Cromlix House Hotel award is early win for Andy Murray, but what about the long game?
Simon Calder’s career in travel started at Gatwick Airport, where he cleaned aircraft for Laker Airways and later worked as a security officer. He became The Independent’s Travel Correspondent in 1994, and is known as “the Man Who Pays His Way” because he does not accept free travel facilities. He writes across the Independent titles, as well as for the Evening Standard.
Monday 28 April 2014
Andy Murray’s life is defined by a will to win. He craves long-term success from his multimillion-pound investment in a hotel outside Dunblane, not just a short-term boost for his home town. Yet to win a “top hotel” award less than a month after the first guests checked in is a victory too soon – akin to a Wimbledon final reduced to the opening point.
“Best hotel refurbishment in Scotland to open this month” – now that’s an award Cromlix would deserve. Thanks to the Grand Slam champ, and with the sharp eye of his mother, Judy, a decaying baronial pile of impressive pedigree has been reborn in grand style. “Bathrooms the size of tennis courts and showers designed for doubles,” I wrote when I stayed there during the “soft opening” in March.
The welcome was impeccable, and by all accounts a powerful service ethic has continued. But that is merely a promising warm-up in a long game. The real award is long-term public acclaim, doubtless decided in conjunction with TripAdvisor.
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