We booked a countryside-view room through Chevron Holidays for 10 days at the Kempinski on half-board. When we arrived we were upgraded to a deluxe room with pool and partial countryside views. The hotel was about half-full on weekdays and fully booked at the weekend.
The Kempinski is excellent and has well-trained, friendly and attentive staff. Nothing is too much trouble, and the hotel is quiet and peaceful.
Rooms are very spacious and well-equipped. They seem to have thought of everything from a shoehorn in the wardrobe to complimentary bottles of mineral water delivered every evening. Tea and coffee-making facilities were much appreciated too.
There is much variation in the size and aspect of balconies at the hotel, and this seems to be the main difference between the different types of rooms (they appear of similar size inside). We had a large balcony, but we found we barely used it as the hotel grounds are so nice and within easy reach of the room.
There are three pools, one of which is a ‘family pool’. This is a great idea, although at the weekend when the hotel was full, a few guests seemed to think that the request to take their children to the family pool simply did not apply to them. When the hotel is full there are only just enough sun loungers to go around and only just enough pool towels!
San Lawrenz is a small village, quiet and friendly, and is only a few minutes’ walk down the road, as is the adjacent village of Gharb. The Craft Village is next door to the hotel and houses a dozen or so small shops as well as the Gozo Glass factory – the only one on the island. There are two mini-supermarkets. We used the one called ‘Lighthouse’ near the Craft Village and it had everything we needed and more. Drinks at the hotel are expensive (expect to pay similar prices to an English five-star hotel) so you can stock up here and keep a small selection in the mini-bar. The hotel’s tap water is drinkable and quite pleasant.
There are two nearby restaurants within a 5-10 minute walk of the hotel. You can expect to pay 14 to 20 euros for a main course at Jeffrey’s restaurant in Gharb (closed on Sundays) and 16 to 22 euros for a main course at Tatita’s in San Lawrenz (this was closed for a whole week whilst we were there!) Of course, you could easily book a taxi or hire a car if you wished to look further afield.
We dined at the hotel for every breakfast and evening meal, although with the half-board option you can swap an evening meal for lunch at the hotel if you wish. The breakfast buffet was very good indeed: wide variety of food, always topped up. We found the half-board option to be decent value for money, as a la carte prices were 18 to 35 euros for a main course, and the buffet evenings were 35 euros per head. During our stay there were two buffet evenings per week: Asian (Chinese and Thai) which was excellent and an Italian buffet which was disappointing. There was also a BBQ buffet on Saturday night which was OK (if you like that kind of thing!) Overall, the food was very nice, if sometimes a little bland, but there was certainly plenty of it. You won’t go hungry on half-board! We liked The L’Ortolan restaurant best, as the service there was flawless. The Trattoria was good, but the service was patchy. We only had one lunch at the pool bar, which was nice enough, but we soon tired of the large hotel portions and opted for a lighter lunch bought from the local shops.
Live entertainment in the hotel consisted of a solo guitarist singing a wide selection of songs (pretty good, actually!) on three evenings per week at The L’Ortolan restaurant. There is a grand piano in the hotel bar but we never heard it played. This hotel focuses on peace and quiet; you won’t find much to do in the evenings other than eat and drink. The hotel bar was good, had a happy hour for cocktails, and two TVs showing major football games. We took a portable DVD player and plugged it into the TV in the room when we got bored.
The Quintessence Spa was nice but a bit pricey: 50 euros for a 45-minute massage. During our stay, there were five yoga classes a week (10 euros) and also a Pilates class once a week.
There is free Wifi throughout the hotel and also two free-of-charge computers near reception.
The hotel has a courtesy bus which is free to guests but needs to be booked in advance. They will take you to Victoria, Marsalforn, Dwerja, Xlendi and Ramla Beach. Departs 10:00 and 14:40, returns 14:15 and 18:00.
They also have four guided walks per week which range from one-hour to two-and-a-half hours’ duration. You can walk around the San Lawrenz countryside for an hour before breakfast, or if you’re more energetic (and have brought decent walking shoes) you can be taken around Dwerja to see the Azure Window, Fungus Rock and the Inland Sea, or to Kercem and Xlendi. We did the two longer walks and highly recommend them. The same guide (who is a Brit living in Gozo) also does mountain-biking and jogging around the area.
We’ve had a wonderful, relaxing holiday at the Kempinski. We rarely travel to the same place twice, but I believe we will be back at the Kempinksi in San Lawrenz in the not-too-distant future!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Kempinski Hotel San Lawrenz - Where European luxury meets Mediterranean flair! Malta's blissful sister island Gozo is the Mediterranean's best kept secret and home to the hideaway resort Kempinski Hotel San Lawrenz. Indulge in luxury, culture, sun & sea - and find the undiscovered island you have been dreaming of! *** Please be advised that due to upgrading work of our Spa centre, the hotel will be closed from January 8th until January 25th inclusive. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Kempinski San Lawrenz
- San Lawrenz Kempinski Hotel
- Kempinski Hotel San Lawrenz Island Of Gozo, Malta