Hotel Construction Cost - Ultimate Guide

September 29, 2023

Adam Hoeksema

Constructing a hotel involves various complexities and significant investment. Having a precise estimate of the construction cost is crucial for planning and executing the project efficiently. This article serves as an ultimate guide to understanding hotel construction costs, exploring different estimation methods, and offering insights into furnishing and creating financial projections for a hotel.

How Much Does the Average Hotel Cost?

The cost of building or purchasing a hotel can vary widely based on several factors. Here's a breakdown of the factors that can influence the cost:

Location: A hotel in a major city or prime tourist destination is typically more expensive than one in a rural area or lesser-known town. Land costs, labor rates, and local regulations can also significantly affect costs based on location.

Size and Scale: The number of rooms, the size of the property, and the total built-up area are primary determinants of the cost.

Hotel Category: Luxury or five-star hotels with high-end finishes, amenities, and specialized facilities (like spas, convention centers, or rooftop pools) will cost much more than budget or economy hotels.

Brand Affiliation: Franchising or associating with a well-known hotel brand can add to the initial investment due to fees, specific brand standards, and design criteria.

Construction Costs: Building a new hotel from scratch includes costs for land acquisition, architectural design, construction, interior fit-out, and landscaping.

Renovation Needs: Buying an existing hotel that needs refurbishment can add to the overall cost.

Operational Start-up Costs: This includes initial staffing, training, inventory stocking (like linens, kitchen equipment, and more), marketing, and pre-opening events.

External Factors: Economic conditions, interest rates for financing, local regulations, and even factors like tariffs on imported materials can influence the final cost.

To provide a ballpark figure for the U.S.:

  • Economy/Budget Hotels: Construction costs can range from $50,000 to $150,000 per room.
  • Midscale Hotels without F&B: $150,000 to $250,000 per room.
  • Upscale Urban Hotels: $500,000 to $1,000,000 per room or even more, depending on the city and the specific location within the city.
  • Luxury Hotels and Resorts: Over $1,000,000 per room, especially in prime locations with high-end amenities.

It's essential to remember that these are very rough estimates. Costs can vary significantly, and regional specifics can have a big influence. If you're seriously considering investing in or building a hotel, a detailed feasibility study and a hotel financial projection model tailored to your chosen location and concept are critical. It's also a good idea to consult with industry professionals, including hotel consultants and real estate experts, to get a precise estimate.

Different Ways to Estimate Hotel Construction Costs

When estimating hotel construction costs, professionals in the real estate and construction industries often use standardized metrics to get a preliminary understanding of potential expenses. Two of the most common metrics used are "cost per square foot" and "cost per key" (or "cost per room"). Here's a deeper dive into both:

Hotel Construction Cost Per Square Foot:

This method calculates the cost based on the total square footage of the construction area. It's a commonly used metric in many types of real estate construction, not just hotels.


  • Provides a quick and easy estimate when the total square footage is known.
  • Can be tailored to specific regions or cities where construction costs per square foot are available or known.


  • May not account for specialized hotel facilities like pools, spas, or high-end restaurants which could have varying construction costs.
  • Doesn't factor in variations in room sizes or types. For instance, the cost of constructing a standard room, a suite, and a conference room can differ significantly on a per-square-foot basis.

Hotel Construction Cost Per Key (or Per Room):

This approach calculates the cost based on the total number of rooms (or "keys") in the hotel. It's specific to the hotel industry and is often used to get a rough estimate of the total project cost.


  • Directly related to revenue generation since hotels earn revenue per room.
  • Simplifies cost understanding for stakeholders, investors, or lenders familiar with the hotel industry.


  • May not capture the complete construction cost spectrum, especially for hotels with extensive non-room facilities.
  • Just as with the square footage approach, the "per key" method might not account for variations in room types and sizes. A hotel with more suites or specialized rooms might have different construction costs per room than a hotel with standardized rooms.

When using either of these methods to estimate hotel construction costs:

  • Ensure that you have up-to-date data. Construction costs can fluctuate based on economic conditions, material costs, labor rates, and other factors.
  • Remember that these methods provide rough estimates. For a more accurate and detailed cost breakdown, a thorough feasibility study and consultation with construction professionals, architects, and industry experts are vital.
  • Consider other costs that might not be captured by these metrics, such as land acquisition, soft costs (like architectural, engineering, and legal fees), furnishing and fixtures, pre-opening expenses, licensing, and permitting.
  • It's often useful to use both methods in tandem, cross-referencing the results for a more comprehensive estimate.

How Does the Cost of Hotel Construction Increase Based on the Number of Stories?

The cost of hotel construction based on the number of stories can vary for several reasons, and there isn't a linear relationship where adding a story simply adds a fixed percentage to the overall cost. Here are some factors that influence the cost increase as the number of stories goes up:

  1. Foundation and Structural Costs: Taller buildings require deeper and more robust foundations to support the added weight and to counterbalance lateral forces such as wind or seismic activity. The cost of constructing such foundations and the supporting structure can increase significantly with height.
  1. Elevator and Vertical Transportation: The taller the hotel, the more sophisticated the elevator system needs to be. Multi-story hotels may require additional elevators or more advanced systems, such as high-speed or service elevators. This can significantly boost the overall cost.
  1. Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing (MEP) Systems: As the building height increases, there may be a need for additional mechanical floors or more complex systems to ensure water pressure is maintained, HVAC systems are efficient, and electrical services are adequately distributed.
  2. Safety and Fire Protection: Taller hotels often have stricter safety and fire protection requirements, including advanced sprinkler systems, pressurized stairwells, and refuge floors or areas. Ensuring compliance can add to the cost.
  1. Materials and Methods: High-rise construction might require specific materials or construction methods, such as specialized cranes, formwork systems, or wind-resistant facades. These can influence costs.
  1. Architectural Considerations: With height, there might be a need for design adaptations to account for wind loads, sun orientation, and aesthetics. This might necessitate costlier facade materials or design elements.
  1. Regulatory and Approval Costs: Taller buildings often face more stringent zoning requirements, building codes, and approval processes. The added time and potential need for specialized studies or assessments can escalate costs.
  1. Operational Challenges: Taller construction sites can pose logistical challenges in terms of material deliveries, worker movement, and site management, potentially increasing construction timelines and costs.
  1. Economies of Scale: On the positive side, while the cost per square foot or per key might increase with height, there might be some economies of scale achieved in terms of shared amenities, central services, or land use efficiency.

It's worth noting that while costs generally increase with height, the relationship is not linear, and there might be thresholds (e.g., transitioning from a mid-rise to a high-rise) where costs jump more substantially. When considering constructing a multi-story hotel, it's crucial to engage with architects, structural engineers, and quantity surveyors early in the process to get a detailed cost estimate.

How Much Does It Cost to Furnish a Hotel Room?

Furnishing a hotel room can vary widely in cost based on several factors, including the quality and style of the furnishings, the hotel's brand and category, location, and the specific requirements for the room type (e.g., a standard room versus a suite). Here's a breakdown to help you understand the potential costs:

Budget/Economy Hotel:

  • For these hotels, furnishings are typically more basic and functional without many luxury elements.
  • Estimated Cost: $2,000 - $5,000 per room.

Midscale Hotel:

  • Midscale hotels often offer a balance between comfort, aesthetics, and cost-effectiveness.
  • Estimated Cost: $5,000 - $12,000 per room.

Upscale/Boutique Hotel:

  • These establishments generally opt for higher-quality furniture and unique or custom-designed pieces to create a distinct ambiance.
  • Estimated Cost: $12,000 - $35,000 per room.

Luxury/5-Star Hotel:

  • Expect top-of-the-line furnishings, often custom-made or sourced from high-end brands, with attention to detail and premium materials.
  • Estimated Cost: $35,000 and upwards per room, with suites potentially reaching well into six figures.

Here's a breakdown of items typically included when furnishing a hotel room and their associated costs:

  1. Beds and Bedding: This includes the bed frame, mattress, pillows, sheets, blankets, and comforters. The type and quality of the mattress and bedding can significantly impact costs.
  1. Furniture: This category covers nightstands, dressers, desks, chairs, and sometimes a mini-fridge or minibar cabinet. Again, the material quality and design intricacy will influence the cost.
  1. Window Treatments: Drapes, blinds, or other treatments not only have a functional role but also contribute to the room's aesthetic.
  1. Artwork and Decor: This can be a minor expense for budget hotels but could be substantial for upscale or boutique establishments that use art as a focal point.
  1. Lighting: Bedside lamps, desk lamps, ceiling fixtures, and sometimes accent lighting are included. The design and quality of fixtures can range from basic to high-end.
  1. Bathroom Fixtures and Accessories: Towel racks, mirrors, shower curtains or glass enclosures, and sometimes artwork or decor for the bathroom. The materials used, especially in luxury hotels (e.g., marble or high-end ceramics), can influence costs.
  1. Electronics: This includes televisions, phones, alarm clocks, and sometimes more advanced tech like tablet-controlled room systems or high-end audio equipment.
  1. Soft Furnishings: Cushions, rugs, and other soft decor items that add to the comfort and aesthetic of the room.
  1. Additional Items: Depending on the room or suite, there might be kitchenette equipment, coffee makers, glassware, safes, and other amenities.

Keep in mind that the costs provided are rough estimates, and actual expenditures can vary based on brand decisions, regional pricing differences, and specific design choices. It's also worth noting that bulk purchasing, especially for larger hotel projects, can yield discounts. It's always advisable to consult with an interior designer or procurement specialist familiar with the hospitality industry for detailed estimates.

How to Create Financial Projections for a Hotel?

The hotel sector, like any other industry, has its specific elements influencing financial forecasts, specific variables like occupancy, seasonal trends, room rates, and guest services costs drive financial planning. Using a hotel financial projection template makes the task straightforward and reliable. These projections aren't just about potential earnings; they sketch the path to profitability and fulfilling your hospitality vision. You will likely need a set of projections if you are trying to get an SBA loan for a hotel or raise other financing.

To make detailed financial predictions, follow these important steps:

  1. Determine Startup Costs: This includes property costs, initial marketing, renovations, furnishings, and staff training.
  2. Predict Revenue: Base this on expected occupancy, room rates, additional services like spas or restaurants, and customer growth.
  3. Assess Operating Costs: Factor in housekeeping, food services, amenities, and maintenance.
  4. Evaluate Day-to-Day Expenses: Think of salaries, utilities, insurance, and marketing.
  5. Calculate Needed Capital: This covers both the initial outlay and growth sustenance.

For robust financial planning, it's wise to consult with hotel industry veterans. Adapt based on real experiences, use industry tools, and stay updated on market shifts to align your financial strategy with long-term success.

About the Author

Adam is the Co-founder of ProjectionHub which helps entrepreneurs create financial projections for potential investors, lenders and internal business planning. Since 2012, over 50,000 entrepreneurs from around the world have used ProjectionHub to help create financial projections.

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