Keeping the balance is the key to success
Interview with Andy Murray, Owner, and Norbert Lieder, General Manager at Cromlix Hotel
European Business: Mr. Murray, by acquiring Cromlix you made a strong commitment to the region you grew up in. Why does home and origin matter so much to you?
Andy Murray: I grew up close to Cromlix, so the area is very important to me. I have many happy childhood memories at the hotel, so when I heard it was for sale I jumped at the opportunity to make sure it remains a place for people to visit and enjoy. We’ve also provided jobs and career opportunities to a number of people from the local community and worked closely with food and drink suppliers from the area.
“I have many happy childhood memories at the hotel, so when I heard it was for sale I jumped at the opportunity.” Andy Murray
European Business: Mr. Lieder, you have been in the hospitality industry for more than 20 years and held management positions all over the globe. How is your work at Cromlix different to one at former hotels?
Norbert Lieder: Opening and managing a hotel that is owned by the most famous sportsman of his time in his own hometown is a wonderful experience. The Murrays did a great job to completely refurbish Cromlix and make it what it is today – one of Europe’s top luxury hotels.
The success of Cromlix has succeeded all expectations – lunches, afternoon teas and evening meals in the Chez Roux restaurant remain extremely popular and the accommodation is in high demand all year round. We have a fantastic team whose hard work makes sure the hotel is often named one of the best in Scotland and we continue with rave reviews and prestigious awards that we’ve been presented since opening. This success has led to the expansion of the hotel which will bring a wider offering to our guests including a tearoom, additional bedrooms, event and wedding space and a gym in the near future.
European Business: Both of you are renown experts in your respective professions. In what way are you able to create synergies that benefit the Cromlix?
Andy Murray: Inverlochy Castle Management International (ICMI) is well-renowned, and Norbert and the team are doing a great job at Cromlix.
“Opening and managing a hotel that is owned by the most famous sportsman of his time in his own hometown is a wonderful experience.” Norbert Lieder
European Business: Cromlix revives the glamour of grand country house living. How do you make sure that the transformation of the past into the present is successful and meets all of today’s demands?
Norbert Lieder: We were very careful in retaining Cromlix’s heritage during the transformation phase. Each of the ten bedrooms and five suites have their own individual style and character that is in keeping with the overall design of the house. Most of our suites feature hand-painted freestanding baths in gold, silver and copper – something that you don’t often see in hotel rooms today – however we’ve also added modern facilities such as 32 inch televisions disguised as mirrors, personal safes, iPhone docking stations and DVD players available upon request. It’s important to keep the balance of the building’s history yet modern day convenience.
European Business: One final question: Mr. Murray, did you ever have the chance to try the tennis court?
Andy Murray: On the opening day of the hotel, I joined a group of local school kids on court for a match. It’s a good court and guests love having the chance to enjoy a training session or game while they are staying with us.