A plaque in The Victoria Hotel's lobby vows to treat guests like royalty: a promise that we felt was met in full. Nothing was too much trouble for Front of House Manager Charles Portelli and his team who consistently went the extra mile to provide for our needs: booking taxis and restaurants; providing advice, maps and timetables for buses and ferries; booking transfers* to Mdina and the Sunday market at Marsaxlokk with Prestige cabs at very reasonable prices; booking the Malta Sightseeing Open Top Bus tours* and harbour cruises at discount prices and arranging for us to be collected from the hotel by the bus company. (* These costs can be charged to the room. However, the hotel requires charges to the room to be settled every time they exceed 250 euros)
Just off the lobby area is a newly opened shop full of tasteful souvenirs, glassware, filigree silver jewellery and maltese delicacies - all at very reasonable prices.
We stayed in a suite on the seventh floor with a separate living room area and large balcony with sea views, just down the corridor from the excellent, well-equipped and newly refurbished fitness suite and indoor pool area with its two small saunas, steam room and small sunbathing terrace. Our suite contained everything we needed, including fridge, reasonably powerful hair dryer, and good quality coconut shower gel, vegetable soap and shampoo in addition to the liquid soap available from the rather unattractive wall-mounted plastic dispensers.
There were a few negative points that did not detract from our enjoyment. Bath robes were available at a charge of 2.50 euros a day. The bed, comprising two singles pushed together, would have benefitted from a mattress topper to soften the hard edges of the mattresses. Although there was plenty of storage and hanging space, the plastic hangers were a little dilapidated with rough edges that could catch fine clothing; and the drawers in the chest were heavy, dropping down when opened making them slightly difficult to operate. We experienced a fairly loud humming noise in the room during the day which we believe came from the swimming pool pump but we declined the offer of a move to another room as this noise stopped at night time and we enjoyed peaceful nights of sleep hearing no noise from surrounding rooms and being high above street traffic.
Breakfast, taken in Copperfields restaurant, offered delicious Maltese Imqaret (pastries filled with spicy dates) and pastizzi (pasties filled with cheese or peas) alongside full English buffet, cold cuts, cereal and fresh fruit. It would have been helpful to have lactose free milk available, but I was able to buy my own supply from the nearby supermarket.
The hotel's Penny Black bar provided a pleasant environment for an evening drink with Alfred and the team providing a warm welcome. We enjoyed a 3 course meal for pasta night for 9.95 each, which was excellent value. However, in the evenings we mostly ate out at the excellent restaurants within relatively easy walking distance of the hotel (Il-Merril, La Caggugna, Ta Kris) or in the TemptAsian restaurant on the roof of The Palace Hotel which adjoins The Victoria. The huge advantage of eating at TemptAsian - apart from the delicious range of food, attentive service, and it being just two lift stops away from our suite - was being able to charge the meal to the room.
The location - the hotel is on a hilltop with roads leading down to the two sea fronts in Sliema: The Strand, where the Sliema/Valletta ferry; harbour cruises and Open Top Bus Tours are based and the promenade on the opposite side of Sliema, which faces the open sea and provides a good starting point for a walk or run into St Julian's. There are numerous shopping centres within walking distance, the largest being The Point Mall which includes a Debenhams and New Look. I spied a Next and an Oasis in nearby streets and there is a wonderfully stylish, sea front Marks and Spencers on The Strand.
We visited in December - it's worth noting that ferries and open top bus tours run to a separate winter timetable which is less frequent. Make sure you plan to the correct timetable. I had a long and chilly wait for the last ferry from Valletta having missed the 5.00 pm departure, the next one was not until 5.45. In summer they operate every 15 minutes.
Certainly a hotel that I would highly recommend.
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- Also Known As:
- Victoria Hotel Sliema
- Victoria Hotel Malta
- The Victoria Hotel Malta/Sliema