US Open and Olympic tennis champion Andy Murray, who has been confirmed as the new owner of the Cromlix House hotel, near Dunblane, is to transform the property into a 15-bedroom, five-star destination.
Set in 50 acres of secluded woodlands and gardens, the Victorian hotel will undergo an extensive refurbishment and re-open in spring 2014, in time for the Ryder Cup , which is being staged at nearby Gleneagles.
Murray said he is looking forward to securing the future of Cromlix House as a hotel, following its closure a year ago. A popular wedding venue, the business become a victim of the economic downturn when it abruptly closed its doors in February 2012, leaving dozens of disgruntled guests and future brides out-of-pocket. Murray's brother Jamie married his Colombian wife Alejandra Gutierrez at the hotel in 2010.
"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," said Murray. "I'm pleased to be able to give something back to the community I grew up in." Around 40 new jobs are expected to be created at the hotel.
The hotel will be managed on behalf of Murray by Inverlochy Castle Management International (ICMI), who currently manage eight independent properties in Scotland, including Inverlochy Castle, near Fort William, Greywalls Hotel in Gullane and the Atholl, in Edinburgh.
Albert Roux will oversee a Chez Roux restaurant at the hotel, where locally sourced produce will be the feature of the "reasonably priced" menus.
Norbert Lieder, ICMI's managing director, said: "We are delighted to be working with Andy in this very exciting project to redevelop and run Cromlix House.
"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."
Former owners, the Eden family, who ran the hotel for more than 30 years said they were delighted the busines was staying in local hands after completing its sale to the tennis champion.
The hotel currently has 14 bedrooms, a chapel, reception hall, two drawing rooms, conservatory, dining room, library and meeting rooms, as well as a trout loch in the grounds.