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“Excellent stay at Le Meridien”

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Le Meridien St. Julians
Ranked #9 of 33 Hotels in Saint Julian's
Certificate of Excellence
Essex, England
Level 3 Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Excellent stay at Le Meridien”
Reviewed 26 March 2010

This was our first experience of Starwood/Le Meridien as our usual preference when traveling is to use Intercontinental Hotel Group properties (as we are avid collectors of Priority points!). I have to say, we were most impressed with Le Meridien St Juliens.

We managed to get a great breakfast included rate with a bay view. The things we liked:

* very large room (by European standards)
* private balcony (we were quite lucky there)
* well maintained and clean room/hotel
* loved the indoor pool/spa area
* breakfast was incredible - I've never seen such a wide spread before
* great location, plenty of restaurants, places to walk to and buses

All in all, I wouldn't hesitate to go back, and also to deviate from my Priority Point collecting!

  • Stayed February 2010, travelled as a couple
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1 Thank essexadventurer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Darlington, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 March 2010

Le Meridien is a very nice hotel, but whether it merits a 5* star rating I'm not so sure - it's a little too corporate. It's a really big hotel, in a prime position allowing an ambling walk between Spinola Bay (and Paceville) or Sliema, as you wish. It's probably just too big and therefore a little impersonal to be a wow hotel. Given that it's first floor is dedicated to a conference area it's not dissimilar to the 4* hotels that I stay at in London for business. I'd suggest that ,if it can, it tries for a bit more of a personal touch.
Having said all of this, some of the previous reviews are perhaps a little unfair. Yes, there are some dark and cavernous areas, but these will stand out in the winter off season - the sun came out on our last day and I imagine that in the heat of the summer sun, they are probably just right! Bar staff - perfectly pleasant and unobtrusive - and dare I say it, a bit of a laugh if you engaged with them! I'd say it was more likely that they quietly blended into the background unless needed, which was quite nice and not in your face (beware - bar is expensive!). I'd agree though that the reception staff, although pleasant, are probably the least receptive of all the staff in the hotel - maybe reception is not in the best location for interaction with guests? Our check in wasn't the best and without taking our credit details we had a bit of a carry on charging back spa treatments and drinks in the restaurant- we just paid up front in the end to save the hassle! Mark the concierge and also Mario, both very pleasant and helpful, as were all of the restaurant staff (breakfast & evening) and the lovely Elena who cleaned our room.
Rooms - great if you get the right one! My suggestion would be try and get any of the rooms with number 27 or 28 - they are in the centre of the hotel, with a fabulous view of Balluta Bay - having said that, they are flagged as for Starwood Preferred Guests, We booked a sea view room, but you kind of had to stand in the corner of the small balcony to see anything - not withstanding the giant digger that is currently excavating all day every day to one side of the hotel, We complained about this and were moved without question to the 27/28 rooms with the better view (and a huge private balcony) - would also like to say thanks for the lovely birthday cake delivered to the room!!!!
Foodwise - absolutely no complaints. Breakfast very good every day and catered for all tastes. We went half board fearing that St Juliens would be quiet off season (not the case, so worth venturing out) - but great food every night. Speciality nights such as carvery, or fish night, but always something for all tastes if the special wasn't for you. Excellent dessert choice!!!
And so, on to the spa area - from someone who is a bit of a spa junkie. First impression? It was a bit too cold for relaxing off season (probably not so in summer) but I'd have turned up the ambient air temp in the winter! The pool and its in built jacuzzi needed to be a little warmer too. The separate jacuzzi - far too small for the size of the spa and the number of guests in the hotel - if they want to offer year round stays. No doubt in the heat everybody is outside, but any other time then 3 really was a crowd in it!! There's also not enough reclining beds to lay around the pool between treatments - especially between 5 - 6pm when everyone wants to be there. Sauna is also far too small, particularly as it seems more popular than the steam rooms (there were 2, one of which wasn't working and the other which was nearly always empty)
The girls who work in the spa, without exception, are excellent - very well trained and very welcoming. Can highly recommend the myoka facial (bliss) and the deluxe pedicure and manicure (guaranteed chill out). Was, however, very disappointed with a patricular massage I booked, but complaint handled appropriately and issues rectified.
On the whole a great stay and if you can get a good deal at Le Meridien then go for it, And by the way - everyone seems to go on about the lifts. Really - they're not an issue!!!

  • Stayed March 2010, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank OztrekkersDaughter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
uk
Level 4 Contributor
43 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 174 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 March 2010

Le Meridien needs to buck up and be more snappy and professional in a number of areas if it wishes to claim 5* status and charge commensurate prices. It tries but lacks something (a soul perhaps). Quirky angular architecture. Numerous "dead" zones.Solid concrete front facing harbour. Cavernous lower shopping entrance to third level reception which is sited by NCP style open car park at rear. Access above reception to rooms is by 4 (sometimes busy) lifts."Tone" lighting creates dismal and dark ambiance in places. Cheek by jowl balconies with no privacy. Some are in close proximity to local flats. Massive reconstruction currently being undertaken externally. Modest standard rooms.Some have connecting door permitting unacceptable noise exchange levels. Roof pool,bar and sun lounge area closed for winter although clients were up there anyway to take the wintry few hours of sun - taking their drinks with them and arranging the furniture. (A novel concept in the provision of 5* client satisfaction !) Good indoor pool at ground level. Large comfortable bar serving nice snacks and light fare. Hotel deeply annoys and offends clients - who after all are already paying top rates - by having exclusive "executive" areas.
Breakfast choice excellent but let down by poor floor management. Cold plates, lack of cutlery, unfilled juice containers, slow table clearance, disorganized table allocation etc.
Housekeeping average. Some prices outrageous (e g 5 euros for 30 mins internet vs 1 euro local cafe for 1 hour). Also, be sure that you check hotel firewall and anti-virus programs are not disabled.
Location awful. St Julians is rundown, dirty and traffic ridden. Many derelict , wrecked buildings,abandoned cars filled with debris. Trashed phone boxes and kiosks. Dog fouled pavements. New promenade ( funded by EU in the main) and massive rebuilding going on all over. Couple of reasonable restaurants. Several "pizza parlours", cafeterias,snack bars and pubs. Windy.
Poor little plucky Malta GC. What's gone wrong? Come on! Stand to! You're better than this!
Finally, to end on a positive note, it was a privilege to see the famous Gladiator biplane "Faith" of bygone years and to experience the politeness and friendliness of the overwhelming number of the present population. General social ambiance was very safe. Local buses terrific and fun to use. General prices are modest - but there are tourist traps. High panoramic views of Grand Harbour a must, along with the fabled Caravaggio in Valletta.

  • Stayed March 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank gadflyUk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
england
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 March 2010

stayed for 5 nights at the meridien very good breakfast, lovely room, hotel is in a great area, there is a bar called the dubliner just down the road, dose very good food, there is a waiter at the hotel called sean who i found to be very helpfull and pleasent. i would stay at this hotel again.

  • Stayed March 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank macls
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tromso, Norway
Level 3 Contributor
23 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 March 2010

We stayed at Le Meridien in the first week in March, and the location was great, but we found certain members of staff at the hotel rather surly. The receptionists and bar staff were very stand-offish, not what I would expect from so-called five star training.

Notwithstanding this, there were certain star performers that really stood out. The concierge Mario was amazing (helped us book a car and get us round the Island really well), the breakfast staff were second-to-non, and the spa staff were first class.

So overall, maybe looks like I'm complaining too much, but the attitude of the receptionists and bar staff really put me off.

On a general note, if you want to enjoy Malta, you really need a car. We hired a small peugeot 107 (terrible car - fine for Malta) and went all over the place. Just watch out for the Maltese drivers - they are crazy, especially the bus drivers.

Overall, the hotel was fine, but not really five star.

  • Stayed March 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank CHJH2007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rome Italy
Level 4 Contributor
21 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 February 2010

Travelled with group of friends, adults, various ages, booked DeLuxe Executive Sea View Rooms and we all got the 10th floor.
POSITIVE: view from the room was lovely, room was carpeted and bed was hard. Tea making area was well furnished (but only after tipping!) and there was ironing board and lap-top safe with combination/card slide in the room. Basic toiletries, bathrobe
and slippers were available.
NEGATIVE: all bathrooms had "public toilet smell" and my the extra blanket had dirty spots all over it. (It literally had a print of someone's dirty behind on it) Rooms got thoroughly cleaned only once, other days only the bed was fixed. For two days we had no mini-bar refurnishing, it took one whole afternoon to get couple of water bottles (at extra charge). Room was heated only for some hours, the in-room AC/heater switch in my room did not work at all.
There is no wireless internet connection, there is LAN plug, but in my room it did not work. I did not bother... I was on a brake, but should I have been there for work that would have been a real nuisance.
GROUNDS: being "out of season" it was rather understandable that all the restaurants in the hotel were not operating all the time. You could, however, always find someplace to get a snack but for the meals ordered in the lobby bar/restaurant (with comfortable and well aired separate smoking area) took ages. We, however mostly ate out as in the local area there are plenty of good restaurants. It is nevertheless (probably due to "out of season" time) hard to find Malta specialities, except for cheeses and sausages - that are a delight to the palate. To all Epicureans like us, in search for local delights, I recommend red wine from Palatino winery. We loved Cab-Sav. 2007. (round, full body, persistent.. and excellent quality/price relation) It makes a lovely complicity with fresh Gozo Peppered Cheese, delightful on a cool evening, whereas the local Chardonnay is a thrill with a rabbit or fish light lunch. Ok. :) Now back to the hotel review.
EXECUTIVE LOUNGE: opened from 7AM to 7PM.
Positive: Clean with friendly and helpful staff. Breakfast essential, nevertheless plentiful and tasty. All day non-alcoholic drinks and biscuits, evening "aperitif" with snacks and alcoholic drinks (from 5PM to 7PM). Satisfactory international drink selection.
Negative: No control over who enters the lounge. Anyone can just walk in. No questions asked. Premium drinks finished in first 20 min. (we found empty bottles). Toddlers crawling all around the lounge leaving bits of snacks all around the place, children running and loudly playing around the lounge. Mind me, nothing against toddlers and children, but there is a place and time for everything. I would, nonetheless, expect a 5* Club lounge to be a spot for mannerly, decorous persons. Regardless of the age.
SPA: is not run by Meridien staff but by an external company.
Positive: well decorated, equipped for various massages and staff is professional. Good massages. Good SPA products selection. (LaPrairie and Declèor)
Negative/funny: From their list of massages I chose one that lasted 90 min. Was told that it is too long for their schedule and that closing time does not permit a 90 min massage.
I was nevertheless proposed "one 60min, followed by another, lasting 30min - both with the same person that could not give me the 90min one, for the lack of time...." I thought that was really funny and figured that the poor girl is just not good with minute count... :)
It would be curious to know if it is the Company's policy to sell assorted, more expensive massages or it is just her fishing for tips.
INNDOR POOL:
Positive: pleasant water swimming temperature in the pool, and jacuzzi is balmy hot. There are also saunas, gym etc. but we have not visited so I cannot tell. Plenty of towels always available. Pool is comfortably opened until 10PM.
Negative: Toddlers (with diapers and snacks) and children around and in the pool, adult guests, splashing and shouting, and no one there to, perchance, remind them that this is the "relax" area and not the next Olympics water-sports training pool. Jacuzzi holds odd number of persons, and 3 is too much. :) Basically good for one. (max. 2, but very very skinny!)
OVERALL:
We, my friends and myself, very busy back home, chose Meridien Malta for a long weekend for a short brake not too far from home, but it was impossible to relax, swim or sit in a relaxed way in any of the places mentioned above, accept for the lobby smoking lounge and own rooms. We did not want to be bothered with more stress, so we just went with what was there, but objectively speaking, even if "out of season" and in "low profile" time, some services at the supposedly 5* hotel should nevertheless meet certain standards.
The hotel in general looks a bit run down (unstable tables, squeaky chairs, greyish and spotted curtains.. etc.) and understaffed. The staff that is there is working really hard, nevertheless, the tables at lobby restaurant had bread crumbs under them the entire day, smoking lounge tables were often not cleared, (ashtrays either missing or often dirty), for hours after the guests left - we had to clear tables on our own if we wanted to sit somewhere. Not really a big deal, but not at all 5* service and not at all like other LeMeridien we know.
Also do not expect that your Gold or Platinum SPG membership will make any difference here or give you any status privileges at this hotel - it does not. (I was charged for the "late check-out")
Another nugget: Habitually I do not scrutinise my room bill. Usually I just figure that the hotel knows better what I took and I do not frenzy about it. This time though, the daily charge of "Red Bull" to my room caught my eye... namely, myself and my friends cannot drink energy drinks at all... and that is how I took a closer look at the bill. I found out that we were almost daily charged items we did not use at all. Our rooms mini-bar was not restocked for two days, but we were charged missing items each following day, plus daily beer, fanta, coke etc. (I do not drink at all!) plus we got charged for some of the things that were never even existing in our rooms. :)
However, after pointing it out and no big hassle, the items were taken off the bill.
Question: Mistake or "modus operandi"? :)
Now, would I go back to Le Meridien St. Julians Malta?
Probably I would because of the superb location of the Meridien - it is in a truly excellent spot, but should I do so, I would book only the lowest possible price and only as a base for outside day/night activity. If I think of this place as a good 3.5* hotel, pay for what I would in 3.5* hotel, (and be more careful about things as I would in 3* place), yes, I would call it a good value hotel. Paying more (as we did), is just not worth it. You do not get the comfort nor the serenity you are paying for. However, I would probably venture the other hotel possibilities in the area first.
I do hope that sharing my experience can be of a help and that it does not look just like pile of fussy traveller complaints. That we are not. It is only that knowing well the hotel chain, we were disappointed, but perhaps we just picked the wrong weekend. :)
P.S.
I highly recommend the sea-plane tour - you see the whole country in sole 30 minutes.

  • Stayed February 2010, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank swirlingcloud
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
LeMeridienStJulians, General Manager at Le Meridien St. Julians, responded to this review, 23 February 2010
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your detailed and constructive feed-back.

Firstly, we are truly sorry that your experience with us was not up to your expectations. On behalf of our Hotel team, kindly accept our most sincere apologies for the inconvenience or disappointment caused.

We have thoroughly gone through your Tripadvisor review and have shared your comments with all the departments concerned.

Please rest assured that actions are currently being taken and that we are using your genuine comments as a platform for improvement.

Should you wish to have a more specific discussion about the points you raised, please do not hesitate to contact us directly via email. (infolmsj@lemeridien.com)

We would be grateful to be able to take your constructive review one step further, clarify any possible shortcoming and/or respond in more detail to your concerns.

We truly do hope that we will have the chance to welcome you again in the near future and as such, have the opportunity to make up for your previous stay.

Once again thank you for your time and for sharing your experience,

Kindest Regards,
Angela Saliba,
Hotel Manager.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Prague
1 review
Reviewed 14 February 2010

I've been staying in Le Meridien couple of times, the hotel is well decorated it has pleasant atmosphere and despite its size and number of guests one can feel quite cozy there, the staff is nice (not over nice!) and welcoming which tends to be the case wherever you go in Malta. It has a nice pool and spa facilities and is well located by the sea.
I guess I should stop here before sounding like the hotel marketing manager......

  • Stayed January 2010, travelled on business
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank DanielBerger
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
LeMeridienMalta, Manager at Le Meridien St. Julians, responded to this review, 11 March 2010
Dear Reviewer,

Thank you so much for your great comments!

Hope to see you again in Malta soon,

Kind Regards
Angela Saliba
Hotel Manager
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 Le Meridien St. Julians

Property: Le Meridien St. Julians
Address: 39 Main Street, Balluta Bay, Saint Julian's, Island of Malta STJ 1017, Malta
Region: Malta > Island of Malta > Saint Julian's
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#5 Spa Hotel in Saint Julian's
#6 Business Hotel in Saint Julian's
#8 Romantic Hotel in Saint Julian's
#8 Luxury Hotel in Saint Julian's
#8 Family Hotel in Saint Julian's
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:5 star — Le Meridien St. Julians 5*
Number of rooms: 276
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Le Méridien St Julians Hotel & Spa in Malta is located within the bustling, cosmopolitan neighbourhood of St. Julians, offering plenty of entertainment and tranquility located along the seafront promenade. Enjoying excellent views, our hotel is an architectural gem, offering elegance with the relaxed feel luxury, boutique hotel in the Mediterranean. Enjoy international cuisine, accompanied by a refined selection of world wines, and take your coffee al fresco on the splendid terrace. Awaken your senses at the MyoKa spa and float in our tropical indoor pool where you will be revived by aromatherapy secrets from around the world Le Meridien St. Julians Hotel & Spa offers a relaxing ambiance for business travelers, families and couples. On the first floor of the premises, the meeting planner will discover a practical and modern background for their project, with an entire floor dedicated to business events. Free WIFI in the guest rooms as well as the public areas, indoor and outdoor pools (weather permitting)and 24h Guest service available via telephone and whatsapp/blackberry messenger. Le Meridien St. Julians Hotel & Spa is part of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Le Meridien St. Julians Hotel Saint Julian`s
Meridien St Julians
Le Meridien Malta
Le Meridien Saint Julian's
Saint Julian's Le Meridien
Le Meridien St. Julians Malta

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