Now is the time to explore this tiny Mediterranean archipelago, with Malta now on the UK’s green list. Despite being the 10th smallest country in the world, there are plenty of luxury hotels to choose from. So which one is right for you and how do you get the best price?
For a sandy beach – InterContinental Malta
Most hotels in Malta do not have a traditional sandy beach, especially in the main resort town of St Julian’s. the Intercontinental is not located directly on the sea but a short walk to its own private beach club.
The hotel rooms exude a corporate atmosphere with a distinctly masculine yet modern theme. Bathrooms are luxurious and modern, with deep soaking tubs for one bath. If you’re in the mood for a splash, book one of the InterContinental Club rooms for free afternoon tea, all-day refreshments, and evening drinks with canapes.
For those who prefer a smaller hotel, this is probably not the right choice as it is one of the larger hotels with 500 rooms. However, that does mean plenty of facilities, including a lagoon-style pool and an indoor pool. The hotel’s rooftop Skybeach infinity pool charges minimal spending on food and drink, but it’s worth it for the view and adults-only atmosphere.
For a boutique atmosphere with modern touches – Hyatt Regency Malta
As a general rule, you can’t associate a Hyatt Regency with a boutique hotel. However, one of the more recent hotel additions in Malta certainly looks more like a boutique hotel compared to some of St Julian’s sprawling properties. Located opposite an old Augustinian priory, the Hyatt surprises from the moment you arrive. The contemporary courtyard and lobby feature bespoke furnishings in Mediterranean tones. Here you can have a coffee or drink at the bar or dine at the Seed Restaurant.
The heated rooftop pool isn’t as big as some of the other hotels’ offerings, but it looks relatively childless. The hotel’s sophisticated, more urban feel typically attracts more couples than families, so it may be a better choice for a romantic getaway. At night, the pool transforms into a GIN-ger, a trendy gin and cocktail bar with Asian-themed small plates and bowls ideal for sharing.
In addition to the rooftop pool, there is an indoor jetted pool. Treatments are available at the spa in a couple or single room. There is also a sauna, steam room, ice fountain and a gym.
Rooms are well-equipped with 65-inch TVs, sofas, and modern walk-in showers that are controlled at the touch of a button. Some rooms face the priory opposite, others have a view over St Julian’s towards the bay. The suites have a separate walk-in closet and Acqua di Parma toiletries for a touch of indulgence.
For fine dining and sea views – The Corinthia St George’s Bay
Corinthia is located in one of the best locations in St Julian’s, overlooking the entire bay. It is part of the Corinthia chain, which includes one of the best hotels in London, The Corinthia London. However, don’t be fooled into thinking it’s in the same league.
Considering the hot climate, you’ll likely be spending most of your time outdoors, and the hotel has a lot to offer in that regard. While rated five-star, interiors are a bit dated in the rooms, though many public spaces have been refreshed with a luxuriously modern feel. There are six pools dotted around the resort, including a kids’ pool, indoor pool, and lido. It might not have a sandy beach, but it does offer access to the sea.
The hotel’s other draw is its plethora of restaurants, two of which are some of St Julian’s best options. At the top of the list is Susurrus, a modern pan South American gourmet cuisine. It offers a seven-course tasting menu for just $ 77 (â¬ 65) while dining on the terrace overlooking the sea. Caviar & Bull is unsurprisingly a restaurant focused on meat and fish. Of course, caviar is a house specialty but doesn’t have to be the preserve of the rich with a tasting spoon starting at â¬ 10.
For families and casino lovers – The Westin Dragonara resort
Located along part of the bay, the Westin Dragonara looks like a very international rather than a typical Maltese seaside resort. As you enter the grand hall, you catch a glimpse of the sea glistening in the distance through the large hall terrace.
The style is a bit bland but modern in these newly refurbished rooms. The bedrooms are large with two full size double beds in the twin bedrooms, ideal for a family. The balconies are also large in size and overlook the gardens or the sea. If you prefer a shower this might not be such a good choice as most of the rooms have a large bath with a built-in shower which is not necessary. is not particularly easy to access.
Besides the access to the sea, the swimming pool and the gardens are on one level and easy to move. There are two large pools and two Jacuzzis, and a small children’s pool for toddlers and babies. For the kids there is also a playground, a kids’ club, and even a small sandy beach ideal for the little ones to paddle in the sea.
If you have Marriott status and were hoping to use a lounge, the Executive Lounge is currently closed and no alternatives, not even a single drink, are offered as compensation.
There are several options at the Westin for dining out, including the Trattoria de Palio serving Maltese and Italian cuisine and the seafront fine-dining restaurant, Quadro. A wide selection of dishes is available on the ORVM Lobby terrace throughout the day with cocktails and wine by the glass.
For history and peace and quiet
the Relais et ChÃ¢teaux property Zara Palace is quite different from most tourist hotels in Malta. This is a character property converted from a 17th century palace and is the only hotel located within the silent city walls of Mdina.
The bedrooms are decorated in a traditional yet luxurious style, many with stunning views over the beautiful Maltese countryside. For the ultimate in fun, book one of the patio suites and your own private outdoor hot tub.
It is also an excellent destination for foodies with the Mondion restaurant, which holds a Michelin star specializing in innovative Mediterranean cuisine. In addition to the Mondion, there are two other restaurants open during normal times.
How to save on your reservation
Malta is offering tourists staying in participating five-star hotels â¬ 100 per person on each reservation. The program has a limited amount of funding, so it is not guaranteed to be available. All the hotels presented in this article are part of the program.
Many of the hotels in this article are also part of premium travel agent programs such as Virtuoso, Certain hotels or the American Express FHR program. This allows you to book at a flexible rate but includes a range of benefits ranging from upgrades to resort credit for the same price.
If you are staying at InterContinental worth looking at Ambassador scheme, which is a paid loyalty program. Among its perks is an offer to get a free night on weekends when you pay for another night.
The fee for 12 months of membership is $ 200. IHG Rewards members can also purchase a membership for 40,000 points. So if a second night would cost over $ 200, it might be worth joining. Once you register, you also get additional perks like a 4 p.m. late check-out and a $ 20 food and drink credit. However, you should check the price of the paid night as these must be done through the Ambassador program and are charged at the most expensive flexible rate.
Finally, it’s also worth checking hotel websites before booking your flights, as most make offers to keep customers coming back. Since many deals offer longer stays, it’s worth choosing your hotel before deciding on the length of your trip, as you might get a free night or a discount.