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“Excellent staff but poor management”

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Gillieru Harbour Hotel
Ranked #6 of 14 Hotels in St. Paul's Bay
Reviewed 17 August 2012

We arrived at the hotel to be met by very friendly staff, especially the receptionist. We loved the location and thought the hotel was just what we needed for 7 days. We went to the pool bar and was met by even more friendly staff who couldn't help you enough. The food was great! However....going in July, the temp's got up to 45 degrees Celsius and of course an air condition was required in the bedroom. Ours unfortunately did not work, when you put it on, it made the worst sound you can imagine so you were torn between either leaving it off at night and sweltering and sweating (so you got no sleep) or leaving it on (and getting no sleep). We called Management on the 2nd day to advise them of the problem, a manager came up and agreed that no one could sleep with the noise and assured us that it was late so maintenance would sort it in the morning when we were out on our day trips. When we got back from our day trip we went to the room and the air con was not fixed, it was late as we were doing whole day trips and called down to reception where she said that the management confirmed it had been fixed, which we disputed. She said she would get management up and check it again. No one bothered to come up to our room (we hadn't slept for 3 days now). After 45 mins of waiting for someone to come up we called reception to be told by another guy that the manager was busy and he would get to us when he could. We hadn't eaten so went out for a meal. On our return were told that they could move us to another room (but will be downgraded) but the manager had confirmed that he had checked the room and the aircon and it was all working. We moved to our new room to be met with yet another broken aircon. We managed a nights sleep with wet towels keeping us cool and called Thomas Cook in the morning to be moved to another hotel, which they duly did with no problems. It is sad to see the poor staff of this hotel let down by the poor management. After moving to another hotel, our trip continued and we ended up having a really good time. So our final comment....the managers are NO GOOD at this hotel, so beware!!!!!

  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Cindy_J_12292
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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473 - 479 of 733 reviews

Reviewed 16 August 2012

We read the mixed reviews regarding this hotel but were delighted to have ignored the negative comments as our stay here was enjoyable in every way. Location was superb and suited us well. St Pauls Bay typifies Malta and Maltese culture with local folk enjoying their swimming, water polo, fishing, boating, and, in the cool of the evening the Maltese families would sit out together enjoying a BBQ or family time. Tucked around the corner and thankfully out of view is Bugibba. Here you will find the bars and cafes serving English beer and English breakfasts, and sadly McDonalds, alongside holiday shops with cheap and cheerful gifts.

The staff at the Gillieru were without exception warm, friendly and helpful and not at all surly, rude or grumpy as others have suggested. Our room and bathroom were both presentable and clean; refreshed daily to a very good standard. The view from our room was breathtaking, looking out across St Paul's Bay. The salt water pool refreshed us in the heat of the day and we were always able to get two sunbeds in the shade whenever we wanted to laze by the pool. We stayed bed and breakfast. Breakfast is basic but met out needs. Yes the toaster is slow and quirky but added to the fun of being on holiday! We ate at the Gillieru Fish Restaurant on several occasions enjoying huge portions of steak and pasta. The local Marsovin wine is excellent. We also enjoyed the family run Da Rosi Restaurant across the square. It is best to book your table in advance should you wish to eat outside. On our last evening we ate close by at the Don Vito Restaurant, and enjoyed an exceptional meal, with breathtaking views across the bay. Yes there are a couple of niggles..... the air con situation is not ideal particularly at night and the shower is not best positioned when you are like my husband over 6 ft. There is a TV in the room which does not work so well, but why would you need to watch TV whilst on holiday! Please don't be put off by the negative comments especially from folk who have not even stayed here! The Gillieru is a little gem and we wouldn't hesitate to stay again or recommend it.

Room Tip: Room 511 has splendid views
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  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank janefh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 August 2012

After reading the mixed reviews posted on this site we were somewhat apprehensive before arriving. However, this was complementary unnecessary, the hotel is in one of the best locations, right in the center of St Paul's harbor, with panoramic sea views. The staff are very friendly and accommodating. The rooms were basic but offered all that we needed, both the towels and bed sheets were changed on a daily basis and the room was cleaned regularly. One of the hotels best features is the swimming pool which is built out into the harbor. The breakfast was basic but offered a different cooked option ever day which gave it a bit of variety. Yes the decour was slightly old and unfashionable but unoffensive. Excellent value for money.

  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Mark S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 August 2012

booked this hotel at the last minute and really wishing i had read some of the reviews before doing so! 3 adults and a 5 year old travelled this time so we had 2 rooms, so there are good and bad things to say about the decor, facilities etc.
our first impressions of the hotel were excellent, the location is probably the best in st pauls bay and the hotel looks great from the outside, we were equally impressed by the reception which is well air conditioned and the lady behind the desk (mary rose) was more than helpfull and very friendly. our bubble was burst on getting in to our respective rooms, both were dark dull and well in need of some tlc. bedding was clean but the beds look like they have been rejected by ikea and the matresses look like they have come out of a doss house or a skip, they were smelly and had all sorts of dubious stains all over them! the air con in our room did not blow out much cold air and when it did only lasted for a couple of hours before it started to constantly churn out warm air, the other room seemed to blow out cold air constantly, bear in mind the average temps durning our stay was 40 degrees! sleeping in both rooms was made very difficult by the racket the air con units produced, our son said it was like someone was drilling constantly. The tv in our room worked but we were only able to watch sky news through a snow storm of interference, we weren't really bothered about that though as we didn't spend a lot of time in the room. the fridges looked like they had come out of the ark but at least they worked as they should do.the in room safe was very poor with just about enough room for passports and some money, NO room at all for cameras or other valubles, the bathrooms were actually very good but we heard some horror storys about others, the rooms were cleaned every day to a very good standard although the cleaning staff never spoke a word when we saw them!
The food again was acceptable, breakfast was 2 hot options and cereal and fruit etc, the toaster was the bane of everyones day, no word of a lie taking 5 mins to toast 1 side of bread, thus ensuing a long queue of people waiting although this was replaced during our stay to everyones great pleasure! evening meal was again ok but not really anything to write home about, my advice if you have to stop here go for a b+b option and eat out every night there are plenty of better options in the area for food. All the staff with the exception of the fat surly maitre d were excellent very friendly and very happy to help just a shame the fat controller spoilt it.
The local area is very nice and will suit everyones taste, the bus service is very good for timetable but very poor at times due to the fact that most drivers seem to want to break the record for how many people they can squeeze on one bus, but that is only a minor gripe!
the pool area is very good and the pool itself it excellent being as it is salt walter and you can literally just float away! the only complaint really is the lack of enough sunbeds and umbrellas for shade, but this can be attributed to the selfish people who put a towel on the beds and then go out for the day (i'm gonna start throwing towels in the pool next time i see this!!)
all in all this could be a great hotel if the owners stopped cutting corners and spent some money bringing the decor and facilities up the the present day, the location is perfect the staff (bar mr grumpy) are a credit just a shame the lufftwaffe couldnt come back and do the island of malta one favour and flatten this hotel!

Room Tip: go for b+b eat out at night, only stop here if you like noisy air conditioning that seems to work on...
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  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled with family
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2  Thank digitalis1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 August 2012

Couldn't risk staying at this hotel because reviews were so mixed when I was researching my holiday to Malta. Tripadvisor couldn't have been more positive, but other review sites were anything but. Don't listen to Tripadvisor! Went to St Pauls Harbour and visited this hotel during our holiday, because I wanted to see it for myself. Was so relieved we chose not to stay there! It very badly needs a complete revamp. It is dingy and dark, and the room they kindly showed us was very small with a tiny balcony, whose bedspread looked greasy and carpet soiled. I'm sorry, but I wouldn't stay in this hotel if it was the last one available in Malta! However, there were two good things about it - the staff we met who were very helpful and nice, and the location is excellent.

Stayed: July 2012, travelled with family
3  Thank Rusty01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 August 2012

Theres no pleasing some folk! Yes, there are always little niggles with hotel rooms, but we would go back here tomorrow! The electric (air con, fridge ) only works when you put your key in the slot in your room so when you go out ,with your key, it goes off ! This was the cleanest, friendliest hotel with the best location we have ever stayed in .The service is second to none, rooms cleaned and fresh towels daily without fail, Lovely helpful staff, hello to Maryrose on reception, Raymond in resturant ( food really good), and Chris at poolbar (very funny)! Our 9year old had the pool to herself for most of the time! she loved it. We go to Malta for the history,culture,and safe friendly atmosphere , and the diving which is the best in europe,(Scubatech regulars). If you want all the "mod cons" go to a more modern more expensive place. This is a traditional family run hotel and we loved it and cant wait to go there again. Thanks to all at The Gillieru !x

  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled with family
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3  Thank joanne w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 August 2012

The first room we were allocated, having booked a 'sea-view balcony' room, was depressingly dark with the tiny balcony set up a 'tunnel' with the view (& breeze) severely limited by the main hotel wall on one side. The TV didn't work, the fridge didn't work & the air con was extremely noisy & seemed totally ineffective. After complaining we were eventually (next day) relocated to a full sea view room with large balcony - the view was superb over the pool & across St Paul's bay with hundreds of small boats in the harbours to either side. Unfortunately good first impressions were soon dashed ... The fridge didn't work again (we gave up complaining and it still didn't work 9 days later), the front of the '1980s 12" portable TV' was missing but the cleaner showed us how to put our fingers inside the set to push the remains of the buttons. The towels were changed regularly but often torn, holed or stained. The safety info sheet was for the wrong room (yes - I've told the Management). The over-bath shower worked well but the bathroom was rather 'tired' and in need of a deep clean to remove the black 'mould' from the tiled surfaces.
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TIP 1: If you like a cuppa then take a travel kettle (no plug adaptor req'd).
TIP 2: If you can - avoid rooms set back from hotel front (218, 318, 418 & 518).
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Now the positives: The pool area is fine with plenty of sunbeds (we were always able to find 2 free even after lunch). The pool itself is very clean & lovely temperature. Whilst we didn't eat in the restaurant so can't comment on evening meals we did think that breakfast was just about 'adequate', if rather boring, and the snacks from the pool bar were about the same standard.
For location this hotel is hard to beat. You can stroll West to the quieter area of Saint Pauls with a couple of small bars and some lovely modern seating areas along the beach front or go East to the much busier areas of Bugibba. Bus stops are right outside the hotel and boat trips leave from Bugibba quay just a 5 min stroll away.
To sum up: Potentially a lovely 4 star hotel but the 2 rooms we experienced needed a serious makeover and we wouldn't even rate it 3 star as it is now.
(would recommend the open-top (hop on/off) bus tour and Grand Harbour cruise at 15 Euros).

Room Tip: There are 4 or 5 rooms set back from the main hotel (218, 318, 418 & 518) these have a very smal...
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  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank JanandPete
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Gillieru Harbour Hotel

Address: Church Square, St. Paul's Bay, Island of Malta SPB 3256, Malta
Region: Malta > Island of Malta > St. Paul's Bay
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 14 Hotels in St. Paul's Bay
Price Range: £26 - £88 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Gillieru Harbour Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 1
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Also Known As:
Hotel Gillieru Harbour
Gillieru Harbour St Pauls Bay
Gillieru Harbour Hotel Malta

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