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Hotel Fortina
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Reviewed August 20, 2007

We have just returned from 10 nights at the Fortina Hotel in August 2007 which is the 4 star hotel (the 5 star hotel in the same complex is called Fortina Spa Resort). Our group consisted of me, my wife and 3 girls (16, 14 and 9 years old). This was our first visit to Malta and we will go back to Malta and Sliema where the hotel is located is a really nice place to stay.

We were on the all inclusive deal in the 4 star hotels which meant all meals and drinks were included in the price (we booked direct with the hotel having read good reports about it on Tripadviser!!) and 2 complimentary cruises and some other minor items in the Spa. We have done “all inclusive” once before and have stayed in lots of Hotels in Ireland, Europe, the US and Africa.

The Fortina hotel at first was nice and it has some good features but over the course of 10 days there were too many little things that left us not so positive about the hotel and we would not recommend it to a family similar to us. There are a few things that you should know before going to the hotel.

The hotel is billed as a 4 star (and 5 star in the Fortina Spa Resort). I do not know how Malta grades its hotels but in Ireland the hotel would only qualify as a good 3 star hotel at most.

The hotel is not so suited to kids simply because the garden pool area is off limits to kids and the hotel complex is not anything as big as the photos make out. Kids can only go to one pool area on the seafront (great view and location) but it gets very busy and can be a bit crowded. We swam in the sea next to the hotel pool and that was great. The seawater in Malta is the best.

Also, while there are 6 or more restaurants in the complex only one (the buffet) is included in the all inclusive deal in the 4 star hotel. Also, it’s quite difficult to get into some of the restaurants (if you are willing to pay which we were for a break) because they get booked up heavily by those in the 5 star where the all inclusive includes all restaurants (5 star hotel doesn’t allow kids!!). It is not really possible to turn up and get a table at the restaurants (except the buffet).

The food in the Buffet is very good with a great selection. It was perfect for the kids.

The staff was not very friendly and in particular the reception staff were unhelpful and did nothing to help us out when we were trying to book the pizzeria without success for 4 or 5 days and one or two other minor things. The hotel cleaning staff were friendlier than anyone else in the hotel. (My first time experience of Malta was that the Maltese are a friendly race and the service and attention we got outside of the hotel in bars and cafes was very different to a lot of the hotel staff and particular reception).

Expect some building noise early in the morning and all day from the apartments under construction next door to the hotel. It did not really bother us but it did those nearer that side of the hotel.

My wife and 16 year old had a very poor manicure and pedicure in the Spa but our 14 year old was very pleased with her manicure.

Overall, the hotel was ok for us. There were no major problems but for us too many little things bothered us which means we would not recommend it.

  • Stayed: August 2007, traveled with family
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3  Thank Goatstown1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 20, 2007

Answer > when you book a holiday at the Fortina Spa, through MED HOTELS!
but as this is a side issue although very relevant, i will come to it, for those interested after my review!

FORTINA SPA HOTEL , SLIEMA : first of all, the good points;
the location is very good, close to shops and bars and the view across to Valetta is marvellous. The staff are generally friendly apart from in the main restaurant/buffet area, where most requests for things like, clearing a table, drinks or baby chairs are largely greeted with huffs and puffs and general annoyance! Sadly that`s it for the ," good points"
Firstly, like the previous review, we were given no advance warning of the early morning call ( approx 7 am at the latest )from the huge hydraulic excavator with pneumatic hammer ( pecker ) breaking rock at the nieghbouring massive , " Tigne point", development, and practically impossible to sleep through! nor the large loading shovels tipping broken rock /rubble into barges anchored,approx 200 m away from the pool area at the front of the hotel, all day!( i have video footage if anyone disputes this )!
Generally speaking, we were very dissapointed and not just because of our, "ALL INCLUSIVE ",nightmare. The hotel is basically 2 hotels, a 4* ( yeah right ) and a newer 5* sharing most of the facilities but you can guess who gets the better service as well as facilities( after speaking to many guests from both ). there are several lifts from the ground to the 8th floor and almost every day, one or more were out of use, but only one lift from ground to basement where the main buffet restaurant and front swimming pool was, this was also regularly out of use and to negotiate the only spiral staircase with a pram and small children was hard but almost impossible for the disabled and at no time where any hotel stall stationed there to assist! We had many ," room service" , problems, from no replacement towells ,( a wait for nearly 2 hours after informing reception, ) broken electrical appliances, poor quality bed linen revealling soiled mattresses, noisy old aircon units and general poor cleaning. The main buffet restaurant was very tightly packed and the selection was mostly mundane and repetitive, the staff very slow to clear tables, this however could be attributed to there not being enough of them and almost every time we requested a toddler highchair, it had to be cleaned again before it was useable! Overall , in my opinion and comparing this hotel with the many All Inclusives, we have stayed at, incl, Dominican, Republic , Indian Ocean, Eygpt, Greece and TurkeyI , i would sum up by saying that the 4*FORTINA hotel had a tired appearence and is much IN NEED OF A FACELIFT, this is reflected in the staff but i have no doubt that in years gone by ,it probably enjoyed a much better position !


WARNING> ALL INCLUSIVE NIGHTMARE!
In a nutshell, we booked a last minute holiday for our anniversary from the teletext a week before we travelled, opting for the Fortina Spa, reason being , it offered all the usual AI refinements and boasted 5, a la carte restauraunts with unrestricted visits throughout the duration of our 10 night stay, for which we paid, £1386.50 ( flights seperate ), 2 adults, 1 child, 12 yrs old and 1 infant, 10 mths .The booking agent was most enthusiastic and encouraged us to go to the hotel`s website to confirm the high quality facilities that it offered ,
NOTE! at this point, there was no mention of " MED HOTELS", involvement in this contract! we in turn booked, paid and received our booking confirmation ,tickets plus a , " voucher", confirming our reservation and, " package ",type, which stated:

room type:2. Twin Deluxe ( 2-4) Garden View All Inclusive ( AI )

Issued by , yes you guessed, " MED HOTELS"!

Anyway, on arrival at approx 2 am saturday 4th August, we were told by the desk clerk that we were not fully, " All Inclusive", but, " All Inclusive LITE", which basically ment , buffet meals only and no visits to the 5 al a carte resturaunts as agreed and indeed confirmed by the " VOUCHER", we presented him with. getting nowhere and now distracted by 2 very tired children, i decided to make a tactical retreat and take the matter up with the hotel manager the next morning!

oh dear, it gets worse!" MED HOTELS" rep, does not turn up for our , " welcome meeting and the hotel manager is adamant that we are , AI LITE, only. My now raised voice attracts another guest who arrived an hour or two earlier in exactly the same predicamant as ourselves. a call to the rep is made and a meeting was scheduled for the evening with the hotel manager, MED HOTELS rep , us and the other family.

NOTHING WAS RESOLVED but i must say the Med HOTELS REP was most unhelpful but more dissapointingly the hotel management although sympathetic ( they say it happens a lot with MED HOTELS, and gave me a response letter to confirm it )did not want to know! At this point i will advise that i have written a complaint to MED HOTELS as have other families involved and depending on their response, i will elaborate further at a later date!

  • Stayed: August 2007, traveled with family
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5  Thank spartadomingo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 18, 2007

This was the second trip to the Fortina. On both occasions I stayed in the 4* hotel and had an absolutely fabulous time!
The hotel room was spacious, clean and comfortable! The service I received was undoubtably the best service that I have come across at any hotel I have every stayed at!
The Spa Treatments were out of this world and is a must when visiting the hotel. I would recommend the Fortina as a place that has to be visited at least once in your lifetime!

Stayed: June 2007
5  Thank Cam01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 24, 2007

13 (some say unlucky) girls all came together to help celebrate my hen weekend.

I was a bit nervous about going to this hotel from reading various reports. Should not had listened!

Yes, people have said that the 4* has been let go because of the 5*, but you get what you pay for. We went all inclusive, which gave us the opportunity to dine Table d' Horte in the resturants. I would definatley recomend that this was the best choice, than the buffet only

The Valette resturant was okay, but you are completely spoilt by the other chocies. Japanese, Chinese, Italian and Indian, really hard to choose between them

Booked in for a 3night stay and it was the best time had by all. Yes, there were a few complications, but nothing that could not be sorted out. We had upgraded to a Garden room, as I was sharing with my 2 sisters, but when we arrived we were upgraded again to a Seaview room. Looking at the Garden rooms, we would have been better off just due to space than anything.

View was fantastic from the Cocktail Bar and the Harbour Crusie alone was worth it.

Everybody made us feel very welcome, even when we nearly drank them out of sparkling wine, which was very nice

  • Stayed: April 2007, traveled with friends
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4  Thank Annie1970
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 3, 2007

Just returned, (02 april), and we were very nervous about going. BUT.... Couldn't really complain. You do, apparently, get what you pay for! Discovered too late that we had booked a standard 4* garden view. I emailed hotel to check this as no "standard rooms" advertised on their website. I also requested a double bed and enquired re building work. Got e mail back confirming standard room and that my request would "be noted". Check in was swift. Given seaview room. Room ok. clean. Fridge, tv, hairdryer etc. Bathroom--- TERRIBLE! Tiny, cheap, But always lots of hot water. Decided to keep the room as clean and view is fab........and isnt the room just to sleep in and get ready to go out??? Heard far worse reports of supposedly better rooms from other guests. The general concensus was it depended on who you booked with what rooms were allocated. Facilities were good. Partner used Gym every day. Open 9-9ish. Did not bother with spa...not even free treatments. Harbour cruise tickets given by timeshare rep but said no thank you and she never bothered us again. Didnt use pools as bit chilly, but they were nice and clean. Lifts never broke down when we stayed.
Restaurants;
Buffet......Not bad. Usually good in evenings with plenty of choice and always hot.
Other restaurants...(eat in brasserie x3!)Excellent!
Indian...very good
Chinese..Ok
Pizzeria...Excellent pizza!
Bars.....Downstairs hmmmm.....great for ballroom and line dancing. Lots of older guests!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Upstairs.........smoking bar.....drinks and service excellent. Staff excellent on the whole and never queued! Wine was ok, vodka better! Big screen tv, very discreet. Location excellent. Good shopping and access to buses, boats etc. Unsure wether a "spa room" is worth the very few extras you would get, as even "gold card carriers" eat alongside us common 4* guests and they did not appear to be treated any differently. Gazza was there propping up the bar one night and apparently another who shall remain nameless cos I didn't see him. Check before you travel but overall a good stay!

  • Stayed: March 2007, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank susyq1967
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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