Think you know Keith Menin and Jared Galbut, think again…
There’s more to Keith Menin, principal at Menin Hospitality, and Jared Galbut, managing principal at Menin Hospitality, than meets the eye, so we decided to ask them those comical, personal and telling questions that reveal the men behind the suit.
Keith and Jared Galbut both came up the travel industry ladder together, starting at a young age—working the front desk at the Shelborne South Beach. Keith attributes his interactions at the age of 15 with a couple on their first vacation together, as the moment that made him realize he was meant to work in the travel industry. And for Jared, it was a thank you note from a guest that made him turn his passion to the travel industry at the age of 18.
Now these two men are often referred to as Miami’s hospitality market’s rising stars. And, to make this experience come full circle, Menin has recently signed on to manage the Shelborne. But we’ll let these two gentlemen explain what ignites their passion for travel in this Coffee Time with Industry Vets Q&A series.
Where did you go on your first trip and how old were you?
Keith: 3 years old in Aruba.
Jared: 2 years old in The Bahamas.
What is your most vivid travel memory?
Keith: Last summer in Mykonos we were on a boat and docked right behind Nammos Beach. The sun was setting, music was going, I was with my greatest friends and wife having a glass of rose—and it was perfect, those are the moments you travel for.
Jared: Standing on the beaches of Normandy, France.
What was the “Aha” moment that led you into the travel industry?
Keith: My first job was working the front desk at the Shelborne South Beach. When I was 15, I remember checking in a couple who was on one of their first vacations. It was inspiring to see how happy they were at the Shelborne and in that moment I wanted to make their vacation special, so I upgraded them and offered them some drink tickets. I found joy seeing their happiness and being the first impression of their trip.
Jared: When I was 18 years old, I worked at the Hudson as a concierge agent. I remember the moment I got my first thank you letter from a guest, and that’s when I wanted to be a part of this industry.
Where did you go on your honeymoon?
Keith: Saint Barts
Jared: Mayakoba Mexico at Banyan Tree
What was your favorite trip you took last year and why?
Keith: On a random Thursday in July a friend invited me to Ibiza. I thought I was going for four days, and ended up staying for three weeks! It was great running into friends across the world. We ended up extending our trip and going to new destinations like Madrid, St. Tropez and Morocco.
Jared: I kept it domestic and traveled to Utah for my first time with my family. The mountains and activities made it an amazing experience.
Where would you like to go that you have yet to visit?
Do you always buy a souvenir the first time you visit a destination?
Keith: I always try to.
Jared: No, but I do like collecting hotel in-room collateral, so maybe that counts.
You can tell us—do you collect magnets from the destinations you’ve visited?
Keith: No, I like to get something that truly signifies the destination and brings me back to a great memory.
Jared: Absolutely not.
What do you do to pass the time on the plane ride to your destination?
Keith: Sit back on my phone and draft or send a lot of e-mails to my team.
Jared: Usually e-mails while having a Bloody Mary, followed by Billy Joel for three hours.
Who is your favorite travel companion?
Keith: My wife.
Jared: My wife and son.
If there were one hotel room in the world you could call home the rest of your life, which would it be?
Keith: Villa #2 at the Ocean Club in The Bahamas.
Jared: Alila Villas Uluwatu in Bali.
What is the best food you’ve had on a trip? The strangest?
Keith: Best food: dinner at the Hotel Costes in Paris—steak frites, bottle of red wine and a salad sitting in the courtyard. Strangest: a restaurant called Spilisa in Mykonos. It is located in a fisherman’s area in a cave and they hang octopus from the building and then you watch the server go grab it, cook it and serve it.
Jared: Hong Kong—the overall experience was the best and strangest.
What can’t you travel without?
Keith: iPhone charger and Kiehl’s facial fuel
Jared: Bose headphones
Who is the most interesting person you’ve met while traveling?
Keith: Years ago in Paris I was with a friend and I was introduced to Lenny Kravtiz, we went to his house and became friends. He is a legend.
Jared: I think I am still looking; I have a lot more adventures in my future.
Tropical beach or Snowy Mountain?
Jared: Tropical beach
City or countryside?