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-p3trULrv9W9oYcMalta 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
Majority Of American States Will Be Moved To Malta’s Amber List For Travel
Malta will be reassessing travel restrictions from the United States according to each state, with the majority expected to be moved to the amber list. “Contrary to what has been done before, the United States of America isn’t going to be assessed as a whole country,” Health Minister Chris Fearne said. “Instead, we are going to assess each state separately.”
Fearne said that the majority of the states will move to the amber list with ongoing assessments being made with regards to those that remain on the red list for the time being. Previously, health authorities red-listed the US as a whole, meaning travel to Malta from the country was prohibited.
As such, people travelling from a state that is on the amber list will be allowed to enter Malta as long as they produce a negative PCR test 72 hours before boarding.Emirates Airlines Resumes Three Weekly Flights To Malta Via Larnaca
Emirates has announced that it will resume flights to Malta as the airline expands its European network to a further 34 destinations.
The United Arab Emirates airline will be resuming its three weekly services to Malta via Larnaca starting from 14th July.
Flights will depart Dubai every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.
The airline had stopped all flights to Malta almost a year ago in light of the COVID-19 pandemic which resulted in a number of flight restrictions and suspensions.
All local Emirates staff were made redundant at the time.
Passengers travelling to Malta will either have to present a vaccination certificate or a negative PCR before boarding.
Read the full article here: https://lovinmalta.com/news/emirates-airlines-resumes-three-weekly-flights-to-malta-via-larnaca/Two more restaurants awarded a MICHELIN STAR
The MICHELIN Guide Malta 2021 has just been released and two restaurants have been awarded a Michelin Star, bringing the total number of Michelin Starred restaurants to five.
The second edition of the guide features 31 restaurants spread across the islands of Malta and Gozo. The two new Stars are Bahia and ION – The Harbour. These restaurants join existing One Star restaurants De Mondion, Noni and Under Grain.
Five restaurants have also been identified as taking positive steps to work in a more sustainable way, and their entries in the Guide come with one-line descriptions of their inspiring practices. The restaurants highlighted for their ‘Initiatives’ are:
The Harbour Club in Valletta
Noni in Valletta
Briju in Gżira
De Mondion in Mdina
Tmun in Mġarr.
This new Guide builds on the success of last year’s first ever edition of the MICHELIN Guide to the islands of Malta and Gozo. There is no doubt that the standard of cooking on the islands continues to excite; five MICHELIN Starred restaurants out of a total of 31 restaurants is an impressive percentage. It’s also great to witness a growing awareness of positive sustainability practices and we look forward to seeing further development in the coming years.
Read the full article: https://guide.michelin.com/mt/en/article/features/the-michelin-guide-malta-is-out-todayMalta to welcome vaccinated Brits from June
As of June 1st, Malta will welcome passengers from the UK who have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19.
British travellers who can show proof of full vaccination received at least ten days before arriving in the country will no longer have to provide a negative PCR test certificate 72 hours prior to, or on arrival in Malta.
Passengers will need to show their vaccination card when boarding to be accepted to travel.
Malta is second to the UK in terms of European countries vaccinating the greatest proportion of its population, with 40 per cent of the adult population having received its first dose, making the destination a safe choice for future travel.
Tolene Van Der Merwe, director UK & Ireland of Malta Tourism Authority, commented: “Malta is a very popular destination for British holidaymakers and is a key contributor to Malta’s economy, so we are excited to welcome back fully vaccinated travellers from the United Kingdom from June.
This latest announcement is another example of Malta and the UK’s special, long-standing relationship which dates back to the 1800 when Malta voluntarily became part of the British Empire as a protectorate and in the 20th century Malta was famously favoured by her majesty the Queen, and she spent two years living on the island when the Duke of Edinburgh conducted his work for the Royal Navy and returned for many state visits.
Present day Malta offers world-class diving, a burgeoning gastronomy scene and year-round warm weather.
The islands have an exciting few months in store with a wealth of new restaurant, hotel and spa openings for travellers to enjoy when they can return.
Read the full article: https://www.breakingtravelnews.com/news/article/malta-to-welcome-vaccinated-brits-from-june/Malta awarded as the best cultural destination of the year
Malta has been awarded the prize for Connoisseur Circle Hospitality Award as the best cultural destination of the year.
The team at the Malta Tourism Authority in Germany received the honour of the Cultural Getaway of the Year 2020, as the best destination for those looking for a short and luxurious cultural destination.
Every year, the Connoisseur Circle, a luxury travel magazine, awards the best hotels, cruise liners, airlines and destinations in 15 different categories. The winners are chosen by a jury made up of travel journalists and industry experts.L’Italia torna protagonista del turismo maltese
1° Luglio, data ufficiale della riapertura alle operazioni dell’aeroporto internazionale di Malta per l’Italia!
Malta quindi si avvia a passo spedito verso la riapertura totale del Paese in totale sicurezza.
Le compagnie aeree che opereranno verso l’arcipelago, confermate ad oggi, sono Air Malta, Alitalia, Ryanair ed Easyjet. Ti invitiamo a verificare l’operativo voli con la compagnia di riferimento. Qui di seguito la lista degli aeroporti:
*DAL 1 LUGLIO:
Catania: AirMalta e Ryanair
Milano Bergamo: Ryanair
Milano Malpensa: AirMalta e Easyjet
Napoli: Ryanair e Easyjet
Palermo: Air Malta
Roma Fiumicino: AirMalta, Alitalia e Ryanair
Treviso (Marco Polo): Ryanair
*Tutti i voli sono soggetti a variazione, consultare l’orario dei voli sui siti dei vettori.
Per scaricare la brochure dedicata alla riapertura, clicca qui.<http://malta-vacanze.it/downloads/Malta_Sunny&Safe.pdf>
Il ministro del Turismo e della Tutela dei Consumatori, Julia Farrugia Portelli, ha voluto ribadire come l’apertura dell’aeroporto sarà fondamentale per il rilancio del settore turistico e, quindi, dell’economia dell’intero Paese: “il lavoro svolto negli ultimi mesi dalla pubblica amministrazione e dal settore privato, per sanificare e mettere in sicurezza il nostro Arcipelago, ha fatto di Malta una delle mete più sicure a livello internazionale. Per questo siamo pronti ad accogliere i nostri turisti per poter finalmente uscire da questa fase e rilanciare le sorti.
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Malta’s airport is set to partially reopen on 1st July and fully on 15th July, but the travelling experience will change as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In line with the recommendations of local and international authorities, the Malta International Airport shall be introducing the necessary measures, invested in new technologies, and re-trained their front-liners to allow you to feel safe and secure every step of the way from check-in to boarding.
Below are a list of efforts taken to safeguard passengers to and from Malta:
1. Masks or visors are obligatory
Masks or visors must be worn at all times inside the terminal, with exceptions made for children under six years old and people with a valid medical condition. The airport recommends that you change your mask every four hours and that you pack enough masks in your hand luggage for your entire trip, including the time spent on the plane and the airport of destination. Refuse containers for the disposal of face masks and gloves will be provided.
2. Rigorous cleaning procedures
Airport staff will clean and disinfect the terminal more frequently and intensively, especially surfaces that are regularly touched such as buttons and handles, while alcohol-based hand sanitisers will also be available at strategic spots. The airport also recommends that you being your own 100ml hand sanitising gel bottle with you, which can also be carried through security.
3. No non-travellers allowed inside
Only travellers will be allowed inside the airport, which means that any goodbyes must be said outside. Exemptions will be made in special circumstances, such as for people who need to drop off or pick up a minor or a person with reduced mobility.
4. New social distancing signage
Signage and floor markings will be installed at check-in, security, departure, arrival and baggage reclaim areas and at outlets and restrooms to ensure passengers keep two metres away from each other. The airport is advising passengers to arrive at least two hours before their flight and has warned that security checks and boarding processes may take longer than usual.
Seating has also been reorganised for the purposes of social distancing, with unavailable seating clearly marked.
5. No smoking allowed
Smokers must take their last cigarette before their flight outside the terminal because smoking has been banned on the terraces. This is in line with health guidelines that forbid smoking outdoors at restaurants and bars on the grounds that people are being encouraged to sit outside where possible and that they therefore shouldn’t be exposed to cigarette smoke.
7. A new airport ‘care team’
A number of airport staff have been assembled and trained to act as a ‘care team’. Wearing easily identifiable light blue vests, their job will be to roam the airport, advise passengers on the new rules and ensure said rules are being observed.
8. Thermal screening cameras and tech to detect large groups
The airport has invested heavily in new technology, with thermal screening cameras intended to detect any passengers having a high temperature, over and above the temperature checks that will be carried out before they enter the airport. Meanwhile, agglomeration detection technology will alert the airport in real-time if passengers gather in large groups. Malta recently removed all limitations on public gatherings and the airport hasn’t yet explained how this new technology will be used.
9. New rules for the La Valette lounge
Members of the VIP La Valette lounge must book their stay here at least 24 hours before their trip so as to allow the airport to ascertain that social distancing requirements can be met. Guests can take off their masks or visors while at the lounge, while buffets have been replaced by waiter service. Newspapers, magazines and iPads will be unavailable to limit passengers’ contact with surfaces.
The airport will partially reopen on 1st July, with flights operating to and from Italy (except Emilia Romagna, Lombardy, and Piemonte), France (except Ile de France), Spain (except Madrid, Catalonia, Castilla-La Mancha, and Castilla y Leon in Spain), Poland (except Katowice), Iceland, Slovakia, Cyprus, Lithuania, Latvia, Norway, Switzerland, Estonia, Denmark, Hungary, Austria, Luxembourg, Germany, Czechia, Ireland, and Finland.
Travellers arriving directly from the countries and regions on this list will not be required to observe a 14-day quarantine but will be asked to declare that they had lived in the country of origin for at least four weeks prior to travelling. Guests will also be asked to fill in a passenger locator form, which would enable the health authorities to trace them swiftly should the need arise.
On 15th July, Malta’s airport is set to open to all destinations without restrictions.Airport reopening date to be announced in the coming days
As insider-information reaches The Times of Malta yesterday regarding the Malta International Airport to start operating again on the 15th of July, neither Prime Minister Robert Abela nor Superintendant for Public Health, Charmaine Gauci, have confirmed this.
Tourism Minister Julia Farrugia Portelli said The Prime Minister will announce the airport reopening date in the coming days. Last Saturday, the government announced the extension of the travel ban until at least June 15, but sources told Times of Malta that the authorities are expected to extend it by another month to make sure all precautions are in place to try to contain the virus.
What has definitely been confirmed by Malta Airport CEO Alan Borg, is that MIA will have to operate with limited winter and summer schedules. To be exact, around 70 of the 120 winter 2020/2021 routes have now been cancelled, as well as some 60 of the 144 summer 2021 routes.