Le signore dell’hôtellerie

Impeccable elegance, good taste and an out-of-the-ordinary tenacity are their calling card. Behind the scenes of elegant hotels and luxurious resorts, they are the real stars keeping the beating heart of hospitality moving. In designing environments, managing the facility, and providing unforgettable experiences, they stand as key pillars, bringing with them grace, insight, and leadership.

Ladies of the hôtellerie

The ladies of hospitality are successful entrepreneurs who support careers, families and businesses and who, with determination and resilience, have taken hospitality to a new level. Each with a different role, they put their insight and empathy into everything from room styling to interior design, from tableware to facility redesign, from guest experiences to restaurant menus.

They offer inspiration and bring innovation, particularly on hot topics such as eco-sustainability, social responsibility and inclusive corporate culture. Mountain hotels, resorts in the heart of the countryside, hotels in the city center: here are four women who have succeeded in demonstrating ability, resourcefulness and vision for the future.

Martha Schultz

Gradonna Mountain Resort, Kals am Großglockner, Austria

Martha Schultz, The Ladies of the Hôtellerie.
Martha Schultz, Gradonna Mountain Resort

Martha Schultz and her family have been an integral part of tourism development in Tyrol and Austria for four generations, where they own the iconic Gradonna Mountain Resort in Kals, at the foot of the spectacular Großglockner Mountain. Since 2010, Martha Schultz has worked to promote the interests of Austrian companies as vice president of the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber.

She and his family run ski resorts, cable cars, lodges, hotels, and construction companies. The Schultz Group, of which Martha Schultz is managing director, now employs 800 people. Growing up among guests at the old bed and breakfast run by her mother in the valley, she followed in the footsteps of her father, a visionary and pioneer in the hospitality and tourism industry, opening Gradonna in 2013 with a 50 million euro investment. A gamble that proved successful. Its history is a classic example of the transition from traditional hospitality to the rise of tourism.

Gradonna Mountain Resort
Gradonna Mountain Resort

Gradonna Mountain Resort is now a futuristic eco-sustainable design facility with clean lines. Martha Schultz is also president of the European Women’s Network of Eurochambres and the association “Frau in der Wirtschaft” (Women in the Economy), “Women must support each other. Together, we are many!” In fact, the entrepreneur tenaciously fights for women’s rights in the economy and For even more in management positions. In the Group’s properties, Martha Schultz has for several years introduced numerous programs for employees so as to especially promote better work-family compatibility.

Maria Hauser

Bio Hotel Stanglwirt, Kitzbühel, Austria

Maria Hauser, The Ladies of the Hôtellerie.
Maria Hauser, Stanglwirt

Maria Hauser, together with her family, owns a true legend of the hotellerie, one of the most successful family businesses in Austria. An extraordinary place for its uniqueness and crossroads of international VIPs, from Gwyneth Paltrow to Arnold Schwarzenegger. The five-star Stanglwirt – Austria’s first and only hotel on Condé Nast Traveler’s gold list of the world’s 140 best hotels, already awarded the title “World’s Best Wellness Spa” by World Boutique Hotel Award, is a luxurious bio-hotel, certified since 1980, when sustainability was not yet in the news.

Stanglwirt - The ladies of the hôtellerie

Maria Hauser spent her childhood in the hotel, between house guests, kitchen and lounge. After experience in Australia and California, Maria Hauser is now part of the Stanglwirt’s management and operations team. She is also responsible for the legendary “Stanglwirt Weisswurst Party,” the iconic party preceding the legendary ski race on Kitzbühel’s Hahnenkamm.

An indispensable pillar of the hotel, it is always finding new fields and new projects to immerse itself in. For example, in the creative redesign of many interior areas of the Stanglwirt. Or in the Stangl store, which he not only manages but also complements with his own fashion creations. A few years ago she launched her super-sustainable cosmetics line, The Good Conscious, beloved by stars worldwide. Her life motto? It must come from the heart what wants to act on the heart,” Maria Hauser explains, quoting Goethe.

Barbara Ludwig

Hotel Beethoven, Wien, Austria

Barbara Ludwig, The Ladies of the Hôtellerie.
Barbara Ludwig, Hotel Beethoven

Former tolerance house in a neighborhood, at the time, infamous, the‘Hotel Beethoven Wien is now a charming 4-star boutique-hotel located in the heart of Vienna’s cultural and nightlife center – in the 6th District-that is, in the pulsating, bohemian nest of the Naschmarkt, in a historic building dating from 1902, which has gone through the 20th century unscathed. Hotel Beethoven Wien reopened its doors in summer 2017 after a complete renovation overseen by its owner, Barbara Ludwig, the establishment’s soul and lover of design, fashion, art, and all things beautiful. Each room on the hotel’s six floors tells the story of an important personality from the past through the interior design, materials and accessories chosen. Independent and resourceful women are the stars here.

Hotel Beethoven Vienna
Hotel Beethoven

One of the most beloved rooms by Barbara Ludwig is one dedicated to Berta Zuckerkandl, a big-hearted, free-spirited woman who was a prominent Austrian journalist and salonnière. “Because of her compassionate and sometimes impulsive nature, her joie de vivre, spontaneity, and way of doing things against the rules, she reminds me of my mother” says Barbara Ludwig. Another room, 501, is dedicated to another strong and special woman, Maria Theresa of Austria.

Today it is impossible to imagine Hotel Beethoven Wien without its energetic owner, and it is equally impossible to imagine Barbara Ludwig without her hotel. This intense symbiosis has resulted in Barbara Ludwig being known by many as “die Ludwig vom Beethoven” (translated: the Ludwig of Beethoven), without any disrespectful intent, but rather as an expression of admiration for her position and extraordinary commitment to the cultural life of the Austrian capital.

Claudia Giuliani

Locanda in Tuscany, Castiglione d’Orcia (Si)

Claudia Giuliani, Ladies of the hôtellerie.
Claudia Giuliani with husband Luca Bernetti and their children

Claudia Giuliani is owner and general manager of Locanda in Tuscany , in the heart of the Val d’Orcia, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. After significant experience in the hospitality industry, in 2016, together with her husband Luca Bernetti, she transformed an ancient farm in the Sienese countryside between Pienza and Bagno Vignoni into an iconic country resort with 9 rooms and suites.

Inn in Tuscany
Inn in Tuscany

Passion, perseverance, sacrifice and above all a continuous work of growth and research that is also reflected in the professional sphere have led the entrepreneur to launch one of the most beautiful facilities in Tuscany – passing on the art of hospitality to every guest and collaborator and always seeking new challenges. Mom’s, too.

“I have not encountered difficulties as a woman entrepreneur in the realization of Locanda in Tuscany, I have instead found many difficulties as a mother in pursuing my dream as an ambitious career woman.” .

Her resourcefulness is not limited to the management of the resort: one of the innovations Claudia Giuliani has brought to life recently, together with her husband and Elisa Colli, another well-known name in hotel reception, is the cluster Dolcevita Valdorcia, an ambitious luxury diffused hospitality project in the Val d’Orcia district, whose primary goal is to Enhance and support this magnificent area embracing all elements of the hospitality, event and catering sectors. With perseverance Claudia Giuliani has been able to put all her personality and vision into Locanda in Tuscany and into the new challenge, confirming that female entrepreneurs have an edge.


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