We were seriously misled when booking this hotel. It is neither 5 star nor a "Resort". Not by a long chalk. "5 star" implies a level of luxury. "Resort" implies a self contained complex with all the amenities and facilities that holidaymakers could need. This has no car park, no shop, no useable outdoor pools while we were there, one small communal area, one bar open where service was abysmal, the occasional evening entertainment was a solitary pianist, and definitely no luxury. (unless you count a huge jaccuzi or an exercise bike in your room as luxury, I certainly don't) It was marketed as adult only yet there were several families with children staying there.
All this was obvious the moment we arrived. The main revolving door opens directly on to a busy main road. (well it would if it was not broken). I had to unload my hire car 50 metres away, and leave my wife to complete check-in while I tried to find a parking place. The hotel staff attitude seemed to be "your car is your problem". On road parking was impossible. Behind the hotel was a shopping mall (quite good but not Meadowhall) with a deep Stygian subterranean car park. €25 for 7 days multiple entries. I had to find all this out for myself. This information was available in the literature in the room which of course was after the event.
The room was small and dark. The balcony was in perpetual shadow. The "Tropical Gardens" and outdoor pool we overlooked were at the bottom of a deep narrow ravine between two accomodation blocks, also in perpetual shadow while we were there. We asked for another room and were shown one also overlooking the ravine for an extra €40 per night but this had a huge jaccuzi actually in the bedroom. Who would want sleep in that atmosphere? In fact these silly extras (some rooms had exercise machines in them) seemed to be the basis for the claimed 5 star rating.
There were 6 restaurants, of which we tried 4, before we found one that was acceptable, only just, "The Taste". Even there we had to ask for the shards of broken glass under our table to be swept up. Also at The taste I was served a rolled roast rabbit still in its plastic wrapping. We enjoyed the fish and the sirloin steak. The buffet breakfast was taken in The Taste and was very good, with a chef on hand to provide fresh omellettes and fried eggs. Of the others I suppose expecting a Thai restaurant, The Cann Thai, in a Maltese hotel to provide an authentic Chinese meal is a bit optimistic. However as Malta is not too far removed from Italy I had expected better from the Italian restaurant Gardino's.
Around both outdoor pools there was construction work in progress with lots if grinding, drilling and dust. The sunbeds and tables were always dusty. After 4 days the pool and sundeck by the harbour were both closed. The pool in the Tropical Garden ravine was too dark and dingy for any swimmers or sunbathers. There was a heated indoor pool in the Spa.
Our return flight was after midnight so I asked for a room extension for 12 hours until 11 pm. The Receptionist demanded a full daily payment of 130 Euros even though the occupancy rate was obviously less than 25%. (The lady I sat next to on the return flight had made the same request in her hotel and been charged 16 Euros.) That Receptionist, as with most of the other staff, left me in no doubt that he was doing me a favour. Generally the staff were polite and cheerful but so laid back and did not seem to care about the customer. There was a Public Holiday while we were there called Freedom Day. We thought it might have been to remember the end of WW2. No, it was to celebrate the departure of the British when they gave Malta independence.
This is a good hotel to use as a base to explore the rest of Malta. It is not a place in which you can laze around and be pampered. Also beware it is joined to the Fortina Hotel (as opposed to the Fortina Spa Hotel) where standards and prices are different but facilities, such as they are, are shared. I wonder if one was spawned by the other by the addition of a few jaccuzis and exercise machines.
- 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
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Fortina Hotel Sliema
- Fortina Hotel Malta
- Fortina Resort
- Hotel Fortina
- Fortina Spa Resort Malta/Sliema