The Forbes Travel Guide has returned for another year, awarding the world’s best hotels, restaurants, spas and cruises. And as for the luxury hotel department, one Maltese destination nestled right in the capital managed to yet again win the highest possible honour: a five-star rating!
Malta had 10 hotels featured in the 2023 Forbes Travel Guide, with five making the Recommended List and another four being awarded Four Stars. But in the end, the top honour went to only one: Iniala Harbour House, overlooking Valletta’s Grand Harbour.
Last year, the luxurious boutique hotel became Malta’s first and only to receive the top rating, with everything from beautiful bedding and helpful housekeeping to memorable drinks and thoughtful guest room amenities being among the things taken into consideration.
More than 2,000 properties in 70 different countries are asseessed, with up to 900 standards being taken into consideration. “Only the best of the best achieve the coveted five-star, our highest rating,” Forbes Travel Guide editor Jennifer Kester had said back in April 2022.
With 23 rooms and a Michelin-star restaurant, Iniala Harbour House offers everything from private plunge pools and jacuzzis to fully-equipped kitchens… and it sure looks like it’s managed to retain the top honour it won just last year!
Meanwhile, the Corinthia Palace Hotel managed to retain its four stars from last year, while the Hyatt Regency was bumped up from the Recommended list to four stars. The Phoenicia and The Westin Dragonara Resort, meanwhile, debuted on the list with the impressive four-star rating.Malta wins Lonely Planet’s top destination to unwind award
Global travel authority Lonely Planet has unveiled its top destinations to visit next year with the release of Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2023, and Malta has been awarded the “Top Destination to Unwind” Award, alongside destinations such as Halkidiki in Greece and Jordan, The Malta Tourism Authority said.
Lonely Planet said that Malta has been ‘much-loved by European visitors for decades,’ adding that it ‘is attracting more visitors from around the world, beckoned by its prehistoric temples, fantastic scuba diving and buzzy Valletta, its beautiful capital,'” the MTA added.
Lonely Planet’s annual marquee moment celebrates their expert predictions for where to go in the year ahead, the MTA said. “Showcasing 30 incredible destinations around this globe, Best in Travel 2023 is Lonely Planet’s 18th annual collection of the world’s hottest destinations and the must-have travel experiences for the year ahead. Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2023 recommends 30 must-visit locations around food, journeying, connection, learning and unwinding. It offers a comprehensive set of itineraries aimed at helping travellers to explore the world – while following along with some seriously knowledgeable locally based experts along the way.”
The award was presented to Clayton Bartolo, Minister for Tourism; Gavin Gulia and Carlo Micallef, Chairman and CEO of the Malta Tourism Authority, during last week’s World Travel Market in London.
“Malta’s profile in the tourism world is rapidly gaining the strong reputation it truly deserves. In the past months, the Malta Tourism Authority has been a proactive catalyst in making sure that the splendour of the Maltese Islands is shared and outreached around the globe,” outlined Minister for Tourism Clayton Bartolo.
“Each year, Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2023 lists start with nominations from Lonely Planet’s vast community of staff, writers, bloggers, publishing partners and more. The nominations are then whittled down by our panel of travel experts to just 30 destinations. Each is chosen for its topicality, unique experiences, ‘wow’ factor and its ongoing commitment to sustainability, community and diversity,” the MTA said.