People News


Andy Murray, Wimbledon champion & owner of Cromlix

“I'm pleased to be able to give something back to the community I grew up in”

Andy Murray's luxury Scottish hotel, the Cromlix, is due to open 1 April 2014.

Wimbledon champion Murray bought the hotel in January 2013; it is currently undergoing extensive renovation to re-establish it as a luxury destination. The hotel is situated close to Murray's home town of Dunblane, and was the venue for his brother Jamie's wedding in 2010. It is set in 34 acres of secluded woodlands and will feature 15 rooms, including five suites, and a Chez Rouz restaurant offering fine dining using locally-sourced produce. The estate also has its own chapel, making it ideal for weddings.

“I’m really looking forward to the hotel getting up and running,” said Murray. “By re-establishing Cromlix as a leading luxury hotel at the heart of the Dunblane community we'll be able to attract new visitors to the area, create new jobs and focus on supporting other local businesses. I’m pleased to be able to give something back to the community I grew up in.”

Cromlix is being managed on behalf of Murray by Inverlochy Castle Management International (ICMI), which also manages eight other independent properties in Scotland. The hotel is already fully booked for the Ryder Cup in September, which takes place close by at Gleneagles.

The Cromlix estate dates back to the early 15th century. The house was rebuilt after a fire in 1880 and was converted from a private residence to a luxury hotel in 1981.

Details: www.cromlix.com

 



Murray bought the £1.8m property in Jan 2013 with the aim of turning it into a five star hotel
 


Andy Murray, Wimbledon champion
 
Ken Hom, chef, tv presenter and author

“Now I can host my Brazilian friends”

Ken Hom is to front a new restaurant being opened by Orient Express Hotels Ltd at Copacabana Palace hotel in Rio de Janeiro.

Work started on the 88-seat pan-Asian eatery, which is due to open in the first quarter of 2014.

“I had been going to Rio de Janiero and staying at the Copacabana Palace Hotel for over 12 years,” said BBC tv chef Hom. “When a space at the hotel became available, I thought it may be a good idea to do an Asian restaurant there, and the management immediately loved the idea. It was a dream come true. I could work at a place I love and also share my love of food with all my Brazilian friends.”

The new restaurant will be located by the swimming pool of the legendary hotel, which celebrated its 90th anniversary in 2013. It will feature dark wooden floors and red walls in colours inspired by Chinese temples, with an onxy bar and upholstered silk chairs and sofas. Dishes will be prepared before guests on a long counter indoors, while three outdoor tables by the pool will offer alfresco dining.

“After 12 years of visiting countless restaurants, bars and lounges, I had a good idea what might appeal to Brazilians,” said Hom. “I love the country and have many friends there. Now I can host them in my restaurant!"

Hom has starred in various cookery series, and has written more than 30 cookery books. He is also opening a restaurant in Bangkok, Thailand, in 2014, with the Bandara Group, in a standalone colonial villa near to the Bandara Hotel (which housed Hom's now-closed Maison Chin restaurant).

Details: www.copacabanapalace.com

 



Hom has teamed up with Orient Express Hotels to open the 88-seat pan-Asian eatery
 


Ken Hom
 
Helen Nuki, founder, StepJockey

“We're able to give people the positive side of the calorie equation”

Signs explaining how many calories are burned by taking the stairs instead of the lift will be added to public staircases as part of a government-backed scheme to improve the fitness of UK workers.

The scheme was developed by a Department of Health-funded web start up called StepJockey. Trials at three large office buildings, including the BBC in Manchester, found that signs advertising how many calories you could burn by taking the stairs increased the number of people using them by up to 29 per cent.

“The aim of StepJockey is very simple: mark the built environment for calorie burn in the same way we mark foods for calorie-consumption,” said Helen Nuki, founder of StepJockey.

“We’re starting with stairs because stair climbing is classed as a vigorous physical activity and burns more calories than jogging.”

The idea for StepJockey was born when Nuki showed her eight-year-old daughter a packet of biscuits with the calorie and fat content listed, and her daughter asked why labels only ever showed bad things. “In that moment, the idea to label the world for calorie burn was born. In doing this we are able to give people the positive side of the calorie equation,” said Nuki.

The service uses an app and website. Users will be able to scan 'smart signs' on the allocated stairways and track the calories they burn over time.

The scheme is based on nudge theory – the idea that positive reinforcement and suggestions can make people change their behaviour. “Because we can't process all the information needed to make every single decision throughout the day, we rely on automatic behaviour to get us through. This behaviour is governed by many factors, a few of these being habit, ease, salience and what we see other people doing,” said Nuki. “We knew that if we wanted to change behaviour we needed something that would be easy for people to do, would have salience (the posters interrupt habits at the point of behaviour), would be for everyone and would give an incentive for people to change.”

Details: www.stepjockey.com

 



The StepJockey website allows people to calculate how many calories will be burned by climbing any set of stairs
 


Helen Nuki, founder, StepJockey
 
Jon Wright, managing director, Xercise4Less

“We're trying to remove all the barriers to exercise that we can”

Independent budget gym chain Xercise4Less has opened its first in-store Tesco gym in Stockton on Tees, following a partnership with the supermarket giant announced in July 2013.

The 3,000sq m club, which opened at the Tesco Extra store in Stockton-on-Tees in mid-November, is the first of a string of Xercise4less clubs planned for Tesco stores.

Managing director Jon Wright said that the partnership with Tesco will make working out more accessible for people. “With our standard monthly fees of £15 – or £9.99 off-peak – we've already addressed one of the biggest obstacles to joining a gym: cost. Now, by opening clubs in supermarkets, we're also addressing the issue of accessibility. We're trying to remove all the barriers to exercise that we can.”

Equipment at the Stockton club is 'zoned' for different activities such as cardio, weights, a combat zone, a large ladies-only gym with a wide selection of female-friendly weights, and a dedicated personal training zone. Members have 40 free classes to choose from each week, ranging from boxercise to pilates and zumba.

Xercise4less was born in 2009 when Wright changed the model of his existing facility, the Xercise Health and Fitness Club in Castleford. “We switched to the budget model in 2009,” said Wright. “I don't think we were visionary – the club just wasn't making any money and we knew we had to do something different.”
Since then, the chain has opened 11 budget clubs, including the new Stockton on Tees site, and plans to have 100 clubs open across the UK by mid-2016. “One of the catalysts is the Tesco deal – it's a great springboard to get us UK-wide,” said Wright.

The gym chain has also seen two additions to its board of directors, with the appointment of former Fitness First UK managing director Peter Boddy as non-executive chairman, and Simon Tutt as finance director.
From Health Club Management, September 2013

Details: www.xercise4less.co.uk

 



Jon Wright has said that he plans to open a further 100 clubs across the UK over the next five years
Joanna Lumley, actress & Thomas Heatherwick, architect

“We can dare to be ambitious”

British architect Thomas Heatherwick has released new images of his planned Garden Bridge across the Thames, and the Garden Bridge Trust has been launched, with Lord Mervyn Davies as its chairman.

Designed by British architect Thomas Heatherwick and championed by actress Joanna Lumley, the Garden Bridge is a new public garden planted on a new bridge that would link Covent Garden and the South Bank.

"The Garden Bridge is an incredibly daring idea; the chance to walk through woodlands over one of the greatest rivers in the world,” said Joanna Lumley. “This Garden Bridge is a bridge that will improve the quality of life of everyone in London. For commuters it will provide a quick and beautiful route to and from Waterloo Station. For dreamers, a quiet place to linger amongst trees and grasses and look at the views. For tourists, an unforgettable landmark. It'll be a place to set hearts racing and calm troubled minds. It'll be free to all; open to all.”

At the launch of the Trust, Thomas Heatherwick said to The Independent, “We’re proud of punching below our weight in this country, but the Olympics has shown that we can surprise ourselves with what we can achieve. We can dare to be ambitious.”

The design features a 367m bridge that widens and narrows across its span, with a garden planted with trees, flowers and plants laid out in a series of five habitats. Reconstituted stone and a copper nickel alloy are being considered for the exterior structure of the bridge.

Thomas Heatherwick worked with Arup on the designs, after they won a Transport for London tender for ideas to improve pedestrian access across the Thames.

Details: www.gardenbridge.co.uk

 



Garden Bridge view
 


Thomas Heatherwick
 
 


Joanna Lumley
 
 


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SELECTED ISSUE
Leisure Management
2014 issue 1

View issue contents

Leisure Management -



People News

Andy Murray, Wimbledon champion & owner of Cromlix

“I'm pleased to be able to give something back to the community I grew up in”

Andy Murray's luxury Scottish hotel, the Cromlix, is due to open 1 April 2014.

Wimbledon champion Murray bought the hotel in January 2013; it is currently undergoing extensive renovation to re-establish it as a luxury destination. The hotel is situated close to Murray's home town of Dunblane, and was the venue for his brother Jamie's wedding in 2010. It is set in 34 acres of secluded woodlands and will feature 15 rooms, including five suites, and a Chez Rouz restaurant offering fine dining using locally-sourced produce. The estate also has its own chapel, making it ideal for weddings.

“I’m really looking forward to the hotel getting up and running,” said Murray. “By re-establishing Cromlix as a leading luxury hotel at the heart of the Dunblane community we'll be able to attract new visitors to the area, create new jobs and focus on supporting other local businesses. I’m pleased to be able to give something back to the community I grew up in.”

Cromlix is being managed on behalf of Murray by Inverlochy Castle Management International (ICMI), which also manages eight other independent properties in Scotland. The hotel is already fully booked for the Ryder Cup in September, which takes place close by at Gleneagles.

The Cromlix estate dates back to the early 15th century. The house was rebuilt after a fire in 1880 and was converted from a private residence to a luxury hotel in 1981.

Details: www.cromlix.com

 



Murray bought the £1.8m property in Jan 2013 with the aim of turning it into a five star hotel
 


Andy Murray, Wimbledon champion
 
Ken Hom, chef, tv presenter and author

“Now I can host my Brazilian friends”

Ken Hom is to front a new restaurant being opened by Orient Express Hotels Ltd at Copacabana Palace hotel in Rio de Janeiro.

Work started on the 88-seat pan-Asian eatery, which is due to open in the first quarter of 2014.

“I had been going to Rio de Janiero and staying at the Copacabana Palace Hotel for over 12 years,” said BBC tv chef Hom. “When a space at the hotel became available, I thought it may be a good idea to do an Asian restaurant there, and the management immediately loved the idea. It was a dream come true. I could work at a place I love and also share my love of food with all my Brazilian friends.”

The new restaurant will be located by the swimming pool of the legendary hotel, which celebrated its 90th anniversary in 2013. It will feature dark wooden floors and red walls in colours inspired by Chinese temples, with an onxy bar and upholstered silk chairs and sofas. Dishes will be prepared before guests on a long counter indoors, while three outdoor tables by the pool will offer alfresco dining.

“After 12 years of visiting countless restaurants, bars and lounges, I had a good idea what might appeal to Brazilians,” said Hom. “I love the country and have many friends there. Now I can host them in my restaurant!"

Hom has starred in various cookery series, and has written more than 30 cookery books. He is also opening a restaurant in Bangkok, Thailand, in 2014, with the Bandara Group, in a standalone colonial villa near to the Bandara Hotel (which housed Hom's now-closed Maison Chin restaurant).

Details: www.copacabanapalace.com

 



Hom has teamed up with Orient Express Hotels to open the 88-seat pan-Asian eatery
 


Ken Hom
 
Helen Nuki, founder, StepJockey

“We're able to give people the positive side of the calorie equation”

Signs explaining how many calories are burned by taking the stairs instead of the lift will be added to public staircases as part of a government-backed scheme to improve the fitness of UK workers.

The scheme was developed by a Department of Health-funded web start up called StepJockey. Trials at three large office buildings, including the BBC in Manchester, found that signs advertising how many calories you could burn by taking the stairs increased the number of people using them by up to 29 per cent.

“The aim of StepJockey is very simple: mark the built environment for calorie burn in the same way we mark foods for calorie-consumption,” said Helen Nuki, founder of StepJockey.

“We’re starting with stairs because stair climbing is classed as a vigorous physical activity and burns more calories than jogging.”

The idea for StepJockey was born when Nuki showed her eight-year-old daughter a packet of biscuits with the calorie and fat content listed, and her daughter asked why labels only ever showed bad things. “In that moment, the idea to label the world for calorie burn was born. In doing this we are able to give people the positive side of the calorie equation,” said Nuki.

The service uses an app and website. Users will be able to scan 'smart signs' on the allocated stairways and track the calories they burn over time.

The scheme is based on nudge theory – the idea that positive reinforcement and suggestions can make people change their behaviour. “Because we can't process all the information needed to make every single decision throughout the day, we rely on automatic behaviour to get us through. This behaviour is governed by many factors, a few of these being habit, ease, salience and what we see other people doing,” said Nuki. “We knew that if we wanted to change behaviour we needed something that would be easy for people to do, would have salience (the posters interrupt habits at the point of behaviour), would be for everyone and would give an incentive for people to change.”

Details: www.stepjockey.com

 



The StepJockey website allows people to calculate how many calories will be burned by climbing any set of stairs
 


Helen Nuki, founder, StepJockey
 
Jon Wright, managing director, Xercise4Less

“We're trying to remove all the barriers to exercise that we can”

Independent budget gym chain Xercise4Less has opened its first in-store Tesco gym in Stockton on Tees, following a partnership with the supermarket giant announced in July 2013.

The 3,000sq m club, which opened at the Tesco Extra store in Stockton-on-Tees in mid-November, is the first of a string of Xercise4less clubs planned for Tesco stores.

Managing director Jon Wright said that the partnership with Tesco will make working out more accessible for people. “With our standard monthly fees of £15 – or £9.99 off-peak – we've already addressed one of the biggest obstacles to joining a gym: cost. Now, by opening clubs in supermarkets, we're also addressing the issue of accessibility. We're trying to remove all the barriers to exercise that we can.”

Equipment at the Stockton club is 'zoned' for different activities such as cardio, weights, a combat zone, a large ladies-only gym with a wide selection of female-friendly weights, and a dedicated personal training zone. Members have 40 free classes to choose from each week, ranging from boxercise to pilates and zumba.

Xercise4less was born in 2009 when Wright changed the model of his existing facility, the Xercise Health and Fitness Club in Castleford. “We switched to the budget model in 2009,” said Wright. “I don't think we were visionary – the club just wasn't making any money and we knew we had to do something different.”
Since then, the chain has opened 11 budget clubs, including the new Stockton on Tees site, and plans to have 100 clubs open across the UK by mid-2016. “One of the catalysts is the Tesco deal – it's a great springboard to get us UK-wide,” said Wright.

The gym chain has also seen two additions to its board of directors, with the appointment of former Fitness First UK managing director Peter Boddy as non-executive chairman, and Simon Tutt as finance director.
From Health Club Management, September 2013

Details: www.xercise4less.co.uk

 



Jon Wright has said that he plans to open a further 100 clubs across the UK over the next five years
Joanna Lumley, actress & Thomas Heatherwick, architect

“We can dare to be ambitious”

British architect Thomas Heatherwick has released new images of his planned Garden Bridge across the Thames, and the Garden Bridge Trust has been launched, with Lord Mervyn Davies as its chairman.

Designed by British architect Thomas Heatherwick and championed by actress Joanna Lumley, the Garden Bridge is a new public garden planted on a new bridge that would link Covent Garden and the South Bank.

"The Garden Bridge is an incredibly daring idea; the chance to walk through woodlands over one of the greatest rivers in the world,” said Joanna Lumley. “This Garden Bridge is a bridge that will improve the quality of life of everyone in London. For commuters it will provide a quick and beautiful route to and from Waterloo Station. For dreamers, a quiet place to linger amongst trees and grasses and look at the views. For tourists, an unforgettable landmark. It'll be a place to set hearts racing and calm troubled minds. It'll be free to all; open to all.”

At the launch of the Trust, Thomas Heatherwick said to The Independent, “We’re proud of punching below our weight in this country, but the Olympics has shown that we can surprise ourselves with what we can achieve. We can dare to be ambitious.”

The design features a 367m bridge that widens and narrows across its span, with a garden planted with trees, flowers and plants laid out in a series of five habitats. Reconstituted stone and a copper nickel alloy are being considered for the exterior structure of the bridge.

Thomas Heatherwick worked with Arup on the designs, after they won a Transport for London tender for ideas to improve pedestrian access across the Thames.

Details: www.gardenbridge.co.uk

 



Garden Bridge view
 


Thomas Heatherwick
 
 


Joanna Lumley
 

Originally published in Leisure Management 2014 issue 1

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