Castlewood Hotels Team

The Castlewood Family

May we introduce: our team!

Our seven hotels are being supported by our head office team. Our Castlewood Hotels & Resorts team consists of eight employees at the moment. Team spirit and solidarity are very important in our family. An open, honest communication and a family-like relationship are just some of our core values. In the following we would like to introduce ourselves and give you an understanding of our skills. Our team comes with many different strengths, since we are well aware that a strong team is the foundation of a successful company.

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CEO

Kateryna Smura

Kateryna Smura, certified business economics graduate of the Humboldt University of Berlin, has been with Castlewood Hotels & Resorts since the company was founded. She is the Chief Executive Officer of the hotel group. Kateryna Smura has studied in Lausanne and specialised in the coordination of acquisitions and the subsequent configuration and implementation of transnational HR-, reporting- and controlling structures, during her time working in controlling and corporate development at the Capgemini Group in Central- and Eastern Europe. Since 2010 she has also been working as a self-employed entrepreneur in the real estate and hotel services sector.

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CFO

Jutta Gryska

Jutta Gryska, business economist, is the Chief Financial Officer of Castlewood Hotels & Resorts since 2019. Prior to that she used to be the director of Europe’s biggest golf resort, including ten golf courses and seven hotels. There, she was responsible for the strategic and operational planning and focus of the resort, as well as for 550 employees. Jutta Gryska looks back on more than 20 years of experience in finance, controlling and HR.

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Sebastian Krämer

COO

Sebastian Krämer

Sebastian Kraemer, formerly Chief Executive Officer of the international hotel group Azimut Hotels, is the COO of Castlewood Hotels & Resorts since 01.10.2021. Sebastian Kraemer started his career in the hospitality industry in 1983. He is a certified graduate of the Academy for Hotel- & Tourismmanagement in Koblenz (Germany) and fluent in german, english, russian and french. Since 1997 he had various leading positions, with being in charge of budgeting- & human resource matters, in hotels of famous groups like the Dorint-Sofitel, Kempinski, Starwood, Rocco Forte Hotels and The Three Sisters Hotel inne. Before joining Azimut Hotels he was working for the Reikartz Hotel Group, where he established an Ukrainian hotel group in the position of chief operating officer.

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CCO

Janin Blaser

Janin Blaser, certified business economics graduate of the University of Bayreuth, is the Chief Commercial Officer at Castlewood Hotels & Resorts since March 2020. Therefore, she is responsible for sales, marketing, e-commerce, revenue management, PR & communications as well as digitalisation and expansion. Prior to that Janin Blaser used to work in the field of brand development for Kempinski and Dorint. Initially coming from business consulting, she focussed on the sector of e-commerce for several years before managing a content manufactory in Bremen, the biggest fashion photography and film studio of Europe, with well-known clients like Hugo Boss, Adidas, About You and G-Star.

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Thorsten Sonntag

Director F&B

Thorsten Sonntag

Thorsten Sonntag, trained hotel professional, is the director of F&B since September 2021. Before that, he held the position of the Group F&B Project Manager of Castlewood Hotels & Resorts since 2019. He supplemented his career in the hotel business with an apprenticeship to become a professional international bartender. The following three years he spent working in the luxury hotel industry close to Hameln. After three years, he took on the responsibility of two bars in the area of Göttingen, followed by joining the shipping company Hapag Lloyd when they first launched the MS Europa and then the Compass Group where he worked in F&B management.

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Director Group Revenue

Maximilian Schmid

Maximilian Schmid, coming from a family of hoteliers, is the Director of Group Revenue of Castlewood Hotels & Resorts since August 2020. He had the opportunity to gain experience and discover his passion for the hotel industry at an early stage. After his apprenticeship in the hotel business, he started his carrier as a sales manager in a 4-star business hotel. In 2017 he specialised in the field of Revenue Management for the Provent Hotels GmbH. There, he was responsible for the controlling, revenue generation as well as the technological system architectures of the company, followed by the acquisition into an English corporation.

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Marketing & E-Commerce Manager

Lara Beiler

After her graduation in Business Management in Mannheim, Lara Beiler followed her studies with a master’s degree in International Management, focussing on Marketing & Sales. In the course of her studies, she spent 8 months in South Africa, gaining work experience abroad. Here, she worked in the field of marketing and sales for the 5-star golf resort “Plattner Golf”. Now, she is responsible for all Marketing & E-Commerce activities of Castlewood Hotels & Resorts, working for the group since 2017.

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Senior Group Sales Manager

Vanessa Wachel

Vanessa Wachel, trained hotel professional, is the Senior Group Sales Manager of Castlewood Hotels & Resorts since August 2020. Starting with her apprenticeship in the hotel business, Vanessa Wachel went into the field of Convention Sales Management. Starting with the 4-star superior hotel Hofgut Georgenthal in Wiesbaden, to the 5-star hotel Schlosshotel Kronberg in Frankfurt, she finally became part of our group by working as the Event & Sales Manager for one of our hotels – the Kurhaushotel Bad Salzhausen in the Wetterau in 2016.

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Group F&B Project Manager

Thorsten Sonntag

Thorsten Sonntag, gelernter Hotelfachmann, hält seit 2019 die Position des Group F&B Project Manager für Castlewood Hotels & Resorts inne. He supplemented his apprenticeship in the hotel business with a apprenticeship to become a professional international bartender. The following three years he spent working in the luxury hotel industry close to Hameln. After three years, he took on the responsibility of two bars in the area of Göttingen. After that he started working for the shipping company Hapag Lloyd when they first launched the MS Europa and the Compass Group where he worked in the F&B management.

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IT

Leonardo Smura

Nach dem Abschluss in Kommunikationsdesign an der HBK Saar (Saarland) begann Frau Koch ihre Karriere als freiberufliche Designerin. Es folgt ein weiteres Studium im Personalmanagement an der DAM Darmstadt. Vor Castlewood Hotels & Resorts, war Frau Koch als Personal- und Storeleiterin bei BoConcept, einem dänischen Unternehmen, das Designmöbel entwirft und herstellt, tätig.

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