A recent trip to Malta brought me to one of the most special hotels I’ve seen in a long while. The Hilton Malta sits prettily in a cove called Portomaso Marina in St. Julian’s, with fine views of yachts on one side and the Mediterranean Sea on the other. The property was built in 2000 but was renovated only as recently as 2016. It now sports a cool and contemporary new look in keeping with the more recent Hilton properties around the world.
In terms of public transport, the Hilton Malta is only a few steps away from the Ross bus station which has several buses plying the route to the major tourist areas: Valletta, Mdina, Cirkkewa and even the airport (the X2 bus goes to the airport). Malta is a small country but because the roads are narrow and winding and the bus stops every few blocks, it can easily take more than an hour for the 11 km journey from the airport to the hotel. It may be more worthwhile to take a taxi instead. From Malta International Airport to Hilton Malta, the cab fare is approximately EUR 20.
I was awed the moment I stepped foot in the lobby with the view of the Vista Lobby Lounge greeting me. Through the windows at the far end, I could make out the swimming pool with its aquamarine hue. I was politely told upon check-in that my room was not ready yet but was promptly shown to the Executive Lounge to wait it out.
Executive Room at Hilton Malta
My room for this particular stay was one of Hilton Malta’s Executive Rooms. Mine happened to be a corner room so it was different in a couple of ways. Firstly, I had windows across two sides of the room. Second, my balcony was very spacious – almost as big as the bedroom itself!
The room itself was dominated in white with spots of blue in the carpet and furniture. This made the room looked really bright – just the right color scheme for a seaside property dominated with holiday-goers such as the Hilton Malta.
In keeping with other Hilton properties, you won’t find a lot of clutter in the room. Many properties of the brand have done away with the traditional guest directory and flash hotel information on the TV instead.
A few minutes after I arrived in the room, room service brought in the welcome amenity which in this case were two slices of delicious chocolate cake.
I love how Hilton properties set the bed without a single wrinkle on the upper surface. Such was my experience at Hilton Kuala Lumpur and Hilton Kota Kinabalu, with the mattress settling in nicely with the well-ironed beddings. Simple turndown service is done in the evenings with housekeeping leaving snacks by the counter as well as the pillow menu by the bed.
The bathroom is equally modern and sports the same color scheme as with the rest of the room. There is a bathtub for a good soak while the separate shower stall comes with a rain shower provision – just nice if you’re looking to cool off after an entire day out in Malta during the summer.
Toiletries are from Peter Thomas Roth – the same brand that Hilton hotels uses all over the world. Personally, it is one of my favorite hotel toiletries brands. I love the refreshing citrus-y scent of the body wash.
Executive Lounge at Hilton Malta
My stay came with access to the Executive Lounge which is located at the 9th floor of the hotel. Access is via key card so you won’t have the club lounge associate asking you for your room number each time you enter. The lounge benefits are also proudly displayed in a monitor by the door. It read as follows:
- Executive lounge is open from 6:00 to 22:00 hours
- Breakfast is from 7:30 to 10:30
- Afternoon tea from 15:00 to 17:30
- Pre-dinner drinks and canapes from 18:00 to 20:00
- Children allowed in the executive lounge
Owing to Hilton Malta’s popularity as a family destination – they have family rooms to cater to this segment – I did see quite a number of children in the lounge but only during evening cocktails. Outside of these hours, the lounge was mostly quiet.
The executive lounge here is one of the most attractive I’ve seen in a Hilton property and kind of reminds me of the one at Hilton Bangkok Sukhumvit with its atmosphere akin to that of a library.
Cocktail hour at the Executive Lounge can get quite busy but I could see the buffet was replenished very often. You get two hot dishes as well as a number of canapes, cheeses, cakes and fruits. At the time of my stay, I found traditional Maltese pea cakes as well as cheese puffs. There’s a number of beverages to choose from including Prosecco which makes for a wonderful drink while sitting by the balcony. Staff members at the lounge are very responsive and I could see them proactively serving drinks even though there were quite a number of people.
Breakfast at Hilton Malta
Breakfast is served either at the Executive Lounge (for those with access) or at the Oceana Restaurant which is the all-day dining venue of the hotel. During my stay, I chose to have my morning meal at the latter.
Oceana Restaurant is a bright and airy restaurant with plenty of windows that provide views of the pool area. The venue is huge and the breakfast buffet similarly consists of plenty of sections. Aside from your standard hot dishes, egg station, pastries, breads, cheeses and fruits; I also spotted a section devoted to Maltese specialties. There was also a separate gluten-free area.
Apart from these, there is also a daily special featured in the breakfast buffet. During my stay, they laid out fresh strawberries and I obliged to quite a few.
Dinner at Oceana Restaurant
During my stay at Hilton Malta, I also managed to have dinner one night at Oceana Restaurant. The venue is a lot more intimate in the evenings without the breakfast crowd. In the evening, you can either opt for a reasonably-priced buffet or order ala carte. As I was not really in the mood to have another buffet, I decided to order from the menu. The chef suggested a couple of courses incorporating Maltese and traditional Mediterranean specialties.
Service was excellent and food was of high quality. The sirloin was especially tender. When staying at Hilton Malta, I do recommend having the ala carte dinner at least once here.
The Hilton Malta does not regard itself as a resort but its facilities certainly do suggest of one. It is certainly possible to just be in the hotel during the entire stay and not be bored.
Aside from the picturesque outdoor swimming pool, the hotel is just 500 meters from the beach. For those who want to engage in some serious swimming, there’s an indoor pool located in the fitness center – a LivingWell club which even locals use for workouts.
Overall, I was very impressed with the Hilton Malta. This is now the 4th Hilton branded property I’ve stayed in and I’m always awed by how cohesive the branding is. After you’ve stayed in one Hilton, you can easily recognize another one. I did not manage to see the property prior to the renovation but the current look is very much fitting to its seaside setting. Service is excellent and I do hope to be back. If you happen to be staying in an Executive Room, do try to ask for a corner room with larger balconies.
St Julian’s PTM 01
Tel: +356 2138 3383
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You can read more of my hotel reviews here.