If you are looking for a beautiful place to stay with a real taste of local malta life, this is for you. The home (far more than just a house/villa or place to stay) is so lovely you will not want to leave. We rented Casa Sant Fournier for our family for the week as were getting married in Malta and our experience could not have been happier. This is indeed a home to the owners family and so welcoming you feel like you know them personally. It has everything you need for a larger group, plenty of space, bathrooms, quiet corners and yet the main areas the kitchen (very well equipped), central courtyard, lounge etc quickly become the heart of the home while you are there. Most of our evening meals were spent in the beautiful central couryard with candles, the sound of the running water from the small fountain, just perfect. The local village centre has enough shops as well as a market most days for all your fresh food needs, with a few local bars and takeaways if needed.The owner has left a book to explain how everything from the hot water to the internet works, however Mary the housekeeper, a delightful lady was there to help if needed at any time. If you have a car you would need to park a 100yards or so away in the main square but to be honest buses run every 20-30mins to Valetta with changes to St Julians etc.Our family could not believe how lovely this home was, we have never stayed in such a beautiful and loved family home and I doubt we will ever find anything like it again. Loved everything about it. Our group age range was 14yrs to 73yrs in age.
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This is a belated review for a marvelous vacation we had in November 2011 at Casa Sant Fournier. It was a very pleasurable experience from start to finish. The owner, Tess, was very responsive by email to all my enquiries including some English to American translations. The payment process was easily made by bank transfer. Mary, the housekeeper, was very responsive to our requests and went above and beyond duty at our arrival. Overall the Holiday Lettings website was very accurate and didn't feel there were any surprises what so ever.
The house is situated off a side street of Zebbug. With a typical Mediterranean low key doorway opening into the spacious house/garden/terraces and pool. The pictures on the web site are true to life. This is how the house looks. We were a group of six friends who have travelled all over Europe staying in similar accommodations and this was one of the best we've used. Since two of our members are gourmet cooks, the kitchen is important to us and this one did not disappoint. We spent most of our time in the greater kitchen/dining area. Wireless internet worked great. IPhones and personal computers worked well.
While the location was perfect for our needs it may be a little too in a city for those looking for something a bit more getting away from it all. The bedroom facing the street could be a bit noisy early in the morning. And parking was a bit of an issue. If we didn't time our getting home time to be before the end of the work day, then parking could be a problem and sometimes the walk was considerable. This wasn't an problem for us because we like to walk but it could be an issue for some people. When we first arrived we came when the market was going on in the town square so that area wasn't available for parking. The housekeeper drove around with us to show us where it was acceptable to park. You don't have to have a car to be there as the bus stop is near by but certainly if you don't want to go by the bus's schedule or if you want to go to Gozo for the day and need to coordinate with the ferry schedule then you probably should have a car. We did take the bus into Valletta a couple of times and it was very convenient. Also on our first night on Malta we took the bus from the airport into Valletta which was also very convenient and inexpensive. BTW if you have a GPS that works in Malta, I would highly recommend it. Especially if you come from a country that is not left hand drive, it makes getting around a lot simpler when you don't have to concentrate on driving and trying to read road signs at the same time.
We did have some issues with hot water. We read all the directions on what to do and how to do it as the heating is on a solar powered system. But no matter what we tried we were lucky if one person a day got a decent shower/bath. Check to see if the dishwasher has a built in water heater. Our resident Europeans thought it did and so we would run the dish washer at night. But maybe it didn't and we were using up all the hot water at night and so there was none available the next day until the solar heating heated up more.
These were minor issues to us though as overall we loved the place. Sitting on the upper terrace at night and watching the stars come out and feeling sorry for the people on the planes departing from Valletta was one of our favorite things to do. We stopped pretty much every day at the corner grocer store to grab a savory either coming or going and we mystified the young man working there as to why any Americans would be staying in Zebbug. But that is exactly why we liked it. We were the only Americans around.
Tourist Info: Get the Lonely Planet Malta and Gozo book, pre book your tickets for the Hypogeum, read the Sword and the Scimitar by David Ball (titled Ironfire in the U.S.) for a sense of Maltese history, see the cathedral in Valletta - looks boring from the outside but anything but on the inside.
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