The past year and a half have impacted airlines, hotels and the tourism industry in general. But whilst the world went quiet, we held on tight and pushed through, to ensure we returned even better and stronger than ever before, by bringing you the best-in-class events on the Maltese Islands.
We Are Ready!Michelin-starred restaurant Bahia to move into Corinthia Palace
Corinthia Palace has announced its exciting partnership with gastronomic award-winner, Bahia, as it continues to set standards for luxury hospitality in Malta.
As part of that partnership, the popular Michelin-starred restaurant will move from its historic, converted townhouse in Lija to a new home on the upper floors of the renowned Villa Corinthia within Corinthia Palace later this year.
“The addition of Bahia to our portfolio ensures that the Corinthia Palace remains the quintessential address for travellers looking to experience the real Malta,” General Manager, Adrian Attard, said.
Over the past five years, Bahia formed its identity through its creative food, eye for detail and professional and warm service. The chic bistro is known for pushing the boundaries of the dining experience and for the adventurous way it communicates to the market.
Article credits: https://newsbook.com.mt/en/michelin-starred-restaurant-bahia-to-move-into-corinthia-palace/Corinthia Oasis plan proposes new five-star hotel in Ghajn Tuffieha
Corinthia Hotels has submitted plans to build a low-lying tourist and residential complex on the site occupied by the disused Ħal Ferħ Holiday Complex, the company said.
The development, which has been branded as Corinthia Oasis, will comprise a 5-star hotel with 162 rooms and 25 hotel-serviced residences. The proposed resort and residences will rise to one and two storeys.
The area in Għajn Tuffieħa was re-zoned last year to allow the company to include residences in its development plans.
The company presented photomontages of the proposed development designed by architect Martin Xuereb. Corinthia said the design “will pay homage to traditional Maltese architecture interpreted in a contemporary style”.
The 83,000sq.m site was a military camp for the UK forces in Malta, and in the 1970s was acquired by Air Malta and turned into a tourist complex.
The resort was eventually shut down and taken over by government. It was privatised in 2009 to Island Hotels Group that acquired a permit to develop a time-share resort. The development never took place.
The site was subject to a development brief, which set strict parameters with regard to the permissible redevelopment on the site, including limiting the building footprint to 20% of the area, and not allowing for more than two storeys.
Eventually, Corinthia took over Island Hotels in 2015 and triggered a clause in the contract asking for a revision of the development brief.
The brief was updated last year through a parliamentary resolution to allow for a partial change in land use, permitting Corinthia to include 25 residences in its plans, whilst retaining tourism as the principal use.
Corinthia Chairman Alfred Pisani said: “We are very excited about this new resort. We will create a world class product that matches all that we are doing as a brand globally in the luxury sector. We are aiming at setting a new benchmark for the island. As we emerge from the most challenging period ever faced by our industry worldwide, our investment reaffirms Corinthia’s strong commitment and belief in Malta, our home country.”
The proposed plans include a 125-space underground carpark. The company is also financing a 320-space public carpark on an adjacent tract of disturbed land operated by the Malta Scouts Association.
Article credits: https://www.maltatoday.com.mt/environment/townscapes/110972/corinthia_submits_plans_for_luxury_resort_residences_at_former_al_fer_site#.YQEUzY4zbIUThe best beaches in Gozo and their pros & cons
It’s no secret that Gozo offers some of the best beaches to visit. Unlike main island Malta, where beaches can get crowded pretty quickly in summer, beaches in Gozo rarely get too busy at this time of the year.
If you’re considering staying in Gozo or planning a day trip to Malta’s sister island, here are a few personal suggestions for the best beaches around. Quiet, few man-built structures and clean.
Ramla l-Hamra is the largest and most popular (sandy) beach in Gozo, and for good reason. With an almost red-coloured sand, and surrounded by mostly undeveloped countryside it’s an obvious favourite for both locals and tourists alike. It’s clean, there’s plenty of space for sunbathers and its shallow waters and easy access makes for a very family-friendly beach.
If you plan to visit Gozo, this beach should be at the top of your list.
- Sandy beach
- Family-friendly, easy to reach
- Blue Flag certified beach, with lifeguards and several facilities available
- Gozo’s largest bay, largely untouched by man
- Suitable mostly to those who are spending their holidays in Gozo rather than Malta
- Some parts of the shoreline are littered with pebbles, which can make entry to the water a little tricky. It’s a minor inconvenience, however.
San Blas Bay
San Blas Bay is a beautiful little beach on the North coast of Gozo, which isn’t particularly difficult to reach but which discourages people who aren’t in very good shape to head down there. It’s not necessarily getting there that requires being in shape physically, it’s the steep hill climb that forms the biggest challenge.
Pluck up some courage and make your way down, it’s well worth it. Clean, clear waters, secluded and only blemished by the small structure of a kiosk selling some drinks and snacks. Public transport (buses 304 – quickest – or 302) will take you to the top of the hill at San Blas, at the limits of the nearby village of Nadur. You’ll need a 15 min walk down to the beach.
- Beautiful, largely untouched and red sandy beach
- A few amenities are around for your comfort
- Can be tricky to get to, and even trickier to climb back up the hill after your visit.
Dwejra (Inland Sea)
Dwejra Bay is located near the little village of San Lawrenz on the island of Gozo and is one of Malta’s most spectacular natural landmarks. On the rocky coastline, once the famous site of the breathtaking Azure Window (before its collapse in 2017), you can find interesting features like Fungus rock and the Blue Hole, which is a popular diving site as well.
The “Inland Sea” is a shallow inland lagoon with a small pebbled beach and is a peaceful little oasis visited by swimmers and snorkelers alike. The bay is directly linked to the sea via a 60-metre long cave. It’s a good spot for snorkelling and there are excellent diving sites among the underwater caves and around the site where the Azure Window collapsed into the sea.
- Unique location with stunning views
- Clean, clear water and great place for snorkelling
- Rarely gets busy – peaceful and quiet.
- Small pebbly beach, not really suitable for sunbathing.
- Not the easiest place to swim without a snorkel mask, since it’s rocky and rather shallow in most places it’s tough to gauge what’s under the surface.
- All in all, not very family-friendly – great for couples who are looking for something a little bit different, however.
The small bay of Dahlet Qorrot is located in the North West part of Gozo, nearby the villages of Nadur and Qala.
It’s a quaint, quiet place that rarely gets crowded and its pebbly beach is a nice place for a quick morning swim, with beautiful natural surroundings.
Having a shallow entry it’s also a safe place to swim with kids, while the quayside offers an entry point to deeper waters, also easily accessible.
- Crystal clear waters and rarely gets busy
- Great location for a quick dip if you’re looking to do some rambling to admire some of Gozo’s natural beauty in late spring/early autumn.
- Little space on the actual beach, although you can also sunbathe on the rocky area
- A few fishermen operate from this bay so if you’re unlucky you’ll have to put up with a little noise and exhaust.
Hondoq ir-Rummien (Maltese for Pomegranate Moat) is located on the Southern coast of Gozo, nearby the village of Qala and is a popular choice among the local population. For good reason – it’s a beautiful little bay. Quiet, secluded and surrounded by nature, as with most beaches in Gozo.
The bright azure coloured water is super inviting to dive into. There’s a small sandy beach, although not much space for sunbathing. You can also enter the water via ladder, on the rocky part of the bay, which is nevertheless great for swimming and also snorkelling and beginner level divers, with several small caves to explore at water level.
The bay has a great view of Comino and a local kiosk offers the convenience of getting refreshments. During summer nights, this is a popular location among Gozitans to fire up a barbeque and enjoy the fresh sea breeze after a hot summer’s day. Public transport won’t get you down to this beach so unless you’re hiring a car it might not be the easiest location to reach.
- Small sandy beach
- Gorgeous bay, quiet and secluded
- Brilliantly clean water
Dylan Efron, who also happens to be the Hollywood actor, Zak Efron’s, younger brother, was one of 10 digital creators chosen to visit Malta for Vlogfest and to create a video to showcase what Malta is all about. After two weeks of running around and getting a brutally honest perspective from the locals, this is what he found.6 of the most stylish places to stay in Malta
After months of longing to escape from our four walls and explore the world again, we’re looking forward to seeking out our next Instagram-worthy destination, and the beautiful, sun-soaked island of Malta is certainly high on our list.
The Maltese hotel scene hasn’t been resting on its laurels during lockdown, from the creation of a brand-new luxe spa at The Phoenicia to a freshly appointed Michelin star at Ion – The Harbour, Iniala’s restaurant. Here, we reveal our must-visit places to stay in Malta for a truly unforgettable holiday.
Sitting right on the edge of Valletta’s 16th-century city walls, the grand Art Deco Phoenicia has majestic, honey-hued limestone exteriors and is a favourite of the Queen. Interiors are a mix of modern (bedrooms have a fresh feel with gorgeous fabrics) and vintage, with high, ornate ceilings and chandeliers, in keeping with the Phoenicia’s 1930s origins.
Stroll the lush seven and a half acres of manicured gardens and order a poolside cocktail – the views over Marsamxett Harbour are unrivalled. The new 1,200 square-metre walnut timber and marble spa is a welcome addition, with five treatment rooms, salt room, sauna, steam room and long indoor pool.
PALAIS LE BRUN
At the tip of Valletta’s peninsula, on Old Bakery Street, is the opulent 17th-century Baroque Palais Le Brun. Rich with history, the 2,000 square-metre palace was once home to Claude Le Brun, one of the noble Knights of Malta. Even now, stepping away from the hustle and bustle of the street and onto the cool marble floors will make you feel like royalty.
The 28 bedrooms run the gamut from doubles with balconies or terraces right up to the suite with a hot tub. And just a three-minute walk away you’ll find the unassuming dinner spot that is the Michelin-starred restaurant Noni, a hidden gem.
INIALA HARBOUR HOUSE AND RESIDENCES
Home to Malta’s latest Michelin-starred eatery (the island has an impressive five in total) is Iniala Harbour House and Residences in Valletta, with its rooftop restaurant ION – The Harbour. Menus change regularly but always feature seasonal produce, and the sunset views of boats bobbing on the waters of the Grand Harbour are spectacular.
The hotel’s ultra-glamorous rooms and suites (of which there are 23 in total) are spread over four houses decked out in a heady mix of the modern and Baroque-style sweeping staircases and hand-painted cupolas. To up the luxury, opt for one of the suites that include in-room dining and private use of the hotel’s boat Spirit of Iniala.
Overlooking Freedom Square right in the heart of Valletta, Domus Zamittello couldn’t be better placed for sightseeing – it’s just a few minutes’ walk from the Upper Barrakka Gardens, a former private garden of Italian knights, with its impressive harbour panoramas.
As you ring the bell and step inside the lavish 1630s-built palazzo, which has been meticulously restored to its former glory, you’ll marvel at everything from the intricately painted coffered ceiling in the breakfast room to the hand-painted details on the bedroom wardrobes and doors. If you book a room on the South Street side, you may even catch a performance from neighbouring open-air Pjazza theatre (although, outdoor events are currently restricted until September, so it’s worth double-checking the latest guidelines before you go).
The Corinthia brand may be growing across the globe, but its roots go back to Malta’s Corinthia Palace hotel and spa, the very first in the portfolio and one that the company still refers to as its ‘spiritual home’.
Located in the quiet, well-heeled area of San Anton, the former 19th-century villa retains many of its original features – think richly polished marble floors, balustrade balconies and neoclassical columns. You can take a dip in the Corinthia’s inviting split-level outdoor pool, or spend the day in the Athenaeum Spa – the ESPA treatment list is extensive.
Named after the area’s most famous former resident, the poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge, The Coleridge is set in an elegant Valletta limestone townhouse and has a calming feel. There’s also a focus on sustainability, including using locally sourced ingredients, eco-friendly cleaning materials and certified-ethical down pillows.
Erring on the bijou side, there are only six suites, ranging from the cosy Erksine to the Fayette penthouse – worth it for the Valletta skyline views and the huge hand-painted mural alone. Breakfast is served in the barrel-vaulted cellar.
Read the full article here: https://www.harpersbazaar.com/uk/travel/hotel-reviews/a36430941/malta-tourism-6-stylish-places-to-stay-in-malta/?fbclid=IwAR03Zz5Pv6pLLOtXxLhv-H3arApUOFymElUsRzKS-4GZ-p3trULrv9W9oYcNeil Agius Makes It To Euronews As World Catches On To Record-Breaking Swim
It took Neil Agius 52 hours to swim from Linosa to Malta, but it has taken international media much longer to catch on to the incredible record-breaking feat with Euronews recently giving prominence to the Maltese Olympian.
The pan-European television network covered Agius in an article yesterday, detailing his herculean feat and giving credit to the fact that he now owns the world record for the longest unsupported non-stop ocean swim.
The article also gave a glimpse into the very moment Agius decided to embark on his life-long mission to rid the Mediterranean of plastic pollution in what was a near-death experience while swimming out at sea.
“It was pitch dark and the experience was terrifying – I had no idea what was attacking me,” Agius told Euronews.
“After I got free and realised that it was not a sea creature but a discarded carrier bag which had almost ended my life, I felt called by the Mediterranean to devote my life to this issue – by being the first person to swim from Africa to Europe on this route.
“I feel I am making the next step in trying to end the defilement of our beautiful Mediterranean sea.”
Agius swam from Linosa to Malta to raise awareness for his Wave of Change initiative, where he asked supporters to each do their part in helping the environment by collecting six pieces of plastic each from the sea.
According to the European Commission, more than 150 million tonnes of plastics have accumulated in the world’s oceans
Agius was also accompanied by acclaimed director Jonathan Glynn-Smith, most known for his work in capturing the 2012 London Olympics, who is expected to release a documentary feature on the record-breaking swim sometime in the future.
Agius continues to make waves both in Malta and abroad with his Wave of Change initiative picking up across the world.
Moreover, the last moments of his swim, with the ultra-athlete touching land in Gozo, has gone viral with over six million views.
Read the full article here: https://lovinmalta.com/news/neil-agius-makes-it-to-euronews-as-world-catches-on-to-record-breaking-swim/?fbclid=IwAR0oxqoyN55HsIcxJWvbPw__ftuLLPwKjqvFIPsPq07l8kvNA2RdSciYcEsMalta Updates its Travel Advice
With effect from today, the 14th July, and following a recent increase in imported cases, Malta’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Health, together with the Superintendent of Public Health announced that, English Language Learning Schools are to close their doors once again, until further notice.
Moreover, as to what regards incoming air and sea travel, it has been announced that as from the 14th July also, tourists, aged 12 and older, can only travel to Malta if they have a vaccination certificate, for two doses, and issued after 14 days from the date of the second dose (or single dose in case of Johnson & Johnson) which is recognised by the Superintendent of Public Health, namely:
Maltese Vaccination CertificateEU Digital COVID Certificate*NHS COVID Pass Letter/NHS App (UK)
Children from 5 years of age to 11 years of age, can travel, by presenting a negative PCR test, which has to be taken within 72 hours prior to arrival in Malta, and given that they are accompanied by their parents or legal guardians, who in turn have to present the recognised vaccine certificate.
Children under 5 years of age do not need a PCR test to travel with their fully vaccinated parents or legal guardians.
Unaccompanied minors cannot travel to Malta.
The following certificates are NOT VALID for travel to Malta:
Certificate of recovery from COVID-19;Vaccine certificates for only 1 dose of a vaccine requiring 2 doses, also for people who recovered from COVID-19;Vaccine certificates with less than 14 days from the final dose.
In addition to the above, Malta’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Health, has confirmed that the AstraZeneca vaccine from the batch numbers: 4120Z001, 4120Z002 and 412Z003, also known as Covishield, will not be an accepted proof of vaccination for entry to Malta. He said that this is in line with the European Medicines Agency (EMA) advice which Malta’s Ministry of Health adheres to, adding that guidance will be revised periodically in line with the EMA.
*Switzerland has joined the EU Digital COVID Certificate framework, and therefore, the Swiss Certificate is also being accepted by the Maltese Authorities
Malta gears up for the good times
With Michelin stars, superyachts and swish new hotels, a reinvigorated Valletta is ready for the tourists to return.
On the rooftop of Gracy’s, a new brasserie and member’s club in a baroque 16th-century palazzo, blazers, florals and linen are the order of the day. Rakish co-owner Greg Nasmyth, an English media scion turned philanthropist and Liberal Democrat donor, is doing the rounds, while Malta’s Eurovision star Destiny sings smooth Aretha Franklin covers as the sun sets behind the dome of Valletta’s St Paul’s Cathedral.
The narrow peninsula on Malta’s east coast is a place of romantic ancient buildings with olive-green gallarija balconies — becalmed after a tumultuous history of being tossed around between the Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans, Arabs, Normans, French and British.
Spurred on by Valletta’s 2018 stint as European Capital of Culture, and splashy architecture projects such as Renzo Piano’s parliament and city gate, more than 40 boutique hotels are said to have opened in the past five years — like the eight-suite palazzo Casa Ellul and Cugo Gran Macina, a Design Hotels member opened in 2018 by German property developers the Von Der Heyden Group. Having had no Michelin stars until 2020, Malta now has five, including Under Grain, a slinky basement restaurant at Rosselli, another smart design hotel that opened near the Iniala in 2019.
Read the full article here: https://www.ft.com/content/64f9640b-f05a-4cb5-8bcb-457cc62dfb51?accessToken=–sanitized–&sharetype=gift%3Ftoken%3D–sanitized–&fbclid=IwAR1BVhq2x0emnjWQBnUH8wvDbYFcSdXddpfXPxwZUtM66dJ-6yKH_syTWRUNeil Agius breaks world record to create awareness for sea pollution
Intrepid swimmer Neil Agius has just swum into the world record books for the longest open water swim.