It seems Andy Murray’s first foray into the tourism trade has already hit a snag.
The tennis star’s new Cromlix Hotel certainly lived up to its ‘service with a smile’ reputation – so much so, that no less than six five star reviews of the Kinbuck, Perthshire residence appeared online almost a week before its opening night.
A spokesperson for TripAdvisor, where the glowing commendations had appeared, confirmed that the website had launched an investigation into allegations that the reviews were “incentivised”.
The hotel goers in question left a trail of suspiciously resplendent remarks on the site, in which they referenced things like the "Wimbledon colour court", the luxurious duvet covers that “had to be experienced” and the “fabulous Victorian building” that housed all the apparently marvellous details.
But the Cromlix management countered the investigation by admitting that 100 guests had stayed at the hotel during a “soft launch” period before its official opening, many of whom did so for free.
“In this instance, we investigated a number of reviews relating to the Cromlix Hotel and determined that they met out guidelines,” a TripAdvisor representative admitted, after deciding the reviews didn’t, in fact, break their guidelines.
“We allow anyone who had a genuine service experience to share their honest, unbiased opinion on TripAdvisor, whether good or bad.”
The hotel’s official launch date on 1 April was assumed by many to be part of an elaborate April Fools’ joke. But Murray had purchased the Cromlix for the princely sum of £1.8million in February 2013.