Corinthia Palace Hotel & Spa stands out from the crowd of hotels and resorts in Malta because of its intimate feel and unique location, adjacent to Malta’s presidential palace in a quiet, upscale neighborhood. Its charm is palpable, and guests will be left to wonder what the walls would say if they could tell their tales of various famous guests and events held at the property.
Since the hotel is in such a built-up area of Malta, it would be easy to assume that the grounds are limited. But soon after arriving, guests are invited to grab a cocktail and relax in one of several outdoor terraces and gardens. Kids will have no trouble finding a spot for games and play.
The outdoor pool looks exceptional, though it was too cold during my February visit to enjoy. I can easily envision it being a hub of activity in the summer as guests seek to cool off after a day of enjoying the sights of Malta.
The indoor pool was quite large and easily accommodated many families, who were all enjoying it on the morning I spent there swimming with my kids. Families should note, however, that swimming hours with kids are limited (as is the case at many European properties). There is also a full spa for parents to enjoy a treatment.
Given its slightly off-the-beaten-path location as a small island in the Mediterranean, Malta isn’t the type of place families should travel for just a day or two. Rather, it is worthy of a long weekend, or better yet, a full week. Spaciousness and comfort in rooms are particularly essential to happiness here, and the Corinthia Palace delivers both in spades. Even the most basic rooms have space to relax, and all rooms have balconies from which to enjoy the incredible Maltese sunshine.
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Suites offer an exceptional taste of luxury; each has a full living room and dining room in addition to sleeping areas with balconies off of each room. No doubt every member of the family can find a quiet corner to themselves. I loved sleeping with our balcony door open, a cool breeze blowing in all night. I was very impressed with how quiet it was given our central location; I never heard any street noise.
Bathrooms are slightly underwhelming for a property of this caliber, but the suite bathrooms are scheduled to undergo an extensive renovation and expansion in the next few months.
Rooms at Corinthia Palace start at $135 per night, which does not include breakfast.
Corinthia Palace offers a buffet breakfast each morning. There’s a great array of options, and I really appreciated that there were a few Maltese specialties on offer. It’s always nice when I can introduce my kids (and myself!) to local cuisine in a no-pressure environment like a breakfast buffet.
For dinner, guests should consider booking a table at The Villa restaurant one evening. It is in a stunning hall, which in fact is the only original part of the building, built more than 100 years ago (the rest of the hotel was built in the 1960s based in part on the restaurant’s success). There is also a highly regarded Asian fusion restaurant onsite called Rickshaw, as well as a brasserie, The Orange Grove,. In the summer months, an outdoor grill near the pool serves casual fare.
It’s easy to read about Malta’s temperate climate and gorgeous seaside and consider spending a week here doing nothing except lying on a beach or by the pool. And there wouldn’t be anything wrong with that, except that visitors would be missing out on thousands of years of incredible history, from palaces to temples to museums. It’s easy to explore all of Malta without changing hotels (driving from one end of the island to another only takes about an hour). Corinthia Palace is incredibly centrally located for this type of exploration. No attraction on the island is more than about a 20- to 30-minute drive.
Even the immediate surroundings, highlighted by the presidential palace and San Anton Gardens, are worth a visit. We spent a morning walking around both, and my children loved them more than I expected. It helped that we stumbled upon a charming café that featured three different playgrounds and a small petting zoo, less than a five-minute walk from the hotel.
The walls of Corinthia Palace have hosted dignitaries, kings and queens, and even most of the major European soccer teams. Just find Martin, the incredibly helpful and friendly valet/doorman, and he’ll be glad to tell you all about it. That’s the level of comfort and service a stay at Corinthia Palace provides: In less than 24 hours, guests will know staff by name.
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Editor’s Note: Nicole’s family was hosted by Corinthia Palace Hotel & Spa. As always, our thoughts and opinions on Ciao Bambino are our own. Photos by Nicole Wiltrout.
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