The Coral Hotel really exceeded my expectations. Paying a little under £17 per night for my room, which included breakfast, I really had no reason to complain.
After arriving on the last flight of the day into Malta, it was not until around 1.15am that I reached the hotel. The door was locked but a friendly member of staff quickly appeared and checked me into room 301.
The room was one at the back of the hotel and it didn't really face anything of interest - just balconies of neighbouring properties and a wall! If you are going to stay here, insist that your room is at the front of the hotel. The one advantage of the back of the hotel was its peacefulness. In the room were two twin beds (a little annoying as a single traveller), a large wardrobe with more than enough hangers, a table (without any chairs), a dresser and a stool, a fridge (a paid for service), ceiling fan and air conditioning (soon to be charged for, I believe). The bathroom offered a bath with shower, toilet and wash basin, plus a two bars of soap and two shower caps. The hotel provided bath and hand towels too.
After a good night's sleep, I sampled the hotel's breakfast and it was simple, but adequate. Cereals, meats and cheese (one variety of each), cake (very tasty), toast, sausages, bacon, baked beans, fried bread, eggs etc. Two varieties of juice and a number of hot drinks were also provided. Breakfast was only served until 9.30am, which was a little too early for me! On some mornings, we were allowed to stay in the restaurant beyond that time, whilst on the last morning the staff turned the lights off at 9.30am on the dot - that being our cue to leave.
The maid service was good and the room was very clean, with the exception of some rather long hairs in two of my drawers. This wasn't too much of an issue since I ended up living out of my suitcase for the 4-night stay. The bed was made every day and towels replaced every other day, which again wasn't a problem. About an hour before leaving, the maid knocked on the door to ask if I had enjoyed my stay and to wish me a pleasant journey home.
The hotel's pool was located on the roof top. It wasn't a huge pool and it wasn't particularly warm either, but it was a nice facility. With plenty of sunbeds to go around and some great views over Bugibba and beyond, it was a nice place to spend some time. Beneath the pool (on the sixth floor) was a wash room and toilet, so ideal for those with a late flight home. After checking out of the hotel, guests can continue to use the facilities and freshen up before leaving. A vending machine serving drinks was also available; €1.60 for soft drinks and €0.90 for water.
For those not taking advantage of the hotel's very affordable half board option, Bugibba seafront is only 5-10 minutes away on foot, and there are no end of restaurants and bars serving all sorts of food. On our last night, we visited Granny's, which offered good food at good prices, and the service was great too. Definitely worth a visit.
Getting around the island from here is easy, thanks to the nearby bus stops. For those preferring to drive (as we did), ample parking is available right outside the hotel.
Checking out of the hotel was quick but a little disappointing. The gentleman on the front desk took my key, glanced at a piece of paper and muttered "Thank you". I didn't feel any expression of gratitude for my being there. There wasn't even a "goodbye".
Even as a budget hotel, I would like to see the following changes -
(1) Replacing the pillows in the bedrooms. They were very flat, no doubt the result of lots of use.
(2) An improved quality of maintenance. In my bathroom were two loose floor tiles and a shower head that seemed to spray everywhere. The bed was also rather creaky.
(3) The lock on the bedroom door seemed a little unusual. It had to be locked from the inside and the card then inserted into a slot in order to provide power. When somebody knocks on the door or even in the event of a fire, getting it open again is going to take time.
(4) Extended breakfast times. I have stayed in a number of hotels and no breakfasts have ever stopped being served so early.
(5) Improved juices at breakfast. Two varieties of juice were offered (one orange in colour, one red) but both tasted exactly the same - awful. They tasted like the vitamin C drinks where you dissolve a chalky tablet into water.
(6) Not to lock the doors to the hotel in the evening. Returning to the hotel - some nights as early as 10.30pm - the doors were locked and it was necessary to knock for access. I understand the need to lock the doors but perhaps not until 1.00am - the time at which the hotel bar closes (as advertised right outside).
All in all though, this was a really enjoyable visit and I would definitely return again.
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- Also Known As:
- Coral Hotel Malta/Bugibba