This is a tough review to write. All in all, I loved the hotel and would recommend it to anyone who is looking for a good base from which to see Malta for a few days. Indeed, for location, convenience, facilities etc, it well deserves its #1 billing in Trip Advisor. So I DID love it although my comments probably sound a little more critical than I really intend. So with that:
This hotel is a charming throwback to another era. I don't know when it was built, but it has a distinctly Victorian feel about it. Here and there it looks just a little bit tired. In the lower level, a gentle scent of mustiness and age permeates the way to the lower walk-out (towards the garden and pool). The rooms are furnished with tile floors (a good idea in a tropical environment, but tends to make the room look more like a motel than a five star hotel). TV's a bit old-fashioned and spotty cable. I didn't care much as we seldom did more than glance at CNN, but others might be more annoyed at the number of channels with double pictures, snow or off and on sound (clearly signs of older internal cabling, not poor signal in this digital age). No wifi in rooms (did have plug in for laptops I think and there was wifi in the breakfast room and terrace) - I wasn't too worried about that since I was able to get a Vodafone chip for my unlocked iPhone with effectively unlimited data for almost nothing in town. Large, roomy bathroom with older style furnishings. All if it quite functional and indeed quite charming. A bit old fashioned in feel, but in a good way to my thinking at least.
Location - just outside the main gates into Valetta. There is a traffic circle and bus station there as well so very central for getting anywhere. Taxi from airport 15 euros and about as many minutes.
The hotel has several acres of grounds which stretch along in a long strip wrapping themselves around the battlements of Valetta. Along the way is a charming garden with numerous flowering vines spilling on to the walkway, orange and citrus trees, figs, a fountain etc. leading to a beautiful pool with a fabulous view of the harbor and walls at sunset (don't ask me to spell the harbor name - the one with the long Maltese name!). The pool is large, well endowed with lounge chairs. There is also a pool bar that serves drinks and nuts etc until sundown. I will upload a few pictures to supplement those already posted.
Breakfast was worth every penny. You can buy breakfast a la carte (I think 18euros) or as an add-on at a discount when you register (you get 4 euros off, but must take for everyone and for the entire stay). This is a classic English breakfast with a continental twist. A big buffet table with breads, cheeses, meets, pastries etc as well as an area off to the side with English breakfast buffet (baked beans, sausages, home fries etc. plus a chef who will prepare eggs any style or various omelettes). The terrace is large and gives beautiful views of the harbour and the City walls. Charming. An absolutely five star breakfast with the ability to have al fresco with a view.
The garden is truly a gem - they rented it out for a wedding one of the days we were there and I can clearly see why. It is an oasis of green in a fairly arid environment and a pretty dense, green-deprived city.
I recommend the hotel quite highly but only for those willing to forgive a grand old lady the odd failing. While I don't know if Agatha Christie ever stayed there, I fully expected to see Hercule Poirot in the lounge at any minute. If you aren't expecting the W in Times Square and make a few allowances, you will be charmed.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Phoenicia, just re-opened after an extensive renovation programme, is one of the leading luxury hotels in Malta. Located at the City Gates of Valletta, Malta’s capital city and UNESCO heritage city, The Phoenicia 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 landscaped gardens. The island's central bus terminus is just meters away giving the possibility to explore the whole island by bus. A stay at The 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