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“The end of an Era”

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Le Meridien St. Julians
Ranked #8 of 33 Hotels in Saint Julian's
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed December 17, 2013

Underneath is a copy of the email I sent to the GM this morning.... I think it explains in detail our experience!!!

I am writing this email in regards to my recent stay at Le Meridien. I would firstly like to apologise to you for having to send such an unpleasant email as I have to say that after my numerous stays at your hotel I never expected to have to send this.

I booked a one night stay for Saturday, 7th December , in September through a promotion that meant that a room for 2 adults was either 88euro or 92euro (I'm afraid I can't remember the exact amount), which is the reason I booked the room so far in advance. After booking it, I got my confirmation email and as far as I was concerned had paid for the room.

Saturday came and I made sure to print off all my confirmation details. I would like to point out that this weekend was to begin Christmas celebrations with my daughter. I am a very busy self-employed single mother (as you can see from how long it has taken me since the event in question to write this email), who sadly due to my job does not get to spend as much time as most mothers with my child so as you can imagine, little treats are incredibly important for us. We started our little getaway by going Christmas shopping and going to see Father Christmas and then made our way to the Hotel for check-in at 3 o'clock. We were greeted by the receptionist, Dorota and proceeded to check in. Upon this, it began to unfold that there was no booking in our name. After giving all my reservation details I was informed that there was absolutely no record of our booking on the system. Although this had already wasted about 30 minutes, Dorota said that it could easily be solved by just making a new reservation. It was at this point, after another long conversation where I worried about my payment made at the time of booking, that I was told that a payment had never been made. As I truly believed that I had, I wasn't comfortable making another payment, yet at that time I didn't have any bank statements and was not in a situation to be able to get hold of any papers. My solution to this was to go home and look further into the matter, rearranging the stay for another time. However, my daughter was incredibly upset by the this as she was desperate to start her "holiday" at your hotel (she loves staying) and it was now actually gone 4pm so it was decided that I would book the room again, paying 109euro and then if I was able to prove my payment I would be refunded the money. At first Dorota was a little unresponsive but, as she continued to deal with this problem and communicate by phone with a colleague in Reservations, she was extremely nice and endeavoured to do all she could for us to solve the problem.

We finally arrived in our room which had been upgraded to a Junior Suite and it was both very comfortable and pleasant. Because of the delay checking in and my daughter by this point needing a rest, we were unable to use the pool in the Spa at the allotted time allowable for children. We were also unable to eat in the Bar as we had originally planned due to it being closed for a private function. As a result of these hiccups, we made the decision to order take away pizzas and eat them in the room while still being able to take advantage of the happy hour. I arranged to pick the pizzas up 8pm so we got to the bar for 7.15pm which at that time was quiet. Now, having worked in the hospitality industry during my student days, I found the set up of the temporary bar in reception very compact with everything to hand. I ordered a Mojito, a Cosmopolitan and a juice for my daughter. At approximately 7.40pm, the barman came over to inform me that unfortunately that night I was not able to have a Mojito. What was amusing is that up to now, I have stayed at your hotel this year in February, March and June respectively and so far I have not once successfully been able to have a Mojito! Once the reason I was given was that there was no mint in the hotel. If that is the case, may I suggest that you possibly grow your own herbs on the hotel premises, you could have them in planters dotted around the outside terrace areas. I'm sure guests would be impressed seeing the barman go outside in order to pick fresh herbs (as I was when in Sicily earlier this year the barman did such a thing and I found it incredibly resourceful and novel). In the end I decided on a Bloody Mary and at 8pm we finally got our drinks (as I have already stated, I should have been picking my pizzas up at that time). Now, please don't get me wrong, the members of staff working the bar that night were very pleasant but, it was obvious that they weren't fully knowledgeable on the more intricate parts of bar work such as, how to prepare cocktails. This was no fault of theirs but, surely of the bar management,who should ensure that fully qualified staff are covering the bar at all times. When I went to pay for the drinks at the bar with my card, I was told that they didn't have the facilities to put through a payment on my card and that I would I have to go to Reception in order to make a payment. Again, I would like to point out that I was now late to pick up the pizzas so I asked whether I could have the drinks, totalling 11euro, charged to my room and the barman replied that it was fine. After signing for the drinks I got my daughter ready to leave and my guest went to the reception to ask for a bottle opener as we did not have one in the room and the bar staff only had one between them. She requested a bottle opener, an extra pillow and two paIrs of slippers as there were none in the room. When the receptionist asked if we had an opener in the mini bar we explained that we could neither get into the mini bar nor get access to any of the television channels, not even International news. The receptionist explained to us after hearing our explanation that because I had declined to put down a deposit for expenditures within the hotel which I'm sure you can understand after having to pay unexpectedly for the room and after finding out that the bar was not offering food that evening, there was little point in my mind to leave one. Yet, still whenever I have stayed before complimentary water and soft drinks have been provided in the room, this time there were none. Luckily, when I went Christmas shopping I had been to the supermarket so I went to my car and used the drinks I had bought: juice, water, wine (hence the need for an opener).

When we returned to the room after picking up the pizzas (which were now cold) a pillow and the slippers had been left but no bottle opener. Soon after returning, the phone rang. My guest answered it and was met with a male voice, presumably of one of the receptionists, accusingly saying: "You have taken something from the third floor"! My guest, at this point panicked at what she could have taken to be accused of such a thing was then told: "You had a Cosmopolitan, a fruit juice and a Bloody Mary. You cannot leave the bar without paying! You are not entitled to sign for drinks as you didn't put down a deposit against such charges". Flabbergasted, my guest handed me the phone and the same thing was repeated to me in an the same accusatory tone. I did not have the energy to go into an explanation as to the bar being ill-equipped for me to make a payment on my card but, instead pointed out that a deposit of at least 60euro hardly made sense against the minimal amount of 11euro and that I would duly pay for what was being made to seem like an incredibly large amount the following morning at check out. The man in question to whom I spoke, had a manner that quite frankly made me feel like I was nothing more that a petty thief or a conman who was merely out for what I could get, which is actually how I was made to feel for the entirety of my stay. Another point I would quickly like to make is that if the man in question is actually the man I saw at reception when asking about the bottle opener all I can say is that I would have expected far more at a 5 star in regards to his attire. I don't really think a man with no tie and an open necked shirt is the image that your hotel would like to portray, is it? I ended my telephone conversation with the gentleman by telling him that no bottle opener had been brought to our room and could we please have one. Shortly after there was a knock at the door. When I opened it, a member of staff was stood there with a bottle opener in hand. I was then asked to take the bottle that I wanted opening to her, for her to open for me, in the corridor, I was not allowed use of her ever so precious utensil, just imagine, I may just have slammed the door in her face and kept it for myself. My lesson has been learnt, next time I will endeavour to take my own bottle opener with me.

We had a very enjoyable nights sleep we arrived at the restaurant for breakfast at 8.30pm and were met by a lovely waitress who after taking our room number, showed us to a table and swiftly brought us tea and coffee. After a bit of a disaster with cereal (the rice crispies that were advertised were not in fact the original rice crispies and were actually not very nice at all which led to my daughter refusing to eat them, which I understood), we went to the hot buffet section in order to get a hot breakfast (another favourite aspect of our stay for my daughter). But, we were rather upset to see that the chef that had been working on the egg station the last time we had visited, Anthony, was not there. We found him the best chef we had met on all our visits. Being English ourselves, it's always nice to see someone from the UK in which you can reminisce with, even better in Anthony's case because we found out through chatting that we're both from the north of England. Not only was he friendly, taking time while cooking to actually converse with us (and I noticed that this is something that he did with all guests sometimes under what looked like pretty stressful conditions), but he also asked whether we would like one or two eggs and how we would like them cooked. In comparison, although the chef on duty was not unpleasant, I was not asked how many eggs I would like, I was not asked how I would like my eggs cooked and I most definitely wasn't talked to while waiting for my egg, although, I'd like to point out that I was in fact the only person stood at the hot food station at the time. This is the exact same thing that happened to my guest and daughter when they went to get their hot breakfast and their eggs were actually cooked in the same pan and then halved and put on their individual plates! A final point in regards to breakfast is that after getting a plate of various pastries, pancakes and waffles to eat with a last coffee we ended up leaving the pancakes and waffles as they most certainly didn't taste the same as in June, in fact they reminded me of something my daughter can make with her playdoh! Please revise the recipe for other guests. One thing that was nice to see though as always was that the attentiveness of the chefs who were constantly replenishing food on both the hot and cold buffet.

Lastly on the agenda for our stay was to go the Spa so my daughter could finally go for a swim in the pool. We arrived at the spa, my daughter picking which loungers we would have with my guest while I signed us in. At this time, similarly to the bar the previous evening, the spa was very quiet, one man was laying on a lounger and another was sat in the hot tub. We all got in the pool and were encouraging my daughter to swim and not be lazy as due to summer and snorkelling she has all but forgotten how to swim with her head above water. A moment later, a member of the spa staff came over to us and told us the keep the noise down. Now, I admit that we may not be the quietest of people and that maybe we were speaking a little too loudly but there is also the fact that sound carries across water. The situation that immediately followed was the thing that angered us the most. The aforementioned member of staff, the one that told us to be quite, walked past the pool up to the spa area with a colleague, talking extremely loudly and laughing! My guest on impulse made a shushing sound, by this point with everything that had happened our patience had run short and the hypocrisy in what had just come to pass was just too much. And then, a fitness class started! Yes, two adults and a child talking are far louder than a group of women jumping around to loud thudding music and an instructor shouting what to do at regular intervals! I can imagine, if this is the case, that we were also louder than the women waiting outside the class who were all excitedly talking, especially seeing as they were given no slap on the wrist for their level of noise. Or it could just be a case of one rule for one and another rule for another. Especially seeing as when I have been to the spa on previous occasions with my daughter, there have been Maltese families there, several of the children making an incredible amount of noise and in actual fact being down right boisterous, enough to stop my daughter from swimming near them, yet, nothing was ever said to them. It has always been a presumption of mine that seeing as there is a time when children are allowed to use the spa facilities and a time when they are forbidden, the time when they are allowed is slightly more relaxed, a time where a happy medium comes into play rather than having to constantly whisper and tell your child to be quiet, panicking that someone will shout at you for making too much noise. It actually brings back memories of school! What is the saddest part of the story for me is that I actually taught my daughter to swim in the pool last February and up until my most recent stay I had incredibly happy and special memories there. My guest, having not enjoyed her time in the pool, decided to go back to the room early and upon leaving the spa placed her towel on the desk that she had received it from, as not seeing any other place to put it, she thought that was the place to put it. The female member of staff (the one that had reprimanded us for our bad behaviour of being too loud) now informed my guest to "make sure that in the future she put her towel in the basket provided" in a tone which dripped of superciliousness and made my guest feel extremely small and uncomfortable. My daughter and I decided to cut our losses shortly after and also leave early. As a result of our previous stays, I knew where to put my towel but now upon exiting the spa I was given two return towel cards. On reading the small print of the card it stated that if you did not return your cards to reception when checking out then you were liable for a fine of 10euro (I can't exactly remember the amount). After arriving back at my room and telling my guest about this, she yet again panicked, this time because she had received no such ticket, just a detrimental lecture. I actually had a question I needed to ask a member of staff in the spa regarding a package of a block of treatments I bought in March but, due to the attitude of the staff and the whole stay in general, I decided I didn't need any more aggravation.

Our stay finally at an end, we went to the reception, where the receptionist on duty was again Dorota, to settle the outstanding bar account and return our key cards. She was yet again very pleasant and eager to please, she asked my daughter if she'd like to choose a key card to take home with her (something which my daughter was very happy about as she believed that this meant the next time we came to stay she would already have the card to open the door: "don't worry mama, now, next time I come I can open the door myself bless her). Dorota also asked if our stay had been a pleasant one. Unable to hide my feelings, I mustered up a long awkward "hmmmm, well", at which point she asked me if there was anything she could do to make it right. Sadly, there was nothing, with all the will in the world, one person and their good can not make up for all the negative people and situations so, I simple asked for your name and contact details and thanked her for all the help she had given us as she had been excellent.

As I've already said, I also came to your hotel in June, bringing my aunt with me who had come over from the UK and at that time we both wrote glowing reviews about the hotel, spa and restaurant (specifically the chef) on Tripadvisor, both of which were appreciatively commented on by a representative of the hotel. This is far from the situation we're in now. In the six months since I last stayed at your hotel I feel that standards have slipped and that the attitudes of your staff have also greatly deteriorated. It is a great shame when someone who used the hotel regularly as a "gettaway" to relax and spend some well needed precious time with their child is made to feel like they are inferior. Nothing more than a conman that just can't be trusted. I was made to feel victimised and quite frankly bullied throughout my stay at your hotel and that put me in what felt like a very vulnerable position. Leaving the hotel, I did not feel refreshed and ready for Christmas at all, instead I questioned whether I would ever want to stay at Le Meridien again, especially seeing as the people who know about our story have told us that we would be fools to and they would never return if it were them.

Due to such a terrible experience this time at Le Meridien, coupled with the fact that I always write about my stay when it is positive, I will also be putting a briefer version of this on Tripadvidor in the hope that some of what I write about will be noted and the correct action will be taken to rectify the problems raised so that this doesn't happen again and that your hotel will not be put under dispripute.

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank sheps1227
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ExecutiveOfficeMalta, General Manager at Le Meridien St. Julians, responded to this reviewResponded December 31, 2013

Dear Guest,

I had indeed taken note of your review a little while ago as I received a copy directly via email and I sincerely thank you for that. I do hope that the follow-up that I have personally provided you with on this issue is up to your satisfaction.

I do remain at your entire disposal for any future assistance you may need. Once again, I do apologize for the unfortunate series of events that lead to such a poor perception of our property and I am looking forward to welcoming you again for your next visit,

With kind regards to you and your loved ones,

Franco Vella
General Manager

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1,018 - 1,024 of 2,735 reviews

Reviewed December 17, 2013

Excellent service throughout! I must say Cristina helped up with all our requirements. Venue is good with an outdoor terrace and a nice view of Balluta. Food was good and the way the venue was set up and decorated really suited this festive season. Staff enjoyed the evening.... saying it was one of the best parties in recent years! Well done! Seriously recommended for staff events!

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled on business
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Thank BrianMT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ExecutiveOfficeMalta, General Manager at Le Meridien St. Julians, responded to this reviewResponded December 31, 2013

Dear Guest,

Thank you for your keen review! We are delighted to have hosted your party at KuDeTa Lounge & Bar and glad that everything went well. I will pass on your positive comments to Cristina and we are certainly looking forward to hosting you again for any other occasion,

Thank you for your custom,
Kind regards,

Franco Vella
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 16, 2013

Great Wedding yesterday at the KuDéTa Lounge & Bar..... Well done to the Manager Elyse for the organization.......

Another thanks goes to Antonella (as a guest on the day) for the entertainment, and for the interesting promotion of the Hotel we will surely book a weekend break soon :)

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank Jean9181
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ExecutiveOfficeMalta, General Manager at Le Meridien St. Julians, responded to this reviewResponded December 31, 2013

Dear Guests,

Firstly, allow me again to wish you a lifetime of happiness together. Thank you for sharing your positive experience with other readers. I am really happy to know that we contributed to making your special day a memorable one. I will pass on your kind praise to Elyse and we are certainly all looking forward to welcoming you both soon for a well-deserved weekend break.

Thank you and once again, congratulations!

Kind regards,
Franco Vella
General Manager

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Reviewed December 15, 2013

A wonderful experience! All was just good... food, staff, location and free parking. Thanks to Cristina and Elyse who were very helpful. They made our stay simply unforgettable! Definitely a must go place.

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank MarkGauci
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ExecutiveOfficeMalta, General Manager at Le Meridien St. Julians, responded to this reviewResponded December 31, 2013

Dear Guest,

Thank you for your lovely comments and for mentioning members of our team who contributed to the success of your event! It is truly our pleasure to read that your staff dinner was up to your expectations,

I hope to have the opportunity to welcome you for any other occasion in the near future,

Best regards,
Franco Vella
General Manager

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Reviewed December 11, 2013 via mobile

I booked a night for two with room service .. The room was big and very modern. Later on we ordered food room service the staff where very nice and the food was great! In the morning we stayed at the indoor pool the atmosphere was quiet relaxing. Great hotel :)

Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
1  Thank pinkytraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ExecutiveOfficeMalta, General Manager at Le Meridien St. Julians, responded to this reviewResponded December 31, 2013

Dear Guest,

Thank you for your custom and for sharing your positive experience with other travelers. I am glad to know that your short stay with us was a very pleasant one indeed and that you had the opportunity to make the best of your overnight stay.

I do hope to have the chance to welcome you again in the future, maybe for a longer well-deserved vacation this time,

With my best regards,
Franco Vella
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 10, 2013

Relaxing holidays for 5 days in Malta, the choise was given for a good hotel with a spa.
Le meridien is located front sea view in a attractive place in Malta.
10min walk and you are in center of all night and day activities in Paceville.
But our mind was not for night activities but relaxing activities in the Spa.
Excellent place very quiet and well equipped with beautiful swimming pool in marvellous architectur, sauna, steam room, jacuzzi and relaxing sun bed in a good atmosphere and relaxing music... what else?
The spa is excellent, try the 'lotus signature massage' or the 'Elakizhi massage' with ayuruedic oil and packed bags fresh hebs, or the 'Pantai lua massage' with oil and hot stone... you will be in paradise.
Hotel is good, rooms are confortable and clean. we were on the floor 9.
Some noise coming from the outside in the morning with a building construction just in front of our room, and from the inside with new lift installation can disturb you.
Those lift, so criticized, are fast when you are alone... but so slow in traffic jam time in the morning and evening.
The bar is surely not the best place, choose preferably the outside place!
Happy hour is a swindle, price is so high for one glass with so less alcool, we decided not to go twice.
The restaurant with theme buffet is also very expensive, but outside in good restaurant is also high prices for those who likes good meal with good services.
In summary good hotel mainly for the Lotus spa.

Room Tip: junior suite is a good choise
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  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank rudygvb24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 10, 2013

I used the gym in the Meridien for two weeks during my recent holiday in December 2013. Whilst at 45 euro for a weeks membership it wasnt cheap, the facilities are excellent. As well as the fully equipped gym the membership gives access to the Spa which has a pool, jacuzzi and sauna.

The staff are extremely helpful and very friendly. I used the gym 7 times in total and thought it good value for money.

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Service
1  Thank BAZPOS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Le Meridien St. Julians

Address: 39 Main Street, Balluta Bay, Saint Julian's, Island of Malta STJ 1017, Malta
Location: Malta > Island of Malta > Saint Julian's
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#4 Spa Hotel in Saint Julian's
#6 Business Hotel in Saint Julian's
#7 Luxury Hotel in Saint Julian's
#8 Family Hotel in Saint Julian's
#8 Romantic Hotel in Saint Julian's
Price Range: $111 - $284 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Le Meridien St. Julians 5*
Number of rooms: 276
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Le Méridien St Julians Hotel & Spa in Malta is located within the bustling, cosmopolitan neighbourhood of St. Julians, offering plenty of entertainment and tranquility located along the seafront promenade. Enjoying excellent views, our hotel is an architectural gem, offering elegance with the relaxed feel luxury, boutique hotel in the Mediterranean. Enjoy international cuisine, accompanied by a refined selection of world wines, and take your coffee al fresco on the splendid terrace. Awaken your senses at the MyoKa spa and float in our tropical indoor pool where you will be revived by aromatherapy secrets from around the world Le Meridien St. Julians Hotel & Spa offers a relaxing ambiance for business travelers, families and couples. On the first floor of the premises, the meeting planner will discover a practical and modern background for their project, with an entire floor dedicated to business events. Free WIFI in the guest rooms as well as the public areas, indoor and outdoor pools (weather permitting)and 24h Guest service available via telephone and whatsapp/blackberry messenger. Le Meridien St. Julians Hotel & Spa is part of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Le Meridien St. Julians Hotel Saint Julian`s
Meridien St Julians
Le Meridien Malta
Le Meridien Saint Julian's
Saint Julian's Le Meridien
Le Meridien St. Julians Malta

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