MASTERCLASS: What to look for when buying an established hotel

hotel reception, check-in desk office, hostel

The private hotel industry is growing at a steady rate, with 15,200 new hotel rooms opened in 2017.

The hotel sector has shown resilience and high trading performance in 2018, making it a robust industry for aspiring hoteliers.

Krystena Griffin, writer for all of the Dynamis brands including, and, here points out several elements you should consider before buying an established hotel business.

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Find out what type of reputation the hotel has, not only with previous guests, but with suppliers, neighbouring businesses and the local community.

If a hotel you’re interested in has a bad reputation, consider rebranding and remarketing the hotel to show potential customers that it’s under new ownership.

Also establish what relationship the current owner has with their employees; inheriting a hard-working, dynamic team who will take on board any changes you decide to make will be greatly beneficial.

If a hotel is run down or failing, you are in a strong position to negotiate a lower price for the business.


The number of branded hotels in the UK as a proportion of the hospitality industry is lower in comparison to other European countries and the US; however, the branded hotel market is predicted to expand, which could heavily impact the currently thriving, private hotel sector.

Before you put an offer in on a hotel, establish what other competition is in the area; make a list of all the hotels or B&Bs that are close by and consider who their target market is.

If a hotel you’re interested in is in a tourist area alongside several competitors, how to they stand out from the rest?


Inspect the physical condition of the business and check for signs of damp or deterioration.

Contact a local builder to inspect the hotel for any potential renovation work and get a rough estimate of the costs involved so you’re not in for an unexpected shock after buying the business.

Most hotels for sale include furniture and fixtures costs in the asking price; so make sure they are in good condition, especially the beds and mattresses which usually have a lifespan of 7-10 years.

The décor of the hotel is also very important and there are a lot of cost-effective ways to redecorate a hotel. If a hotel for sale isn’t to your taste, this shouldn’t deter you so long as the hotel doesn’t rely on its aesthetics as its USP.

Potential for growth

A good entrepreneur will always look ahead; so, determine whether a hotel has the potential to expand.

You may want to add more rooms, expand the restaurant or add a cocktail bar; but whatever your plans are, make a pre-planning application to determine whether it is possible before you put your offer in.

There are other ways to grow a hotel business without planning approval; if the hotel has grounds, you could consider hiring the space for marquee-style weddings and parties.

The wedding industry is a huge market and offering this extra service could be a great additional revenue stream.

Purchasing a hotel can offer a variety of opportunities to thrive in the hospitality industry. Simply ensure that you choose a hotel that meets your standards and your vision for it’s ongoing success.

Tags : acquisitionsadvicehotelsmasterclass
Zoe Monk

The author Zoe Monk

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