NEWS that the luxury Cameron House Hotel on the shores of Loch Lomond is set to reopen next year has been warmly welcomed this week.

In a statement online the hotel’s owners said the property would undergo a “careful and sensitive restoration” following the devastating fire in December in which two guests died.

It's planned to reopen the hotel in the autumn of 2019.

Simon Midgley, 32, and Richard Dyson, 38, from London, died after flames ripped through the hotel on December 18.

The hotel was closed “indefinitely” after more than 200 guests fled the blaze, which firemen battled for more than 24 hours.

The hotel’s social media accounts had remained inactive for more than four months after Andy Roger, the resort director, used them the day after the blaze to pay tribute to the emergency services and his staff.

After the tragedy, the venue’s management had stated: “We would kindly ask all guests and customers to remain patient as we work with the emergency services to establish the extent of the damage.”

However, their social media was reactivated last week when a statement outlining new plans was posted alongside an image of the sun shining on the resort marina.

The message said: “Cameron House on Loch Lomond will embark on a careful and sensitive restoration project which will see Cameron House Hotel, the Leisure Club, the Great Scots Bar and Cameron Grill remain closed until autumn 2019.

“The Spa at Cameron House, the Carrick Golf Course, the Marina, Cameron Lodges, the Boat House and Claret Jug restaurants remain open as usual.”

Investigations into the cause of the fire are continuing.

Conservative West of Scotland MSP Maurice Corry said: “I am delighted about the news that Cameron House is going to reopen. It is a valuable and iconic building in my constituency area and a vital asset to the economy.

“The fire was a tragic time for the area and my heart goes out to those affected and the families of the men who lost their lives.”

The announcement received a positive response on social media.

Mel Healey, a regular guest, wrote on Facebook: “Great news to hear there is a reopening time in mind. Can’t wait to get back to my favourite place and see what it is like once it’s restored.”

Joan Duffy added: “Cannot wait to return when completed. I feel so sorry for you. A terrible thing to go through.”

Anna Murray said: “Such a sad thing to happen to such a special place.”

Mr Midgley, a travel journalist with the London Evening Standard, and his partner Mr Dyson, a TV producer, were staying at the hotel for a festive break.

We previously reported that firefighters have carried out more than 70 non-domestic fire checks in the area as a result of the fatal fire.

Senior firefighters from Scottish Fire and Rescue Services (SFRS) praised the help they received from Police Scotland and revealed work that has gone on to try and prevent a similar tragedy.

As reported in the April 26 issue of the Advertiser, there was recently happier news for Cameron House after it won three prizes at the Scottish Hotel Awards, for the best spa, best food and beverage worker and best spa therapist.

The assessments were carried out before December’s fire.