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“Qawra Holiday!” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of Qawra Palace Hotel

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Qawra Palace Hotel
Ranked #6 of 15 Hotels in St. Paul's Bay
Hornsea, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
46 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 152 helpful votes
“Qawra Holiday!”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 August 2011

We had been to the Qawra Palace before, about 7 years ago, and had a reasonable idea of what to expect. The last visit, however, was on half board. On this occasion we had gone for the All Inclusive package, still reasonably priced at around £600 each from Thomas Cook.
Upon arrival, second drop-off, we acquired our proper key type key, and instead of the ubiquitous plastic armbands which identify you to all and sundry as a compulsive eater/drinker/sunbed fanatic, we received one discreet plastic card - which was to be our pass to all manner of goodies within the hotel.
We took our lift (one of 3) to the 5th floor and swiftly unpacked before going for our first evening meal - having arrived at around 8 p.m. and dinner finishing at 8-45 p.m.
The room was much as we remembered, functional rather than luxurious, with twin beds, drawers and wardrobe and a sliding door to a small balcony with a side view of St Paul's Bay. The plastic furniture on the balcony needed cleaning (or replacing). The bathroom was pleasant, with full-size toilet and bath. A good sized wash basin complemented these. My wife noted that the button which diverts from bath tap to shower wasn't working correctly. We mentioned this at reception the next day and it was promptly fixed.
Back in the main room we located the air conditioner (essential) and put it on low. It worked well throughout our stay and was not too intrusive. A television was present (very small) and the remote was available at reception. We didn't bother!
After putting our wordly possessions in the safe (11.50 euro for the key) we ambled down for dinner.
In the lounge bar, which is (along with the restaurant) on the Ground floor underneath the road which separates the hotel from its pool and "Oasis Bar" area, we were asked to order our drinks from Stephanie on the till and present the card (magic). She entered our requirements - Carafe of red and pint of Stella - and gave me a ticket which I then presented to the bar, which then handed over the drinks. At first this seemed a bit over the top when compared with other hotels where you just flash your bracelet, but after a while we got used to it.
In the restaurant we were allocated zone "C" for the duration (Breakfast & Dinner - Lunch you could sit where you liked on the opposite side to our usual tables). The buffet style meals were all good, with a fair selection of starters (the soups were excellent), and a good variety of hot dishes and sweets. Please note - generally the dishes were hot (unlike some we've had elsewhere). It should also be noted that apart from an abortive attempt to book at the hotel's pizzeria (to which we were entitled, but missed the day we could have gone), we didn't feel the need to dine anywhere else - apart from lunch, which we had wherever we found ourselves. There was no real need for us to buy lunch either as the Qawra Palace supplied packed lunches in nice boxes! We didn't sample these, but I am confident that they would be good as well.
Entertainment was to be found in the outside Oasis bar area. Bar service was again "order prior to service" with the magic card and we AI lot had our own bar. A plenitude of various local beverages could be found, with the draught being the usual local Stella. Carafes of red wine were also freely available and consumed equally freely as (let's face it) it wasn't too strong. That is what we told ourselves anyway!
As the week progressed we became used to the little rituals of holidays, including voluntarily paying for drinks and coffees in the Qawra's Coffee lounge on street level, where the entertainment from the other side of the road could still be heard. We usually did this after dinner and after the AI time had finished (11 p.m.).
We had very few niggles about the hotel - she is a little tired, perhaps, and could do with a 40 year old's make-over. The lifts tended to be a bit congested at certain times. The nightclub was (allegedly) grotty (we didn't go).
On the positive side I felt the hotel was clean and tidy. The staff were efficient and friendly. We reported a (dead) cockroach in our room, which I disposed of (brave, like a lion!). They happily sprayed the room for us to ensure the dead one was not the reconnaisance unit for a mighty army.
Would we go again? Tomorrow would be nice.
On a general note - Arriva buses are now in Malta. Weeekly tickets (go anywhere) are 12 euros. We stuck to day tickets which are still reasonable at 2.60. Try a trip out to Comino and the Blue Lagoon on Romantika or Keppel. Do the Harbour Cruise (Captain Morgan, Valetta) - or via Keppel from Bugibba. Go to a village "Festa" for the fireworks and to meet the locals. We took the Thomas Cook /City Sightseeing "Malta by Night" tour which was excellent, but expensive (18 euro). I would guess that the tour operator's trips are probably twice the price of local ones, but are better organised. Just remember Malta is very small so you'll never get really lost!
Enjoy...we did.

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
17 Thank HoToCo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
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English first
Level Contributor
14 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 August 2011

Good hotel but certainly not 4 stars I'd say closer to 2. The food was good with good choice and veriety. The room we stayed in was very basic although had air con (much needed) and a fridge. The room was kept clean and was cleaned daily. The facilities were good but the indoor pool was closed. The outdoor pool is a salt water pool!

Staff were friendly and helpful.

  • Stayed July 2011
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Jamesderby83
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gloucester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
11 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 August 2011

LIke most people before we had read all the recent reviews on here with a certain amount of trepidation after we had paid our money. However this served to structure our expectations and prepare us for the experience. If you book a hotel in Malta unless it is one of the better 5 stars you will find that standards are not as high as the uk and if you expect 4 star facilities at the Qawra palace you will be disappointed. We booked a week half board for my wife and i and our 15 year old son.We normally stay on a B&B or self catering basis so this was a first for us in any hotel. The restaurant cannot be described as a pleasurable dining experience. It reminded me of Butlins in the 1960's. Breakfasts were good with a large choice. The evening meals were adequate fare certainly edible not a massive choice for vegetarians though.You can swap your evening meal with 24 hours notice for either lunch in the restaurant or an early sitting at the pizzeria across the road. Staff in the restaurant were not very effective which was down to the leadership in the hotel in my opinion.They were certainly not rude as other reviews have stated.Our room was on the 4th floor and faced into the courtyard.Ity was a good size for the 3 of us and the view not picturesque from the balcony was fine for us.Again it reminded me of a Post House hotel in england from the 90's.To upgrade to a sea view room would have cost us an extra £294 for the week and given the road passes in front of the hotel you would just be paying for a load of noise. Rooms were serviced every day and fresh towels were provided daily.The pool area is fine but in July you need to start queueing at 8.15 am and then when the doors open you will rush out like the first day of the Harrods sale to bag your sunbeds. Otherwise by 9.30 they are all taken.Mattresses for the sunbeds cost 1 euro per day to hire.Qawra seafront is quite busy a few bars and restaurants. I recommend the Boathouse for a reasonably priced meal with good views across the bay. The bus system is now a nightmare as Arriva have replaced the old Bedford buses. Had to wait 30 - 40 minutes even at the bus station to get on a bus. If you try and get on at the stop at the hotel you will wait for ages as the buses are all full in the mornings when they leave the bus station. Waited for ages on return from Sliema and eventually gave up and got a cab. Make sure you negotiate prices before getting in Taxi! I ended up paying 15 euros less than the initial price i was quoted. Valetta is fabulous and well worth the trip. Also recommend a visit to Mdina. Overall the holiday was good and we will definitely return to the island . The Qawra palace gave us a chance to sample Malta, but we would not return only because we prefer smaller more intimate places to stay. If you like the all inclusive holiday the Qawra palace will be more to your liking.

  • Stayed July 2011, travelled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
8 Thank Ian W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bridgend, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 August 2011

Two weeks all inclusive, we'd go back tomorrow. I have read comments on the site from others with different views, we all have our own expectations and needs. In our case, we are two older 'seasoned' travellers looking for a relaxing holiday. We have visited Malta before and loved the island and the people, re visited this month and were not dissappointed. We felt all the basics were met. The towels were changed daily (lots of places don't), the room was clean (and cockroach free which was a treat), Plenty of piping hot water day and night ( we've stayed in places where the water was barely warm and poorly supplied), the food was excellent. The army of chefs produce home made soups and pate regularly, a wide range of cheeses, huge variety of different breads and rolls. The menus are cyclical (rotate every 14 days), there was always plenty of choice most dishes were recognisable to those we have at home. The home made beef curry was excellent (saturday night) the beef was so tender, like butter, just melted in the mouth. Sometimes the toast needed to go through twice to get a good outcome as the toasters at breakfast were a problem. We did not pay the extra room supplement and we overlooked the internal court yard which some have described this as a 'prison or tenament,' I can perfectly see where that comparison has come from however, in our case we tended to toddle off daily with our hotel supplied packed lunch in hand exporing the island, we came back to eat and sleep, so we didn't really need a sea view. If you want peace and quiet choose the top floors (the only people who come to the upper floors are those who live there (no passers by) it was really quiet despite this being peak holiday season. As the room did not overlook the sea front we did not hear the entertainment at all during the evening, if we wanted the entertainment, we knew where to find it. We felt the entertainment to be ok, it's not necessarily the sort of entertainment I would pay extra for, but it was fine during the evening when we did not have other plans. The way in which the drinks are provided is 'different' but when you get used to it, we found it worked well. In some hotels we have visited, the all inclusive bars have been out of control in that spirits are 'sloshed' (not measured) into glasses and there lies the problem, no control and spiraling costs. In the case of the Qawra Palace, the issue of drinks is 'managed' which we assume explains thier ability to provide 'Stella' as the All Inclusive beer and a good selection of spirits, soft drinks and colas. So, if the controls in place means they can provide a good quality range at the bar within budget, that must be better than a free for all of poor quality drinks which we have found in other All Inclusive deals. To sum up, our experience was really good, no hesitation in going back, thank you all.

Room Tip: Take a travel kettle with you as there are no free tea making facilities in the room
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  • Stayed August 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
18 Thank Robert C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Harrogate, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 August 2011

Now that they have replaced all the old buses in Malta and as some would say lost a lot of character, this hotel needs to be updated to this Centuary.
To be fair the food was very good but the standard of service in the restaurant was very poor and that was the opinion of the 'waiters' who were just table clearers and very overworked. A change of the tableclothes a couple of time a week would be advisable especiallt in view of when we had originallt thought of staying at the hotel it was closed because of an outbreak of food poisioning.

They have an outdated system in respect of ordering drinks in the restaurant. You line up to place an order outside the restaurant, pay and get a slip of paper which you take to the bar, again outside the restaurant get your drinks and then go into the restaurant and look for a table, glasses and drink in hand. If you want a further drink during your meal, back out and through the same proceedure. Do not go alone into the restaurant or when you get back your table will have been cleared.

The sea view rooms were good but the ones on the other side form what can only be described as a tennament block with open balconies to yor left, right and above and below.

The entertainment was dire and in fact on the first night I thought it was karioke night and by the end of the holiday it was apparant that they were in fact the best. Very poor in deed and the same type every night.

What really concerned us was the fact the the fire alarm went off at 4am and most people evacuated, not all as some could not hear the alarm. The main dorrs were locked and one had to evacuate from eight floors through revolving doors. I saw not one member of staff and having to deal with such incidents myself having retired from the emergency services I found this unaccetable. I enquired as to the cause of the alarm and was told it was a fault with the system and if the alarm activated again to ring reception to ascertain if it was a genuine alarm. It would be a joke if it was not so serious.

Sorry but plenty of other hotels to stay at in Malta and never ever this one again for me or any other person who values life.

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank WellTravelled187046
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manchester, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 August 2011

We just returned yesterday from 2 weeks at the Qawra Palace Hotel and we had a brilliant time! People obviously have different expectations of this hotel it is dated but so are most of the others in the area including the one next door which is also 4* and has very similar reviews to this. Everybody has their own opinion but you really just need to try it for yourself as there are many reviews on here that are bad but a near equal amount of good.

The rooms were spotless cleaned EVERY day with plenty of fresh towels and bedding changed every 3 days, excellent air con which kept our room very cool at all times. We had a side sea view room and its definitely worth paying more for as we had a lovely view of the sea. The staff were always working and constantly cleaning the hotel top to bottom and were overall very friendly and helpful except from one cleaner who seemed to be having a bad day when we wanted to use the public toilets just before we left for the airport at 8am we were told we wasn't allowed as it was her cleaning slot surely this should have been done before people were getting up and going for breakfast? Also it was a little noisy at night but the noise wasnt coming from our hotel it was the lido next door that made all the noise and as we was on the side it was quite loud however it stopped at about 12am and after the first couple of nights we got used to it.

We only went bed & breakfast as we didnt want to be tied down to eating in the hotel every night but you can pay a very reasonable 9.50 euros per person for an evening meal of all you can eat including soups, salads, a good range of mains, and a great selection of desserts.

The pool area was lovely, the water was very clean, however if you wanted sun loungers in the shade or a particular spot you would have to queue each morning at around 8am to get where you wanted.

The entertainment wasnt amazing but there was a couple of great acts and is really what you would expect at a family resort and it was always busy with things going on till about midnight. This hotel is not for young groups of 20's it is a family orientated resort.

We would definitely go back and although it has a few bad points (including slow lifts and not enough for the size of the hotel) overall it is a friendly, clean, if slightly dated hotel great for families! We would definitely recommend it to anyone. All you can do is try it yourself as we were very concerned after reading bad reviews on here but some people expect way to much for what they paid (which is very reasonable).

Room Tip: go for a seafront or side sea room for a great view and a large balcony.
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  • Stayed July 2011, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank JoanneConnor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
scotland
Level Contributor
11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 August 2011

We stayed at this hotel for a 2wk break with an back courtyard room ,awful doesnt cover it so depressing, but hey ho not much we could do, the hotel was fully booked so nothing to do but get on with it. We have been to Malta 8 times in the last 4 yrs and have always stayed in this area, if you have a sea or side sea view then its ok. Food not too terrible you wont starve but not very exciting, its very handy if you like to swim in the sea as this is accesible from the pool area ,and very close to bus station and various resturants/bars. The pizzeria across from hotel can be booked in advance as part of your H/B or A/I with achoice of pasta or pizza which was very nice. We paid a reasonable amount for our holiday but the rooms/views leave alot to be desired.

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank ScotlandLori
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Qawra Palace Hotel

Property: Qawra Palace Hotel
Address: Qawra Sea Front, St. Paul's Bay, Island of Malta SPB 08, Malta
Region: Malta > Island of Malta > St. Paul's Bay
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#4 Luxury Hotel in St. Paul's Bay
#4 Spa Hotel in St. Paul's Bay
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:4 star — Qawra Palace Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 392
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Also Known As:
Qawra Palace Hotel Malta
Qawra Palace St Pauls Bay

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