Celebrating Women in Hospitality

International Women’s Day 2024

To celebrate International Women’s Day 2024, we are joined by Annika Sosnizka-Tauss of Cresta Palace Celerina, and Karen Tyson of Rudding Park to hear more about how they have shaped successful careers in hospitality.


Annika SosniZka-Tauss, Director, Cresta Palace Celerina

The Cresta Palace Celerina, St Moritz, was built in 1906 and remains one of Switzerland’s finest hotels.  Combining the Art Deco glory of a historic grand hotel with sleek and contemporary interiors, the hotel’s idyllic Alpine location makes this ideal for those seeking a luxurious mountain escape. Annika Sosnizka-Tauss, together with her husband Markus Tauss, took over the management of the hotel in 2020.

Annika, how did you start your career in the hospitality industry, and what inspired you to become a hotelier?

Growing up, I worked in restaurants and event catering, which I loved. I studied history and romance languages at school but hospitality quickly became my passion and I made it my mission to be the best event hostess I could be. Securing an apprenticeship as hotel manager of a 5-star Intercontinental Hotel in Germany was my first step into the fascinating world of the hotel industry. I knew that working and learning in an international hotel would give me the freedom to pursue a career anywhere in the world.

What do you love about your role and the industry?

I love the variety of the role, meeting guests, and the team spirit you can create. I love that our work brings joy to others every day and that it never gets boring. I find managing the Cresta Palace, together with my husband and our amazing team is a privilege. We constantly work to ensure guests and employees alike have a positive experience and consciously choose to return to our hotel. 

Making a difference by challenging and changing processes is really rewarding. Sustainability, for example, has become hugely important within the hotel industry and at the Cresta Palace, we are focused on building a sustainable operation. The hotel is almost 120 years old and we’re committed to meeting the demands of today’s guests whilst celebrating its unique charm and history. 

What advice would you give any aspiring female hoteliers?

Do it, just do it! There is so much to discover and learn and so much opportunity. Try things out, assert yourself, and acquire a hard shell if necessary. That never hurts, whether at work or in your private life. The hotel industry is a glittering, extremely fascinating world that is pretty magical. It’s important to be aware of the magic that it can create so you don’t lose the sense of fun. Stay curious and build a great team. Because without a sensational team, there is no sensational hotel!

View the decadent Alpine escape

Karen Tyson, Resort General Manager, Rudding Park

Rudding Park is an award-winning luxury resort, set in 300 acres of landscaped gardens and woodland, three miles from the beautiful Yorkshire spa town of Harrogate.Karen joined  Rudding Park 16 years ago as Revenue Manager and now is responsible for the general management of the resort.

How did you start your career in the hospitality industry, and what inspired you to become a hotelier?

As a young adult thinking about my future, my Dad suggested that I reflect on what made me happiest in life. I spent time thinking about my happiest childhood memories; trips to the countryside, holidays on England’s east coast, drinking milkshakes in a seaside hut. All these moments shared something in common – everyone was happy, relaxed and enjoying themselves. I wanted more of that and hospitality seemed a natural choice! Not long after, I successfully applied for a place on the Management Trainee Scheme with Forte Hotels. I have never looked back and have successfully navigated 30 years in the most rewarding and fulfilling industry. I have been privileged to have been given many opportunities by people I respect and admire.

Karen Tyson, Resort General Manager, Rudding Park

What do you love about the industry?

I love that no two days are ever the same! As someone who is fascinated by people, I love that I have the chance to meet so many different guests as part of my day. As an industry, we challenge the status quo and place a high value on ‘people skills’ over academic qualifications. A university degree is no substitute for working your way up in the hospitality industry! Surround yourself with like-minded people and very quickly hearts and minds will evolve into super ‘people powers’, welcoming guests with a sense of heartfelt hospitality.

What advice would you give any aspiring female hoteliers?

Exactly the same advice I would give to anyone; find your passion, be consistent, be humble, be trusted, be determined and above anything else, have fun and enjoy the journey!

View the luxurious country house hotel