Upgraded Hotel Classification Scheme in Malaysia: What It Means for You


The newly improved Hotel Classification Scheme can help owners of hospitality lodgings to better market their products.



resorts malaysia rating

Holidaymakers will flock to resorts such as this for their year-end holidays.

Many holidaymakers are now looking forward to their year-end holidays. This is indeed good news for hotel operators and owners.  


Industry players would know that the Ministry of Tourism and Culture Malaysia (MOTAC) upgraded its Hotel Classification Scheme for Star Rating in May this year. The question is: Has your premise been assessed and rated?


A hotel classification endorsed by MOTAC can help the industry to be more competitive and allow hoteliers to be more marketable.


Some hotels, in their zeal to sell their services, will make various claims to market themselves. Thus, a classification is also useful for consumers to choose the best hotels for their staycation, helping them make informed decisions about their choice of accommodation.


The MOTAC Star Rating has been in place since 1996, followed by the Orkid Rating in 1999.


resorts malaysia rating

The new ratings system will encourage competitiveness in the industry.

All hotels rated under the MOTAC Star Rating will get anything between one star and five stars, depending on the criteria they fulfil.


Orkid Rating is given to lodgings that do not fulfil the minimum one-star rating but have a niche market, such as budget motels.


Hotels are rated based on their services, bedrooms, safety and standard hygiene, services as well as qualitative and aesthetic requirements.


A formalized and newly improved criteria — released by MOTAC in May 2017 —  take other types of accommodation into account such as innovative hotels and boutique hotels.


“The criteria emphasise on elements of creativity and innovation, environmental-friendliness, local culture and sustainable tourism without compromising on standard, security and services. The new innovative hotel concept surely will attract the younger generation to get involved in the hospitality industry.


resorts malaysia rating

Lodgings are rated based on their services, bedrooms, safety and standard hygiene, services as well as qualitative and aesthetic requirements.

“Meanwhile, the criteria for boutique hotels will allow this kind of accommodation to set themselves apart based on facilities and prestige, including recognition from MOTAC, compared to other boutique hotels that are ‘self-claimed’,” said Minister of Tourism and Culture Dato’ Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz in his opening speech during the launch of the revised classification.


The upgraded Hotel Classification Scheme can be used for all hotels in the country and these newly-improved criteria represent a new chapter in the history of the hotel industry.


Tourism is big business in Malaysia. It notched RM82.1 billion in tourist receipts in 2016. Of this, RM20.44 billion came from spending on accommodation — a 16.4% increase compared to the previous year (2015).


However, only 3,152 premises have been registered and just two thirds (1,980) are rated under the MOTAC classification for accommodation.


resorts malaysia rating

The iconic Blue Mansion in Penang is an excellent example of a boutique hotel.

Here are the five types of hotels that qualify for MOTAC Star Ratings:


Boutique Hotels:  These hotels have special services and unique architecture. They are also very thematic and attract niche customers who are looking for a specific experience for their holiday pleasure.


Innovative Hotels: Like boutique hotels, the premise will have distinctive concept and design as well as an out-of-this-world concept. Unlike boutique hotels which tend to be located in cities and towns, innovative hotels can be located anywhere, such as by the sea or on islands.


Highland Hotels: It is compulsory for a premise to be in this category if the location is more than 300 m above sea level.


Island/Beach/Lake/River Hotels: This category is suitable for establishments like island or beach resorts, or lakeside hotels.


City Hotels: Any hotel not classified into any of the above-mentioned categories can be classified as a city hotel.




If you own a hotel or homestay and want to be rated, visit this link.


For consumers: To check if the local hotel of your choice is rated accordingly, visit MOTAC site.


Looking for hotels to book for the hols? Visit our Hotels listings for help.


Like our Facebook Page for info and updates on our activities.


And don’t forget to download Yellow Pages Malaysia app on Google Play Store (for Android) and App Store (for Apple iOS) to gain access to a wonderful spectrum of homegrown brands.




Do you have something in mind?