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“slick city living/ pretentious sterile 5 star it's not. quirky and sublime it is”

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Hotel Ta' Cenc & Spa
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Sannat
Reviewed June 11, 2008

Having got married at this hotel in june 2007 and having the most wonderful experience we decided we would want to go back every year ( i have never been back to the same place twice yet!!) - simply because there is no other place on earth like it., I have to tell the truth about what the ta cenc is like.
If you expect a 5 star to be like the hilton hotels around the world, you're in for a shock. Ta Cenc is NOT about sterile, modern accomodation. ( yes it's dated, but you have complete quiet, a home- from home feel, no noisy neighbours from above - every suite is ground floor, like a bungalow)
There is no entertainment if you class entertainment to be discos, loud music, bingo and such. Ta Cenc provides subtle live musicians to accompany your evening meal.
The food is excellent but huge portions, 10 courses on valentines night. NOTHING is too much trouble for the staff.
I could go on, but in a nut shell Ta Cenc is
QUIET
LOW KEY
GOOD SERVICE
LOTS OF FOOD
EXCELLENT STAFF
RELAXED
DATED BUT COSY
UNIQUE

  • Stayed: February 2008, traveled as a couple
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Thank LLUD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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632 - 638 of 848 reviews

Reviewed June 9, 2008

Do'nt go - all the bad reviews are true - we were swayed by the good ones and regretted it.
Potentially it has charm and a lot going for it BUT service was poor - rooms not cleaned properly, air con not working, insufficient sun beds, and a management that said "yes Sir" but made no attempt to solve the simplest of problems.
I could go on...

Very definitely not 5 star in either service or accomodation.

  • Stayed: June 2008, traveled with family
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2  Thank GerransCornwall
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 31, 2008

Quietly and beautifully situated on the cliffs, with lots of nice rambling and walking nearby.

Well designed complex in honey coloured local stone with old central core. Restaurants, bar, lounges and reception are elegant, classy and warm. Lovely terrace in front.

Rooms are nicely designed and presented in individual cottage style and we had sun loungers, table and chairs and sea view from our terrace. Fairly spartanly furnished inside, and lovely bathroom.

Italian-style food was really good and they also cater well for gluten free and vegeterians. 4 course daily menu (choice of items) was €28 pp. Breakfast was good.

What really makes this excellent hotel stand out is the leisure facility. it's fresh, relaxing, well designed and new and while everything was enjoyable, the indoor-outdoor heated pool was simply amazing. We couldn't leave.

Helpful and friendly service and it all came at a price of £28 B&B pp per night (it's off season right now).

Dee

  • Stayed: January 2008, traveled with friends
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3  Thank deeboy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 23, 2007

We booked a much-needed short break away at this hotel, which got the best of the reviews among the few 4 and 5 star hotels on Gozo. I made the booking in July, but when we showed up at the hotel in September, around 11pm, we were told that the hotel was overbooked. How the hotel could have been overbooked when I had made our reservation two months before is beyond me.

For such cases the hotel appeared to have something like an "overflow area", which were a small number of rooms in a 14th century castle. This would have been lovely apart from the fact that none of the rooms had been redecorated or maintained since the 60s. Not only was there no air conditioning (as mentioned on the website) but the screens on the windows had holes so large that I could fit my arm through them. We spent our first night sleepless, on a delapidated mattress, sweltering in the heat, and in the case of my boyfriend, being bitten by the mosquitos which were breeding in stagnant water behind the castle.

The next morning we were eventually moved to another room, right between the restaurant, the cafe kitchen, and the pool. This room was acceptable enough although I have to say I haven't seen that much stucco since the 70s. We were told that our first night would be free, as well as dinner that night (a buffet worthy of the average Caribbean resort), and in the final bill a few other things were not charged for, like lunch and bottles of wine.

At this stage, unfortunately the damage was done - we had come to Gozo to relax, and instead had to spend the rest of our few days recuperating from the sleepless night. My boyfriend also had a most severe reaction from the mosquito bites (over 60 all over his face and body) which were oozing pus and quite painful, so he had trouble sleeping the rest of our stay as well. With oozing mosquito bites on his face he was also quite embarrassed of his appearance and reluctant to shave.

Other than the nightmare of the first night we found that other aspects of the hotel did not live up to their promise. The cuisine in the main restaurant left much to be desired (you could recognize ingredients from dinner the night before in breakfast buffet the next morning), as did their wine cellar. With the sorry state of the roads on Gozo, limited street lighting, and local drivers who flout road rules, I did not want to drive across the island to a restaurant at night. With no good restaurants nearby, staying at Ta Cenc we were rather stuck with eating at the hotel restaurant the entire stay.

The so-called beach is really a narrow fjord of quite cold water which is accessed by a steep set of stairs cut into the rocks. There is a bus (which is about 30 years old) which goes to and from the "beach" four times a day - rather than wait for several hours for the bus, we decided to walk through an arid, shadeless landscape that was rather like the moon.

The landscaping and the external architecture of the place were quite nice, but our overall impression of Ta Cenc is of somewhere that was the best in class in the 70s but has not been bothered with since. The 14th century castle in particular could be an extra-luxury part of the hotel if only they would put something into it, but instead the entire castle is being left to the elements and used as a dump for old mattresses, toilets, fixtures and Christmas decorations.

Personally we would not stay at Ta Cenc again but it seems to be popular with older couples who are looking for consistency, and also with German visitors of various ages.

  • Stayed: September 2007, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank modestliving
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 26, 2007

I have been coming to stay at Ta Cenc for the last 24 years and I am saddened to read some of the reviews posted on this site.

Ta Cenc is a five star hotel, and deserving of that rating. This is a locally-run, 'old school', quirky and original place, where you can really get a feel for Gozo, rather than a generic five-star or part of some international chain. Ta Cenc has its own very individual identity. Its staff and owners have long standing links to the hotel, and provide a friendly and efficient service. They genuinely care for the hotel and its guests, and although the service can be described as “formal”, this is in keeping with the traditions of the hotel – bringing together the relaxed atmosphere of the day with a more formal setting for dinner: outside under an ancient tree with good food and wine, both traditional and local, and European. The restaurant is also open for breakfast, with a wide choice of food including local cheeses and cooked options. You can also order freshly cooked eggs/other options at the table.

Rooms are spread around two pools (one a quiet pool to relax in the sun with a book and a cold drink, the other designed for children – there is another pool in the spa area which is also in a beautiful setting as is the rest of the hotel, amongst brightly coloured hibiscus flowers and a landscaped rock garden). The outside of the hotel, built in local limestone, has a sun-bleached and weathered feel which ties it in to the surrounding Gozitan countryside. The rooms do need some updating to come up to international standards, it’s true (you won’t find flat screen televisions planted in the walls (!) but you will find paintings by local artists). However, they are clean, airy, comfortable, and each has an outside terrace where you can eat breakfast in the morning sunshine or have a drink in the evening.

The spa, has deservedly received fantastic reviews, and should not be missed as part of your stay. As mentioned by other reviewers, there are three pools at Ta Cenc, so you will always be able to find a sun lounger. I note that reviews have complained of flies around the pool – there are flies at certain times of year, but this is due to the hotel’s location in the Gozitan countryside, and food served outside is covered at all times.

All in all, I love this hotel, and I know that there are many others like me who return year after year. Those looking for a chain-style hotel, this may not be for you, but I would suggest you give it a try with an open mind and you will see the beauty of the place, too.

  • Stayed: October 2007, traveled with family
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7  Thank AnnaLondonEngland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 25, 2007

My wife and I (55 & 51) have just returned from a week in Sliema and four days at the Ta Cenc, Sannat on Gozo.
Whilst it has a slight air of faded 5-star glory, we were generally very impressed. After being on the twelfth floor of a hi-rise hotel in Sliema, I liked the spread out layout of the Ta Cenc.
The pools would have been good but until the day we left the weather was too wet and windy to use them - but you can't blame the hotel for that.

The Gym and Wellness centre was free to residents, which was clean and well maintained
We had half-board, which worked fine.
The bedrooms were well appointed - perhaps UK 4-star rather than 5-star. The only problem we had was that the hot water was not hot for a day and a half, but they did provide another room in which we could have a bath

The breakfasts were perhaps not 5-star but as good as most hotels in UK, except that it was not possible to order say fresh fried eggs or kippers which would have been available at a UK 5-star hotel, albeit at a much higher price. The breakfast selection was not actually as varied as at the Preluna in Sliema, but quite adequate.

The Dinner provided was a four - to - five course Table D'Hote menu, with Antipasto, then three choices of first course and three choices of main, then a good range of deserts and then a cheese board if you still has room. The service was very attentive - almost too attentive.
The wines, water and coffee were not expensive for a hotel.

One night we did a swap and the hotel provided transport to and from the St Patrick Hotel in Xlendi Bay, where we had dinner instead of at the Ta Cenc. Being a lower rated hotel than the Ta Cenc, the meal was not quite as good, but it made a change.

  • Stayed: October 2007, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank big-bill3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 11, 2007

This hotel cannot be classed as a 5* hotel compared to other places I have stayed in I think I would give it 1* .

We found we didnt have a room ready on the first night so had to walk back to stay in what felt like a converted cave for a room it was really horrible.

When we got our room we had lots of things go wrong including a shower head that actually fell off the wall, yellow bath water, broken celing fan, cockroaches in the room (as all rooms are ground floor)

As for the beach bus service I would consider it a death trap its a tiny little bus that looked like it was older than me.

The pool was horrible full of flies and smelt of manure all the time.

The room service is awful specially at lunchtime as no one answers the phone so have to order your food at the restaurant and then go back to the room... so defeats the whole point.

My recommendation is to not stay here its awful!! only nice thing about it is the spa, shame we couldnt sleep in there really!

Stayed: June 2007
4  Thank NichUk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Ta' Cenc & Spa

Address: Cenc Street, Sannat, Island of Gozo VCT 112, Malta
Location: Malta > Island of Gozo > Sannat
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Sannat
Price Range: $128 - $228 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Hotel Ta' Cenc & Spa 5*
Number of rooms: 83
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Also Known As:
Hotel Ta' Cenc & Spa Island Of Gozo, Malta

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