts, you say? “Yes, everything, but especially treats. She gets lots of fancy chicken soup.”

Further investigation led me to discover that Lili was once gifted an actual gold necklace by designers Ralph & Russo. The hand-crafted collar features the hotel’s crown sigil with her name and number. Lilibet sports it on special occasions.

The windowsill of The Withdrawing Room is Lili’s favorite place to watch the sunrise and sunset in London.The Lanesborough

Cheers to Ears

Post-nap, I visited The Library Bar, adjacent to Lili’s evening hangout, The Withdrawing Room. It’s here that we finally (finally!) met. She was people-watching as the sunset illuminated the corner of Wellington Arch across the street, unflinching as I reached over and touched her unbelievably soft fur.

The Lanesborough

Siberian Forest cat fur is hypoallergenic, FYI, so no hiss-terics necessary. While I was tempted to pick Her Majesty up, I remembered my chat with Victor and gave her space. At the bar, I ordered the Lilibet Cocktail, made with Earl Grey-infused gin and frothing with English Chardonnay wine flavored with chocolate. It certainly gave me the pre-dinner meows.

Gourmet Always for H.R.H.

I suggested we dine at Gordon Ramsey’s Lucky Cat in nearby Mayfair. “Lilibet will adore the sashimi,” I said. “It’s always amazing.” Alas, I learned domestic cats aren’t able to eat raw sushi, and even if they were, Lili’s not keen on leaving the premises for supper.

Mary in guest relations clarifies, “She runs right back in when she’s taken outside, but doesn’t mind venturing out for grooming.” No sashimi party for us then; unless it’s for the cat spa, this feline’s staying put. “She’s tried caviar though,” admitted Mary.

Instead we stayed in and did dinner in the hotel–separately (Lili needs space, remember). I tucked into a perfectly burnished Beef Wellington at The Lanesborough Grill under a crystal chandelier, no less, while Lili, somewhere in the building, enjoyed Purina Gourmet slow-cooked beef. Curious, I googled the brand. The website states it, “appeals to cats with a taste for the finer things.”


Chase Dorsett

Screening of Puss in Boots…Two

Lili was waiting for me in the room by the time I’d finished my Carrot and Walnut cake, running around excitedly. Clearly, distance made her kitty heart grow fonder. Our butler had laid out a magnificent spread of treats, including Lili’s snacks, special cat milk, and assorted toy mice. I slipped into a robe and hit play on the Puss in Boots sequel, as Lili dashed behind the floral curtains. After enticing her with a trail of treats, I was able to seat her on my lap for 102 minutes of animated adventure. She purred, fixated on the screen, and stayed with me for exactly four minutes before scurrying behind a sofa. Surely she wouldn’t want to miss Kitty Softpaw’s grand entrance? I thought and I went to pick her up. Out came claws. Lili made it very clear she was not interested in Salma Hayek. Perhaps we should have gone with Halle Berry in Catwoman? My feline friend avoided the TV until her 10 p.m. pick-up, and I was given a plush version of Lilibet for company until her return the next morning.

The Lanesborough


Goodbye for Meow

At 9 a.m., Lili was back and ever so thrilled to see me. She’d thankfully forgotten I’d subjected her to Salma Hayek last night. The butler wheeled in our farewell breakfast: avocado toast with poached eggs for me, and a tuna mousse for Lili. Ravished, she jumped on the opposite chair. I took a mouthful as she stared on, as if to say ”come over, feed me!” And so I obliged. She licked a scoop of tuna mousse on my fingertip and I returned to my chair, hoping that acted as permission for her to dig in, but to no avail. I put down my fork, and well, Lili insisted I hand-feed the whole breakfast to her. Ah, this must be what it’s like to live in a luxury hotel, I figured. Butlers on call, fine dining, and oodles of pampering–life here’s not far from life at neighboring Buckingham Palace. The Lanesborough is where anyone who steps inside gets the royal treatment, even if (and in Lili’s case, especially when) they’re a pet cat.