Last year, more than 2.3 million tourists visited Malta, an almost 100% increase over the 1.2 million who visited in 2009. That stat alone indicates there must be something special about this Mediterranean archipelago that’s drawing the attention of travelers worldwide. With such strong growth in the tourism sector, it makes perfect sense that a diverse line-up of luxury hotels would spring up to accommodate the increasing demand for 5-star hospitality.
While some of the best hotels are located a decent drive from the city, that makes for plenty of peaceful options with overcrowding being rare, even at the finest resorts. From the bustling nightlife of St. Julian and Paceville to the serene sunsets of the Blue Lagoon, a Maltese holiday can provide an ideal luxury getaway for every kind of tourist. With that said, here are the top five luxury hotels in Malta that you’ll want to base your 5-star comparison on.
5. Xara Palace
Xara Palace possesses an elegant antique charm without compromising the convenience and luxury of modern amenities, facilities, and design. Constructed in the 17th century, the palace has managed to keep a royal and legendary appearance even after being upgraded numerous times in recent decades. This is also one of the more exclusive options with a smaller number of suites and rooms, so booking ahead is absolutely essential if you plan on staying here during the season.
4. Kempinski San Lawrenz
The Kempinski San Lawrenz is known as one of the more comfortable and quiet 5-star resorts in Malta, located on the more rural island of Gozo. The pool area is massive and magnificent, with multiple uniquely shaped pools adorned by a lush landscaping of palm trees and exotic shrubs. Despite having such amazing facilities and features, there’s enough room to go around and this resort is rarely ever crowded or noisy, making it a perfect destination for families or elderly visitors who want to enjoy their holiday in peace.
3. Casa Ellul
If you want to stay within the capital itself, Casa Ellul is perhaps your best 5-star option, located on the prestigious north side of Valletta. This is easily one of the city’s most popular and praised hospitality venues, and for good reason – the interior design, accommodations, location, and vibe of the place are second to none in the area. Casa Ellul lives up to its “casa” preceded name with cozy suites that have an organic hominess to them while still retaining the unmistakable look and feel of luxury. The downside is that the sounds of the city are often audible from inside, but this is to be expected from such an urban location, and it’s an ideal choice for travelers who prefer to be within easy walking distance of everything.
2. Grand Hotel Excelsior
The Grand Hotel Excelsior is a 10-floor mega resort conveniently perched along the shore of the Marsamxett Harbor, just outside Malta’s capital city Valletta. In fact, one of the biggest advantages of staying here is being a short walk from Valletta’s abundance of 5-star restaurants. Alternatively, you can eat great just by staying at the resort thanks to their International Buffet Dinners and attached Tiki Bar that features locally grown fruits and vegetables, as well as local specialty cuisine for an authentic Maltese experience. There isn’t a sandy beach to sink your toes into, but there are steps that descend into the sea and you can swim there, although you could easily drive or catch a bus to a nearby beach.
1. Westin Dragonara
The Westin Dragonara Resort is the epitome of 5-star hospitality, with a highly decorated and detailed modern interior, a massive palm tree-lined outdoor pool area, an indoor pool, and integrated gym facilities. This place isn’t for travelers on a budget, but you really do get what you pay for. The location is another perk — just a short walk from the center of St. Julian, where you’ll find plenty of shopping, dining, entertainment, and club venues. This resort has topped the list of 5-star Maltese hotels for a while, but in recent years, additional establishments have entered the competition in busier areas. For an always-current comparison, MaltaUncovered has an updated list of the best hotels in Malta.
The Best 4-Star Options Worth Mentioning
While you might be leaning towards an extravagant and over-the-top 5-star hotel, you may want to consider the lower ranked 4-star venues as well. Sometimes, 4-star resorts are comparable to their 5-star counterparts in most ways, yet considerably more affordable. Furthermore, a hotel that is classified as a 4-star venue this year could easily graduate to 5-star status with a change in ratings or a few upgrades and renovations. Top 4-star options to consider in Malta include Hugo’s Boutique Hotel, Ramla Bay Resort, Salini Resort, Parklane Aparthotel, Golden Tip Vivaldi Hotel, and Argento Hotel.