I have very mixed emotions regarding the Radisson Golden Bay - these can best be summed up in three categories: the good, the bad, and the downright ugly.
The hotel has an absolute prime location, perched on a cliff overlooking Golden Bay, one of Malta's most beautiful beaches.
It is also one of the few hotels on the West coast of Malta - think sunsets, not sunrise over the ocean.
For the mobility challenged, lifts will zip you down to the beach - and back up for afternoon coffee on the terrace commanding fantastic sunset views.
The rooms are large, the balconies (on the sea side) all offer spectacular views. However, you are sentenced to closing off your room at dusk, for this is mosquito territory after dark and the Radisson Golden Bay does not offer the luxury of screens that many 3-star hotels have. The pool is beautiful - but their "one towel per customer" policy is just plain cheap - there is no excuse for this if you want to call yourself 5-star. We asked each day- always "No - one towel per guest".
The food is, at best, mediocre. There are a few restaurants available within the hotel - the largest called Flavours by staff is simply called "Flavorless" by guests - I heard that term more than once. Agliolio, called "ugly-oily" looks nice, and can be: we've had decent italian food here, but also really lousy food. "Essence" is the morechic fish restaurant.. great atmosphere, OK food. Mokka, the hotel lobby bar is nice - great Cappucino and again, a beautiful lounge terrace - if they'd just change the elevator music that bombards you all day! Luckily, we found out about Munchies on day two: a beachside shack serving burgers and salads during the day transforms into a tableclothed restaurant at sunset, featuring the best grilled ribeye I've had on Malta, a wonderful local swordfish - and (our tip:) the best fresh grilled tuna on salad on the island!
Two-thirds of the total hotel complex is made up of time-sharing called the Island Residence Club: Their Sales staff hover all over the hotel complex like vultures, whizzing couples through tours in such numbers that it is impossible to sit anywhere without having a sales pitch running like a tape recorder next to you. Don't think you can avoid them: Even as a hotel guest not signed up for a "free consultation and tour" you cannot - they're in the restaurants, they're in the lobby, they're at the bar, they're at the pool, they're having a Cappucino next to you at Mokka with an elderly couple from Blackpool. They're like locusts!
All in all, this is a hotel barely reaching four-star standards that could have been a five-star like the Hilton in Portomaso, but they forget to think of what the guest might want or need - and don't really seem to be bothered by this lack of intuition.
What's missing to make is a true four or five star hotel? Five things:
(1) GIVE GUESTS PEACE TO RELAX - Limit Island Residence Club Sales staff to the Island Residence Club area - bar them completely from Mokka and the hotel pool area. They have huge areas within IRC where they can serve coffee to their sales pitch victims.
(2) REPAIR THINGS - Make sure the fans and air conditioners run in each of the rooms before the guests arrive - it shouldn't be the guest's job to chase after a repairman.
(3) ADD SCREENS to the sliding doors - you're right next door to a natural preserve that also happens to be quite the mosquito breeding ground. No screens mean no open windows at night - which is a shame, since the ocean breezes here are wonderful.
(4) DON'T BE CHEAP - Replace your pool (and bathroom!) towels BEFORE the seams are completely ripped off on both sides - nobody wants to dry off with a rag!
(5) DON'T BE STINGY - You can gladly increase the deposit required, but at the end of the day, it should be the guest's decision (and no the hotel's) if he wants/needs one pool towel or two.
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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