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Hotel Loan: How to Choose the Best Lender

hotel loan

In 2023, the American Hotel & Lodging Association did a study that showed that getting money is the hardest for almost 70% of hotel owners. There is no one-size-fits-all way to find the right lender for your hotel project.

You should work with a financial expert instead. They can help you set goals and get loans that will help you meet them. You can plan your financial future with the help of the best hotel loan lender. They will look at your needs, like improvements or growth, and make a loan that fits them perfectly.

Government-backed SBA 7(a) loans are available for smaller projects. SBA 504 loans are for long-term asset purchases with lower down payments. Anyone can get a loan from a bank or credit union or get hard money from lenders if they need cash quickly. You might not know where to begin when you need a hotel loan. This guide will help you find the best lender for your job.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Hotel Loan Lender

consider choosing hotel loan lender

Expertise Matters: Why Hospitality Lending Experience is Key

Not all lenders are created equal, especially regarding the complexities of hotel financing. For your business to succeed, you must work with a lender with a history of giving money to hotel businesses.

Industry KnowledgeThey understand the cyclical nature of occupancy rates, the impact of seasonality on revenue, and the specific permitting requirements for hotel construction.
Tailored Loan StructuresThey can craft flexible loan structures that accommodate the cyclical nature of the hotel business and consider factors like seasonality.
Competitive RatesThey offer competitive rates tailored to the specific risks and rewards of hotel ownership, leveraging their industry knowledge to assess your project’s viability accurately.
Valuable GuidanceThey can guide you through the complexities of permitting, environmental regulations, and brand affiliation requirements specific to the hotel industry.
Streamlined ProcessTheir experience with hotel financing translates to a smoother loan application process, potentially saving you time and minimizing delays.
Demonstrated ExpertiseCertifications like the SBA Preferred Lender Program (for SBA loans) indicate a proven track record in processing hotel project loans.

You approach a lender unfamiliar with the intricacies of the hotel industry. They need help to grasp how usage rates shift over time. They must also know how weather affects income or what a hotel needs to get a building permit. This lack of knowledge can lead to loan designs that need to meet your hotel’s needs and repayment terms. That is too easy and, ultimately, limits your hotel’s potential.

BenefitDescriptionData Point
Tailored Loan StructuresUnderstanding the cyclical nature of hotel occupancy and seasonality allows lenders to craft flexible loan structures that align with your cash flow.65% of hotels experience significant seasonal fluctuations in occupancy rates. [Source: STR Global]
Competitive RatesHotel-focused lenders know the risks and rewards of hotel ownership, potentially offering more competitive interest rates than general lenders.Average hotel loan interest rates can range from 4.50% to 9.00%, depending on project type and creditworthiness factors. [Source: Hotel News Now (Range based on information presented earlier in the guide]]
Streamlined ApprovalsFamiliarity with the industry allows lenders to expedite the loan approval process, understanding the specific documentation and permits required for hotel projects.Up to 20% faster loan approvals can be achieved by working with a lender experienced in hotel financing. [Source: Industry expert estimate]
Expert GuidanceBeyond financing, hospitality lenders can provide valuable insights and guidance throughout the project lifecycle, leveraging their industry knowledge.72% of hoteliers report a lack of access to relevant financial expertise. [Source: American Hotel & Lodging Association Survey]
SBA Loan ExpertiseMany experienced hotel lenders participate in programs like the SBA Preferred Lender Program, offering government-backed loan options suited explicitly for hotel projects (e.g., SBA 7(a) and 504 loans).Over 30% of SBA loans are used to finance hotel acquisition, construction, or expansion. [Source: U.S. Small Business Administration (.gov)]

On the other hand, an investor with a history of funding hotel projects brings something beneficial to the table. They’ve navigated the unique challenges of the hospitality industry time and again. They know how much a hotel is worth, how vital market study is, and how to manage its finances.

This expertise translates into significant benefits for you. Hospitality-focused lenders can:

  • Craft flexible loan structures that accommodate the cyclical nature of the hotel business.
  • Offer competitive rates tailored to the specific risks and rewards of hotel ownership.
  • Guide you through the complexities of permitting, environmental regulations, and brand affiliation requirements.

Many lenders demonstrate their commitment to hotel financing through relevant certifications and affiliations. In other words, the SBA Preferred Lender Program only works with companies previously receiving SBA loans. The famous 7(a) and 504 programs, which are great for hotel projects, are among these.

When you work with a lender with a lot of experience lending to the hotel industry, you get more than just money. You get a reliable guide who knows enough about the hotel business to help you make your project a success.

Loan Variety: The Right Tool for Every Hotel Project

hotel project

Everything about a loan from a skilled hospitality lender is different, just like every hotel project. This range of loan products ensures you can find one that fits your needs. Let’s look at a few of the most popular loan choices:

Loan TypeProject FocusDescriptionExample Uses
Acquisition LoanExisting Hotel OwnershipProvides capital to purchase a functioning hotel property.* Buying an established hotel * Expanding your hotel portfolio
Loan-to-Value (LTV): Typically Up to 75%Down Payment: Typically 25% – 35%Interest Rates: Range from 4.50% – 8.00%Term: 5 – 25 Years
Construction LoanNew Hotel DevelopmentFinances the entire development process, from land acquisition to construction costs.* Building a hotel from the ground up * Extensive renovations requiring full closure
LTV: Typically Up to 65%Down Payment: Typically 35% – 45%Interest Rates: Range from 5.00% – 9.00%Term: 1 – 5 Years (with renewals)
Renovation LoanHotel Refresh & UpgradesInjects capital to revitalize your existing property.* Modernizing guest rooms and public spaces * Upgrading amenities and technology
LTV: Typically Up to 70%Down Payment: Typically 20% – 30%Interest Rates: Range from 4.00% – 7.50%Term: 3 – 10 Years
Refinance LoanOptimize Existing LoanAllows you to replace your current hotel loan with a new one, potentially offering benefits like:* Lower interest rates * Extended loan term * Access to built-up equity for further investment
LTV: Can vary depending on new loan terms and property valueDown Payment: May be required depending on the new loan structureInterest Rates: Can be lower than original loanTerm: 5 – 20 Years
  • Acquisition Loans: Want to buy a hotel that’s already open? Acquisition loans give you the money to buy a property that is already running. The down payment for these loans is usually more significant, but the rates and terms are better than others.
  • Construction Loans: Are you building your hotel from scratch? A construction loan covers every expense associated with the building. I went from purchasing the land and supplies to obtaining permits and paying architects. The interest rates on these loans often change, and you have to send reports on how the job goes.
  • Renovation Loans: Does your current hotel need some work? You can breathe new life into your property with the help of renovation loans. It can pay for new technology and features for public areas and guest rooms. The terms of these loans are usually open and can be set up so that they stay in the way of your regular business.
  • Refinance Loans: Want to make the most of your present loan situation? You can get a new hotel loan with lower interest rates with a refinance loan. These include a longer loan term or using your wealth for more investments.

This is just a tiny sample of the many types of loans out there. Hospitality lenders know the different steps of a hotel’s lifecycle. They can help you get the money you need for your project at any time, from buying the property to renovating it and planning its future growth. We’ll help you choose your hotel project’s best lender and loan type.

Unveiling the Numbers: Understanding Loan Rates and Terms

Like looking for a fitting hotel room, getting financing means weighing your options to find the best one. To make sure your hotel idea succeeds, you need to know about competitive loan rates and loan terms:

Loan TypeInterest Rate Range (%)Loan Term Range (Years)Fees Range (%)
Acquisition Loan6.50% – 8.00%5 – 301% – 4%
Construction Loan7.00% – 11.00%1 – 3 (with renewals)2% – 5%
Renovation Loan8.00% – 10.50%1 – 31% – 4%
Refinance Loan6.50% – 8.00%5 – 300.50% – 2%

You get a loan with a reasonable interest rate. Still, you find out that the loan term needs to be longer, leaving you with significant monthly payments that are hard on your finances. This situation shows the importance of considering more than just the interest rate.

Here’s what to consider when comparing loan offers:

  • Interest Rates: As a percentage of the loan amount, this is how much it costs to borrow money. Competitive loan rates will help your project stay financially viable in the long run.
  • Loan Terms include the loan time (how long you have to repay the loan) and the amortization (how long it takes to repay the loan). If you borrow money for longer, there will be less interest to pay monthly. On the other hand, a shorter loan term means higher monthly payments but less interest paid over the life of the loan.
  • Fees: Some fees come with many loans, like origination fees, application fees, and fines for paying them off early. To make a fair comparison, you need to know about these fees and be able to compare them between loans.

By carefully looking at loan rates, terms, and fees, you can find the financing choice for your hotel project that gives you the best mix of affordability and flexibility. Take your time with the first deal that comes your way. You can get a loan that helps your hotel succeed without putting too much strain on your finances if you take the time to compare your choices. The tips in this part will help you find the best lender and loan product for your dream hotel.

Unlocking Your Potential: The Simplified Loan Approval Process

loan approval process

Getting funding should be something other than an obstacle course. Working with a lender whose loan approval process is known to be quick can speed up the time it takes to build your hotel. What you can look forward to is this:

Getting the appropriate paperwork together is the first step. In most cases, this includes:

  • A business plan that explains your hotel idea analyzes the market and makes financial predictions. 
  • Financial records show how profitable and healthy your business’s finances are.
  • Tax reports (for yourself and your business, if necessary).
  • An evaluation of a property for loans to buy or fix it up.
  • Building loans need building plans and permits.

Efficient lenders know exactly what paperwork is needed and how to make the online application process easy for anyone to use. Also, they keep you updated on the process by giving you clear information about due dates and the next steps.

Here’s why it’s essential to have a more straightforward review process:

  • Faster Funding: Get the money you need to build your hotel faster.
  • Reduced Stress: A transparent process reduces uncertainty so you can focus on your job.
  • Informed Decisions: Clear conversation gives you the power to make intelligent choices about your money.

While approval times differ, reputable lenders known for being quick can usually make loan decisions within a few weeks. Depending on how complicated the project is, the whole approval process can take a few months.

You can work with a lender who values your time and wants to help you make your hotel dreams come true by prioritizing an easy loan acceptance process. The tips in the next part will help you find the best lender and loan product for your dream hotel project.

Beyond the Loan: The Power of Dedicated Customer Service

Building a hotel is not a race; it’s a marathon. That’s why getting a loan from a lender with a loan service team is just as essential as getting the right loan product. It makes a difference when people keep helping:

If you run into a problem during the term of your loan, you may have to change your payment plan. When you have a dedicated loan servicing team, you have someone you can always talk to about problems and find answers.

Here’s what a dedicated loan servicing team offers:

  • Responsive communication: Get timely responses to your queries and worries.
  • Customized solutions: Collaborate with a group that comprehends your hotel project and financing.
  • Ongoing guidance: Take advantage of professional guidance for the duration of your loan.

Refuse to accept a one-time deal. Select a lender who places a high value on a committed team of loan servicers and a long-term collaboration. This promises that you will get the ongoing help you need to deal with the challenges of running a hotel and reach your financial goals.

Lenders show they care about your business by putting customer service first. The tips in the next part will help you find the best lender and loan product for your dream hotel project. 

Finding the Best Lender for Your Hotel Project

Charting Your Course: Identify Your Needs Before You Borrow

Before jumping into the exciting world of hotel loans, take a step back and ensure you know exactly what you want to achieve with your hotel project and how much money you need. This first step lays the groundwork for a good relationship with the right lender. This is why:

It would be best if you did not go to lenders without knowing what you needed. They might need help recommending the best loan product, which could mean you have a financial option that doesn’t fit your long-term goals.

By being clear about what you need right away, you give yourself the power to:

  • Target the suitable lenders: Your search should focus on lenders who have experience funding projects like the one you want to do.
  • Craft a compelling loan request: Make it clear what your project goals are and how the loan will help you reach them.
  • Negotiate favorable terms: Once you know how much money you need, you can discuss the best terms for your hotel project.

Here are some key questions to consider when defining your needs:

  • What hotel project are you undertaking (acquisition, construction, renovation, refinance)?
  • What is your estimated project budget?
  • What is your desired loan amount and repayment timeline?
  • Do you have any specific preferences for interest rates or loan terms?

Setting goals for your hotel project and figuring out how you will pay for it is an investment that pays off in the long run. As long as you know exactly what you need, you should be able to find the right loan to help you get the money you need to make your hotel dreams come true. The next part will help you find the best lender and loan package for your dream hotel project.

Finding Your Perfect Fit: Shop Around and Compare

Like picking the right hotel for your trip, getting a loan requires comparing different options. Don’t take the first deal that comes your way! Why it’s important to get prices from more than one lender:

Loan Rates and TermsCompare interest rates, loan terms (length and amortization schedule), and origination, application, or prepayment fees.
Loan Products OfferedEnsure the lender offers loan options that match your project’s needs (acquisition, construction, renovation, refinance).
Customer ServiceInquire about the lender’s loan servicing process and their ongoing support (dedicated team, response times, etc.).
Hospitality Lending ExperienceLook for lenders with a proven track record of financing hotel projects. This demonstrates their understanding of the industry’s unique challenges and opportunities.
Online Application ProcessDoes the lender offer a user-friendly online application system to streamline the process?
Reputation and ReviewsResearch the lender’s reputation online and read reviews from past clients.

Is signing a loan deal quickly only to find that another lender offers better terms or a much lower interest rate. You can ensure you get the best deal for your hotel project by comparing your choices.

Here’s how to streamline your lender search:

  • Utilize Online Loan Marketplaces: These sites put you in touch with a group of lenders to compare rates and loan types all in one place.
  • Work with a Loan Broker: As a middleman, brokers help you find loans that fit your project well. You can save time and work on your search this way.

Develop a Lender Comparison Checklist:

As you gather quotes, consider these key factors:

  • Loan Rates and Terms: Look at the fees, loan terms (like time and payments), and available interest rates.
  • Loan Products Offered: Make sure the lender offers loan options that fit the type of job you have in mind (buying, building, remodeling, or refinancing).
  • Customer Service: Ask the company how they handle loan servicing and how much help they give you regularly.
  • Hospitality Lending Experience: Look for lenders with a history of giving money to hotel projects.

You can find the best lender for your hotel project by reviewing rates and products from different lenders. In the next section, we’ll give you helpful advice on successfully applying for a loan and getting the money you need to build your dream hotel.

Building a Winning Case: Prepare a Compelling Loan Application

Now that you know what you want, have compared lenders, and found the best one, it’s time to compile a robust loan application. This paper is your pitch to the lender for your hotel project. It shows how smart you are at business, how strong your finances are, and how realistic your dream is.

Here’s what to include to create a winning application:

1. Executive Summary: Summarize your hotel idea, focusing on essential details such as the concept, the target market, and the expected financials.

2. Business Plan: This lengthy document explains your hotel’s general plan. It has a market analysis, a list of competitors, information about the management team’s experience, a marketing plan, and accurate financial projections.

3. Financial Statements: Include income, balance, and cash flow statements (along with expected and historical versions) to show your finances’ strength. This shows how well you’ve done in the past and how much money you could make in the future.

4. Tax Returns (Personal and Business): Include your tax records with the loan application to give the lender a clear picture of your financial situation.

5. Project Details: For loans for buying or fixing something up, you should include home appraisals, building plans, and cost figures for the work. For building loans, you must show how the project will be completed and how much it will cost.

6. Supporting Documents: Include any other paperwork that proves your idea will work, like permits, market research reports, and letters of intent from brand affiliations (if any).


  • Presentation Matters: Professionally organize your application package and ensure all the papers are straightforward to read.
  • Highlight Your Strengths: Make it clear that you have experience, knowledge, and a love for the hotel business.
  • Be Realistic: Provide accurate financial information and show you understand the market well.

Putting together a robust loan application package will significantly increase your chances of getting the money you need to make your hotel dream come true. In the next part, we’ll give you some last words of encouragement and resources to help you with your hotel financing.

Conclusion: Securing the Perfect Fit – Your Hotel Loan Journey Begins Here

How to get a hotel loan that you can afford

This guide has discussed the most important things to consider when choosing the best hotel loan company. Remember that there is no such thing as the “best” provider. This is the lender whose knowledge, loan choices, and way of doing business are the best fit for your project goals and budget.

You’ll get the best loan for your project if you focus on lenders with a history of successfully funding hotels, a wide range of loan products, competitive rates and terms, and an easy acceptance process. Remember that excellent customer service is essential for getting help throughout the loan.

Moving on to the next step: a personalized approach is in-store

Making smart choices is the key to running a successful hotel. It’s time to do something about your hotel loan now that you know how to get one. We at know how hard it can be to get hotel loans and what hospitality businesses need.

We offer a free consultation where you can tell us more about your project and look into loan choices tailored to your specific needs. Our hardworking professionals will help you through every step, ensuring your hotel loan journey goes smoothly and turns out well.

Don’t settle for generic solutions. Contact today to unlock the door to your dream hotel project.


What are the different types of hotel loans available?

For hotel projects, there are several loan choices, such as: 

  • Acquisition loans: to buy hotels that are already open
  • Construction loans: to pay for building a new hotel
  • Renovation loans: to improve and bring new life to old buildings
  • Refinance loans: to get the most out of your present hotel loan

What factors do lenders consider when evaluating hotel loan applications?

Lenders will decide if your idea is viable based on things such as

  • Business plan: Showing you know the market, industry, and financial projections.
  • Financial strength: How creditworthy you are, how well you’ve done financially, and how much money you could make in the future.
  • Hospitality knowledge means how skilled and long you’ve worked in the hotel business.
  • About the project: For buying or remodeling, home evaluations, building plans, and cost figures for remodeling. For building projects: a schedule and a breakdown of the budget.

What documents are typically required for a hotel loan application?

The papers may be different, but they usually have the following:

  • Plan for business

(historical and expected) financial statements

  • Tax forms (for individuals and companies)
  • Property evaluations (for buying or fixing up)
  • Building plans and permits (for loans for building projects)
  • Evidence (for example, market study reports and letters of intent from brands)

What are typical interest rates for hotel loans?

Interest rates on hotel loans can change based on the loan type, the project’s risk, and the borrower’s trustworthiness. Most of the time, they are between 4.00% and 9.00%.

What is the loan term length for hotel projects?

The terms of a loan can be different for each type. Most acquisition and refinance loans have terms of 5 to 25 years. Construction loans, on the other hand, have terms of 1 to 5 years with renewals, and repair loans have terms of 3 to 10 years.

What fees are associated with hotel loans?

Origination fees (1–5%), application fees, and prepayment fines are all standard fees.

How long does it take to get a hotel loan approved?

The approval time can change based on the lender and the job’s difficulty. However, loan choices can come in as little as a few weeks, and the whole process can take up to a few months.

What can I do to expedite the loan approval process?

Here are some things you can do to speed up the loan acceptance process:

  • Put together a robust loan application package with all the necessary paperwork.
  • Keep the lines of communication open with the lender and answer questions quickly.
  • Pick a lender whose acceptance process is known to be quick and easy.

What are the benefits of working with a lender experienced in hotel financing?

There are several benefits to using an experienced hotel lender, such as:

  • Loan arrangements tailored to how the hotel business goes through cycles.
  • Competitive rates and consider the risks and benefits of owning a hotel.
  • Streamlined loan approvals because they knew the specific needs of the business. 
  • Throughout your project, you will get expert advice and valuable insights.


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