Yet another young, up and coming life style hotelier beginning to make his mark in the business is Keith Menin of Menin Hotels in Miami Beach. His most noteworthy project is the ongoing US$15 million renovation of the 70-year-old Shelborne Hotel in South Miami Beach, which is expected to be complete sometime this fall. The new look will feature 200 refurbished rooms, 20 suites, nine executive poolside bi-level townhouse suites, multiple mezzanine lanai suites and a sprawling penthouse suite.
In addition, through family assets and a small group of investors, Menin’s group recently acquired the Bentley Hotel to make a portfolio of three in South Beach. The company also has a 50% stake in Miami Beach’s Mondrian hotel and owns/manages the Raffaello hotel in Chicago. Menin says that the group is actively seeking to acquire hotels in New York City, Los Angeles and Rio de Janeiro, and is willing to come in as a strict manager, as well. Within five years, he says the group should have 10 hotels under management.
“We have developed a great operating platform that can deploy in any city,” Menin said. “We have a strong accounting, revenue management, sales and customer service approach delivered by a young, fresh team.”
Menin says his style of cool includes trying to cater to all experiential needs of his guests. For example, at The Shelborne the update will include a sushi and saki lounge, a taqueria on the beach and a surf shop for renting bikes and boogie boards. Next to the new infinity pool, the hotel will feature a “beauty deck” with an upper sun deck (topless sunbathing area) connected by a cat walk for dramatic entrances. To further differentiate his brand, all three Miami hotels will soon debut a car sharing programs with Zip Car and Hertz Connect.
The finishing touch at the Shelborne will be the removal of the big privacy hedge separating the pool from the beach. “We want people to come in off the beach and get a snow cone or a fish taco. We want to bring back people who have disappeared from the beach,” says the 30-year-old. “It will be like a mini-Vegas hotel with amenities right off the beach.”
Menin admits pulling off the execution of the concept is always difficult and will really focus on “service and giving people what they want.”