THE company which manages Andy Murray's Cromlix House hotel is expanding outside the luxury end of the market.

Inverlochy Castle Management International (ICMI) has launched a new brand, ICMI Lodges & Inns, which will target privately owned three-star hotels and houses.

It has already secured four properties for its portfolio with The Inch near Fort Augustus on Loch Ness, The Factors Inn and Factors Cottage at Inverlochy near Fort William, and the Colonel's Cottage at Greywalls in East Lothian. ICMI manages luxury properties, such as Cromlix at Dunblane, Inverlochy Castle in Fort William, Edinburgh's The Atholl and the Inver Lodge Hotel at Lochinver, under The Collection banner.

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Norbert Lieder, managing director of both operations, felt it was important to launch Lodges & Inns as a separate entity as it will be targeting a slightly different customer than The Collection. However, he wants to grow the portfolio in both the high-end and mid-market.

Mr Lieder said: "We are still going to continue our expansion in the luxury market but there are some very, very good properties in the three-star market."

"We can help independently owned hotels to bring benefits in the purchasing, management and sales and marketing sides."

Mr Lieder indicated he is open to approaches from hotels in Scotland or further afield but highlighted a desire to get into Aberdeen.

He said: "If you take the map of Scotland we have a nice portfolio of properties which allows our clients to stay in our properties when they do a little tour, but we don't have anything in the Aberdeen area."

ICMI was founded by the senior management of Inverlochy Castle Hotel.