The Phoenicia Hotel and Bastion Pool, Valletta, Malta.
During my visit to Malta I was warmly invited to spend a day at The Phoenicia in Valletta. The Phoenicia Hotel is a Valletta icon and a fine example of the city’s revered architectural traditions. Malta’s historic hotel flanks the main gates of the capital Valletta. Built by the British in the 1930s, The Phoenicia was a favourite of Queen Elizabeth II, having made many visits to Malta during her time as a princess and later as Monarch.
Standing just outside City Gates, the Hotel includes 7.5 acres of mature gardens and an outdoor pool, while still being just a 5 -minute walk from the sights and attractions of the capital city. The main bus station and primary Taxi Rank is just outside the main entrance and you are just a few minutes walk to the ferries serving the Three Cities and Sliema.
The Phoenicia offers 5-star luxury within walking distance of the city’s best attractions and commands glorious views of the Grand Harbour and the city’s skyline, which has seen very few changes since the 16th century.
All 136 of the luxury bedrooms and suites at The Phoenicia have been lovingly restored after an impressive €15 million refurbishment, but many of the original features, including the authentic tiled floors have been retained. With carefully chosen fabrics, luxury amenities and new bathrooms, The Phoenicia now boasts some of the most beautifully appointed Hotel accommodation in Malta.
All rooms and suites include the following amenities:
Self – controlled air conditioning and heating
LCD TV with cable channels
Writing desk & safe
Fully stocked minibar and hot drink facilities
Shaving mirror, hairdryer and bathrobes
Luxury bathroom products
Stunning views of Malta
All rooms benefit from astonishing views made possible by the hotel’s unique vantage point overlooking the island’s historic buildings, the Grand Harbour and Valletta, Malta’s capital city.
Beneath the formidable ancient bastion walls of Valletta and overlooking Marsamxett Harbour is the new pool terrace complete with an awe – inspiring infinity pool and the only heated outdoor pool of any hotel on the island.
The gardens of the Phoenicia stretch all the way to Valletta’s mighty bastion walls, where a dreamy new infinity pool has been constructed in their lee, overlooking the harbour along with a slick contemporary poolside restaurant.
When I arrived at The Bastion pool, a pool steward came across to assist me in finding a suitable lounger and then placed fresh towels down on the one that I had chosen. The young steward also went and got me some drinks and placed them out of direct sunlight from the sun and rearranged the parasol as requested. The pool stewards were always very attentive ensuring that I was as comfortable as possible, if I needed anything they were always ready to ensure my needs were met.
Having spent the morning topping up my tan, I then went across to the Bastion Poolside Restaurant and enjoyed some lunch. Despite the approaching storm, the pool stewards ensured all was well for lunch and when the rain did come they pulled several sun parasols under the restaurant canopy to ensure diners were prevented from getting wet!
On the menu were delicious salads, open sandwiches and chilled soups, all made using the fresh local ingredients. They also served silky homemade gelato and ice cream, a section of fresh fruit juices, cocktails, cold beers and wine by the glass. I enjoyed a superb pasta dish, which was cooked to perfection. A very tasty and well presented dish.
The Bastion Pool Bar & Restaurant was the perfect spot to spend a wonderful day relaxing in the Mediterranean sun whilst reading a good book, looking across the harbour or simply enjoying a spot of sunbathing, enjoying a drink or some good food. The Bastion pool area was an oasis of calm and relaxation with magnificent views of the harbour.
The extensive gardens have been replanted, chess/draughts tables and a narrow bastion-top terrace with seating. There was also a fading `crazy golf course` which had seen better days!
The Phoenicia Malta has reopened under new management after an impressive €15 million refurbishment
The Times Malta – July 2017
The hotels restaurants have something for everyone, whether you are looking for a quick snack, or dinner with all the family. Enjoy afternoon tea in the Palm Court, relax by the pool, or retreat to The Club Bar for an after-dinner drink.
The stunning main dining restaurant, The Phoenix, has clearly been inspired by the grand cafés of Europe. Here you can enjoy a buffet breakfast, lunch and à la carte dinner or special event menus. On offer is a wide – ranging mix of dishes taking inspiration from traditional Maltese and European flavours. Full advantage is taken of the hotels proximity to the sea with a daily catch of fresh fish, always available of the menu. Local produce and the best food from the region is reflected on the menu. The Terrace was a beautiful place in which to sit and enjoy good food or a quiet drink whilst looking out across the splendid city skyline of Valletta.
The Café Phoenicia is a lot less formal, a lively café, which is both relaxed and cosmopolitan offering informal dining in a relaxed atmosphere. It is the wonderful meeting place for afterwork drinks or a laid- back dinner with friends. The café serves a range of salads, burgers, pizza and fresh pasta made daily.
The circular Palm Court Lounge and bar is at the very heart of the hotel, with glorious 1930s white and glass doors that lead into the main restaurant and attractive blue and white wall fabrics guide you to the terrace overlooking the gardens and the bastion walls of Valletta. Green plants dot the interior and the terrace is bordered with flowers and kumquat trees. It is a beautiful space to sit and relax, watching the world go by. The perfect place for your morning coffee & fresh pastry or to meet up with friends or colleagues during the day. Traditional Afternoon Tea is served, the scones and pastries freshly baked in the hotel kitchens. The menu boasts an ever-changing selection of cakes alongside an extensive choice of teas.
“At The Phoenicia we want not only to welcome tourists but also Maltese who feel at home here”
Gordon Campbell Gray – Chairman of Campell Gray Hotels
The Club Bar is a small bar – all British dark wood and leather – exudes members’ club cosiness, the walls covered in photos of old Malta. Carefully crafted cocktails and an extensive drinks list. The Club Bar is the perfect place to unwind at the end of the day. Originally opened in 1952, the warm décor of this cocktail bar is inspired by Malta’s colonial past, with Maltese history adorning the walls. The Club Bar also has its own terrace, with beautiful views overlooking the harbour making it the perfect place to sit and enjoy a cold drink whilst taking in the perfect vista.
I had a wonderful a day enjoying the facilities of the Bastion Pool at The Phoenicia Hotel. The food and drink were what you would expect from one of The Leading Hotels of the World, offering 5-star luxury within walking distance of Valletta’s best attractions.
If you are looking to visit Valletta and would like to stay in one of the best, if not the best Hotel on the island of Malta, I would fully endorse a stay at The Phoenicia.
On my next visit to the island of Malta, I would love to spend a lot more time at The Phoenicia.
The Mall, Floriana – FRN1478 Malta
T: +356 2122 5241 | UK freephone: 0800 8620 025
F: +356 2123 5254
Disclosure: My stay was courtesy of The Phoenicia Hotel – The views and comments expressed are as usual my own.