From the moment that the car bringing us from Malta airport pulled up outside The Palace Hotel, Sliema, we were sure that we had made the right choice of where to stay for our winter break in Malta. This hotel shines: marble, glass, clean lines, modern furnishings and wall art, lighting which enhances the ambience. The staff look as impeccable as their surroundings, and are polite and friendly without being overbearing.
Our first impressions proved to be well founded. From the smooth, silent lifts to our spacious, spotlessly clean room on the sixth floor, complete with large balcony and spectacular view of Malta's Grand Harbour, we could not fail to be impressed. The room was well equipped and, unlike many other hotels we have stayed in, lighting had been well thought out with a number of options to suit any given mood; sockets were easily located, tea and coffee making facilities were unhindered - not hidden away by the television or in a cupboard! Disappointed that only powdered whitener was provided as a milk substitute, I rang Reception for fresh milk, which was delivered to our room almost instantly and cheerfully.
The spacious bathroom was fully stocked with all manner of toiletries and accessories. The large shower, separate from the bath, was efficent and pleasant - no twizzling around to try to get wet, as in some places I do not care to mention! Flannels, towels, bath mats were all of good size and quality, the ensemble being completed by towelling robes and slippers.
Double drapes at the large glass sliding doors to the balcony give the choice of how you want to wake up each morning. We chose to keep the heavier drapes drawn back and so awoke to light and on most mornings sunshine, even in February. The bells of the many churches formed a delightful soundtrack to the amazing view with which we began each day. The sound of bells may not be to everyone's liking - other guests told us that they had been moved to rooms with no bells ringing, though they lost the view, and that they had been accommodated cheerfully and without fuss.
We chose to stay on B&B basis, as it gives us more freedom of choice. The buffet breakfast at The Palace is exceptional, catering for a wide range of preferences. By the fresh fruit servery there is even a bottle of chilled sparkling wine, which we indulged in on the morning of my partner's birthday! The bar serves excellent meals - the specials board changes daily; our two evening meals there were delicious: sea bass fillets and rib eye steak cooked to perfection. On one evening we ate at TemptAsian, the hotel's award winning restaurant. The meal was very special, beautifully presented and tasted wonderful; the view is spectacular and the surroundings luxurious. The staff were welcoming and attentive, though the management seemed to have underestimated the number of people who would be in the restaurant that evening and so service was somewhat slow at first though it improved later.
If anything lets down The Palace Hotel it is seventh floor leisure facility. The information folder in the room does not make you aware that there are no private changing cubicles, nor that the lockers are 'for gym members only' as I was informed, rather curtly, by the attendant at the reception desk there. We had waited quite some time for anyone to appear at the desk, knowing only that we needed to exchange our yellow pass for a poolside towel. The attendant's manner was abrupt and very different from any other that we had encountered in the hotel. We were made to feel as if we were being a nuisance by asking questions about the facilities and procedures.
The indoor pool, sauna and steam room were part of the attraction in our choice of hotel. Whilst all are clean and pleasant, they are very small and so the area seemed rather crowded, even in mid-winter. Given the considerable space allocated to sun loungers, it is surprising that the actual facilities are so small: the steam room seats four, the sauna two, and at rather close quarters. There is also plenty of space to install a hot tub if the hotel choose to do so. An opportunity to further improve an otherwise excellent hotel, I would suggest.
All in all, our week in Malta was made very special by our choice of hotel. We would like to thank all the staff who looked after us so well, especially Charlo, in the bar. If we return to Malta, we shall certainly return to The Palace Hotel in Sliema. It really is the best place to stay.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Palace is a distinctive, urban five star deluxe boutique hotel - Inspired by the pulse and passion of a city center hotel. The hotel is intimate and comfortable, yet luxurious and cosmopolitan, whilst offering a unique experience of genuine hospitality. The Palace is European elegance in the heart of urban Sliema. The Palace is supplemented by six unique individually designed and decorated suites. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The Palace Hotel Sliema
- Palace Hotel Sliema
- The Palace Malta/Sliema