Archi+ gives glimpses of project bringing first ibis hotel to Malta’s shores

Respected local architecture firm Archi+ has released the first photos from a project it worked on, establishing Malta’s first branch of the well-known multinational ibis hotel chain.

The project was worked on in collaboration with Archi+ partner construction firm Elbros.

Delving into the design process, the architecture firm. which worked as Design Consultant on the project, reflects that while the architectural shell was set, it was briefed to work alongside ibis’s “proven guidelines and standards to ensure that the hotel’s interiors are “perfectly functional” and “elevated with a confident design aesthetic.”

This aesthetic was largely informed by the rugged textures and warm colour palette of natural Maltese landscapes, Archi+ reflects, with exposed off shutter concrete.

Additionally, steel mesh furniture was softened with the use of arched elements and a recurring prickly pear theme, achieving an interior space that acknowledges the sensibilities of the tourism sector whilst retaining a “strong design narrative.”

This will be the first time the economy hotel chain has come to Malta, although its parent company, Accor, does already have a presence on the island’s shores, with its Mercure St Julain’s establishment.

Additionally, in mid-2020 it was reported that the group had signed an agreement with local Stivala Group to develop a new hotel in Sliema, although this does not yet seem to have materialised.

Ibis is one of the world’s leading hotel brands, with 2043 hotels worldwide, across all six inhabited continents.

Article credits: https://whoswho.mt/en/archi-gives-glimpses-of-project-bringing-first-ibis-to-malta-s-shores
Grand Master’s Palace Restoration Works

The project will cost approximately €28 million, with the initial phase being cofinanced by the European Union as part of the European Fund for Regional Development for the sum of €10 million. The subsequent phase, at a cost of around €18 million, is being financed by the Maltese government. The initial phase is expected to be completed by the end of next year, with the entire project being ready by 2025.

The restoration of the palace’s corridors is part of the initial phase of this ambitious project which, once completed, will offer visitors a totally different experience of the palace to the one enjoyed previously.

 

Colours of Malta joins Hosts Global Alliance

Hosts Global are thrilled to announce their new Hosts Global Members and Affiliates that will be curating breathtaking events in Greece, Jamaica, and Malta. Welcome Conceptours, Glamour DMC, and Colours of Malta! These destinations will have your guests dreaming of Azul waters, warm breezes, unmatched architecture and culture, and cuisines that will leave them speechless.

“We are proud to welcome Conceptours, Glamour DMC, and Colours of Malta to our Hosts family. This addition to our portfolio is a continuation of our ongoing plan to bring best in class solutions globally to our clients,” said Kurt Paben, CEO for Hosts Global. Hosts Global offers over 250 destinations around the world to partner with you to create meaningful and memorable events.

Find out more about Hosts Global here: https://hosts-global.com/

Malta’s Roberta Metsola Wins European Parliament President Election

Roberta Metsola has officially won the election to become the next European Parliament President.

Metsola beat out three other candidates in the first round of voting, getting the required 50%+1 majority from all MEPs. Metsola had the support of three of the biggest EU political parties, the EPP, the S&D, and Renew.

She won 458 votes of 616 eligible votes in parliament, winning on the first round of voting.

Lovin Malta is informed that Metsola will give a press conference at 12pm.

Metsola has made history today, by not only becoming the youngest ever President, but by occupying the most important role any Maltese person has had on the international stage.

She will occupy the role for at least another two and a half years.

Who is Roberta Metsola?

Metsola, a major figure within the Nationalist Party, needs little introduction to a Maltese audience.

Metsola got elected to the European Parliament in 2013, ten years after she first got into EU politics, after Simon Busuttil relinquished his MEP post to become leader of the Nationalist Party.

A year later, she retained her seat after winning over 32,000 first-count votes at the next MEP election, making her the PN’s most popular candidate and the second most popular national candidate. She increased that margin by the time 2019 rolled around.

In November 2020, Metsola was elected as First Vice-President of the European Parliament replacing Mairead McGuinness who became European Commissioner.

As an MEP, Metsola has focused heavily on irregular migration, presenting landmark proposals that could make the Mediterranean a safer place for everyone.

Metsola also worked hard to finally address SLAPP lawsuits, which sees powerful figures look to silence journalists and citizens with vexatious multi-million euro law suits. She’s also tackled topics ranging from LGBT+ rights and AI regulation to media freedom and foreign affairs.

What does the European Parliament President do? 

The role of the European Parliament President is similar to that of the Speaker of national parliaments.

Metsola will get to open plenary debates in Strasbourg, sometimes even with her own speech, instruct MEPs when it is their turn to speak, ensure parliamentary procedures are properly followed, direct voting procedures and announce voting results.

Her signature will be required for EU laws and the EU budget to pass.

She will also chair the Conference of Presidents of the European Parliament, where presidents of the EP’s political groups convene to draw up the parliament’s agenda.

Metsola will also be given some bureaucratic responsibilities, chairing the Bureau of the European Parliament, which discusses administrative and budgetary issues in collaboration with the 14 Vice-Presidents and five Quaestors.

Most importantly, as president, Metsola will essentially be the face of the Parliament when dealing with the outside world, including discussions with leaders of EU member states, other countries, NGOs and associations and other EU institutions.

She will represent the parliament in all legal matters and at all international fora, including at European Council meetings, where she will deliver the EP’s views to heads of state and government of the EU’s 27 member states, including Malta’s Prime Minister Robert Abela.

This will mean she will be involved in international politics at the highest level.

Article credits: https://lovinmalta.com/ewropej/roberta-metsola-wins-european-parliament-president-election/
Valletta, Malta, Named As The Best European City For Wellness

What does it mean to be well? Our health and well-being rely on a number of factors, including the environment we live in, the exercise we get, and the ability to relax and enjoy the simple things in life. Now, in light of COVID, it seems that we are all seeking to be the healthiest that we can be.

The GAP Jeans Department decided to carry out a study to reveal the wellbeing hotspot of Europe. Obviously, in the hope you would wear your favorite skinny jeans as you comfortably globe-trotted around the world!

The study analyzed 28 capitals of the EU and the UK, investigating several factors that contribute to wellness, with Valletta, Malta named the winner. The criteria included:

· The amount of air pollution in each city
· The percentage of green space in each city
· The number of running clubs in each city per capita (per 100,000 people)
· The number of gyms in each city per capita
· The number of spas in each city per capita
· Google searches for healthy food and snacks in each city per capita
· The hours of sunlight in each city
· Drinking water quality in each city

The analysis dives into each factor, finally measuring a total score to find the best European capital for wellness.

Hitting the top of the charts for wellness is Valletta. The Maltese capital scores 100 on the wellness index thanks to its health and fitness fanaticism. In fact, Valletta achieves high scores across the board, including a large number of running clubs (21), 13 spas, and hours of sunlight.

Brussels and Helsinki took second and third on the index with scores of 88 and 87.

Back to Malta – there is a lot to love. This archipelago located in the heart of the Mediterranean Sea, has been acclaimed for its luxurious accommodations, warm climate, and 7,000 years of history. A visit to Malta is to immerse oneself in centuries of history while enjoying the very best of modern life and curated experiences to meet each traveler’s personal desires. Malta has been acclaimed for its posh accommodations, including luxury hotels, historic boutique hotels, Palazzos, private villas, and historic farmhouses. You can stay in a restored 16th– or 17th-century palazzo, delight in luxury accommodation built into fortifications of an ancient city, with views across the Grand Harbour, or seek out the character of the many beautiful boutique hotels dotted throughout Valletta, a UNESCO World Heritage capital, as well as throughout Malta and its sister island of Gozo.

The Malta Michelin Guide highlights the outstanding restaurants, breadth of cuisine styles, and culinary skills found in Malta, Gozo, and Comino. The winners of the first stars to be awarded in Malta are:

De Mondion – Chef Kevin Bonello
• Noni – Chef Jonathan Brincat
• Under Grain – Chef Victor Borg

In addition to the Michelin starred restaurants, Malta, of course, also offers travelers a diverse culinary experience, from the traditional plate of eclectic Mediterranean food curated by a relationship between the Maltese and the countless civilizations that occupied the island. One can also enjoy gourmet meals cooked by a private local chef at your luxury villa or historic farmhouse in Gozo. Menus are changed frequently according to season, availability, or the chef’s impulse.

Many historic sites can be booked for after-hour private tours.  St. John’s Co-Cathedral Tours is one example. Completed in 1577, The St. John’s Co-Cathedral was designed by Girolamo Cassar, a praised Maltese architect also responsible for building the Grand Master’s Palace in Valletta.

And don’t forget a trip to the vineyards! Now winning accolades in international competitions, Maltese vineyards are renowned in particular for their high-quality boutique wines. Connoisseurs will especially appreciate the indigenous Maltese grapes – the girgentina and the gellewza.

To your health!

Article credits: https://www.forbes.com/sites/debbikickham/2021/12/06/valletta-malta-named-as-the-best-european-city-for-wellness/?sh=7478e40136f1
31 productions were filmed in Malta during the pandemic

The film industry in Malta generated €98 million between March 2020 and December 2021, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the Malta Film Commission said on Tuesday.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, 31 productions were filmed in Malta.

Film commissioner Johann Grech, speaking at the Malta Film Studios in Kalkara, said recent productions in Malta included feature films, television series, documentaries and reality shows.

Last year, a total of 22 productions took place on the island and generated €68 million for the economy.

He said that a cash rebate scheme managed by the commission had enabled foreign productions to benefit from a rebate of up to 40% of expenditure.

Read the full article here: https://timesofmalta.com/articles/view/98-million-generated-by-the-local-film-industry-despite-the-pandemic.927106

 

 

Mdina’s de Mondion ranks in ‘top 600 restaurants in the world’ list

Housed within the 17th century Xara Palace Relais & Châteauxis boutique hotel, Mdina fine-dining join ‘de Mondion’ is hands down a staple for any foodies living in Malta.

The restaurant is particularly known for its inimitable take on Mediterranean cuisine, so much so that it was recently awarded a Michelin star.

As if that wasn’t enough praise, acclaimed international restaurant guide La Liste ranked it amongst the top 600 restaurants around the world.

Knights era reservoir found under Valletta ditch

A knights-era water reservoir has been discovered beneath the entrance to St Andrew’s Ditch in Valletta, a few metres down from the Hotel Excelsior.

An opening was discovered by accident on Sunday, and then another was found. Each has a depth of some 7.5m. The structure was found to be one of a number of reservoirs built by the knights for water storage in the fortified city. The structure, however, is in a sorry state with broken slabs and missing arches that have rendered it unsafe and unstable.

The gaping hole that turned out to be the entrance was discovered by architect Ruben Paul Borg who said it appeared dangerous since cars park in the area every day.

The reservoir, although forgotten, had been documented by the British. It had a capacity of 343,000 gallons

Subterranean Valletta has been the focus of recent public attention, with Heritage Malta opening a series of 500-year-old tunnels beneath the city for public viewing.

The tours include another reservoir, right beneath Great Siege Square, that dates back to the 16th century. At the time, owing to a shortage of water, the authorities in the city banned private gardens and required water reservoirs to be built under all houses.

The knights, showing great engineering skills, had built the aqueduct system to carry water from the Rabat area to Valletta, but the system was vulnerable to enemy attacks in uncertain times.

One small freshwater stream does flow into Valletta however. It emerges in the large basement of the Archbishop’s Palace.

Read the full article: https://timesofmalta.com/articles/view/knights-era-reservoir-found-under-valletta-ditch.922855

 

Season’s Greetings from COM and our Partners

New direct routes for Zagreb, Croatia & Parma, Italy

Malta International Airport (MIA) welcomed the first two flights from Zagreb and Parma, which will be operated on Tuesdays and Saturdays throughout winter by Lauda Europe and Malta Air respectively, both of which are part of Ryanair Holdings. While Italy is one of Malta International Airport’s most popular markets, connected by flights to 16 out of its 20 regions, the Zagreb route is the first direct link between Malta and Croatia.

The capital of Croatia is characterised by red-roofed buildings, narrow cobbled streets snaking through the old Upper Town, and grand architecture dating to the times of the Habsburgs dominating the busier Lower Town. While the city brims with charm and activity all year, as Christmas rolls around, Zagreb’s festive attire and renowned street markets heighten its appeal as a winter destination.

By venturing just outside the city, visitors can also enjoy a spot of adventure down one of Mount Medvednica’s five ski runs. Other interesting places which are easily reachable from Zagreb and ideal for a day trip include Plitvice Lakes, which turn into a winter wonderland after snowfall, the sleepy town of Rastoke, and Karlovac where one of Croatia’s top beers is brewed.

While Croatia’s go-to tipple is beer, with the country producing 90% of all beer sold locally, Parma is well known for Lambrusco wine, Parmesan and prosciutto, making it a top destination for artisanal food tours. The time spent sampling Parma’s satisfying delicacies can be balanced with sighteeing tours of the city’s stunning monuments, including the Romanesque Cathedral and the medieval baptistery, both of which boast splendid frescoes, Palazzo della Pilotta, and the wooden Teatro Farnese.

Visitors can discover more of the Emilia-Romagna region by travelling to Bologna and Modena, both of which are a train ride of just under an hour away from Parma. The area between these two cities is often dubbed ‘Motor Valley’ due to a concentration of manufacturers of luxury cars and motorbikes, the likes of Ferrari and Ducati. Travellers who are more impressed by the sounds of opera than the purrs of fast cars will be happy to know that Modena also gave birth to Luciano Pavarotti, where his house has been turned into a museum.

Article credits: https://whoswho.mt/en/malta-international-airport-announces-new-direct-routes-for-zagreb-croatia-parma-italy
Let's go that extra mile!
Colours of Malta Quality Assured