Hotel refurbishment loans- what are my options?

Before you apply for a hotel refurbishment loan, it’s important that you understand what your options are.

Many hotel owners, property developers and landlords apply for what is known as property refurbishment finance, for a range of different renovation projects. Whether you’re looking to enhance your property offering, refurbish your hotel before renting or selling it, or simply update the interiors, hotel refurbishment can help attract new guests and help you grow your business.

Looking for a hotel refurbishment loan and wondering what your options are? We’ve created a helpful guide outlining everything that you need to know.

What are the loan options for hotel refurbishment?

There are a number of different hotel refurbishment loans that you should be aware of when looking for finance. The main loan options for hotel refurbishment are:

Bridging loan

You can use a bridging loan to access the finance you need whilst your re-mortgage application process is being completed. Known as a short-term loan that is quick and flexible, a bridging loan can be used for projects such as bathroom and kitchen replacements, redecoration, rewiring and electrical work, or plumbing and drainage work.

A bridging loan is one of the most popular types of property development finance and is widely used for ground-up or light refurbishments.

Refurbishment loan

Refurbishment finance, also known as a refurbishment mortgage, is a loan that is used for the sole purpose of renovating a property. This is a great option if you’re looking to upgrade your hotel quickly and easily.

This type of finance is suitable for both light refurbishment and heavy refurbishment projects. The funds are released in two different stages – the first payment is based on a percentage of the property price and the second is released once the refurbishment has been completed.

Keep in mind that the amount you can borrow is based on the projected value of the property once the renovations have been carried out.

What is a light refurbishment loan?

Light refurbishments usually refer to projects that total less than 15% of the total value of the property and include aesthetic refurbishments, such as:

  • Painting
  • Fitting a new kitchen
  • Fitting a new bathroom
  • Changing fixtures and fittings
  • Changing interiors
  • Replacing flooring

What is a heavy refurbishment loan?

Heavy refurbishments tend to cost more than 15% of the property’s value and involve a lot more work than light refurbishments. Many heavy refurbishment projects also require structural and require planning permission.

Examples of heavy refurbishment include:

  • Major structural work
  • Internal restructure
  • Multiple unit refurbishments
  • Exterior refurbishments

What are the refurbishment finance lending criteria?

Before applying for refurbishment finance, you should familiarise yourself with the relevant lending criteria, this typically includes the following:

  • You must have equity in the property
  • Mortgage repayments must be up-to-date
  • The property cannot be the borrower’s primary residence
  • A valuation must be completed before the application
  • Costings, pricing and an exit strategy must be provided

If you’re considering buying a commercial property, it’s important to speak to someone experienced in the sector to ensure that you are aware of all the funding options available. Get in touch to speak to one of our skilled and experienced team. We are always on hand to answer any of your queries regarding commercial mortgages.

Spring Clean Your Bed and Breakfast

With spring just around the corner, many of us are already looking forward to longer, brighter days.

And the arrival of the longer days and warmer weather provides the perfect opportunity to give your B&B a deep spring clean before the busy summer season arrives. So, crank up the radio, open the windows, and give your bed and breakfast the TLC it deserves.

Here are our top tips for giving your bed and breakfast the ultimate spring clean.

Clean your carpets

During the winter months, your carpets can become incredibly dirty, especially on wet and muddy days. The good news is, there are lots of ways to breathe new life into your worn and dirty carpets, so you won’t have to worry about replacing them.

Whether you use a carpet cleaning solution you find in the supermarket or hire a professional cleaning company, you will be amazed at how much of a difference a clean carpet can make to the look and feel of a room.

Give your guest rooms a thorough clean and check

Spring is the perfect time to give your guest rooms a thorough check and clean so that they are pristine and ready to go for the busy summer season.

From vacuuming the curtains and windows, dusting ceilings and light fixtures, through to disinfecting all furniture and cleaning the window sills, it’s important that you clean your guest rooms from top to bottom. Oh, and don’t forget to check and change batteries in smoke alarms and remote controls too.

Correct any damage

With so many guests coming and going from your bed and breakfast, it’s inevitable that it will eventually succumb to wear and tear.

So, as part of your spring clean, you should inspect all furniture and interiors, and fix any damage.

Mattress cleaning

Just like your carpets, it’s important to give your mattresses and other upholstery a deep clean from time to time. Skin cells and dust can quickly accumulate in your mattress over time, which you certainly don’t want your guests noticing!

Professional cleaning companies offer mattress cleaning services, which are good for an annual deep clean. You can then keep your mattresses clean by vacuuming them after each guest has stayed.

Clean the kitchen and bathrooms

Now it’s time to tackle the kitchen and bathrooms.

We’ve created a handy checklist you can refer to ensure that all bases are covered:

  • Clean all appliances, especially your oven
  • Wipe down all cupboards and surfaces
  • Empty the refrigerator and defrost the freezer
  • Clean your refrigerator and freezer
  • Empty the crumb tray in your toaster and toaster oven
  • Sort your cupboards and drawers
  • Clear out cabinets and wash the shelves
  • Sanitise the sink

Bathroom spring cleaning checklist

When tackling your bathroom, you should also make sure you complete the following tasks:

  • Organise cabinets and drawers
  • Dispose of old medicine
  • Wash the shower
  • Scrub the toilet
  • Dispose of old toiletries
  • Scrub the bathtub

Finally, don’t forget to give the outside of your B&B some TLC too! Curb appeal has a huge impact on your guest’s first impression of your B&B. From tackling overgrown hedges and cleaning up leaves and other garden debris, you will have your BnB looking tip-top in no time at all.

Find out more about Stewart Hindley

If you’re thinking of starting a bed and breakfast, get in touch today to find out how we can help with your mortgage for a bed and breakfast business.

Hospitality industry: post-pandemic challenges

There’s no denying that COVID-19 has had a significant impact on all aspects of our lives. The majority of us have had to adapt to a new way of working, socialising, and travelling.

However, as the world starts to return to normal and restrictions are being lifted, all eyes are focused on the economy’s recovery, especially the hospitality sector which was hit the hardest.

Bars, restaurants, clubs, hotels, and other leisure facilities were all forced to close their doors, and unfortunately, many have not reopened them again despite the lifting of lockdown restrictions.

But what is the situation now and what challenges does the hospitality sector face post pandemic?

At the moment, data is indicating that consumer spending within hospitality sector started to increase from May 2021. However, this still remains at less than 70% of pre-pandemic spending levels. It’s clear there are still many challenges for the sector to overcome.


Difficulty finding hospitality industry staff

The double blow of Brexit and COVID-19 has had a devastating effect on all aspects of the hospitality sector, with many workers leaving the industry.

Pay, job security and job longevity have all played a role in causing many workers find work elsewhere, especially people that have had to re-evaluate their priorities. And so, despite warnings about a future recession with thousands of workers potentially set to lose their jobs, the hospitality sector has found it increasingly difficult to recruit.

This has forced the industry to re-evaluate its working conditions, incentivise job roles, optimise personal development and change the way the industry is viewed in order to attract new employees.


Retaining your existing workforce

Although attracting new employees is one of the biggest challenges the hospitality sector is facing at the moment, they are equally tasked with trying to retain their existing workforce.

After all, in the current climate, if you have a solid and hardworking workforce, you should do everything in your power to retain them. With this in mind, check in with your employees to make sure they feel happy, valued, and empowered at work. Listen to their concerns and address them where you can, especially as benefits and initiatives on wellbeing and mental health are incredibly important.


Increased business expenses

Higher fixed and variable expenses also continue to be a concern for the sector. In addition to this, increased hygiene costs and mandated restrictions are continuing to cost businesses both time and money.

As prices rise, businesses must increase their own costs in order to protect their profit margins.


Supply chain issues

Many products are in short supply, putting pressure on the supply chain and making it difficult for businesses to get hold of the stock and supplies they need to deliver their service.


Low occupancy, less travel

Although restrictions have been lifted, many people are still incredibly apprehensive about eating out and travelling, meaning many hospitality businesses are still experiencing extremely low occupancy levels.

With this in mind, many businesses are having to focus on getting customers back through their doors through marketing, social media, promotions and other methods.

Despite the effects of COVID-19, some hospitality businesses are still thriving. If you’re looking to take your first steps on the commercial property market, or you’re planning on selling your property and looking to secure finance, we can help you find the best deals around.  Get in touch to discuss your property finance needs.

Hospitality Industry: Summer Season 2022 Predictions

COVID-19 has had a huge impact on the hospitality industry, with much of the sector being completely shut down for significant periods during the past two years.

However, as the world slowly but surely opens up again, the hospitality sector is recovering well, with people beginning to travel again and meeting up with family and friends.

And with the speed of recovery on track to return to pre-pandemic levels this year, there’s a lot for the hospitality industry to look forward to in the Summer Season 2022.

So, what can you expect from the industry this year? We’ve rounded up our top hospitality industry predictions.


Holistic hospitality

Holistic hospitality is set to be huge in 2022, with more people than ever before prioritising their health and wellbeing. As a result, the wellness industry is booming, especially spas and hotels with spa facilities.

At the same time, there’s also a growing demand for health diagnostic technology and bespoke treatment plans that tackle a wide range of health concerns including emotional balance, healing, stress management, mindfulness and better sleep.


Personal experience

Having not been able to enjoy much of the hospitality for some time now, guests want to feel extra special, whether they’re dining out or staying in a hotel. Creating a personal guest experience can really help to ensure that your guests have a memorable experience when they stay or dine with you.

Tactics that many establishments are already using include personally greeting guests and sending personalised offers and emails to customers. Technological platforms such as CRM (customer relationship management) and CEM (customer experience management) are set to become even more crucial, allowing businesses in the hospitality industry to create one-to-one interactions with guests at scale.


Digital experiences

Technology is a huge part of our everyday lives, with many of us using our mobile phones and other devices to communicate, shop, bank and much more. And, during the pandemic, technology played an even more central role in our lives, with many customer-facing services becoming contactless.

So it’s not surprising that this year, apps that allow guests to control all elements of the guest cycle experience are set to be huge. Customer-facing services, such as mobile check-in, contactless payments, voice control and biometrics, will continue to be digitalised and facial and fingerprint recognition will also be introduced for improved convenience.

Technology is evolving fast, and businesses in the hospitality sector will need to keep up.


Unique travel

Customers are now demanding unique experiences across all aspects of the hospitality sector. For example, record numbers of travellers are now seeking lavish experiences that add an exciting and memorable dimension to their trip.

As a result, there has been a stark increase in travellers looking for niche properties, luxurious relaxation retreats, adventurous holidays and extraordinary hotels.


Lower corporate demand for travel

Although travel for leisure is predicted to rise again this year, business travel is unlikely to see the same recovery. In fact, according to The Global Business Travel Association, business travel spending isn’t expected to return to pre-pandemic levels until 2025.

As a result, hotels will need to adapt their offerings to cater to leisure travellers, particularly domestic travellers.


How we can help

If you’re considering buying a commercial hotel property, it’s important to speak to someone experienced in the sector to ensure that you are aware of all the funding options available to you. Get in touch to speak to one of our skilled and experienced team. We are always on hand to answer any of your queries regarding commercial mortgages.

What is the difference between a guest house and a hotel?

When choosing somewhere to stay, many travellers automatically think of hotels. But there are a whole host of other accommodation options available, including guest houses.

The boundaries between a guest house and a hotel can sometimes be blurred; after all, both are based on the same principle of providing accommodation to paying guests.

However, there are a number of key differences that differentiate these two types of accommodation.


What is a guest house?

A guest house is a private house, which provides accommodation for guests. Guest houses are usually owner-operated, with many hosts actually living on the premises. The vast majority of UK guest houses have no more than 5 bedrooms and offer a distinctly home-from-home feel.


What is a hotel?

A hotel also caterers for customers who require overnight accommodation. However, the hotels are typically bigger than guest houses, have more facilities, and can accommodate more guests. They can often hold hundreds of guests at any one time and are frequently part of larger chains.


What are the differences between a guest house and a hotel?

The key differences between a guest house and a hotel are:



Guest houses tend to be a lot smaller than hotels. Even though they can accommodate fewer people, guests still enjoy a comfortable stay and appreciate the many personal touches that come with guest house stays.

As guest house owners usually live on the premises, they are incredibly attentive and often go above and beyond to ensure that their guests have a great stay.



Generally speaking, guest houses are cheaper than hotels. They can also work out more cost-effective for guests staying for longer periods as they may have access to facilities such as kitchens to cook meals in rather than always dining out, as well as clothes washing facilities.



Across the hospitality sector, you will find that the vast majority of guest houses are run as family businesses and tend not to have a reception desk or a concierge service. This means guests usually receive a more personal level of service.

On the other hand, hotels are commercial businesses that employ full-time staff with dedicated roles, operate around the clock and always have lots of facilities and amenities on-site to enhance their guests’ stay.



Guest houses tend to have comfortable but basic, home-style facilities. Hotels, on the other hand, typically have more facilities, including in-room mini-bars, bar and restaurant areas, gyms, and more.


Buying a guest house or hotel?

If you’re considering buying a commercial property, such as a guest house or hotel, it’s important to speak to someone experienced in the sector to ensure that you are aware of all the funding options available to you.


Get in touch to speak to one of our skilled and experienced team. We are always on hand to answer any of your queries regarding commercial mortgages.




How to start a guest house business

Running a guest house cannot only be extremely profitable, but it is also a life-long dream for many people. And, with more of us holidaying in the UK, there’s never been a better time to start a guest house business.

Although exciting, establishing any business can be incredibly daunting. So, before you start your guest house business, it’s important that you familiarise yourself with the process.

Is running a guest house for you?

First and foremost, you should ask yourself whether or not this is the right decision for you. After all, running a guest house is a huge commitment and it’s important that you understand what to expect from the role. You should spend some time researching the market to determine whether or not there is a gap, or demand, for what you plan to offer.

Find a property

To run a guest house, you’ll of course need to have the house itself. Think about where you want to set up your guest house business –  location is everything and it’s important you set up your business in a place that people want to visit.

Many people choose to buy an existing guesthouse as it will be all set up and ready to go, rather than having to convert a property.

Research the market

It’s important to consider the market to ensure there is a demand for your offering. Is there a demand for a guesthouse in the area? Who is likely to stay at your guesthouse? What services and amenities will they be looking for?

Develop a business plan

The next step to starting a guest house is to develop a business plan. A business plan is vital when it comes to starting a guest house, as it will outline the measures you will need to take to make your business a success. It’s also important if you are making a credit application to obtain funding for your guest house. If you’re applying for a commercial mortgage, for example, your lender will also ask to see a business plan.

Having a sound business plan will help to keep you on track when it comes to achieving your business goals and, of course, it will also give you a clear indication into operating costs.

Generating interest in your guesthouse

If you’re starting a guest house from scratch, you will need to start by drumming up as much interest as possible in your new business venture.

You can do this by…

  • Investing in a website showcasing your guest house – integrating a booking system within your website is also a great idea.
  • Create a customer database from the offset.
  • Hire a marketing team to design a powerful logo and any other marketing materials you might need.
  • Advertise using all available platforms.

Ensure you meet regulations

If you are starting a guest house in the UK, you will need to comply with all fire safety laws and legalities. If you are altering a property or building a guest house from scratch, you will also need to obtain planning permission.

Why choose Stewart Hindley for your guest house finance?

If you’re considering buying a commercial property such as guest house, it’s important to speak to someone experienced in the sector to ensure that you are aware of all the funding options available to you. Get in touch to speak to one of our skilled and experienced team. We are always on hand to answer any of your queries regarding guest house commercial mortgages.

How to find a good location for a bed and breakfast business

Choosing the right location for a bed and breakfast is an incredibly important decision. After all, it can make or break your business.

The right location for your B&B depends on the vision you have for your venture, your target market, and your own personal preferences. When you’re looking for a good location, you should also think about local amenities, whether the location is attractive to potential customers, as well as the property’s proximity to landmarks and attractions.

Here’s our guide to everything you should consider when looking for a good location for your bed and breakfast business.

The location’s USPs

What makes the location unique and special for choosing to run a bed and breakfast? Why would it appeal to guests?

Think about the amenities in the area, transport links, and things to do and see. Are there landmarks that offer guests a unique experience, exciting activities, or restaurants nearby?

Cater to your target market

When choosing a location for your B&B, you should ensure that you are able to cater for your specific target market.

For example, if you are reaching out to families, the area should not only be accessible by different transport links, but you should also look out for family friendly activities, amusement parks, nature reserves, and other attractions.

On the other hand, if you’re catering for young professionals in a city centre location, you should consider bars, restaurants, spa days, landmarks, shopping facilities, and any popular events or festivals that take place in the area.

And make sure there are activities for your target market to enjoy all year round – you want to attract guests 12 months of the year, not just around a certain date or event.

Has the area got a good reputation?

You can get a good feel for an area by walking around speaking to other residents and business owners. Asking simple questions about the area’s footfall, crime statistics, what type of people visit the area, as well as the area’s reputation can give you a good insight into whether it would be safe and attractive for guests.

Competition from other accommodation

When considering a location for your B&B, look for competition in the area. Starting a bed and breakfast in an area without lots of other hotels and guest houses could be a good call as the competition will be minimum. However, it’s also important to consider why there are no other similar businesses in the area – is there no demand?

Is location everything?

Location is incredibly important when searching for the perfect B&B. After all, you could stumble across the most perfect bed and breakfast. But if the location isn’t right or fails to impress your guests, you won’t generate enough bookings.

People want a reason to visit an area and what an area has to offer can really enhance your marketing efforts, optimise sales and inspire people to book and stay with you.

Why choose Stewart Hindley for your B&B finance?

If you’re considering buying a commercial property, it’s important to speak to someone experienced in the sector to ensure that you are aware of all the funding options available to you. Get in touch to speak to one of our skilled and experienced team. We are always on hand to answer any of your queries regarding commercial bed and breakfast mortgages.

Thinking about buying a B&B or Guest House in Scotland?

Why bed and breakfast purchases in Scotland are different.

There is a considerable difference when you come to purchase a B&B in Scotland, or a guest house. For instance, Scotland has its own judicial and legal system which differs from the rest of the UK which often results in confusion, expense and sometimes frustration when compared to English law and procedures.

One of the most notable is the commercial land tax known in England as SDLT (Stamp Duty Land Tax) whereas in Scotland this is known as LBTT (Land and Buildings Transfer Tax) which is charged at a higher rate to comparable SDLT. Another higher cost are legal fees which are generally 50% higher than comparable English legal fees for commercial conveyancing.

And it doesn’t stop there. Energy Performance Certificates have different ratings in Scotland to those in England and can often lead to confusion as lenders will only lend on commercial properties that are EPC compliant.

And finally, Scottish lenders and other UK lenders who operate in Scotland also have different lending criteria which can be more onerous than UK lenders so nothing is a given.

We at Stewart Hindley, operate throughout the UK, and have considerable experience assisting prospective purchasers who are buying properties in Scotland with their commercial mortgage requirement.

If you are considering buying a property your first port of call should be Stewart Hindley as we’ve funded many a Scottish B&B and Guest House not only for UK wide purchases but for Scottish Purchasers too.


For more information please get in touch

How much deposit will I need to buy a Bed & Breakfast, Guest House or Hotel?

Deposits for commercial mortgages higher

Raising a deposit for a B&B, Guest House or Hotel can be challenging at the best of times, let alone in the height of a global pandemic when lending sentiment is risk adverse.

Unlike residential mortgages where a deposit can be as little as 5% of the purchase price, commercial mortgages require a higher deposit contribution which is typically 35% to 40% of the purchase price, dependent on the lender’s appetite.

In addition to the capital required for your deposit, there will be other costs to consider such as SDLT (Stamp Duty), Valuation Fees, Solicitors Fees and Broker Fees.

Don’t forget extra costs

As a rule of thumb, when you are considering purchasing a B&B, Guest House or Hotel, you’ll need to make an allowance of circa 47% of the purchase price, as your total capital contribution, which will include all costs such as SDLT, and then you won’t go far wrong.

As with all purchase considerations, there is generally a deal to be done at a 10% discount or more off the vendors’ guide price, so don’t always limit your search to your budget.

Contact us for help with your commercial mortgage

For more advice on how we at Stewart Hindley can help you achieve your life style business, with commercial mortgage solutions for bed and breakfast, guest house and hotel purchasers, offering the best terms and lowest capital contribution, then don’t hesitate to get in touch for no obligation, impartial advice.


How to start a bed and breakfast in the UK

Are you looking to open a bed and breakfast (B&B) in the UK? Wondering where to start when it comes to securing the finance you need to purchase a bed and breakfast? If the answer is yes, you’re in the right place.

Many people dream of owning their very own bed and breakfast in the UK, but they don’t know where to start. The process can seem daunting, particularly if it’s the first time you’ve bought a B&B or hotel.

We’ve created a helpful guide outlining everything you need to know about starting a bed and breakfast in the UK.


Is owning a bed and breakfast right for you?


The first thing to consider is if running a bed and breakfast is right for you. Why are you thinking about buying a bed and breakfast? What are you hoping to achieve? And do you have the skills and qualities you need to run one?


Starting a bed and breakfast is a massive commitment and can be life changing.  So, think about what your expectations are and consider all the pros and cons of running a bed and breakfast. You should also think about whether it’s truly the lifestyle you want – it might seem idyllic, but running a bed and breakfast can be a lot of hard work, including early mornings, late nights and very few days off.

Consider the following points:


  • Are you familiar with the location of the bed and breakfast?
  • Have you got a strong support base around you?
  • Are you a multi-tasker?
  • Are you good at coping
  • Do you like the idea of being self-employed?
  • How do you cope with routine?
  • Do you cope well under pressure?
  • Do you love people and enjoy being around them on a daily basis?


Choose your bed and breakfast property carefully


If you’re certain that owning a bed and breakfast is right for you, it’s time to start looking for the right property.


Think about the location, how many bedrooms you want, and if you want a property that’s ready to go, or one you can work on as a project before you launch your business.



What type of mortgage do you need to purchase a bed a breakfast?


The next step in setting up a bed and breakfast is to secure a mortgage. You’ll need a commercial mortgage for this type of purchase.


Many commercial mortgage lenders are happy to lend on bed and breakfast properties and these are available as fixed and variable-rate loans that usually have a repayment span of one to 25 years. Remember that deposits for commercial properties tend to be around 35% or 40%.


Budgeting and planning

You’ll need to plan your budget to ensure that the bed and breakfast business is actually viable. Remember to allow for seasonal peaks and dips, and ensure you can cover all your costs.



Consider how you will market your business. Who is your target audience? And how can you reach them?

From social media platforms and websites, through to traditional methods such as flyers, advertising and more, there are plenty of ways to promote your new bed and breakfast business. You may also decide to advertise via an online booking site.


If you’re considering buying a commercial property such as a bed and breakfast in the UK, it’s important to speak to someone experienced in the sector to ensure that you are aware of all the funding options available to you. Get in touch to speak to one of our skilled and experienced team. We are always on hand to answer any of your queries regarding commercial mortgages.