Excelsior Grand Hotel
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Travel Blogs from Valletta
It is soooooooooo nice to have some heat again! Landed in Malta after a wee plane ride from Oz and the heat was/is perfect, 30C pool, sight seeing and a wedding followed by tourist stuff and more frolicking in the pool....so far Malta has impressed and if we didn't live in Oz this would be high on the list if not on top of places to live. Blue …
... br> The Gozitans proudly claim these to be the oldest human religious structures in the world,( but we have been told that actually they are not; that honour currently is bestowed upon the Gobekli Tepe excavations in southern Turkey with remains carbondated from 7560 B.C. ) In fact one woud expect such antiquity in the
human superhighway that was ancient Anatoli
But here, in ...
... in Malta. Overlooking the park is Verdala Palace, built in 1586 for Grand Master Fra Hugues de Verdale of the Knights Order. We walked to the top and had an amazing view all the way across to the opposite side of the island. All and all it was great we can still find new things to do, and we are continually impressed by how diverse each place, there is not one Malta, but several, stitched together like the fields in the ...
... city, especially when seen from the water. Back in the city we enjoyed exploring the streets inside the fortifications, then back to our hotel for a rest. Back out for a late dinner in the piazza near the cathedral, where we again chose the fresh local seafood. Some great live music & distant fireworks made it quite a magical ...
... But the first conversation I overheard must have been an angry girlfriend because the man kept asking her to meet with him and discuss things. Then I heard a lot of "I see"s. After he hung up, he told the other man that "they just like hearing themselves talk." The reason I could understand so much was that he, in particular, would talk in Maltese I think but then use phrases in English. It was fascinating, even though I shouldn't have ...
How has this hotel rated in the past?
TravelPod Member ReviewsExcelsior Grand Hotel Valletta
This hotel really lived up to its 5 star rating. Staff were excellent, so helpful, courteous and smiling all the time. Rooms excellent. The food at the breakfast buffet was sensational. We WILL be back!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.
Based on the price you expect a lot from this hotel and with few exceptions the stay was amazing. Starting with a glass of fruit juice while you were checking in, and a breakfast buffet that adds pounds now just thinking about it! Followed by lunch buffet . . .
The view was fantastic.
Our only complaints were that the higher floors had poor wi-fi connection and they did not call a taxi for you they had there own "Transportation" which cost 12 euro to go anywhere including just to the top of the hill so you could walk into the city or go to the transit center to catch a bus. . . down hill took only a few minutes, uphill was not a fun way to start any journey. But 12 euros seemed a bit stiff for a 3 minute ride.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.
Historical Traveler Reviews Excelsior Grand Hotel Valletta
Fabulously situated new hotel
The Excelsior Grand is ideally situated, only a few minutes walk from the bus station, where buses run to the whole of the island.
The views from the bedrooms across the harbour are fabulous.
Our room was a good size and very well appointed, with separate shower and bath.
The staff could not have been more attentive or pleasant. Any problems that we had were soon sorted out by the Guest Relations lady. Bar staff were especially good.
Meals were taken in a lovely restaurant overlooking the outdoor swimming complex and creek.
Food was very good. There was live music every day and hot mulled wine and mince pies on arrival, and also there for us whenever we wished to indulge. Christmas Day food was delicious and there was a huge choice of cuisine from around the world.
We loved the luxury of the fittings such as huge chandeliers, imposing grand staircase and opulent sofas and chairs. Carpets are thick and expensive and this made the stay very pleasant.
We had a lovely time in the indoor swimming pool, though the area was not quite complete. A bit more work to be done but this did not affect us at all.
The outdoor pool looked beautiful and there is lots of room to sunbathe and enjoy the lovely views.
Although some work was ongoing, we were not troubled by noise at all, or by workmen. We will definitely go again. The only snag could be a fairly steep climb up the hill into Valetta, though there is a hotel shuttle service
Excellent Grand Hotel
Excellent hotel. Big thanks to Derek at the Concierge desk for finding me a set of Cuff Links for my kilt, and to Matthew at the bar for making our stay feel very special. Hotel staff are all excellent and really went out of their way to make our stay one to remember. Malta is an excellent destination. Bus travel is easy and cheap.
Excellent and refreshing winter break
An excellent experience from the moment we arrived to the moment we left. The helpfulness of all staff, from the porters and maids to the chefs, waiters and bar staff was absolutely tremendous. They went out of their way to make sure that we were happy. The food was delicious, the breakfasts kept us going all day, and even the evening buffet was of an exceptional standard. The hotel is located within a 3 minute walk of Valletta bus terminal making it accessible to the whole island. Not all areas were complete yet but we will definitely be visiting again to see the hotel in full swing!
5* Excellent Hotel
This hotel opened in September 2007, but not all of the facilities are yet available. The hotel is modern, spacious and equipped to a very high standard. The rooms are also of a high standard, with all you would expect from a 5* hotel. The hotel faces out onto the harbour with excellent views. The breakfasts are buffet style and every taste is catered for. This hotel is situated close to the centre of Valletta, but there is a down side, the hotel is at sea level and it is a steep walk into the town. Cleanliness is very good and the staff could not do enough for you.
A 5 star building site
If your idea of a relaxing stay is to be woken at 7:30am by workmen hammering and drilling on the floor above your room then this is the place for you
We were unfortunate enough to stay here for just over a week in October and never had a day when we were not disturbed by workmen (despite management telling us that work should not start before 9:00am).This hotel really is work-in-progress the only things that seemed to be complete are the reception area, the bedrooms on the 5th to 7th floors of the reception wing, the restaurant overlooking the harbour, the indoor pool and the outdoor pool and area.
Positives (yes there are some)
Our room was large and well appointed. It also had a good sized bathroom which had the advantage of a bath and walk-in shower there was also a patio window which opened on to our own balcony overlooking the harbour
The view over Marsamxett Harbour from the 5th floor restaurant is superb
Breakfast is excellent with a good choice of food to suite all tastes
All of the restaurant, bar and reception staff were friendly, helpful and efficient
The gym appears to be well equipped and both the indoor and outdoor pools are large with plenty of sun beds by the outdoor
We were disturbed every day at about 7:30am when construction work began
It was impossible to enjoy sitting on the balcony due to the noise of work being carried out, until around 6:30pm, both inside the hotel and grounds (stone cutters really do make a hell of a noise)
Breakfast most mornings was taken to the sound of hammering, drilling and watching workmen carrying things around
Although it was not too hot in October the air conditioning in the room did not seem that good so it's a guess as to how it would cope with summer temperatures
The balcony although large has no privacy or security as there is only a low wall dividing it from those on either side (because of the lack of security it would have been inadvisable to leave the patio door open overnight for fresh air)
The motor of the room fridge gave off an irritating humming sound which made it difficult to get back to sleep if you woke up in the night
Housekeeping was hit and miss (mostly miss) as every day something was either not replaced or refreshed (it reached its peak when we returned one evening to find that there were no towels in the bathroom) we were also left out-of-date (by 2 weeks) milk for our morning coffee
There seemed to be a lack of training with regard to fire procedures as we discovered one morning when the fire alarms went off and none of the staff seem to know what to do (evacuating everyone from the building was not an option they exercised) however, they told us not to worry because maintenance were investigating (probably the same thing was said on the Titanic?) We found this attitude a bit too laid back in a building with workmen using heaven knows what equipment
The gym had very restricted opening hours
The spa was none existent but the hotel told us that they could arrange for someone from Valletta to perform some treatments in our room (so forget about having a sauna)
The outdoor pool area had a portable toilet (which to be fair was not your run of the mill port-a-loo)
The grounds were still being planted and fountains built in them
The restaurant overlooking the outdoor pool (back of hotel) was none existent in the week but had tables and waiter service on Saturday
The hotel is in Great Siege road which is just outside the bastion walls of Valletta so it requires a walk up a fairly steep hill to the top of Great Siege road and then a walk through the bus station (about half a mile in total) the alternative route is to cross Great Siege road opposite the hotel and walk through a little passage, past some derelict buildings and up a flight of steps (about 50) to the bus station. This route is shorter and ok in the day but we would not recommend it at night as it is unlit and quite isolated (the hotel does offer courtesy transport into Valletta but we are unsure as to whether this is offered back from Valletta)
To get onto Great Siege road you can either climb the steps (about 90) in the hotel grounds or walk up a steep hill at the side of the hotel (after 7:00 pm this was the only option as the hotel gates at the top of the steps were locked)
Would we recommend this hotel?
Certainly not in its present state or as a holiday hotel, but it's probably ok for a corporate event or if you really want to be in or near to Valletta
It's expensive and we cannot understand why it has a 5 star rating when at this point in time it is clearly nowhere near to this in terms of comfort, service or value
The hotel apparently has had a chequered career originally started in the 1990's it has had various owners over the years and we think the present owners had intended to open in it June 2007 but that it got pushed back to September 2007 (might have been better to leave it to 2008)
Once all the work in finished and the problems with the housekeeping ironed out it may warrant 5 stars but given the amount of work still to be done this looks to be at least 12 months or more away
Although the hotel is in Valletta its position is not really that convenient however, it does command a stunning view of Marsamxett harbour (from one side of the hotel) but we are not convinced that the view justifies the high prices being charged
It's Good now & Going To Be Great
We stayed during the "soft opening" for our first holiday in Malta - 6 nights. This hotel is in an excellent location for touring around Malta, the pool is beautiful, the food was excellent and the staff very welcoming and accommodating. Room are very comfortable and well equipped; the views are fabulous overlooking a bay and bastion. Considering it is not yet complete, they are well on their way to being an excellent hotel. During the start up, the gym is not yet opened, there was one dining area and one two bars (one by the pool and one in the hotel). You can walk to the old city of Valletta and/or the central bus terminal as well as to the ferry to take you to Sliema. We would certainly stay there again!
Not ready yet.....!
I was booked into this hotel for a conference during the 'soft opening'. This means the hotel is not yet complete but they want to try out their staff and systems with a small number of guests. There were obvious snags in the rooms and the hotel was obviously not complete - carpet was still getting laid and builders were everywhere. HOWEVER, when it is complete (scheduled for January I believe), it will be stunning. The location is really good, views are good, and considering that the complete hotel was not operational, the staff were extremely pleasant and attentive. Food was good, rooms large and well equipped, and I am looking forward to returning when it is finished. I stay in many hotels on business and this is at the top end of the scale for location and amenities. The 'average' rating I provided is based solely on the fact the hotel is incomplete - by January I would expect it to be excellent.