We stayed at the Coastline three years ago, before it became a Saga hotel, and enjoyed it so much we decided to book through Saga purely for the hotel. As it turns out, I'd use Saga again. The Saga reps are very good, and helpful, as are the hotel staff.
The character of the hotel has changed since our previous trip, but while it is generally less lively, Saga do ensure there are plenty of activities going on. Unlike the previous trip, we were on a full board/all inclusive, which is well worth the extra cost in my opinion. It meant that all drinks (alcoholic and non) were free, meals were all sorted and even packed lunches for trips were included (just tell reception the day before), bottled water and tea/coffee is also free.
As with our previous visit, we used the local buses for all our excusions except for a trip to Malta's sister island of Gozo, which was well worth the 30.00 Euros each and could not practically have been done independently.
The Coastline is situated on the coast road running between Buggiba, St Julians/Paceville and Sliema. We used the public buses almost exclusively, they stop frequently just outside the hotel (no.s 70, 645 and 652 – pick up a bus timetable from reception), and there is a free hotel shuttle (timetable from reception) that drops and picks up in Buggiba a short walk from the bus terminal. Note. I hear the bus system is being changed toward the end of the year, all the buses upgraded and of course the pricing being revised, so the local buses may no longer be as cheap a means of independent travel in future. Up until then, bus timetables are available from reception or the Saga reps. Get a 5 or 7 day bus pass (available from machines at most terminals, from bus information in Valetta, or from the bus driver approx 3.50 Euros for 1 day, 15.00 for 7 days), it’s the cheapest way to get around and the passes mean you don't need to keep change on you all the time. The island might be small, but it takes a quite a while to move around, so don’t plan too much in a day. One point to note: Up to Easter is still regarded as winter season, so it may be difficult to get buses after 19:00.
A good first stop is the tourist information centre in Valletta, just around to the right in the first square as you walk into valleta off the bus.
The Sliema to Valleta ferry is cheap (40c each way), and gives an excellent view of the harbour and three cities, but be prepared for a very steep hill climb in Valetta.
For anyone who is interested in more modern history (post Knights of St John) and canon/rifles, Fort Rinella is another good day.
Other must do attraction is the blue grotto.
The one thing about Malta is that because it has so much history, there is so much to see. Get a good guide book, or use the web - the hotel has free access to the web from a group of PCs located off the foyer.
In the hotel, the food is generally of good quality and there is always plenty of it. The hotel is situated in a fairly remote location with nowhere interesting to walk to (no local beauty walks, pubs, clubs or restaurants). For those who wish to stay in the hotel, or those who are willing to get out and use the buses this isn't really an issue.
Personally, I would recommend paying the suppliment for a sea view. Waking up to that view is fantastic, and there is always the balcony to sit and enjoy a drink from just looking out to sea.
April is a great time to go to Malta, I don’t think I’d want to experience summer temperatures, or the flies that other reviews have mentioned. April temperatures vary a lot, pack a warm jacket/fleece and rain proof, but you’ll also want shorts and T-shirts.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Eight-story Hotel set on a rise overlooking the bay, 10 minutes from Sliema & 15 from Valletta by car. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Coastline Hotel Bugibba
- Coastline Hotel Malta/Bugibba
- Malta Hotel Coastline
- Hotel Coastline Malta