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“Filthy outside areas - poor standards”
Review of Porto Azzurro

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Porto Azzurro
Ranked #5 of 14 Hotels in St. Paul's Bay
Reviewed 19 August 2010

Having visited and stayed at the 'Porto Azzurro in Malta since it first opened and always being more than satisfied with the rooms service etc. Having just returned from a two week ''break'' I couldn't begin to describe the filth around the hotel personally clearing festering rubbish located near to the terraced area around the pool, this having been there since our arrival. We couldn't use the now much smaller outside area for eating as it was very rarely cleaned - ashtrays full, tables dirty. Our room was adequate but even here the level of cleanliness left a lot to be desired - bedding changed regularly but the bathroom never cleaned effectively. I took pictures to pass on to the company I booked with recommending them not to use the hotel, which incidently is a Med Hotel of a very poor standard not deserving to be called 3 star.

  • Stayed: August 2010, travelled with family
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2  Thank kirtor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 16 August 2010

Stayed at this hotel as part of a package holiday with Thomas Cook. I was very apprehensive about our choice after reading some of the negative reviews here (so much so I considered changing our booking). However we decided to go ahead with an open mind so here is my honest and inpartial review of our experience. It aims to be constructive feedback for both the hotel management and other holidaymakers.

We stayed in a 1 bedroom apartment on a self-catering basis. The apartment was looking a little tired in places (bit of paint would go a long way). However it was a perfectly servicable base for our holiday with a few 'extras' thrown in that you wouldn't necessarily expect from a 2 star hotel... ie. sky tv and air conditioning. We had a few ‘wear and tear’ issues ie. one of our ceiling fans was broken; and the power indicators on the cooker hob were worn out so made using it difficult. However we reported these to reception and they were dealt with within 24 hours. On the plus side, we had a nice big terrace area and plenty of towels.

The hotel’s pool area was nice - big pool and lots of sunbeds and terrace areas. Despite visiting in August, we never failed to get a sun lounger at any time of the day. Again, wear and tear was evident (pool tiles could do with a good clean and some of the sunbeds need replacing). The whirlpool never worked during the week we were there. The poolside bar was rarely open too which was a shame, although you could purchase drinks from hotel bar and shop and bring them to pool area.

We only eat in the hotel’s bar once, choosing from the bar/snacks menu. It was perfectly adequate, reasonably priced and edible, although the lighting really could do with improving in some of the corners so you can read the menu properly!

The hotel’s shop was very good. Open from around 9am-7pm, we found it well stocked and very reasonably priced.

All the staff at the hotel we dealt with were helpful, friendly when approached, and gave us some great local tips.

In the immediate locality there are some good places to eat. I’ve put separate reviews of the places we visited on here.

Transport links around the hotel are also good – bus stop at bottom of hill. Busses very cheap and regular service during the daytime. Be aware some services, including the number 48 bus to Buggiba, finish early in the evening. Timetables are a non entity so have patience and sunscreen and allow plenty of time for your journeys! Taxis are available though and the hotel offers prefential rates with one company.

In conclusion, this hotel has seen better days and would benefit from investment/refurb. But it does offers basic, no frills accomodation for those of us who prefer to pay less to have a simple base to operate from and use money instead for excersions and nice meals out. I would recommend this hotel to a friend as long as they weren't too fussy and could overlook luxeries for a cheaper price.

That aside, here are our recommendations to the hotel management on simple improvements:

- Put some information in the rooms for guests, even if it is just an A4 sheet on the wall with instructions on working the air conditioning! We had several trips to reception during our stay for trivial questions which could have been easily avoided. We appreciate it’s a budget hotel, but small bits of pro-active information (even if just about the room) would make a big difference.

- Update your website. I do feel the hotel’s website is not a true reflection of reality. Had I based my expection on what I’d have read on your website rather than Thomas Cook website,I would have been bitterly disappointed. There is nothing wrong with budget accommodation as long as you don’t try and sell it as a higher quality establishment. Your guests will vote with their feet and air the concerns with other holiday makers via sites like this.

- Carry out regular spot and maintenance checks in each of the apartments to avoid customer dissappontment in future. Again, budget is fine but everything provided should work.

- Make sure rooms are ready for guests in good time. Our flight had been delayed so we arrived at your hotel an hour later than you would have been expecting. Despite this, our room wasn’t ready and we had to wait an additional hour.

  • Stayed: July 2010, travelled with friends
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1  Thank holidaylover111
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 August 2010

Have been back from Porto Azzurro for 2 weeks. Went on a deal holiday, and ok had a short presentation regarding timeshares, but there was no pressure sales, hassle, or any normal timeshare "issues". After the presentation never got 'hassled again, and all very friendlt RCI staff'.
Hotel was ok a wee bit tired, but for the price i felt it was a presentable hotel. For 3* I was very impressed. Our room was clean and tidy, clean fresh sheets, (not stained or ripped) and beds were made daily, fresh clean white towels daily, our room was serviced daily 7 days a week.
The staff are wonderfully friendly and helpful.
The restaurant had a good choice for breakfast and evening meals. Never got bored of the choice as it varied each night.
The only thing i would say is the pudding offered was the same choice each night, cheese cake, which is a bit sickly for 14 days running, but it was a lovely cheese cake.
One complaint i would make is the shortage of crockery in the restaurant, and cups and glasses need an increase in numbers too. (felt so sorry for the girl (Doreen )who manages the restaurant on her own for breakfast as she put up with some crap from holiday makers due to a shortage of cups, glasses, and crockery - she is a worker not a manager, speak to management if you have a problem !!!!!)
All the staff were amazingly friendly, helpful, and always smiling. Never grumpy (unless complaining , rude holiday makers having a go simply because they wanted a fried egg for breakfast and not scrambled or boiled - dont blame staff being wicked off with that to be fair......)
Chef's s 2 of them share the job - are both fabulous cooks, and I have to say your fresh daily fish choice was great.... thanks guys........
Had two weeks here and thoroughly enjoyed my holiday, would definately go back and would definately recommend to a friend or family member.

Nice one Porto Azzuro - made my holiday.

Loved the area as quiet and peaceful, fabulous views over the harbour to St Pauls. Yet a simple bus ride and you are in Buggibba or St Jullians and the night life if all go............

Pool bar staff (Ehren and Ryan ) WE LOVE YOU GUYS..................

Until next time ............................

  • Stayed: July 2010, travelled with family
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Thank emswills
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 August 2010

Stayed at this hotel two weeks ago for 14 nights on bed and breakfast and we were extremely disappointed. Firstly the rooms shown on the official Porto Azzuro website are totally different to the one's you will be staying in, unless you are staying in a timeshare, which in my eyes is deceit. It appears that as the electric in Malta is currently expensive the tourists have to suffer. The A/C were on timers and the outside balcony light was on a timer from 9pm to midnight. This is unacceptable as there was no mention of this when we made our booking. The lifts are either too small or don't work and if you are unfortunate enough to be disabled, as our daughter is, then this is not the place for you. The restaurant for breakfast is open until 10am yet if you go down 5 minutes before you will find next to nothing. The food is not refilled and if you wanted to have breakfast just before 10 then you should have a FULL choice of food. Apart from this finding crockery etc is an absolute joke-there is just not enough, and its almost laughable. On duty you will find 1 waitress serving 100+ and its totally disgraceful for the service we receive and for the poor waitress who takes all the flack. Restaurant absolutely boiling hot as A/c again used carefully! Overall must say the staff were nice and friendly, and the bar downstairs was fairly decent. Was tried to be sold timeshare in conjunction with this hotel, but not stupid enough-once bitten twice shy, as they say......................

  • Stayed: July 2010, travelled with family
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Thank prazefc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 August 2010

We returned from a week break at the Porto Azzuro last Tuesday, and felt the need to defend the place which has had so many negative comments on here. In all honesty I was absolutely dreading staying here, but was pleasantly suprised when I unlocked the door to our 1 bed apartment. Granted the room was a little tired, but it was clean. The bed linen and towels were clean and fresh, the fridge was spotless as was the microwave and toaster. The bathroom again a bit weary but the shower was excellent and unlike many places I have stayed there was endless hot water. Dont let the comment about the pool being across the road put you off, this road is purely an area for hotel guests car parking, it is basically a cul de sac and therefore is not open to thru traffic. I loved the pool area, there were plenty of sunbeds, and although the pool doesn't officially open until 9, you will find plenty of towels reserving the best sunbeds from about 7.30am. As for the timeshare people, yes there are a number of them they have an office up near the pool bar and although I did see them turning up for work at about 9.30 am every morning, not once was I approached by them, nor did I see them approach anyone else by the pool. They were there representing Club Malta, and giving presentations for those holiday makers who wanted them. They certainly didn't bother us. Xemxija itself is fairly quiet, there are a handful of nice restaurants, in particular we liked the Fortress and Eureka, two completely different eateries, but both serving excellent food. The views across the harbour to St Pauls Bay are delightful. We wanted a relaxing Holiday and that is exactly what we got, not much to do for my 15 year old daughter in the way of nightlife, if you want busy bars and clubs then you need to head to Buggiba. All in all we had a good holiday and wouldn't have a problem staying at the Porto Azzuro again.

  • Stayed: July 2010, travelled with family
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Thank TT14866
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 July 2010

Reviews for this place have been mixed. But given the price, location, service and facilities I think we should give this place its dues.

Its been classed as a 3start hotel and it is. Some say building work is going on daily and starts too early. Well, it’s a holiday and who is staying in the room the whole day... get your breakfast, get out and explore.

At first I was in ground floor but after two days was moved to a room with a sea view and a balcony too. It was lovely. The cleaning service was every 4 days, change of sheets and cleaning of the floor. Plenty of toilet rolls and nothing from personal items was ever touched. The personnel are top notch, polite and well mannered.

Nothing is ever too much trouble for this great bunch of people!
I don’t know where to start?!
Rachel, the duty manager always helpful with advice and practical, anything you need simply ask her. Extremely efficient. Said and done, she will listen, advice, make calls and move things around at speed.

Isabel at reception, great person and very helpful.

Joseph, the night reception a well travelled and kind gentleman who will do his utmost to help you.

Wilson [or Winston] the night reception too, great guy, kind and polite, at anytime ready and willing to help.

The hotel has a minimarket with most things one needs [food, newspapers, drinks etc] and the “young man” in there [well he is 74 y/o] is a great person and so is the girl who works there also.

A small library in the loby, ask reception for the Key.

Internet Access, free wireless or pay 3 Euros for 75 Minutes at Hotel computers.

I found them all to be terrifically efficient and personable and definitely will go again to that hotel.

Porto Azzurro has a bar downstairs open till early morning and with a pool table. Also has a big outdoors swimming pool that I visited at last 4 days and also and indoor small pool and a Jacuzzi. Showers to be used after swimming and a scuba diving shop.

Rooms are clean, with a kitchenette with two hot plates and a fridge. I would have like the hot plates to be heated fast, but it was ok. Also has a microwave oven and all that is needed to cook simple meals. Pan, frying pan, plenty of plates, spoons, fork, cheese grater, wooden spoon, laden, flat turner for eggs and bacon and a kettle and a toaster too.

The kettle could do with a replacement or cleaning as it had lime scale, buts ok. Clean bathroom, toilet, bathtub, shower all in good order.

Going out of the hotel one could turn left and go to Mellieha or Golden Beach or Gozo and turning right one can go and explore Malta from Qawra, Buggiba, Sliemma, St Julians, or to Naxar, Mosta, Mdina Rabat. Valleta and till Buggia.

Malta is a small place, no more than 30 km, but has so many localized centers that is surprising and everyday there is something to do. Dripping in history, with a rugged terrains, little towns and countryside mixed, has anything needed in a concentrated form for everyone and caters to every taste.

I been there before, love the place and the people and will go there again. Maltese are proud people without being arrogant, are helpful and polite without being condescending or invasive and you soon feel that they are kind and generous to a fault.

The place is safe, free from criminality and it has a gentle pace, despite having 5 millions tourist per year, almost 10-12 time the island’s populations, Malta has managed to retain its class and style. Harmony, peace, couture, history, archaeology and cross road of different civilizations all in that tiny island. That is Malta.

If you are looking for a 18-30 style holiday with drinks, fights, cries and scream, this place definitely isn’t for you. : )
Porto Azzurro, has 110 rooms, and despite having so many visitors that change and come-go daily, the staff is EXCELLENT.

For service, location and the quality of its staff, I would give this place a 5 Star service.

We are treated well, our concerns acted on time, the advice given was accurate, the car Hire was provided for us by Marvic Car Hire, a great family run business.
Despite being small, Malta needs a car to visit and enjoy. To go to the sandy beaches [very few have sand, most are rocky ones] visit the neighboring island of Gozo, or to go out for a drink / dinner at night time.

Marv is based in Buggiba, behind the Trolleys supermarket and Mr Kebab restaurant[ a lovely place to visit] just opposite the Buggiba Post Office. His phone No is +356 9987 1879. Give him a try and you wont be disappointed, he can collect you from the airport, or bring the car to your hotel. When you leave you simply drop the key at your hotel reception. I used his car’s twice and am very satisfied with the very affordable sevice provided.

This is his email in case you ever need it. Simple, phone and he will come through for you, no need for long internet searches, comparisons and so one, much better than msot big car hire companies and willing to adapt to your needs day or night. info@marviccarhire.com

This was Porto Azzurro for me and Malta, great hotel located in wonderful and beautiful place.

With thanks to the Management of Porto Azzurro, all the staff and everyone we met in Malta.

London 29 July, 2010

P.S. Do I have any criticism?
Well, yes I do, in Maltesse roads No One Indicates, either left or right.LoL. But all is forgiven, 3 years ago, cars there drove at terrifying speed, buses too, bumper to bumper, now that has changed so its a major improvement.
P.S.2. Don't book directly at the hotel, its less expensive to book through internet holiday providers, I did it with travelrepublic.

Take it easy and enjoy the Maltesse Islands.

  • Stayed: July 2010, travelled solo
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1  Thank b41_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 July 2010

I would like to say that even though my title states "a little tired" this is the second time I have visited the Porto Azzuro and I feel that I state a true and fair write up on it. We arrived on the 22nd June and had to wait in reception for the cleaners to finish cleaning it. Which is not really that acceptable but we went to have a walk and an ice cream which is down the road to the left of the hotel in a pull in, they sell everything wine, beer, crisps, sarnies and of course delicious ice cream, also in the same lay by is a veg stall which is great if you are self catering.
Anyway we were shown to our room which was far too small to spend a fortnight in marred by the fact that it had one double bed, and although myself and my friend like each other its not that much!
So I went to the reception and we were given a larger room, which contained two single beds, a small kitchenette, and bathroom and balcony.
The kitchenette was equipped but the cooker hob was not clearly marked which rings were which and were on when they were off. Utensils were few and far between a cheese grater would have been useful so would a flat spatula for eggs and perhaps some egg cups?
But we managed to cook some lovely meals (good job we are both gifted in the cooking department)
The room itself was cleaned but a shortage of loo rolls was a problem and it is looking a little tired and perhaps a clean of the windows and in the framing would give it more appeal. But on the whole I am not going to knock it too far.
Breakfasts can be purchased separately at 3.50 euros, it is ok. The lady who is in the dining room is efficient, but one day she was off and the bowl for used tea bags was overflowing and there were no cups, the cheeses were not replenished and guests were having to ask all the time. Also could some fried eggs be placed on the menu? scrambled and boiled are available. Also the utensils to serve are often left in the containers (usually by holiday makers) which makes them hot to the touch and children helping themselves could be burnt. Maybe tinned tomatoes would be better as well rather than the cooked version they have now. But like I say its fair.
The pool is not looking so good as it was last year either the parasols have now gone completely bald and you are struggling for shade from the sun. Litter and bottles are also left at the pool. In fact there are poles now rather than parasols.
The reception staff I found helpful and also the nice gentleman that works in the shop and the lovely girl Maxine, and the lady in the dining room were great.
We had a fire alarm go off at around midnight luckily we were still up at that time however no apology was given by the management for the inconvenience. The bar is not that great I was ignored by the young man in the bar and after waiting 15 mins with only one other to serve I left it.
The local eateries, well lets see, The fortress very expensive for disappointing fayre, lovely surroundings but poor portions.
The Munchy Moose I recommended last year, however not so good this time, we ordered Pizza with chillies no chillies to be seen when we were asked if we enjoyed our meal we stated that there were no chillies, they took a grump and brought a bottle of tabasco sauce, needless to say no more pizzas for us.
The best food in the area is Seashells Chip shop (not only fish and chips I might add) varied menu too much to mention. This is on Tourist Street in Bugibba.
And if you like Indian Cuisine the Star of India in Xemjiha service great and food delicious and I mean delicious. With great views over the bay.
I found on our trip to Sliema that the difference in eateries was vast one after the other with great choices besides being a great resort.
Also in response to the gentleman complaining about building works, he is not wrong, there was a huge tower crane which hovered above our room throughout our stay and there is building work going on, however the noise was not bad for us as we were on the front, the main noise is from the road at the bottom and the sounding of car horns plus barking dogs from neighbouring houses.
There are time share guys there but they dont bother you, unduly but we did get a call from one whilst in our room on the phone so be warned.
If you want a basic holiday no frills and inexpensive and just a base this is for you. If not perhaps you should be paying a little more money for excellence.
However, I do not think I shall be returning which is a shame because it could be so nice it needs some tweeks here and there.
Also after working in a five star hotel in Britain I think I know what I mean.
However Porto Azzuro I am sure you are doing your best but a little harder would go along way.
All opinions are different and I would recommend but with no high expectations. One more thing the lift is too small when you have large cases it carries 3 persons only.

  • Stayed: June 2010, travelled with friends
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Thank Julie G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Porto Azzurro

Address: Ridott Street, Xemxija Bay, St. Paul's Bay, Island of Malta SPB 15, Malta
Region: Malta > Island of Malta > St. Paul's Bay
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#1 Best Value Hotel in St. Paul's Bay
Price Range: £16 - £69 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Porto Azzurro 3*
Number of rooms: 110
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Porto Azzurro. The Porto Aparthotel, a family run Aparthotel in Xemxija Bay, is prominently situated overlooking the picturesque St.Paul's Bay with breathtaking views of the Maltese countryside. The resort apartments and hotel rooms are stylish and comfortable and provide a luxurious base for a truly relaxing holiday. The main towns nearby are Mellieha, St Pauls Bay and the tourist resort of Bugibba. The sandy beaches of Golden Sands and Mellieha Bay are less than 3 kilometers away. The hotel's apartments are stylish and comfortable and provide a luxurious base for a truly relaxing holiday. All the apartments have a bathroom or shower en suite, air conditioning, fully equipped kitchen complete with a microwave oven, television, safety deposit box and direct dial telephone. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Porto Azzurro Hotel St. Paul`s Bay
Porto Azzurro St Pauls Bay
Porto Azzurro Malta

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