We just returned from an 8 day stay on Malta. During this time we stayed at 3 different properties on various parts of the island--just to get a bit more variety and overview of the country during our stay. Xara Palace was our favorite of the three properties...and all three were in the top 10 of Trip Advisor recommendations. It was the highlight of our trip in many ways.
After staying in a more populated area of Malta, it was so nice to get to experience the bit of countryside and green space which surrounds Mdina. It was relaxing to the eye. Our room was room #15 which was a luxury suite with jacuzzi. It is situated on the city wall itself, so that was pretty spectacular in the base case. (The whole hotel is built into the city wall, but our room's jacuzzi area was actually right on the outer wall).
Arrival: We decided against taking the city bus service to Mdina, opting for a taxi. That was a bit more money, but we were very glad that we made that decision because the driver was able to take his car right into the city gate and meander through the small streets in order to drop us right at the hotel doorstep. If we had arrived by bus we would have had a small walk with our suitcases...that would have been acceptable...but I would have been a bit lost finding the hotel itself on foot for the very first time. I'm not too good with maps or directions (although my husband is).
The taxi driver unloaded all of our suitcases and brought them into the reception area for us. Very easy!
We arrived extremely early, and had not warned the hotel of this arrival time prior to showing our smiling faces at the reception desk. (We did not have a phone on Malta, so we just took our chances arriving early --10am!-- and hoping they would be able to store our luggage for us while we enjoyed walking around Mdina). The hotel was happy to oblige...no problem whatsoever. They also offered us a welcome drink and a very tasty nut mix. Not sure what nuts were in there, but it was very delicious and really hit the spot since we had arrived just prior to the lunch hour and were a bit hungry.
After relaxing in the beautiful reception area, enjoying our Kinnie drink and the nuts, freshening up a bit, and taking photos of the gorgeous atrium area, we ventured out to see Mdina.
We returned about 2pm and the room was ready for us, even though we were still arriving prior to check-in time.
The reception staff had already deposited our luggage in our room for us. That was so very nice. The employee led us up to room #15. It was exquisite. We had a little gate at the entry area to our room....a small feature but it really was neat because it made us feel l as if we were entering our own little "home" there in Mdina. There were a couple stairs after the gate and then the most exquisite door that we had ever seen. It was an old door and there were 3 different ways to use the windows on that door...to let the air in or to close things up completely. My husband loves old architecture and spent several minutes just playing with the door and it's features.
The room itself was very spacious...featuring a sitting area, entertainment station, and the bedroom area itself. The bathroom was marble, very spacious, and had a window which opened up to the inside of the city, albeit very high up without a view. Still, we opened the shutters and let the light pour into the bathroom....very nice.
Closet space was very large...two closets to hang things in/store luggage/etc.
I will mention that it was evident that there had been a leak or rain damage recently. I know this because I am very allergic to mold and could tell there was a mold situation that had occurred and was being rectified. I did not "ding" the review score for this....I feel that things occur like this in every home and every building and although I am allergic, I was not adversely affected by the mold because they hotel had installed a dehumidifier and several air purifiers and honestly, as long as I just used the other closet I was totally fine. I think this is a temporary problem, and that perhaps in a week or less all evidence of this problem will be gone. That is my experience in my own home with such problems. Since it is a temporary problem, I did not feel I should "ding" the hotel score for a full "dot". If I could have given the review a 4.5, I would have done that instead, but since I had the option of giving a 4 or 5 I still opt for 5.
The hotel provided a place to play our ipads, had great security, wonderful service, no theft problems, came and delivered ice promptly when we requested it, watched our luggage, welcomed us kindly and greeted us by name each time we came and went, set up our jacuzzi for us by turning on the heat and getting it ready for us each evening without our even asking, and were generally just very friendly and welcoming.
There were many people who gathered at the hotel each evening in order to enjoy the restaurant. We did not eat there, so cannot rate the food. What I will mention, however, is that our room was extremely private and even though we came and went from the jacuzzi each evening in our robes and swimwear, we had complete privacy inside the jacuzzi and it was as if no one was even remotely nearby. The only time we were sure to cover up was during a 2 second interval walking past to the stairs.
The jacuzzi itself is raised up on a platform and there are two very comfortable lounge chairs outside near it. There is a raised section where you can place one of the lounge chairs if you want to be a bit higher than where it normally sits.
The jacuzzi had lights...we made it blue...and the view from the jacuzzi was out of this world. We could lay there and see the stars, the countryside just beyond the wall, and even the cathedral steeple with bell. We were outside during our second afternoon and I cannot tell you how beautiful the day was and laying in the jacuzzi listening to the church bells ring was just so amazing. We felt truly blessed.
We had wine out at the jacuzzi and there are little spaces on the corners of the jacuzzi where your wine glass fits perfectly.
We hated to leave this wonderful place.
When my husband got home and was paying all the hotel bills, he said that although this place was the most expensive one we stayed at, that it would have been worth staying there at twice the price....he loved it there so much.
Comfortable bed too....! I almost forgot to mention that! :)
Thank you Xara Palace for making our stay within the walled city of Mdina a wonderful experience. We hope to visit again some day!
- 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 & Chateaux Hotel Mdina
- The Xara Palace Relais And Chateaux
- The Xara Palace Relais & Chateaux Malta/Mdina