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“Near perfect, but at a price” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Excelsior Grand Hotel

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Excelsior Grand Hotel
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Great Siege Road, Valletta, Island of Malta FRN1810, Malta   |  
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Ranked #2 of 8 Hotels in Valletta
Chichester
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Near perfect, but at a price”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 15, 2013

GOOD POINTS: Great location and setting, wonderful service, yummy breakfast, large comfortable rooms, quiet pool, free gym
BAD POINTS: Drinks and food are very expensive, room could do with some sprucing up, breakfast seating questionable

I've stayed in quite a few different hotels in Malta over the years, but this was my first venture to a 5* hotel- and I have to say, there was a clear and discernible difference in the quality of our stay at the Excelsior in comparison to other respectable 4* hotels on the island.

Beginning with the positives: the location and setting of the hotel has to be one of it's biggest plus points- with a pool and restaurants overlooking the harbour and the hotel itself only a five minute walk from the centre of Valletta, the Excelsior couldn't be in a better position. Every time we went for breakfast we marvelled at the views and it looks even better than any of the photos online.

The service was also fantastic, and was one of the main elements that demonstrated that this is a 5* hotel. On arrival and whilst waiting to check in at the reception, we received a complimentary glass of mixed juice, which was refreshing after a long journey. Similarly, the daily free bottles of water and turning down service (with complimentary pillow chocolates!) made us feel looked after; these are only small details but they made a big difference to our experience at the hotel.

Similarly, whenever we had any requests or small problems, the hotel was (on the whole) happy to help. The air conditioning in our room was a bit pathetic and wasn't cold at all, but a quick ring down to reception and within an hour an engineer had had a look and had managed to improve it so that we were more comfortable for the rest of our stay. Similarly, we needed a bottle opener for some wine that we'd bought outside of the hotel, and again a quick ring down to reception and one was delivered with a smile to our room ten minutes later. When we first arrived to our room, the bellboy ensured that we knew everything about the facilities, such as where the room's hairdryer was located and so on.

Breakfast was delicious with a wide range of options on offer, from cooked English breakfast to the usual continental options, as well as the choice for the chefs to cook fresh pancakes, omelettes and fried eggs. There often was a bit of a queue for this latter service, but the food itself was superb. Similarly, it's worth trying the selection of pastries on offer, particularly the traditional Maltese pastizzi, which were especially yummy.

Our room was large and comfortable, although we had requested a twin room but had been placed in a double. However, as soon as this was mentioned to the receptionist, she offered to try and re-jig the rooms if possible to get us a twin room, despite the fact that the hotel was running at full capacity. She also pointed out that we'd paid for a room with a garden view, but had ended up with a partial seaview, and once we saw the room itself we were happy to stick with the double considering the size of the bed and the beautiful view. However, her offer to help us try and change rooms was nevertheless very much appreciated.

Concerning views and balconies, it is definitely worth trying to get at least a partial seaview, though the angle of the hotel to the harbour means that there are a lot of rooms that technically have a seaview, but in reality are facing the other side of the hotel. We were lucky with our view as we could see most of the harbour, and as we were on the third floor with the cove balconies, we had a lot of privacy. In fact, when we were in our room it was easy to forget that anyone else was staying at the hotel! However, it was easy to see that a lot of the other rooms did not have the same level of privacy, especially as most balconies seem to be divided simply by a loop of metal, meaning that if you're sitting outside you're able to see everyone else sitting on their balconies in a row. Hence I do recommend trying to get one of the more private balconies such as the ones on the third floor or lower, as it did make a difference to our stay.

The pool was surprisingly always quiet- in fact, we often wondered where everyone was! And so there was never a rush to try and find a spot and swimming was always a joy. There were few children at the hotel so this meant that there was a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere, especially by the pool. Accompanied by the wonderful views and staff who were on hand to bring out parasols or get drinks and food, chilling out by the pool was always a pleasure.

Finally, during our stay I made use of the free gym. Although the equipment isn't massively up to date (there isn't anywhere to put your iPod if you want to listen to your own music, for example) there's plenty of it and there's almost everything you could want to exercise with. And as with the pool, it was very quiet- in fact, during the several times that I used the gym, I was the only person in there, and it was great to be able to exercise in peace and privacy.

As much as our stay was near-perfect, there were a few minor negatives. Firstly, it is an expensive place to stay if you want to get extra drinks or food by the pool, at the Tiki bar or in the hotel reception bar, for example. It does depend on what you want to get, but even lunch at the Tiki restaurant (with drinks) costs at least fifteen to twenty Euro per person, which is a pretty hefty price. We tended to avoid buying too much at the hotel itself due to the cost, though it could be argued that higher prices are part and parcel of staying at a 5* establishment.

Secondly, although our room was generally lovely and clean, it could have done with a bit of sprucing up. There were stains on the lampshade next to my bed, and the lamp itself flickered slightly. There were a few stains on the carpet, too. But more than anything, the outside and frontage of the hotel really needs a lick of paint.

Finally, although we very much enjoyed our breakfasts overlooking the harbour, getting the right seat was a bit of an issue at times. During our first breakfast we were placed in a corner of the room far from the windows despite the fact that many other tables in better situations were free, and this corner was very poorly lit. In fact, it was so poorly lit that we did request to move, for the main reason that my mother is deaf and hence has to lip read in order for us to converse, and she finds it more difficult to do so if the lighting is poor. However, although the waitress happily listened to our request, nothing was done and we remained at the same table for the rest of that breakfast. Thankfully the following morning and thus after we were seated at tables with better lighting.

However, these negatives are all only very minor, and in general our stay was fantastic. The Excelsior truly is a 5* hotel and we very much had a 5* experience!

Room Tip: Rooms level 3 and below have more private balconies.
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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London
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 14, 2013

We stayed for a single night on our final day in Malta and the hotel made an ideal base from which to explore Valetta and Birgu.

Sarah (reception) and Maria (Concierge desk) were efficient, helpful and friendly

Thank you!

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Sydney, Australia
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 14, 2013

The hotel is well situated near down town Valletta (main city). All the attractions are within walking distance of the hotel.
The hotel is situated on the water's edge and has stunning views.
Bijou beach is a must to enjoy a meal with fantastic atmosphere.
The hotel has reception on level 6, so the best rooms are above level 6. Wi-fi is difficult under level 6, particularly for ipads.Wi-fi is available at reception.
Breakfast was excellent and good value for money.
The staff very helpful. I left my jumper at the hotel and Maria made sure it was sent home. A day after arriving home, it turned up.

Room Tip: Aim for a room with a view. Our room was termed "sea view" but it took a lot of effort to...
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  • Stayed August 2013, 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hawarden, United Kingdom
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 13, 2013

You are met at the door by the admirable Heathcliffe!! What a star..nothing is too much trouble for him and all the staff. Having stayed there approx 8 times in the last 3 months, the whole experience just gets better and better. Great facilities, particularly the pool and its bijou "beach". From here you can watch the oligarchs' "yachts" berth...amazing. They're bigger than some of the Royal Navy boats. Tiki restaurant by the pool is particularly good vfm. Buffet supper also worth a try for 30 euros.
Very cosmopolitan staff, from charismatic Maltese to ultra efficient Russians, Dutch and German who always have a smile on their faces. Billy, Edon, Lydia, Marie Clare, Jordan.....Solange , Gwen, Maria too many wonderful people to mention who try their utmost to meet your requests. Within walking distance of the centre of historic Valetta. Big, modern hotel that succeeds in treating each guest as though you are THE guest to be attended to.
Management also regularly available to listen to your ideas--Weds evening drinks at the bar to give them feedback.
So it's definitely not Victorian or the place where Cathy would seek her Heathcliffe. Great place from which to explore the whole of Malta--don't forget to go to Gozo! Only drawback......the toasters at breakfast aren't very efficient...Ha!!!

Room Tip: Harbour side with views are great. I've found the higher the floor the better wifi reception.
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Lancashire
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 13, 2013

Spent full week in hotel as part of a large family group to celebrate son's wedding.
The situation of the hotel is excellent with great views of the harbour and Sliema, whilst being very close to Valletta centre.
It is an imposing building and sits in very expansive grounds with every possible amenity.you do not feel part of a crowd in any way.
The public rooms are super, with a stunning reception. Various large restaurants are on various floors, whilst 'The Tiki' restaurant and bar outside overlooking the water is very nice.
Breakfast (included) was good with a very wide selection BUT long delays occurred every day at the fried egg / omelette station which was totally under-manned with very long queues which were a permanent feature. Surely, this could be sorted out very easily.
We enjoyed 2 evening meals at 'The Tiki' outdoor restaurant. The menu was rather limited but the food was excellent if somewhat slow being served. The problem here was trying to sort out the bill for a large group. The poor staff were totally confused and yet the meals were a set price - whatever you chose!
The hotel bedrooms were excellent, large, well furnished, well equipped and very comfortable. We were on 8th floor overlooking the main entrance but with very acceptable views over the gardens. The management had made great efforts to get our party as close together as possible.
Overall it was a very good stay - warranting 5* but for the daily wait for an egg and the dreaded confusion when settling the bill at 'The Tiki'.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with family
    • 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
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Cambridge, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 12, 2013

What a lovely break!. Super hotel, great food, friendly and helpful staff. Breakfasts were amazing! We were on the 7th floor, facing the harbour and swimming pool - fantastic!
The Maltese Football team stayed here as they were playing in the World Cup qualifying games - they were so quiet ! Lovely bunch of lads. Bad luck they lost.

Room Tip: 7th floor overlooking harbour and swimming pool
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 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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Manchester, England, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 10, 2013

We have just returned from yet another excellent stay at the Grand Excelsior Hotel Valetta. The staff were very attentive & polite, nothing was too much trouble. We had a sea facing room on the 9th floor, fabulous views from a huge balcony. The food was excellent but the portions were huge for a small appetite. International buffets were fabulous, so much variety & the pasta station excellant. The pool area was great, spotlessly clean & the man made beach a great idea for a swim in the sea. We will definately be back.

  • Stayed August 2013, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Excelsior Grand Hotel

Address: Great Siege Road, Valletta, Island of Malta FRN1810, Malta
Phone Number:
Location: Malta > Island of Malta > Valletta
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 8 Hotels in Valletta
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — Excelsior Grand Hotel 5*
Number of rooms: 428
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Grand Hotel Excelsior Malta is a deluxe, 5-star resort situated within the sixteenth century fortifications of Malta’s capital city, Valletta - a UNESCO World Heritage site. The Excelsior commands the island’s premier waterfront location offering breathtaking sea views of Marsamxett Harbour and Manoel Island. As a member of Preferred Hotels & Resorts, the hotel exceeds expectations on the basis of its 5-star service excellence. All deluxe rooms and suites enjoy a harmonious blend of classic and contemporary design mixed with modern 5-star convenience including multi-channel flat screen TV. Spread over ten levels, three of which are executive floors, most of the rooms and suites overlook stunning harbour views. The Excelsior’s facilities include a private 30-berth marina, large outdoor and indoor swimming pools, health & beauty centre and 3 food and beverage outlets. The Excelsior offers versatile conference & banqueting facilities, fourteen flexible venues, a number of which have natural daylight - an ideal environment for business meetings, conferences and other events. Near to the Excelsior is the Mediterranean Conference Centre. This historical building enhances the Excelsior’s conference potential with an auditorium capacity for up to one thousand four hundred delegates. The Grand Hotel Excelsior opened its doors to its first guests on the 10th September 2007. Right from the start it was very clear that the product and service offerings were to be of a superior nature. The hotel prides itself in attracting and retaining a faithful following of leisure and business guests as well as prominent international personalities. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Excelsior Grand Valletta
Hotel Excelsior Grand
Excelsior Grand Hotel Malta/Valletta

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