More often than not, attacks on hotels begin with a boom.
In most modern attacks by insurgents and terrorists against hotels, the first act of the assault is usually preceded by an explosion, carried out either by a suicide bomber or with a car bomb, also commonly referred to as a Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Device (VBIED).
This type of tactic has become standard because it gives them the advantage of the element of surprise, punching a hole through the defender’s perimeter from which to continue their breach and assault.
VBIEDs are extremely popular for use in attacks because they are inconspicuous and deadly. Capable of hiding in plain sight until the moment that they are either inspected or explode. A report from the Department of Homeland Security notes that they can carry between 500 to 10,000 lbs of explosive materials and can be used as part of the shrapnel for the attack.
Contrast this with 20lbs that a human can carry, and we understand how much damage one of these vehicle attacks can cause.