Cycas makes two new senior appointments

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Published on 11/05/23 - Updated on 11/05/23

Ben Thomas & Julia Harnischfeger

Cycas Hospitality has announced two senior appointments to its operational leadership team. Ben Thomas and Julia Harnischfeger have been appointed COOs of UK & Ireland and Continental Europe, respectively.

As Chief Operating Officer (UK & Ireland), Ben Thomas will be tasked with supporting hotels and serviced apartments across the UK, including the openings of Residence Inn Manchester – Piccadilly and Four Points by Sheraton Edinburgh.

Thomas brings over twenty years’ experience in the hospitality sector to the role. He began his career in 1998 at Moat House Hotels as Events and F&B Manager. He worked at Quality Hotels, Millennium & Copthorne Hotels, and Village Hotels over the years before joining Penta Hotels in 2014.

He rose through the ranks of the hotel brand to the position of Chief Commercial Officer, which he occupied from June 2020 until May of this year. During his time at Penta Hotels, he was based in the UK and Germany.

Julia Harnischfeger will join Cycas in July 2023 as Chief Operating Officer (Continental Europe). A hotel administration and management graduate from Washington State University, she has worked in hospitality since 2007.

Her career has seen her work for internationally known companies such as Le Meridien, Starwood, Aloft Hotels, and Penta Hotels, across the UK and Germany.

Since 2020, Harnischfeger has occupied the position of Managing Director of UPARTMENTS Real Estate GmbH. In her new post at Cycas, she will bring executive leadership and pan-European expertise in hospitality, serviced apartments, and micro living.

Cycas has quadrupled in size over the last four years and doubled in the past twelve months to reach 48 hotels under management across Europe. As we continue to expand, it’s critical we keep investing in the very best talent and leadership to deliver on our promises to our hotel teams and investment partners. With that in mind, I am excited to welcome Ben and Julia to join our executive team. They are hugely experienced hoteliers, both having run pan-European operations for many years. Moreover, they are both passionate leaders of people, and a wonderful fit with Cycas’ values and focus on developing and inspiring Europe’s best hospitality team.

Matt Luscombe, CEO of Cycas Hospitality

I am incredibly excited about joining Cycas during this period of exciting growth, as we enter new markets in key cities with the upcoming openings in Manchester and Edinburgh. I look forward to working closely with the whole team to develop and support the portfolio across the UK & Ireland.

Ben Thomas, Chief Operating Officer (UK & Ireland) at Cycas Hospitality

I’m delighted to be joining Cycas, to help build on its pan-European management expertise, create value for investors, and cement its reputation as the best hotels to both work as well as stay at. My passion is assisting talent to grow and seeing guests return time and time again, across the region.

Julia Harnischfeger, Chief Operating Officer (Continental Europe) at Cycas Hospitality

Cycas Hospitality

Cycas Hospitality


  • Cycas Hospitality Europe
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