Cat Travel: The Algonquin Hotel’s Matilda the Cat

My husband and I recently had the pleasure of staying at The Algonquin Hotel, home of Matilda the cat. I have wanted to stay there for years knowing that I could ha a cat to visit  when I was on vacation, but was afraid it would be too costly. Luckily, it was off-season and they give Triple A discounts so we were able to stay there. Now I am spoiled and never want to stay anywhere else.

The Algonquin is a small hotel by NYC standards with 156 rooms and 25 suites. The staff were all nice and treated us like royalty. Well, everyone except Matilda, she was very aloof with every reason to be. She is a beautiful cat and very famous, she gets mail from all over the World. She is the reason we stayed there and I am sure she attracts many other guests to the hotel.


For those that don’t know the history, The Algonquin Hotel opened in 1902 and there has been a cat in residence since the 1930’s when the owner, Frank Case adopted a stray that snuck in looking for food. All males are named Hamlet and females are named Matilda. The current Matilda has been there since 2010.


When we checked in, I asked for Matilda and she went running by into the luggage storage area. I was told she comes out about 11 PM at night when the bar crowd dies down and she is always at the desk from 6 AM – 9 AM. She has a great cat tree/perch on the desk where she can snoopervise from a safe distance of her adoring fans.


Matilda did leave us a gift in our room, 2 apples, a fancy bottle of water and a cat faced sleep mask along with a lovely note:


If you plan to visit NYC,I highly recommend you stay at The Algonquin, it is conveniently located near Times Square and The Theatre District. For more information on the history of the hotel or to book a room:


Ellen from 15andmeowing

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43 thoughts on “Cat Travel: The Algonquin Hotel’s Matilda the Cat

  1. Joseph Nebus says:

    Oh, that’s wonderful.

    I realize how odd it is that though I’m a Robert Benchley fan and used to live in central New Jersey I’ve never been to the Algonquin.

  2. dog12 says:

    I’m from the East Coast and never visited the Algonquin until in my mid-twenties and never forgot my short visit.

    This evenings repeat of Mad Men featured the Algonquin and I recalled that visit and then read your blog.

    • pilch92 says:

      I love Mad Men 🙂 I hope you get to visit The Algonguin again, they did a lot of renovating in 2010.

  3. franhunne4u says:

    I have been staying in the Penn-Hotel the only time I made it to NYC, which has seen its best days – unless they renovated somewhere the last 12 years. If I ever return to this lovely city I might give the Algonquin a try therefore (though my next visits to the US, if at all, might see me in New Orleans or San Francisco).

    • pilch92 says:

      Wish I could take credit for the word, but all the cat bloggers use it 🙂 It is appropriate though.

  4. angloswiss says:

    Interesting. NYC is the only place I visited in the States. We also had a hotel near Times Square, but it wasn’t the Algonquin and I believe it is no longer there. If I am ever again in NYC (which is not very probable, long way from Switzerland) I know which hotel to choose.

  5. greg1948 says:

    That is a very interesting historical story, which I had not heard before (which is not surprising).
    I won’t be heading in that direction but nice seing your photos of the latest “Matilda”.

  6. The GMLA says:

    A very interesting story. I am curious about the names Matilda and Hamlet. Matilda is a big name in medieval English royalty and Hamlet is Shakespeare and a name for a English village but used for the dutch in fame.

    • pilch92 says:

      I know Hamlet came about because a lot of actors used to spend time there. One of them was playing Hamlet at the time and suggested the name. I am not sure where the name Matilda originated from though. This is Matilda #3, there have been 7 Hamlets over the years.

  7. Tom Francis says:

    The Matilda before this one once spent a night in our room on the 7th floor. She scratched at the door, we let her in. She checked out the room and climbed onto the bed and slept with us. At about 7:00 am she woke us up with a soft meow and went to the door to be let out.

    The staff told us that every once in a while a guest would come down with the same story though there was no pattern to the room or floor she chose.

  8. hugr5 says:

    I think they have a kitty fashion parade at that hotel, hosted by Matilda, of course… 🙂 John Fulton of MUST LOVE CATS visited that LOVELY place. Good for you, for stopping there!

  9. Purr and Roar says:

    So lucky! The last few times I visited NY I stopped by in hopes of seeing her, but unfortunately never got a glimpse. Will have to stay in the hotel next time.

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