These SEVEN Maltese hotels won Forbes Travel Guide’s 2022 Star Awards

Summer 2022’s well on track to be the season where travel makes a huge comeback, so it’s no surprise that competition in the hospitality industry’s just growing fiercer and fiercer…

The latest honour which hotels and restaurants around the globe have been fighting for is none other than the Forbes Travel Guide (FTG) Star Award.

Every year, this internationally followed travel site gathers the best and most luxurious hotels, resorts, restaurants, and spas from all over the world into one list. Every listed establishment then receives one of three ratings: recommended, four-star, or five-star – the latter being the most prestigious.

This year saw FTG publish its 64th annual list, in which critics reviewed establishments from a handful of new destinations, such as the Canary Islands, Greece, Ibiza, and Malta!

It’s safe to say that Malta kicked off its entry into the FTG Star Awards with a bang, as seven hotels around the islands were deemed good enough to make it onto the list. Here are the seven local hotelswho won the FTG awards as follows:

Click here to see the full list of international winners.

Article credits: https://www.guidememalta.com/en/these-seven-maltese-hotels-won-forbes-travel-guide-s-2022-star-awards
Michelin Guide Malta: ION – The Harbour, Valletta

The walled city of Valletta, founded in 1566, is the capital and was built on a peninsula between two natural harbours. It’s full of Baroque character and was recognised as an UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1980.

If you want to take in the full majesty of the city, then you need to see the Grand Harbour in all its splendour – and if you want to also enjoy a great meal whilst doing so, then you should consider making a booking at ION – The Harbour, a proud holder of a MICHELIN Star.

It’s found on the 4th floor of the Iniala Harbour House hotel and, when you are a restaurant fortunate enough to be able to offer tables on a terrace that provide such spectacular views, then it makes sense to use it as much as possible – and that’s exactly what it does.

However, don’t think that your eyes will simply stay focused on the vista – the stunningly presented food directly in front of you will compete equally for your attention.

It’s fairly clear that this a kitchen that was classically trained but it is also one that understands elegance and refinement. The balanced and appealing set menus all make great use of the finest produce from nearby countries, be it lobster from Brittany used for the pithivier or Sicilian red prawns served with aged Kaluga caviar. The best local ingredients are also showcased and these include line-caught lampuki which here comes with dill and smoked cream. From the delicate canapés that kick off proceedings to the exquisite desserts, this is food that tastes as good as it looks.

And it’s not just the cooking and the setting that make ION – The Harbour such a special place. The service also ensures you feel truly looked after – it’s attentive and detailed but never overbearing or starchy. Similarly, the wine service is helpful, engaging and enthusiastic and the wine list itself offers plenty of depth, which includes an interesting selection by the glass.

Read the full article: https://guide.michelin.com/en/article/features/michelin-guide-malta-ion—the-harbour-valletta?fbclid=IwAR3Knx0YRhMVYU9TRcE1edUyXvzaot0drbn9RoSXYfnLj8uQCxy8UgPZp_8
Malta’s first carbon neutral hotel

Mike Xuereb, the owner at Hotel 19 Rooms in Valletta, is working together with his team towards becoming the first carbon neutral hotel in Malta.

This was shared by Singular Places, a berlin-based, impact and sustainability driven travel booking site, which said the company is proud to be part of Hotel 19 Rooms’ journey, “as they continue to grow towards sustainability and on to regeneration”.

19 Rooms is the only Maltese hotel to be listed on the sustainability-focused booking site, and has passed a set of criteria to make it onto the platform. Criteria assessed include power saving initiatives, water saving measures, plastic avoidance, ecological construction, waste policy, use of local suppliers and more.

In comments shared with Singular Places, the hotel’s owner, Mike Xuereb, remarked:

“Hospitality for me is about exceptional service and being an enabler for your guests’ experience to help them get the most out of their holiday or business trip.

“Sitting on top of that is the need to have an eco-friendly and sustainable operation, were we recognise the realities of climate change and focus on reducing our footprint and being a responsible part of our community.”

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
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.

The Westin Dragonara Resort wins prestigious award
The Westin Dragonara Resort have won the Malta’s Leading Resort by World Travel Awards for the second year in a row.
World Travel Awards serves to acknowledge, reward and celebrate excellence across all sectors of the global travel and tourism industry.
The Westin Dragonara Resort claimed that this proud achievement was made possible because of their dedicated, hardworking and passionate team and the wonderful guests they have welcomed.
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#.YQEUzY4zbIU
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.

THE PHOENICIA
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.

DOMUS ZAMITTELLO
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).

CORINTHIA PALACE
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.

THE COLERIDGE
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-p3trULrv9W9oYc
The Colours of Malta Luxury Services Journey – Week 4

This week we revisited The Phoenicia, a hotel located in a superb spot, just outside the vibrant capital of Valletta on the edge of the city’s 16th century bastions and surrounded by gorgeous landscaped gardens. Both a landmark and a luxury retreat, this hotel is proud to be celebrated as Malta’s most iconic hotel. After an extensive refurbishment over the last few years, the latest addition to the hotel is now ready!

Introducing the Deep Nature Spa, an environment of sophistication and light.

We love the use of materials like walnut timber, marble and Maltese stone that give this spa a modern yet natural environment making it a genuine Maltese retreat. The historical wall that runs through the spa forms the spine of the area through which the old and new sit beautifully together.

This spa boasts an indoor pool, a fitness area with state-of-the-art equipment, a relaxation area featuring a salt room, sauna, steam room and multi-jet showers along with 5 treatment rooms were you can treat yourself to a tailor-made massage or expert facial treatment.

This latest addition is a top luxury service that should not be missed when visiting this fantastic hotel.

 

 

 

New Embassy Valletta Hotel opens its doors

The Embassy Valletta Hotel has just opened its doors and is welcoming guests in its 81 beautifully designed four-star superior rooms. The hotel is located in Valletta’s iconic Strait Street and in close proximity to all places of interest, making it an ideal spot to explore the city. The design offers a combination of modern and contemporary features in a cosy atmosphere, providing an aura of comfort and casualness.

The hotel features luxurious and spacious rooms including a mix of Deluxe Rooms and Family Suites, together with Superior Rooms that boast breathtaking views over the city and Marsamxett Harbour. An energising breakfast is served on the hotel’s rooftop terrace – a unique space to start your day or witness spectacular sunsets above the city with unexpected panoramic views stretching to Mdina and beyond.

Guests staying at the Embassy Valletta Hotel can also experience the roof top heated infinity pool, which can be enjoyed at any time of the year. The focus of all activity is the elegant, bright, and comfortable courtyard, where one can meet at any time of the day and taste an array of light culinary delights and cocktails. The Embassy Valletta Hotel features excellent conference facilities equipped with the latest technology and a dedicated events team tasked to deliver seamless businesses experiences. Guests can also de-stress and keep active during their stay in the hotel’s fitness room.

Hubert Debono, general manager of the Embassy Valletta Hotel, said: “We want to provide our guests with a fresh and inviting atmosphere where they can enjoy an unforgettable stay in the heart of Valletta. The Embassy Valletta Hotel is the perfect starting point for a unique discovery journey of Malta’s capital. We’ve combined the city’s quintessential charm with a contemporary sense of style to meet and exceed the expectations of our guests.”

The opening of the Embassy Valletta Hotel is the final stage in the complete renovation project of the Embassy building in Valletta. The project has been driven by the vision and passion of one of Malta’s leading architects, Martin Xuereb and his team. They have managed to achieve the seemingly impossible design according to the Embassy’s vision of retaining the pre-existing building envelope and height while at the same time incorporating Valletta’s largest hotel with all its facilities, six boutique cinema theatres, as well as Agenda Bookshop, Costa Coffee, Bingo Hall, Dean Gera Hair Salon and AKI Restaurant.

Article credits: https://timesofmalta.com/articles/view/new-embassy-valletta-hotel-opens-its-doors.838484
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