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“4 Star Hotel? Not in our opinion...!”
Review of Fortina Spa Resort

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Fortina Spa Resort
Ranked #12 of 28 Hotels in Sliema
Reviewed 25 March 2014

My wife has been going to Malta every year for the past ten years (11 including this visit) I have been going each year for the past three years. since last year, the cut-backs that have been made to the Hotel, both in terms of staffing numbers and expenditure on keeping the hotel in a state, worthy of being called a 4/5 start hotel resort, has declined a great deal. Both I and my wife were that disappointed, I actual made a video documentary of the state of our rooms. When we arrived on the 2nd of March 2014 at 21.15pm, We were allocated a room on the 2nd floor level of the 4 star hotel. We were booked in for a 3 week stay at the Fortina Hotel. The first room they gave us, was a garden view room, which we asked for. The problem was the re-construction building work, that was being done on what used to be one of their bars. it was being turned into 2 or 3 accommodation rooms as we were told by one of their members of staff. the 1st morning we were woken up at 07.10am on Monday the 3rd of March. by the sound and vibrations of a jack-hammer, the very same thing happened again the next morning at 07.20am. We then went to reception, to ask if we could be moved to another room. The receptionist at that time, said that management were going to ask the builders to start later in the morning, but we said that still wouldn't be suitable, because the work was going on throughout the day. We also mentioned that the bathroom didn't look as though it had been cleaned properly. They moved us to room 824 on the 8th floor of the 4 star hotel, again, with a garden view. We found that there was dust everywhere, the bathroom had not been cleaned properly in that room either. the rest of our stay was spoiled by poor cleaning. bed linen not being changed every two days (which we were told was hotel policy) on top of those points, we then had no hot or cold running water on the mornings of the 10th & 11th of March. so we could not shower or wash before we went down for breakfast. We had continuous problems with the lifts in both 4 and 5 star parts of the hotel. We had to make more complaints on our stay at the Fortina on this holiday, than on our previous visits. With regard to the Hotel live entertainment on a Thursday - Friday - Saturday- and Sunday nights. that leaves a great deal to be said for. Their so called Top Artist for the Saturday nights is a fellow called Benny. We were told that the only reason he gets the Saturday spot each week, is because he is friendly with one of the owners! He is awful. Please do not get me wrong on this point, I love the Maltese people, they are so friendly and helpful, and the Hotel staff in general (Maltese) are fantastic, but they can't be blamed for the cut-backs and the lack of investment in keeping this once great resort hotel, up to the standard it once was. We visited other hotels along the Strand in Sliema. Their staff talked to us, and they had told by many other people, that the Fortina had gone down hill for many reasons. I was born in Malta in Imtarfa, in 1955. and I love Malta and its people, but the Fortina hotel really needs to up its game a lot, if it is to regain the name it once had. I have sent a copy of the DVD report and photos of the state of the cleanliness of our room, to both the Owners/Management of the Fortina Hotel, and to the Maltese Tourist Board, so they can see for themselves, what we had to put up with.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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8  Thank Paul W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TheFortina, Guest Relations Manager at Fortina Spa Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 27 March 2014

Dear Paul W,

Thank you for your posting. We are disappointed to hear that your stay with us did not match your expectations and we would like to apologise the for inconveniences caused. Please be assured that your comments have been well-noted and passed onto Management for the appropriate action to be taken.

Kind regards,
Fortina Spa Resort team

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538 - 544 of 1,425 reviews

Reviewed 24 March 2014

If you want to avoid road noise, make sure you are not in the five star tower with a sea view in rooms with a higher number eg floor 3 rooms 37 to 34/33. These rooms are above a busy underpass.
the hotel is decent value and the restaurants we used on five star half board were good. The spa is reasonably priced and you may get complimentary sessions in the salt pool with a package.
I agree reception were hit and miss. Our room was changed without asking and although we coped we were above the busy underpass. The welcome was brisk, I didn't catch all that was said and others were given little or no information.
Room slightly worn in places and no luxurious touches eg toiletries nothing special, powdered milk, loo flush askew.
This place is fine and food good but just not quite hitting the mark. If you come with realistic expectations you will fund it decent enough.

  • Stayed: March 2014
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1  Thank Andy C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TheFortina, Guest Relations Manager at Fortina Spa Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 27 March 2014

Dear Andy C,

Thank you for your posting. We are disappointed to hear that your stay with us did not match your expectations. Please be assured that your comments have been well-noted and passed onto the appropriate personnel for the appropriate action to be taken.

Kind regards,
Fortina Spa Resort team

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 March 2014

A tiny number of reviews of this place were terrible but do not in any way reflect our experience.
We booked with an RCI points exchange and were prepared for the worst as some RCI places are dire but not so here.
We booked our own flights and traveled on the X2 bus from the airport. This was something of an education as despite it being a dedicated airport service there were no luggage racks and no route indicators to tell you where you are unlike the normal Arriva blue buses (or ex-Arriva as it turned out) that do have route info scrolling throughout the journey.
Fortunately 2 ladies told us the stop for the Fortina in Sliema and it is only about 200 yards down the road from the door.
The check-in was efficient and friendly although local information needs to be asked for rather than it being volunteered straightaway.
Breakfast was included in the deal as was a free harbour cruise with Captain Morgan and a thelasso(?) pool treatment.
Our room was on 10th floor with fab views over the harbour. We were right above the underpass tunnel mouth so it could be quite noisy but with the sliding door closed at night, not a problem at all. Alas in early March we didn't get much sun on the balcony but there are 2 loungers provided which must be great in the summer months.
Breakfast was excellent with the usual DIY cooked fare or Continental if that is your preference.
Coffee not the best and the tea sometimes tasted of chlorine but maybe all Maltese water is desalinated? Chefs will cook your eggs anyway you want whilst you wait or prepare you an omelette and everything was delicious. The route to The Taste restaurant is strange - you have to go through the lounge bar on 1st floor and outside for a few paces through the courtyard garden (which is very attractively laid out) and you will get wet if its raining.

The lifts were reliable and we seldom had to wait more than 30 seconds.

Our room was huge with a huge en suite bathroom. All the provided smellies were fine and the maids kept everything clean and tidy every day. There is no carpeting on the wood floors, so if there is a selfish person in the room above clip-clopping about in heels you will know it - as indeed we found out the hard way.

The spa seemd fine to me, although I'm not a fan of such things so wouldn't really know a bad one. I did have a hot stone massage and was very impressed with the whole thing - super relaxing.
TIP: fill up with water from the water cooler in the spa as it tastes so much better than the stuff out of the taps.
Although the tea tray in the room was well-provisioned, the water was horrible and we couldn't get the real milk pods replenished - they only seemed to have powdered whitener. A bit of a let down for a 5* establishment.
We didn't eat any other meals in the on-site restaurants as we like to try local places for variety. There are several decent places in Sliema or you can get a bus to Spinola, St Julians or further afield.
There is a short Ferry to The Point in Valletta but in the winter this stops running at about 18:00 so you will need to bus back if you want to spend the evening over the water.
The buses are great when you get the hang of them. There is a daily fare of €1.50 so keep your ticket or get a 7-Day pass for €6.50 if you plan to travel every day.
Some buses were rammed in the peak hours but others outside of the Valletta conurabation were emptier. In the summer months it is a different story as buses that are full wont stop so you might have to wait a very long time to get back on say the route from the Gozo Ferry port or one of the beach resorts. We didn't hire a car as parking might be a problem in bustling Sliema and the railway closed in the 1930s! Neither did we need to use a taxi but there is a rank right outside the hotel.
Personally I love the old colonial feel of the area with its rich military history, old fortifications and the old apartment buildings with the square balconies jutting over the narrow streets

The free wi-fi in our room worked well and we were able to plan our days and buses etc very easily on our tablets. How did we cope without them in years gone by?!
If you want to phone home to a landline it is much cheaper on the room telephone than on your mobile too which is a nice touch.

Room Tip: We were Room 1036. Ask for a lower number - say 1034/3 to get a balcony with more exposure to after...
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  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank alfamanLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TheFortina, Guest Relations Manager at Fortina Spa Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 26 March 2014

Dear alfamanLondon,

Thank you for your posting. We are delighted to hear that you enjoyed your stay with us and in Malta. We would like to inform you that, in Malta, tap water is not recommended for drinking.

Kind regards,
Fortina Spa Resort team

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Reviewed 21 March 2014

Stayed here a couple of weeks ago with my husband and another couple. We had booked sea view rooms and asked for higher floors as advised by previous posters, We had 6th floor rooms almost next door to each other with the most wonderful view of Valetta across the harbour. Our twin room was quite adequate and bathroom also of sufficient size and clean. We had no balcony but our friends did, they also had a double bed each! So it seems to be pot luck. Food was of a good standard, plenty of choice both at breakfast and the La Valette buffet in the evening with vegetarians well catered for. We ate a Table 1 on one night for a change, again food (and service this time) was of good standard. I did not use the pool but my friend did and said the ladies changing rooms were in a poor state and roof leaking, later in the week on another rainy day they had been closed, presumably flooding so never did get to see how bad they were. Apart from this, the hotel is of a good standard and handy for buses to Valetta and elsewhere, the ferry is also less than 10 mins walk away.

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled with friends
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2  Thank Rottieken
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TheFortina, Guest Relations Manager at Fortina Spa Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 26 March 2014

Dear Rotteiken,

Thank you for your posting. We are happy to hear that you enjoyed your stay with us. Please note that your comments have been passed onto all those concerned for the appropriate action to be taken.

We hope to see you again in the near future.

Kind regards,
Fortina Spa Resort team

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 March 2014

We have stayed here twice before, & would recommend this hotel for the food, staff & position in Sliema its self I would recommend people stay in the 4* as these are better Sea Views Also you may use the 5* facilities & pay only 4* prices. Also remember young children are better catered for in 4* as in some cases children are not allowed in 5* I would also recommend the larger restaurant in the 4* as the chefs are always willing to provide fresh fruit alternative when asked, even when lots of other sweets are on the menu

Room Tip: Ask for sea view, which is overlooking Sliema Creek & Valletta. Good idea to stay in 4* as the v...
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  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank Frances Ann J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TheFortina, Guest Relations Manager at Fortina Spa Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 26 March 2014

Dear Frances Ann J,

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,
Fortina Spa Resort team

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Reviewed 17 March 2014

We love coming here as we have for many years now.Love the old staff in the restaurants Taste and Table 1 food is being down graded in the other restaurants because of franchise issues,Rita is still a lovely lady and Owen and Matt in the travel agency. Teresa works her socks off in the Chinese and should be the manager as every one loves here.Sometimes not enough staff on Heard Lifts are being replaced they are a joke.Swimming Pool is badly need of upgrade lot of condensation problems and the handrail in the swimming pool seems dirty.Whirlpool needs major uplift.I love the crowd we meet up with every year who come same week as us. A good crowd crowd part of the reason we will be returning.Every year pestered by the sharks on the top floor spinning out liars about time share Keep well away from these idiots.Just a waste off your holiday .Forget Sandra very nice and Little Sandra the young Spanish Lady.Will be back next year but as we all no this is not a 5 Star Hotel 4 at most its the English eccentrics that keep it going. ..

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with family
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2  Thank denmar186338
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TheFortina, Guest Relations Manager at Fortina Spa Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 26 March 2014

Dear denmar186338,

Thank you for your review. We are disappointed to hear that your stay with us did not match previous holidays. Please be assured that your comments have been well-noted and passed onto all those concerned for the appropriate action to be taken accordingly.

Kind regards,
Fortina Spa Resort team

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 March 2014

I had booked for two nights half board with a Deal of the Day voucher. Having stayed at another 5* hotel in Malta I was hugely looking forward to the experience. Sadly, the welcome I received set the tone for our stay. The check-in staff were diffident to the point of rudeness. Forms were given to us to fill in then our room keys were handed over and that was it. I asked our room number, then how to get to it, then where the lift was, then where the spa was, then where the bar was....Absolutely NO information was profered. In fact our presence was clearly a nuisance. I returned to reception on 2 other occasions over the course of our stay and nothing had changed. Bar and waiting staff were charming and helpful as were the chamber maids. The room was fine with well made beds but poor quality foam pillows. Food was good in the two restaurants that I tried. However, I am sad to say that the reception/conceirge experience really spoilled my visit.

Room Tip: Don't expect this to be a 5 star experience.
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  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank Pixie89
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TheFortina, Guest Relations Manager at Fortina Spa Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 26 March 2014

Dear Pixie89,

Thank you for your posting. We are disappointed to hear of the problems encountered during your stay with us. Please be assured that your comments have been well-noted and passed onto the Management for the appropriate action to be taken accordingly.

Kind regards,
Fortina Spa Resort team

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Fortina Spa Resort

Address: Tigne Seafront, Sliema, Island of Malta SLM 3012, Malta
Region: Malta > Island of Malta > Sliema
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Sliema
#5 Romantic Hotel in Sliema
#5 Spa Hotel in Sliema
#8 Luxury Hotel in Sliema
Price Range: £92 - £936 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Fortina Spa Resort 5*
Number of rooms: 220
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Situated in central Sliema, adjoining Malta’s trendiest shopping complex (The Point) offering the largest choice of fashion & designer outlets, the Fortina Spa Resort is Malta’s newest 17 storey 5 star hotel. The resort faces south with magnificent views of Valletta’s bastion walls across the water and is home to the World’s 1st Therapeutic Spa bedrooms. It is the ideal hotel to indulge in a numerous variety of Spa treatments, excellent cuisines from around the world and one of the best locations on the island. Restaurants :- Taste Restaurant (Vietnamese & Mediterranean Cuisine)CanThai (Chinese & Thai Cuisine)Momo’s Ristorante Tigne (Italian & Mediterranean Cuisine)Il Giardino PizzeriaSaReGaMa (Authentic Indian Cuisine)Moroboshi (Japanese Cuisine)Bars Limes Bar (indoor)Island Bar (outdoors – weather permitting)Swimming Pools :-Outdoor Garden Pool and separate Splash Pool2 Indoor Swimming PoolsSpa Centres(see descriptions below)Thalasso Spa MediterraneeSpa Sante Belle Epoque Beauty CentreHypogeum Body, Mind & Spirit CentreOther facilities Conference facilities Fully Equipped Fitness Centre 24 hour room serviceAdded Value For All Our Guests :-Cruise of Malta’s Historical Grand HarbourUnlimited access to Fortina Fitness Centre ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Fortina Hotel Sliema
Fortina Hotel Malta
Fortina Resort
Hotel Fortina
Fortina Spa Resort Malta/Sliema

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