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Valletta is Malta's capital city but it's not busy at night and only a few hotels are located there. Hence, unless you want to specifically stay in Valletta, then this is not the town to stay at. Alternatively, Sliema is a good sea-side town and has a good balance of locals and tourists. The promenade has access to great rocky beaches and plenty of shops and cafe's are present.
Further on from Sliema, there is St. Julians. There are some major hotels located in St. Julians and hence you have a good choice. Part of St. Julian's is Paceville which is concentrated with bars and nightclubs. If you are visiting Malta to drink and party, then staying in Paceville is a good option.
Another major touristy area are the towns of Bugibba, Qawra and St. Paul's Bay. The quality of this area can be rated as being less than Sliema and St. Julians and it's teh base of alot of 'touristy', 'package' holidays. bars and restaurants are also plentiful and access to rocky beaches is easy.
At the northern part of the island is the village of Mellieha. There are a number of hotels in this area and down the hill from the main village there are a number of sandy beaches. Mellieha is smaller than the qawra/ bugibba area but once there you are more detached. Nonetheless if you have a car this is not a problem.
There are plenty of websites to book your hotel online. One of the most reliable and official hotel booking engines is www.choosemalta.com