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How Hospitality Projects Can Stand Out


Keith Mehner of Keith Interior Design & M2K Architecture, a sponsor company at the marcus evans Infrastructure & Property Development MEA Summit 2012, on creating a unique experience for hotel guests.

Interview with: Keith Mehner, Director, Keith Interior Design & M2K Architecture


A winner of top honours with a number of international design awards for hospitality projects, Keith Mehner, Director, Keith Interior Design & M2K Architecture, says that wherever a hotel is being built, the architecture and interiors must reflect the local environment to provide guests with a unique experience.

From a sponsor company at the upcoming marcus evans Infrastructure & Property Development MEA Summit 2012, in Doha, Qatar, 7 - 8 May, Mehner discusses hospitality projects, sustainable development and making hotels stand out.

Your awards include the World Luxury Awards - “Luxury Hotel 2011” and “Best Luxury Wellness Spa 2011”. How do your projects stand out?

We always try to give our hotels a sense of place, by researching the surrounding environment and making sure that the architecture and interiors of the hotel reflect that.

For our project in Rwanda, we took a lot of time to understand the area and local culture, and what could and could not be built in a remote and difficult location. We brought in the Rwandese style, art and craft into the architecture, and involved the community, with the local women making some of the hotel artwork. This resulted in the hotel having a local identity with a well thought out experience for guests.

Should architecture and interior design be combined to achieve this outcome?

In our office, there is no distinction between Keith Interior Design and M2K Architecture. We work on every project holistically. This makes us stronger, as there is no conflict between the two professions and there is a seamless design strategy for the whole project. We see ourselves as designers from beginning to end. Everything our hotel guests see, touch and feel are part of our design.

Sustainable growth is a key theme in this industry. What is the best way of generating long-term value and sustainable growth in hospitality developments?

The hotel guest’s experience should be special and distinct, with a reason for people to choose a particular hotel. There has to be a story that can be told over many years, that the guest can take away. In order to do this, the project needs to be well thought out, with proper research on what is available in the market and an understanding and integration of the local culture and social aspects of the area. Taking these things into consideration, the project can set itself apart from others, becoming unique, endurable and ultimately, sustainable.  

What opportunities are developers underutilising today?

Many resorts are not family friendly. Hotels are not only for men and women; the entire family, including teenagers and toddlers, need to be thought of.

What is the ideal hotel guest experience?

Hotel guests want to feel comfortable and at home. Designers can assist in that, by making sure that the servicing in the hotel is easy for those working there.

Any final thoughts?

Real estate, infrastructure and property developments must be planned for the long term; many are looking at too short a payback period. Facilities must be built to last a very long time. Many developments happen too quickly and are not well thought out.
Interview by:
Sarin Kouyoumdjian-Gurunlian, Press Manager

For more information, contact: Jennifer Keljik, marketing manager
Tel: +1.312.540.300 x6592

About the Infrastructure & Property Development MEA Summit 2012

This unique forum will take place at The Four Seasons Hotel, Doha, Qatar, 7 - 8 May 2012. Offering much more than any conference, exhibition or trade show, this exclusive meeting will bring together esteemed industry thought leaders and solution providers to a highly focused and interactive networking event. The Summit includes presentations on fostering development, green building best practices and diversifying project portfolios.

Please note that the Summit is a closed business event and the number of participants strictly limited.

About Keith Interior Design & M2K Architecture

South African based Keith Interior Design / M2K Architecture have completed award winning projects throughout Africa, The Indian Ocean, Europe and the Middle East. They are sought after by the leaders in the hospitality sector for their ability to create a memorable design, sensitive to its location.

About marcus evans summits

marcus evans Summits are high level business forums for the world’s leading decision-makers to meet, learn and discuss strategies and solutions. Held at exclusive locations around the world, these events provide attendees with a unique opportunity to individually tailor their schedules of keynote presentations, think tanks, seminars and one-to-one business meetings. All rights reserved. The above content may be republished or reproduced. Kindly inform us by sending an email to


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