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“Lovely Villa”
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Review of Villa Belvedere

outdoor pool area with surrounding dining and entertaining area
Bookings for this home are first-come, first served. Lock in your dates before they are gone
outdoor pool area with surrounding dining and entertaining area
Facade view facing seaview, Villa Belvedere Villa Belvedere's signature of Luxury and style
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Very good
31 reviews
outdoor pool area with surrounding dining and entertaining area
Facade view facing seaview, Villa Belvedere
Villa Belvedere's signature of Luxury and style
fully equipped kitchen/dining
Spacious open plan kitchen area
Exceptionally in deluxe style
Triple bedroom with front balcony and sea view
Triple bedroom with front balcony and sea view
oudoor dining area overlooking pool and spectaular sea views
Relaxation in superior deluxe
Private pool area with jacuzzi
communal indoor pool area with jacuzzi
double bedroom with balcony and sea view
communal indoor pool area with jacuzzi
games room
communal indoor pool area with jacuzzi
Hallway and entrance
Baystreet - shopping centre and entertainment in St.George's Bay , Paceville
Casino - 10 minutes drive
Popular Tourist beach - St.George's Bay. 5 minutes drive away
Roof top terrace with stunning views
communal indoor pool area with jacuzzi
outdoor pool area
This property is not available for these dates.
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Overview
Villa -
7 Bedrooms, 5 Bathrooms, Sleeps 18
Saint Julian's, Island of Malta

Reviews from our community

Very good - based on 31 reviews
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Reviews from our community

Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Dublin, Ireland
Reviewed May 1, 2014 for a stay in April 2014

How easy was it to book the property? How helpful were the directions to the property?
How easy was key pickup/access to the property? Overall condition of the property
Bedding & mattresses Kitchen & utensils
Bathroom cleanliness Other facilities & amenities
Service
Liked best: Spaciousness
Liked least: outdoor pool not heated
Traveling group: Extended Family
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway Families with young children
Large groups People with pets
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveler and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
Doha, Qatar
Reviewed April 21, 2014 for a stay in April 2014

How easy was it to book the property? How helpful were the directions to the property?
How easy was key pickup/access to the property? Overall condition of the property
Bedding & mattresses Kitchen & utensils
Bathroom cleanliness Other facilities & amenities
Service
Liked best: View and pool
Liked least: Nothing was perfect
Traveling group: Friends
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway Families with young children
Large groups
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
  • Was your security deposit returned on time?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveler and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
Flowerlad...
Preston, UK
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Lovely, spacious villa with modern facilities and spectacular views.”
Reviewed February 22, 2014 for a stay in February 2014
1
person found this review helpful

I booked this villa mainly because of the good reviews it had from previous guests. I needed to accommodate 11 family members for 5 nights and the villa's facilities certainly did that. David responded very quickly to all my e-mail queries and it was most helpful to have him arrange taxi transport to and from the airport, especially as we arrived late Sat night. The taxi driver met us at the airport and arrived in plenty of time to get us to the airport on our day of departure. Arriving at the villa, we were met by Jane, who showed us round ,explained how things worked, read the electricity meter/water meter and gave us our number for the wifi. We had paid for 3 cards for the aircon (mainly for heating in the early evening, just to take the chill off the rooms). We only used 1 card and were refunded for the other 2. Two sets of keys are allocated, which we found enough for us. All the rooms were very suitable for our family - all 3 of our teenage girls decided to sleep in the round bed of the 'Penthouse' - they had such fun up there! Arriving late we were concerned about our evening meal, but the villa had milk, bread, margarine, biscuits, ham, apple juice, tea and coffee as a first night supply.

Jane suggested 2 local restaurants and 3 in St Julians. We would highly recommend Brewmaster Pizza and Pub - just down the main road from the villa. It may not look much from the outside but the food was very reasonable and freshly prepared. All 11 of us were made to feel most welcome. Further down the road we would recommend the Chinese restaurant Pavillion. It was very useful to have a local supermarket just down the road too - Greens. It is a bit of a 'rabbit warren' inside but it sells everything - even Cadburys chocolate! I took some recycle bags with me as carrying food up the hill (esp bottles) to the villa needed a couple of us - but Green's will deliver. There is an ATM next door to the supermarket.

We couldn't really make the most of the pool and Jacuzzi mainly because of the time of year, which was expected. Also, it got dark at about 5-6pm and chilly, so we stayed indoors in the evenings. A couple of our group had a quick dip in the pool but it was too cold! Sitting outside in the sunshine was very pleasant anyway.

Getting out and about around the island was the challenge of our holiday. The buses are in a state of flux at the moment. Arriva had taken over the tender of the bus company but have recently gone bust. So we found our bus journeys a bit chaotic i.e. you get on a number 12 (according to the front screen on the bus) and it becomes a number 13 as it drives away from the bus terminal at Valetta! So just be warned about the buses. Use them but be prepared to have to get off and find another, or arrive at a destination you don't expect! There are a couple of bus stops near to the villa. We were able to get our bus passes from the card machine at the bus stop down the road (Pembroke Park and Ride).They are value for money - only 6.30 euros for a 7 day pass. To be fair, even the locals are finding the buses frustrating. Car hire may be a possibility but the roads are busy - mainly because the locals drive instead of using the bus. Parking seemed to be a problem because of this.

We visited the usual places but one of our highlights was a boat trip around the harbour. We booked online (Lucca boat trips) and had a lovely couple of hours. Got the bus from Pembroke to Sliema ferries to get to boat terminal.
Our daughters found the beach at St Julians very nice - they had it to themselves. They also went to the beach at St Pauls Bay and the Aquarium at Bugibba. Going in February half-term did mean that places were quiet and the buses less full. We were fortunate with the weather, as it can rain in Feb.

We would very much recommend staying at Villa Belvedere. It is in a lovely quiet location, close to bus routes and supermarket. We had a very nice time there and will have to come again - we never got to Gozo or the Blue Lagoon!

How easy was it to book the property? How helpful were the directions to the property?
How easy was key pickup/access to the property? Overall condition of the property
Bedding & mattresses Kitchen & utensils
Bathroom cleanliness Other facilities & amenities
Service
Liked best: Spacious rooms and sea view
Liked least: Dishwasher didn't work but we just washed up instead. Not really a problem.
Traveling group: Extended Family
Your age range 50-64
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway Older travelers
Families with young children Large groups
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
  • Was your security deposit returned on time?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WhatUNeed...
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Stressful stay over Christmas…Believe the bad parts of the reviews!”
Reviewed January 19, 2014 for a stay in December 2013
10
people found this review helpful

Unfortunately we didn’t believe the bad comments - despite querying them with David Caruana - and paid the price in the worst possible way - stress!

Cons (almost too many to mention which is why they are first)
1. MOULD!! Belatedly discovered (not at time of check-in otherwise we maybe would have insisted on a refund and gone elsewhere) and quite a health concern as it was especially present around the beds
2. WORKS! Noisy and dirty building works taking place underneath the villa and construction materials outside the villa on arrival. This was rather ironic given the number of signs mounted on the exterior walls of the property telling lessees NOT to disturb the neighbours at any time!!!
3. LACK OF CUSTOMER CARE! Unpleasant check-in experience with co-owner Jane who showed little (no) empathy or understanding of the situation or how to deal with guests AND ongoing issues that were handled extremely badly
4. USER PARANOIA! An excellent expression used in a previous review and one to be heeded at all costs thanks to way the owners have set-up the payment of the aircon (heating and cooling - by expensive card system which is NOT included), electricity (only 200 units per week included - additional units charged at 70c per unit which from our research is much, much higher than market price in Malta), water (only 5 cubic metres included - additional units charged at 8 euros which is higher than market price) and gas heater bottle (not included and charged at over 3 times the refill price) makes renting this villa rather a worry unless you are are flush with cash or don’t care about being overcharged
5. DIRTY! So only superficially clean that it wasn’t funny. When we told Jane about our concerns we were offered no solutions and had to clean the place ourselves to make it as acceptable as possible including cleaning 2 stinking fridges, sweeping the floor that had cement dust all over it and having to wipe down surfaces and mouldy walls with disinfectant. Unfortunately there was too much mould to contend with...We'll try to post some photos of it so you can understand how much. We left some of the mould for the owners to deal with as well as the grimy undersink cupboard and rusting and mouldy kitchen utensils…
6. DEAD FLIES! Light fittings filled with dead flies - all visible to the naked eye
7. DISGUSTING! The fat from the seemingly NEVER-cleaned cooker hood (extractor fan) filter was dripping from above (onto our food) when it wasn’t even on! My father ended up taking it apart and washing the washable filter himself the first day we arrived!!
8. UNMAINTAINED! The same cooker hood only had 3 out of 4 lights working on it and the wall clock had a dead battery in it
9. GRIMY! Greasy glass tables that had evidently never been cleaned with a clean cloth that my mother spent an hour on her bottom cleaning the underneath of
10. UNCLEAR! No instructions on how to operate the oven or the dishwasher (the owners knew we would be cooking Christmas dinner for our 2 sets of parents as we had asked whether there were sufficient utensils for this)
11. UNRESPONSIVE! Difficult to reach owners (Jane and David) who expected us to survive without heating for 12 hours when the “loaded cards” we were left with did not work. It took 3 phone calls, 1 voice-mail message, 2 text messages and an “on-the-record-email” outlining all the above correspondence to get one of their “staff” (meaning the builder/handy man Leonard) to come with new cards 3 hours later
12. INACCESSIBLE! No replacement gas bottle for the hob so we had to chase the owners for a second day running in order to be able to cook (it took 5 phone calls and 2 text messages to get a response)
13. PROBLEMS! The hob ignition system overheated during our stay and kept igniting continuously until we turned the hob off to let it cool down. This would have been OK if all the other appliances were not connected to the same switch meaning that neither the oven, nor the microwave, nor the dishwasher could be used during that time which was really inconvenient when preparing Christmas dinner for 6 people. So imagine what it would be like if cooking for up to 17 (the max number the villa Jane told us the villa can accommodate)
14. CHEAP! The kitchen is very badly designed and has cheap appliances that don’t work well. For example the oven sounds like a washing machine on a slow spin cycle when it is on and the toaster is a 2-slicer which is not adequate for the number of people this villa is meant to accommodate
15. ILL-FITTING! The dishwasher door doesn’t open easily as the skirting underneath is badly fitted and it seems like it is going to break each time you try to open it
16. NOISY - Noisy air-con units (both the motors outside which hum like a washing machine on a spin cycle and inside where they sound like an extractor fan rather than a silent air-con unit)
17. COLD & DAMP - No extractor fans, heaters or heated towel rails in any of the 5 bathrooms making showering painfully cold and extremely humid
18. LACKING - Toilets with no toilet paper in them (of the 5 toilets only 3 had a roll) and no soap whatsoever as well as as at least 2 toilet seats which did not actually fit the toilets properly
19. ROUGH - Towels that besides being tiny for grown adults looked about 20 years old and rough looking, in fact ours had a coffee ring (presumably from a previous guest’s mug) and we had some very suspicious looking black marks on them too
20. SOGGY - Only 1 set of 2 small towels per guest which, given the lack of towel warmers and radiators meant that they were still wet 24 hours later
21. DAMP - From Day 1 there was terrible humidity inside the villa and it was colder inside than out too unless the air-con units and the gas fire were on full blast it was quite unpleasant
22. RAIN INDOORS! - Leaking windows and walls. It was dry until the second to last day of our stay when it rained about half the day and the many of the walls had wet patches appearing and the atrium (entrance and staircase) had pools of water on the floor where it was dripping in from below the windows and through the walls
23. IRRITATING - Fly screens that rattle even when it’s not that windy. We tried wedging bits of folded up card in ours to no avail. Like everything else in this house they are badly fitted or cheaply done. The result is that you just feel cheated on virtually all fronts
24. HORRIBLE - Cheap sheets on the bed…those on the double bed were way too small and barely covered the mattress. Not only were they thin and too small they DID NOT tuck in making for an uncomfortable sleep every night when they got rucked up. Essentially if you move at all you end up sleeping on the uncovered mattress itself which is not even covered with a mattress protector
25. DISAPPOINTING - All the mattresses were also cheap and uncomfortable, offering no support. I am not heavy at under 50kg but found they moved terribly each time I turned in the bed
26. LACKING AGAIN - Only 1 pillow per guest/bed had a pillow case on while the extras (left in the wardrobes) did not and they did not look very clean so we ended up having to go round all the other rooms collecting up those that had them on in order to have enough to sleep with
27. LACKING AGAIN - A total of 6 coat hangers per bedroom made hanging clothes up a joke
28. LACKING AGAIN - No mirrors in 4 of the bedrooms including 2 of the main rooms and even though we left the shaft window open all the time in the bathrooms those in there got too much condensation on them when showering (with the lack of extractor fan) to shave, dry-hair or do make-up
29. DANGEROUS - Precarious ceiling lights in 2 of the main rooms where they were not fitted properly and were literally hanging from the electric cord
30. MISLEADING - Photos on the website make the place look much cleaner, well maintained and generally much better than it actually is in reality
31. WORRYING - The 500 euro security deposit (taken for damages because you are forced to pay everything up front for the rental prior to arrival) was a concern because we later noticed that the pool table (which we never used) had a rip in the cloth that had been glued back down, that outdoor furniture found on the top floor bedroom (that we did not stay in because it was far too cold and damp) was all broken and had been package-taped back together so our advice would be to walk through the place with the owners and note all these things on the contract prior to signing it. The inventory list in the “welcome folder” is daunting if you look at the prices they state for what are - in most cases - very obviously cheap items which will have wear and tear from other guests it is enough to scare the living daylights out of you. The inventory and maintenance aside, be careful about checking the deposit as David tried to charge us more than double the amount in expenses from our deposit and we had to justify why we were correct and he wasn't.

Additional concerns which you should take into account:
• NOTE - If you came here in the summer you would have the reverse problem (you’d struggle to keep the place cool) and you’d also notice the complete lack of amenities down by the pool (no kitchen area, no fridge, no serving area beside the barbecue)
• NOTE - Location-wise it is NOT in St Julian’s and NOT within walking distance of anything - we knew this and had rented 2 cars but you need to be aware of this before you book because the fact that it comes up on the Tripadvisor search as being in St Julian's is very misleading

Pros (a pity but only a few because they are heavily outweighed by the cons)
1. Good views
2. Blackout curtains
3. 2 fridge freezers in the kitchen
4. Piping hot water (solar powered thank goodness given all the additional expenses) BUT it takes sooooo long to come through that you'll probably use your entire water allowance just getting it to run hot
5. Potentially a good space for large groups BUT here’s an essential piece of advice: You should know that NOT all rooms are equal or have en suite bathrooms. There are 3 double rooms of which only 2 are en suite, the 3rd one shares the main bathroom with a three-bedded room in the same corridor. One of the rooms with en suite has a cot in the room and a connecting windowless bedroom with bunkbeds so it would only be suitable for a family with kids (otherwise it could only be counted as one room). This being the case the top floor (which is accessible only by a spiral staircase and has a round bed so would not be suitable for old, infirm or tall people) and first floor can accommodate 9-13 people (including a baby & 2 kids). On the ground floor there is one three-bedded room (where the kitchen and lounge are) and on the lower ground floor there is a room with 2 bunk beds with a total of 4 beds (where the games room and exit to the pool is - obviously only suitable for grown-up children that you trust nearby a pool and who are out of sight of parents). This takes the total 17 of which 6 would have to be kids (bunk beds) and 1 a baby. So 10 adults could be accommodated but 2 sets of 3 would have to want to share a room so it’s not the ideal place for a large group of couples unless you don’t mind sleeping in single beds (!!!)

Our story in detail....Sorry it's a long one...
On arrival we were greeted by Jane (who had asked us to call TWICE before we got to the villa for some reason….When we got there we understood with a sinking-heart feeling why…Not only did Jane greet us but so too did a builder’s truck, a skip and a pile of cement dust in the driveway. Having just travelled for 13 hours from Southeast Asia for our holidays we could have been perceived as rather tired and unamused but the drilling and building works taking place at gone 3pm on Saturday 21 December was not what we wanted to see or hear.

Despite having called from SE Asia to ask David Caruana for a better price (prior to booking) at which point we were asked to send an email saying the same and then we were refused. We had paid full price for the villa - 1,640 (????) for one week and had felt under pressure to book as David sent us chasing emails saying that other people were interested in booking and it would be on a first-come-first served basis. To be honest we had read the mixed reviews and had had our doubts which is why we asked for a discount. We should have trusted our instincts. One of the reviews spoke about user paranoia - for the AC (heating & cooling), electricity and water. It is an apt description and if you are not prepared for it then it could really ruin your stay here. The only thing we knew would cost a fixed sum was the gas heater since the bottle of gas is charged at the impressive rate of 60 euros. Given that the cost to refill exactly the same bottle is 18.50 this is a handsome sum to make off unsuspecting tourists. But that’s not the half of it. We had to “fight” to get that gas heater from Jane who, despite it being written on the contract already, kept telling us that they didn’t have any gas heaters. We told her that we had already discussed using 2 of them that were available with her husband, David and very reluctantly she went to the builder working down below the property and magically produced a gas heater and a bottle. Who knows if the gas bottle was actually full but anyway…regardless of whether you manage to wangle a gas fire or not, let’s get back to the AC costs. Expect to either freeze or pay a fortune to heat this enormous, largely open-plan villa. On days when it is sunny outside you may get away (like we did for 2 days) without using it at all/much but if you do use it be prepared to spend over the top.

When we checked in it was a breezy but bright day (16-17 degrees) but the villa felt dreadfully cold and damp inside. The curtains were all closed and the floors seemed wet (my husband thought that they had just mopped the floors but surely they wouldn’t have done that with the curtains closed?! So it transpires that it was damp). It felt all closed up and musty so Jane hurriedly opened all the curtains as she showed us around. On the surface it looks quite a nice villa but it felt unloved and unlived in. It also didn’t look very clean. Jane was extremely monotone throughout - not very chatty or welcoming - which is strange because in our 5 years of experience of renting property in Malta most Maltese people are very warm. When we looked around the kitchen we opened the fridges and they smelt disgusting. We pointed it out to Jane and explained that it was because they had ostensibly been cleaned and then closed but that they should have been left open. It was like talking to a brick wall. We pointed out that they would need cleaning and she did not seem at all concerned until we later repeated this (after another matter) and she said she would clean them herself and then left without doing so. Anyway back to the AC heating….

Jane then showed us the pre-loaded card system to operate the AC. Apart from explaining that each card was 50 euros she was extremely vague about it and seemed to be being evasive in her explanation so we asked lots of questions and finally discovered the following: 1) that one card should last us a week and 2) that the previous people had used 5 cards. HUH? There’s a bit of a contradiction here! Her answer was that the last lot of guests were numerous but that there were only 6 of us so if we used it carefully we may get away with only using one card. Mmmmmm…. She then proceeded to show us the one that was still in there from the previous guests. The existing card had 20 euros remaining on it which we had to pay immediately. However, we were then told that any further card we introduced would cost us 50 euros with no refund. We asked why the first one was 20 euros and were told by Jane (the owner) that it was because the previous lessee had not finished the card. We asked Jane what she would charge us if one of the cards we used before leaving had 45 euros left on it and she told us that she would charge us the full 50 euros! So we pointed out that she would be making a profit of 45 euros if she then charged the next guests 45 euros! Her response was “It’s not my decision, that’s the way it is” so we asked her whose decision it was and she said it was a company decision. Yes well we pointed out that she and her husband run the company together so it is her decision, to which her answer was “Well that’s business!” Mmmmm…..

Having ascertained that we were going to be charged the remaining amount of any card left in the system (which would then be charged again to the next lessee) we moved on to the next issue: the building works. It must be said that we made our feelings known as soon as we arrived explaining that we were there on holiday and were disappointed that David had not made us aware of these works. The words that fell from her mouth were both stumbling, vague and completely lacking in empathy. She didn’t say “Oh I am so sorry, they’ll finish in the next half hour I promise and then I’ll be sure that they clean up the mess that they have left”…NO she just kept mumbling something about routine maintanence, a partition in the garage, that the drilling wouldn’t last. Well it did. It went on for the rest of that day - stopped on the Sunday - started again on the Monday (ALL DAY) and then we were not there on Christmas Eve until later so who knows whether it was going on then but the pile of cement dust had been removed at least. Christmas Day was mercifully quiet as was Boxing Day….It turns out that the “routine maintenance” had started a week earlier and was nothing of the sort - it was actually a conversion of the garage and below it into more flats to rent out. NOT what you expect to encounter when you rent a place for your Christmas holidays with your families who have come far and wide to spend a peaceful time with you. Unfortunately although Christmas Day and Boxing Day were quiet, my husband ventured out at 6.30am to take his folks to the airport and was fuming when he returned to the villa at 7.30am to hear drilling and banging. He called Jane to complain and she was actually sleeping - unlike us! She said she’d stop the works but then they started up again at 8.30 so we called David (Jane was now not answering our calls) and he very rudely told us that he was in meeting and said to call Jane before he hung up. We tried to reach Jane again unsuccessfully so at 9.30 we called David again and he was extremely irritated and said that he would not stop the works because the builders wanted to be paid!!! We explained that it was not fair to have this kind of disturbance and he said we were making a fuss for nothing so at this point we told him that the villa had been unacceptably dirty when we moved in because of the works and that the mouldy condition of the walls was also bad for the health. His answer was to call my husband a liar and hang up again.

To be honest the stay in the villa started off negatively because between the “welcome” we received from Jane, the works, the heating issue and the cleanliness of the place it set the tone for the whole experience. Feeling ripped off and treated badly from the outset was one thing but since this followed on throughout the stay it compounded our sentiments. In addition neither Jane nor David seemed to care when we found ourselves without functioning cards for the heating. Yes the 3 loaded cards that she had reluctantly left with us (wanting to charge us in advance for all 3 of them despite having taken a 500 euro security deposit off us!!!) DID NOT WORK! And when we called her to let her know she wrote a text back to us a while later saying that none of the staff were available to help us as it was Sunday and we would have to wait until the following morning! We also got a very terse message giving us the same instructions she had initially given us on the phone about inserting all the cards one by one slowly and then advising her on success. There was none. The current temperature was 14 degrees and she was proposing a nice cold night so more phone calls ensued (that she did not answer and neither did her husband) which we then followed up a text message suggesting that perhaps she or her husband might pass by the villa and check the situation out themselves but no response. It was then that I set about writing a long “on-the-record” email summarising the content and number of calls, timings, texts and voicemails. This apparently had the desired effect as we were then notified that the handyman, Leonard was coming. He came and very pleasantly showed us how to insert the card (albeit as if we were inept at sticking a card into the meter) and of course each and every one of them came up with CARD ERROR just as we had explained to Jane & David in our many calls and messages - but they hadn’t seemed to believe us. The outcome was that Leonard thankfully produced 3 new cards from his pocket and one of them worked so we managed to get warm. However the way in which we had been treated again left us feeling quite irritated.

Imagine then, the next day when we were out buying radiators to plug in the bedrooms (because we didn’t want to risk being cold over Christmas) and then later at the physiotherapist…our parents call us to tell us that the gas had run out on the hob. We called both David and Jane and neither of them answered, we also texted and still no answer. It was already 6.30pm on Monday so after being picked up after my treatment my husband asked me to call from my phone and miraculously it was answered straight away. Now maybe that’s just a coincidence but given that we had only ever called them from my husband’s phone (so they didn’t know my number) it is somewhat dubious. I spoke to David who passed us to Jane who then said that it was Sunday night and she would not be able to reach the staff. It sounded like groundhog day - especially as it was actually a MONDAY - so we told Jane that she had got the day of the week wrong and that we really did not want a repeat of yesterday’s fiasco so could she please do her best to find a solution.

We were then told to check out on the balcony for the spare one. I called my parents back and they confirmed in the negative so I called David back and said that there was no spare one on the balcony. Admittedly the response time was a little faster on this one since when I spoke directly to David I told him “Listen if none of your staff are available I think it might be wise to come yourself” and suddenly Leonard arrived within half an hour with new gas bottle - poor guy as he had already been picked off the building site below the property earlier on in the day by our parents to get instructions on how to keep the oven on because it kept switching off.

Sadly these incidents and the way that they were handled - with very little care and no empathy whatsoever - means that we did not feel very much at home at Villa Belvedere. This is a real pity because it was a temporary solution for the Christmas holidays because our own apartment (recently bought in Malta) was not ready to live in. Given that we have now rented in Malta since 2008 - sometimes for up to 6 months - we are seasoned lessees and not in the least new to the market. Therefore, what should have been a lovely experience, uniting our families from 3 different countries in what had looked like a lovely villa (on the website) turned into a truly disappointing experience. We are very familiar with the country and have rented in all seasons so the flaking paint from the damp did not concern us although you would not think to find it in a villa of this type since included in the price of rental is a maintenance fee!

Lastly the fact that when our time to leave the villa arrived no one came to do the check out it seemed really discourteous. We were under the impression that Jane would be coming to read the metres (water and electricity) as well as verify that the property was OK so that we would be able to get our deposit back without any problems. However 9.30am (the rather early check-out time) arrived but she didn’t…we called to find out where she was at 9.45am but she told us just to leave the key in the key safe and shut the door behind us! After all we had been through we thought that perhaps she hadn’t wanted to look us in the face but on talking to the neighbour next door who was renting their other villa, we discovered that David had told the other lessee NOT to call him because he was going to be away on holiday!! These “neighbours” had similar horror stories to tell and in some ways theirs were worse - they (4 adults and 2 small children) had been without hot water to shower for 4 days for example - so we exchanged details with a view to banding together to potentially make an official complaint to the Malta Tourism Authority.

Frankly speaking there were so many issues in the property - you only need to see the list above to see how many - in particular MOULD in virtually every room, leaking windows and walls, and general lack of attention to cleanliness and detail - that it makes it very difficult to recommend this villa to anyone. No heated towel rails or heaters in any of the 5 bathrooms make showering and bathing in the winter an experience akin to being on a campsite rather than a luxury villa! We have never written a damning review like this before and I have never spent so much of my precious time explicating the reasons. However we would like others to avoid the disappointment we felt and hope that this will serve as a kind of wake-up call. What we would to say is that is IF the owners/people who run this place care enough to take on board the 31 points above and implement necessary changes, then it could be an absolutely fabulous property. Until then...our recommendation would be to find another solution to accommodate you and your loved ones on your holidays. We hope it will be one that is welcoming and makes you feel at home!

NOTE: Our deposit was also paid back late although it was over the New Year so we considered it acceptable. One last point - we advise you to make sure you take photos of the meters when you arrive and when you depart because it’s possible (as it was in our case) that no one will be there to check you out and confirm your usage. Also take a photo of the used and unused AC cards because David tried to take a total of 3 out of our deposit. We only used 1 and had to write a long email explaining this which we backed up with a photo as proof. In addition David tried to charge us twice for the gas bottle (for which we had already paid an excessive 60 euros upon arrival) and this was even written on the contract we had signed. In our email we gave David the opportunity to respond to our concerns about the overcharging etc as well as an offer to provide him with our thoughts on how the villa could be improved but he did not take us up on either offer.

How easy was it to book the property? How easy was key pickup/access to the property?
Overall condition of the property Bedding & mattresses
Kitchen & utensils Bathroom cleanliness
Other facilities & amenities Service
Liked best: The views & the black out blinds
Liked least: The dreadful mould, poor maintenance of the property and treatment by the owners - lack of customer care
Traveling group: Extended Family
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   No.
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sunnibeac...
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Villa Belvedere ticked all the boxes!”
Reviewed August 30, 2013 for a stay in August 2013
1
person found this review helpful

We have been on a few family holidays now but it has to be said that this one's been the best by far. Malta and Villa Belvedere ticked all the boxes for us. Villa Belvedere was great!!! It was clean, spacious, modern, had a lovely pool area and a large games room for all ages. My 2 year old particularly enjoyed playing in the playhouses and caterpillar tunnel whilst her older cousins enjoyed the table tennis and table football. All the rooms had sea views and balcony's to enjoy this from. What made it even better was it's location. There was no need for us to hire a car. It was a 2 minute walk from a bus stop which made visiting places such as Valletta, Sliema and the Waterpark hassle free. Places to eat and the supermarket (which delivered) were a 5 minute walk away. I can honestly say that Villa Belvedere made our holiday special and on behalf of all my family we would highly recommend it for any large group wanting to holiday together. We had fun and will definitely be back for another visit. Thank you Jane and David for being so accommodating.

Overall condition of the property Bedding & mattresses
Kitchen & utensils Bathroom cleanliness
Other facilities & amenities Service
Liked best: Space and sea views
Liked least: Not knowing how to use the oven and washing machine. Only being able to use air con in short bursts as it was expensive to run.
Traveling group: Extended Family
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway Families with young children
Large groups People with pets
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Suki P
Northampton, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Stunning villa, stunning location”
Reviewed August 29, 2013 for a stay in August 2013
1
person found this review helpful

Just come back from staying at this villa with my extended family a couple of weeks ago. We were a 9 adults 9 children strong group but it didn't feel like that. The villa was so spacious with, not only a large living area, but also good sized spacious bedrooms, it didn't feel claustrophobic at all which I was afraid of. The villa is very modern and is just as it is in the pictures....beautiful!! The views from the villa are to die for, from all the floors especially the roof terrace.
The location was perfect for us with the main road just around the corner with numerous buses going into St Julians Bay/Paceville (10mins) Waterpark (5mins). The local supermarket/green grocers were a 10min walk, with everything you would need.....and they deliver free of charge, although we did used to tip the driver!! It was a shame we were only there for 6 days as it was a last minute booking and that is all that was available, we would certainly have stayed longer. David & Jane the owners have been very friendly and hospitable. Jane arranged our boat trip around the beautiful Comino island and Blue Lagoon, great day was had by all. All in all a great place to stay and we would certainly go there again.

How easy was it to book the property? How helpful were the directions to the property?
How easy was key pickup/access to the property? Overall condition of the property
Bedding & mattresses Kitchen & utensils
Bathroom cleanliness Other facilities & amenities
Service
Liked best: Swimming pool, views from balconies/roof terrace
Traveling group: Extended Family
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway Older travelers
Families with young children Large groups
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
  • Was your security deposit returned on time?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lina_Bowd...
London, Canada
2 reviews
“Exceptional vacation home for a big family.”
Reviewed July 18, 2013 for a stay in June 2013

We were delighted with Villa Belvedere: we had more than 20 people so special arrangements had to be made for extra beds, towels, loungers etc and David was very accommodating so our family could stay together. This is a spacious home, very new and clean, the pool area is fantastic and the view just amazing. The kitchen was well equipped with everything we needed for a large group. Thank you David and Jane for amazing customer service both before and during the stay. We will book with you again in the future!

How easy was it to book the property? How helpful were the directions to the property?
How easy was key pickup/access to the property? Overall condition of the property
Bedding & mattresses Kitchen & utensils
Bathroom cleanliness Other facilities & amenities
Service
Liked best: view & large pool area
Traveling group: Extended Family
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway People with disabilities
Older travelers Families with young children
Large groups People with pets
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
  • Was your security deposit returned on time?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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