Hotel Financing: Best Business Loans to Consider in 2023
Although hotels can make a lot of money, especially during peak season, owners also need lots of cash to get them up and running. Hotel loans can help business owners finance the construction of a new hotel and purchase or renovate an existing one.
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To operate or run a hotel business, the owner may need a business loan for expenses such as buying land, purchasing an existing building, starting new construction, and making renovations. The options for lending may seem overwhelming, which is where this roundup comes in handy. Each company we reviewed caters to a particular need, helping make business lending less confusing and more accessible to current or prospective hotel owners.
There are several factors to consider when researching the best hotel business loan. In this review, our experts highlight the rates, fees and terms of each lender and explain what makes each lender a good option. We also share potential downsides of each lender, and provide a rating methodology you can use to select the best option for your needs.
Hotel Financing: Best Business Loan Options Overview
Can purchase a new property before selling your current property
Higher rates than other types
Higher loan to value ratio required
Payments are interest only
GoKapital is our choice for bridge hotel loans. A bridge loan is used for short-term financing when an investor needs cash to “bridge the gap” between transactions. This typically happens when the owner wants to purchase a property but doesn’t have enough funds to do so until they sell a different property. Thus, the bridge loan gives them the funding they need to get the new property in time and then sell the old property to pay it back.
Main Features GoKapital bridge loans can be obtained in amounts from $100,000 all the way up to $5 million. The rates are between 7-14%, which is higher than most traditional loans because of the higher risk. Because they are higher risk bridge loans from GoKapital require higher loan to value ratios of 50-70%. When applying, GoKapital checks credit, but it is not the only factor used when determining creditworthiness. Borrowers are given 6 to 24 months to pay back the loan.
GoKapital is our choice for bridge loans with their large amount of funding and competitive rates. With credit not being the most important factor as well, GoKapital makes it easier for hotel business owners to get the funding they need to expand their business.
Excellent customer reviews on independent review sites
Pros & Cons
Multiple lenders and loans to choose from
Bad credit accepted
Excellent customer service
Fast funding times on certain products
Competitive rates and fees
Must be in business at least six months
Must have solid annual revenue
Lendzi works with hotel owners with high revenue that have been denied a loan previously. The company was founded in 2020 and has since funded more than $500 million, and it has accumulated more than 2,000 5-star reviews from previous customers. Customer satisfaction is excellent; making them our top pick for not only high revenue hotels but for any hotel business owner in need of financing.
Main Features If you have a high revenue hotel, we recommend a working capital loan from Lendzi. This loan allows hotel owners to borrow up to $400,000 with factor rates starting at 1.15. The minimum credit score needed for a working capital loan is just 500. If your credit is great, you can apply for other types of loans from Lendzi. These include short- and long-term business loans, merchant cash advances, commercial mortgages, SBA loans, and equipment financing loans. To qualify for any type of loan from Lendzi, you should be in business for at least six months and have $180,000 or more in annual revenue.
Lendzi is an excellent lender to work with if you have high revenue, bad credit or excellent credit. They are a direct lender and a partner with more than 75 other lenders, giving you plenty of options to choose from. Not only that, but a representative from Lendzi will walk you through the entire process and answer any questions you may have. The application takes just a few minutes to fill out and will not impact your credit score.
SBA commercial real estate loans up to $5 million.
Loan Repayment 10 - 25 years
SBA 7(a) loan rates: 10.75%-11.75%
SBA Commercial real estate loan rates: 5.50-6.75%
Receive multiple loan offers
Pros & Cons
Lower interest rates
2 types of SBA loans available
Streamlined application and support team
CRE loan has to be 51% owner occupied
Application fee up to $3,000-$5,000
Guarantee fee from 2.77% to 3.75%
SBA loans from SmartBiz are a great option for hotel business owners that can qualify. SBA loans are small business loans that are guaranteed by the government and offers longer terms and lower interest rates than other small business loans. SmartBiz offers 2 different types of SBA loans, the SBA 7(a) loan and the SBA Commercial Real Estate (CRE) loans. And even if an SBA loan isn’t the right fit for your business, SmartBiz offers term loans and custom financing options, making financing easier to obtain.
Main Features The SBA 7(a) loan can be granted in amounts from $30,000-$350,000 and can be used for debt refinancing and working capital. The SBA Commercial Real Estate loan ranges from $500,000 to $5 million and can be used to purchase or refinance commercial real estate. The interest rate for SBA 7(a) loans ranges from 8.25%-9.25% while the SBA Commercial Real Estate loan ranges from 7%-8.25%.
SmartBiz is our choice for SBA hotel loans for their streamlined application process and committed customer support personnel, helping make the arduous process of applying for an SBA loan easier. Terms for payoff range from 10 to 25 years, making SBA loans a great option for hotel business owners.
Industry best factor rate for MCA - as low as 1.10
APR for the Line of credit product starts at 35%
Flexible repayment terms up to 16 months
Get funding in as little as 24 hours
Check your rate with a soft credit pull
Pros & Cons
Easy online application
Instant lending decisions
Fast funding times
Large loan amounts
No collateral required
Startups will not qualify
Rates not disclosed
If you need a large hotel business loan, Backd can create a customized loan specifically tailored to your hotel business. Founded in 2018, the company has funded more than 10,000 small businesses. If you need to expand or renovate your hotel, Backd might be the solution you’re looking for. They offer working capital loans up to $2 million that can be used for any hotel business expense.
Main Features Backd offers working capital loans and business lines of credit to hotel businesses. Working capital loans start at $10,000 and go up to $2 million, with terms maxing out at 16 months. This makes this type of loan best for hotels looking to fund a one-time expense and pay it off quickly. Business lines of credit are more geared to businesses with ongoing expenses who need access to capital frequently. They range from $10,000 to $750,000 with unlimited terms. To qualify for either option, you need to be in business for at least one year and have $100,000 or more in annual revenue.
Backd creates loans tailored to your needs. Their application is fast, lending decisions are instant, and funding times can be as soon as one business day. If you're in need of funding for your hotel business, look no further than Backd.
National Funding - Best For Hotel Construction Loans
Easy application: You may apply for a loan online, from the comfort of your own home or office, within minutes.
Early repayment discount: With a working capital loan, you’ll earn a discount on your remaining balance if you repay it in full within the first 100 days.
Positive reviews and high rankings: National Funding has a great reputation on reputable sites like Better Business Bureau (BBB) and TrustPilot.
Daily or weekly repayments: National Funding requires daily or weekly repayments on working capital loans, which can take a toll on your cash flow.
Origination fee: You’ll be on the hook for an origination fee.
Personal guarantee required: Even though you won’t need collateral for a working capital loan, you will need to personally guarantee it.
National Funding offers short-term working capital loans, which can come in handy if you need to fund a hotel construction or everyday expenses during slow seasons. You can borrow up to $500,000 but must commit to daily or weekly repayments.
Main Features National Funding’s short-term working capital loans range from $5,000 to $500,000 with repayment terms between 4 months and 2 years. To take out a working capital loan, you’ll need a minimum credit score of 600, a business track record of at least 6 months, and $250,000 or more in annual revenue.
If your hotel earns sufficient revenue and needs some extra money to fund working capital expenses, National Funding should be on your radar. This is particularly true if you have steady cash flow and afford to pay off a loan early.
Biz2Credit - Best for Commercial Real Estate loans
Biz2Credit offers commercial real estate secured loans to those looking to acquire new hotels or fund a hotel renovation. Hotel owners can qualify in as little as 48 hours. You have 12 to 36 months to pay back the loan. Interested borrowers can apply online or call Biz2Credit’s hotline at 800-200-5678.
Main Features To obtain a Biz2Credit commercial real estate loan, you must have a credit score of at least 660 and have been in business for at least 18 months. They also need to have a minimum of $250,000 of revenue a year. Loan amounts start at $250,000 and go up to $6 million with rates starting at 10%. Repayment options include interest-only and monthly payments, giving the borrower flexibility and predictability during the debt payoff process.
Biz2Credit is our choice for commercial real estate loans thanks to their high loan amounts and dedicated specialists helping each step of the way. We also love the ability to use the loans for a variety of reasons, including renovating a hotel or purchasing a new one, as well as the monthly and interest-only payment options.
American Express Business Blueprint™ - Best for Small Hotels with Fair Revenue
Monthly fee: 3-9% for 6 month loans, 6-18% for 12-month loans, 9-27% for 18-month loans
Loan amounts ranging from $2,000 to $250,000
No prepayment penalties and no origination fees
Convenient application process
Pros & Cons
Straightforward application process
Fair credit and revenue requirements
No prepayment or origination fees
Potentially high monthly rates
Complicated fee structure
Not all term lengths available to all customers
American Express® Business Line of Credit is our choice for smaller hotels that need a line of credit without going through a long application process. American Express Business Line of Credit requires at least $3,000 average monthly revenue to qualify, making their commercial line of credit accessible for small businesses. However, it’s important to keep in mind that monthly payment rates vary by loan size and term.
Main Features American Express Business Line of Credit offers lines of credit for 6-, 12-, or 18-month terms. Loan amounts range from $2,000 to $250,000. Borrowers pay a monthly interest fee each month they have a balance on their line of credit. Fees vary according to term length. Note that the 6-month term is the most common term length and that not all customers qualify for longer terms. Currently, American Express Business Line of Credit’s monthly fee structure is: 3-9% for 6-month loans, 6-18% for 12-month loans, 9-27% for 18-month loans. The minimum credit score requirement is 640, however, all businesses are unique and are subject to approval and review.
American Express Business Line of Credit is a good choice for businesses that need a short-term cash infusion and will be able to pay off their debt quickly. Just keep in mind that longer loans come with higher interest rates. Not all customers will qualify for the lowest fees.
Loan features: Loan features include terms, repayment options, and minimum amounts.
Application process: How invasive is the loan process? Consider whether there is a hard-pull or soft-pull credit score impact. How long it will take to receive the funding? Also, look for any distinctly competitive offerings.
Interest rates and fees: Rates and fees have an impact on the total amount of money your company will owe.
Qualification process: What do you need in order to qualify? Each lender has its own requirements for hotel business loans including minimum credit score, annual revenue, and business history.
Customer support: What kind of customer support does the lender offer? Consider whether you will have the option to speak with a live representative, access an online portal, or communicate via chat.
Online user reviews: Look at independent review sites such as TrustPilot and the Better Business Bureau to make sure that the company you consider for hotel construction loans has positive user reviews.
Perks and bonuses: Service offerings like payment flexibility, transparency in fees, and advanced technology features may be helpful when financing a hotel purchase.
Main Features of The Best Hotel Financing Companies
All values are based on average market prices. According to Hotel Tech Report, the percentages you see in the brackets show the ratio of a particular line in the project's total cost.
Hard costs and site improvements $255,400 (76%): This category includes everything from land costs to permits, building, engineering, and landscaping. Other expenses include plumbing, finishes, parking, and site improvements.
Soft costs $41,800 (12%): These are the skill-based fees you offer to the professionals like architects, designers, lawyers, and accountants. This category also carries the franchise application costs, land closing fees, taxes, and insurance.
Furniture, fixtures, and equipment $29,100 (9%): This line includes the calculations for all types of furniture and fixtures, kitchen equipment, washers and dryers, technology in the meeting rooms, room cards, and other appliances.
Pre-opening and working capital $10,700 (3%): Last but not least, you need to collect staff and make some effort to train them in advance. This line is all the funds needed for operating reserves, technical services, recruiting, and purchases.
As you can see, opening a hotel requires a large amount of initial capital. You should also consider amortization over the years, ongoing staff training, and many other current and future expenses, which will help you keep the accommodations up-to-date and avoid larger spending later down the line.
What Can You Use Hotel Loans for?
Purchasing an existing hotel: Financing a hotel purchase allows interested investors to buy existing hotels that may be for sale. Without funding, many owners simply would not have the funds to purchase a property outright.
Remodeling or renovations: Hotel loans give business owners the funds to remodel or renovate an existing hotel.
Purchasing land for new build: Some hotel business loans will give the option to purchase land for owners to build a brand new hotel on. Land is expensive and so funding makes it possible to obtain it when needed.
Constructing a new hotel: Hotel construction loans allow investors to construct a new hotel either by demolishing a former commercial building or building a brand new hotel on purchased land.
Buying new technology for hotel: Old hotels may have systems that need to be upgraded, including security and reservation management. Hotel financing makes these updates possible.
Hotel maintenance: Obtaining a loan for a hotel business can give borrowers adequate funds to maintain a hotel, covering expensive repairs that owners can’t afford otherwise.
How Does a Hotel Loan Work?
In the United States, the steps you need to take to apply for a hotel loan are simple.
Complete an application form and wait for approval.
Once the lender has approved your application, the loan money will be transferred to your business account.
You can then use the loan money for different purposes–from establishing to improving your hotel business.
Once your hotel business begins to gain momentum, you can start making repayments to the company. However, the loan amounts, rates, and requirements can change depending on the lender.
Common Hotel Loan Amounts
The amount of money you can borrow for a hotel loan varies from lender to lender. In the majority of cases, the lender will make decisions according to your current cash flow, the size of your hotel, the purpose of the loan, the number of years your hotel has been in operation, and more. Small hotels may be loaned $100,000 to $1 million, while more established hotel businesses may get financing as large as $50 million.
Hotel Financing Rates
Like the loanable amount, financing rates will vary according to your application and the lender. Expect interest rates to be around 6.5% to 12%. If you wish to apply for a hotel loan from a bank, the financing rate they offer could be lower. However, there may be harsher lending criteria. If you need a quicker and easier approval, you may wish to borrow from private lenders. If you do so, you will likely be required to pay higher interest rates.
How to Qualify for Hotel Financing?
When looking at financing a hotel purchase there are several companies to choose from. Each company has unique lending options, suited for everyone from existing owners to startups. While lenders have their own unique qualifications they consider, most will include the following factors:
Credit score of business: Is your credit score high enough to qualify?
Time in business: Have you been in business long enough to qualify?
Annual revenue: Do you have the minimum amount of annual revenue to qualify?
Once you’ve determined you’re eligible enough to potentially qualify, most applications can be completed online or over the phone. If applying online, a customer representative may contact the interested applicant to go through the application and determine the next steps. Typically further documentation will be required. After the applicant is approved, funding will enter the borrowers’ bank account within a few days to a few weeks or longer.
Other Types of Hotel Financing
The hotel business is changing. Not every hotel business owner operates a traditional hotel or franchise. To find a loan that fits your unique situation, consider these options:
Bed and breakfast loans include working capital loans, business lines of credit, and short-term loans. Consider options that fit your credit and business history. Pay attention to fee structures–some loans have origination and borrowing fees that will add to your debt.
Depending on your needs, you might choose to finance an Airbnb or VRBO business with working capital, term, or business loans. You might also look at lines of credit for short-term expenses. Keep in mind that loan amounts and terms vary widely.
Hotel owners, either current or hopeful, need hotel loans to run their business. Whether it's purchasing land, renovating an existing hotel, constructing a new hotel, paying for maintenance, or upgrading systems, hotel ownership costs a lot of money. Luckily, some lenders are willing to help. While the process to apply can be daunting, the lenders we reviewed make it a top priority to help their customers obtain good hotel financing rates and terms. Do your homework to decide which lender fits the needs of your business best.