About Arbor Lodging Partners

Based in Chicago, Arbor Lodging Partners (formerly The Navnish Group) is a national debt and equity investor in the hospitality industry. Its affiliate, NVN Hotels, was recently named one of the nation’s top hotel companies of 2015 by Hotel Management Magazine.

The company was founded on the principle of uniting the best practices of enterprising hotel operators and sophisticated institutional investors to effectively underwrite and execute value-add opportunities in the lodging space.  Today, Arbor Lodging Partners is primarily involved in three lines of business:

  • Investments – Arbor Lodging Partners, with joint venture capital partners, acquires underperforming hotels that can be enhanced through renovations and the implementation of operational efficiencies to provide attractive returns.
  • Loan Acquisitions – Arbor Lodging Partners, with joint venture capital partners, acquires loans secured by hotels that can be restructured with the existing borrower to provide attractive returns.
  • Management – Arbor Lodging Partners’ management affiliate, NVN Hotels, manages hotel operations for assets in the Arbor Lodging Partners portfolio, as well as hotels owned by third-parties.


Investment Philosophy

Arbor Lodging Partners’ investment philosophy is simple: create exceptional value.  By adhering to its established and tested underwriting methods, Arbor Lodging Partners has built a strong track record of identifying and capitalizing on lodging investment opportunities that create exceptional value.  Arbor Lodging Partners’ underwriting methods are based on the firm’s, and its professionals’, experience in developing, acquiring, financing, operating and managing hotel assets.  The principles underlying Arbor Lodging Partners’ investment philosophy are:

  • Invest with Discipline:  Arbor Lodging Partners’ investment strategy is based on a disciplined focus of pursuing opportunities with key characteristics that will ultimately generate attractive risk-adjusted investment returns.  The diverse and experienced backgrounds of the Arbor Lodging Partners professionals enable Arbor Lodging Partners to thoroughly evaluate and understand the key drivers of value creation in hotel investments and structure and execute transactions in an efficient manner.
  • Active Leadership:  To meet guest satisfaction and financial performance goals, Arbor Lodging Partners, through its affiliate NVN Hotels, works closely with hotel staff and supports them with a high level of energy, leadership and commitment.  Arbor Lodging Partners strongly believes that guest satisfaction is the key to profitability; as a result, it monitors very closely the level of service provided in the hotels in its portfolio and the value that is provided to guests.  Arbor Lodging Partners has an intimate knowledge of each of its hotels and the communities that they serve through constant communication with hotel staff, multiple property visits and extensive reporting required of the hotel operations teams.
  • Operate with Integrity:  Operating with integrity is at the core of everything that Arbor Lodging Partners does.  Arbor Lodging Partners treats the resources of its investment partners as its own and seeks to conduct business in an honest and fair manner.  Arbor Lodging Partners recognizes that key opportunities will continue to present themselves only if Arbor Lodging Partners acts responsibly and sustains the respect of its investment partners and others in the hospitality industry.


Investment Selection Process

Arbor Lodging Partners is targeting opportunities that exhibit the following characteristics:

  • Underperforming with value – add potential
  • Discount to intrinsic value and/or replacement cost
  • Downside protection and long-term capital preservation
  • Ability to reposition with targeted capital expenditure program
  • Value creation through entrepreneurial asset management

We have over 50 years of combined experience in owning, developing and operating commercial properties.


Click on a team member for their full bio.

The Arbor Lodging Partners team works closely with the team of Arbor Lodging Partners’ management affiliate, NVN Hotels.  To learn more about the NVN Hotels team, please visit www.nvnhotels.com.

Vamsi Bonthala

Chief Executive Officer

Vamsi Bonthala is a co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Arbor Lodging Partners. In this role, Vamsi leads all corporate efforts including general corporate strategy, investor relations, strategic relationships, acquisitions, dispositions, and asset management. Vamsi is also Principal of NVN Hotels, the management affiliate of Arbor Lodging Partners, recently named one of the nation’s top hotel companies of 2015 by Hotel Management Magazine. Prior to co-founding Arbor Lodging Partners, Vamsi practiced corporate law in the Private Equity group of Kirkland & Ellis LLP and the Real Estate Group of Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP.

Vamsi earned his BA in Economics and Political Science from the University of Michigan, where he received Class Honors and University Honors. Vamsi earned his JD from the University of Michigan Law School, where he was an Associate Editor of the Michigan Journal of International Law. Vamsi has been a speaker at industry events, is a member of the Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO) and the President’s Circle of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, and is active in alumni affairs for Phillips Exeter Academy. A previous Ambassador of the IHG Owners Association and a previous board member of the Directors of Open Books, he was recently recognized as one of Real Estate Forum Magazine’s 50 Under 40 of 2015.

James Ewer

Vice President of Capital Projects

James Ewer is Vice President of Capital Projects at Arbor Lodging Partners. In this role, he manages all renovations and other capital projects for hotels within the Arbor Lodging Partners portfolio. James has over 30 years of complex construction and renovation experience involving more than $5.5 billion of capital projects. In a previous role, James was Director, Capital Projects for Strategic Hotels & Resorts, where he was responsible for managing the due diligence, planning, design and construction process for all hotel real estate acquisitions, development and major capital projects, including retail store and restaurant development, nationally and internationally. At Strategic, James managed over 30 construction, renovation and expansion projects under the following brands: Hyatt, Starwood, Ritz- Carlton, Marriott, Four Seasons, Hilton, IHG, Loews and Hilton. Before joining Arbor Lodging Partners, James served as a Senior Project Manager for URS Corporation (AECOM), primarily focused on large vertical construction projects.
James earned a B.Sc. (B.S.) in Construction Economics from The University of Westminster (Polytechnic of Central London) and went on to receive an MBA in Project Management from the Henley Business School in the UK. James is a RICS Fellow and a Fellow of the Institute of Commercial Management.

Monika Cepaitis

Corporate Administrator

Monika is involved in all efforts related to property management with a particular focus on accounting, HR, and social media. Prior to joining Arbor Lodging Partners, Monika was an Account Executive with Havas Worldwide.

Monika received her BA in Communications from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Steve Mikol

Advisory Board Member

Hotel Industry Consultant & Co-Founder of Sage Hospitality

Sheenal Patel


Sheenal Patel is a co-founder and Principal of Arbor Lodging Partners. In this role, Sheenal is involved in general corporate strategy and efforts related to acquisition underwriting and capital expenditures.

Sheenal is also Chief Executive Officer of NVN Hotels (NVN), the firm’s hotel management affiliate. NVN was named one of the nation’s top hotel companies of 2015 by Hotel Management Magazine. Prior to co-founding Arbor Lodging Partners, Sheenal was a Vice President with Related Capital Company, a New York based investment firm, where he was responsible for the origination of approximately $800 million of tax-exempt bond transactions for LIHTC multifamily projects located throughout the United States. Sheenal started his career in the Leveraged Finance Group within the Investment Banking division of CIBC World Markets.

Sheenal earned his BA in Economics from the University of Michigan and completed the year-long General Course program in mathematics at the London School of Economics. He is a member of the President’s Circle of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and is active in alumni affairs for Phillips Exeter Academy.

Kevin Down

Director of Investments

Kevin Down is Director of Investments for Arbor Lodging Partners.  In this role as Director, Kevin focuses on sourcing and underwriting acquisition opportunities, as well as asset management of hotels owned and managed by Arbor Lodging Partners.  Kevin joined Arbor Lodging Partners as an Associate, and prior to that Kevin was an Associate at Paramount Lodging Advisors, a hotel brokerage and advisory company. Prior to joining Paramount, Kevin was an Analyst for Integra Realty Resources.

Kevin received his BS in Political Science and Psychology from the University of Wisconsin – Madison.  Kevin received his MBA with a concentration in Real Estate Finance and Investment from DePaul University, where he graduated with Distinction.

Michael Newman

Advisory Board Member

President & CEO,
Golub & Company

Kenneth Munkacy

Advisory Board Member

Senior Managing Director


Below represents our current and past investments.

Kansas City, Missouri

Fresno, California

Morrisville, Pennsylvania

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