Just back from a super week at the Kempinski and the virtually unbroken sunshine and high temperatures was a welcome change from the UK and previous holidays. Although the flight is less than three hours be prepared for 50 mins taxi from Malta airport to the ferry (assuming you can catch the next one - very busy from Fri to Sun), and then a 20 min ferry crossing with about the same from the ferry to the hotel.
The hotel is superb - excellent rooms, which are kept very clean and tidy, small details such as a 'drip rail' to encourage you not to hang swim gear over your balcony and bringing iced tea and fresh fruit to those by the pool during the day are welcome.
There are three large pools - one family, one children and one for children over 12 and adults, which meant that our pool was quiet and enabled us to relax with a book. There are no beaches as such on Gozo, except a couple of small areas of sand - if you want a sandy holiday Malta may be better. We went diving, which was organised via the hotel dive centre - be aware that Gozo is not famous for the marine life but for the landforms and dives such as the famous Blue Hole. We dived at Comino Caves, which gave our son the opportunity to feed hundreds of sea bream a loaf of bread, which was spectacular, before we had our first experience of caves - slightly scary at first but a shaft of light very soon appeared and it was pretty spectacular. Most dives are shore based, which for us 'boat based divers' was a challenge i.e. a reasonable trek all kitted up and then fins to put on in the water, which was not easy. There was a reasonable amount of 'waiting around' but that seems to be 'Gozo time' i.e. don't stress and go with it!
There is squash and tennis at the hotel - slightly frustrating to be charged for the hire of racquets and purchase of a squash ball in a 5* hotel (EUR17 in total) but good courts.
Breakfast is extensive - one of the best selections of food we've had. Lunch we ate at the Gazebo restaurant, which has a series of freshly cooked dishes. Evening meals were either in the Italian or L'Orlotan (open on different evenings - whether this was because the hotel was only about half full I don't know). The restaurants are very good but not cheap - we booked half board, which was EUR32 per person and this enabled us to go a la carte from any menu, although they did try and give us a set menu on our fifth night, which was not nearly as good and which we declined - after checking with the management we were back on the main a la carte with apologies for the misunderstanding.
We could not persuade the kids to come sightseeing and so wandered into St Lawrence one day only, but the hotel offer various walks, mountain bike rides etc, which are popular. We did not use the Spa so can't comment, but the indoor pool looked amazing. The gym is well equipped. Taxis are apparently EUR14 for any distance, which is apparently being looked into as some people were not happy about paying this for short journeys.
The hotel staff all seemed to know our names, which was impressive, and made a real effort to help in any way.
We all had a great week and would definitely recommend this hotel to anyone considering Gozo - apparently it is very busy during August.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Kempinski Hotel San Lawrenz - Where European luxury meets Mediterranean flair! Malta's blissful sister island Gozo is the Mediterranean's best kept secret and home to the hideaway resort Kempinski Hotel San Lawrenz. Indulge in luxury, culture, sun & sea - and find the undiscovered island you have been dreaming of! *** Please be advised that due to upgrading work of our Spa centre, the hotel will be closed from January 8th until January 25th inclusive. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Kempinski San Lawrenz
- San Lawrenz Kempinski Hotel
- Kempinski Hotel San Lawrenz Island Of Gozo, Malta