Myself and my partner have just returned from a lovely week relaxing in Malta. We booked to go literally a few days before and therefore had done only limited research into the hotel and the area as a whole.
LOCATION: The hotel is a 10 minute bus ride from the village/town of Mellieha. There is one other hotel opposite and other than that you're pretty much on your own. Buses into the town run frequently, from the early hours until late at night. The bus stop is only a 10 minute walk away, at the top of the street where the next hotel is located. We bought a 7 day pass (12 euros each) and thoroughly abused it! Due to the bus stop being on the main road to the Gozo ferry terminal (which you can walk to in 15 mins), there are plenty of buses to all parts of the island. Ask at reception for a timetable but (as we had both stupidly forgotten to pick up our driving licenses before we left), we travelled everywhere by bus: Valetta, Mdina, Buggiba, even going into Sliema one evening for a meal and drinks. It's cheap and easy (if not a little frustrating at times).
MELLIEHA: This is a lovely town, very picturesque. There are some nice restaurants. Please be aware that quite a lot of them are shut on a Sunday. Prices for pizza and pasta dishes are reasonable; other mains would become expensive for families. There are a couple of nice beaches; Mellieha beach is lovely. If you fancy treating yourselves, Rebekah's restaurant is amazing. Take the street directly up from opposite Bouquet Garni (on the main street near Hilltop). When you reach the fork in the road (there's a white apartment block) veer left and it's on the right hand side. The food was delicious; the service excellent. Posh food and normal person portion sizes, some unusual options such as Kangeroo (delicious) and Wild Boar. We paid about 70 euros for 2 starters, 2 mains, small bottle of wine and a bottle of water. This also included some lovely fresh warm bread and an amuse bouche (complimentary). Be aware the pasta/risotto starters we had were HUGE... So Go Hungry!
ROOMS: As it was a very last minute booking, we had no choice in our room and weren't bothered by this. We were given a room on the first floor. The room was very spacious and clean. There was some damp behind the balcony curtains, where the paint was beginning to bubble but other than that it was spotless. The balcony unfortunately was part of the roof of the bar downstairs, so there was little/no view as such but again this wasn't a massive issue for us as we were out most days, and when in and it was warm enough to sunbathe we headed downstairs. The only thing we were disappointed with was the beds as we had actually booked a double room! However we didn't get a double bed, instead having two (large) twin beds pushed together. They weren't zip beds either, which meant throughout the course of the night the beds gradually pushed further and further away from each other, making for an uncomfortable night's sleep.
POOLS, WEATHER and SUNBATHING: We had lovely weather; only two days were chilly all day due to quite high winds but they were still really bright and sunny, we took these days as sightseeing days for further afield. The rest of the week was light jacket/cardigan weather in a morning/evening and warm enough to sunbathe from 11 - 3. We didn't have a problem getting a sunbed (though confess to taking a European approach one or two mornings and nicking one first thing laying claim with our towels). The outdoor pools were closed at the start of the week, one had opened by our last day. The indoor pool was lovely, though a little chilly. Perfect temp for sports swimming but a little cool for those just passing the time/relaxing.
HOTEL on the whole: The staff were always friendly and helpful in answering any questions. The room was cleaned each day, only one day they turned up really late (4pm in the afternoon) and we had just got in from a long day sightseeing and had to decline. The supermarket was a bit expensive, but we used the supermarket 'van' located outside the hotel opposite for water etc. There was some entertainment, seemed there was usually something on in the bar on an evening (singer or Bingo), there was a 'Walk of the Day' each morning, there was some sort of afternoon activity going on. We didn't use any of them but we saw plenty of people getting involved.
The only problem was the availability of food in an evening. We stayed B&B (as we like to eat out and planned to be out). The breakfast was fine, plenty of fresh fruit and delicious yoghurts along with the usual items. The bar food was also good. The problem was that after 18:30 in the evening, there was nowhere to eat apart from the buffet which (if you weren't FB or Ai) was 25 euros each. The bar stops serving food. We had had a really long day, both very tired, we had arrived back about 7:30 in the evening and decided to eat at the hotel that one evening, not really feeling like going back to the bus to go into town, after showering. Not particularly starving, we were hoping for a bar snack option which we could only have if we ordered it as room service (5 euro charge) AND ate it in our room!! We could have anything off the bar menu; BUT we had to go to our room for it to be 'delivered' and eat it there! If there was anywhere else nearby then this wouldn't have been a problem, however there wasn't and therefore this is what we did. They did say in Summer they have a outdoor Pizzeria, not much use to those wanting to eat in March!
Recommend: Mdina and Rabat - take some time to visit the Catacombs in Rabat too. Sliema for shopping, everyone promotes The Point shopping centre but actually a bit further down in Sliema there is a huge UK style high street (without the UK recession style empty units). We enjoyed Valletta too.
Let Downs: Gozo; don't get me wrong it's a nice island and the capital Victoria is a lovely way to spend an afternoon but it had been so hyped up tour companies and in travel guides I was expecting a land that time forget, with unbelievable views and charm. In truth we didn't find it much different to the mainland Malta. The tour companies were pushing trips starting at 50 euros per person. We walked 15 mins to the ferry (took the bus back), easily bought our own tickets and then took the hop on/hop off at the other side (bought tickets in the terminal for 10 euros each). This cost us 30 euros for us both!
The hop on/hop off wasn't great. The buses run every 45 mins though most of what there is to see at each stop doesn't require 45 mins. The buses were also full, we managed seats on the top open air deck but many were stuck downstairs. I can imagine the whole experience being quite distressing in the height of Summer. Saying that, I am not sure it was worth 50 euros each to see it any other way. We're glad we have been but I would suggest researching exactly what you want to see on Gozo and taking the Gozo service buses straight there. Or taking your hire car!
Overall we liked Malta, Mellieha and Ramla hotel a lot. It was perfect for a sunny Easter break, with lots of sightseeing and the occasional lazy sunbathing afternoons.
I think next time we would possibly look at staying somewhere closer to Sliema where we felt there was a bit more on your doorstep but without the craziness of St Julian's Bay.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Ramla Bay Resort is situated on the northernmost shore of Malta, limits of Mellieha. The Resort offers spectacular views of the sister Islands of Comino and Gozo and is blessed with ample land and surrounded by landscaped gardens. Malta’s most popular Sandy Beaches of Mellieha is just a few kilometres away accessible by public transport.Amenities include: *Private Sandy Beach,*3 Outdoor /1 Indoor Pool, SPA, and *Water Sport Centre,Tennis Court as well as Meeting and Conference facilities.(* May to October) ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, Travelocity, Booking.com, Priceline, Despegar.com, Odigeo, HostelBookers and Hotels.com so you can book your Ramla Bay Resort reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Ramla Bay Hotel Mellieha
- Hotel Ramla Bay
- Ramla Bay Resort Malta/Mellieha
- Ramla Bay Malta
- Malta Ramla Bay
- Ramla Bay Hotel Malta