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Hotel Fortina
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Reviewed 3 June 2014

just back from this hotel, had a great stay. the meals were really tasty and plenty of choice at breakfast and dinner. you could even eat italian, chinese and thai if you wanted and also a la carte. there was large outdoor pool and childrens pool plus a splash pool. there was an outdoor bar where you could get drinks and order food. the rooms were lovely and clean, and towels and linen changed regularly. we had a sea view, which overlooked valletta and harbour, and had a balcony. room itself had shower and loo, fridge and plenty of drawers and wardrobe, even kettle and fridge. the staff and all personell were very good and very helpful. spa treatments were available, and small indoor pool all in all a lovely hotel.

Room Tip: sea view overlook harbour
  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank gary s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TheFortina, Guest Relations Manager at Hotel Fortina, responded to this reviewResponded 4 June 2014

Dear gary s,

Thank you for your lovely posting. We are delighted to hear that you enjoyed your stay with us and we look forward to welcoming you back in the near future.

Kind regards,
Hotel Fortina team

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 June 2014

We have just returned from a weeks family holiday at The Fortina. The location of the hotel is excellent and if you have sea facing room then you are absolutely spoilt with the view you get across the water to Valetta. You are also just 5 minutes away from the ferry to Valetta (5 minute crossing) and the bus stop (25 minute journey). If catching the bus, make sure you get an all day ticket for just 1 and a half euros. The hotel is also just around the corner from Malta's largest shopping centre. There is a mainstream supermarket here which we found very useful for bits.

We had a hire car for 4 days and knew that parking is a major problem in Sliema. However, the Fortina has an agreement with the 1000 space "The Point" car park (part of the shopping centre) and you can get a 4 day unlimited parking pass for 15 euros. (3 day for 12 euros and 7 day for 25 euros). It's secure parking and reduces the chances of getting your car dented if parked in narrow side streets.

The hotel also offers free tickets on the Captain Morgan's boat ride around the harbour. We got our tickets and were going to use them on our last day, but due to high winds there were no sailings.

Also, as part of the being a guest you are entitled to a free 30 minute Thallasso therapy treatment. However, in reality it's doing a few exercises in a warm pool with water jets. Still, it's free and very pleasant but don't go with great expectations.

The hotel offers free Wi-Fi in public areas. We found the Wi-Fi around the Valette restaurant/pool area was more reliable than the reception area, which seemed to drop out due to numbers using it. Wi-Fi was also available in rooms for a charge.

There is a kettle / cups in the rooms with tea/coffee/milk powder. We were surprised they weren't replenished each day but you could top up by getting your own at breakfast each morning.

The food in the Valette restaurant (the main restaurant) was good with a lot of choice. The hotel has 5 other on-site themed restaurants which you could book in advance.

We found all members of staff to be friendly, and all English speaking with no language barriers.

The hotel has a lot of older clientele and patience is sometimes required. I think Malta generally is an older persons destination.

As the heading of this review says, it "Could be better" and these are the reasons why.

The room we stayed in, on the 5th floor, was dated and worn. I gather they are slowly refurbishing and guess we happened to stay in one of the older rooms.

The bathroom was small, but very clean. Unfortunately though we couldn't say the same for our room. On arriving we found toe nail clippings and hair from the previous occupier all over the floor and the room had clearly not been hoovered. It was also quite dusty. We did report this to reception asking if they could arrange to give it a quick hoover around, but it wasn't done throughout our entire 7 night stay. Ended up tidying up ourselves. However, the bathroom was cleaned daily and towels changed.

The 5 on-site themed restaurants could only be booked 48 hrs in advance. (The Italian was closed throughout our stay). We had intended to experience the Chinese on the Monday night. I asked Friday night what the earliest time would be OK and was told Saturday morning. First thing Saturday morning I went to reception to book it but the whole restaurant was fully booked already?!! So, we didn't have chance in the end. I was told by reception that people had phoned down from their rooms from 7am to book it! I would suggest the hotel look at exploring different ways to make reservations.

Meanwhile, we had booked the Indian restaurant for the Friday night, but the now infamous "Fortina Fire" which started in their kitchens caused it to be closed. We were offered the Pizzeria as an alternative, but didn't fancy it.

Yes, the "Fortina Fire". The criticism about response times for the Fire Service is NOT down to the hotel. We must remember though that this is a small island nation with limited resources. We cannot compare their fire service to that in the UK. As other reviews have mentioned, the Maltese Police Service turned up in numbers and very quickly.They didn't hesitate to enter the smoke filled building and assist with evacuation. There were also hotel staff on the roof trying to put the fire out with fire extinguishers whilst others were doing their best outside, checking off residents to their room numbers and later offering water. However, my only criticism for the Fortina is one already echoed by other reviewers. Your fire alarms are not LOUD enough. I am e-mailing the hotel direct bringing my own experience of events to their attention.

All in all, we would stay at the Fortina again if returning to Malta, but only after exploring other options first.

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with family
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2  Thank roscotrain
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 June 2014

Spent a week here with Saga who always choose good hotels in my experience. This one is doubled up with the Fortina Spa (one more star) and shares many facilities. Not worth the extra unless you are really into spa treatments etc (which we are not). Two room options are 'Garden' and 'Sea View'. We had a garden room, which was excellent. Large and clean with a balcony overlooking the garden. (No building work by the way as per an earlier review). Worth remembering that the garden courtyard also houses the add-on restaurants, so there can be some noise if you are an early to bed type. We sneaked a look in a 'sea view' room, which was much smaller. You do get the great view of Valetta, but you also get all day sun on the room and balcony and there's a busy main road between you and the water. On balance I think we did well to save our money. The main restaurant and one of the bars are cleverly on the seaward side of the road (you don't notice it's a tunnel) so you have a brilliant view of the best of Valetta as the sun gores down. The buffet restaurant was ok and on a par with most of its type. We didn't get to sample the 'dine around' experience in the franchised outlets as they were always fully booked. Note to self:- If you go again, plan ahead and book these the day you arrive!

Room Tip: Take an upper floor to avoid noise
  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with family
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2  Thank David K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TheFortina, Guest Relations Manager at Hotel Fortina, responded to this reviewResponded 4 June 2014

Dear David K,

Thank you for your posting. We are delighted to hear that you enjoyed your stay with us and we look forward to welcoming you back in the near future.

Kind regards,
Hotel Fortina team

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 June 2014

My wife, daughter and I have just returned from a four night break here. On a previous visit to Malta we had stayed in a dump on the sea side of Sleima; my fault, I booked too cheap. This time we stayed on the Sleima Creek side, which has the excellent view of Valetta. We had a suite on the fifth floor (517) which comprised a double bedroom, a twin bedroom, two bathrooms and a lounge. All of these were smallish rooms, as is the Mediterranean scale, but were perfectly adequate. The view was wonderful.
The hotel has a buffet restaurant called La Valette, where breakfast and dinner can be had. Patience is required, not with the restaurant service, but with the preponderance of elderley diners it attracts.
The hotel also boasts other restaurants which are located in the 'Tropical Garden'. These include Thai/Chinese, Japanese, Medterranean and Italian, and which need to be booked in advance. We booked Italian by phoning reception and a few minutes later a confirmation was posted under our door. It was not the difficult task reported by 'Highlander 1944'. I regret to say that the 'Italian' was a pizzaria only.
Across the road, above the pool, was another hotel restaurant, called The Terrace. The food here was fine but the service was apallingingly slow.
We were there during the fire described by 'Highlander1944'. I also could barely hear the alarm. We plucked my daughter out of the bath and exited down a smokey fire escape. Given the circumstances and unlike the previous correspondent, I overlooked the need to time the arrival of the emergency services, and apologise for it. I do not recognise the slowness to arrive described.
The response of the emergency services should not form part of a hotel review.

Room Tip: Book premium sea views.
  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with family
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Thank Terence W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 June 2014

Fortina Hotel Review
A HOTEL TO BE AVOIDED.
The Fortina hotel is part 4 star and part 5 star separated by a pleasant garden and pool area. There is a further pool and sunbathing area across the busy main road. If you have a ‘seaview’ room you will have an excellent view across Sliema Creek to Valetta old town.

Fortina has the potential to be an excellent hotel but needs a change of management who can instil customer service ethos into the staff and change some of the ludicrous procedures (especially restaurant booking).

In the 4 star section, as we were, expect to be treated like a 2nd class citizen. In reality it is more a 3 star minus at best.

It claims that reception staff all speak English but, with one exception, this seems to be limited to the words NO or CAN’T or sometimes I DON’T KNOW. We have stayed in 100’s of hotels worldwide and have never experienced so unhelpful, negative and disinterested reception staff. Staff are full of their own importance and customers are an unwelcome intrusion.

The rooms were a bit small but adequate. However our bathroom had a perpetual musty drains smell and although reported, nothing was done.

Fortina publicises “Dine Around” in 5 restaurants. La Valett main buffet restaurant is like a large factory canteen, and very noisy. The buffet menu is limited and the quality is very poor. The Italian restaurant was closed ‘for refurbishment’, but we later found out the chef had stormed out after an angry argument with management. The Chinese was the poorest we have ever tasted anywhere then we heard that this chef had also stormed out after an argument with management. We did not try the Indian restaurant, but it was closed after a major fire (see below). The Japanese restaurant was good if you are OK with Japanese food.

The one saving grace was “Table 1”, serving European food, where the food was superb, and the service & staff were excellent.

Meals in all restaurants, except La Valett buffet canteen, must be pre-booked exactly 2 days before-hand. Not one day ahead (even if they are not full) and not more than 2 days ahead. To add to the problem, you have to phone reception between midnight and 7 a.m. to have any chance of getting a booking. The buffet restaurant is so bad that demand for the others is high despite their own issues.

FIRE: While at the Hotel, the kitchen in the Indian restaurant went on fire and spread to an extractor duct and up to 7th floor. Almost all residents in the hotel could not hear the fire alarm unless you opened the room door, smelled the smoke in the corridors and then heard the distant, almost inaudible, sound of alarms. We and many others only discovered there was a problem when we heard a police siren and looked over the balcony then saw a few other guests frantically waving to get us to come down (we were on floor 5). Apart from the non existent fire alarms in rooms or nearby in corridors, the lack of organisation by hotel staff was a joke. Fortunately the fire did not spread quickly to other parts of the hotel but it could have been a major disaster. The smoke in corridors and stairways was a major problem to many guests. More police cars arrived every few minutes, 12 in all, but it took about 20 minutes for the first fire tender to arrive and almost 40 minutes for an extending turntable ladder unit to come. Although there were more than 800 guests in the hotel only ONE ambulance arrived. After 1 hour 10 mins a vehicle marked “Fast response unit” arrived (I’m not joking), …. but the deplorable response by the emergency services is one for public authorities to address. Don’t be fooled by the positive comments on Internet. (Google ‘Malta Fortina Fire)

In summary …. Avoid this hotel. In fact I suggest you avoid Sliema which is a concrete high rise jungle.

Room Tip: If you are determined to use this hotel, ask for a sea view room on floor 5 or higher. This gives excellent views across to Valetta old town and marginally reduces traffic noise from the busy main road.
  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with family
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    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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6  Thank Highlander1944
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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