The Guide to your Hotel Classification and getting your stars

Before you begin constructing your hotel, it is important to have a plan. A hotel classification document is one such plan

No not really a plan.. However if you want to get your hotel classified, the Ministry of Tourism will ask for many documents.

If you get those documents ready, you would have met 70% of the licensing requirement for opening the hotel.

In this article we will cover the steps covering the process so that you can easily apply for the hotel classification.

Process for Hotel Classification

  • Decide on the class of hotel you are building
  • Get project approval for the hotel
  • Complete the project and open the hotel
  • Apply for Classification

Lets go through the entire process and see what all you will need to get your hotel classification

Decide on the class of the hotel you are building

If you are building a hotel, I am sure you are aware of what facilities you plan to incorporate into your hotel.

What ever you decide, you will need to decide right at the beginning since there are mandatory guidelines that differ between different star category of hotels.

The guidelines were changed in 2018 and you will need to incorporate the design guide in Annexure 3 of the document while planning the building.

You will need to pay special attention to the rooms for disabled since some of the requirement for them are different.

Annexure 3 of the document will give you what is the necessary minimum of the building design that your architect and interior designer needs to incorporate.

This forms the base for getting the hotel started.

Get project approval

Once your project drawings and approvals are in place, you need to apply for project approval from the Ministry of Tourism.

You can apply online on the MOT site

To begin the process, you need to register on the site and pay the fees based on the Star category you are planning.

As of 2020, the cost for project approval was

Star Category Amount in Rs.
5 Star15000
4 Star12000
3 Star8000
2 Star6000
1 Star5000
Heritage Category12000

Once you apply on the site, you must aim to finish the project within 5 years or you will have to reapply for the project approval.

Details required for the project approval

  • Proposed Name of the Hotel
  • Name of the Promoter and their business details in 60 words
  • Complete Postal address of the Promoter with Phone and Email Address
  • Status of the company – Public / Pvt Company or Partnership or Proprietorship
  • If the company is a Public or Pvt compay, you will need a MOA and Article of Association
  • If it is a Partnership or Proprietorship you will need a Partnership Deed
  • You will need details of the site
    • Area of Land in Sq ft
    • Sale Deed or Lease Deed
    • Land use permit and Consent to build from Competent local authorities
    • Distance from the nearest Railway station, Airport and Shopping Center
  • Details of the Project
    • Copy of the Feasibility report
    • Star category planned
    • No of rooms with bathroom and the size of each type of room
    • Size of bathroom in sq ft
    • Details of Public area with size in sq ft.
    • Facilities for differently abled guest.
    • Eco friendly practices planned
    • Energy conservation practice planned
    • Details of Fire fighting facility
    • Security related features
    • Any other facility
    • Date by which project is expected to be finished
  • Blueprints and plans signed by the owner, architect and approved by the competent authority ( Muncipality, Corporation etc)
    • Site plan
    • Front and Side Elevation
    • Floor plan of all floors
    • Details of guest bathroom and rooms
    • Details of Fire fighting measures
    • HVAC details for rooms and public area
  • Local approvals by
    • Muncipal Authority
    • NOC from Nearest police station
    • NOC from authorities as applicable Environment Mininstry, Pollution control board, CRZ , Airport Authority for project near airport
  • Annexure 4 of the document downloaded earlier on your company letterhead
  • Annexure 5 of the document on a 100 Rs. Stamp paper
  • Any other documents requested on the MOT portal

You must also log in to the site and submit project progress every quarter, so do set a calendar reminder

Before you submit you need to ensure that all documents are duly notarized by a competent authority and any document in local language needs to be translated to English, certified true copy, notarized and uploaded.

Also remember when you scan the document, please scan in colour and each file size needs to be compressed to be below 2 MB

Complete the Project

Like I mentioned before the project needs to be completed within 5 year or you need to apply for a project extension. The MoT will grant a one year extension if the delay is due to natural causes beyond your control like the recent COVID – 19 pandemic.

If not you will have to apply for project approval once again.

Finally after all the hard work, sweat and pain when your hotel project is completed, you need to apply for the final classification within 3 months of completion.

Apply for Hotel Classification

While applying for the classification is similar to applying for the project, the key difference is that now you need to attach completion certificate of all the documents you submitted in project stage.

For e.g. STP and Pollution control board approval, NOC from airport to operate, Fire safety licence, Bar licence.

Additionally you will need a Trade license to operate as a hotel. Depending on the state, you may need to submit an Occupancy certificate.

Additionally you will need to pay the fees for classification. Also just like the project papers, these needs to be notarized, certified, self attested and uploaded on the portal.

Upon completion of the application you will get a inspection date.

During the inspection

Depending on the star classification you are applying for, the committee will be decided. For 4 and 5 star hotels, you will have the Additional Director General ( Tourism) or some of their representation

Additionally members of FHRAI, HAI, IATO, TAAI and Pricipal IHM and others are part of the panel

For 3 star and below, it is the state Govt which handles the process.

Your hotel will be graded on the basis of the Annexure 3 in the document. If all the facilities are as per the standards in the document, your application should get approved.

The second part of the inspection is also about checking all the documents. You will need to organise for a meeting room where you can provide all the required documentation.

Once the inspection is satisfactory, you will be recommended for the star classification.

The committee has the discretion to give you a class less than what you applied for, but not for a higher category. If you are not happy with the decision, you may appeal to the Secretary ( Tourism), Govt of India for Review within 30 days of the result.

It can be extremely cumbersome to handle the classification, but by following this guide, your hotel classification can be a breeze.

Remember to follow the guidelines at every step of the way during the construction phase and you should be fine when it is time for your hotel classification.

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