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“Lovely hotel but more 4* than 5*”

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Excelsior Grand Hotel
Ranked #5 of 15 Hotels in Valletta
Certificate of Excellence
Edinburgh
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Lovely hotel but more 4* than 5*”
Reviewed February 8, 2014 via mobile

We stayed at this hotel in October 2013 & got a room with a partial sea view bed & breakfast. The room was nicely decorated and we were given complimentary water every day which was appreciated as Malta was having a heat wave when we visited. The fridge in the room was large and handy for soft drinks and bottles of wine. The beds were comfy & the black out curtains worked well. The rooms were well cleaned every day but sometimes the maid did not replenish the toiletries however they were quick to rectify this when it was pointed out.
The breakfasts at this hotel were definitely 5*. Loads of variety and a breakfasts chef making omelettes, fried eggs and waffles to order. We didn't eat in the restaurant but the bar only served food until about 9 then it was snacks such as sandwiches which in my opinion were overpriced but it was a captive market.
Both the indoor & outdoor pools were lovely and there were plenty of sun beds available - I'm not sure what it would e like in high season but we were very pleased with the relaxed atmosphere we experienced whilst sunbathing by the pool. The small 'beach' sunbathing area had steps which led directly Ito the sea which was just lovely & very convenient for cooling down. You can order drinks and snacks from the bar whilst sunbathing but again it was expansive.
The biggest let down of this hotel was it's distance from the main town. Although on a map it is not that far you have to climb a large number of of steps to reach the main road from the hotel then walk up a fairly steep hill before you get to the city gates. I would imagine this would be quite difficult for anyone with mobility problems and we found it challenging & far from relaxing in the heat. There is a free taxi/mini bus service run by the hotel which can be booked in advance but it only runs twice a day once in the morning and once early evening. I simply did not understand this and this is where I would say the hotel is 4* rather than 5*. It may seem a small thing but I would expect a 5* hotel to run regular trips to the city centre when they are at a geographical disadvantage or indeed run transport on request without charge - as it was we were left having to plan our visits to Valletta around the evening hotel transport service which was disappointing and not always convenient.
If this hotel made the effort to run free transport into Valletta as requested by their clients it would provide a much needed service for their guests and raise the staying experience of the hotel guests from good to very good.

Stayed October 2013, traveled with friends
Helpful?
5 Thank Tumshi23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BRIANBARTOLO, Head of Marketing at Excelsior Grand Hotel, responded to this review, February 12, 2014
Dear Tumshi23

Many thanks for choosing the Grand Hotel Excelsior for your recent visit to Malta and for sharing your positive experience with other Trip Advisor users. Your comment vis-a-vis the daily transfer from the hotel to Valletta has been noted by Operations Department and will be considering the possibility of introducing more services to the city centre.

We look forward to host you again at the Grand Hotel Excelsior in the near future.

Kind regards
Brian
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Marietta, Georgia
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed February 5, 2014

Our jet-lagged bodies were very pleasantly surprised upon checking in January 10, 2014. The front desk had a tray of delicious juices for us to enjoy, and since our flight arrived before noon we were naturally hoping for an early check-in.

Not a problem at all, the staff was efficient and courteous and had us a ready roo in no time! The Estonian bellhop assisted us to our room, several floors BELOW the Lobby level (The Excelsior is built on a hill-side, just outside the gate to Valletta).

Our room was reasonably spacious, modern and comfortable and nicely tiled, looking out onto a quiet, landscaped terrace with no noise at all (unfortunately not a view of the harbour). Very comfy bedding, extra pillows as requested, and all the trappings of a luxury hotel bathroom.

We ventured up the several dozen steps outside to get to the walled city of Valletta; be forewarned if you're very much out of shape it is a bit of a work-out! The entire grounds are tastefully decorated, lots of stone walkways, steps and patio areas. Harbour-side there were several yachts moored right by the doors outside the lobby.

The views were INCREDIBLE! Bring your camera; you'll want to remember the scenic
panorama with the many boats and distant forts and historic landmarks.

We enjoyed the same magnificent view every morning from our breakfast room, a spacious eatery with all the food you could possibly want from a lavish breakfast buffet. A smiling chef gladly cooked eggs or omelets to order, and there was always the freshest breads, pastry, fruit, and several kinds of sausages/bacon/ham.

One thing I noticed throughout our week in Malta was the people are genuinely friendly....unpretentious, and seem inwardly very strong and independent. At no time did I ever see any LITTER, GRAFITTI, PAN-HANDLING, or even any pushy street vendors which often
can be found in many European countries.

I wonder if the constant invaders and bombardments Malta had (or successfully repelled) over the centuries has had a toughening effect on the Maltese....?

A couple of pleasant surprises:

I had to make several short INTERNATIONAL telephone calls from our room (my calling card I normally use wasn't working properly) and the front desk, upon check-out, billed me for ALL the calls less than 5 Euros! Most hotels nowadays use their in-room phones to gouge all guests with super-high fees!

The downstairs bar and lounge area were very reasonably priced, especially for a five-star resort. The beer I had (local CISK, delicious!) was no more than most restaurants in town charge.

The indoor pool was ABSOLUTELY SPOTLESS with plenty of fresh towels available; the well-equipped exercise room had cooled water for after a work-out, and the concierge was very helpful in planning our days and booking a taxi when needed or providing us bus information. ARRIVA, the Malta bus service, run everywhere frequently, are modern and spotless. A daily pass for all over Malta except Gozo is a DEAL at one Euro!

If I had to find a complaint I would say that the exterior, in some places, of the stucco-clad Excelsior might need some painting or refreshening (it looks like some water drips down and discolors it in some places) However it did not detract one bit from our perfect stay!

Thank you, all the staff at Excelsior made us feel welcome and spcial!

Room Tip: Pay a little more for a harbour view; upper floors best. Terrace views on lower floors entirely ade...
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with family
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Helpful?
4 Thank jimwentzell2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oslo, Norway
Level 6 Contributor
1,001 reviews
137 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 302 helpful votes
Reviewed February 4, 2014 via mobile

I loved staying here. The location is fantastic - just 5 min walk from the Valletta city gate. Our room was large and nicely decorated - and well cleaned. The bathroom had both a tub and a separate shower - both worked perfectly. The king size bed was perfect and the room very quiet. The TV had quite a few english speaking channels. Coffee and tea facility and a fridge. - and nice bathrobes if you want to go for a dip in the indoor pool which was pretty. There was even a large umbrella in case of rain.
Large selection for breakfast which is serve until 1030 every day. The gym is large and well equipped. The pool area seemed nice - but as we were here in january we didn't have any need for it.
There's a large garage for your rental with no extra charge.
We came at one and was told that they'd have the room for us in just 20 min - turned out to be more than 40. That was a bit annoying - bur otherwise we had a wonderful time.

Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank EllenChr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Woburn, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed February 1, 2014

I, an old Royal Marine and my friend, an old soldier, have just spent a most enjoyable week at this hotel. It's 50 years since I served at Fort St Angelo and 55 years since my mate served in St Patrick's Barracks. Perhaps the one disadvantage of the hotel is it's location if one has difficulty with steps or slopes. We found the answer was to phone for one of the electric smartcabs who will pick you up from the hotel and take you anywhere in Valletta for 5 euros. The hotel staff are extremely friendly and helpful. It did help that both the GM of the hotel and my friend are West Ham United supporters! Breakfast will set you up for the day and Paul and his staff will look after you in the evening. Thank you from both of us for a most enjoyable stay!

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Mike H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oswestry, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
40 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
Reviewed January 30, 2014

We went to this hotel for our 'babymoon'. We felt thoroughly pampered. The room was lovely (ask for a sea view), great beds, bathroom, toiletries etc. An itinerary of hotel events was posted under the door each day. The spa, restaurant, breakfast room and bar area were all of an excellent standard. The prices of drinks weren't too bad considering. The evening buffet was a little pricey but wonderful quality, a la carte menu was also wonderful - the chef sent out lots of complimentary bits and pieces for us to try. Entertainment most nights, all very professional. Overall I'm struggling to fault this place. May not be ideal if you have young children as quite 'adult' in it's atmosphere and style.

Room Tip: Ask for a sea view upgrade when you get there. If you take out a reward card before you go then you...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank JoTJ2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
67 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
Reviewed January 30, 2014

My mother and I arrived at about 1am. We were given a key to the room. On arrival in the room we found cracked tiles and dirty carpet along with tatty finish to many items. The room was worn out!!! We asked for another room. After being shown approximately 10 rooms, all in terrible condition, we found one that at least had fewer stains on the carpet. In all this time, we were not apologised to and neither offered tea or anything. The hotel is having sections renovated though we saw no signs of this. We found the hotel wifi very poor except in the lobby area. Wifi was even poor in the dinning room at breakfast. Staff were polite but no management visited us throughout our stay or sent a letter of apology. When I mentioned this on checkout, the guest relations told me that the day after check in they tried me. I told her if she hadn't left a message I wouldn't know that she had tried or that I should return her call. Quite below the standard of a 5*luxe hotel from the I prefer group. No goodies in the room. Very basic. How sad. When I saw the Hilton, I was sorry we hadn't stayed there. I overheard the manager stating that the hotel had a very good January!! I would be very surprised if I saw their booking system that this was so!! The breakfast was of an excellent standard with fresh food and plenty to chose.

Room Tip: Look at the room you are being allocated before you accept it
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled on business
    • Value
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Helpful?
11 Thank feliceh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brussels, Belgium
Level 6 Contributor
125 reviews
80 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 89 helpful votes
Reviewed January 29, 2014

The view of the harbour from my room was spectacular. The room, bathroom and bed are very generously sized and comfortable. There is a good desk area for working in the room. You are within walking distance from the central area of Valetta. However, the wifi wasn't very strong, either in the room or the restaurant. Overall, the style of the hotel is the American notion of "luxury" from 20 years ago. Although I was there for a few days, it was impossible to arrange any spa treatments because of restricted availability - so don't be too tempted by the "menu" of spa services!

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank pbru54
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Excelsior Grand Hotel

Property: Excelsior Grand Hotel
Address: Great Siege Road, Valletta, Island of Malta FRN 1810, Malta
Phone Number:
Location: Malta > Island of Malta > Valletta
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Romantic Hotel in Valletta
#4 Luxury Hotel in Valletta
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — Excelsior Grand Hotel 5*
Number of rooms: 428
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Grand Hotel Excelsior Malta is a deluxe, 5-star resort situated within the sixteenth century fortifications of Malta’s capital city, Valletta - a UNESCO World Heritage site. The Excelsior commands the island’s premier waterfront location offering breathtaking sea views of Marsamxett Harbour and Manoel Island. As a member of Preferred Hotels & Resorts, the hotel exceeds expectations on the basis of its 5-star service excellence. All deluxe rooms and suites enjoy a harmonious blend of classic and contemporary design mixed with modern 5-star convenience including multi-channel flat screen TV. Spread over ten levels, three of which are executive floors, most of the rooms and suites overlook stunning harbour views. The Excelsior’s facilities include a private 30-berth marina, large outdoor and indoor swimming pools, health & beauty centre and 3 food and beverage outlets. The Excelsior offers versatile conference & banqueting facilities, fourteen flexible venues, a number of which have natural daylight - an ideal environment for business meetings, conferences and other events. Near to the Excelsior is the Mediterranean Conference Centre. This historical building enhances the Excelsior’s conference potential with an auditorium capacity for up to one thousand four hundred delegates. The Grand Hotel Excelsior opened its doors to its first guests on the 10th September 2007. Right from the start it was very clear that the product and service offerings were to be of a superior nature. The hotel prides itself in attracting and retaining a faithful following of leisure and business guests as well as prominent international personalities. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Excelsior Grand Valletta
Hotel Excelsior Grand
Excelsior Grand Hotel Malta/Valletta

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