The Forbes Travel Guide Star Journey

 To launch Forbes Travel Guide’s Star Rating of hotels in Malta, there is a clear and transparent process for hotels to have the opportunity to potentially earn a Forbes Travel Guide Star Rating, ensuring the rigorous nature of the standards and evaluation process are upheld at all times.

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Star Rating Selection Process

Participation in Partnership or the Alliance Program does not guarantee a future rating. All awards are results-based and earned by the hotel during the official incognito visit.


Getting Started

Hotels are invited to submit their interest in being considered for either Partnership or Alliance through the WINNING on-line training Portal.

Rating Requirements Hotels 2022

Hotels must review the Ratings Requirements Hotel 2022 document which will be sent after registration to the establishment. This details the basics that Forbes Travel Guide’s Standards & Ratings division looks for and requires for any property seeking approval to be officially evaluated as part of the Ratings system.


If hotel strongly believes themselves to be qualified, they should formally complete the application form via the 'Apply Now' button at the foot of the page.



Forbes Travel Guide will review all submissions as part of its long-established due diligence, research and review process. This is a globally consistent, integrity-driven and ethical process:

  • If approved the hotel will be added to the Approved to Partner list Or

  • If not approved at this time, Forbes Travel Guide will provide brief bullets of feedback. The hotel will be invited to participate in the Alliance Program. This does not close the door on future Partnership it just indicates that changes to the property service and/or facility are needed to realistically have the opportunity toearn a star rating in the future.

    Key Benefits of Partnership

    For Hotels that Forbes Travel Guide has Star Rated or elects to Star Rate, Forbes Travel Guide offers the opportunity to join the Partner Programme, which provides access to the Star rating inspection results and other key benefits. 

    Access to Forbes Travel Guide’s proprietary service and facility standards for hotels, including annual revisions.

    Annual incognito inspection report which details the results used to determine the official Forbes Travel Guide Star Rating.

    Annual license to use the official Forbes Travel Guide earned Star Rating marks for promotional and marketing purposes.

    Partnership Approach: Transparency

    Transparency is the bedrock of the Partnership with the Forbes Travel Guide Star Rated hotels. The Forbes Travel Guide evaluation process encompasses 500+ standards, including 16 hotel sections and 10 classifications. Partners have access to those standards and the full evaluation report used to determine their annual Star Rating. Forbes Travel Guide welcomes dialogue with Partners every step of the way. Forbes Travel Guide shares the goal of providing guests excellent experiences.

    Reporting System

    All reports are delivered in the Forbes Travel Guide’s online reporting system. Brand/Quality Assessment and Rating reports include a Dashboard view, Executive Summary, overall scoring and scoring by department and classification. Reports feature Yes-No-N/A for every standard, plus detailed evaluator observations and photos. User management features allow permissions per property or brand-wide.

      System Highlights

      Corporate roll-up 

      For both Rating Reports and Brand/Quality Assessments, Forbes Travel Guide offers brand roll-up reporting, which shows how properties rank against one another on multiple performance parameters, as well as brand averages overall and by classification and department.

      Year-To-Date trending by department, classification, and individual standard

      For properties receiving multiple Brand/Quality Assessments per year, the system presents year-to-date performance on all standards, making it easy to navigate to most-missed standards. Each standard offers a year-to-date view that shows all Yes/No and Evaluator Observations on one page. Forbes Travel Guide also presents trending by service, facility, classification and department scores.

      Missed standards

      Filter Brand and Rating reports to focus on only missed standards within a department, classification or the full report.

      Excel & PDF (including name redaction)

      Excel and PDF downloads are available for all reports, including photos and the ability to redact staff names, when desired.

      Accountability tool

      Create and track assignments at the individual standard level, even assigning to staff who do not have access to full reports.

      Malta Hotels Inspection Process

      1. Inspections are fully incognito and are undertaken by a Forbes Travel Guide official evaluator, against

      500+ hotel service and facility standards.

      2. Partner properties receive the full set of hotel standards for service and facility, upon agreement signature.

      3. The final composite score that determines the rating is weighted 75% in favour of service, versus 25% weighting in favour of facility.

      4. Inspections take place over a 2night/3day period. Inspectors do not announce themselves.

      5. Partners will receive the full, online report detailing the inspection. 

      6. The online reporting system details every element of the inspector’s experience and can be downloaded in full or by section / classification to excel or PDF files.

      7. The 3 composite score thresholds for hotel awards are:
          1. 70-79.99% Forbes Travel Guide Recommended
          2. 80-87.99% Forbes Travel Guide Four Star
          3. 88%+ Forbes Travel Guide Five Star

      8. Partners have an individual page on Each page has imagery of the property, overview of the property, key highlights of the property, amenities offered, details of location and a direct link to the hotel homepage.

      9. Forbes Travel Guide Social Media coverage: 
          - Instagram: 796,000 followers 
          - Twitter: 59,000 followers
          - Facebook: 28,000 followers
          - LinkedIn: 32,000 followers
          - Editorial content from Forbes Travel Guide is syndicated on (78m US users).

      10. All Malta Partner properties will be grouped together under a central Malta destination page.

      11. Prior to any official Star Rating, all Partners will be referred to as ‘Soon To Be Rated’ on the website.

      12. Depending on results, hotels can choose to accept or defer their very first rating.  Depending on subsequent results in following year (also funded annually through STARS program), hotels will be able to request an official further reinspection (funded by hotel). This is subject to hotel choosing their next official inspection in cycle 1 or 2 in of the following year. This is upon request, subject to agreement, additional fee, and seasonality of the hotel.

      13. Once a Star Rating is made official, Partners have the relevant logo license to use for promotional and visibility purposes – in print and online.

      14. All new star awards are made public at the time of the global annual announcement (date to be determined) and any final results provided to the hotel prior to this date will be subject to an embargo as will be stated in Partner report dashboards.

      15. Official plaques for internal display are available (Physical plaque for internal display: $750 + shipping costs) reflecting the Star Rating achieved.

      Editorial and Marketing Opportunities

      Partners enjoy many benefits, in addition to their Star Rating inspection report and access to standards. As a benefit of partnership, Forbes Travel Guide accelerates deployment of a dedicated property profile page on, in advance of the Star Rating awards announcement. Each partner property will have the chance to be featured in the Forbes Travel Guide online magazine at and our channel.

      Partners are promoted on the Forbes Travel Guide social media channels, including Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook and are invited to participate in our social media campaigns throughout the year.

      Star Rated Partners also receive:

      • Official Forbes Travel Guide ratings logos and marketing toolkit to showcase your Star Rating award across your website, advertisements and other promotions.

      • One award plaque designating the property’s official Star Rating award.

      • Preferred pricing on merchandise at the Forbes Travel Guide Brand Store (

      The Alliance Programme

      Where a hotel is not (at this time) approved for Partnership, Forbes Travel Guide will provide brief bullets of feedback. The hotel will be invited to participate in the Alliance Program.

      Additionally, hotels who wish to be considered for future inclusion in the Alliance Program, will formerly express their interest via the WINNING Portal and Forbes Travel Guide.

      The Alliance Program is a springboard opportunity for those wishing to elevate their service levels by receiving insight into service standards and requirements, training and educational benefits.

      The virtual inspection checklist will provide Alliance Program properties a way to ensure that the key elements of quality, cleanliness and guest convenience are in place and are being maintained on an ongoing basis. 

      The Alliance Program allows for a facility-only, self-verification process.

      The virtual facility inspection platform will be available from early 2022. A manual self-verification checklist will be made available for use prior to the electronic platform being available

      Alliance Program properties will, in addition, receive the full set of Forbes Travel Guide hotel standards for service and facility, to provide guidance, planning and the motivation towards future approval for the Partnership program. The training provided by Forbes Travel Guide will also help to unlock the potential within each property’s team to assist in raising the benchmark of quality and service. 

      This is a self-verification process resulting in one of two results:

      1. Fail

      2. Pass

      Properties who Pass will have an Alliance Member digital logo license to use in print and online. Properties achieving a higher pass score will be allowed to review.

      This will show the property’s association with Forbes Travel Guide’s standards of service and facility excellence. It can be used for marketing and sales.

      Properties achieving a Pass+ will allow the review of the hotel for potential future Partnership approval.

      Upon successful completion of the virtual facility inspection a digital Alliance member logo and promotional materials will be sent to the Hotel.

      Alliance Program properties do not earn a Star Rating and do not have a web page listing.

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      Forbes Travel Guide’s globally respected Learning & Development team presents this valuable collection of 10 recorded video training sessions on creating and maintaining a strong service culture. This engaging, convenient library is an excellent way to onboard new employees and refresh employee skills. 


      Earn your Alliance badge by confirming that key elements of quality, cleanliness, and guest convenience are in place at your hotel. Our chatbot-based Virtual Inspection walks you through the checklist of Alliance requirements. Upon passing completion, you will have immediate access to your Alliance badge, which you can use for promotional purposes.
      Odoo • Text and Image
      Odoo • Image and Text


      Your Alliance membership includes a Forbes Travel Guide Alliance logo and promotional materials upon completion of your virtual inspection. Display the logo on your website and in digital and print collateral to show guests and travel advisors that your hotel is committed to a higher standard. 

      Global Star Ratings

      Current and Launching 2022



      • Barcelona

      • Madrid


      • Amalfi Coast

      • Florence

      • Italian Alps

      • Lake Como

      • Lake Garda

      • Milan

      • Rome

      • Tuscany

      • Venice


      • Geneva

      • Swiss Alps

      • Zurich

      • TURKEY

      • Istanbul

      • UNITED

      • KINGDOM

      • Edinburgh

      • Glasgow

      • London

      • The Home Counties




      • Courchevel

      • French Riviera

      • Paris


      • Berlin

      • Munich


      • Mykonos

      • Santorini


      • Budapest


      • Monte Carlo


      • Amsterdam


      • Lisbon


      • Ireland





      • Banff and Lake

      • Louise


      • Vancouver

      • Vancouver Island

      • Whistler



      • Toronto


      • Mont-Tremblant

      • Montreal

      • Quebec City


      • Cancun

      • Los Cabos

      • Mexico City

      • Monterrey

      • Puebla

      • Puerto Vallarta

      • Riviera Maya

      • Riviera Nayarit

      • San Miguel de

      • Allende


      • Buenos Aires



      • Iguassu Falls

      • Rio de Janeiro

      • São Paulo


      • Santiago


      • Bogota

      • Cartagena

      • COSTA RICA



      • Lima



      • Anguilla

      • Antigua & Barbuda

      • Aruba

      • Barbados

      • Cayman Islands

      • Dominican Republic

      • Jamaica

      • Puerto Rico

      • St. Barts

      • St. Kitts & Nevis

      • St. Lucia

      • St. Martin

      • The Bahamas

      • Turks & Caicos

      • US Virgin Islands




      • Tel Aviv


      • Amman



      • Muscat


      • Doha


      • Jeddah

      • Riyadh


      • Abu Dhabi

      • Dubai


      • Alexandria

      • Cairo


      • Mauritius

      • Seychelles

        Application for Hotels