I cannot say enough positive things about our experience of the Xara Palace.
Firstly, the staff are magnificent. Before making a reservation, I was in e-mail contact with them, trying to arrange a table in their restaurant for the night we were looking to stay in the hotel. The correspondence was very prompt, professional and concise. It transpired that the restaurant was fully booked on the night in question, so I was offered private in-room dining. I obviously thought this would incur an extra charge, but was amazed to find out that it was being offered for free. I wanted the night we were staying there to be very special as I was planning to propose to my partner that night. I asked if it would be possible to dine on the roof terrace of one of their suites and was amazed to be told that not only would this be possible, but that they would also move me to a larger room with a larger roof terrace to accommodate this request, again at no extra charge. Needless to say I took them up on their offer and booked it all immediately.
On the day we arrived, we were greeted by the receptionist and taken through to the bar area where we were brought a bottle of champagne and left to relax for a short while. We were the only ones in the bar area and it was nice to be able to sit for a while and take in the décor of the palace. It is a very grand building (obviously as it used to be a place for the knights of St John!), but it is tastefully decorated and has a very relaxed atmosphere. Certainly not as stuffy and formal as you would expect from a 5 star palace.
We were then lead to our room, which was situated on the battlements of the palace overlooking the east of Island. The room itself was a very good size. The king size bed was very comfortable and it was tastefully decorated and had all the mod-cons you would expect.
The roof terrace, however, is where this room came into its own. It was spectacular. The terrace was large enough for a table and two chairs, 2 sun loungers, a large hot-tub and still had room to spare. The views were extraordinary. You have a 180 degree view of Malta where you can see from as far up as St Pauls bay, right down to Marsaxlokk. It is phenomenal and worth the nightly fee alone.
We proceeded to take our newly acquired bottle of champagne into the hot-tub and relaxed whilst casting our gaze across the view afforded to us. This remains one of the best afternoons of my life. Bright sunshine, cool breeze, warm water, great company, amazing scenery and fantastic champagne!
We went for a stroll around the silent city before dinner. When we returned we found our table had been laid and our waiter was standing by ready to take our orders. Dinner was amazing. Without a doubt the best food I have eaten. Everything was perfectly cooked, succulent, flavoursome and well presented. The waiter was very friendly and knowledgeable. He struck the balance between being there to assist us and leaving us to enjoy ourselves in peace perfectly.
The following morning, breakfast was served to us on the roof terrace. Again, it was delicious and there was so much of it! We finished breakfast and sloped off back to the hot-tub again to enjoy the remainder of our time there whilst taking full advantage of a most welcome late check-out.
After checking out, we headed to the Trattoria AD 1530 restaurant which is part of the Xara Palace. We enjoyed a couple of fantastic pizzas before waving goodbye to Mdina, happy, well-fed, well-rested and newly engaged!
All-in-all, the Xara Palace was an amazing experience which I would definitely recommend to all and sundry. I read certain reviews and complaints prior to booking about the décor being a little dated and not being up to 5-star standards. Personally this is the least of my worries when staying somewhere. When you are staying in a 16th century palace, you do not want everything to be prim and proper. Having things a little rough around the edges adds to the charm of the place. Besides, with a view like the Xara Palace has and an amazing roof terrace, you’ll hardly be spending any time in the room to notice.
I sincerely hope to return someday. After setting the bar so high, I just hope they don’t let their standards slip.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Xara Palace Relais & Chateaux has 17 Rooms and Suites, all vary in size and style. Some of the Suites have Jacuzzis on their private terrace with spectacular views of the island. The Duplex rooms and Suites offer split level accommodation with the lounge area and private facilities on one level and bedroom services on the other level of the Room or Suite. Outdoor pool is available in an alternative location and shuttle service is provided. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The Xara Palace Relais And Chateaux
- The Xara Palace Relais & Chateaux Hotel Mdina
- The Xara Palace Relais & Chateaux Malta/Mdina