IT CLOSED down suddenly last February to the dismay of dozens of disappointed brides-to-be, but now reports are being batted around Dunblane that the Cromlix House Hotel, a popular wedding venue for more than 30 years, may have a surprising and sporty new owner.
Yesterday, it was reported that Andy Murray, the US Open tennis champion, may have bought the 14-bedroom hotel where his brother Jamie married his Colombian girlfriend, Alejandra Gutierrez, in 2010.
According to reports the Scottish Olympic gold medallist is believed to have bought the property, which was on the market at offers over £1.8 million.
A source close to the sale was reported to have said: “He knows the place well. Anybody who is anybody in Dunblane goes to Cromlix House for their wedding, anniversary or birthday.
“Nobody knows what he intends to do with the hotel. It is only ten minutes by helicopter from Gleneagles, which could prove useful during the 2014 Ryder Cup. On the other hand, it could be that Andy will restore it as a private house so that he has a luxury base in Scotland to come back to.”
Cromlix House was built in 1874 as the family home of the Eden family, who have owned the surrounding estate for the past 600 years, but was turned into a luxury hotel in 1981.
Over the past few years, celebrity guests have included racing driver Dario Franchitti and his wife, actress Ashley Judd.
It became a popular location for weddings, as the property also had a consecrated Episcopalian chapel, and a number of prospective brides and their families were reported to be out of pocket when the hotel closed suddenly last February.
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. It had been reported that the Eden family was keen to sell to someone with local connections.
Yesterday, sources within the hospitality industry in Dunblane said they had heard that the tennis player had bought the property.
One woman claimed: “I’m 99 per cent sure that Andy Murray has bought the Cromlix House Hotel. I had also heard that the Roux brothers were interested and paid a visit to the property.”
Another woman, who also did not wish to be named, and works within the hospitality industry said: “I had heard that Andy Murray had bought the hotel. It’s definitely sold. There is now a note on the front gate which refers to an application for a licence, which is expected to come up in January, but I don’t know what he plans to do with it.”
Attempts to confirm the reports were unsuccessful. Mr Murray’s agents, XIX Entertainment, were unavailable for comment, as was his mother, Judy Murray. The estate agent and the Eden family were also unavailable.
In September, shortly before travelling to New York to watch Andy Murray win the US Open, his mother bought a home in nearby Bridge of Allan. The tennis player, who was awarded an OBE in the New Year Honours List, currently lives in a £5.5 million mansion in Surrey with girlfriend Kim Sears and their dogs.