Miami Living Magazine

Willa Ford

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Page 98 of 115

Leaders in a new generation of hoteliers, Keith Menin and Jared Galbut, have been breathing new life into old South Beach since 2005 and don't show signs of stopping anytime soon. When you first meet Keith and Jared, it is astounding to learn their youthful age as they exude a wealth of knowledge, extensive industry experience and an unteachable sense of focus - characteristics you would not expect from many in their generation. In their early 20's, the two joined forces to create Menin Hotels, a full service hospitality management company with a mission to preserve yet modernize hotels and the overall hotel experience, initially in South Beach and now expanding to other parts of the world. With this as a driving force, Menin Hotels sought out local historic properties that were once reputed from the early 1900's and were in need of the duo's touch and expertise to turn them into todays most destined locations. "We see a lot of new hotels detaching the Art Deco movement from their projects and completely transforming it into something unrecognizable," said Keith. "Our restorations celebrate the history of the property and bring it back to life again." Reviving this restoration trend from the late 80's when the economic climate had greatly impacted the travel industry, Keith and Jared have outpaced many others with their ongoing resurrection and dedication to their hometown. Before they reached age 25, Menin Hotels acquired Sanctuary South Beach where Keith and Jared focused their dynamic energy into restoring the space into a chic 30-room, all- suite boutique hotel on James Avenue. The ideal setting and flawlessly executed guest experience transformed the hotel into a haven for the luxury jet setter and the selective business traveler who want to be away from everything but in the middle of it all. Keith and Jared ventured out of Miami in 2006 and discovered Raffaello Chicago, the ultimate location off Michigan Avenue situated next to the famed John Hancock building. The 3,400 sq. foot luxury boutique hotel underwent a floor-to-ceiling renovation, revealing a new design concept, refreshed ambiance and amenity upgrades. This renovation also inspired the birth of Drumbar, Menin Hotel's speakeasy-inspired lounge featuring handcrafted cocktails and views overlooking the city and Lake Michigan. The lounge immediately dominated the Chicago scene and opened doors for Menin Hotels to conquer nightlife. Drumbar has since received numerous awards and accolades highlighting its indoor/outdoor spaces, skilled staff and innovative cocktails. In 2010, Bentley South Beach on Ocean Drive caught the eye of the hoteliers as a diamond in the rough. Taking over the historic property, Keith and Jared carefully preserved the hotel's European feel while upgrading its pool, rooftop and landscaping to create more of an at-home experience with luxurious, amenity- rich suites. "When Shelborne became available to us, we knew it was time for a comeback," That same year, Keith and Jared decided to take on a bigger project that also held a personal attachment for Keith, Shelborne South Beach, where he used to work as a young teen. "When Shelborne became available to us, we knew it was time for a comeback," says Keith Menin. "As one of the most iconic landmarks in South Beach with tremendous presence, we were proud to preserve its importance in the community and revive its old glamour days." After two-years of construction, the hotel revealed its $20 million rejuvenation. Restoring the space to its Art Deco glory, Keith and Jared also interjected a sense of "today" by way of technology and upgraded amenities including Vesper, Lucy's Cantina Royale, Shelborne Lounge, state-of-the-art cabanas and a new pool deck offering a relaxed setting with unparalleled views of the private beach and Atlantic Ocean.

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