Luxury Travel Trio: Malta’s Corinthia Hotels


The Corinthia luxury hotel empire hotels first saw the light of day in 1962, when the Maltese Pisani family decided to expand their restaurant business to encompass hoteliership. Since then, the hotel group has gone from strength to strength, with hotels in London, Libya and most recently, Hungary. We were recently in Malta to review the three Corinthia hotels there.

An executive suite at the Corinthia Palace Hotel

The Corinthia Palace Hotel & Spa: Set in extensive landscaped gardens in a suburban immediately outside the capital Valletta, the Corinthia Palace Hotel & Spa –  the ‘Grand Lady’ of Malta’s luxury hotels – was the very first hotel to fly the Corinthia flag when it opened in 1968 in the presence of British royal Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh. Since then, it has been on the receiving end of several awards, including the very Oscars of the travel industry – The World Travel Awards – where it has been awarded the title of Malta’s leading hotel for three consecutive years.

We arrived at the hotel, which is a 20 minute drive from Valletta on a sunny afternoon, and immediately endured a check-in process that could have been quicker, more efficient and more informative. All, however, was instantly forgotten when we checked into one of the hotel’s superior rooms on the 3rd floor. The hotel offers Standard and Superior as well as Executive suites. Other facilities worth mentioning include four restaurants and two bars, a very large Spa and a fitness offering that is one of the larger better ones I have ever seen in a hotel.

Pros: Location in quiet, secluded area near the presidential gardens, which is ideal for those who want to be away from the noisy party areas of St. Julian’s, yet the hotel’s location almost geographically at the centre of Malta which makes it an ideal base from which to take in the entire island of Malta. The hotel very kindly offers (free of charge) a very high standard shuttle service to Valletta and St. George’s Bay where they have two other hotels. Guests from the Corinthia Palace Hotel & Spa can use any of the facilities and make use of the services at these sister hotels and sign them to their room number back at the Palace. The Pulse Fitness offering is extremely competitive and up-to-date, offering classes such as Crossfit and even tennis.

Cons: More ideal for the older traveller; service at the Villa Corinthia sometimes is not befitting of the restaurant’s beautiful and elegant locale to put it mildly; the hotel still charges for Wi-Fi in this day and age.

The Marina Hotel’s Bayview Terrace: Perhaps the most glorious place to have breakfast in all of the Maltese Isles.

The Marina Hotel Corinthia Beach Resort: The Marina is not really acknowledged as part of the Corinthia hotel chain, even though I later found out it is. You won’t find it mentioned on the Corinthia website, and one can only guess that this is mainly because it is not held to the same high standards I have seen at the Corinthia hotels both in Malta and here in London. But dismiss this 4-star hotel at your own peril, because it really is extremely good value for money.

Why? Because of it’s strategic location right next-door to it’s more exclusive stablemate, The 5-star Corinthia St. George’s Bay. What this means is guests of The Marina can make good use of the more exclusive 5-star facilities (a whooping 7 restaurants, the spa and pools) while paying only 4-star rates.

Pros: Access to five-star facilities, five-star services, the breakfast offering here is the best out of all the three Corinthia hotels, perhaps because one has the option of starting the day by having your Maltese pastizzi wile overlooking the crystal blue waters of the Mediterranean, close proximity to the bustling area of St. Julian’s yet insulated from the noisy party sounds.

Cons: Some of the rooms could do with a bit of a haulover.

The Corinthia St. George’s Bay: View of the pool area and the Mediterranean from one of the rooms on the upper floors of the hotel.

The Corinthia Hotel St. George’s Bay:We’ve seen hoteliers grapple with this dilemma all over the world: How does one successfully strike just the right balance between running a relaxing holiday resort and adhering to rigorous luxury standards? Either the hotels are so keen on being luxurious guests never really manage to relax, or the resort errs so much on the side of relaxation that 5-star standards fall by the wayside.

The Corinthia St. George’s Bay hits it stride at just the right point.

When we arrived at this beach resort in the dead of night, staff were not only very welcoming and courteous but understanding of our need to really just get to bed as soon as possible. We stayed in an Executive suite with lovely sea views, but then every single room in the hotel has a lovely sea view and balcony. Breakfast the next day was buffet style, with the usual suspects (eggs, sausages, etc) on offer. We liked the fact we could enjoy our breakfast on the terrace, taking in the gentle morning sun while enjoying a fantastic view of the hotel’s pools and the Mediterranean sea in the distance. The hotel has a whooping seven other restaurants on site for guests, of which Grill 3301 (a gourmet fish restaurant) is highly recommended. Other amenities include a spa, a rather small gym and indoor pool, and two large outdoor pools, and a thriving watersports (snorkelling) outfit.

Pros: Proximity to the nearby beach, is within walking distance of the rowdy St. Julians where all the action is yet manages to be insulated from the noise and crowds, there’s a fantastic 15th century protected watch tower on the grounds that is often used for wedding ceremonies, fantastic staff and service, every single room has a balcony and a sea-view,

Cons: This being our favourite Corinthia hotel, we’ll have to be nitpicky and say breakfast, unless you stay in one of the Executive rooms or their two suite categories – in which case you’ll get an la carte menu and made to order eggs – may sometimes seem like a mass-produced affair.

To find out more about Malta’s Corinthia hotels, go to http://www.corinthia.com/en/our-hotels. Rates start at €45 per night. Luxury Travel Beat flew to Malta from London courtesy of Air Malta and The Malta Tourism Authority.

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  1. […] likely to be fully realised in a satisfactory manner. The highlight of this trip, however, were the three Corinthia hotels I stayed at, and being once again able to swim in the azure-blue waters of the Mediterranean, which […]

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