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Murray’s luxury hotel opens doors

LONDON, April 1 – Andy Murray’s luxury hotel opened Tuesday, a business the tennis star hopes will boost his Scottish hometown Dunblane.

The Wimbledon champion bought Cromlix House, a Victorian mansion dating from 1874, in February last year and has transformed it into a 15-bedroom, five-star retreat.

The property, set in woodlands three miles (five kilometres) outside Dunblane in central Scotland, has undergone extensive refurbishment and tourism officials hope it will prove a big draw for visitors to Scotland.

Murray, 26, envisages the hotel will create up to 40 jobs in Dunblane.

“I’m pleased to be able to give something back to the community I grew up in,” he said on the hotel’s website.

“By re-establishing Cromlix as a leading luxury hotel at the heart of the Dunblane community we will be able to attract new visitors to the area, create a number of new jobs and focus on supporting other local businesses.”

Dunblane was hit by tragedy in March 1996 when resident Thomas Hamilton shot 16 pupils and a teacher dead at the primary school that Murray attended.

Murray, who hid with his brother Jamie under the headmaster’s desk during the massacre, still struggles to speak about the experience.

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Jamie — a Wimbledon mixed doubles champion — got married at Cromlix House in 2010.

Murray bought the property last year for £1.8 million ($3 million, 2.2 million euros), according to reports.

The former country house has been renovated to show off much of its original heritage, including a private chapel and fishing lake.

The hotel features 10 bedrooms and five suites which overlook manicured grounds and tennis courts and boasts a restaurant overseen by renowned French chef Albert Roux.

Prices for double rooms during the summer peak start at £250 ($415, 300 euros) a night.

Activities in the local area include hunting, fishing and golf, including the Gleneagles course that plays host to this year’s Ryder Cup between Europe and the United States.

Murray last year became the first British winner of the men’s singles title at Wimbledon since Fred Perry in 1936.

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