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“Great hotel with small flaws”

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The Phoenicia Malta
Ranked #2 of 15 Hotels in Valletta
Brussels, Belgium
Level Contributor
285 reviews
53 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 151 helpful votes
“Great hotel with small flaws”
Reviewed 15 October 2012

I've just read again my previous review about the Phoenicia and everything remains valid except that now the wifi works very well in the foyer when it was a bit of a nightmare.
The old buses have been replaced by modern ones that the Maltese apparently hate and are considered too big for the narrow streets. The Maltese will be very happy to provide fender bender statistics. But they are really quieter and somehow do not require blasting the horn every two minutes.
Our room was very comfortable. We particularly enjoyed having a bathroom window that opens. By the way, the frosted window panes are quite see through, so be careful.
The pool area is nice; Towels are available. the staff is very nice and so are the sandwiches.

Some things remain frustrating and not quite 5-stars.
Rooms are comfortable but the only thing that really makes them 5 stars is changing the bed linen every day.
When guests come in near closing time for breakfast, they should still be allowed a peaceful meal, and not have staff rattle the silver, shake out table cloths, chat and giggle or call out to each other across the breakfast room.
The large bar in the foyer is only manned until early evening after which guests are supposed to go to the (tiny) bar in a corner room. The foyer is the grandest nicest place, but guests come in to a closed bar that makes the cavernous room look cold and forbidding. And yet that's were people would like to gather for drinks or use the internet. I once sat for over 30 minutes with my laptop and no one ever came over to ask whether I wanted a drink. I would have and it's less money for them. What is the point of have a pianist (unfortunately, the acoustics is terrible - huge echo) or a tango demonstration if the middle of the room is occupied by a huge dark mass?
Free wifi should be available in the rooms. The business corner is tiny and not comfortable if you bring your own equipment, and having to huddle over a coffee table is really not tops.

Pegasus is great. The food is delicious and beautifully presented. the staff is flawless.
Not so the Phoenicia restaurant. We were asked to come back 20 minutes later as the restaurant was full (two sections were corded off and empty). We did. Guests at a 5-star hotel do not expect the headwaiter who's seen them 20 minutes earlier not to recognize them and to dismiss this with "you know, I see so many people!".
We were seated near the door, so cut off from the main beautiful welcoming room by the breakfast bar. The food made us feel as if the kitchen might have been closing (at 8:45): plain steak on a few slices of potatoes, carrots and slivers of courgettes. My husband's salmon was overdone and had so little sauce on it that he ended up with a large block of plain salmon after a few mouthfuls. His request for more sauce brought... pepper sauce usually eaten with meat and not too great a match for fish. Obviously, the chef was out of the original sauce and couldn't be bothered to make some more.
All of this could be easily corrected by tighter management.

Room Tip: we would avoid the rooms in the section of the corridor between the two fire/noise doors that are cl...
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  • Stayed October 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank imforestgirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Surrey
Level Contributor
49 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 October 2012

This is a very sedate, genteel hotel. During our visit, there were very few children or younger clients, with most guests being (I imagine) retired. However, this made for a very civilised stay.

The food generally was of a high standard with an excellent breakfast buffet and good choices at lunch and dinner

The hotel is well placed for walking into Valetta and is handy for the bus station with frequent services around the island and is ideal for a short relaxing break.

  • Stayed October 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Hursley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Birmingham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
412 reviews
82 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 199 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 October 2012

Stayed for a week. Wonderful suite with three balconies. The staff were all extremely helpful. The breakfast choice was large and of a good quality with an excellent cappuccino. Air-conditioning was very efficient and not too noisy.
The hotel garden is amazing,like a large private park. This is an excellent place to get some rest and quiet after the noise and bustle of Valletta.

  • Stayed September 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank AlexWembley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
L'Escala
Level Contributor
13 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 October 2012

I booked this hotel as a surprise for my wife and unfortunately the experience we received was not a pleasant one. On arrival at reception we were ignored for a few minutes and then the receptionist said abruptly " booking in" without a "good morning or smile" As expected our room was not available until 1 o' clock. I inquired if our room was a superiour room with balcony and harbour view which i had specifically requested which she confirmed. We returned at 1o' clock and was shown to room 102. The room did not have a harbour view but overlooked a large carpark, building site and a main road which was extremely noisy. We went back to reception to request a different room and was told the hotel was full and rudely told " that was the room booked and that is what you have" We returned to the room and went on to the balcony only to discover that there was additional noise from an enormous AC unit about 10M X 5M about 3m directley under our balcony. Also on further inspection the curtains were ripped and badly stained, the TV was very old , there was black mould around the bath and the grouting on the floor tiles was dirty. We returned to reception and asked if the AC units were running all night and was abruptly told " of course". I asked to see the manager and asked for our money back and was refused both requests so we rejected the room and returned the keys. No apology was offered and reception was most unhelpful. We were extremely disappointed to find that although the hotel lounge and dinning areas were oppulent our room was 3star at best. I belieive because we had a deal through Expedia we were given an inferior room in an inferior position and were teated with contempt by reception. We are an edderly couple who have found this whole experiance extremely upsetting and will think twice before booking this way again.

Room Tip: Don't book room 102
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  • Stayed October 2012, travelled as a couple
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15 Thank kathryn_gordon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Guernsey
Level Contributor
15 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 October 2012

on arriving at this hotel everyone was very friendly and helpful, the room was spacious and comfortable, with the housekeeping asking everyday if we were ok, we could choose to save washing towels and changing sheets, very eco friendly. The Resturant was especially good with plenty of choice and staff could not do more to help. A long walk to the pool, but it gave us exercise, unfortunately my husband and I could not lay on the sunbeds as we have back/knee problems, a few table & chairs, other than the cafe ones would have been nice, but we found a spot, overlooking the harbour which had chairs & tables, wonderful!! The bus service is easy to get round. This hotel is central so we could walk into the old town no problem, when the new renovations are complete in the old town it should look great. The hotel reminds you of the 50's but with a modern twist. the hop on buses were a good idea, very informitive. Would go again, no problem, We treated ourselves to a 5 star this year, well worth it.

  • Stayed September 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank JRTGUERNSEY
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hartlepool, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 October 2012

Stayed here from 18th Sep to 2nd Oct., (B & B, but had dinner on five nights) and chose this hotel because of the good reviews. However, we did have two separate problems with the dining staff, which involved the management apologising to us, and promising a complimentary meal in the Pegasus restaurant. Still waiting to be told when we can have the complimentary meal !!
Our room on the second floor was clean, but not five star clean, also quite dated. The A/C temperature could have been cooler, no manual adjustment, and was preset at 25 degrees C. Lots of dust and fluff on the stairway from the second floor down to ground level.
Five star prices in a three star hotel, sorry, but won't be returning to this hotel.

  • Stayed September 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank bertiandjune
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level Contributor
80 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 October 2012

Attention to detail is the mark of a quality hotel and the Phoenicia provided it in spades. Every single member of staff down to the chambermaids communicated the same attitude of helpfulness and welcome. I saw no evidence that the hotel is "tired" as some reviewers have mentioned. The location is simply perfect - from the Phoenicia you can walk anywhere in Valetta and with the bus station outside, you can easily get anywhere on the island within 30 mins. The weather was not quite sunny enough for the pool most days but we did visit once and it was excellent. The view across the harbour to Sliema was a special feature. The breakfast was also impressive, especially their willingness to cook each guest an egg in whatever way you choose. Expensive, but worth every penny.

Room Tip: Saw no evidence of poor rooms.
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  • Stayed September 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Bobjob21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Phoenicia Malta

Property: The Phoenicia Malta
Address: The Mall, Valletta, Island of Malta FRN 1478, Malta
Phone Number:
Region: Malta > Island of Malta > Valletta
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Romantic Hotel in Valletta
#2 Luxury Hotel in Valletta
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:5 star — The Phoenicia Malta 5*
Number of rooms: 136
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
5 star luxury in Malta’s historic Art Deco hotel. Hotel Phoenicia, one of the leading 5 star hotels in Malta, is located at the City Gates of Valletta, Malta’s capital city and UNESCO heritage city. Just 50 meters from city gate, it is perfectly placed for discovering the historic walled city, feasting on Caravaggio’s paintings and exploring the magnificent harbours. The hotel also boast magnificent 7 acre garden. The island's central bus terminus is just meters away civing the possibility to explore the whole island by bus. A stay at the Hotel Phoenicia is an unforgettable experience. Our charming staff will ensure your every whim is catered for. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Phoenicia Hotel Valletta
Phoenicia Hotel Malta
Hotel Phoenicia Malta
The Phoenicia Malta Valletta

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