Hotelier Keith Menin, has had hotel in his blood since a child. Menin who attended Cornell Hotel School began to design and build is first hotel while in College. He has developer of many hotels such as the Sanctuary South Beach, Mondrian in South Beach, Raffaello in Chicago and many other projects has just introduced Keith Menin Hotels (KMHotels) Worldwide. Lauded as one of the top new hoteliers to hit the boutique hotel scene, Menin, age 29 controls a portfolio that even the most seasoned hotelier would be jealous of. Constantly seeking bigger and better, Menin travels from city to city to find properties in need of his ideas and management. From new properties to rehabbed properties Menin travels the globe in search of new designs, trends and influences. Menin’s current portfolio includes Mondrian in South Beach – developed with Morgans Hotel Group, Shelborne Miami Beach, Raffaello Chicago and several new projects in development.
Menin understands the need to surround himself with a creative team that shares his vision, from artists and entertainers to engineers and contractors Menin knows the team effort is the key to success. With an acute vision for identifying great brands and realizing their full potential in expansion into new territories and industries, Menin also entered the fashion world as the primary financial backer and director of development for LUGO Roma – a men’s store in the Nolita area of Manhattan.
Although Menin wasn’t born in a hotel room, it helps that he has the hospitality industry in his blood. Crescent Heights, the company his family co-founded, is one of the nation’s largest developers and marketers of high-rise, multifamily housing and hotels. “I practically grew up in hotels,” Menin says. His great-grandfather, Al Galbut, was one of the first to develop Miami Beach in the 1920s. Menin got his first hotel job when he was 15. When his father died when he was two, his uncle Bruce Menin and cousin Russell Galbut became his mentors. During the summer, he worked the front desk, reservations, housekeeping, as bellman and the bar at the Shelborne, now owned by Menin. Menin not only worked on the hospitality side, but also got involved in the building of the properties. He spent the next summer working construction, building a nursing home. From 6 a.m. to 5 p.m., he did roofing, tiling, plastering and painting. He started out sweeping the site. “I had no life,” says Menin. “That’s all I did, but by the end of the three months, I knew how to build buildings.” Eventually, Menin decided to follow in the footsteps of Russell, who co-founded Crescent Heights, and enrolled at his alma mater, Cornell University, where he was admitted to the prestigious hotel and restaurant school. He went full-speed, graduating in just two and a half years.
Upon graduating, he sought to create a place that was different. “In Miami Beach, you have the Delano and the Shore Club, you have the real high end and then you have the low-end Art Deco buildings. There was nothing that was sophisticated that had high end rooms with a boutique atmosphere.” Menin says his latest masterpiece, Mondrian South Beach is an incredibly exciting property. The $50-million renovation that transformed the building into a condo-hotel includes designs by Marcel Wanders, an agua day spa and access to a large marina. “It is a place people can go to get away,” Menin says. “You can bring your boat and stay for a massage. For me, living in that environment is priceless.”
Keith Menin is one of the youngest developers on Miami Beach and loves the city and has passion for the business. Owning many restaurants such as OLA, Asia D Cuba, Pizza Bar and the new La Esqunia he knows what the customers want in Miami. He is dedicated to help the city grow and has enjoyed being a part of it up until now.
In addition to the Mondrian South Beach, Menin has since developed Bentley South Beach, Raffaello Chicago, Shelborne South Beach (where he was employed at the age of 15) and his latest venture Regent Hotel & Gale South set to open December 2012. A portfolio that even the most seasoned hoteliers would be envious of, Menin has added restaurants to the list such as Vesper, Pizza Bar, Lucy’s Cantina Royale, and Drumbar.