Sim, who joins from Maryculter House Hotel in Aberdeen, is currently interviewing staff for the 26-bedroom hotel which he hopes will become a coveted destination for leisure and corporate guests.
He said: "My first priority is to get ourselves up and running and a team built up and it is slowly beginning to come to fruition. When it comes to five-star you have got to hand pick the people to ensure the team is right.
"We are currently looking for our head chef. We need somebody who is at three AA rosette level or higher who can run our fine-dining restaurant Sandeman, but we are also looking at building our function suite, so the intention is that whoever takes on the role will eventually become executive chef and manage banqueting too.”
The property, situated on the banks of Loch Faskally, was built for port and sherry merchants Sandeman in 1892. It was later used by Scottish Hydro Power until the Clark family bought it in 2002.
The family, whose background is in property development, has spent the last few years developing the property, creating 13 bedrooms in an external building and building eight lodges within the grounds.
“They have spent millions creating a beautiful hotel,” said Sim. “They are also enthusiastic about developing the business in the future, not in terms of expanding the space, but in terms of investing in the offer.”
Plans are already afoot to open a spa at the hotel and add an additional 28 lodges to the grounds.
Sim said alongside the luxurious fittings, the owners had invested in the latest technology with e-concierge services through Guestfolio to be available to guests alongside Smart TVs in every room.
“With us being in the Highlands, where we are subject to the odd power cut, we have invested in two generators in case we do lose power,” he said," We want everything to go seamlessly."
Drinking and dining
As well as the 80-cover glass fronted restaurant which overlooks the Loch, the hotel will develop a function suite for up to 300 guests.
Sim, who created a dedicated single malt bar while working at the Cuillin Hills Hotel on the Isle of Skye, is also keen to replicate the experience at Fonab Castle.
The hotel will stock 190 single malt whiskies and will also have a dedicated gin bar, serving up to 40 different gins.
"We'll also have a selection of Sandeman ports and sherries, of course, as well as 190 wine bins, but it would be great to be known as a specialist spirits hotel," said Sim.