Hotel Review: Corinthia Palace Hotel and Spa, Malta
Travel writer Christopher Roser checks in to the Corinthia Palace Hotel and Spa, a luxury retreat on the island of Malta.
A mere 30 minute drive from Malta’s Luqa airport and located in the quiet and verdant area of San Anton Gardens, the Corinthia Palace Hotel & Spa is a luxury base from which to explore Malta and the smaller Maltese islands of Gozo and Comino, home to some of the world’s oldest prehistoric structures and several UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
The Corinthia Palace Hotel & Spa is the sister hotel of the seaside Corinthia St George’s Bay but sits far away from the busy tourist areas on the coast and is comfortably nestled in the gentle hills between the quaint villages of Attard, Balzan and Lija.
San Anton is an affluent area and the Corinthia Palace Hotel & Spa was once a private villa built in the 19th century that was the childhood home of psychologist and inventor Edward de Bono. The hotel sits directly opposite the Maltese President’s San Anton Palace.
The Corinthia Palace Hotel & Spa is very much a destination hotel for those wanting a peaceful and relaxing break with all the luxury amenities at hand including a stunning outdoor pool set amongst its well attended gardens, the acclaimed Athenaeum Spa and exceptional dining.
The San Anton Gardens directly opposite the hotel and are made up of lush water fountains, gorgeously tended flowerbeds, age old trees beneath which peacocks roam. The gardens are open to the public and offer respite from the bustle of local Maltese life. Nearby is the ancient fortified ‘Silent City’ of Mdina dating back 4,000 years.
During the Great Siege of Malta by the Ottoman Turks in 1565, Mdina was the base of the legendary Order of St John’s cavalry. The hotel offers a courtesy bus service to and from the hotel to Sliema, the Marsa Golf Club, the Corinthia St George’s Bay and the ancient capital of Valletta, which was 2018’s ‘European Capital of Culture’.
Twin property the Corinthia St Georges Bay has dramatic sea views, six outdoor pools, a private beach from where guests can choose from all manner of water sports. At night there is also an evening shuttle to St Julian’s for its renowned restaurants and buzzing nightlife.
Malta is popular year-round for its history, dramatic scenery, diving and the fact that the country has the best weather in Europe. The islands are the envy of many of its Mediterranean neighbours and receives more than 300 days of sunshine every year. This is largely due to its location almost exactly in the centre of the Mediterranean.
The Corinthia Palace Hotel & Spa was once a restaurant before it was developed into its current form of a 150-room hotel retaining as much of its original neo-classical features as possible. On arrival an elegant driveway leads you to the graciously attended entrance and then through into a large marble atrium and foyer.
The service at reception is friendly but traditional and check-in was seamlessly handled. A helpful bellboy handled our luggage and took us up to our room. On entering we found the room spacious and it opened out onto a wide pleasant terrace, complete with table and chairs, that overlooked the gardens and pool.
The room itself was well equipped with a large bed, work desk, wide screen television and minibar. The spacious marble bathroom comes with a deep b.th and assorted toiletries.
The grounds of the hotel have as its main feature a large split-level swimming pool and sundecks surrounded by a secluded lush garden with mature trees and blooming flowers. Next to the pool is the casual al fresco bar and restaurant Summer Kitchen that serves simple but well made traditional Maltese and British favourites. Their roast beef and gherkin sandwich washed down with local brew Cisk on a sunny afternoon was the perfect cure for jetlag.
For fine dining the Villa Corinthia serves classic Maltese and Mediterranean cuisine served by immaculately dressed staff in the elegant covered courtyard of the hotel’s original villa. A quintessentially English afternoon tea is served every Sunday. The Summer Kitchen is perfect for lunch in the warm winter sun and serves light Mediterranean dishes as well as tasty dishes of salads and steaks.
The Orange Grove Brasserie offers a popular bistro menu. Half a dozen oysters with shallots & merlot vinegar followed by rabbit rillettes with peach and fig chutney was very impressive. For pre-dinner drinks head to the Caprice Lounge Bar for a smooth Singapore Sling in elegant surroundings. Open all day, the bar has an impressive cocktail list and is popular with visitors and locals alike.
An exotic addition to the Corinthia Palace Hotel & Spa’s impressive dining portfolio is the hotel’s Asian restaurant Rickshaw that serves traditional as well as fusion cuisine from Japan, Singapore, Thailand and China. Rickshaw produces its own signature Gyoza Japanese dumplings. The breakfast is a buffet continental style affair that is impressive in the sheer variety and quantity of the food on offer.
The hotel’s celebrated Athenaeum Spa has a heated indoor pool, a sauna and jacuzzi. The spa has a selection of extensive treatments from Thai to Shiatsu massages to traditional flotation therapies. The grounds of the hotel also feature a tennis court. There is a well equipped gym with a studio and regular fitness classes. The hotel also has an on-site hairdresser and beauty salon.
Business guests are well cared for. Located on the ground floor, overlooking the beautiful gardens, is the hotel’s newly-launched Executive Lounge that offers personalised facilities including a private terrace and the Mdina meeting room. Afternoon tea with homemade cakes and pastries is available daily in the Executive Lounge.
Double rooms from €95 in low season; up to €175 in high. Breakfast excluded.
Address: De Paule Avenue, San Anton, Malta
Phone: +356 21440301