Excellent: Just outside the walls of Valletta, a few minutes walk from all the sights and restaurants of Malta’s charming capital. I love staying here – you can wander out and catch Valletta in all its different guises from the early morning (with church music floating over the market as stall holders set up their wares) to the quiet of the late evening.
For travel further afield, the Phoenicia has the best public transport links in the country, sitting, as it does, right next to the nation’s main bus station – and Malta’s buses are frequent, cheap and full of character. Don’t worry about noise, either. For some reason (including double glazing) it does not seem to be a problem. The hotel is easily accessible by car too, with main thoroughfares and parking just outside. Sightseeing (or doing business) from here is a real breeze.
Very comfortable, recently-renovated rooms with big high beds, a desk and in some cases armchair and coffee table. Understatedly stylish with modern well-designed bathrooms (though mind out – the floors can be very slippery when wet).
The foyer leads to a newly-redesigned light and spacious lounge-in-the-round: a central bar and grand piano are surrounded by comfortable padded chairs and sofa-seats in dark red and light blue. Outside, a narrow stretch of garden (unusually large for Malta) with paths and flower beds leads down to the swimming pool and pool bar.
Eating and drinking
The main restaurant has a very good reputation but personally I found it over-priced and the service charming but slow. There is a cheaper and more relaxed alternative within the hotel, the Pegasus Brasserie, and Valletta has many excellent restaurants just a few minutes stroll away.
The very pleasant outdoor swimming pool area - with sunbeds and basic changing rooms - abuts the fortifications of Valletta. Look over the wall for panoramic views across Marsamxett harbour. The pool is open most of the year and heated to 20 degrees in winter.
Staff are very helpful, if not always numerous enough at busy times.
Who stays there
Tourists – cultural package tours and independent travellers – as well as business people; anyone wanting something with a bit more character than the modern chain hotels. Occasionally guests of the government too.
- Business travellers
- Culture vultures
- Families with teenagers
- Mature travellers
- Escaping the crowds
Pros & Cons
- Occasional grubby windows