In a built-up area but right on the Sliema Waterfront, the hotel is next to Tigne Point where a new luxury development is just opening up after years of building works. Upper storey rooms have views across Marsamxett Harbour to the bastion walls of Valletta, beautiful when floodlit at night. The hotel is a few minutes walk from Malta’s main shopping area (in Sliema) and from the Sliema Ferry to Valletta and the departure point for tourist boat trips.
There is quite a choice here. The Fortina Spa’s 79 rooms and 35 suites are divided into spa rooms, wellness rejuvenation rooms and normal rooms – with sea view or ‘garden’ view (overlooking the pool terrace).
The spa bedrooms are my favourite (but also the most expensive). They are stylish, comfortable and with a jacuzzi big enough for two – some lit by a twinkling ‘night sky’ - as well as a private mini-spa in the oversized bathroom. This includes a spa bath and various de-stressing machines. Ideal for couples.
Normal rooms are smaller but still comfortable and well-appointed, while wellness rooms claim to “take mother nature and bring it indoors”. The air and water are specially filtered and negative ions added. The beds have magnetic mattresses and special non-allergenic quilts and each room has a machine that claims to give you a full workout while all you have to do is stand there!
The large high-ceilinged foyer with polished floor and chandeliers leads to shiny lifts serving the 17 floors. The exterior terraces are quite concrete but softened by palm trees and swimming pools.
Eating and drinking
Six restaurants (shared with the 4* Fortina Hotel next door), mostly set around the palm-fringed terrace garden and swimming pool. Four of the restaurants here are very popular with local Maltese: The Sa Ra Ge Ma Indian Restaurant, Can Thai, Hibiki Japanese Restaurant and Taste, whose menu is inspired by an ex-River Café chef, and offers imaginative eastern and some Mediterranean dishes.
The main spa is a marvellous place to wind down – if you can decide between the vast array of treatments on offer. Will it be a thalassic therapy? One of the many massages? Something Ayervedic, or perhaps a Cleopatra’s Bath in ‘asses' milk’? There is also a fitness centre, pilates studio and various swimming pools indoor and out – in the ‘garden’ at the centre of the hotel and on a terrace just across the road overlooking the harbour. The outdoor pools are shared with the four star hotel, and there are children here.
Uniformed staff are business-like. Multiple check-in desks at reception help at busy times and there is a specialist IT manager who will guide you through connecting to their free WiFi, however untechie you are.
Who stays there
Spa kittens, couples, holidaymakers and business people, particularly attending conferences at the hotel. Children are not allowed to stay in the 5* hotel rooms, nor are they allowed in the spa.
- Fitness Centre
- High-Speed Internet
- Room Service
- Swimming Pool
- Business travellers
- Great views / scenery
Pros & Cons
- Spa facilities
- Rather concrete environment