Located right in St. Julian’s, the InterContinental Malta is one of the more established luxury hotels in the island. I had wanted to book the property during my short trip to Malta due to the Accelerate promotion and one of my challenges was to stay in an IHG hotel in Europe.
There are several ways to get to the hotel but I decided to take the Malta airport shuttle for EUR 8 one-way (there is also a round trip price of EUR 14). It took almost 50 minutes for me to get to the hotel from the airport.
When I arrived at the lobby for check-in, I was politely told to go up to the club lounge on the 15th floor for registration formalities. I arrived just in time for evening cocktails but decided to go to my room first to leave my things.
During my stay, the InterContinental Malta was in the midst of renovation (the hotel has been around since 2003). So far, the club lounge and two additional floors above the club lounge had been refurbished and sport a darker and more masculine look. My room for this particular stay – the club room – still sported the hotel’s old look.
The club room at InterContinental Malta looks quite like what you might expect in a beach resort. The floor is tiled rather than carpeted, the walls are white and you have pottery to accentuate the room design.
That being said, the InterContinental Malta is not being marketed as a resort and the room setup is just as good for business travelers, with a prominent work desk and lots of chairs. There’s plenty of power outlets by the desk and I wished they also placed a couple by the bed for easy charging of gadgets.
My room also came with a balcony with two chairs that faced the other side of the building although it was very much possible to also see the swimming pool from my room.
As an ambassador member, I’m always excited to see what a particular property gives out as a welcome amenity. For the case of InterContinental Malta, I got some traditional Maltese sea salts accompanying a generous fruit platter.
The bathroom came with a separate shower area and bathtub – the latter which I never got to use during my stay. Unfortunately, there was no rain shower provision but I thought the regular showers did just fine.
Like other InterContinental hotels, the toiletries were from Agraria. As I’ve shared before when I reviewed the InterContinental Moscow Tverskaya and InterContinental Singapore, I’m not particularly fond of this brand. I think the lemon verbena smells a bit like dishwashing liquid.
Club Lounge at InterContinental Malta
One of my favorite parts of the hotel, InterContinental Malta’s club lounge is modern and newly refurbished – one of the sleekest club lounges I have seen so far. Furnishings are mostly in dark colors and so are the walls. When I checked in, I was handed the club lounge benefits which are as follows:
- club lounge is open daily from 6:30 to 22:00
- Continental breakfast from 6:30 to 10:30
- Afternoon tea from 14:30 to 16:00
- Pre-dinner drinks from 17:3o to 19:30
- Juices, soft drinks, coffee and tea available throughout the day
- Private check-in and check-out services
- Use of executive boardroom (subject to availability)
- Children are allowed but must be supervised
While children are allowed at the club lounge of InterContinental Malta, I did not see a single one during my entire stay there. This contrasted sharply with my experience at Hilton Malta when I encountered children each time when I dropped by in the afternoon.
I was able to drop by the club lounge during evening cocktails and found a wide array of drinks and finger food. Aside from the red and white wines and other liquor, the drink of choice seemed to be the prosecco.
There were a couple of hot items but nothing particularly heavy. I was surprised to find satay – a Singapore staple – in Malta.
I love the coffee setup in the club lounge – with cups all arranged neatly in a cabinet and around the coffee machine. Coffee’s from Illy which is great. While the machine is free for guests to use, the club lounge staff are proactive enough to ask for my drink selection and I never had to go near it during my stay.
I was curious to see more of the new look of the InterContinental Malta – one which has been incorporated in the club lounge and the suites and in the midst of being updated elsewhere in the hotel – so I asked the club lounge associate to show me the upper floors.
The 17th and 18th floors of the InterContinental Malta contain only suites and were added only when the hotel started renovating last year.
The suites in the upper floors are called Highline Suites and like the club lounge, carry a darker and more masculine theme. There are 30 of these suites ranging from 80 to 200 square meters and they all come with butler service. When I asked what the butler service entailed, I was told it included packing and unpacking of bags – not too different from what St. Regis offers but certainly something not usually seen in InterContinental hotels.
Breakfast at the Club Lounge, InterContinental Malta
I had my morning meal at the club lounge. The InterContinental Malta is probably one of the few hotels out there where it makes more sense to have breakfast at the club lounge rather than at the all-day dining restaurant. You do get a buffet as you do in the restaurant with usual items such as scrambled eggs, bacon, sausages and various pastries and fruits. However, this is supplemented with an ala carte menu where you can order as much as you like.
I decided to check out the eggs benedict. It was delicious.
Pancakes were of the Mediterranean sort, as opposed to the fluffy American pancakes.
The hotel uses the Cynergi Health & Fitness Centre – a gym that’s also used by local residents – for guests. There are also a couple of swimming pools – an indoor pool located by the Cynergi Health & Fitness Centre, an outdoor pool that it visible from the club lounge as well as a rooftop infinity pool open only to guests staying at the Highline suite. During my stay, the latter was not yet open and I only got to see the outdoor pool.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed my stay at InterContinental Malta. Service was excellent and I found the staff at the club lounge especially proactive. When staying here, try to request for the newer rooms as opposed to the older rooms – as it will undoubtedly vastly influence your stay. The renovation, once done, will only take the hotel to the next level and I would be really keen to see how the new look translates to the base-level rooms.
St George’s Bay
St. Julian’s STJ 3310