A Guide to Muslim Friendly hotels
A Guide to Muslim Friendly Hotels
The CrescentRating rating system is a globally-recognised independent rating standard that allows hotels and service providers to be rated based on the services and facilities that they provide Muslim travellers. Their ratings are trusted by a growing audience of Muslim leisure and business travellers who rely on the insights to make hotel booking decisions for themselves and their families.
The CrescentRating system rates the overall Halal-friendliness of hotels on a scale of one to seven – with one being the lowest rating and seven being the highest.
These Hotels are considered “helpful” to the Muslim Travellers. They will be able to provide information regarding Prayer times and prayer direction as well as information on nearby Halal food and Mosques. Unless otherwise specially stated in the Hotel listing on CrescentRating.com or HalalTrip.com, these hotels DO NOT provide Halal food in the Hotel.
These Hotels will be able to provide information regarding Prayer times and prayer direction as well as information on nearby Halal food and Mosques. They will also have some level of halal food services; either Halal breakfast and/or Room Service. Or it may claim all food in the Hotel to be halal, but not independently verified by a halal food certification authority.
These Hotels will be able to provide information regarding Prayer times and prayer direction as well as information on nearby Halal food and Mosques. They will have a halal certified kitchen or restaurant (except in the Middle East)
Crescentrating from 6 to 7
Hotels with a rating of 6 to 7 take into account most of the needs of a Halal conscious traveller in their services and facilities. In general they will be serving only Halal Food and Beverages apart from having other family friendly facilities.
Criteria used for rating
Halal food facilities
To what extent is Halal food available?
Does the hotel offer:
Lists of Halal restaurants in the vicinity?
Halal meals and menus?
Halal items in the mini-bar?
Restaurants that are all halal certified?
“Only Halal food” regulation on entire premises?
Salaath (prayer) facilities
What Salaath facilities are provided?
Does the hotel offer:
Lists of Mosques in the vicinity?
Answers to queries regarding prayer times & directions?
Qurans, prayer matsor, prayer time tables?
Qibla marked in rooms?
Every facility for a Muslim guest to pray?
Services during ramadan
What services are offered during Ramadan?
Does the hotel offer:
Basic necessities to breakfast? (Dates & water)
Ifthar during Ramadan?
Suhoor & Ifthar buffets?
Halal room service? Halal restaurants in the area?
Meals for Suhoor & Ifthar and transport to local mosques?
Level of non-halal activities in the hotel
To what extent is Halal food available?
Does the hotel offer:
Any nightclubs or casinos?
Any adult channels or on-halal friendly activities?
Separate spa & pool times for men & women?
Completely separate spas, pools and gyms for women?
Faith based needs of Halal conscious travellers and the business opportunities it provides
Faith based values and needs are increasingly influential in the purchasing decisions of Muslim consumers. This is already reflected in the choices they make regarding food or conducting financial transactions.
The same Halal consciousness is now becoming evident in the decisions they make when planning their trips, whether for leisure or business. This opens up new business opportunities for airports, airlines, hotels, resorts, shopping malls, theme parks, attractions, etc. Therefore understanding and catering to the faith based needs of Muslim travellers as a part of diversifying the visitor arrivals, will not only bring more of these tourists to the destination, but will also be an enabler for new business ventures.
Crescentrating has segmented the faith based needs of the Halal conscious travellers into three categories for ease of implementation by service providers; “Need to have”, “Good to have” and “Nice to have“.
Need to have
In the “Need to have” category are Halal food services and prayer facilities. Having an acceptable level of these services in places like hotels, attractions, theme parks, shopping malls etc., is integral to having a sustained growth of these travellers to the destination. Those unable to cater to these two needs are better off postponing targeting this segment until such a time as they are able to provide these services.
Halal food is by far the most important service that a Halal conscious traveller is looking for when traveling. Having food outlets with proper Halal assurance that is identifiable by the visitors will make their stay free of worries when it comes to food. With the widespread scandals related to food, sticking to halal certified food outlets has become the safest option for travellers.
Prayer rooms equipped with “foot washing” facilities easily accessible at the destinations’ main tourism hotspots is another “Need to have” feature.
Good to have
“Availability of water in wash rooms” and “the ability for a destination to cater to the Muslim travellers during the month fasting (Ramadhan)” comes next in the “Good to have” category.
Use of water in the toilets is a Muslim etiquette. Not having a proper setup to do that is discomforting for travellers. Providing such facilities has become less cumbersome now with the widespread availability of hand showers, bidets or even Japanese style toilets.
Although Muslims are less likely to travel during the month of Ramadhan, there are still a good number of them looking to spend this time away from home. Especially if this period coincides with school holidays. Destinations who wish to target this period need to be able to cater to the special needs during the month of fasting. The eBook here is a good guide on how a Hotel could cater to their Muslim guests during the month of fasting.
There is also an increasing number who are taking holiday breaks during the two Muslim festivals. Once again, attracting them will require most of the above services being in place at the destination.
Nice to have
Finally, in the “Nice to have” category are those services or facilities with “no non-halal services/activities” and “recreational services which provide privacy for males and females”. There is a growing sub-segment of Muslim travellers who are looking for destinations, resorts etc. offering these types of services. Some resorts in Turkey are targeting these holiday makers and reaping huge benefits.
Catering to these needs all the way from the Airport to the attractions etc. will definitely make the destination an attractive choice.
Guide to Halal Restaurants & Food in Hotels
Finding Halal Restaurants & food is in fact the most pressing issue when traveling, especially if you are traveling to countries where there isn’t a large Muslim community. Having Halal food is critically important to Muslims.
Here is a Guide to choosing a Hotel with Halal Food
1. The hotel you stay in is probably the place that you will spend a considerable amount of time on your trips and probably have a number of meals. As such it is best to choose a Hotel that has a certified Halal restaurant. Here you will be fully assured that the food served is Halal. When a Halal certifying authority certifies a restaurant, it general means that both food and beverages served in the restaurant is Halal.
2. The next best option is to find a Hotel which at least has a Halal Certified Kitchen. In this case at least some of the restaurants of the hotel, if not all, will be served by this kitchen. Since it is only the kitchen which is certified Halal, this generally also means that the Hotel may serve alcoholic beverages in the restaurants.
Guide to choosing an Alcohol free Crescentrated Hotel
Most Hotels around the world serve Alcohol. If you are looking for an Alcohol free Hotel among the Crescentrated Hotels, here is how to find one:
1. All Hotels, which do not serve Alcohol, will have this icon highlighted in our listing of the Hotel.
If this icon is not included in the listing of the Hotel, then it should be considered that the Hotel serves Alcohol.
2. All Hotels which have a Crescentrating of 6 or 7, will not be serving/selling Alcohol within the Hotel premises.
3. Some Hotels which are Crescentrated 5 may also not be serving Alcohol. The icon mentioned above will help indicate which ones do not serve Alcohol.
4. Most 3 to 5 star Hotels, with a Crescentrating below 5 will be serving Alcohol (unless the above icon is shown in our listing)
Guide to Salaath facilities in Hotels
More and more Hotels are now providing the information on prayer times, Qiblah directions etc for their guests. Here how you could know which ones are offered by a Hotel based on the icons we have developed.
Travellers should note that unless you have a sophisticated compass, you cannot rely on the direction given by the average compass inside a hotel room. If there are no indications in the Room, you should always ask the front desk or concierge for the Qiblah direction.
The chances of them knowing is getting higher and higher due to more and more muslims travelling now, especially if it is a Crescentrated Hotel. Our Google map based Qiblah direction finder tool also allows you to find the Qiblah direction of any location.
The minimum requirement for a Hotel to be Crescentrated is that at least some staff in the Hotel are able to answer querries from guests regarding Prayer direction, time table, halal food etc. This is indicated by the icon on the left in the Hotel listing.
More and more Hotels, especially in the Asia Pacific region and of course in the Middle East, are having the Qiblah directions indicated in the rooms now. In our Hotel listing the icon on the left indicates that the Qiblah directions are indicated in the rooms. The place where the Hotel has placed this indicator may not be always very obvious. Generally they are placed on the ceiling, wall or inside a drawer. If you cannot locate it in the room, give a call to housekeeping and they will let you know where to locate it.
Prayer time table
The first icon on the left indicates that the prayer time table is placed in all the rooms of the Hotel. This is mostly true only in Muslim countries. If the hotel can provide prayer time table on request, the hotel listing will have the second icon on the left. More and more Hotels now have prayer time tables at the concierge or front desk. It is a minimum requirement for Crescentrating a Hotel.
The first icon on the left indicates that all rooms of the Hotel is provided with Prayer mats and the icon on the right indicates that the Hotel can provide prayer mats on request. Some Hotels are reluctant to place the Prayer mats in each rooms since guest who are not familiar with the prayer mats may use it for other purposes.
Female prayer dress
Some Hotels, especially in Malaysia and Singapore do provide prayer dresses for females on request. This icon will be listed if they do.
Prayer Rooms and Masaajid
This icon indicates that the Hotel has male and female prayer facilities in the Hotel. This is the case in most Hotels in Muslim countries, especially in Malaysia. This is very convenient for any visitors to the Hotel.
These two icons indicate whether the Hotel provides the list of Masaajid in the vicinity; has the list in the rooms or at the front desk. Unfortunately not many Hotels provide this service yet.
This icon indicate whether there are masaajid in the vicinity of the Hotel.