Just returned from 11 nights at The Diplomat (part work, part leisure). I would certainly recommend it, especially for the following reasons: location; sea views; price; transport links; friendly staff; cleanliness; gym.
Having travelled through most of Malta, I think the Diplomat is the best located hotel on the island. It is on the seafront in the upmarket Sliema district, close to Valletta, but without the city crowds or heavy traffic. There are places to eat and drink within a few hundred metres, but it is not a heavily commercialised location. The seafront promenade is probably the best in Malta.
My room (with sea view) was excellent value for money. Road noise was noticeable with the balcony door open, so rooms higher up the building are better. Ask for floors 5, 6 or 7. (Rooms without sea view will be quieter.)
There are plenty of buses on the road outside. They go directly to Valletta and the Airport. Buses are also very inexpensive (possibly the cheapest in Europe), although the prices will probably rise in 2015 when a private company takes over the island bus network. Don't even think of renting a car (unless you have money to burn and enjoy the challenge of finding parking spaces). The buses are often crowded, so either wait for the next bus (a few minutes), or learn how to work your way towards the back, where empty seats will emerge.
Almost all the staff at The Diplomat, especially the women, were helpful and friendly. Sometimes the female staff seemed overworked. The male staff, however, were perhaps a little less service-oriented and had a more leisurely attitude to their jobs. This may be a 'cultural' difference, not specific to this hotel.
The hotel was very clean. This is also true of Malta in general.
The gym facilities were good and hardly used by any residents. A great way to start the day!
Some improvements (which may increase the price) would include: better TV channels; better bedding; a better ironing board on the 5th floor!; better food (although the desserts are excellent); some investment and upgrading of the building, which is at least 30 years old. However, generally it is a well maintained hotel and everything worked.
Here is my response to some other reviews on this web site: I thought I had a good nose, but I did not detect the 'sewage' smells mentioned by a previous reviewer, although I was staying there at exactly the same time. Also, the pool area on the hotel roof is closed until the summer months, so it's appearance in March should not be part of the hotel review. I'm sure it will be cleaned before it opens!
I will return to The Diplomat and pay a little extra for a sea view.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Diplomat Hotel is situated on Tower Road prestigious seaside promenade in the heart of Sliema, well known for its extensive range of activities. The main bus route to Valletta, the capital city, Paceville/St.Julian's etc runs outside the hotel.In front of The Diplomat Hotel, just below the promenade, a pleasant rocky beach is ideal for sun bathing, swimming and practising water sports. A sandy beach is within walking distance.Theme bars and restaurants, shopping malls, designers boutiques and the Dragonara Casino are available nearby. The rooms have FREE Wi-Fi, satellite TV, air conditioning and a tea/coffee making facilities. Rooms full or lateral sea views. Room Service is available from 0630 till 0130The Hotel has recently undertaken refurbishment of the majority of the hotel rooms and bathrooms, lifts and reception/lobby. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Diplomat Hotel Malta Sliema