Tennis ace Andy Murray and his wife Kim Sears have owned the five-star luxury Cromlix hotel in the rolling Scottish countryside, for a decade and this year, a major refurbishment by Kim and Belfast designer Suzanne Garuda, has seen the former Victorian mansion transformed into a trendy and fun establishment.
The Murray’s are passionate about the hotel which has played an important role in their lives from family celebrations when Andy was a child, to holding their wedding reception at The Cromlix, a venue which also saw Andy’s brother and double’s partner, Jamie, married in the onsite chapel.
Today, Andy’s mum Judy is regularly at the hotel offering tennis and pickleball sessions on the Wimbledon-style tennis court and his gran, Shirley Erskine makes the delicious shortbread for the in-room hospitality.
Set in huge well-manicured grounds, the hotel has 15 luxury bedrooms, as well as a lodge at the entrance to the hotel as well as a fabulous stay, they offer a range of outdoor activities, from falconry to foraging.
Plans are in hand to create nine-bedroom lodges around the hotel’s loch and create a ground-floor accessible suite with a wet room by 2025.
The Cromlix is an ideal hotel for people who want to be pampered, but without too much fuss. Families are welcome too, with outdoor games for the little ones to enjoy. Elopement and traditional wedding packages are popular too, with attention to detail, a must.
From cottage rooms to turret suites, the hotel oozes luxury. All are named and designed after flowers or herbs.
Beautifully decorated with themed wallpaper, upcycled furniture and paintings straight from the Murray’s private collection, including modern arts by Damien Hirst and David Shrigley, as well as ones on loan from the Royal Scottish Academy.
With couples in mind, the cottage rooms have been decked out in delicate florals, contemporary textures and calming hues, looking out onto the natural beauty of the grounds.
Estate rooms are more roomy and have old-fashioned fireplaces, beautiful botanical wallpaper and squishy sofas, alongside comfy king sized beds.
Suites range from junior, with a large bedroom, sitting room and show stopping bathroom, to deluxe with an added free standing tub and the piece da resistance, the turret, with their fairytale interiors, a large sitting room, with a complimentary mini bar, elegant hallway, enormous bathroom with double showers, wash basins and a big bath tub and a huge bedroom beautifullydecorated in calming colours and decked out with mahogany furniture.
Rows of Barbour wellies greet you at the entrance hall, ready for a bracing walk around the grounds. Checking in is made easy with a glass of fizz to welcome you as you relax on the giant sofas. There are two immaculate drawing rooms to chill in, a small traditional chapel and a garden room for private dining.
The hallway to the back of the grounds has a baby grand piano and an upstairs billards room is decked out in hunting lodge colours, with two mounted stags taking guard over the mighty table and eccentric accesssories including ceramic pineapple and flamingo-shaped lamps.
There’s a small, but wacky bar, with fabulously floral wallpaper clashing beautifully with free spirit art and serving up such beauties as the Scottish dark and stormy cocktail, a mouth-watering mixture of rum, bitters, lime and ginger beer.
Outside there is a kitchen garden, bee hives and resident hens and a rooster, alongside the tennis court and giant chess board.
In room spas can be arranged along with foraging experiences and there are plenty of trails and hikes on the hotel doorstep.
Food and drink
Executive chef Darin Campbell worked under top chef Andrew Fairlie at the nearby Gleneagles Hotel and his distinctive style of cooking is delicate but delicious.
Adding to the hotel’s floral theme, Darin uses petals to decorate his divine culinary dishes, all served in the classy and airy Glasshouse restaurant, a modern addition to the Victorian mansion.
With dishes ranging from the sublime starter of Oban smoked rainbow trout to mains of seared fillet of Kinlochbervie monkfish and clam stew and finished off with Cromlix Tiramisu, the menu is fresh and modern, served without rush by sommelier Sarah Peel and her team.
Breakfast in The Glasshouse is first class with high-quality juices, yoghurts , meats and cheeses, followed by a choice from the menu including creamy whisky porridge brulee, vegan stacks of mushroom, tomato and avocado to full Scottish or eggs Cromlix with hollandaise sauce.
Cottage rooms range from £335 per night, with turret suites starting at £750 and packages are available for weddings and celebrations.
The Cromlix hotel is in a great spot to explore both nearby Glasgow and Edinburgh, with Stirling Castle, The National Wallace Monument and The Battle of Bannockburn museum close by.
Tourist information is available via www.visitscotland.com
NEED A FLIGHT?
Cromlix offers stunning, simple hospitality from friendly attentive staff in elegant surroundings. Must be visited to appreciate!