AHL Insider:

Michael Tavani

Cofounder of PR firm M18

  • WHAT DO YOU DO?

    I am the Co-Founder of M18 - a public relations agency specializing in hospitality, design, and real estate.

  • HOW DID YOU GET INVOLVED IN THE INDUSTRY?

    I fell into it when I finished school, and realized early on that it combined a lot of my personal and professional interests.

  • WHAT ARE SOME HOTELS YOU REPRESENT?

    Wythe Hotel, The NoMad Hotel, Freehand in Miami & Chicago, The Dean Hotel, Hotel Saint Cecilia, Hotel San Jose, El Cosmico, The Line Hotel, citizenM, Roost, Nautilus, Rivertown Lodge in Hudson NY and others.

  • WHAT’S THE BIGGEST CHANGE YOU HAVE SEEN IN HOSPITALITY AND PUBLIC RELATIONS INDUSTRY IN THE PAST FEW YEARS?

    Larger hotel brands trying to act ‘small’ by being more site-specific and local; and smaller hotel brands trying to act ‘big’ by showing they can operate hotels at a larger scale, attract investors, and have the infrastructure to grow.

  • YOU REPRESENT CLIENTS ALL OVER THE UNITED STATES, WHERE IN THE US DO YOU SEE A LOT OF GROWTH IN HOTELS TAKING PLACE?

    As people all over the country are thinking more than ever about where they stay, what sort of experience it will offer, and how it will connect them to the surrounding community – new places are opening to suit those tastes. Smaller cities, which have traditionally been overlooked when it comes to the type of hotels we are talking about here at A Hotel Life, should continue to see a lot of growth. We have really interesting projects opening soon in New Orleans, Detroit, Marfa, Philadelphia, and Washington DC – all places in need of fresh and thoughtful hotel options.

  • WHAT DO YOU FORESEE AS THE NEXT BIG THING IN HOSPITALITY AND REAL ESTATE?

    It’s interesting you connected hospitality and real estate in the same question – which is not something people often do, but they are increasingly related. More than ever the economic success of a hotel is determined by the cost of the real estate that the hotel is sitting on. This is why you are seeing so many companies looking to combine traditional hotel concepts with things like creative office space, long-term stay, hostels, condos, and member clubs. These are all ways to re-think the traditional revenue models, and in many cases make-up for the high cost of the initial acquisition and construction. Likewise, as a result of these high costs, we‘re seeing really talented people decamp from cities, and set up hotels in more rural areas – creating their own little utopia, without the same day-to-day economical demands you find in urban centers like New York.

  • WHAT DO YOU HOPE TO ACCOMPLISH FOR YOUR HOSPITALITY CLIENTS?

    To help them achieve both their cultural objectives and business goals through shaping public perception about their properties and the interesting people behind them.

  • WHAT INSPIRES YOU?

    So many things, but if I have to distill it - travel, food, family and friends, as well as learning from others who are passionate and good at what they do.

  • WHO IN THE INDUSTRY HAVE YOU LOVED WORKING WITH?

    It’s a long list – Andrew Zobler, Andrew Tarlow, Liz Lambert, Ari Heckman, Peter Lawrence, Carlos Couturier, to name a few. I got my first taste of the industry working with Andre Balazs for several years, and that experience definitely shaped my perspective.

  • DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE HOTEL IN THE WORLD?

    I wouldn’t say that I have a particular favorite, but the best hotels - and ones I enjoy the most - have a real sense of place and are a reflection of their surroundings; places where in various ways you can feel the influence of the proprietor. Sometimes it’s just about doing the basics exceptionally well, other times it’s about stepping into a world that is transporting and exciting.

  • CAREER ADVICE YOU’D LIKE TO SHARE?

    Surround yourself with smart people and listen to what they have to say. Choose your clients carefully.