Travel Review: VIP Malta
If you’re looking for an early summer holiday offering sunshine, great food and wine and some fascinating sightseeing, Malta could be just for you.
We’ve just come back from a four-day trip to the Mediterranean Island with gorgeous suntans and some happy memories after living the VIP lifestyle at the sumptuously five star Corinthia Hotel, St George’s Bay. This hotel has great facilities, really friendly staff and a very cool vibe. It is also ideally situated to explore everything Malta has to offer and we reckon there are lots of cultural and culinary treasures which definitely warrant a visit.
So, where to start? We absolutely loved the Drappier Carte D’or champagne in the Corinthia’s stylish Pearl Lounge cocktail bar.
At 12 Euros per glass, this refined Champagne didn’t break the bank and we’ll be ordering a case now we’re back in London. Sipping some bubbles proved the perfect way to unwind in the evening after a hard day spent reclining in our bikinis beside the hotel’s cascading outdoor pool complex which flows all the way down to a private beach lido. Check out these pics we took of the three outdoor pools:
There’s also a really cute indoor pool which is part of the hotel’s cosy Apollo day spa and leisure complex.
Making the most of the spa, we treated ourselves to treatments including a soothing chocolate wrap which left our skin silky smooth. The hour-long treatments were reasonably priced too at 50 Euros and the spa is of a standard you’d expect from a five star hotel. The treatment rooms had bamboo on the walls, soft music and soft massage beds with thick warm towels – if our rooms weren’t so comfortable we’d have happily slept there at night!
The 249-room hotel also has great restaurants, in particular the stylish Caviar and Bull where we washed down scallops, black squid ink calamari and salt-encrusted sea bass with mojitos and Maltese red wine (surprisingly tasty!) This restaurant is set in front of the hotel complex and benefits from breath-taking sea views – the perfect backdrop for a girlie dinner or a romantic meal with your partner.
Weather-wise we were lucky as the sun was shining for most of the time, hence Zoe came home as brown as a berry. But when it was cloudy we took a taxi into Malta’s capital city, Valletta. If you’re looking to tick the culture box when you’re on holiday, the sixteenth century St John’s Co-Cathedral is a must visit. This church is beautifully ornate while its paintings and decorations tell the dramatic story of Malta’s amazing history including the island’s role in the Crusades and the advance of the Ottoman Empire.
The hotel concierge can suggest extra things during the trip and we found all the staff at The Corinthia went the extra mile to ensure we got what we wanted. Every day, there’s a special activity for hotel guests – a chance to learn how to make Maltese jewellery, a complimentary massage lesson or a walk into the capital city. There’s a shuttle bus from the hotel in St George’s bay to Valletta, which takes around 15 mins, and they’ll take you and collect you for free. Valletta’s the European Capital of Culture in 2018 so if you don’t have a look around, you’ll regret it.
All this sun and sea and sightseeing caused us to work up an appetite, but we’re not the sort of people that can eat anywhere. Nothing disappoints us more than tourist rip-off restaurants and so we did some pre-holiday research. I’m happy to report that we chose some great places as we found a little gem in Rampila, an intimate, charming little eaterie set inside 500-year-old castle ramparts which were built by the Knights of St John. You can see the fortress walls if you dine al fresco on the terrace.
Going down the original stone stairs from the street we descended, a little warily, into a tunnel which led to the most atmospheric dining area.
The waiters were absolutely charming and spoke perfect English while the menu was truly international in flavour, combining Italian, French and North African influences. A little guiltily the VIP team found the rabbit dishes simply too tasty to pass up. Sorry Thumper! Even on a slightly chilly March evening Rampila proved a delightful venue. Be sure to book a table if you visit Valletta as you won’t be disappointed.
Michael’s at the Civil Service Sports Club is another restaurant you could consider. The entrance took our breath away!
The setting is a wonderful stone building while just inside the front door is a really tempting table of freshly caught fish including delicious-looking red snapper. Presentation in this place is out of this world with a mzckerel and salmon starter a particular highlight.
Michael turned out to be the restaurant’s head chef and master of ceremonies, going from table to table ensuring we were enjoying our mains of curried monkfish and salmon pasta. He gave us stories and anecdotes about Maltese life and history, fuelling us up in more ways than one for another day of adventure in Malta.
All said we loved Malta and think you will too. The Corinthia – which is part of a hotel group which includes the luxurious Corinthia hotel on London’s Embankment – would be a wonderful setting for your holiday whatever the time of year. Visit The Corinthia Website now to get the best available rate and to see What’s On at the hotel in terms of activities.