SCOTTISH tennis superstar Andy Murray has bought the £1.8 million luxury hotel where his brother was married three years ago.
The US Open and Olympic champion has purchased the Cromlix House Hotel, close to his home town of Dunblane in Stirlingshire. Murray plans to transform the Victorian mansion, where his brother Jamie, himself a Wimbledon mixed doubles champion, married Colombian Alejandra Gutierrez in 2010, into a five-star venue.
Cromlix House closed suddenly just over a year ago, and the refurbished hotel is scheduled to reopen next spring ahead of the 2014 Ryder Cup, which is being staged a short drive away at Gleneagles.
Murray said in a statement on his website: “I am pleased to have acquired Cromlix House and look forward to securing its future as a successful business.
“By re-establishing Cromlix as a leading luxury hotel at the heart of the Dunblane community, we will be able to attract new visitors to the area, create a number of new jobs and focus on supporting other local businesses.
“I’m pleased to be able to give something back to the community I grew up in.”
Cromlix House is set in 50 acres of woodlands and garden with a trout loch. The property, which has 14 bedrooms and three dining rooms as well as conference rooms and a manager’s flat, sits in 36 acres of landscaped grounds within the Eden family’s larger 2,000-acre estate, which has four fishing lochs and two mineral springs.
Renowned chef Albert Roux, owner of Le Gavroche in London, is one of a group of industry experts consulted by Inverlochy Castle Management International (ICMI) which will manage Cromlix House on behalf of Murray.
Cromlix House will feature a Chez Roux restaurant, in line with a number of ICMI’s other hotels. ICMI manages eight other independent properties in Scotland, including Inverlochy Castle in Fort William, and the Atholl in Edinburgh’s New Town.
ICMI managing director Norbert Lieder said: “Our team of experts has experience in every aspect of the hospitality industry and specialise in working with independent properties and transforming them into luxurious destinations.
“I am confident that, with Andy, we can create a very special hotel in his home community. While we aim to create a destination that attracts visitors from around the world, we are also determined to ensure it remains a venue of choice for local people.”
Cromlix House was built in 1874 as the family home of the Edens, who have owned the surrounding estate for the past 600 years, but was turned into a luxury hotel in 1981.
In 1982, Cromlix House was voted UK Hotel of the Year by Egon Ronay, and in 2002 the AA judged it “one of the best ten hotels in Scotland”.
Murray, who is ranked number three in the world, currently lives in a £5.5 million mansion in Surrey with girlfriend Kim Sears