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“Fabulous hotel on an unspoilt island”

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Kempinski Hotel San Lawrenz
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in San Lawrenz
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed August 1, 2009

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.

  • Stayed: July 2009, traveled with family
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1  Thank lizzyb28
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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917 - 923 of 1,264 reviews

Reviewed July 29, 2009

What an amazing place! So relaxing, staff were the best I've ever experienced. Anything we needed was sorted quickly and efficiently. Wonderful breakfast buffet. Even in July the hotel was not full, so plenty of sunloungers, and the pool was almost empty.The policy of adult only around the main pool helped, although some were trying hard to bring children in, despite there being two empty children's pools right next to it! The main restaurants looked lovely, but expensive. Best to hire a car and explore the fab restaurants around Gozo, and sample the wonderful Gozitan hospitality while you are about it. For adults and tinies, this is a perfect place, although teenagers might be a bit stuck for entertainment. The spa looked great, but couldn,t tear myself off the sunlounger for long enough- the cold drinks and fruit around the pool was a lovely touch too. All round a perfectly restful week,definitely will return here! PS Il Tmun restaurant in Victoria- best meal on the island.

  • Stayed: July 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank girlsonholiday
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 8, 2009

We just returned from an amazing week-long vacation in Gozo, and the Kempinski in San Lawrenz was just the perfect place to stay.

Our room was huge and very comfortable - and had wireless internet access that's probably among the cheapest in Europe as we paid only 12 Euro for 5 days. Breakfast was so lavish that it lasted nearly long enough to go without food until dinnertime. And dinner was very good too. We had dinner at the hotel twice, once in each restaurant. The Italian one felt a bit cosier than the main restaurant, but both had great food. They also have their own vegetable garden - amazing! It's true that the restaurants are a bit pricey, but if you pay for half board you get to choose from the a la carte menu without paying anything extra (which we will certainly do next year!). And the ambience plus the service with a REAL mile by great staff , really made us feel very welcome and comfortable!

The only drawback that some might find with Gozo or the location of the Kempinski, for us was one of its strongest points: you find real peace and quiet. I can see, however, that for some it might be too much of that...

  • Stayed: May 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank barb-on-holiday
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 30, 2009

Just spent a week at the Kempinski and LOVED it. Perfect for a relaxing holiday in the sun.

PROS:
*Amazing friendly 5* service. The mark of good service I always think is never to be all over you in a slightly claustrophobic way but to always be discreetly at hand if needed. Nothing was too much trouble and everything was sorted instantly. Also some lovely touches like cold face cloths and bits of fruit given out around the pool areas in the afternoon.
* Whirlpool bath in bathroom - a properly deep, ergonomic one to boot
* Delicious food (though with only 2 restaurants and a cafe it can get a bit repetitive if you're half board I imagine). A bit expensive but well presented and imaginative. HUGE pizzas and lovely fresh fish. Lots of choice at breakfast.
* Nice and quiet at this time of year- always enough sun loungers and seats at breakfast
* Free bus services twice daily to key sights of interest on the island - great as taxis are pretty expensive. Recommend Ramla Bay in particular.
* free 2 litres of water replaced in the rooms each day, really helpful.

CONS
*Only thing I would mention is that the hotel is situated at the quieter western end of the island with not that much around it. Don't expect bars or clubs!
There are only 2 restaurants in walking distance. We ate at the one in San Lawrenz square (hmm, name begins with 'T' )and it was nice, not majorly exciting but tasty.

We also braved a steep 25 min walk down to the inland sea and Azure Window, (but the bus also goes there if you're feeling lazy) and it's an easy 15 minute stroll to the Ta-Pinu sanctuary.

There's also a useful supermarket five minutes away, left out of hotel then right at the junction.

We didn't try the spa but the gym is well-maintained and the tennis courts fine to play on.

One handy tip is that if you run out of water during the day, nip to the spa and fill up your bottle by the gym door!

And finally, we had an amazing meal on our last night at Maji in Victoria. One of the best we've ever had and we eat out a LOT - and pretty reasonably priced too. Three courses and a cocktail each was about 70 euro. They have a roof terrace with fantastic views of the Victoria skyline and the sunset.

Wish we were back there, it's great mellow place on a lovely, friendly island. Go!

  • Stayed: June 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank nicnixo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 14, 2009

I stayed in this hotel twice, late October 08 and early June this year. Great location and weather but the Kempinski failed to deliver as a five star hotel. The hotel cleaning standards are high, but we found the pool had not been cleaned of dead insects by 10am. None of the outdoors pools is heated. Not a problem in June, but don’t think of swimming outdoors in October. The indoor pool is very small, with large pillars in the centre. During the last visit our room had a noisy air conditioning system. The maintenance team were unable to fix it after 3 days of consecutive attempts. Reception were unable to trace what has been done and update us, we had to chase. One light bulb went off the first night and one of the bathroom lights flickered, without repair for a week. The rooms in the lower floors are pleasant but don’t have one of those if you want peace and quiet – you will hear all the noise from the family pool. A nice touch was to offer fresh fruit by the pool s in the heat of the afternoon, but the kiosk that served drinks was very slow. Staff were very friendly but in all restaurants they seemed either poorly trained or short of people – you could wait ten minutes for a bottle of water. This was with the hotel at 50% occupancy... In terms of food the buffet breakfast is generous in amounts and variety but falls short in quality: much overripe fruit, chewy bread and omelettes that look nice but taste little. The food in the balcony cafe was just OK, but at five star prices. If you want to go out for dinner visit Geoffrey’s five minutes away, or Tatitas in the main square. Local fresh fish well cooked and friendly service. There is a spa offering Ayurveda (traditional Indian medicine) treatments, this was the main reason of our stay. The therapists are skilful and products good. I was very pleased with the treatments I had in October. Not so much this last time: the doctor forgot to sent a night prescription, failed to do one of the treatments that was agreed in the original consultation and did not manage to provide written heath guidance to take home, as it was promised would be given to us before departure. Considering that these treatments are now available in London and the price is as expensive it makes you wonder if it’s worth travelling to what purports to be the best Ayurveda spa in Europe! If you can find a cheap tour operator offer (I have seen some 40% less that the prices booking directly with the hotel) and you are willing to ignore the hype go there. St Lawrance, and Gozo generally, is worth a visit. It’s a quiet unspoiled place and an easy and safe sun destination for English speakers travelling from the UK.

  • Stayed: June 2009, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Madeca
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 3, 2009

Good hotel, excellent room quality, very large and well appointed (even had the BBC on the telly). Large bathroom however the shower lacked power and the drains smelt a little at night.

Breakfast was 5* as was the service, the hotel just lacked a little atmosphere, I think that it was a little too quite. The rooms face a central pool complex, but some were unfinished (built but not yet completed)

It was refreshing to stay at a 5* hotel and not be charged for car-parking.

The pool needed a little clean and we arrive at the height of insect activity (however the hotel ensured that none got in)

All in all I recommend a stay at the Kempinski.

  • Stayed: May 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank Surrey-Paul-69
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 1, 2009

Lovely hotel set around three main pools. Some very good amenities, tennis courts, indoor pools, spa, squash courts. All very clean and the service was as you would expect. The staff are very attentive and respond to all of your requests.

There were a few little things which prevented the week that we spent there from being perfect and they all relate to cost.....a pressing problem in these times. As with most chain hotels, they seem to charge for absoutely everything. The room service bill was EUR 6 for ordering two drinks by room service. A little steep i thought. They also made you pay for tennis balls EUR 7 for three balls. Again a little steep. I understand that they cant give them away for free but your should be able to borrow tennis balls (only paying for the ones that you dont return). The restaurants are good although a little expensive. This is partly due to the Euro Pound exchange rate but I even taking this into account a little steep.

Some of the beaches are great, esp San Blas Bay in the North East of the island and east of the large beach Ramla Bay. Is is a steep walk down (and back up) but it is definately worth it.

Another thing. Dont hire a car through a large agency (unless you are after airconditioned luxury). It can be done on the island when you arrive and it is much cheaper. We were there off peak however!


Overall it was a very relaxing and

  • Stayed: May 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank Bagnell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Kempinski Hotel San Lawrenz

Address: | Triq ir-Rokon, San Lawrenz, Island of Gozo SLZ1040, Malta
Phone Number:
Location: Malta > Island of Gozo > San Lawrenz
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in San Lawrenz
Price Range: $126 - $255 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Kempinski Hotel San Lawrenz 5*
Number of rooms: 140
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

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