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“Slightly tired but still grand old lady!”

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The Phoenicia Malta
Ranked #2 of 15 Hotels in Valletta
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“Slightly tired but still grand old lady!”
Reviewed 26 October 2013 via mobile

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.

Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
6 Thank SDtor273
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Helena_Pavanello, Guest Relations Manager at The Phoenicia Malta, responded to this review, 8 November 2013
Dear SDtor273,

Thank you for sharing your experience on Trip Advisor with such a detailed review. We highly appreciate your feedback which to us is a learning opportunity which enables us to improve. We are pleased to learn that you have enjoyed your stay overall, and wish to thank you for your recommendation.

We look forward to the pleasure of welcoming you back to the hotel in the future.

Best Regards

Helena
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Oxford, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 October 2013

we had booked five nights at the Phoenicia last week. On arrival two very apologetic employees explained they had overbooked and asked us if we would mind staying the first night at a sister hotel about one minute away. We agreed on the understanding that we would not be charged for breakfast for our entire stay. After the first night in a different place everything was great. I cannot fault the friendly, helpful and cheerful staff. Its not perfect but not many places are; the hotel needs a face lift in some areas but we loved it. Also this hotel is perfectly located about one minute walk away from the entrance to Valletta.

Room Tip: if a view is essential to you, ensure you get a room overlooking the harbor and not the parking lot.
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  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank sueC552013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Helena_Pavanello, Guest Relations Manager at The Phoenicia Malta, responded to this review, 8 November 2013
Dear SueC552013,

Thank you once again for helping us out with the overbooking situation on the day of arrival, it is a very rare situation and your help in the matter was much appreciated. I am glad that you have enjoyed your experience at the Hotel Phoenicia and that we have been able to meet your expectations.

We look forward to welcome you back at the Hotel Phoenicia next time you are in Malta.

Best Regards

Helena
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gateshead, United Kingdom
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 October 2013

Stayed at the Hotel Phoenicia for 2 weeks in September; a beautiful hotel with beautiful, peaceful and extensive gardens. This was my second visit, and everything was even better than last year. Stayed in a Classic room on the first floor again, but this time I was on the side of the building and had a balcony with a view of the harbour to the left, the little kiosks and horse drawn carriages in the square to the right and the Bastion walls in front, so I was very happy with the room. The room was also kept lovely and clean and well stocked with everything I could need. All the staff in the hotel were very friendly and helpful and really looked after me. As a vegetarian I sometimes have problems with the food in hotel restaurants due to lack of variety, but the food in the Phoenix restaurant was even better this year and the menus were more imaginative as they had employed a new chef since last year! The staff in the restaurant also looked after me very well! I would certainly recommend the Hotel Phoenicia.

Room Tip: If you have booked a package which includes a Classic room the description doesn't mention balco...
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  • Stayed September 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
3 Thank sheilanich
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Helena_Pavanello, Guest Relations Manager at The Phoenicia Malta, responded to this review, 8 November 2013
Dear Sheilanich,

Thank you so much for your glowing review, it is a pleasure to learn that you have again enjoyed your stay at the Hotel.

We look forward to your next visit at the Phoenicia.

Best regards

Helena
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level 6 Contributor
117 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 86 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 October 2013

We stayed at the Phoenicia for 5 nights. From the minute you walk in you feel as if you are back to the glory days of empire and travel!
We had booked a superior room because we wanted a balcony. The room they first gave us overlooked a parking lot. We asked for another room I find parking lot views rather depressing. We were moved to room 119. The rooms are spacious and well appointed. We had a harbour view. The room could use a sprucing up but that didn't bother us. The room was right above the dining room patio. There was a wedding one night where the music was clearly heard in the room. All noise filtered up to the room in the evening. It didn't bother us - if you are sensitive to the noise or go to sleep early it could be a problem. We weren't told about this when we were offered the room. I do think they should advise people. The bed and pillows were very comfortable. The balcony was large enough for a small table and chairs. We had lovely views of the sunsets.
The grounds are phenomenal. The gardens and walk to the pool were absolutely beautiful.
The location is superb it doesn't get any better. There isn't anywhere in Malta you can't get to from the hotel. After seeing St Julian's bay and Sliema we were pleased we paid a bit more to stay here.
The staff are very helpful in assisting with organising the day if you need some help which we did and are very grateful to them for that. They arranged a car and driver for us which was only £30 more than the bus tour to see the south of the island. This was well worth it for us. When we came back each day whoever was on the desk always asked about our day and what we were doing the next.
The breakfast was excellent. There wasn't anything you couldn't ask for that you didn't get. The service is slow. The first morning we refilled our coffee as no one offered. We arrived late afternoon and thought we would sit down in the bar and have afternoon tea. We saw people being served but could never get anyone's attention to order. We did tell this to the lovely woman in guest relations and it was sorted out. We had dinner in the restaurant which was ok. The restaurants in the old town are much better. If you are tired and want a light meal the hotel will do!
Wifi is free in the lobby. It would be nice to offer Wifi in the rooms. If it were possible this would be a 4.5 star review. Because of those little snags couldn't give it 5 stars.

Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank awithj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Helena_Pavanello, Guest Relations Manager at The Phoenicia Malta, responded to this review, 23 November 2013
Dear awithj,

Thank you for your kind comments following your recent visit, I was delighted that you
enjoyed your stay at the hotel especially the location, breakfast and the team.

We highly appreciate your feedback as this provides us with learning opportunities which will help us improve.

We all look forward to welcoming you back very soon.

Best Regards

Helena
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Oban, Scotland, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 October 2013

I have previously stayed at several hotals on Malta but have always been frustrated by the stiffness of them and how the personality of the staff is usually stifled by the hotel machine, so we decided on this occassion to stay at the Phoenicia hotel in Valletta. I can honestly say that it is the friendliest hotel that I have ever stayed in and that says a lot, as I have stayed at Raffles and The Ritz Paris. Not just one or two of the staff go out of their way to welcome you and enable you to enjoy your stay, but everyone does. Every single need is met with pleasure, but not in that fussy, overly 'posh' way that places like the Hilton do, that makes you feel a little beneath them. The atmosphere of The Phoenicia is one of old colonial grandeur, but having been recently refurbished, meets your everyday modern living need. It is stunning to walk into and everytime, makes you feel special. On the first night we ate in the fine dining restaurant 'Pegasus', which was really nice 5*, but you don't have to pay that level of price, when the everyday restaurant, (which serves the same fabulous standard of food), is a lot less expensive and is striking with its vaulted ceiling and unlike Pegasus, offers alfresco dining on the balcony.

The staff though make the hotel and I have to point out a few, but that doesn't suggest the rest were any less fantastic. Seek out Mario, the Concierge. He did everything for us, from the minute we arrived until we left. Every day to day thing like laundry to arranging white only omelette s were arranged, but he went so much further, (with so much ease). On day 1 he arranged a driver and car for the whole week, for us. He quickly established that we needed some-one with stamina. We often had the driver from 10am through to 04:00. He also picked someone that he knew would be a good fit with us. He arranged for us to keep our room until 15:00. Between himself and Julian Briffa, the driver, they were able to get us tables in restaurants and into clubs that few tourist would ever know about. Between them, they know everyone on the island,,,,,, very useful. If you needto dine in the best restaurants in malta, go to him. He, along with Julian, transormed our holiday from a good holiday to a once in a lifetime.
Some on trip advisor say the pool is a long way.......they are crazy! The pool is nestled into the great wall, with a view of the harbour and Valletta. It is a 2 minute walk through stunning private gardens. The gardens are perfectly tended and the pool and area spotless.

I have tended to stay at The Palace in Slkema, but will never go back! I'm hooked on the Phoenicia and prices are really reasonable: £4:00 for a handmade cake and coffee, £30 for an eve meal incl wine. The rooms are stunning and very comfortable. I have NEVER stayed in a hotel and had no complaints. I have now. A HUGE thanks to everyone at the Phoenicia, especially Mario, (a kind, considerate, thoughtful, quite handsome concierge), who goes way above what his job requires him to do. Young Leon in the lounge. The Turn Down Service ladies Anna and Rita, who have such a wonderful sense of humour and do their jobs, usually unseen and quietly in the background.

Lastly! Our driver for the week was lovely Julian Briffa. He stayed with us 14 hours a day and drove us to, and escorted us through, days sightseeing, at the beach, going to Cozo, nail emergencies, (for the women), and looked after us and out for us in the best clubs in Malta. His contacts get you in everywhere and his sense of humour keeps you going along on the ride. He also takes you to were tourist never go. I can truly say I would trust him with my life. Thank you Julian. Mario can arrange for Julian to take you around and his rates are great.

I am privileged to now call Mario and Julian my friends. I cannot wait to go back to the Phoenicia and Malta in Nov. What id say to the management is make sure you NEVER let the processes and procedures of running the hotel get in the way or stifle letting the staff's personality shine through.
Regards ian

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Ian J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Helena_Pavanello, Guest Relations Manager at The Phoenicia Malta, responded to this review, 8 November 2013
Dear Ian J,

Thank you for having taken to time to write such a detailed review about your experience at the Hotel Phoenicia. We highly appreciate your comments and I will personally ensure that the comments about our team members reach each and everyone of them.

We look forward to have you stay at the Hotel Phoenicia in your coming visits to Malta.

Best Regards

Helena
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Belfast, Northern Ireland
Level 4 Contributor
42 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 October 2013

My Aunt treated me to a fabulous weekend stay at the Phoenicia last weekend, and it didn't disappoint! The hotel is a real oasis of calm, with a relaxed, friendly atmosphere and very elegant surroundings. We had a room on the fourth floor with lovely views of the harbour and surrounding area. The room was one of their refurbished rooms, and I found it to be really lovely. It was very spacious and well appointed, with a huge bathroom. There was no noise from the other rooms. The noise from the bus station, which is conveniently located right next to the hotel, was only apparent if the windows were open. The rooms were very clean and well maintained, with a bright, pleasant decor. We did find the air conditioning a bit tricky to operate, but that was really the only minor issue.

Whilst we didn't eat in the hotel, we did have a few drinks in the lovely bar. Glasses of delicious local wine are served with small plates of wonderful local olives and nuts- it's really not to be missed, especially with the attentive service. Leon in particular was fantastic- he managed to combine professionalism with humour and warmth. He's a real asset to the hotel.

We did not choose to have breakfast at the hotel- priced at E14.95 per person (and that was a discounted rate) we decided to buy breakfast locally instead, which worked out much cheaper. There are plenty of places to eat within a very short walking distance.

We spent a while at the pool on the first day we were there. It's not huge, but the surrounding pool area is large and quiet, with excellent facilities including a bar and showers/changing rooms. It was so peaceful! I didn't think it was anywhere near as long a walk as many reviews had said, really only a couple of hundred metres from the hotel if that.

The location of this hotel was second to none- right beside the city centre and bus station. We chose the Phoenicia over the Excelsior based on other reviews which said that the Excelsior was up a steep hill, and this is exactly right. No hills to climb here!

This is an elegant and beautiful hotel, with friendly, helpful staff and lovely public areas. Our refurbished room was gorgeous. Would stay here again in a heartbeat!

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Suzy2110
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Helena_Pavanello, Guest Relations Manager at The Phoenicia Malta, responded to this review, 8 November 2013
Dear suzy2110,

I am so pleased to learn that you have enjoyed your stay at the Hotel Phoenicia. I thank you for your kind comments especially those about our team members. Thank you for recommending us to other Trip Advisor users.

I look forward to welcome you back to the Hotel Phoenicia in the near future.

Best Regards

Helena
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manchester, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
67 reviews
46 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 October 2013

We are usually disappointed on returning to a hotel but not here. I read the "poor" reviews on tripadvisor and was worried that it had gone seriously downhill. They may be right that it is not 5 star quality but that depends what you expect. there is something of an air of faded glory but I prefer that to the corporate soullessness of eg the Excelsior where we visited friends. There is a maturity to this hotel which is quite rare. The public lounges are very impressive. Our superior room was furnished in quite old cane furniture but although not the latest most expensive fittings it was appropriate to the place. It was large and light. Same with the bathroom---old but good fittings. There is nothing about this hotel that £5M will not fix. But it would have to be spent carefully to avoid ruining the old colonial feel. We would go back. I had some enquiries before arrival and the manager dealt with these promptly and efficiently.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank davidnkaye
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Helena_Pavanello, Guest Relations Manager at The Phoenicia Malta, responded to this review, 23 November 2013
Dear davidnkaye,

Thank you for having taken the time to share your experience with other Trip Advisor users. We are pleased to learn that you have enjoyed your second stay at the hotel. We highly appreciate your comments and feedback.

We look forward to welcome you back to the Hotel Phoenicia in the near future.

Best regards

Helena
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 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):
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

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