My wife and I chose Malta as the location for our Easter vacation in 2022. We initially felt about some hotel-hopping, but then decided to go for one location only, the Hilton Malta. The key reasons were the nice location, a reasonable rate and of course my overall preference to use Hilton Group hotels. Here is my review of our stay.
Hilton Malta – Location
The Hilton Malta is located in St. Julian’s at the North shore of Malta. The hotel has access to the beautiful Portomaso Marina and is close to famous Spinola Bay. There are a couple of other hotels around and you have a really nice range of restaurants (from cheap to posh options). Additionally, the accommodation is located next to Portomaso Casino.
The driving distance from Malta Airport is just some 13 kilometers. Driving in Malta might be very demanding due to narrow roads and heavy traffic. Taxis are rather expansive and may be about 25 to 30 Euro. There is also public transport, several buses stop closeby at Ross or San Giljan (direct connection to airport, but 500m walk to the hotel). We had a weird experience with Hertz Malta and used the parking garage. We had to park in the public part of the garage, even though Hilton does have explicit capacities in there. You received parking vouchers, which you could make use of at the parking machine, though.
Hilton Malta – Atmosphere
Not only the location close to the harbor, but also the building as such is impressive. The lobby with the cafe feels very luxurious. The hotel also feels to be very popular for events among the locals. Unfortunately, the layout of the hotel is a bit of poor. We had a massive walking distance to our room, driven by the fact that the position of the elevators is not ideal. From our room to the Executive Lounge, it was almost a five minute walk.
Hilton Malta – Room
My wife and I had a four night stay at the Hilton Malta over the Easter 2022 Holidays. The Thursday to Monday booking in a King Deluxe Sea View Room, which was 765.80 EUR with a semi-flex rate (i.e.three day cancellation period, no prepayment). The rate neither included breakfast nor executive lounge access – both have been granted due to my Hilton Honors Diamond status. I don’t think the room has been an upgrade in any way.
The room felt okay, but much smaller than expected. One reason was the huge bathroom (see below), another one was that for whatever reasons they had folded out the additional bedding. As there were also far too many towels,we might have faced a room change. Apart from that, the room had a nice, but not special, design and all the facilities you needed. The hidden heart (wind permitting) has definitely been the lovely balcony with sea view. There were British-style and European style power outlets in parallel.
The bathroom was massive. I would even say it wasted space as the bathtub was in the middle of two sinks. The bathroom also had a separate shower. An absolute ridiculous “feature” of the bathroom, however, was the the door to the toilet is transparent. This means you can watch your roommate sh*t, regardless where he/she is closing the door or not (the last picture shows the closed toilet door!).
Too many issues
The room just had too many issues. you see on some of the pictures the poor maintenance and cleaning (we could easily remove the glass marks on the first picture. The room size and layout is also not made to unfold the sofa (without removing furniture), the second and third picture shows what that meant for the additional chair and the “workspace” left in that room. In general, the room did not feature a proper work desk, the work chair was okay, though. A mattress on top of a wooden board is also not what I expect as a Hilton Hotel bedding.
Right after entering the room, we claimed the unfolded sofa and that the mini bar was not filled up (I feared that they will charge us for the missing drinks). I would have also been fine to get instructions / information that they won’t charge us. Overall, removing this rather small issues took the hotel over 90 minutes, which is a disgusting time – specially as we had to phone after them and there were so many “somebody comes in the next five minutes” replies which were finally lies. Later during the stay, we had vibrations in the room, like if someone had put a diesel generator on top of our room. The hotel could not solve that issue.
Hilton Malta – Executive Lounge
Even though the Executive Lounge was rather large, I would rate it average at most in relation to the hotel size. Unfortunately, one of the many incorrect pieces of information we received were lounge opening times, breakfast times and afternoon tea times. If you are at the Hilton Malta, go to the places directly, don’t ask the reception – they feel to be terribly connected to their colleagues. There were different kinds of seatings in the lounge, including a fireplace-alike area. Thus, the lounge itself felt like a really nice place to hang out and relax a bit – just what we were looking for in Malta.
Meal Services in the Lounge
We have been told that the Executive Lounge is also the only place for free breakfast as a Hilton Diamond guest. This has really been a pity as it was wrong information and we were very mixed about the atmosphere in the lounge. There was a serviced buffet, i.e. you more or less ordered your selection at the staff at the buffet. However, communication did not always work smoothly and the organization was not too well as well. Some parts of the breakfast, especially the scrambled eggs, did not meet our expectation.
However, the snacks and especially the afternoon tea services in the lounge were amazing. Unfortunately, these services were also massively used by other guests. The quality of the dishes was much better than at breakfast time. Unfortunately, the lounge closed it service right after afternoon tea time. This means you could stay inside, but the staff closed the doors to the buffets. To me, a key feature of the lounge is that I can sit down, relax, have a drink and maybe work a bit in a cozy atmosphere – much more than the meal services.
Hilton Malta – Breakfast Issues & Dining
On Sunday, we asked the staff at the Oceana Restaurant what the upgrade price for their buffet breakfast was. She gave us a rate of 15 Euro, so that we decided to have breakfast in this place on our last day. We were absolutely surprised that there has been a dedicated breakfast area for Hilton Diamond customers – which was even included in my status perks (no supplement!). Another issue, where information flow and services just did not work at the Hilton Malta – which was a shame, as the Oceana is a beautiful buffet restaurant with different buffet places.
Apart from buffet items, you could also order some egg dishes and similar. The buffet was rich with a nice selection of dishes, compared to other European places. The service went very well.
We also used the Oceana for one dinner. Again, the place was a very good choice. I guess that the pictures are very speaking.The restaurant offered a nice range of different dishes, a huge range of salads and sweets, but also live cooking. The buffet was 38 Euro per person, which we felt was absolutely reasonable.
Lovely Dining at the Blue Elephant
Our favorite restaurant at the Hilton Malta, indeed, has been the Blue Elephant, though. The Thai restaurant has a beautiful design and atmosphere. Even though the restaurant is huge, we felt a lot of privacy. The service was amazing. We had a culinary tour through Thai cuisine and went through their Royal Thai Banquet Menu. You had four dishes – starters and main course, however, were sets of very different dishes, comparable to tapas (but larger in size). The 47 Euro per person was outstanding – we would definitely recommend that.
On Easter Sunday, we also went for an Easter-inspired afternoon tea. This meal was served in the Vista Lobby Lounge, which has a nice cafe-alike area indoors as well as having a beautiful view from the balcony outdoors. Even though we did not get all Easter references in there, the Vista again gave us a very good experience and a really good value for money.
Hilton Malta – Sports
The Hilton Malta is indeed a great place for foodies – but if you want to hang out in the sun or be active, you might love it as well. Swimming in the sea in Malta is tricky – and especially during our stay, it would have been impossible due to high waves. The pool area was very popular though (apart from a slightly colder day, when I took the pictures below). The area is huge and comes with a lot of sun loungers, a children’s pool and many other facilities. You just cannot do something against falling in love to these facilities.
The hotel also drives a gym, spa and indoor pool area. We checked it out during a morning swim. The gym part felt rather standard, it is a Living Health Club and thus also available to local members. The pool area, however was small, but beautiful. As you had to pre-book it, the atmosphere was very relaxed though. This was again a piece of information, which has not given to us at check-in. Luckily we asked at the gym and pool reception early enough. You could also enjoy your time at a sauna and steam bath.
Hilton Malta – Service
I gave you so many reasons why we did not like the service at the Hilton Malta. The key reason was the absolutely poor and terrifying staff at the reception desk. Already the welcoming at check-in was a mess. Despite they got both of our passports(!), I have been welcomed with a prosecco, while my 33 year old wife was given apple juice. These thing may happen, but the reception guys need to see it and correct the waiter here. This is was the first moment in the hotel – and apart from that it was a terrible start, it also beautifully illustrates the attitude of the hotel reception staff we felt during our stay.
Apart from that I already mentioned that there was a lot of missing or incorrect information. This also included the online guest register. At least the WiFi service in the hotel worked well.
Hilton Malta – My View
If you look at the pictures of my review, I am sure you cannot believe in my rating. This Hilton place is such a beauty, they have an outstanding pool area, great restaurants and a lot of good staff in these services. Housekeeping and reception staff were terrible though, there was a lack of organization and good services. I did not feel appreciated as a guest. The Hilton is amazing in many disciplines, but brutally fails in the basics. I could easily justify any rating apart from the very good ones. Unfortunately for the Hilton Malta, they hit my triggers – I simply love good processes and services and hospitality. I don’t want to feel stressed in a place like this. Thus, they failed in my point of view. Regardless of that the prices is absolutely fair, if they would have given good service.
Hilton Hotels – More Reviews
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Malta on Flyctory
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