I always get asked for hotel recommendations in Malta but because I live here, that’s actually very hard- I never get to stay in them and see if they’re any good! However Deal Today are a new(ish) deal website that offer loads of discounts and great vouchers and recently they’ve started offering some hotel deals. They had an offer in July for one night in the Fortina 5* Hotel and Spa, two people on half board (breakfast plus lunch or dinner) with a Spa Sante session each for just €140 so Joe and I thought we’d treat ourselves.
Fortina has a 4* and a 5* section, we stayed in the 5* Garden Tower and were lucky enough to bag a sea view (thanks guys!). Before we even got to the hotel we had to call them to check their availability before buying the voucher, and then after purchasing the voucher we had to call the hotel again to confirm the date we wanted. The young lady on the phone was so friendly and helpful (this is incredibly rare in Malta!) and when we checked in that young lady then also gave us great service- polite and smiling!
We were only on the second floor, so a little close to the Tigne bridge but it caused us no issues- no sound carried over and it’s not like people walking to Tigne Point are generally staring at the hotel balconies but I probably wouldn’t have sat out there in my bikini, personally. The balcony was big; long enough for two sun beds and although it doesn’t get much sun, it’s still lovely to recline on them and read in the evening after a shower.
The room at the Fortina 5* Hotel & Spa was enormous and I have never seen a bed so big. The bed was wider than our bed is long… if that makes sense? It was huge, incredibly comfortable and the pillows, especially, were an absolute dream. The whole place was perfectly clean and tidy, with two soft chairs and a coffee table, a desk and chair, a TV unit with reasonably(ish) priced minibar (glass bottle of coke €2.50, small Kristal water €2.50, energy drink €3.50), tea and coffee making facilities (although no milk, boo!) and plenty of wardrobe space with iron and ironing board included. We ALWAYS need to iron things when we go away and I hate having to call reception and wait for one to be available so that was a nice touch.
The bathroom (containing, bath, toilet and stand alone shower) was also spacious and nicely done up, very regal with a high door, dark wood and marble decor. There was a crack all the way along the bath where it meets the wall which, in a 5*, should probably be attended to. Always plenty of hot water (not that you need it in Summer!), high pressure and of course, the most adorable pot of mini toiletries (bitches love mini toiletries). There was also a robe each and a pair of slippers which was another nice touch although the robes we had were really hard and starchy.
The Fortina 5* Hotel deal included Spa Sante which is a small spa down on the ground floor with a number of different facilities- steam room, sauna, jacuzzi, heated beds (relaxation area), laconium, ice grotto, water meditation room, Kneipp Walk and Reflexology Basins. You don’t have to book, simply go down in your robe, they’ll give you some towels and you can just wander around trying everything for as long as you like. A full review on Spa Sante will be up soon, so keep an eye out!
We decided on dinner instead of lunch for our meal and were advised we should book a table as most places were almost full. We went with Table 1 and oh my god… I did not have particularly high hopes for the meal, even though the room surpassed my expectations and the Spa was perfection, I know what Malta is like and finding a good meal is damn near impossible, especially when we realised that Table 1 is in the 4* section of the hotel. If I’d been wearing a hat, I would have eaten it. The dinner was amazing. Hands down, the best meal we’ve had in Malta in a long long time.
Before the meal we headed over the road to Terrace for a drink. This is also owned by Fortina and has a spectactular view of the mediterranean sea and Valletta across the way, which is most beautiful just as dusk has fallen and the lights begin to come on.
For the dinner at Table1 we had a choice of a set menu or items from the a la carte. To start I chose the black mussels and Joe had tomato and herb soup. The soup was lovely and flavoursome, the mussels were big, almost all were open and the garlic and butter sauce was divine. For mains we both went with the 250g fillet of steak, cooked medium, which we had to pay a €5 each surplus but it was worth it. 250g is quite small but it was all meat, no fat what so ever, the potatoes were sliced and buttery, incredibly soft and rich in flavour with a delicious mushroom sauce. Finally, for mains we had the chocolate mousse which was an alcohol soaked layer of sponge, a layer of milk chocolate mousse, a layer of white chocolate mousse and a sprinkling of nuts. The sponge was a little overly alcoholic for our tastes but the rest was delicious.
The next day we headed to Taste for breakfast (which finishes at 10:30) and I was again, pleasantly surprised. I should have known by then that the quality was going to be high but I feel it’s always best to have low expectations in Malta! There was a fruit and yogurt section, cereals, breads and pastries, a fried section, a cold meat and veg section plus a kitchen where you could order omelettes, pancakes and other bits and bobs that are best when freshly made. The food was lovely and we left suitably full up and ready to face the day.
We spent the day on Sunday around the seafront Lido area. This is a really nice pool and bar area. I have spoken badly of this place before, purely because of the price. A day membership has increased to €18 per person which is absolute daylight robbery, but now, having stayed in the hotel, I can kind of understand it. They are a hotel pool, so don’t have to allow in non residents at all if they don’t wish, however they are kind enough to open their door to the public. But one should remember that guests have probably paid quite a lot to be staying in the hotel and use the pool, so they don’t want any Tom, Dick or Harry from outside coming in and causing trouble. If you have paid €18 to get into a pool, chances are you’ll relax and enjoy your day, without causing any hassle to others. For a day membership, it is a rip off, and the food is alright but very expensive, but it’s a hotel pool, and if you’re staying at the hotel, it’s the perfect way to spend the day.