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“Friendly family run hotel”

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Grand Harbour Hotel
Ranked #4 of 15 Hotels in Valletta
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed November 20, 2012

This is the second time we have stayed at this hotel in November and we really enjoyed our visit. The hotel has the best view in Valletta of the Grand Harbour; you can watch all the boats go by and the sun rising and falling on the 3 Cities. The hotel is now going through a full refit to upgrade the quirky 70's feel we are used to, but as the hotel is still family run we hope the "new" GH will be good. The weather was about 25C both times we visited, so this is a great place to come for winter sun. Lots of history, Architecture and good food, but not for those wanting a standard beach holiday.
We love Malta, Valletta and the locals - we will be back.

Room Tip: Ask for a room with a view of the Harbour.
  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank kellyhawking
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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326 - 332 of 555 reviews

Reviewed October 22, 2012

I can only agree with what the last reviewers have said. We only stayed one night before we travelled to Gozo for our main holiday. The view was to die for. Watched a huge cruise liner park first thing in the morning. Room was small but spotless. You got what you paid for. Breakfast was a little on the light side, only bread and cheese. Owners were very helpful when our transfers didn't turn up. Very old building, right in the centre of Valetta and within walking distance of all the attractions. Would definetely stay again.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank 55Mary55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 15, 2012

We were picked up at the airport by a taxi organised by the hotel at a cost of just 17 euros (less than half the cost of the transfer organised by our tour operator on our last visit to Malta).

On arrival we were welcomed by the proprietor, who we found very friendly and helpful.

Our room was on the 6th floor and the lift quickly whisked us up to it. The only problem that we found with the lift was that it tended to stop very quickly. Not a problem going up, but a bit of a jolt when going down.

The hotel is one of the older buildings in Valletta and therefore has the character to go with it, but this means that the rooms are on the small size. We didn't find this a problem, as it was big enough for us and the bed was comfortable -- we don't go on holiday to spend all our time in a room.

One would find it very difficult to find more compact en-suite facilities, but there was a decent sized shower cubicle with plenty of hot water (although because of the lovely hot weather we probably used more of the cold water). The toilet was a bit of a squeeze to get to, but at least I had the wash basin to rest my book on whilst ensconced there.

When we booked to stay here, we decided to pay extra so that we had a room with air-conditioning. A good idea, as the weather was incredibly hot while we were there (one of the reasons for going to Malta in the first place). It was well worth paying the extra for this.

We were on the corner of the building, so we had a window facing across the harbour and another looking over the surrounding roofs towards the Lower Barrakka Gardens. These views on their own made the hotel worth staying at. Way down below us we could seen the local fishermen traipsing around the harbour in their small (dghajsa) boats, as well as the bigger boats and cruise ships. On arrival we were a bit concerned about the possible noise from the large number of church bells that we could see, but we didn't find them a problem at all -- in fact we quite liked to hear them calling the locals to service and they were silent at night.

Just below us was the Bridge Bar (and the Victoria gate), so we were able to open a window to listen to the live jazz on Friday evening (however, I really prefer jazz to be a bit more traditional than what was being played).

Usually when we are on holiday, we tend to overstuff ourselves at breakfast. What is on offer at this establishment is a more lightweight continental breakfast that we found perfectly adequate and we appreciated having a decent cup of tea with it.

The bar on the ground floor is small and while we were there, quiet. We only used it on one occasion, as we tended to have a drink somewhere else in the city with our evening meal.

The decor throughout the hotel was old and tired. When chatting with the proprietor he told us that it is due for a big refurbishment over the off season, so it should be OK for our next visit. Oh yes, we would certainly go there again.

Room Tip: Book a room with a view of the harbour and with air conditioning.
  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank wessex-andy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 4, 2012

the location is outstanding, with the seaview rooms over the stunning grand harbour, and the hotel itself at the bottom of one of the old flights of steps with all the special atmosphere of valletta. friendly family run, excellent value, simple rooms but with good atmosphere. i suppose it can only get better with the refurbishment but i loved its unique self already.sitting at open balcony with the sounds and music gradually fading, watching the sun rise out of the sea before the heat comes, hearing the bells on saturday evening, walking out and being right in the heart of valletta...

Room Tip: sea view is a must
Stayed: August 2012, traveled solo
2  Thank Pamela M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 18, 2012

We read these tripadvisor reviews before travelling, some are misleading but not those describing the idyllic view of the harbour or the 1970's decor or that the hotel is fantastic value for money.

The hotel starts a major refurbishment in November 2012 but will stay open as new rooms become available floor by floor and a new bar and restaurant is fitted out. Prices are going to double next year so book now at the current rates if you are looking for a budget hotel.

The owners were not rude or grumpy towards anyone during our week long stay and provided helpful advice and directions for the local amenities. Neither was it noisy, the church bells did not wake anyone before 8am. We were not happy that one of our rooms had one small window overlooking a side street. The owners moved us to a room overlooking the harbour with a balcony with the view to die for at no extra cost. We stayed in the bar to watch the 2012 Olympics closing ceremony on the TV to 1am making one hell of a racket. The owners did not complain!

Our party of 5 (two parents 3 students) could all fit in the lift (without luggage but you only do that once on arrival?). The lift zipped us between our rooms (on different floors) and to deliver drinks from the bar on the ground floor to the 8th floor roof terrace where we played scrabble while fireworks lit up the night sky and office block sized cruise liners glided past.

What could they do better? Provide free Wi-Fi access (cost was extortionate). Put fitted sheets on the beds. Change the time for breakfast from 7-9 to 7.30-9.30. Put sunshades on the roof terrace. Provide toothpaste, shampoo and razors on the rooms. Provide bus maps. Open the restaurant for dinner. Put air conditioning in all rooms. Take a crash course in thermal dynamics "How to ventilate a tall building in a 39% heatwave" (not by closing all the windows facing the sun and the glass door to the roof terrace!). They should advise customers to visit St John's Cathedral and Museum (5mins walk) which contains The Beheading of John the Baptist by Caravaggio; the worlds greatest painting?

Room Tip: Some harbour facing balcony rooms have a shower inside and WC outside with a separate key e.g. rooms...
  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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4  Thank John B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 28, 2012

You should certainly know what you are in for when you book this hotel. It is simple, old, somewhat tired with the furniture in the room showing quite a few signs of wear - to call that 'vintage' is a bit of a stretch for me. This was my second stay, when first here I tried breakfast once, this time we went to Café Cordina right away. Street noise can be an issue early in the morning.
BUT: Valletta is a unique place and this is the hotel that matches this uniqueness. When you look out of the window you know exactly where you are, regardless of whether you look towards the harbour or towards the city. As for the harbour view: I like harbours and I have not found a better harbour view anywhere (Hong Kong harbour as seen from Kowloon, Peninsula Hotel or YMCA depending on your budget, is on a par with it).
Recommended things to do when you are here: wave someone leaving on a cruise ship goodbye from the roof terrace. Or come here alone, during the winter, and when it gets too chilly outside bury yourself in a novel taking place within your range of vision from the Maltese balcony of your room ('The Kapillan of Malta' is the standard choice but I also liked 'Ironfire' by David Ball).
Some more mundane info about our recent stay: reservation was made directly at the hotel via email, room price was 56 € including breakfast. The hotel organises a pick-up at the airport which worked out perfectly. Alternatively, take a bus from the airport to the main bus terminal in Valletta. If you know your way it is about ten minutes to walk from there with a few obstacles (cobblestones, stairs, construction work). We had asked for and got a corner room that gave us a view on both the harbour and the city. Even on the second floor that view was spectacular but if given a choice a higher floor is preferable. Cleanliness was good. Service was friendly. The restaurant on the seventh floor was only open for breakfast during our stay. Reception is open 24 hrs. WLAN was available for a charge. The lift was working…

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank barke100
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 13, 2012

What a wonderful hotel. The decor is magically preserved, with wonderful vintage furniture and it was clean as a whistle. The staff were helpful and friendly. The views were exceptional and it was not overrun with the usual selection of overbearing and needy tourists (see reviews below!).

It was perfect. Thank you for a wonderful stay.

Room Tip: If available, a room with a view of the Grand Harbour is the best option!
  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Fraser R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Grand Harbour Hotel

Address: 47 Battery Street, Valletta, Island of Malta VLT 1221, Malta
Location: Malta > Island of Malta > Valletta
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Best Value Hotel in Valletta
#3 Romantic Hotel in Valletta
Price Range: $102 - $191 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2 star — Grand Harbour Hotel 2*
Number of rooms: 30
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Grand Harbour Valletta
Hotel Grand Harbour
Grand Harbour Hotel Malta/Valletta

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