Like the majority of people it seems, we got the accommodation for £99 for the week under the proviso that we sit through a timeshare presentation. Fair enough to be honest.
A welcome drink on arrival, and someone came up to us to suggest a few sites that we should try and see - which was good advice, but more on the island later. We had asked for a seaview room but got a country view one (although you could see the sea if you looked left - which made for some good sunset views). Again the lack of beach/sea view wasnt a major issue - you pay a 1* price for a 5* hotel and you will expect things like that. Rooms are of a decent size with TV, DVD, air conditioning, minibar, tea/coffee making facilities and balcony. They are also cleaned daily. A downside (it may be a little unreasonable to blame the hotel for this!!!!) is that you WILL end up being a gourmet meal for the mosquitoes, so come prepared for this.
POOL FACILITIES: A good size collection of freeform outdoor pools. The outdoor pool was a little on the cold side, but we weren`t blessed with the best weather for most of the week. Indoor pool is consistent with a 4/5 star hotel though, and also had a jacuzzi plus sauna/steam room. Good views from the outside area. Towels are provided for all beach/pool areas.
RESTAURAUNTS: 3 Restauraunts on site - Agolio which is the most popular one - reasonable prices on pizza and pasta. Thsi restauraunt was obvioulsy very popular, but they also do take aways if its too busy if you wanted to enjoy your food on your balcony. Pizza / pasta prices 6-10 euros each . The steak prices were nearer 20-25 euros. Flavours was only open for breakfast (16 for american buffet , 10 for english plated, 6 for continental) and at weekends (although 31 euros each for a buffet lunch seemed steep considering neither of us were big eaters). Essence gets some good reviews and you can get a 3 course set menu for 60 euros per couple if you are feeling extravagent. You could also get snack food from the Mocha bar (around 10 Euros for a rather large quarter pounder), and from pebbles beach restaurant (around 8 euros for a wrap).
BARS: Mocha bar, pebbles, swizzles (which had evening entertainment) - 2 drinks cost between 8 and 10 euros (pint of the local beer (Cisk - which is excellent) and a white wine.
LOCAL EATING AND DRINKING: There were 2 beach bars *Munchies) and the Apple eyes cafe which was higher up - at all 3 the same 2 drinks would be roughly half the price, and some good value food . In addition there was a shop within a van on the beach approach, which had cheaper prices than the hotel deli (a lot of rooms don`t have self catering facilities anyway)
BEACH: There is a private area with sun loungers next to a public area. The sea was warm mid afternoon - it does have quite a few stones near the waters edge and a fair bit of seaweed - so pick your entry point carefully. The beach itself is sandy and easy on your feet
STAFF: Very friendly (especially the ents team), and helpful.
CLEANLINESS: All good
EXCURSIONS: There is a drifter desk in the lobby of tower one, which can offer you excursions. The courtesy bus in the day is free. In the evening we paid 4 euros each for a trip to Begiba (which you will save on food and drink costs) and 7 euros for St Julians. St Julians is lively and vibrant. Begiba is a little too tacky (not helped by the fact it was eurovision song contest night and every bar was showing it rather loudly). They will also book your trip back to the airport (26 euros). Reccommended is the Gozo trip (22 euros with a guided tour - you will need to pay extra for a couple of museums and and extra 4.50 euros for the ferry)
RECOMMENDED: A day trip to Valetta is very worthwhile (use the courtesy bus). Mdina, the silent city should also be visited (catch the bus to Motza - and then another one - buses are quite easy to use and stop outside the hotel). Buses are somewhat comical and the roads are "interesting", but there are always plenty of bus staff nearby to advise which buses to catch. Gozo as said above is well worth a visit.
TIMESHARE: Of course at a promotional price you do have to sit through a 2.5 hour presentation. Our salesman Ainsley was very good - but we didnt buy - to be honest we generally arent that fussy on the standard of accommodation, but some of teh benefits seemed worthwhile. Its a long sell, but its not a pressure sell (although they only do business on the day so be aware). When you say no they just wish you and enjoyable rest of your holiday (and the show apartments are quite nice!)
OVERALL: A good standard hotel - good beach, bit too remote, but if you get it on a good deal then worth going. 5* prices, but a few cheaper local options available - plus it does mean you have to get out and explore - and lets face it what is teh point of going on holiday and satying in your hotel. I wouldnt pay full price for it, but I don`t think anyone there was either. From the hotels point of view, they may sell you a timeshare, and you will spend some money in there, so its better than empty rooms.
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- Also Known As:
- Radisson Blu Resort And Spa, Malta Golden Bay
- Radisson Blu Resort & Spa, Malta Golden Bay Hotel Mellieha
- Radisson Mellieha
- Mellieha Radisson
- Radisson Blu Resort & Spa, Malta Golden Sands Mellieha