Building a Resort from Scratch: Financial Insights and Budget Planning

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The global tourism industry is poised for significant growth, with an increasing number of travellers seeking unique and luxurious experiences. As a result, building a resort can be a lucrative investment, promising substantial returns. But how much does it cost to build a resort?

In this guide, we provide a comprehensive overview of the costs involved in building a resort, helping you make informed business decisions and formulate an appropriate budget. We also explore how photorealistic renderings can attract investors and facilitate the construction process.

How Much Does It Cost to Build a Resort?

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The cost of building a resort varies widely depending on numerous factors such as location, size, and amenities offered. On average, building a resort can range from $30 million to $500 million or more.

Several key factors influence these costs, which we will delve into in the next sections.

Factors Affecting the Cost of a Resort

Land Acquisition

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Land acquisition is a critical factor in the overall cost of building a resort. The price of land varies significantly based on location, accessibility, and local real estate markets.
Location: Prime beachfront or mountainside properties are typically more expensive. For example, an acre of land in a popular tourist destination can cost anywhere from $100,000 to several million dollars.
Size: Larger resorts require more land, increasing the overall acquisition cost.

Type of Resort

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The type of resort you plan to build—luxury, eco-friendly, family-oriented, or adventure resort—will greatly influence the construction costs.
Luxury Resorts: These include high-end amenities such as spas, golf courses, gourmet restaurants, and exclusive villas, leading to higher construction costs.
Eco-Friendly Resorts: These often incorporate sustainable materials and renewable energy sources, which can be more expensive but appeal to a growing market of eco-conscious travellers.

Amenities and Facilities


The range and quality of amenities and facilities offered can significantly impact construction costs.
Spa and Wellness Centers: High-end wellness centers can add $1 million to $10 million to the budget.
Swimming Pools: Depending on the design and size, pools can cost $100,000 to $1 million each.
Restaurants and Bars: Building and equipping dining facilities can range from $250,000 to $2 million.

Construction Costs

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Construction costs, often referred to as hard costs, make up the largest portion of the budget. They include:
Materials: The cost of materials such as concrete, steel, and wood can fluctuate based on market conditions.
Labour: Skilled labour costs vary by region and the complexity of the project.
Equipment: The rental or purchase of construction equipment adds to the expenses.

Soft Costs

Soft costs refer to expenses not directly tied to physical construction but essential to the project’s completion.
Design and Planning: Architectural and engineering fees typically account for 10% to 15% of the total budget.
Permits and Inspections: Obtaining the necessary permits and ensuring compliance with local regulations can add another 5% to 10% to the costs.
Marketing and Promotion: Effective marketing strategies to attract investors and future guests can range from $500,000 to $2 million.

Furnishing and Interior Design

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Furnishing a resort involves significant investment in furniture, fixtures, and equipment (FF&E).
Guest Rooms: Furnishing guest rooms can cost $5,000 to $50,000 per room, depending on the level of luxury.
Common Areas: Lobby, restaurants, and recreational areas require high-quality furnishings and decor, adding to the overall expense.

Brand Affiliation

Affiliating with a well-known brand can boost credibility and attract guests, but it comes with its own costs.
Franchise Fees: Initial franchise fees can range from $50,000 to $500,000, with ongoing royalties and marketing fees adding to the expense.

Importance of the Preconstruction Process for Attracting Investors

Attracting investors is crucial for the successful development of a resort. A well-organized preconstruction process can significantly enhance investor confidence.

Detailed Planning and Budgeting

Comprehensive Plans: Detailed architectural and engineering plans provide a clear vision of the project, helping investors understand the scope and potential returns.
Accurate Budgeting: Thorough budgeting, including contingency plans for unforeseen expenses, demonstrates financial prudence.

Professional Renderings

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Photorealistic 3D rendering services play a vital role in the preconstruction phase, offering several benefits:

Visual Communication: High-quality 3D renderings allow stakeholders to visualise the resort’s final appearance, facilitating better decision-making.
Error Reduction: Detailed visualisations help identify design flaws early, reducing the risk of costly errors during construction.
Enhanced Marketing: Impressive renderings can be used in marketing materials to attract investors and future guests.


Building a resort is a complex and costly endeavour, with expenses ranging from tens of millions to several hundred million dollars. Key factors influencing these costs include land acquisition, type of resort, amenities, construction and soft costs, furnishing, and brand affiliation.

To ensure a successful project, comprehensive planning and the use of professional renderings are essential. These steps not only aid in budgeting and design but also play a crucial role in attracting investors and ensuring the project’s viability.

For expert visualisation solutions that can turn your resort ideas into reality, consider partnering with a professional rendering studio. High-quality renders can showcase your vision in detail, helping you secure the necessary support and resources for your project.

Frequently Asked Questions

Conducted market analysis, secured financing, acquired permits, developed a business plan, and collaborated with architects and contractors.

Typically, 18 months to 3 years, depending on the project’s size, location, and complexity.

Accessibility, proximity to attractions, climate, infrastructure, local regulations, and environmental impact.

Luxury resorts cost more due to premium amenities, while eco-friendly resorts may have higher initial costs but can benefit from sustainability incentives.

They provide clear visualizations, identify design issues early, and enhance marketing efforts.


Obtaining permits, managing costs, coordinating contractors, and addressing environmental concerns.

It enhances credibility and attracts guests but involves franchise fees and royalties. A cost-benefit analysis can help decide its value.