Travel Blogs from Sliema
... advantage of the Triple J Hottest 100 countdown. I baked ANZAC biscuits and finished creating my Australian quiz. I then decorated the living room with Aussie flags, koalas and food. A big thank you to my mum for sending all the goodies over, it was a big hit, and no one left the premises without something Australian tattooed, stuck to them or worn by them.
Thank you to everyone ...
... though we usually go 3 years without seeing each other, we always pick up where we left off. We all headed to Valletta for some sightseeing, and ate at an awesome café called Jubilee. I had an assortment of dips and a strawberry milkshake. We walked around the shops and peeked into the Church of St Paul's Shipwreck. It’s really ornate and dark in there, and houses the relic (wrist bone) of St. Paul. Did you know Malta has 365 churches? One for ...
No rain forecast for today but tomorrow is meant to be stormy before clearing up again for the rest of the week. Monday mornings always seem to come around very quickly, yet when Monday is over, the rest of the week flys by. And I can't wait for Thursday evening!! Chris finished at ...
... In Rabat, we stopped first at St.Paul's Catacombs, and ancient burial ground where St. Paul was said to of baptised the first Christians of Malta. The catacombs were very extensive and comlex, and featured stone pillows in the graves that were unique to Malta.
Next we moved on to the old city of Mdina and had some time to explore our own. After walking aound the ...
Well today was another wonderful adventure. I can't explain the sights, the sounds, the smells are all so intoxicating. Its been a easier to share this experience with my fellow travelers. Today I realize it takes me a few days to get acclimated to time and food. I am finally settling into my surroundings. Granted we are pushing and pulling our way through historical places and gorgeous landscapes while I adjust. I find comfort that even the youngsters ...
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Historical Traveler Reviews Hotel Fortina Sliema
We stayed at the Fortina Spa Hotel for 2 weeks in March 06, the food was excellent however the hotel failed in other areas.
The second weekend of our holiday coincided with a local holiday and when we went into the restraunt for lunch as usual we were told by the manager we would have to wait a while as there were outside bookings and the restraunt was full.
We broke a wine glass on the floor in our room picked up the pieces and told the room maid the following morning, the floor was not vacummed but wiped over with a damp cloth on a brush, the wine glass was never replaced in the 12 days before we left.
The refreshment facilities were never properly replenished and the lifts were either too over used or they were being held by the cleaning staff.
The whole place felt as though it only ever got a lick over.
In our opinion it is not a 4 star hotel but a bearly adequatly 3 star.
Beware of Time Share
We were disapponted with the room, although nice and clean and with the most outstanding view of Valetta it was very jaded for 4*. In fact the whole hotel was in need of a good overhaul. The new part which they say is 5* was pushed at every opportunity and we were offered free Harbour trips in return for a 'look at' the new rooms. The food in the hotel was very good, except for the Chinese, and for All Inclusive, excellent value, but the Spa was very expensive and the swimming pools were a bit sub standard. All along the harbour walk we were 'jumped on' by people (all british) trying to give us free trips which, considering we were only there for 1 week, was very agrivating. Malta itself is a charming place with the most beautiful architecture and M'dina is stunning. The best way to travel is on the local bus, very cheap and plentiful, much better than going on an organised trip (expensive). Everyone speaks English and the local people are very friendly. I would go back again but not to the Fortina or to Sliema.
Worst Hotel I've Stayed in
This must be the worst hotel I have ever stayed in. It is no way 4 star. I don't think anyone got the room they booked we booked a seaview room but were upgraded to a garden deluxe which to be fair was very big two king size beds and a settee, the front rooms overlooking Valetta are tiny and I mean tiny. Our mini bar and toilettries were replaced on a haphazard basis i.e. somedays yes somedays no. Our dressing table had coffee cup marks on it for the entire stay. The staff were unbelievably rude even swearing in front of you when you asked for something different. We ate in the healthy restaurant and asked for a boiled egg instead of poached and were told that wasn't healthy what is more healthy about poached than boiled? There was absolutely no 4 star service here. During our stay a honeymoon couple had their room broken into the maid had let the thief in. When they complained they were told not to let it happen again and all sympathy was given to the maid they were made to feel as if it was their fault. The spa facilities are just not worth it 15 minutes of stretching in a pool with a very bored teacher. There is also a very hard sell of the spa rooms which are actually time shares. They lull you into inspecting the rooms because they value your opinion but have the finance forms ready the minute you enter. No way would I return to this hotel and I have stayed in a lot of 4* plus hotels this does not even merit a 2*.
Book a Tower room or spa room
If you are staying at the Fortina I strongly advise booking into a Tower Room or Spa Room. We arrived at the Fortina having booked a Superior Seaview Room which I can only describe as very sub standard for a 4 star room. More 2 star. We entered the room which smelled of drains. The bathroom was tiny and my husband had to step up to get into it and promptly hit his head on the lintel. The room was small, dark and the furniture old and tired. The bed was extremely uncomfortable. The only good thing about this room was the view which was brilliant. We upgraded the next day to a Tower room and we felt like we were in a different hotel. The only the complaint a very large building project next door which was noisey and dusty. However, the room was beautiful and the maid service excellent. The food is very good, of special note the Brasseriere and the healthy eating restaurants in particular. The tropical garden area was lovely and the sun deck out front had stunning views of the harbour and Valletta. Staff are very polite and pleasant. The spa was excellent and well worth a visit. Overall we enjoyed our stay at the Fortina but would warn visitors about the time share promotion within the hotel. Our Mercury rep directed us over to a young lady who gave us our free grand harbour cruise tickets but then proceeded to tell us about another free trip we could take if we attended a 60 mins presentation. We declined but we saw many guests being taken around the complex and it was definiately longer than 60 mins. So be warned!
We stayed at the hotel Fortina in July of this year and everyone we met there had a grievance with the hotel. Sitting by the lido pool you were enveloped in dust from the building site making you feel dirty and it affected my chest, i developed a nasty cough throughout our stay.
My partner and I - travelled with Mercury direct. At the time of the booking we were told that we were getting a luxury room, All Inclusive access to 7 restaurants to eat in as often as we liked and a luxury hotel. Nothing was mentioned about the huge building site surrounding the hotel. when we arrived at the hotel we were told that we could only eat at the buffet restaurant (which certainly wasn't 4* food) and we were put in a room which looked so dated, was dirty and small, no balcony and single glazing doors (which meant we were woke up at 6am by the building site)
On our first morning we went to see our rep (Sue) to explain our problems and try and work things out. I have never met such a rude, condescending stuck up individual in all my life. She basically told us as we'd only paid x amount of pounds what did we expect! (for an extra £100 each we could have stayed in a 5*hotel in Cuba which was spot on where we stayed for last Christmas) I said that I wanted what I paid for an all inclusive deal to all restaurants not the restricting orange card, and a luxury hotel. Sue simply said that 'I can't perform miracles' and if we want to move hotels we would have to pay a large supplement and get a bus around Malta to look at other hotels! Sorry I'm rambling a bit anyway it worked out (when we phoned sues manager) that we had paid for the white card which meant you could eat at all restaurants and they upgraded us to a bigger room on the quieter side of the hotel.
After we unpacked in the new room the ceiling tiles fell down as the air conditioning unit leaked. They left the carpet soaking wet and smelling after speaking to the hotel manager he said they would send a carpet cleaner round but they never materialised. The Hotel was dirty the staff were unfriendly, rude and unhelpful!
Mercury Direct keep advertising deals in the papers which a couple we met took. They had the advertisement in black and white exactly what was included in the price and the hotel still refused to allow them to use all restaurants they were forced to upgrade paying £300 for the week.
Two women we met paid £1400 each for ten days all inclusive in a spa room in the tower! Imagine how upset they were!!! Their bedroom was smaller than ours however they had a nice bathroom. They also paid extra supplements for a roof top pool for tower residents only and a VIP lounge and restaurant (which won't be built/completed until the end of September!)
One was a vegetarian and they went to eat at the Chinese restaurant. None of the main courses were veggie friendly so she asked if she could have two starters and they refused! How ludicrous is that for a 4* hotel!
A few other points - the pools are rarely cleaned.
Orange card - buffet only
White/silver card - all restaurants on a set menu and free mini bar
Silver card - all restaurants on a an la carte menu
Staff in the Indian restaurant never smile
The whole hotel in general is short staffed the only ppl who smiled were Tony and Mark on the lido bar!
Mini bar is supposed to be restocked daily but ours and our friends never were. You have to call reception at least five times to get them to send someone up to restock it!
My advice - only go if you get a mega cheap deal and you can handle bad manners. Word of warning BE PREPARED TO HAVE TO FIGHT FOR WHAT YOU PAID FOR! The best bits about this holiday was the sun, the friends we made and the flights! I would never return.
The Hotel Fortina,just returned 29/07/05 our thoughts
Just returned 29/07/05 after a 2wk stay. If you are staying in the 5* part of the hotel in one of the spa rooms or the rooms with roof top pools you should have no compaints this part of the hotel is A class. Do be aware that some of the rooms actually face the BUILDING SITE adjacent to the hotel and can be noisey and dusty.
If you are staying in the 4* part of the hotel then thats a different issue. The Superior Seaview rooms are not what I would class as superior the only thing superior about them is the view, however we were lucky to have a big room as we had children with us. The tea and coffee facilities along with the mini bar were not refilled daily and unless you complain they won't be. Lots of guests were complaining about this and the size of the rooms. Be aware that what you see in the broucher is not always what you get. Brouchers are selling points. You can upgrade at a cost! The lifts are small and very slow. There are lots of stairs to climb up and down other wise.
The hotel facilities especially the Spa area are fantastic so please try them. ( if money allows, they are very expensive)
The Lido pool area's can get very busy and sunbeds were in short supply the large Lido pool was disgusting the last 2days of our holiday and hardly nobody was using it. (hope its now clean) also here the bar service was very slow as the season gets busier I hope they have more staff.
The outside toilets are a no no at night unless you close the main door as the glass door of the toilet is totally see through and guests were finding it very amusing to watch the ladies in the toilet!!! The entertainment was arround the outside cocktail bar in the evenings and was some what slow just some singers. I never saw the indoor cocktail bar open for the whole 2wks of our stay and it was very hot inside. The garden area has an airconditioned bar which is heaven during the hot evenings.
The garden resturants along with the healthy eating were wonderful the food was heaven although staff could have been a bit more cheerful and you often felt as if you had to hurry your meal as they were busy. Do book these resturants well in advance or you will be disappointed. The other alternative is to use them at lunch time when you don't have to book. The garden is a loverly peaceful place to relax and enjoy the sun which when we were there was very very hot!
THE BUIDING SITE. This is adjacent to the hotel and can be very busy very early in the morning, lots of dust but depending on where you are in the hotel depends on how much this disturbs your stay. I cant see this being completed within the next year or so! There are trucks and crains and sometimes large boats moving rubble etc.
The gym is ok not what I would class as world class as the broucher states.
The indoor pools in this area are ok but nothing special.
In my personal opinion its not a hotel that caters for children there really is nothing for them to do apart from swimming.
The free cruises that are part of the holiday are ok but as all the boat trips go to the blue lagoon and offer spead boat trips to the caves (at a small cost) i would upgrade this trip and go on one of the other fantastic boats on offer. The jeep safari was a great way to see the island we mixed ours with a trip to Gozo and a catarmeran (spelling) trip back with lunch and drinks loverly to laze and sunbath do some swimming in the sea have some music and a good crew. Swimming with the dolphins is a must unforgetable, unfortunately they had no electric whilst we were there so no professional pics only normal ones, we did ask the rep to see if she could get them delivered to the hotel when another trip went but it was a no no.
The pirate ship trip was again fun for children the crew were fun too and joined in with jumping of the boat and children can walk the plank and swing off the rope swing into the sea. Not much shade unfortunately. Do watch for the jelly fish they are not dangerous but give a nasty sting that looks like a nasty stinging nettle rash.
Overall the 4* part is over rated, but depending on what each individual wants out of their holiday this resort is a must for those wanting spa treatments and relax ( if you dont mind a building site nxt door) and good food.
If you like a mixture of evening entertainment then no.
And no facilities for children of any age.
You can walk along the prom to the town with bars and cafe's but it is very warm after 9am and the evenings.
Apart from the small problems we had a very enjoyable holiday and as an all inclusive it was value for money.
If you like a bit of history then the Malta by night was very good and takes you to see some wonderful places.
Watch the bill when you check out lots of people were being charged for telephone calls they didn't make whilst we were checking out and some cheeky persons had used our room number in the bar and a resturant and we were expected to pay for it! ( i dont think so)
I've given a 4 rating purely because of the Spa treatments and facilities there. along with the garden resturants. If it was based on the 4* part itself then I would have given a 2 or a 3.
Good but don't get excited by their marketing.
Four of us booked the fortina for a week of sun and relaxation. Facilities were good, rooms were clean, the view was great and the food was excellent. Having read tripadvisor reviews we were wary about the building works going on around us but they didn't disturb us whilst we were there.
Fortina's adverts describing themselves as a spa resort are overstating the situation. We did pay for some very enjoyable treatments, but the included thalassotherapy, although amusing, was a bit useless. We did make good use of the gym and aerobics classes, and loved malta itself, but the unfinished nature of Valetta, and the dodgy egg-like odour around the lido/swimming pool area makes this a 3* rather than a 4*.
If you are going to malta try out the jeep safari - it was a great way to see the island and lots of fun.
My husband and I spent a week in this hotel in October 2004 on an all inclusive basis. On the plus side I must say the quality food was totally outstanding, you have a choice of 7 restraunts, the best I have ever encountered. On the minus side the rooms in the Hotel which are stated as SUPERIOR ROOMS (not in the Tower block) are a total disgrace for a 4* Hotel. We were allocated room 610 which was the smallest room I have ever been in the doors were hanning off, ciggarette burns in the curtains, stains on the carprts. We arrived about 10.30PM and before even unpacking complained about the room. We were told nothing could be done until the next morning. Once again we complained along with numerous other people. All in all it took us 5 days to get moved. Only to a larger equally grotty room. Selima is a grotty resort. There are building works going on which start at between 6.OOAM - 700AM Sunday to Sunday, fortunatley we are early risers. The other down side was that it was full of Saga Holiday people I have no problem with older people no disrespect ment but there were odd occasions where disputes occured re( this is my table or I was here first) This was our 2nd visit to Malta the 1st was much the same. My impression is that the standard of accommodation here is not the same as elswhere we have stayd in Europe and we have travelled quite extensivley. Please beware.
Disliked Hotel & Sliema & Malata
Fortina Hotel pretends to be a 4 star Spa hotel, but at times moves between 4 and 2 star.Room had excellent view of harbour but had pre war furniture, hot water only at certain times i.e.Only after 8 and after 5.We were all inclusive.Food was quite good, drinks were branded and you could have what you wanted.The Hotel overall really has a Fawlty Towers style, (I was abused by a waiter for trying to find a table in the large dining room). Sliema is a bit of a dump , as is Malta, the island looked as though it han't been painted since the last war.This was a pity as it has character and charm, but needs a good clean and tidy up. The cars and drivers are crazy, I am not a frightened driver and have driven all over Europe and the USA but this island is mad. Regards Ken Pollard
****? My A**E
Package holiday hell, dressed up with ribbons. The Maltese idea of four star is not Monsieur Michelin's. Rooms are pokey and dark, dank and dingey. The towels were so raggedy and worn I would not have used them on my dog. The beds had no mattress covers and in the whole week I was there the bedroom floor was not hoovered once. The "spa" is a complete joke, the thallosotherapy tretament involes being shoved into a small pool with twelve other people and being barked at to do simple stretches by a non-smiling russian "doctor". Once was enough for me.
Hygiene is somewhat suspect. The staff at the hotel are the rudest I have ever encountered, with the one exception of a cheery barman called Antonio/Cassie who was the only person who greeted us with a smile. The reception staff never once said "hello, can i help you?", but instead stared blankly into space with the most wearisome apathetic expressions ever known to man. think homer simpson without the humour. the one plus of this hotel is that it does have a stunning view of the harbour, and that the food, particularly at the garden restaurant, was of a good standard. but that is only one plus out of a whole load of minuses. if you are the sort of person who likes to drink themselves in to oblivion and not move from a hotel pool then this may be the spot for you in malta. for anyone else with discrimation, find somewhere else - may i suggest the cote d'azur?