Having read the previous reviews, we thought that reading between the lines that it was basic, but that is would be comfortable. After all, we only wanted somewhere basic to stay, with reasonable facilities and food, nothing sumptuous.
We got a lot less than even we expected.
As already said, the rooms are basic, lacking only pictures on the wall to make them more homely. The beds were a good size and as comfortable as many hotels provide. Pity the sheets were not the right size for them!!
We arrived the day before Anthea26, (who is either in another dimension, or works for the hotel!), gave her review at 3.30am due to a delayed flight. The young guy at the reception, whilst friendly, was a little less than helpful. We asked if it was possible to get some bottles of water and he directed us to the machine downstairs.......then told us there was no water in it as it had sold out. We found our way down the VERY dark spiral staircase to said machine only to find out that most other bottles had also sold out. Put money in and selected an orange, got nothing. Tried to reject and get our money, got nothing. Went back back to the young guy at reception to explain, got nothing. Sorry, got a shrug. Nothing to do with him and, no, he did not have the keys to the bar.
Found our way to the room in an elevator that only worked that morning and was out of order for the remainder of our stay. The TV stand had no TV on it, the 'stocked mini bar' advertised was also not in evidence. When we quizzed the staff the following day, we were told that they had several broken TV's and would put us on the list for one. Obviously what this meant was bringing one from another room when those guests checked out.
The big shocks then came to the eating experience! The simple breakfast is, well, VERY simple. The cheese and cold cuts actually consists of one tray of cheese slices in plastic, (the type put onto burgers), and one tray of salami, or chopped ham. The juices were fine, the coffee was really quite good. Bread was available with two toasters. The hot food, well hot is a bit incorrect really, warm food was small sausages, herb tomatoes, and a tray of something indescribeable usually containing eggs, though once this was mash with sausage and bacon, much of which stuck to the serving spoon left out to the mercy of the passing flies. Cereals were always coco pops and own brand cornflakes. Jams were either strawberry jelly or marmalade. These ran out on Sunday and were still not present the day after we left, (so we discovered by text from some friends we made whilst there).
Dinner then came as a real disappointment. We booked a table as requested, but were told that we could not sit inside the restaurant and were directed to the plastic section. We were then verbally given the two options for starters and main courses. As the pasta with fish was one option, I checked that it did not contain clams as they make me violently sick. I was told no. (you guessed it, at 3am I was violently sick!!). The main courses were fish and belly pork. The fish was so small and thin it was overcooked, the belly pork had bones in, so was actually ribs but, again, overcooked and tough. These were accompanied by a few cold fries and a sludge we determined was roast pepper and aubergine, (not quite sure when it had previously been roasted though). We asked if we could have one of the items on the special board and were told, 'No you are half board'. Thats ok, we'll pay for it. 'No, you are half board!', she insisted.
By this time, a la carte customers had started arriving. These people were positively fawned over. Suddenly, the fan that was blowing some cool air at our table stopped. It was unplugged by a waitress and given to one of these arriving diners. Not even an apology or warning to us.
At the end of the meal, we made our way the, very shabby, bar to discover that a private party was going on in the pool, guests were ordered to stay away. After waiting some time for a member of staff, we found a waitress and tried to order some drinks only to be told, 'we're too busy, you'll have to wait til later'.
We never had dinner at the restaurant or used the bar again.
The pool area is shabby and could be dangerous. They have used cheap matting which was stuck down at one time, but is now peeling off casing possible trip hazards in addition to not looking good.
On the Saturday, a rainstorm caused complete havoc in the dining area. It is only tented on three sections, and has parasols on the remainder. These all leak.
Breakfast involved a walk from the building, through a shower followed by a search for a table that was not wet. The buffet now laid the other side of a rather wonderful waterfall. Water was dripping down onto the counter, (including onto the toasters!)
That day we managed to track down the manager, Josef, (who it has to be said is a manager, not part of a family run team). He tried to explain many of the points to us. Well, he waffled quite a bit, even to the point of telling us that his wife had stayed at The Regency in London and they served a simple breakfast no better than the one here!!
In summary, the main problem here is that the hotel is in a prime location, but it is not being taken advantage of. There is a lot of penny pinching, I would not mind paying more for better treatment. If their service was better, they would more than make up in tips. I for one tip for good service, but I did not leave anything this trip.
Whilst I understand the staff work long hours, it does not excuse them from providing shoddy customer service. Shunning paying guests in favour of casual visitors I found appaling.
If they list facilities, they should have them, (no mini bar, no WIFI, no TV etc.)
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- Also Known As:
- Ambassador Hotel Malta/Xemxija