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“Not a 4 star” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Fortina

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Hotel Fortina
4.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Tigne Seafront, Sliema, Island of Malta SLM 3012, Malta   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #8 of 30 Hotels in Sliema
Dublin Ireland
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Not a 4 star”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 21, 2007

We have just returned from 10 nights at the Fortina Hotel in August 2007 which is the 4 star hotel (the 5 star hotel in the same complex is called Fortina Spa Resort). Our group consisted of me, my wife and 3 girls (16, 14 and 9 years old). This was our first visit to Malta and we will go back to Malta and Sliema where the hotel is located is a really nice place to stay.

We were on the all inclusive deal in the 4 star hotels which meant all meals and drinks were included in the price (we booked direct with the hotel having read good reports about it on Tripadviser!!) and 2 complimentary cruises and some other minor items in the Spa. We have done “all inclusive” once before and have stayed in lots of Hotels in Ireland, Europe, the US and Africa.

The Fortina hotel at first was nice and it has some good features but over the course of 10 days there were too many little things that left us not so positive about the hotel and we would not recommend it to a family similar to us. There are a few things that you should know before going to the hotel.

The hotel is billed as a 4 star (and 5 star in the Fortina Spa Resort). I do not know how Malta grades its hotels but in Ireland the hotel would only qualify as a good 3 star hotel at most.

The hotel is not so suited to kids simply because the garden pool area is off limits to kids and the hotel complex is not anything as big as the photos make out. Kids can only go to one pool area on the seafront (great view and location) but it gets very busy and can be a bit crowded. We swam in the sea next to the hotel pool and that was great. The seawater in Malta is the best.

Also, while there are 6 or more restaurants in the complex only one (the buffet) is included in the all inclusive deal in the 4 star hotel. Also, it’s quite difficult to get into some of the restaurants (if you are willing to pay which we were for a break) because they get booked up heavily by those in the 5 star where the all inclusive includes all restaurants (5 star hotel doesn’t allow kids!!). It is not really possible to turn up and get a table at the restaurants (except the buffet).

The food in the Buffet is very good with a great selection. It was perfect for the kids.

The staff was not very friendly and in particular the reception staff were unhelpful and did nothing to help us out when we were trying to book the pizzeria without success for 4 or 5 days and one or two other minor things. The hotel cleaning staff were friendlier than anyone else in the hotel. (My first time experience of Malta was that the Maltese are a friendly race and the service and attention we got outside of the hotel in bars and cafes was very different to a lot of the hotel staff and particular reception).

Expect some building noise early in the morning and all day from the apartments under construction next door to the hotel. It did not really bother us but it did those nearer that side of the hotel.

My wife and 16 year old had a very poor manicure and pedicure in the Spa but our 14 year old was very pleased with her manicure.

Overall, the hotel was ok for us. There were no major problems but for us too many little things bothered us which means we would not recommend it.

  • Liked — View from front pool looking over to Valetta
  • Disliked — Unhelpful reception and being limited to buffet on the all inclusive deal
  • Stayed August 2007, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
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liverpool
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 21, 2007

Answer > when you book a holiday at the Fortina Spa, through MED HOTELS!
but as this is a side issue although very relevant, i will come to it, for those interested after my review!

FORTINA SPA HOTEL , SLIEMA : first of all, the good points;
the location is very good, close to shops and bars and the view across to Valetta is marvellous. The staff are generally friendly apart from in the main restaurant/buffet area, where most requests for things like, clearing a table, drinks or baby chairs are largely greeted with huffs and puffs and general annoyance! Sadly that`s it for the ," good points"
Firstly, like the previous review, we were given no advance warning of the early morning call ( approx 7 am at the latest )from the huge hydraulic excavator with pneumatic hammer ( pecker ) breaking rock at the nieghbouring massive , " Tigne point", development, and practically impossible to sleep through! nor the large loading shovels tipping broken rock /rubble into barges anchored,approx 200 m away from the pool area at the front of the hotel, all day!( i have video footage if anyone disputes this )!
Generally speaking, we were very dissapointed and not just because of our, "ALL INCLUSIVE ",nightmare. The hotel is basically 2 hotels, a 4* ( yeah right ) and a newer 5* sharing most of the facilities but you can guess who gets the better service as well as facilities( after speaking to many guests from both ). there are several lifts from the ground to the 8th floor and almost every day, one or more were out of use, but only one lift from ground to basement where the main buffet restaurant and front swimming pool was, this was also regularly out of use and to negotiate the only spiral staircase with a pram and small children was hard but almost impossible for the disabled and at no time where any hotel stall stationed there to assist! We had many ," room service" , problems, from no replacement towells ,( a wait for nearly 2 hours after informing reception, ) broken electrical appliances, poor quality bed linen revealling soiled mattresses, noisy old aircon units and general poor cleaning. The main buffet restaurant was very tightly packed and the selection was mostly mundane and repetitive, the staff very slow to clear tables, this however could be attributed to there not being enough of them and almost every time we requested a toddler highchair, it had to be cleaned again before it was useable! Overall , in my opinion and comparing this hotel with the many All Inclusives, we have stayed at, incl, Dominican, Republic , Indian Ocean, Eygpt, Greece and TurkeyI , i would sum up by saying that the 4*FORTINA hotel had a tired appearence and is much IN NEED OF A FACELIFT, this is reflected in the staff but i have no doubt that in years gone by ,it probably enjoyed a much better position !


WARNING> ALL INCLUSIVE NIGHTMARE!
In a nutshell, we booked a last minute holiday for our anniversary from the teletext a week before we travelled, opting for the Fortina Spa, reason being , it offered all the usual AI refinements and boasted 5, a la carte restauraunts with unrestricted visits throughout the duration of our 10 night stay, for which we paid, £1386.50 ( flights seperate ), 2 adults, 1 child, 12 yrs old and 1 infant, 10 mths .The booking agent was most enthusiastic and encouraged us to go to the hotel`s website to confirm the high quality facilities that it offered ,
NOTE! at this point, there was no mention of " MED HOTELS", involvement in this contract! we in turn booked, paid and received our booking confirmation ,tickets plus a , " voucher", confirming our reservation and, " package ",type, which stated:

room type:2. Twin Deluxe ( 2-4) Garden View All Inclusive ( AI )

Issued by , yes you guessed, " MED HOTELS"!

Anyway, on arrival at approx 2 am saturday 4th August, we were told by the desk clerk that we were not fully, " All Inclusive", but, " All Inclusive LITE", which basically ment , buffet meals only and no visits to the 5 al a carte resturaunts as agreed and indeed confirmed by the " VOUCHER", we presented him with. getting nowhere and now distracted by 2 very tired children, i decided to make a tactical retreat and take the matter up with the hotel manager the next morning!

oh dear, it gets worse!" MED HOTELS" rep, does not turn up for our , " welcome meeting and the hotel manager is adamant that we are , AI LITE, only. My now raised voice attracts another guest who arrived an hour or two earlier in exactly the same predicamant as ourselves. a call to the rep is made and a meeting was scheduled for the evening with the hotel manager, MED HOTELS rep , us and the other family.

NOTHING WAS RESOLVED but i must say the Med HOTELS REP was most unhelpful but more dissapointingly the hotel management although sympathetic ( they say it happens a lot with MED HOTELS, and gave me a response letter to confirm it )did not want to know! At this point i will advise that i have written a complaint to MED HOTELS as have other families involved and depending on their response, i will elaborate further at a later date!

  • Liked — nothing
  • Disliked — cleanliness,musty
  • Stayed August 2007, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
England
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 19, 2007

This was the second trip to the Fortina. On both occasions I stayed in the 4* hotel and had an absolutely fabulous time!
The hotel room was spacious, clean and comfortable! The service I received was undoubtably the best service that I have come across at any hotel I have every stayed at!
The Spa Treatments were out of this world and is a must when visiting the hotel. I would recommend the Fortina as a place that has to be visited at least once in your lifetime!

Stayed June 2007
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Basingstoke/Reading
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 25, 2007

13 (some say unlucky) girls all came together to help celebrate my hen weekend.

I was a bit nervous about going to this hotel from reading various reports. Should not had listened!

Yes, people have said that the 4* has been let go because of the 5*, but you get what you pay for. We went all inclusive, which gave us the opportunity to dine Table d' Horte in the resturants. I would definatley recomend that this was the best choice, than the buffet only

The Valette resturant was okay, but you are completely spoilt by the other chocies. Japanese, Chinese, Italian and Indian, really hard to choose between them

Booked in for a 3night stay and it was the best time had by all. Yes, there were a few complications, but nothing that could not be sorted out. We had upgraded to a Garden room, as I was sharing with my 2 sisters, but when we arrived we were upgraded again to a Seaview room. Looking at the Garden rooms, we would have been better off just due to space than anything.

View was fantastic from the Cocktail Bar and the Harbour Crusie alone was worth it.

Everybody made us feel very welcome, even when we nearly drank them out of sparkling wine, which was very nice

  • Liked — Staff were very friendly
  • Disliked — 3 girls squashed in one room!
  • Stayed April 2007, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wales, Uk
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 4, 2007

Just returned, (02 april), and we were very nervous about going. BUT.... Couldn't really complain. You do, apparently, get what you pay for! Discovered too late that we had booked a standard 4* garden view. I emailed hotel to check this as no "standard rooms" advertised on their website. I also requested a double bed and enquired re building work. Got e mail back confirming standard room and that my request would "be noted". Check in was swift. Given seaview room. Room ok. clean. Fridge, tv, hairdryer etc. Bathroom--- TERRIBLE! Tiny, cheap, But always lots of hot water. Decided to keep the room as clean and view is fab........and isnt the room just to sleep in and get ready to go out??? Heard far worse reports of supposedly better rooms from other guests. The general concensus was it depended on who you booked with what rooms were allocated. Facilities were good. Partner used Gym every day. Open 9-9ish. Did not bother with spa...not even free treatments. Harbour cruise tickets given by timeshare rep but said no thank you and she never bothered us again. Didnt use pools as bit chilly, but they were nice and clean. Lifts never broke down when we stayed.
Restaurants;
Buffet......Not bad. Usually good in evenings with plenty of choice and always hot.
Other restaurants...(eat in brasserie x3!)Excellent!
Indian...very good
Chinese..Ok
Pizzeria...Excellent pizza!
Bars.....Downstairs hmmmm.....great for ballroom and line dancing. Lots of older guests!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Upstairs.........smoking bar.....drinks and service excellent. Staff excellent on the whole and never queued! Wine was ok, vodka better! Big screen tv, very discreet. Location excellent. Good shopping and access to buses, boats etc. Unsure wether a "spa room" is worth the very few extras you would get, as even "gold card carriers" eat alongside us common 4* guests and they did not appear to be treated any differently. Gazza was there propping up the bar one night and apparently another who shall remain nameless cos I didn't see him. Check before you travel but overall a good stay!

  • Liked — location and view
  • Disliked — terrible bathroom!
  • Stayed March 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
1 review
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 31, 2007

I am another person who had a great time at the Fortina this year in March - this was my 5th stay here in the last 8 years. I find the staff in all areas of the hotel helpful and polite, which is more than I can say for some of the guests in their atitude that I witnessed during my stay. I have seen some reviewers that think the value for their money was poor - one reviewer stayed in a standard room - the hotel do not sell these rooms directly any more, they are picked up by travel agents. If you travelled with Thompson the daily rate for one of these rooms (deducting air fares) would have been about £36 per person, this includes full board and all drinks. If you compare that with, for example the basic grade room in a 4 star Hilton (fairly small rooms) including only breakfast then the cost is about £110 per day. I don't really understand what people expect for £36 per day. I don't think you can expect a four star level if you base this on the type of room you have but have chosen the cheapest - that's not how star ratings work. For example in the UK a hotel can gain a 3 star rating even if only 75% of their rooms have en-suite facilities. To get a four star then all their rooms must have en-suite and shower.

This year I stayed in a deluxe jacuzzi room (in the 4star part of the hotel) on my own which cost £95 per day. For this I had three meals a day, could eat in four of the speciality restaurants from the resident's choice (which changed each day and included items from the a la carte) or by paying a suppliment could eat in the Japanese restaurant(which was excellent) or Taste. I ate twice at the Indian and I was given 3 popadoms to myself each time so perhaps the other reviewer was unlucky! Also the amount of food you get as one portion was about twice as much as I could eat and was very good. I did sometimes eat off the a la carte menu and paid the suppliment but each time the waiter was careful to point out that there would be a suppliment and one told me that they had to be careful to do that because there had been some problems from residents saying afterwards that they did not understand that a suppliment had to be paid. I certainly didn't have anyone trying to get me to have extras that I would have to pay for. I also found it incredibly easy to book restaurants and usually did this on a daily basis either by phone or at reception.

If you go in the summer then there are four outdoor pools and plenty of space for sunbathing if that's your thing, as well as nice shady areas to relax in. I didn't really notice any noise from the building next door this time - it is nearly finished so the worst is over, three years ago it was noisy because the main construction was taking place.

My room was excellent with a king sized bed, separate sitting area with sofa and easy chair, writing desk etc, a decent sized bathroom and two balconies with fantastic views of the sea and Valletta. I had a television that had Sky news and Sky movies one at no extra cost, and a fridge that was stocked daily with water, wine and beer. I used to leave a note asking for what I wanted as I'm more of a red wine person and they always left what I'd asked for. Also one day I had run out of coffee in my room so called reception and within 10 minutes someone from housekeeping came with extra supplies of everything.

I have stayed previously in the 5 star in both the tower rooms and the therapeutic rooms with private rooftop pool. I couldn't fault them and as for value for money, I have stayed in many 5 star hotels all over the world, including those that have spa's and the costs range from about £180 to £350 a night with only breakfast included so I think the Fortina is very good value. A two night stay at a UK health farm with two or three treatments included will set you back about £650 and I recently stayed in the Peninsular Spa in Beverly Hills for 2 nights at a cost of £350 per night with all spa use and treatments extra - all you got was breakfast included in that price.

This year I used the spa and treatments extensively - I had about 14 hours of treatments and 4, 2 to 3 hour sessions in the spa area. The cost of this was just under £500 which again in my experience is excellent value (about £20 an hour on average)

So as far as I'm concerned, I would highly recommend this hotel as long as you don't expect to pay peanuts and still get the highest quality. I will certainly be going back to the Fortina again and I think if people really understood what qualifies as a 4 or 5 star hotel in a country that has a similar standard of living to the UK then they would not be so quick to comment.

  • Liked — the spa facilities and range of treatments available
  • Disliked — guests who left their towels on the floor in the spa rather than putting them in the baskets provided
  • Stayed March 2007, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Fortina

Address: Tigne Seafront, Sliema, Island of Malta SLM 3012, Malta
Location: Malta > Island of Malta > Sliema
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Sliema
#8 Luxury Hotel in Sliema
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Fortina 4*
Number of rooms: 200
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Fortina Hotel Sliema
Hotel Fortina Malta/Sliema

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