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“Still good, but not the five star that it claims”
Review of Fortina Spa Resort

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Fortina Spa Resort
Ranked #11 of 28 Hotels in Sliema
Reviewed January 5, 2013

I have reviewed the Fortina Spa Resort two years ago (we keep going back), but in truth this was the four star I reviewed. This year, for the second time, we stayed at the Five Star over the new year period. It costs about double the price of the cheap week in January in the neighbour hotel, but the older Fortina four star does not seem to do all inclusive any more, and for us this was the big deal. So the deal we booked was five star all inclusive which includes access to all available restaurants for full board, a-la-carte (but limited by the number of courses and a couple of exotic things like lobster), all drinks (including limited access to the minibar in room, and access to the spa.
Whilst not wishing to criticise the operation and institution, because it still represents a good place to stay at a fair price, since our last visit, a year ago, things have slipped, and this is part of a gradual process we have seen over the years. Like another contributor, whilst we had been 'upgraded' at the point of booking to a sea view room, we were told on arrival that we had been upgraded ever further to a 'wellness room' with its own Jacuzzi which we would be shown how to use. When we opened the door, this turned out not be true, and the added bonus was a powerplate machine which we never had any interest in. I immediately went to find out from the reception, and was informed that it must have been some other room that had the Jacuzzi, but it it was not in our room, then that was the end of the matter. Throughout the stay, whilst never unpleasant, we found that the staff on the reception were ill informed about the hotel and its surroundings, and preferred to give a wrong answer rather than say they did not know. They also seem to spend a lot of time on the telephone, and it is difficult to carry out any interaction with them in a business like fashion. Restaurants in the evening have to been booked, and the software system that they use is antiquated and slow, and does nothing to inspire confidence
The room we had was otherwise excellent, large, a superb over-the-waterfront view with a big bed (with health bestowing magnets in the covers), and fine bathroom. There are plenty of electrical sockets in the room with UK style fittings, and we also found there was free wifi in the room even it was a little sluggish.
There is one bar that serves a variety of drink but bar food is not part of the package. I would have thought for a five star hotel, there should be more than one bar. There is an outdoor bar, but that does not operate in the winter. Bar staff were friendly and fairly efficient.
The big deal is the restaurants, because they have some of the best places on the Island. Their taste restaurant would do well in any big city. One can choose from Taste (Vietnamese? and Continental), Can Thai (Chinese and Thai), Hibiki (japanese), an Italian, an Indian, and a new Italian called MoMo's. This used to be one of the best, but has lost its edge with a limited unchanging menu. I have also previously mentioned the Pizza restaurant which I do not like.
The restaurants now seem keen to take internal and external paying customers, and certainly in the Indian (which probably has the shortest menu of any Indian restaurant I have been to ever), once they knew we were pre-payed all-inclusive, we definitely got the feeling that we were being treated as second rate customers with less choice and so on. In the year since we have been the Indian restaurant has stopped serving poppadoms, pickle and dhal as part of the meal, and these are now all extra. We might have been entitled to them but no help was given. We were also given a non-negotiable late slot and 2100, and when we arrived the place was pretty empty. Some friends of ours who had eat there also, earlier in the evening as paying customers told us that the place was also empty for most of their meal. If you are a paying guest in the restaurants they are pretty expensive, and a main course costs between 15-20 Euros, so that could mount up over a week. Breakfast is a self service buffet, but I know for a fact that it is identical to that served in the four star, the only difference being that beverages are served. The quality of breakfast food is fair. The cooks on the omelette bar are clearly in training, and one had to break off from carrot peeling duties to overcook my omelette.
There are several mainstream five star hotels on the Island such as Intercontinental, Corinthian, Meridien, and by my experience of five star hotels, this is a four rather than a five.

Room Tip: Ask for a high floor as views on lower floors are obstructed by other buildings and construction.
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  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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27  Thank mgoldman666
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TheFortina, Guest Relations Manager at Fortina Spa Resort, responded to this reviewResponded January 18, 2013

Dear mgoldman666,

Thank you for your posting. We are pleased to read about the positive feedback and disappointed to hear about some negative comments in your review. Please be assured that your comments have been well noted and passed onto all those concerned for immediate action.

Best wishes,
Fortina Spa Resort team

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed December 31, 2012

This may be a little prejudiced as I received an upgrade, but the WOW factor was incredible. The staff was excellent, friendly, and helpful, location was good and my first impression was - pretty nice for the money. That was before I saw the room. Then, when I went into the room OMG, it does not get any better! Huge room, bathroom with a Jacuzzi bathtub, steam bath, one of those aqua thingies that you enclose your body in, then the hot tub in the bedroom. Pretty nice, but it got even better. Went out to the patio, nice view overlooking the pool, but what was that spiral staircase going up in the corner of the balcony. So I go up the stairs, and there is my PRIVATE pool, with a garden area, beautiful flowers, table & chairs, grill, shower, and my PRIVATE POOL I guess I had the Therapeutic Spa Room With Private Pool. All for $75/night!

  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled with friends
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5  Thank Colo_Spgs_Bob
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TheFortina, Guest Relations Manager at Fortina Spa Resort, responded to this reviewResponded January 5, 2013

Thank you for your lovely posting. We are delighted to hear that you enjoyed your stay with us and the complimentary upgrade given. We hope to welcome you back in the near future.

Wishing you a very Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year!

Best wishes,
Fortina Spa Resort team

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 29, 2012

An amazing hotel! I could not fault the Fortina Spa Hotel from the minute I checked in until the minute I left every member of staff was polite and friendly and really helpful answering any questions I had. My spa room overlooked the gardens and pool, had a large balcony (which I would have spent more time on should the weather have been warmer). The room itself was ginormous, well decorated with plenty of wardrobe and hanging space, a mini bar, tv and safe, the highlight of the room was the jacuzzi that sits neatly behind the bed and the spacious bathroom which offered a good selection of therapeutic treatments, my favourite being the dermalife machine. The hotel itself offers a good choice of reasonably priced restaurants with Taste being one of them, offering a great breakfast including smoked salmon and sparkling wine!
There is also a Spa offering a wide choice of Spa treatments and a great indoor heated pool, the atmosphere here being tranquil and relaxing. The hotel is within walking distance of shopping malls, bars and restaurants, the local bus stops just over the road and the local transport makes it cheap and easy to get around the island. The hotel and my stay were amazing my thanks go to Cliff, Carmelo and Michael and all of the staff for making my stay so pleasant and for organising a harbour cruise and city sightseeing tour for me. I will most certainly recommend this hotel to friends and family and I can't wait to go back again.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with friends
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3  Thank Clairebearfox
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TheFortina, Guest Relations Manager at Fortina Spa Resort, responded to this reviewResponded January 5, 2013

Dear Clairebearfox,

Thank you for sharing your experience with us on this website. We are delighted to hear that you enjoyed your stay with us and we look forward to welcoming you again in the near future.

Wishing you a very Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year!

Best wishes,
Fortina Spa Resort team

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 17, 2012

I would like to share our experience in your hotel

First of all, I would like to say a big Thank you to Romana from reservations. She had chosen a very nice room for us with a beautiful view.

It was our first time in this hotel. I have to say that reception desk is quite strange, receptionist are sitting down, not really welcoming the guests. We did not see any concierge for all our stay.

Our room was on the 9th floor. We found it perfect with all the facilities we can expect from a 5star Hotel. Also I have to say we were impressed finding an espresso machine next to the usual coffee and tea facilities! It was amazing, buying some milk we could make cappuccino any time we like!
Also your shower gel and body lotion is fantastic! The housekeeping service is very good. We found the turn down done, all filed up, fresh towels and room sparkling at 5PM!
The next day we were in the room and a made was so polite and educated, she nocked and asked if we need anything. We felt special!

The only thing, the indoor pool is really disappointed!!! It is too small for a such big hotel, also it is dirty and old.. It looks disgusting and as soon we have entered, we left after 10 minutes, as it was overloaded, too many people in that small place... Also there is no where to place bathrobes or towels. The selling is felling down and water was cold. We went to the next door pool, the one for treatments, and it was almost empty, there were only en old lady and a couple with a small baby. The Spa Receptionist came and said "Guys, you must go away from here, this pool is only for treatments!" We weren't disturbing anyone, and the Receptionist just switched off everything and left. We found it rude that she called guests of the hotel "Guys" and all her attitude to send us away.
After that, we went to book our treatments at your Spa, and there were plenty of brochures in front of us, saying big 20% off for those who book 3 treatments or more. We have booked 4 massages and I asked for a discount. The same receptionist said that she does not know anything about it.... I showed her what she already has in front of her every day, so she applied the discount...

After that we really enjoyed our massages, it was a relaxing and professional service.

We were very happy with the restaurants as well. The "Taste" was our favorite one. I loved dinner and breakfast over there. We also used the La Vallette restaurant in your 4 star property and we were impressed by the waitress named Monica, she made our day!

We will however recomand this hotel!

Room Tip: Sea side and high floor
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  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Monika B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TheFortina, Guest Relations Manager at Fortina Spa Resort, responded to this reviewResponded January 5, 2013

Thank you for sharing your experience with us on this website. We are glad to hear that you enjoyed your stay with us despite a couple of hitches at the Spa - please be assured that we have informed all those concerned and the appropriate action has been taken. Please be informed that the Thalasso Therapy Pool is indeed for treatments only since it is highly concentrated salt water. We hope to welcome you back in the near future.

Wishing you a very Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year!

Best wishes,
Fortina Spa Resort team

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 15, 2012

What a fantastic hotel. I was astounded by view looking out of the 4th floor window looking towards Valletta. A picture post card view greets me! Look right and look into the harbour where many boats are moored. I was offered a free harbour cruise and a spa treatment. I chose not to take on the spa treatment, but it was available. Food was fantastic with 4 restaurants to choose from. I ate in the main buffet restaurant and the small Asian restaurant. Great food wide choice and a wine menu to match. Breakfast menu buffet and wide ranging and well organised. Staff were brilliant, throughout the hotel. Polite, courteous and very helpful. Room very comfortable with a high standard of fittings in room. I would recommend this hotel to anyone. Great hotel, great staff astounding.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled solo
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4  Thank paul r
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TheFortina, Guest Relations Manager at Fortina Spa Resort, responded to this reviewResponded January 5, 2013

Dear paul r,

Thank you for your lovely posting. We are delighted to hear that you enjoyed your stay with us and we look forward to seeing you again in the near future.

Wishing you a very Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year!

Best wishes,
Fortina Spa Resort team

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 6, 2012 via mobile

My wife and I were part if a group of 4 that stayed here for a week.

The check in was excellent. We were greeting by a friendly young lady and offered complimentary cold drinks or sparkling wine. We had a Spa room on the third floor and our friends had opted for a roof top spa room with pool.
Our room was amazing! Absolutely huge with a separate lounge area with sliding doors to separate from the bedroom. Massive bed, extremely comfortable. Behind the bed up a few steps and behind a glass panel was the hot tub/jacuzzi. This was just superb, I spent at least 2 hours a day in there. The bathroom was again huge with double sink, separate toilet area, another jacuzzi bath, a sun bed and a shower that trebled as a sauna/steam room. There's also free WIFI in the rooms which is a huge plus. The room was absolutely spotless and made up every day while we were out. I think they also realised we were using the hot tub and sauna more than most guest probably do so left extra towels, spa soaps etc which was nice.
Our friends room was similarly laid out with the hot tub behind the bed but minus the lounge area so our room was considerably larger. However they had a private pool on the roof which was accessed by a spiral stair case on their balcony. The pool was of good size, but not really useable at the time of year as it wasn't heated which was a shame.

We were all inclusive so had the choice of 4 restaurants to eat in. Our favourite was the pizzeria. Excellent pizza and I had a steak in there which was so tender. The service in these restaurants could be a bit hit or miss to be honest. We got forgot about a couple of times I the pizzeria when they got very busy but no problem when we attracted their attention. The Chinese was also excellent. You get a set menu to choose from on all inclusive or if you are happy to pay extra then you can order from their main menu.

Breakfast is served in the taste restaurant and is a buffet. It's an ok spread but I've had much better to be honest in other 5 star hotels.

The spa treatments were extra but we never even visited it as we had everything we wanted and more in our room. We didn't use the pools either as to be honest they looked a bit cold but that's our fault for going so late in the year. We also got free tickets for a harbour cruise but we didn't go on it.

Overall we found this to be an excellent hotel with friendly staff, good food and amazing luxurious bedrooms. We are planning to come again next year, maybe in a warmer summer month so we can make use of the pools.

  • Stayed: October 2012
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3  Thank James198
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TheFortina, Guest Relations Manager at Fortina Spa Resort, responded to this reviewResponded January 5, 2013

Dear James198,

Thank you for your wonderful posting. We are so happy to hear that you enjoyed your stay in our Spa Bedrooms and we hope to welcome you back in the near future.

Wishing you a very Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year!

Best wishes,
Fortina Spa Resort team

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 4, 2012

I stayed here in a spa room with pool during the last week in November with my partner. This was my eighth stay at the hotel and my partner's first. It is always nice to be greeted at check in with a glass of spakling wine! The staff are excellent and always happy to help and the Management as usual went to great lengths to help me find my lost mobile phone.

This is the first time I have stayed in the hotel at this time of year - we were very lucky as the weather was outstanding and the spa room with pool was a great choice as the sun does not get into the garden at this time of year at all and would not have reached the spa rooms with large balconies either. The roof pool area was perfect and got the sun until about 3.30pm each day. The pool up there could just be braved, but from prior experience is brilliant in the summer. Unfortunately, they do seem to have made the decision to remove the blinds around the pool (they were always breaking) and the prior privacy did make this area more appealing.

We stayed all inclusive which is by far the best option if you want to enjoy the brilliant restaurants in the hotel. The newly re-opened Japanese was a particular favourite of ours. Amazing fresh food and freindly staff (a MUST for fish lovers). We also had a very enjoyable tampanyaki evening (although we had to pay for this). Taste and Can Thai are also extremely nice restaurants with excellent service and food.

The staff in Limes Bar are brilliant - they took particular attention to exactly how we liked our drinks and remembered this throughout our stay.

The complimentary habour cruise was particualrly enjoyable and we also had a great day with the City Sightseeing north tour which was well worth the 15 Euro fare. Valletta is a joy to walk round.

So all in all a wonderful holiday and will definitely return.

Room Tip: Go for the spa room with pool if you can afford it - ask for one farthest away from the tower for ma...
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  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank louisebielby
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TheFortina, Guest Relations Manager at Fortina Spa Resort, responded to this reviewResponded January 8, 2013

Dear EastYorkshireLou,

Thank you for your lovely posting. We are delighted to hear that you enjoyed your stay with us and we look forward to welcoming you back in the near future.

Best wishes for the New Year!

Kind regards,
Fortina Spa Resort team

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Fortina Spa Resort

Address: Tigne Seafront, Sliema, Island of Malta SLM 3012, Malta
Location: Malta > Island of Malta > Sliema
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Sliema
#5 Spa Hotel in Sliema
#5 Romantic Hotel in Sliema
#7 Luxury Hotel in Sliema
Price Range: $129 - $1,144 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Fortina Spa Resort 5*
Number of rooms: 220
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Situated in central Sliema, adjoining Malta’s trendiest shopping complex (The Point) offering the largest choice of fashion & designer outlets, the Fortina Spa Resort is Malta’s newest 17 storey 5 star hotel. The resort faces south with magnificent views of Valletta’s bastion walls across the water and is home to the World’s 1st Therapeutic Spa bedrooms. It is the ideal hotel to indulge in a numerous variety of Spa treatments, excellent cuisines from around the world and one of the best locations on the island. Restaurants :- Taste Restaurant (Vietnamese & Mediterranean Cuisine)CanThai (Chinese & Thai Cuisine)Momo’s Ristorante Tigne (Italian & Mediterranean Cuisine)Il Giardino PizzeriaSaReGaMa (Authentic Indian Cuisine)Moroboshi (Japanese Cuisine)Bars Limes Bar (indoor)Island Bar (outdoors – weather permitting)Swimming Pools :-Outdoor Garden Pool and separate Splash Pool2 Indoor Swimming PoolsSpa Centres(see descriptions below)Thalasso Spa MediterraneeSpa Sante Belle Epoque Beauty CentreHypogeum Body, Mind & Spirit CentreOther facilities Conference facilities Fully Equipped Fitness Centre 24 hour room serviceAdded Value For All Our Guests :-Cruise of Malta’s Historical Grand HarbourUnlimited access to Fortina Fitness Centre ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Fortina Hotel Sliema
Fortina Hotel Malta
Fortina Resort
Hotel Fortina
Fortina Spa Resort Malta/Sliema

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