Expansion complete: the surprising difference between a 6 and 23 room hotel

Often, the first business most of us expats think of putting in our new country is a guesthouse.

It´s not a bad idea cause you really don´t need any formal education on the subject to do it. It wasn´t my plan either, I just kind of fell into it.

First in Guayaquil, partnering with a friend to start a small guesthouse, then here in Quito.

But most people start like I did in both Guayaquil then Quito: with five o six rooms.

My advice… don´t!

Unless, you really enjoy it of course.


Well, a few months back i finished an expansion from 6 to now 23 rooms.

And what´s the surprising difference between running the two, or between a small and a large guesthouse?


Really! The costs are ALMOST the same and either way it´s still a 24 hour business.

Even the email load is about the same.

Time invested… the same! It´s a 24 hour business either way! You need at least one person there ALL the time unless your cheap and want to handcuff yourself to the place.

Before, with six rooms, I had one person at night, one cleaner, and one part timer receptionist in the daytime with a part time cleaner that works when the full timer has off.

Thats two full timers and two part timers.

Now, with the 23 room place I´ve needed to add one more full time cleaner so i now have two cleaners daily, yet the same part time afternoon receptionist and the same night receptionist.

That´s it!

And cause I serve dinner I´ve had to hire a part-time chef cause with that many people one person can´t cook and attend the clients like they could before.

So what´s the difference between 6 and 23 rooms? One more full time cleaner and one part time chef.

But the difference in revenue is substantial.

It´s simple math, if you can charge $50 a room and fill the place, with just 5 or 6 rooms thats $250-300 a day revenue minus all your expenses equalling a bottom line of NOT MUCH.

But with over 20 rooms you can obviously generate over 4 times as much (with minimal increased expenses) if you can keep it full.

So if you are going to do it, do it big. Below is a pic of the new addition that was completed at my hotel near the Quito airport, total build time, roughly 3 months.


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