In this paper, the optimal maintenance policy for a multi-state system with no observation is considered. Different from most existing works, only a limited number of imperfect preventive maintenance actions can be performed between two successive replacements. Assume that the system's deterioration state cannot be observed during its operation expected after each replacement, and it evolves as a discrete-time Markov chain with a finite state space. After choosing the information state as state variable, the problem is then formulated as a Markov decision process over the infinite time horizon. In order to increase the computational efficiency, several key structural properties are developed by minimising the total expected cost per unit time. The existence of the optimal threshold-type maintenance policy is proved and the monotonicity of the threshold is obtained. Finally, a numerical example is given to illustrate the optimal policy.