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“A Very Good Week at St Paul's Bay”

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Gillieru Harbour Hotel
Ranked #6 of 14 Hotels in St. Paul's Bay
Reviewed 20 October 2013

My wife and I spent a week half board at Gillieru Harbour Hotel with friends, another couple. Our room was on the fifth floor with a spectacular view out over St Paul's Bay and St Paul's Island just beyond. Our friends' room was on the fourth floor with a side view and overlooking the water's edge. From their veranda, they could also look out to St Paul's Bay and St Paul's Island. Their veranda was a little smaller than ours. Our rooms were well proportioned.

There is also a spacious Roof Terrace with spectacular sea views as with our room.

Breakfast had a choice of three cereals, fruit, two fruit juices, cold meats, cheese as well as the option of a hot 'English Breakfast'. Tea and coffee were plentiful as was bread, butter jam and marmalade.

Dinner was served from 6.30pm promptly with the choice of soup, salads, cold cuts and pasta etc. There were three tempting options for the main course with generous helpings. There was a choice of four desserts each evening.

The staff at both Breakfast and Dinner were friendly, attentive and nothing was too much trouble as they sought to please at every point. The lady Receptionist who was on duty when we had questions or wanted reservations made was friendly, efficient and spoke excellent English.

The location is ideal for those wishing a relatively quiet retreat and is perfectly located for short cruises from the nearby jetty at Bugibba (Five-minutes' walk) to St Paul's Bay, Comino and Gozo.

We were all delighted with our experience at Gillieru Harbour Hotel and would certainly consider returning.

Room Tip: Rooms on the north side have the best views.
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  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Gordon L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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363 - 369 of 735 reviews

Reviewed 20 October 2013

Trip advisor - Guilliru Hotel (Malta)

Hello all. 

I would like to share my recent trip to Malta and also that of the Guilliru Hotel, St Paul's Bay. 

Transfers and Room :- 

The hotel and transfers were booked online in advance as with most of my holidays. We were greated in Malta by an older looking gent who seemed to speak no English with our name on a sign. The ride to the hotel was nothing short of white knuckle. I understand that the Maltese do drive more recklessly than people from the UK, even so this was an experience I wouldn't want again. 

Upon our arrival we were told our room was not ready yet, but feeling glad to be alive and finally at our hotel we left our bags in the luggage room and headed out for some lunch in the meantime. Our room was available on return, I say available and not ready as it was in a shocking state. We paid extra for a sea view room and balcony but as you can see in picture (X) the view was terrible and the balcony could fit only one person at a time. It was at this point things got worse. First of all there was no welcome pack in the room, no idea when the meal times were or where they were infact. The room wasn't cleaned properly even though we had been told to wait longer than was necessary for our room to be ready. The mirrors were filthy (see picture X), the floor was dirty, one light didn't work, the fridge was broken, the TV was more use as a paper weight and an unclean ash try was left on the side!  It was quite late on at this point we decided to stay the night and speak with our rep before breakfast in the morning. Also to ask where breakfast could be found.

First thing we spoke with our rep who was very helpful and moved us immediately. I must say that all the while the hotel employees were perfectly helpful and pleasant. We encounter no resistance to our request to move. I believe the room we were given was substandard, especially as we had paid for a premium room. It's possible the staff had hoped we would not complain as we were younger than the typical guests. That and also that the cleaner had decided to do a half baked job that morning. 

Out new room was great, totally as expected. Great view of the sea, big balcony and the room was immaculate, complete with welcome pack detaileing, breakfast, lunch and dinner times, local activities and maps as well as recommended trips. The air con was fully working and we also had a fan in the room, something missing from the first cupboard (room) we saw. The bathroom was much bigger than the first and clean tidy and fully stocked with shampoos, soaps and towels. My only gripe about our new room was that it was located close to the lifts, which on a night could be heard through the wall. I bought some ear plugs and this was enough to sleep uninterrupted. The room was so good I dare not switch on account of this small inconvenience. 

Food:- 

Breakfast (7:45-10am)was typically two hot items, sausage & beans or eggs and bacon etc. Which rotated daily. There were several cereals available as well as breads, ham and cheese. Also there was a different fruit selection each day. Tea, coffee, fruit juices and flavoured teas were also available. All in all it was a decent selections and the quality was good. Ideal to set you up for the day. 

We didn't eat lunch at the hotel but the one evening meal we did have was our first and last (6:30-10pm). I also encourage you to head out and try the local restaurants. Much much better! The evening meal we had we where given a selection of either pasta, salad or soup. I had pasta which was unfortunately over cooked. Then a main choice or either halibut or chicken, available with potatoes and veg. I opted for halibut (being right on the sea). It was really poor, over cooked, full of bones, no flavour and the sauce was thin and oily. I moved on to desert which was a choice of sweet. I grabbed an apple pie which was just ok. I cannot fault the staff at either dinner or breakfast. They were attentive and considerate and a pleasure to speak with.

As I say please venture out and try the local restaurants, I recommend the Guilliru Restaurant, outside and behind the hotel. Known for its fresh fish! It was probably my favourite meal of the holiday. Fantastically cooked, fresh and  served with grilled veg. I tried the fish mix grill salmon, swordfish, king prawn, bass and tuna... All worth the trip. 

Other restaurants worth a mention were, the Venus restaurant (fine dining - top of Bugibba square), a little expensive but great! Mirinabelle, next to Fat Harry's bar. Bognar, on the sea front. George's seas view, on the front. 

To sum up, the hotel was good, clean, friendly even after initial reservations regarding the first room. Breakfast was also good, plenty of choice and the service was excellent. Evening meals should be avoided especially since all the local restaurants are available to you. 

Trips and tours were available via out rep and I do recommend you book on to some. You can get around easy by bus which I also suggest but the tours offer local expertise and knowledge which otherwise you wouldn't have. 

I hope I have not discouraged you from booking this hotel as it would be a shame but don't settle for a sub par room as they do have some nice rooms with fantastic views. 

All the best

Matt 

Room Tip: The best balcony rooms are on the top floor (fifth). I recommend these!
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  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank MattScience
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 October 2013

We stayed in this hotel mid of October for one night and we asked for a sea view room and we got a kitchen and a dumb view , bed sheets are worn out and no person could ever feel comfortable sleeping on it, no electricity in the room , TV is not working , the fan is covered with dirt,, whatta a mess.
Please never get a room on the first floor , the restaurant and the kitchen makes the whole floor smell terrible . The rooms smell really really bad.
It's a big disappointment for me and my family

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank shaza80s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 October 2013

We arrived at 12.45 on 29th sept 2013 everything was in darkness but we were checked in very quickly and went to our room we could have done with a cuppa and snack but everything was close we were offered water but we had some so declined. The room was a nice size very spacious and clean when we looked out over the balcony the next day we hadw a spectacular view over st pauls bay (best view ever) and we have travelled to many places.The bar didnt appear to be open much but this wasnt a problem as we were in walking distance of lots, its a nice steady long stroll to salina bay but well worth it a new aquarium has just opened en route which looks wonderful. If you turn right out of the hotel there is a nice family run cafe looking over st pauls all at reasonable prices.I would like to return when the refurb is done they got many returning guests. food was reasonable a bit limited but always fresh staff always friendly and helpful there was nothing to complain about. and we had brill weather all week.

Room Tip: room 414 quiet and brill view overthepool
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  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank pudseypair
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 October 2013

this hotel is on the seafront in St Paul's bay and has beautiful views over the harbour. It is only small, a little dated but the room was clean and the staff very friendly. I would stay here again.
The breakfast was limited but the food was good. The pool area was clean, salt water pool which I didn't mind. The hotel is near to plenty of restaurants and a super bus service.

Room Tip: ask for a sea view or pool view, other rooms look out over a busy road.
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  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank logicalAccrington
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 October 2013

Excellent position right on the harbour, stunning view form the room across the bay, and on the bus route to Valetta. Short walk along promenade to Bugibba square if you want something more lively. Needs a bit of updating but rooms clean and sheets and towels changed every other day. However couldn't get a picture on the TV but that's not what we go on holiday for. Food better than we expected after reading the reviews. Service excellent. Breakfast: juice, choice of 4 cereals, 4 hot choices, fruit and toast. Evening meal: soup, cold cuts, pasta, choice of 3 mains and 4 puddings, all for an extra £6 per person per day. Never had to queue for meals. It wasn't "cordon bleu" but if you want that book into a 5 star. The bar, which was spacious, was dead in the evenings but that may have been a reflection of the type of clientele at that time. The pool and surrounds were clean and were a pleasant way to spend a few hours. Staff very pleasant and helpful. Glad we payed extra for a sea view. All in all good value for money and excellent position.

Room Tip: Corner sea view rooms have double balconies.
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  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Arlsmith
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 October 2013

Let me just say I am not a moaner as my other reviews will show and my wife and I are pretty easy to please, but I do need to moan a little bit following our stay at this hotel in September.

Lets start with some positives, the Gillieru is in a fantastic spot right on the harbour at the quiet end of the resort, but just a few minutes stroll to the bustling heart of Bugiba and if you know the right way to walk not very far from Qawra as well. The hotel looks good externally and the view from the back of the hotel is lovely as it looks out over the bay and this is also where the pool and bar is situated, which is a lovely spot to relax and watch the sun go down.
However its here that it starts to go downhill, the pool, bar, and restaurant feel separate from the hotel with the pool joined by a small bridge from the second floor and no way to get down to the bar without going back into the hotel, downstairs and back out and around the side. It feels like 2 separate businesses and from what we can gather that's what has happened, the old owner has died and his sons have taken over but don't get on with each other so one runs the hotel and the other one the restaurant. The problem is this has left the hotel without its old catering staff and this has now been contracted out and they seem to be doing it on the cheap.

We were only staying bed and breakfast but the breakfast were the worst we have had, a piece of fruit (tinned not fresh) and nothing to go with it, only a choice of 2 cereals, 3 very unappetising cooked foods (warmed ham of all things) and the slowest toaster ever. All made worse by a dinning room that is too small for self service which leads to queues for everything, they even ran out of marmalade on our last day! We talked to other guests who have been going there for years and they said that the food used to be great and was served to you at the table, and many of them were complaining about the changes.
Toward the end of our week they did add some extra cereals and fruit, but still no yoghurt or anything to go with it.

As for the rooms, ours was tired and the bathroom had corroded fittings and mouldy sealant, the windows are only single glazed which means quite a bit of noise if you overlook the road, and the TV picture was awful (although it only showed local Maltese channels anyway), the sheets and towels were changed regularly though.

The hotel is being refurbished over the winter and reading some of the latest reviews it looks like the manager has taken some of the guests concerns on board and some of the food issues might have improved.

This could be one of the best hotels on the island, lets hope the owners listen to the guests, put their differences aside and turn the Gillieru back to the 4 star hotel it should be.

Room Tip: Rooms at the front get the sun all day but can be a little noisy, rooms at the back get the best vie...
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  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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    • Service
2  Thank sheppma
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: £30 - £96 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Gillieru Harbour Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 80
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The local traditional characteristics reflected in the design of this small, but prestigious hotel, located at the waters edge overlooking the old fishing harbour and flanked to one side by an ancient chapel, only complement this quaint and idyllic setting. Yet just a minute walk away are a number of shops, restaurants, bars and other tourist activities all along the promenade. ​ An early riser can watch the colourful fishing boats unload their catch from the comfort of one’s room. The hotel has breathtaking views of St. Paul’s Islands where St. Paul was shipwrecked. All rooms have a bathroom en suite, balcony, air-conditioning, direct dialing facilities, satellite Television, mini bar, hair dryer and room safety deposits. ​ The Gillieru Harbour Hotel has ample public areas to guarantee the excellent and personalized service synonymous with the Cremona family which has run it’s catering services for over four generations. Early booking is recommended. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotel Gillieru Harbour
Gillieru Harbour St Pauls Bay
Gillieru Harbour Hotel Malta

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