Malta’s very own The Phoenicia has placed amongst the Top 3 Hotels in Southern & Central Europe on prestigious travel platform Condé Nast Traveler.
The globally-renowned travel platform put one of Malta’s premier hotels in third place, with a score of 96.57, placing after Vienna’s Hotel Sacher and Park Hyatt, which placed in second and first respectively. Additionally, it was also named one of the Top 12 Hotels in the Rest of Europe by the publications Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards 2023.
This magnificent feat not only served as a first for the hotel and Maltese Islands, but was also called “the result of years of investment, not only in the property, but a substantial investment in The Phoenicia Malta team.”
In a recent statement, The Phoenicia Malta owner Mark Shaw stated the following: “We are deeply honoured to be included on this prestigious list, especially as it reflects the votes and feedback of our guests. At The Phoenicia Malta, we take great pride in providing warm, personalised hospitality, and it’s truly a source of pride to see valued guests returning year after year.”
The ranking comes after more than 520,000 readers submitted responses of their travel experiences across the globe, resulting in the results of The Readers’ Choice Awards.InterContinental Malta wins prestigious award at the 30th Annual World Travel Awards
InterContinental Malta announced that it has been recognised as a winner at the 30th Annual World Travel Awards. The iconic hotel was voted as Malta’s Leading Hotel Suite 2023: Highline Suites @ InterContinental Malta.
On 29th September, the finest travel brands from across Europe were unveiled at World Travel Awards (WTA) Europe Gala Ceremony 2023 in Batumi, Georgia. The event took place at Sheraton Batumi Hotel, where industry elites from across the region attended the red-carpet evening.
Graham Cooke, Founder and President, World Travel Awards handed over the award to Marika Caruana Smith, Cluster Director of Sales – Luxury and Entertainment, InterContinental Malta, who commented:
“We are extremely privileged and honoured to have won another World Travel Award, winning such an accolade is a great source of pride for us. Thank you to the voice of the public, and the voice of our clients, we are very proud that our guests and partners hold us in such high esteem. To our owners who are extremely supportive, and our associates thank you for your loyalty and commitment in ensuring we constantly strive to deliver the IHG Promise to our valued guests”.
The World Travel Awards were established in 1993 to acknowledge, reward and celebrate excellence across all sectors of the tourism industry. Today, the WTA brand is recognized globally as the ultimate hallmark of quality, with winners setting the benchmark to which all others aspire.The new Malta Marriot outdoor pool
Yesterday, we visited the newly re-opened AX Odycy hotel in Qawra, Malta, which was originally the Seashells Resort at Suncrest. It has amazing restaurants, recreational amenities, and accommodations with sea views.
This waterfront hotel in Qawra is located on St. Paul’s Bay and offers views of the Mediterranean. It provides a kids’ area and an outdoor family swimming pool with two slides. Dedicated adult-only areas, over 11 catering establishments, conference facilities, and much more.
As one of Malta’s finest brand-new hotels, we will undoubtedly recommend this to our clients.
We appreciate the Sales team’s hospitality and the wonderful evening spent together.16 reasons to visit Malta in 2023
2023 is the year of the big travel revival. The Mediterranean Archipelago, comprised of Malta, Gozo and Comino, packs a punch in the number of experiences travellers can have and is brimming with reasons why. From a Michelin gastronomy scene to 300 days of sunshine, culture and heritage dating back 7,000 years and sporting activities galore, Malta has rounded up 16 reasons why the destination should be on every travel bucket list in 2023.
1. Not Just One but Three Michelin Star Restaurants to Experience
The pandemic has led to travellers being unable to sample and taste the delights of Malta’s three Michelin star restaurants – Noni, Under Grain and De Mondion. In February 2020, these three outstanding restaurants were the first in the Archipelago’s history to be awarded Michelin star status, cementing Malta’s place on the world’s gastronomy scene. For travellers who love fine dining, 2023 will be the ideal time to visit as Malta will finally have its time in the spotlight to celebrate the achievements of its outstanding chefs. Michelin will return to the Archipelago in 2023 to announce whether more restaurants are going to be awarded a coveted star.
2. A Vegan and Vegetarian Holiday Dream
When travellers visit Malta there are a wide variety of restaurants, dishes and chefs that focus on serving the very best of vegan and vegetarian cuisine. From a tailored Gozo Picnic experience to vegan pasta and desserts at Pash & Jimmy’s Café, or Valletta’s healthy café – No. 43 – an eclectic hangout at Gugar where you will find a library and art gallery for emerging artists alongside delicious snacks – the Maltese islands demonstrate vegan and vegetarian food never has to lack creativity or flavour.
3. A Revival of Traditional Farming
Young Maltese farmers are reinventing Malta’s farm to table concept by reviving old techniques, traditional vegetables, and the repopulation of the native black bee. Blending the old ways with modern methods, a group of upcoming farmers are working with local restaurants to place Maltese ingredients back on the menu. From Jorge the amateur beekeeper to a neighbourhood shop concept, The Veg Box, started by Emanuela and Lucas, and community-supported farming launched by Cane and Cassandra just a year ago, diners can today taste home-grown ingredients at the island’s three Michelin star restaurants of Noni, De Mondion and Undergrain, as well as Verbena, Townhouse No.3 Bahia, Madiliena Lodge, Briju, to name but just a few.
4. New Wine Trail – Bring A Spare Suitcase Because You Cannot Buy Maltese Wine in the UK
The newly released Wine Trail, created to inspire wine enthusiasts, maps out the ultimate wine tasting break, highlighting where you can find all of Malta and Gozo’s vineyards. The newest vineyard to open is Ta’Betta, a family-run business offering tours and private wine tastings starting from €75 per person.
Visit https://www.tabetta.com/ or https://www.maltauk.com/winery-trail/ for more information.
5. Have A Multi-Generational or Intimate Group Trip
The travel trends for 2023 all point towards the rise in multi-generational trips as families and friends are looking to come together to make up for the time missed in 2020. Malta has a wide variety of villa and apartment options from farmhouses in Gozo to city-centre living in Valletta. Here are a few of the providers that sell villas in the Archipelago: James Villas, Tui Villas, and Oliver’s Travels.
6. Marsaxlokk’s Tal-Maghluq Area to Be Regenerated In €5 Million Project
The Marsaxlokk area is a big draw for tourists, with over 1.2 million visiting the quaint fishing village in 2019. The project, overseen by the Grand Harbour Regeneration Corporation, aims to improve both the infrastructure and aesthetic of the area. From new pedestrian areas to improvements in Marsaxlokk Square and modern facilities along the harbour’s edge, travellers will be able to wander the beautified streets of the fishing village by the end of 2023.
7. Stay in A Maltese Aristocrat Family Home, Museum and Now B&B
Valletta is brimming with beautiful boutique hotels housed in restored palazzos. The latest is Casa Rocca Piccola Valletta’s most beautiful family-owned living museums and now an exclusive B&B. The 16th Century palace recently opened its doors to the public, allowing visitors to explore the stunning interiors, spread across 50 rooms, learn about the unique customs and traditions of Maltese nobility, plus spend the night in one of the palace’s spectacular bedrooms on a B&B basis.
8. Explore Malta’s Golden Age from Three Cities to Valletta And Fort St. Angelo
History buffs can explore the legacy of the Knights of St John throughout Malta. The Knights 250-year rule began in the Three Cities and Fort St Angelo, before they built the fortified city of Valletta after the Great Siege of 1565. Visitors to the islands can learn about the valiant battles that took place, explore the architectural feats including Baroque palaces and churches the Knights built throughout their reign, as well as an abundance of rich cultural gems including artistic masterpieces and sculptures.
9. Three Cities – The Alternative City Break
Whether you are wanting a solo city break, a trip with friends or a romantic getaway, Malta’s Three Cities, made up of Birgu, Senglea and Bormla, have something for everyone. Located across Malta’s Grand Harbour, the three fortified cities offer a wealth of history and culture, and an insight into authentic Maltese life. Undergoing something of a renaissance, the Three Cities pose a fantastic alternative city break to Valletta, Malta’s capital city and former European Capital of Culture, and are arguably the epicentre of Maltese history. Enjoying Malta’s year-round sun, visitors can wander along the beautiful streets, soaking up the relaxed Mediterranean atmosphere and exploring the many churches, cafes, and piazzas. A recommended place to stay is the boutique Cugo Gran Malta, with prices starting from €144 per room per night.
10. See Why Malta Tops IGLTA’s Rainbow Index – Named Host of EuroPride 2023
Malta will host EuroPride in 2023, which is Europe’s biggest gay pride event. The Archipelago has retained the number one place on the IGLA- Europe Rainbow Index for five years running. Malta blends traditional and historical culture with a contemporary and welcoming mindset which is celebrated in style each September during Malta Pride. Malta is proud of its inclusivity with parliament approving in 2015 the Gender Identity Act, legalised same-sex marriage in 2017 and introduced gender-neutral passports in 2018.
11. Have an Overseas Wedding
Malta boasts 365 churches, making it the ideal destination for a religious wedding, as the stunning baroque architecture provides a beautiful setting for the special day. Those opting for a non-religious wedding have an expansive choice of beautiful hotels, rustic farmhouses, beaches, or historical sites to choose from. Celebrate in true Maltese fashion with a large reception for guests, and couples can sail away into the sunset on a traditional Dgħajsa boat in Valletta’s Grand Harbour.
12. A New Route from Wizz Air
Wizz Air announced a new base earlier this year at Gatwick Airport, with a new route to Malta. Travellers can also take advantage of the budget airline’s Flex service as an add-on to their fare, which will allow flights to be cancelled up to three hours before departure, with 100 per cent of the fare immediately reimbursed in airline credit. For more information visit: https://wizzair.com/en-gb/flights/malta
13. Europe’s Best Diving Destination
Repeatedly voted Europe’s number one diving destination and the second-best diving site in the world, Malta has placed 12 additional historical wreck sites on its diving map. Providing a clear blue sea which boasts an abundance of reefs, stunning caverns and caves, trails around the Archipelago are designed for both beginner and advanced divers, making it an absolute must for divers worldwide. Diving enthusiasts can arrange to visit wreck sites by appointment with The Underwater Cultural Heritage Unit (UCHU), exploring incredible locations that range from a 2,700-year-old Phoenician shipwreck to WWI battleships and dozens of aircraft crash sites. For more information on booking a diving trip to Malta visit PADI Travel.
14. Cycle Around Malta
Cycling along the craggy edge of Malta West coast offers visitors the opportunity to experience the sites of the picturesque Blue Grotto and stunning Dingli Cliffs, Malta’s highest point, before admiring the majesty of the rich baroque architecture built by the Order of the Knights of St. John. Cyclists can also explore Gozo, stopping to take in the island’s stunning 360-degree views from the top of the Citadel fortification in Victoria before visiting the UNESCO World Heritage Hagar Qim & Mnajdra Temples – the oldest free-standing temples in the world. For more information on renting bikes in Malta visit: Be Green Malta.
15. MC Adventures in Malta
Adrenaline junkies can have their fix of adventure in Malta with MC Adventures, Malta’s leading extreme sports provider. The Maltese islands are an adventure lover’s playground, offering an expansive range of extreme activities including abseiling, freefalling and ziplining to name but a few. For the ultimate adrenaline-packed holiday, visit: https://mcadventure.com.mt/your-first-step-to-a-great-adventure.html
16. Watersport Experiences – Sailing, Kayaking, Paddle Boarding
For those wanting to explore the waters, but are not ready for the full diving experience, Malta offers year-round warm waters and excellent visibility for snorkelling at the Blue Lagoon. Visitors wanting to swim further out to sea can charter a sailing boat and take in the breath-taking views of the turquoise Mediterranean Sea before taking a dip. For a tranquil morning or afternoon on the water, visitors can go kayaking and paddle boarding to explore the coastline of the Archipelago which boasts varied topography, natural beauty and calm waters. Adrenaline junkies can also try flyboarding off Malta’s shores. Those who are brave enough to tackle the sport are lifted into the air over the water as they try to hold their balance to walk on water quite literally.
A new hotel within the Hyatt franchise is set to open in Swieqi in the final quarter of 2024, just across the road from the existing Hyatt Regency in St Julian’s.
The hotel will be operated under the Hyatt Centric brand. It is situated on Santu Wistin Street, Swieqi. It will feature 187 hotel rooms, spread over nine floors, of which 27 rooms are interconnected, a spa, indoor and outdoor pool facilities on the 10th floor, a restaurant and lounge.
The new hotel will take the place of two adjacent villas, Sans Souci and Rocheville, which the company bought for €9.25 million apiece in 2022, having a combined superficial area of 996 sqm.
The announcement was made by Juel Group, which is the parent company of Juel Hospitality, a company incorporated with the purpose of owning and managing the hotel.
In its prospectus for a €32 million bond issue, Juel Hospitality said it believes that the hotel, once constructed, “shall be a strong contender in the local hospitality market”, noting that “the location of the hotel is largely popular with tourists given the availability of restaurants, beaches, and nightlife in close proximity”.
By 2027, the hotel is expected to generate gross operating profit per available room (GOPAR) of €22,000, according to the company, which added that the core management team has yet to be employed given the time left until construction is completed.
Read the full article here: https://whoswho.mt/en/new-hyatt-set-to-open-in-swieqiBarceló Hotel Group to open luxury five-star hotel in Malta
Barceló Hotel Group, a renowned hotel chain, has announced its entry into the Maltese market with the management of the Barceló Fortina Malta hotel after the group signed an agreement with Fortina Investments Limited.
Set to reopen its doors in September 2023, the Barceló Fortina Malta is a fully refurbished and transformed 5-star hotel located in the central town of Sliema.
Positioned on the south-facing Sliema seafront, the hotel offers breathtaking unobstructed views of the fortified capital city, Valletta, a UNESCO World Heritage site known for its stunning architecture.
José Canals, the Regional Director of the Mediterranean, Middle East, and Asia at Barceló Hotel Group, expressed enthusiasm about the partnership with Fortina Investments Limited, highlighting the group’s extensive experience in managing urban beach hotels worldwide.
Canals emphasised Malta’s significance as a tourism destination and mentioned that the new hotel would contribute to the company’s growing portfolio in the Mediterranean.
Edward Zammit Tabona, CEO of Fortina Investments Limited, expressed satisfaction with the agreement, emphasizing the hotel chain’s reputation for managing luxury properties.
He stated that Barceló Hotel Group’s high service standards and extensive commercial network would help establish Barceló Fortina Malta as a leading luxury hotel on the island.
The Barceló Fortina Malta has undergone a comprehensive refurbishment and expansion, transforming it into a modern five-star establishment with 183 rooms. The majority of the rooms offer views of both the Mediterranean Sea and Valletta.
The hotel’s facilities include a wellness space with a spa, a gym, and an indoor heated pool. A newly constructed lido features two restaurants and a relaxing bar.
Additionally, the hotel boasts fully equipped bars and restaurants within its premises. An open plaza accessible to the general public surrounds the hotel, which is located within walking distance of Malta’s largest shopping mall.
For business travelers, Barceló Fortina Malta offers a fully equipped conference area capable of accommodating 250 people, along with four meeting rooms suitable for various events.
Major UK online news portal, The Telegraph, has named The Phoenicia Malta amongst the top 30 ‘grande dame’ hotels in the world. The newspaper defines the title of ‘grande dame’ as hotels “whose walls have stories to tell and secrets to keep.”
Some of the hotels which made this list include: The Plaza, New York, The Savoy, London, Le Bristol, Paris, Hassler, Rome, Imperial Hotel, Tokyo and Copacabana Palace Hotel in Rio De Janeiro.
The Telegraph calls these hotels “historic” and “full of dignity,” which give a “sense of importance” as “privileged bastions of good living that represent permanence, unruffled by the world outside.” Most of these hotels date back to between the late-19th century and the 1920s.
When it was time for The Phoenicia Malta to be in the limelight, The Telegraph described the hotel as having “an attractively simple layout,” with its “elegant Palm Court leading through the original glass doors to the Phoenix restaurant and its lovely, elevated terrace overlooking lush gardens.”
The hotel’s history was also delved into, with its origins dating back to the 1930s when it was built by Lord Strickland, first Baron Strickland and Malta’s fourth Prime Minister. The hotel’s building was refurbished in 2017 and includes two wings that house 137 bedrooms and suites, many with balconies.
Phoenicia’s “clubby cocktail bar” received a mention, detailing how its walls are decorated with photographs of past guests that include Noel Coward and Winston Churcill and the “art deco ballroom,” where Queen Elizabeth the second and Prince Philip “used to enjoy dancing when they lived in Malta in the 1950s.”
Article credits: https://whoswho.mt/en/company-profiles-in-malta-v-c-group-committed-to-providing-quality-cost-effective-and-timely-projectsAC Hotels by Marriott announces the opening of its first hotel in Malta
International hospitality brand AC Hotels by Marriott has announced the opening of its first hotel in Malta, AC Hotel by Marriott St Julian’s. The hotel is located close to St George’s Bay, Bay Street shopping complex and other entertainment hubs that populate that area.
The new “lifestyle hotel”, designed by Italian-based architecture and design association Fabris & Partners, was described as retaining a Maltese colour scheme throughout the public spaces and guestrooms, a palette that “took inspiration from the natural and urban environment around the hotel.” The hotel offers 106 contemporary guestrooms and suites.
Matthew Boettcher, Vice President and Global Brand Leader said that the company is “delighted to be bringing AC Hotels’ design-driven guest experience to Malta. The hotel marks Marriott Bonvoy’s third property in this vibrant Mediterranean island destination.”
AC Lounge, located on the rooftop terrace overlooking the St Julian’s skyline, will feature a menu with “cocktail and European tapas.” Other facilities include a heated outdoor rooftop pool, an indoor pool, a meeting space with seating for up to 40 people, and a gym.
Read full article: https://whoswho.mt/en/ac-hotels-by-marriott-announces-the-opening-of-its-first-hotel-in-malta