Kim and Andy Murray speak to Tennis365 about their most exciting project

Kevin Palmer

It is a business that means so much to Kim and Andy Murray and their plans for the five-star Cromlix hotel near Dunblane in Scotland are about to go to the next level.

The business ambitions of three-time Grand Slam champion Andy continue to grow and none are closer to the heart of Britain’s greatest ever sportman and his wife Kim than the stunning Cromlix Hotel.

An exquisite Victorian mansion set in acres of secluded Stirlingshire countryside near Dunblane, this slice of Scottish history is just a stone’s throw away from where Andy was born.

It was also the venue for the couple’s wedding reception and now they are the proud owner of a venue that takes the breath away from the moment you drive up the winding laneway that leads to the grand house.

With 16 luxury bedrooms and complimented by an acclaimed restaurant named The Glasshouse, Cromlix underwent a huge renovation in 2023 and Kim was central to the redesign that was overseen by Suzanne Garuda of Garuda Design.

Next up are plans for a wellness area and some additional accommodation in luxury cabins, which will open the hotel to an even wider audience.

Kim has given an exclusive interview to Tennis365 that looks at her passion for Cromlix, with Andy chipping in a comment in the final question as we drifted on to the subject of the tennis court at the hotel.

What is the long-term vision for Cromlix?

Andy and I took the management of Cromlix back into our own hands at the beginning of last year, after working with a management company for the previous ten years, and it’s been a great decision for us.

We have had much more input in the last 12 months and we feel like it’s a better reflection of us as owners now, without having tennis rackets and photos of Andy throughout! The good news is that the hotel is really thriving.

Long term, we want to continue making the hotel a success and encouraging people to visit this beautiful part of Scotland. Later this year, work is going to begin on some cabins around the Loch and we are repurposing an old cottage into a wellness centre. There is so much scope at the hotel to do amazing things, it’s really exciting.

Andy and Kim Murray at Cromlix
Andy and Kim Murray at Cromlix (Images by Verena Wood)

Why did you take on this project?

It was the culmination of a few things all coming together at the same time. I knew we didn’t want any more children – four is enough! We’d just finished working on our own home build project, and after ten years of owning Cromlix, it was either time to sell the property or breathe new life into it. I knew if we didn’t do it, I’d kick myself when somebody else did.

Tell us about the Cromlix redesign that took place at the start of 2023.

It’s everything I wanted it to be when we started this process. We worked with Suzanne Garuda of Garuda Design who managed the interior design of our own home. She is absolutely brilliant at finding amazing wallpapers and textiles, with bold colours and prints, that you wouldn’t think would all work together but somehow they do.

One of the things we were both really passionate about is reflecting the beautiful Scottish countryside inside the property, so there is a botanical theme throughout – all of the bedrooms are named after flowers you can find on the Estate; the new logo incorporates the Virginia Creeper that grows up the side of the building; we grow flowers in the Kitchen Garden and put them in the bedrooms and even in the dishes on the menu.

We wanted Cromlix to feel like a country home, rather than a country house, and that’s the feedback we get from guests. That it feels much more warm and inviting, and that they can just relax as soon as they arrive. They leave all their stress and formality at the door.

Art is an important feature around Cromlix. What role did Andy play in this?

Andy started getting into art a few years ago and he’s now quite the collector. When we talked about the refurb at Cromlix, we thought it would be nice to have some of our own art at the hotel, so we’ve put a couple of our favourite pieces up there. Some of Andy’s David Shrigleys hang by the piano – David is one of Andy’s favourite artists – he loves the humour and he actually met David up at the hotel last year for an art lesson. The results were interesting, to say the least!

We also worked with the Scottish Royal Academy and have around 70 paintings on loan from them throughout the hotel.

Do you plan to spend more time in Scotland and at Cromlix when Andy’s tennis career ends?

Yes, I’m sure we will. Andy is still so busy with his tennis that he doesn’t get up to Scotland as much as he’d like. I’m up there often and absolutely love the area, so I’m sure it’s something we’ll do more in the future.

How proud are you to be employing so many people from the local area?

It’s something we are extremely proud of. It’s one of the reasons Andy bought the hotel in the first place and is still probably our biggest motivation in keeping the hotel. We actually now employ about 70 people, almost all from Dunblane or the wider Stirlingshire area.

Being good employers is something we really focus on, and I think you can tell that from the staff at the hotel – they are all genuinely happy to be working at Cromlix and some of them have been here for more than ten years, or they come back year after year during the busy summer months when we employ more people. Having happy staff helps the guests have a better experience too so it’s important to us for lots of reasons.

Has Andy played on the tennis court at Cromlix?

Answer from Andy: Yes I have, although not for a while. When I go to Scotland, it’s usually a fleeting visit, so I spend my time seeing family or travelling with my children, who prefer to feed the chickens or run wild on the grounds. I’m actually keen to try out the pickleball court we’ve got up there now. My mum plays quite a bit, so maybe I’ll challenge her to a game next time I’m there.