Louise Gillon

Rethinking luxury hotels – specialist lenders and their appetite for innovation

As London’s hospitality industry continues to navigate its way through the coronavirus pandemic, a new generation of lifestyle establishments is sweeping the London hotel scene.

p>In an increasingly restrictive lending environment, it is specialist lenders that are stepping up to finance these innovative new businesses. 

One year on since the first pandemic-induced lockdown changed life as we knew it, companies across the spectrum continue to struggle with business disruption. The hotel industry is not exempt. Despite this, a new generation of lifestyle hotel has emerged in London that promises to inject new energy into the sector – providing a more rounded, personalised experience for guests looking to find a balance between luxury and comfort. 

From an investment standpoint, however, financing these new developments is far from straightforward. Economic turmoil has created an increasingly restrictive lending environment, and for boutique businesses looking to innovate, finding a financial partner with the appetite and open-mindedness to fulfil their capital requirements can be harder than expected. 
Finding the right fit

It is well known that mainstream lenders tend to favour a box-ticking approach when assessing new projects in order to save time and minimise risk. And while this quickly eliminates ineligible businesses, it also often results in more creative, forward-looking ventures being discounted before a lender has had a chance to properly assess their propositions. 

Of course, securing financial backing is very much achievable – hoteliers simply need to ensure they are looking in the right places. In this case, the solution often comes in the form of the specialist lender. Bringing an enthusiastic, open-minded outlook to the table, these financiers are willing to put in both the time and the effort to really get to know a business and understand its vision. 

Specialist lenders, such as Leumi UK, often have a far deeper level of understanding of the niche markets they operate in, meaning they are much more flexible when it comes to assessing a business – taking into account common industry risks and looking beyond short-term hurdles in order to support propositions with meaningful potential. What’s more, these lenders understand the importance of creating stable, long-lasting relationships with their clients and as such, favour a much more personalised approach. 

The new generation

Having access to such lenders gives imaginative new businesses the opportunity to thrive – even during times of economic instability.  And there are plenty of exciting initiatives occurring in the hotel space. Shiva Hotels, for instance, is at the forefront of the new era of lifestyle hotels. 

The esteemed hotelier successfully delivered two carefully curated establishments last year. Middle Eight and The Guardsman were repurposed in line with Shiva’s vision for a new and exciting type of city experience, offering a hybrid alternative to London’s typically more sterile luxury offering. 

Moving forward, challenges for the hotel industry will undoubtedly prevail. The coronavirus pandemic has reshaped society and changes in consumer habits will require hotel businesses to evolve and adapt in order to continue to attract a more conscious clientele. For these businesses, it is the specialist lender that will play a fundamental role in supporting their development – laying the foundations for tomorrow’s hotel experience. 


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    Arun Swarup

    I am looking to refinance a 182 room Hampton by Hilton Hotel in Ealing, West London. Can you please suggest some specialists lenders I should contact. Many thanks Arun Swarup Tel: 07710 176968

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