We went here to celebrate a special event and loved the hotel on arrival! It was quite impressive apart from the balcony which personally I felt was a bit dingy and dark and it only had a limited view of the marina.. There was no welcome drink which would have been nice as we were quite thirsty but check in was quite quick so it did not matter too much. Our cases were not taken upstairs. To be fair we were asked if we wanted this arranged but we were keen to get to the room.
The balcony in our room felt really dark, dingy and depressing as it was all closed in and set right back inside. If I had known I might have upgraded. There was a reasonable view of the Marina but partially obstructed as due to the way it is built. The sun never reached it and the view was obscured by this. I am unsure why the balcony is designed in this way. Furthermore trees obstructed the view. If we had been lower than the 4th floor I feel we would have had no view whatsoever. I had emailed the hotel a few weeks before travelling with a room request but never got a reply. I have done many times and was surprised not to get any response. The noise at the Marina through building work was not as some have reported it, I barely noticed it to be honest and If I had not read the recent trip advisor reviews I would not have been aware of building work at all there at all. The buildings opposite are privately owned apartments so I guess if anyone there is doing any work you will get some noise. It was quiet though. The same cannot be said for the maintenance work which was extremely loud and went on for a couple of days close to the adult pool which is meant to be quiet. They did come around and apologise but we had no choice but to move.
Our room was clean – very clean and was a good size too. We were regularly asked if our room was alright and it certainly was amazing! We did have quite a strange problem with our room which I am not going to go into. We reported it and guest relations seemed very efficient. We did not want anything, just wanted to report the problem. During the conversation my husband was offered all sorts but this was not what we wanted. Eventually he agreed reluctantly to their offer of a bottle of wine with our meal that evening. It never arrived. We certainly didn’t want to say anything as we had found the whole episode embarrassing and felt uncomfortable about reporting it but really felt we could not leave without mentioning it. I feel if they are going to make a big fuss and say they are going to choose a nice local wine for you then at least they should have made sure it happened!
On arrival some complementary items were missing from the bathroom but we did not say anything. No big deal that. When I put the empty boxes in the bin they were replenished later anyway. The room had everything hairdryer, slippers, dressing gown safe, TV, CD player – even an iron and an ironing board. We could not get into our mini bar for some reason the door seemed to be jammed, but we did not bother to mention it. We bought water from the supermarket just outside the casino as a lot of people did. We absolutely loved the ice machine which was close by down the corridor! This was a fantastic feature we thought.
The room lacked power though. My electric hair curlers weren’t working properly and my husband’s phone was not charging properly. There was also a small power cut one night. It lasted only a second of two. They use three pin plugs as in the UK so there is no need to take an adaptor.
We were asked if they could take 500 Euros from our credit card when we arrive and then refunded what we had not spent at the end.
Breakfast was adequate but there was not a great deal of choice in my view compared to many other hotels we have been to. They tell you where to sit and this was fine however one morning I dared to request a table out of the sun as I was really unwell that morning (the area she sat me in is basically a huge glass room facing the sun.) This was too much trouble! She mumbled something like, "Well can't just move your chair a bit to avoid it?" before making a quick exit. The whole table was in full sun. I though as the paying guest I was the one making a request not the other way around. I can only think she was new and had not had any training as she had no idea how to handle the situation and I did not feel I was being particularly difficult. Also there were lots of other tables free so that was not great service and I was not impressed.
We ate at the Blue Elephant twice as it was amazing every way and we were there for a special occasion. It far exceeded my expectations. There, the service is fantastic. We also tried a club sandwich at the bar at lunchtime around the pool but that was nothing to write home about and we were glad we had chosen to share it too because it was enormous!.
The main pool was very clean and shallow in parts. The plastic tables and sun beds were comfortable and the horrible brown sun towels did the job. It was absurd to ‘reserve’ sun beds as there were loads free at all times yet people still did so. I felt a clock around the pool would have been useful.
The gym was amazing and I went each day. Most of the gym staff were great – really helpful, but one day I did have a problem with a machine I had not used before causing the whole gym to stop and stare at me for the terrible bang I had caused. The woman attendant in the gym who witnessed this did nothing whatsoever to help educate me on how to use it properly or check I was alright although another lady in the gym who was a traveller was good enough to ask me if I was alright.
Whilst it was pleasant break there was something missing I felt. The hotel felt slightly sterile and impersonal at times. Maybe this was because it is used a lot for business conferences and weddings, and this does impact on you as holidaymakers. For example, for at least 2 days the corridor which we walked through to get to breakfast and the pool was crammed full of chairs which must have been stacked up ready for some event or other. I felt surely they could have stored these somewhere else than a main corridor?
Finally these was football on in the quarterdeck bar every night. For me this is not acceptable in a five star hotel. There were plenty of sports bars outside. It did not create the ambiance for me that I would expect in a Hilton. There were a few weddings and events on that meant certain areas were closed off at times and this might have disappointed some.
The lack of free wifi did not concern us. It’s common knowledge they charge you for it so it was not a problem. I do not agree it is ‘like bread’ as someone commented. Sorry but I can live a week without it.
Spinola Bay was really lovely and had spectacular view. St Julian’s in the other direction was a lot tackier. It was full of ‘Gentlemen’s Clubs.’ It also catered well for the gay crowd and the young, which did not bother us. Both areas were very close to the Hilton. The area around the hotel such as the Marina was very upmarket as you would expect with a few nice shops.
I am rating this 3 out of 5. Yes it was relaxing some of the time but the issue with the room did stress me out. There were some great features but there is plenty room for improvement. Staff in the breakfast room need better training for example. I make no apologies for being picky and telling it like it is. Please remember this is a 5 star hotel. I am considering how it compares to other similar hotels. I have been to other hotels where I have had consistently good service.
I don’t think I would return to a Hilton there are better hotels for the money. As many others here have commented before me, it did not feel 5 star.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Ideally located in the prestigious Portomaso development within the fashionable district of St. Julian’s, the Hilton Malta hotel has come to represent the style, comfort and hospitality for which the Hilton brand is renowned. Standing as a centrepiece of the coastline and an intrinsic part of the Tumas Group’s flagship design, Hilton Malta sits comfortably alongside Portomaso Business Tower, the Residences and Yacht Marina in one of the most exciting and dynamic property developments anywhere in the Mediterranean. With remarkable views of the Mediterranean, the 410 rooms and suites available offer the discerning guest unrivalled relaxation and comfort. All the hotels rooms and suites have a Mediterranean décor with eith a balcony or terrace overlooking the prestigious Portomaso Yacht Marina or offer spectacular views of the Mediterranean Sea. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Hilton Malta Hotel Saint Julian`s
- Hilton Saint Julians
- Hilton Saint Julian's
- Hilton Hotel Malta
- Saint Julian's Hilton