1. So tell us Manuela, how did all start?
Since my childhood I was fascinated by travelling. I enjoyed discovering new places and exploring nice hotels. I studied hotel management and specialised in Marketing and Yield Management. During my education I worked as trainee in different hotels in Europe and the US. I gained experience in seasonal resorts, individual and chain hotels in various cities. After one year of Management training at the Jefferson Hotel in Washington DC I was offered a great job opportunity at the Baur au Lac in Zurich and stayed there for almost 9 years. I worked in the Sales, Marketing and PR department where I advanced to the position of Director of Sales, PR & Marketing. It was the job of my dreams. Representing one of the finest hotels in the world I travelled a lot to visit existing customers and to acquire new ones. Having four children I decided to take a short professional break and start a new business. My business partner, Joern Pfannkuch, and I observed that most oft the traditional PR agencies in the hotel and tourism industry are still ignoring modern media. With Cinnamon Circle we have decided to offer a powerful combination of classical PR and marketing services with modern/social media
2. And who do you owe your success to?
I suppose I was lucky to be at the right place at the right time. In addition my parents taught me to be disciplined, ambitious, goal-oriented and always honest in life. I have always been very motivated and optimistic and I guess these character traits are a must for setting up a successful business. In addition, I am surrounded by supportive family members and friends.
3. Which section of your company and your magazine are you most proud of?
The quality of our services are absolutely outstanding. The entire team and all the freelancers we work with have years of experience and a most professional background. They know our industry and are aware of what makes the difference. In addition, we have an excellent network worldwide which is inevitable in our globalised world.
4. Which hotel in Switzerland is a dream?
The Baur au Lac in Zurich which was my second home for 9 years and has a very special place in my heart. The location in the city center next to the wonderful park besides the lake is unique. In addition, the service is unbeatable The hotel is run by an excellent Management and what makes the difference that the owners are very often present.
The other hotel which means a lot to me is the Beau-Rivage Palace. The history, the spirit and the constant innovation are fabulous. The hotel also has a private link : I spent my wedding night there.
5. And your favourite hotel in Europe?
It is impossible to name a single one. There are too many wonderful hotels in different places with different settings and designs such as Il Salviatino in Florence, 45 Park Lane in London, Vault Karaköy in Istanbul, The Oitavos in Cascais or Monte Carlo Beach Hotel.
6. The best restaurant in the world is…
There are so many outstanding restaurants in the world and the choice depends on the occasion and location. We spend lot of time in the Engadine and there my favourite place is Chesa Veglia (belongs to the Badrutts Palace).
7. Which website/ magazine inspires you?
I very much like travel blogs and online sites such as Condé Nast Traveller but also fashion and lifestyle magazines (Vogue, Elle).
8. Which shopping town you enjoy the most?
I love New York – not necessarily for the shopping but the drive of this metropolitan city inspires me and fills me with creativity.
9. What can’t you live without (besides your children of course!)
10. Which food would be found always in your fridge?
If it was for me only: salad, vegetables and milk (for my Latte Macchiatto). Since we have a big household our fridge is always full !
11. And ﬁnally, which item identiﬁes you?
My engagement ring – it was the start of a new exciting part of my life.
Photoshooting by Jeannette Johanssen-Evans.