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“A lot of drawbacks, read attentively” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Balco Harmony Hostel

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Balco Harmony Hostel
2.0 of 5 Hostel   |   Cuschieri Street, Sliema, Island of Malta GZR05, Malta   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #11 of 16 Specialty Lodging in Sliema
Lyon, Rhone-Alpes, France
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“A lot of drawbacks, read attentively”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2013

Hello everybody,

I’ve just spent one month in Balco Symphony with my boyfriend and I feel the duty to write a review about it.
We knew that it was quite cheap but the pictures showed a modern and bright room. They were fairly closed to reality but when we started to enjoy our stay we realized that there were many drawback regarding this hotel, namely :
- About the kitchen :
You will have to share the kitchen. We dealt with a very dirty fume hood, harmed pans really not healthy, the only fan in the kitchen was broken and the cooker didn’t work that much.
- About the room :
Bathroom : So many annoying problems in the bathroom !! We experienced a water leak in the bathroom’s rooftop. Our privacy was threatened because the door of the bathroom was broken and we couldn’t lock it up. One day the sink was stuffed. At the end of our stay, suddenly a pungent smell was coming from the bathroom. Yuck !
Bedroom : Once the fridge was broken and we lost all the food, even if it was very quickly repaired they didn’t pay us back for our thawed food.
the air conditioning was working we couldn’t set the temperature. Too bad because the bedroom is really really hot (it’s difficult to sleep). There was a TV in our room. It added value for sure, unfortunately It was not working more than five minutes! After that the screen turns blue.
- About the services :
The lift was out-of-date. There is absolutely no one at the reception of the hotel to help you. Furthermore there was a phone in the room to call the maintenance but it was impossible to reach them. About the WIFI, which was a paying service (2 euros for one giga, 10 for 10): the Internet access was terrible since we couldn’t use Skype. It was really difficult to communicate because the connexion was too slow! BUT it’s not the worst thing: the entire hotel couldn’t access the Internet for 5 days at least apparently due to renovations. We had no explanations, no apologizes, and no one was able to tell us when it will be fixed. Apparently the people responsible for that were not very worried about it. Balco can’t provide a paying service which works badly or doesn’t work at all.

But what I hated the most in Balco Symphony was the lack of privacy. Indeed, the maid was always doing the housework when we were asleep. She just knocked at the door, sometimes ignoring the sign “Do not disturb” to do her things. She had a day for every task: Monday, clear the bin. Tuesday, change towels. Wednesday, change bed linen. Thursday, change the bin once again and Friday: clean the floor. Why do not come once or twice and no more? Okay, she offered to come on Saturdays when we were gone instead of on Fridays, pretty nice. But I felt very ill-at-ease even if she was quiet.
Another thing which made me think that our privacy was threatened: all the bedrooms are very closed to each other, you can hear anything from your room, someone taking a shower, a couple having sex… Nice! Not to mention the fact that all the bedrooms are situated around the kitchen.

Of course there were a few advantages:
- The terrace on the roof, pretty nice to enjoy the fireworks by night and also where you can hang out the laundry.
- The location of the hotel, closed to all amenities. There is also a bus stop just next to the hotel.
- The price, depending on the period. There is a good value for money until June, but after July it’s very expensive since It’s situated in Gzira and not in Sliema.
- The pick up of my boyfriend was free.

To conclude, this place can be pleasant for short lets If possible before June. After I can just advice you to find a better place for a little extra money.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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24 reviews from our community

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Families
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3 of 5 stars
Date | Rating
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  • Japanese first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
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English first
Istanbul, Turkey
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 14, 2013

I stayed in a single room in June for 8 nights and it was very cheap. The room was big and includes a tv and fridge.There is a bus stop in front of the hostel, so can go to Valletta. The city centre of Sliema is a 15minute walk away, or you can take a bus. When you come out of the hostel, turn right, cross the road, and turn right again, and there is another bus stop to go to airport (bus X2). I was collected at the airport for free :) These are why I liked the hostel.There is only one negative thing about the hostel: If you like walking, you can walk to St.Julians, but it would be clever to go back to the hostel by walking in the middle of nihgt. But, whereever you stay in Malta (Sliema or St. Julians), you will need to take a bus to go to Malta's beaches.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Maastricht, Limburg, Netherlands
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 12, 2013

I'm a college student, and I stayed here for a couple days with three of my friends. The four of us had our own room, with a small balcony and a private bathroom. It was clean, blankets and towels were provided, and there was a bus station nearby that gave you access to the rest of the island. The only down side was that I never actually saw someone at the reception desk after checking in, but we were able to communicate with the hostel managers via email, and Malta is small enough that you don't particularly need someone to guide you around. Overall, definitely a good value! Also, when I forgot a skirt here the manager found it and mailed it to me (in the Netherlands) at no cost, which is exceptional and amazing.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rome, Italy
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 16, 2013

I stayed at Balco Malta hostel for 9 days with my boyfriend for an holiday, during the summer.
I think that the hostel is good related to the price.
It's clean and it's located in a good position, near the waterfront of Sliema and near to the bus stop, to visit the island.
The room was quite hot because we stayed in Malta in August, but there's a fan.
In my opinion, one thing a little annoying was the smell of the kitchen that was in the hotel.

However the hostel is good!

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Bridgend, United Kingdom
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2012

I stayed at Balco hostel for one week and must say i was extremely happy during my stay. Staff were extremely helpful and facilities were clean and tidy. The location provided easy access to all local amenities. Would highly recommend and look forward to my return visit, hopefully very soon.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 18, 2012

We were 2 people and stayed for 5 night in sharing room and 2 nights in single rooms. The place is newly refurbished and opened last March. Doris is in reception every day in the morning and dorien makes clean. We like it and good price. I recommend if you want clean & cheap place.

  • Stayed August 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Balco Harmony Hostel

Address: Cuschieri Street, Sliema, Island of Malta GZR05, Malta
Location: Malta > Island of Malta > Sliema
Hotel Style:
Ranked #11 of 16 Specialty Lodging in Sliema
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2 star — Balco Harmony Hostel 2*
Number of rooms: 10
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Also Known As:
Balco Harmony Hostel Malta/Sliema

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