If you’re looking for a truly world-class stay on the Maltese Islands, the Hilton Malta is hard to beat.
With more than 5,200 hotels and resorts in 105 countries, a trusted brand like Hilton Hotels & Resorts is bound to instil confidence when booking your stay, whatever the country. But, as I discovered on my recent stay at the Hilton Malta, while a certain element of luxury may be expected, the particular flair with which it is pulled off here, combined with its incredible location within the prestigious Portomaso development in St Julian’s, gives it a distinctively Mediterranean charm that is all its own.
Situated right on the water’s edge, Hilton Malta overlooks breath-taking coastal views, celebrating the best of what the Maltese Islands have to offer. It’s location within the fashionable entertainment hub and nightlife capital of St Julian’s also means that a wealth of eateries, watering holes, clubs and casinos are within walking distance, placing you right in the centre of where it’s all happening, whether you’re here for business or pleasure.
Swinging open the door to our Executive Room after checking in, the first thing that struck me was the calming décor – neutral tones punctuated with shades of blue and green are just what you need to get you into the holiday mindset. The second thing was the incredible view. Perfectly framed by the balcony, a brilliant stretch of Mediterranean Sea looked pretty as a picture in the afternoon light, and despite being an islander myself, it’s a sight you can never truly get enough of!
The hotel’s 413 rooms and suites are impeccably furnished and come with ensuite bathrooms and balconies overlooking either the garden, sea or the Portomaso Yacht Marina. They also feature a long list of amenities, including expected ones like Wi-Fi access, tea and coffee making facilities, a mini-bar and hairdryer, as well as a few lovely little luxuries like a pillow menu to suit your tastes, and a 40-inch flat screen HD TV. The welcome arrangement of petit fours is another special touch that belies the Hilton's attention to detail.
Upon arrival, I couldn’t wait to settle down on the comfortable sofa and connect to the Wi-Fi – who could resist posting a few snaps to Instagram? And in the morning, after a fantastic night’s sleep in the Hilton Serenity bed, a cup of tea on the balcony in a fluffy bathrobe with that view was nothing short of bliss.
The chic yet understated elegance of the room is echoed throughout the hotel, and it calls out to be explored. After settling in, my partner and I made our way to Vista Lobby Lounge & Terrace to take in the surroundings, and toast the end of a hectic week over an aperitif. Being partial to our Italian getaways, I admired the sophisticated bar with my holiday drink of choice – an Aperol Spritz, which was served with a few nibbles to whet the appetite in time for dinner. It was a fantastic spot to people watch, and we remarked on the variety of guests – from business men to families enjoying their holidays; the Hilton Malta caters for all.
Before heading back to the room, we couldn’t help taking a peek at the Executive Lounge, where breakfast, afternoon tea and pre-dinner drinks are served to discerning guests throughout the day. The atmosphere takes a shift to the cosy here, with warm wood tones, deep blue and grey hues giving it an exclusive and upmarket feel, with an inspiring collection of art pieces adorning the walls.
The Hilton Malta offers an impressive list of diverse dining options. From the main Oceana Restaurant, Blue Elephant Restaurant and Merkanti Bistro to Vista Lobby Lounge & Terrace and Quarterdeck Bar, it caters for a variety of culinary cultures and flavours. During our stay, we had the opportunity to dine at the Oceana, and we weren’t disappointed!
From the tasty selection of breads, olives and dips to start, right on through to our starters, main and dessert, it was one of the highlights of our visit. I chose the pappardelle with local prawns and chorizo to start, while my partner was tempted by the lobster ravioli topped with crispy fried calamari. Both dishes were well balanced and flavourful, and I particularly enjoyed the mix of prawns and chorizo, which was wonderfully offset by delicate burratina.
For mains, I went for the salmon, which was complemented by chive mashed potato, asparagus and saffron veloute. Over on the other side of the table, my partner tucked into a slow-cooked rump of lamb, which he described as rich and heart-warming. Despite our best efforts, the friendly staff managed to tempt us to finish with a shared dessert: a pear and chocolate crumble, which went down a treat. The service here is also worthy of mentioning – attentive without being overbearing, we were treated like royalty all evening.
In the morning, a decadent breakfast buffet is served at the Oceana for all guests, with a dizzying selection of bakes and pastries to fresh fruit and cereals, as well as cooked breakfast options and an omelette station. After our indulgent dinner the night before, we decided on a pared down breakfast at the Executive Lounge, which served as a fine retreat to enjoy the most important meal of the day.
Apart from the rooms and dining options, an impressive range of facilities for leisure and relaxation are available at the Hilton Malta. In the summer, you can relax beside four outdoor pools, two children’s pools and an outdoor Jacuzzi, while the colder months are ideal for enjoying the indoor pool, steam room and sauna. You can also spend a leisurely summer day at the Merkanti Beach Club, get active at the Water Sports & Diving Centre or get a work out in at the LivingWell Health & Fitness Centre. Meanwhile, you can find the perfect opportunity to unwind at the Myoka 5 Senses Spa and Toni & Guy Hair Studio.
Still, it may not all be fun and games – the hotel is a prime location for conducting business too. If you’re on the island for work, the Hilton offers a flexible range of meeting options within the Business Centre and Conference Centre, catering for anywhere between two and over 1,000 delegates.
A lasting impression
With its prime location, contemporary décor and impressive facilities and service, it’s no surprise that the Hilton Malta is considered one of the island’s premier places to stay. Well deserving of its five-star classification, I’d whole-heartedly recommend it to anyone looking for a bit of luxury by the water’s edge.
Looking to book or want to know more? Visit the Hilton Hotel site here.