Everyone in Malta knows where the Hilton is: locals quickly point to the impressive tower, a soaring landmark visible even from neighboring islands. What most don’t know is that the Hilton Malta is not actually located in the tower: it is situated, more exactly, in the Portomaso complex, extending from the base of the Portomaso Tower to encompass sprawling grounds that stretch to the beach in one direction, and a picturesque marina in another.
Dominating these meticulously landscaped grounds are no fewer than six swimming pools, including two kiddie pools, an adult infinity pool and an outdoor Jacuzzi. As if these were not enough, there is also a heated indoor pool, for one of those rare days of inclement weather on this sunny Mediterranean isle, or for those wishing to swim laps late at night.
None of these pools in the sunshine are far away from a bar serving alcoholic and non-alcoholic refreshment. There are four bars scattered around the Hilton premises — the same as the number of restaurants, serving a wide variety of local and international cuisines, and covering all meals of the day.
One particular culinary draw is the lushly decorated Blue Elephant, one of the international brand of acclaimed Thai restaurants. Occasionally, there will be a sumptuous barbecue served poolside. And if you’re lucky, it will be accompanied by a dedicated gin-and-tonic bar.
The pools and restaurants are plenty to keep guests occupied, but this only scratches the surface. The Hilton’s Beach Club and Dive Center can arrange a myriad of water sports in the open sea, while on land there is a tennis court, table tennis and even squash courts in the indoor health club, which boasts a state-of-the-art fitness center.
For those wishing to relax rather than — or after — play, the Myoka 5 Senses Spa offers more than 80 specialized wellness treatments, in addition to the sauna, steam room and Royal Hammam. And people traveling with family need not worry about the kids: the hotel has a fully equipped crèche.
Another place to relax — or do business — is the executive lounge, reserved for guests whose rooms are on the upper floors. Once again, even families are looked after here: a wide variety of board games is among the amenities.
Of course, the reason guests check into a hotel is to stay overnight; needless to say, in this regard the Hilton’s reputation precedes it, and this is one of the finest properties in the chain I have ever stayed in. It is also the largest, with 413 rooms, suites and even corporate apartments for longer stays.
With such a panoply of rooms to choose from, there is no reason to “settle.” All rooms have one of three views — garden view, marina view or sea view — and either king-sized beds or double queens, with extraordinarily comfortable mattresses. Naturally, they are all also furnished with everything you would expect in a Hilton: 40” smart TV, bathrobes and slippers, kettle for making coffee and tea, iron, a safe for storing valuables — the works.
While complimentary in-room Wi-Fi is now also a given at Hilton properties, there is one special perk here that definitely should not be taken for granted: free parking for hotel guests. This is especially convenient, since St. Julians is the hub of nightlife on Malta; and all of the area’s fine restaurants and glittering night clubs are a simple, pleasant stroll from the temporary home you will be tempted not to leave.
Published rates: Starting at €250 per night in low season and €350 in high season. Suites range from €350/€550 to €2500/€3500. Special packages including breakfast are available. Compare rates at Hotels.com or other booking sites.
Text and photos by Buzzy Gordon, who was a guest of the Malta Tourism Authority at The Hilton Malta. Additional photos courtesy of The Hilton Malta.