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“Mistake in the number of stars!”
Review of Hotel Santana

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Hotel Santana
Ranked #4 of 14 Hotels in St. Paul's Bay
Reviewed 24 May 2014

The ministry of tourism made a mistake! The Santana got 4 stars from them, while actually it is a 2 star hotel. May be the public areas are 4 stars but rooms are much less. Every day we had to fight the flood in the open shower (no door, no curtain). For 2 days the air-condition didn't work. No electric plug converters in the reception. Extra pay for Hi-Fi, in the 21 century. Terrible view from the balcony- a field of dry, wild "vegetation". Only 1 electricity outlet in the room (considering the fact we had 2 cellular phones, 2 cameras, one tablet. it was difficult to maneuver). Location in St. Paul is quite a far away from Valetta - more than 1 hour by the public bus.
Hotel staff is friendly, and try to be helpful - under the above limitations. Breakfast is rich and reasonable.

Room Tip: Take a room to the front to avoid the "shabby" view of the rear!
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with friends
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Thank gioram
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SunrouteSantana, Guest Relations Manager at Hotel Santana, responded to this reviewResponded 26 May 2014

Dear Gioram,

Whilst thanking you for taking the time to review our hotel on TripAdvisor, I regret to note that your stay with us did not meet your expectations. I take this opportunity to apologize for any shortcomings from our end and offer you my assistance in case you have any points you wish to discuss. My address is carmen.zammit@sunroutehotels.com
I also thank you for your favourable comments concerning breakfast at our hotel.

Best regards
Carmen
Carmen Zammit
Sales and Marketing Manager
Hotel Santana

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Reviewed 21 May 2014

6.96 euros per day or part of for tv in room shows level of service. I should have known better when their reply to my email question about towels was answered with a token "we will get back to you". I asked for a south facing room but was given a north facing room, pretty small. When I asked about safe in room with my money in hand, I was told it was all in the room. As I had the money there in my hand ready to pay, I took this to mean it was coin in the slot but no, I had to go to room again to check it was a key to rent at 1.15 euros a night and spell it out to sullen staff that I actually wanted the key. Also told no south facing room available. Food that night was awful. Tasteless lukewarm plasticy. Could not eat it so had to go out to eat after complaining to manager. Next morning, as I returned from reporting that the toilet would not flush, we got a phone call to say we could have a south facing room so moved. At least the manager listened. Food improved slightly or was it that we learned what to eat and what to avoid. British staff pleasant and friendly. Maltese sullen. Never saw a smile amongst them but that seemed the norm for Malta.
Entertainment was ok on the 4 out of 7 nights we were there. Difficult to read in room because lighting so poor. Waited for outside lighting to come on so we could read Fridge went off when we left the room but this is common to lots of hotels. I do not switch my fridge off at home when I go out. Air conditioning, such as it was, controlled centrally, switched off if any door was opened and had to be switched on again. That was only the fan to the room. I do not think it ever got cold.
Bathroom floor had to be mopped up with towel every time we had a shower because the shower base was not fitted properly.
Swimming pool on roof cold. Sunbathing difficult because very little protection from wind. No wind breaks, just wall about 3 ft high. Indoor pool cold with jacuzi at same temp.
Rooms clean and housekeeping staff friendly and helpful. Very handy for bus station.
Could win free 3 day stay for filling in house questionnaire but did not bother because we would not stay again even if it was free.

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank He_of_the_shiny_head
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SunrouteSantana, Director of Sales at Hotel Santana, responded to this reviewResponded 26 May 2014

Dear reviewer,

Whilst I wish to thank you for the time taken to write the above review, I regret to note that your stay with us did not meet your expectations.
We strive to ensure 100% guest satisfaction and we would like to apologize for any shortcomings from our end. However for your benefit and the benefit of those reading this review, I would like to clarify some points mentioned above.
I would like to stress out the point that our LCD TVs found in all rooms with 12 channels are completely free of charge. However, should a guest want to have other channels listed in the pay TV section, a small charge would apply.
Rooms are allocated depending on availability. In many cases we do manage to accommodate a guests’ request, however in some cases where the hotel is operating at a high occupancy rate, such requests are not possible to accommodate. However I am pleased to hear that as soon as a south facing room was available, we did give you one.
I am sorry to hear about the misunderstanding you encountered when speaking to one of our receptionists with regards to the safe in the rooms. All rooms are equipped with a safe which is against a small supplement which has to be paid at our front office.
As I am sure you will agree, food is a matter of taste and what pleases one guest might not please another. For this reason our buffet counter offers ample choice for all guests coming from different countries and cultures. In fact on our buffet counter one finds dishes ranging from Oriental noodles to local dishes.
Finally, I would like to thank you for your kind comments regarding our members of staff. I will make sure that these comments are passed on to their respective Head of departments since they always do their best to ensure that all of our guests leave the hotel with a smile on their face.
Whilst I wish to apologize once again for not having met your expectations throughout your stay, please feel free to contact me directly on carmen.zammit@sunroutehotels.com for further details.

Kind regards
Carmen Zammit
Sales & Marketing Manager
Hotel Santana

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Reviewed 21 May 2014

Just returned from a 3 week stay at the Santana, our 5th visit. All staff were very pleasant and helpful. Our sheets were changed every three days and towels changed when requested. We had a leak in the bathroom which was repaired in less than an hour. Our room was a basic room but very adequate for our needs, and overlooked the front of the hotel(as requested) thank you. The food choice was fine both at breakfast and dinner.
We were pleased to have a walk in shower this year.
The first three days the indoor pool was quite pleasant but by the 3rd. of May it was too cold for me to use, was almost as cold as the outdoor pool.
In all a lovely holiday and we shall be returning to the Santana.

Room Tip: Ask for a front facing room, has sun all day.
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  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Thank Jean O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SunrouteSantana, Director of Sales at Hotel Santana, responded to this reviewResponded 23 May 2014

Dear Jean O.,

Thank you for reviewing our hotel on TripAdvisor and for your favourable comments. I am happy to note that you have enjoyed your stay with us and that you will soon return to the Santana.

Do let us know if you need any assistance with your next booking.

In the meantime
Best regards
Carmen

Carmen Zammit
Sales and Marketing Manager
Hotel Santana

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Reviewed 19 May 2014

My partner and I stayed at this hotel last week and were staying in a suite. Our room was large and spacious the bathroom was nicely fitted, however, we had a problem flushing the toilet and was told to pump the handle until it worked also the sink filled with brown water the first time we used the sink but this stopped after the first time. We had a fitted kitchen with tea and coffee making facilities a microwave and hotplates as well as fridge and toaster etc. Living room area had a dinning table and chairs and a rather grubby looking sofa bed. We had a large flat screen TV but only one English channel unless you paid for extra channels but we did not take up this offer. Bed linen was very clean and the cleaners worked hard we had no complaints with the cleanliness of our room just the sofa was a tad tired. The staff in the restaurant are very friendly and obliging only problem is you feel that the staffing levels are on the low side and very much is expected of the staff on duty. One toaster is not enough and three to four times through the toaster before your bread looks anything like toast. Small tea plates are used for your breakfast which is just daft as you end up with heaped plates just to get the things you want onto the miniscule plates. Also when things ran out it took an age for staff to notice and replenish so people were constantly waiting for things to be replenished. Food quality is good but sometimes cold as people leave the serving dish lids off leaving the food cold unless you take it from the very back of the dish. Dinner is generally good, but again you have the problem of waiting for things to be replenished you can have the meat but wait for vegetables. Again I think this is down to not enough staff on duty to notice when things start to run low. The roof terrace is to small for the size of the hotel with very limited sunbeds a freezing cold pool and a pool bar that is not open in May so if you are on the roof and want a drink you have to go down a flight of stairs and take the lift to the ground floor and then return with you drinks to floor 6. The hotel in general is good the staff friendly but I feel that they are expected to do to much work and this makes service slip. Having one member of staff on at breakfast and dinner is not acceptable as that member of staff is rushing round serving, getting drinks or taking pay for drinks all they need is roller skates.

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank John A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SunrouteSantana, Director of Sales at Hotel Santana, responded to this reviewResponded 20 May 2014

Dear reviewer,
I would like to thank you for your nice comments and constructive criticism. This enables our hotel to always find ways to improve our level of service.
I would like to comment on your comments regarding our main restaurant. A new toaster is going to be bought very soon. This will definitely improve efficiency in this regard.
The plates used for breakfast are of standard size; however we will discuss your comments during our next management meeting.
A chef is always behind the buffet in order to replenish the chauffeurs, however we do apologize if during peak times the food took a little bit longer to be replenished.
I would like to clarify that at no time is there 1 member staff in the restaurant, but the number of staff is proportionate to the number of guests we have for breakfast or dinner.
Whilst I wish to thank you once again, I hope that we see you at Hotel Santana in the near future.
Kind regards
Carmen

Carmen Zammit
Sales and Marketing Manager
Hotel Santana

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Reviewed 17 May 2014

I stayed at the hotel for four nights and overall I would say this is a 3 star rather than a 4 star. I wasn't entirely pleased with the room, the wash basin was very small and narrow and only really suitable for washing hands and the shower was poorly designed with no door closure leading to flooding in the bath and not very practical if others sharing a room need to use it immediately after.

The beds were very poor quality and creaky with each turn, and the bedding was poorly fitted and short in length to cover the entire mattress which is the first time I'd experienced this. The room had basic level facilities, no mini bar, a fridge that didn't work entirely well, no tea/coffee making facilities.

Breakfast was average, no fresh juice or tea/coffee (all machine operated). I was suprised that the room service/assistance isn't 24 hours. The reception is only ever manned by one person in comparison to other hotels where several staff are on hand. We had a blocked basin and were advised that the plumbers had finished their shift and would be bak the following day and on another occasion it was the first time I had experienced that there was no answer when I dialled the reception/room service.

There is no free wifi in rooms or the lobby area which is surprising for an EU destination. The hotel is close to the bus station which is a plus point.

Overall I'd rate this a 3 star hotel. At times it didn't feel like a pleasurable holiday experience and sometimes I couldn't help but thinking this is less than the accommodation I have at home which is not the feeling you want having gone away for a nice break. The hotel does need modernising.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Kstar2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SunrouteSantana, Director of Sales at Hotel Santana, responded to this reviewResponded 20 May 2014

Dear reviewer,

Whilst I would like to thank you for finding the time to write a review about Hotel Santana, I would like to elaborate on some points mentioned above.
The wash hand basin found in our newly refurbished bathrooms is of standard size and therefore is fit for the purpose. With regards to other comments made about our room, tea & coffee making facilities are available against a small supplement and the mini bar can be filled upon request.
When it comes to your comments regarding our breakfast, the selection of items on our breakfast buffet include the traditional English Breakfast items along with salads, Danish pastries, 4 types of bread, 4 types of cereals, 3 types of yogurt, fresh fruit and a fruit salad. One is to also note that tea bags are available next to coffee machines. This ensures that all guests are satisfied with our tea and coffee facilities.
Our front desk is always manned by 2 members of staff during the day and 1 member of staff during the night; this is common practice with most hotels on the Island.
I do apologize for the issue regarding the blocked basin and promise that this matter will be investigated further.
Whilst we apologize for any inconvenience you experience during your stay with us, I do hope that the above comments have cleared some issues regarding your stay.
We do hope that we will have the opportunity to have you once again at Hotel Santana.

In the meantime
Best regards
Carmen

Carmen Zammit
Sales and Marketing Manager
Hotel Santana

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Reviewed 17 May 2014

Just back from this 4 star !!! Hotel. We were on 2 nd floor which we would say just scraps by with 3 star. Lovely view of dumping ground for old sun beds and toilets. Very tired looking place, bed sheets a shade of grey ( perhaps been here when hotel was built along with carpet. Breakfast was good, just need another toaster to keep up with amount of guests, staff very good in this area, unlike reception staff. Roof top pool looks good but boy is it freezing. Only 12 sun beds by the pool the rest are down some stairs and round the corner and boy are these old sunbeds. Stayed a week and room not cleaned once. Just your grey sheets made up with bed cover on with various stains on. Love Malta but not this hotel.

Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
Thank Sue B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SunrouteSantana, Director of Sales at Hotel Santana, responded to this reviewResponded 20 May 2014

Dear reviewer,
I would like to thank you for the time taken to write this review.
Constructive criticism is always welcome here at Hotel Santana since we always look for new means to improve our service.
For the benefit of those reading this review, I would like to clarify some points mentioned above.
Whilst I thank you for your kind comments with regards our breakfast and restaurant staff, I would like to inform you, and others reading this review, that a new toaster will be bought very soon in order to increase efficiency and guest satisfaction.
The small number of sunbeds by the pool area was a result of the temperatures we were experiencing up to a few weeks ago. This year, unfortunately, the summer season started quite late and that is why the outdoor pool temperature was still low. However our indoor pool is open for the whole year apart from a short period in August, hence our guests could still utilize this pool.
With regards to the grey sheets mentioned, I would like to ensure all of our guests that our sheets are white, however since the mattresses below are of a dark blue colour, this can be seen through the sheets.
Whilst I thank you once again for your review, I do hope that you will give us the pleasure of hosting you and your family once again in the near future.

Best regards
Carmen

Carmen Zammit
Sales and Marketing Manager
Hotel Santana

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Reviewed 13 May 2014

Overall this was an average hotel. I would not rate it 4*, it's more 3*+.

Breakfast was fantastic, good food, enough, and great staffing for that area. Staff were generally extremely helpful, except for one lady on reception who was quite difficult in her manner, and everything was hard for her

We were allocated a room at the left side of the hotel, which was a lovely room (2nd floor) but asked for another as it was facing a building where builders were drilling and hammering. There is a fair amount of building work occurring in the area, it would be worth checking if this affects your room or the hotel prior to you booking.We were then allowed to see a tiny room, with quite a compressed and awkward sited balcony which I declined, then another room on the top floor reasonable size and great sea view, though some days it was very very windy and you didnt feel like going onto the balcony it felt dangerous, so not good if you have kids, and my friend didnt like it because it was too high up and she didnt like the open view railings as she felt insecure with a balcony where you can see all the way to the ground level.

Location is average, very near to the bus station, though it took us a few days to realise that, so it would have been helpful if the hotel gave us a local area map and pointed out the bus station was 3 mins away, out of the hotel and turn right, it would have saved us a lot of time walking in the wrong direction.

The hotel is in Qawra, we preferred the nearby area of Bugibba. Qawra was a quieter spot. They say on the maps that there is a sandy beach at Qawra, it's not at all, it's a badly made man made beach, that consists of tiny stones, and there is not enough of them, as there are large areas of exposed concrete. Not a nice beach at all, the water also looks deep and rough. I never used this beach. I'd not really class it as a beach, more a large patch of small stones and concrete. I wouldn't think it's a safe swimming area unless you are good at diving or a strong swimmer.

Better beaches are near Golden Bay, and Mellieha Bay, a bit further North West in the island, but greatly worth it. They are bigger, with sand and Melliha in particular is very wide and quite shallow for most of the shoreline, which is lovely. So if your mainly after the beach find a hotel near either of those two beaches.

Qawra area is quite good if you are not doing too much and don't want a beach, it has a lovely cosy character.

The hotel room was quite poorly cleaned, towels changed fine, but the room wasn't really cleaned properly. I didn't like bedding where it was changed and the new sheet has 3 holes in it, either from age or other peoples cigarette burns. For those going when it's colder there was no heating for the cold days. I ended up using two thick blankets and was still cold.The hotel is VERY dated, mostly with older people 60+ it seems. Our bathroom had cracked tiles, a shower head that was loose to the wall and incomplete walls where the door joined the wall, pretty shoddy looking overall.

However the rooftop terrace was lovely and good for catching the sun and a great view, but the rooftop pool was freezing to go into, so again didn't use that. It doesnt look like they show in their photos when it's cold and windy.

The indoor pool however was lovely, warm too, but it's poor that there is a jacuzzi and as a paying guest, they want to charge more to use it, so I didn't pay extra especially when it's out of the main season, that was poor of them. Also I had to ask 4 different people how to turn the jacuzzi on before I found the correct answers, i.e. reception do it from a distance after you pay the additional fee, better signs would help or someone in attendance to the pool area. It is poor to charge hotel guests for use of the jacuzzi, especially off the main season.

Overall it's an ok hotel, but more of a 3*+, and it's very dated and so an average-poor rating from me. I wouldn't be staying here again, also because there is no good beach in this area. If they created a proper man made beach it would be a great location.

If I was returning again, I'd stay in Bugibba or St Pauls, or near one of the other sandy beaches, near Melliha Bay or Golden Bay, or if you want the city bustle then choose Silema, Valetta, or St Julians for the nightlife.

Room Tip: If there are modernised rooms try to get one of those. Great sea view from top floors, but may be a...
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  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank sunflower1888
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SunrouteSantana, Director of Sales at Hotel Santana, responded to this reviewResponded 15 May 2014

Dear Sunflower 1888,

Thank you for reviewing our hotel on TripAdvisor and for your most favourable comments concerning our breakfast and our staff.
I regret to note that you were disappointed with certain aspects of your stay with us and take the opportunity for any inconvenience you allegedly experienced. If you would kindly e-mail me separately with more details (for instance the dates of travel and the room number), I would be able to investigate the matter and reply to you.
At the same time may I also take the opportunity to assure reviewers that currently there are no building works going on in the hotel or in its vicinity.

Best regards
Carmen
Carmen Zammit
Sales and Marketing manager
Hotel Santana

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Additional Information about Hotel Santana

Address: Triq il-Maskli, St. Paul's Bay, Island of Malta 05, Malta
Region: Malta > Island of Malta > St. Paul's Bay
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#3 Spa Hotel in St. Paul's Bay
#3 Luxury Hotel in St. Paul's Bay
Price Range: £31 - £409 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Santana 4*
Number of rooms: 202
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Whether you are travelling for pleasure or business, the 4 star Hotel Santana is certain to meet your expectations. Our personalized service, comfortable accommodation and facilities will make your stay with us a memorable one. The hotel is located just a couple of minutes walk from the picturesque, 2.6 km promenade, a sandy beach, public transport, the Aquarium, shops, bars, restaurants and many other recreational facilities such as discos, water sports facilities, a casino and a multiplex cinema. The 4 star Hotel Santana has 202 guestrooms comprising a mix of standard and superior rooms and a small number of suites. Guest facilities include a rooftop pool with children’s section and sun terraces and, for additional relaxation, there is an indoor pool and wellness facility. The attractive main restaurant, Moire, is in buffet style. La Mentha, the Italian Trattoria, is open in the evenings serving a variety of Mediterranean dishes. The hotel also has a licensed cafeteria which is open from early morning until late evening. Free WI-FI services are available throughout the hotel. We also offer a computer with free Wi-Fi services in the lobby area for use by our hotel guests. Accommodation Standard rooms Decorated in warm Mediterranean colours, the vast majority of rooms are Standard Rooms with twin beds, most of which can accommodate a 3rd bed. Twin rooms for sole use are available against a supplement. Facilities in Standard rooms include: Balcony Centrally controlled Central Heating / Air-conditioning En suite with walk-in shower or with bath and shower SAT TV with pay TV options Unstocked Mini Bar Radio Direct dialling Telephones Hair dryer Ceiling fan Safety deposit box (at a small charge) Room service Electric current 240 volts Continental Socket available in each room Kettle and crockery for making hot drinks Hair dressing services are available in the privacy of the room by appointment Superior rooms In addition to the facilities of a Standard Room, Superior Rooms are more spacious and include additional services such as tea & coffee making facilities, sofa and mini-refrigerator. The majority of Superior Rooms have two extra beds and are able to accommodate 4 persons in total. These rooms particularly appeal to couples and families who wish to retain home comforts whilst on holiday. Luxury suites The hotel also features a number of luxury suites which are uniquely defined by their original design and luxurious finishes. These suites are well sought after and advance booking is highly recommended. A traditional Maltese stone archway, which dominates the design, divides the suite into two areas - the sleeping and dining/living area. For additional comfort, the bedroom area offers double wardrobe space among other facilities. The suite is designed to provide some privacy from the living area should you have guests staying with you. The dining/living area is furnished with a fully equipped kitchenette including ceramic hob, oven and microwave, a dining table seating 4 persons and sofas opening up into a double bed. Apart from the standard facilities found in all rooms, Suites also include: • Fully equipped Kitchenette including oven/microwave • Dining area • Living area with a sofa opening up into a double bed • Full size mirror with down-lighters • Ironing board and iron Bars and restaurants Hotel Santana offers an array of food & beverage outlets to cater for the various tastes and needs of our guests. The various venues offered range from buffet breakfast, luncheons and dinners at the main restaurant, the Moire, to Mediterranean dishes, pastas and pizzas at the Trattoria La Mentha, and lighter meals and snacks at the Cafe Castagna. On most evenings live entertainment is offered at Cafe Castagna or at La Canoa Bar. There is also a pool bar which is open in the summer season. The Moire Restaurant The Moire Restaurant offers an elegant yet informal atmosphere. The restaurant serves breakfast and dinner and is open for lunch on some days. Breakfast: The hot and cold buffet breakfast offers a vast choice of items, including some health conscious options. Lunch & Dinner: Lunch is either buffet or plated, depending on occupancy. Dinner is buffet and consists of a variety of local and continental cuisine; vegetarian options are also available. La Mentha Trattoria and Bar Trattoria La Mentha offers informal dining with a bar lounge which is elegant yet cosy. This trattoria specializes in Italian cuisine and serves a good selection of local and Mediterranean dishes including pastas and pizzas. A salad bar and specialties of the day are also available. Cafe Castagna The cafeteria is informal yet smart and comfortable. It offers a variety of hot and cold beverages, snacks, ice-cream and mouth-watering pastries, most of which are baked on the premises. Pool Bar The rooftop pool bar and terraces enjoy 360' panoramic sea and country views. A choice of dishes, hot and cold snacks, ice creams and beverages are available. The pool terraces also serve as a venue for evening entertainment during the high season. Leisure Facilities Hotel Santana has a roof top swimming pool as well as 3 sunbathing terraces, all enjoying open sea and country views. The hotel also features a wellness centre (offering a range of health and beauty treatments, sauna, hydrotherapy bath, whirlpool and an indoor pool (heated in winter) which is open all year round except for 2 weeks in the July-September period. A small fitness room is also available. Meeting and banquets Hotel Santana offers a choice of two conference/banquet venues; the Paisley Room and the Cashmere Lounge. Both are equipped with video projection, but other conference equipment can also be provided at a charge. The Cashmere Lounge is located on the top floor and seats a maximum of 125 people theatre style. It is also ideal for banqueting with its own lounge bar and open view terraces. The Paisley Room seats a maximum of 90 people theatre style and is located on the lower level next to the main restaurant. A smaller syndicate room and secretarial services are also available. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Santana Hotel Malta
Santana Hotel St Pauls Bay
Santana Malta
Hotel Santana Malta
Santana St Pauls Bay

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