Opening its doors afresh after an incredible renovation investment, we discover what’s on offer at the Malta Marriott Hotel & Spa.
Forming part of a luxurious brand incorporating 7,000+ properties across 131 countries, once can expect a stay at the recently re-opened Malta Marriott Hotel & Spa to be of a high standard. Benefitting from an incredible €30M renovation led by leading interior design company RPW, the hotel is hard to beat from a specs point of view, boasting premium rooms and luxury suites, five diverse restaurants, three bars, a rooftop pool and incredible spa, not to mention 15,000 square feet of meeting and banqueting space, all of which overlooking the iconic Balluta Bay.
What one might not expect however, is how homey it all feels. Just as the design of the hotel combines luxurious charm with the relaxed feel of a Mediterranean spa, the staff is both attentive and friendly, efficient and welcoming, making you feel right at home from the moment you walk in. It’s a difficult feeling to achieve in a space as high-end as this, and one which makes it suitable for everyone, from the business traveler to the family on holiday.
Located metres from Balluta Bay, alongside a tranquil seafront promenade within the cosmopolitan town of St Julian’s, the Malta Marriott Hotel & Spa benefits from a prime location on the island. Apart from being a short walk away from Malta’s fashionable entertainment hub and nightlife capital, it’s also a 20-minute drive from cultural capital Valletta, leaving you spoilt for choice of what to see and do, whether you’re here for business or pleasure.
The hotel boasts 301 rooms, including 27 Club Rooms, 27 Suites and a 150 square metre Presidential Suite. Walking into our room, it’s hard not to be impressed by the contemporary design and spacious layout, which comprises a separate bedroom and living room, and a modern bathroom with separate bathtub and walk-in shower. You can instantly tell that the designers have gone out of their way to incorporate traditional Maltese elements here, with a handmade glass light fixture suspended beside the king-sized bed. Malta’s artisanal heritage is further celebrated with a welcoming arrangement of fruit, local wine and sweets, which come with a handy description – a thoughtful detail that instilled a hint of national pride.
The room is also equipped with two 55-inch UHD TVs with Chromecast technology (enabling you to connect to your own Netflix account), high-speed internet, minibar, tea and coffee making facilities, a working desk, safe and air conditioning throughout. It’s also replete with luxurious little touches, like a lighted wardrobe and concealed ironing board – a welcome touch I often find lacking.
All of this, of course, if you can tear your eyes away from the stunning views of Balluta Bay and the gothic Carmelite Church beyond. Arriving just before sunset, we couldn’t resist helping ourselves to a glass of wine as we watched the sky explode into pinks and oranges from the balcony. And in the morning, after a restful night’s sleep, the view took on a different character entirely, bathed in golden light to signal the start of a new day.
Food & drink
Apart from its diverse restaurants and bars on offer, the new Malta Marriott has also introduced the state-of-the-art M Club, an incredible executive lounge located on the 13th floor, which we had the pleasure of visiting before dinner. Graced with more spectacular views of the bay visible from large windows throughout, the design here is sleek and stylish, with impeccable and attentive service from the moment you walk in.
Seating ourselves at a window-side table, my partner and I are welcomed with a specially formulated cocktail of beetroot-infused vodka, indigenous Lija blood orange and de-alcoholised wine, which sets the tone for an enjoyable evening. The pre-dinner nibbles and sweet treats on offer were also tempting, and were sampled sparingly in anticipation of dinner, though standouts of serrano ham toast and a pulled lamb taco certainly whet the appetite!
Afterward, we made our way to the lobby and all-day dining Atrio Bar and Restaurant for dinner. Once again, the first thing that strikes you here is the exceptional décor: offset by soft lighting, warm materials and high-end finishes. The meal which ensued only continued to cement our positive opinion.
Starting from the fragrant bread and decadent amuse bouche through to our chosen starters, main and desserts, the experience was a highlight. Being fans of both Taro and Nori at the Villa, we were expecting the meal to be good, but were impressed by the quality and presentation offered at what we assumed to be a more casual dining choice at Malta Marriott. We chose a flavourful mushroom risotto and a beautifully presented prawn carpaccio to start, moving on to seabass and rib-eye for our mains.
My seabass is exceptionally presented and paired with a wonderful array of clams and mussels with a hint of spice, and the steak is hard to fault. Perfectly medium-rare with a flavourful crust, it melted in the mouth. We were all set to call it quits when our affable waiter, Emanuele, strongly suggested dessert. We gave in to his recommendation of warm cookie dough with berries and ice cream and tiramisu, which was presented beautifully in an impressive three-tier dish. We didn’t regret it.
In the morning, we made our way to The Marketplace, the hotel's main restaurant on level 2, which offers a daily buffet breakfast. Our plans for a light bite were quickly dashed – I can’t recall ever seeing such a dizzying array of breakfast options in a hotel. You’ll find everything from cooked items like sausages, bacon, baked beans and scrambled eggs to a live omelette station, bakery section, choice of cereals, yoghurts, muesli and toppings, not to mention regional and sweet items, cheese and cold cuts, pancakes and fruit. It is the most important meal of the day, after all!
Before closing off our stay, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to sample the Malta Marriott’s leisure facilities. While the roof top pool gives leisure travellers time to soak up the sun in the warmer months, we made a beeline for the spa, which provides an array of treatments, including a Jacuzzi, sauna, steam room, fitness center and squash court.
Once again, the staff here are second to none, and I was warmly welcomed by the spa manager before being introduced to my masseuse, ahead of my pre-booked neck, shoulder and back massage. Spending most of my days sitting at a desk, I was prepared for the good natured telling off as she massaged the tension away, and as I sipped on a delicious berry tea afterwards, resolved to be kind to myself more often. Equipped with a list of available treatments at the Marriott’s Myoka Lotus Spa, I promised I’d be back.
A memorable stay
All in all, our stay at St Julian’s newly opened Malta Marriott Hotel & Spa is not one we’ll be forgetting in a hurry. From the stunning surroundings and contemporary décor to the comfortable suite, welcoming service and impressive dining options, it’s hard to beat for a luxurious stay with a touch of Mediterranean flair.
Looking to book or want to know more? Visit the Malta Marriott Hotel & Spa site here.