The St John is fabulously located right in the heart of Valletta, within a stone’s throw of quirky wine bars, al fresco dining, leafy squares and historic buildings.
The foyer is simply beautiful, with large vases of colourful blooms and neutral toned decor. The space is flooded with light, from the internal glass ceiling, the magnificent chandeliers and clever use of large mirrors. This boutique gem has been intriguingly designed throughout, with open staircases, secluded courtyards and internal windows to combat any dark corners associated with a 17th-century building on a narrow street. The 21 rooms (comfort, superior or 2-room suites for families) are surprisingly modern and very comfortable, making full use of hi-tech features such as internet TV, a digital light-controlling console and a top-of-the-range coffee machine.
The breakfast buffet is an informal affair in the next-door hipster bar, the ‘Cheeky Monkey’, which has an evening menu and is a trendy stop for a crepe or a craft beer.
The 24-hour reception offers friendly help whatever you need. There are currently limited hotels in Valletta. This has to be one of the best for location, friendliness and uber-stylish comfort.
Travelling around the city from the St John could not be easier, walking or by boat. Whichever direction you wander you’ll find views across the water to the Three Cities on the opposite side of the harbour and to the immense cruise ships which majestically glide into the sunset.
Tucked incongruously between adjacent buildings, the Palazzo Capua is an oasis of historic tranquillity nestled within Malta’s lively and trendy Sliema district.
The Palazzo itself was built 200 years ago as a luxury residence and still retains an elegant glamour with its impressive colonnades, sweeping staircase, wide verandas and intricate styling.
The hotel is quiet, with only five suites on the first floor and a conference facility on ground level. The reception is at the Victoria Hotel next door, but the lack of bustle adds to its tranquil charm, as when you close the main doors behind you it does feel like you have the place to yourselves.
Four of the five suites have a bedroom mezzanine, with a comfortable living space ideally separate from where you sleep. Generous balconies are perfect for soaking up the warm evening atmosphere.
The Palazzo shares facilities with the Victoria next door, which is more traditional in style and decor. You can breakfast in the busy Copperfield’s restaurant, or grab a drink in the bar (authentically themed as a British pub). Themed buffet nights are offered in both the Victoria and its sister hotel, the Palace, which is distinct in character again, being much more modern and sleek, with a five-star rating. There are a further five dining and drinking options within the two hotels for use by Palazzo guests.
The wow factor of the Victoria and Palace hotels, again which benefits Palazzo guests, is the interconnected seventh-floor leisure club. The indoor pool is a welcome addition offseason. But its the outdoor infinity pool with simply incredible views across the cityscape which will make you want to grab a cocktail and your camera and stay a while.
Heading out, you are very close to wander along the bustling promenade, cool off in one of the coastal stone pools, browse the shopping malls (many familiar UK brands) or try out the varied Maltese and international menus.