WHAT'S IT LIKE? Valletta’s newest five-star hotel opened in 2007 and was designed with the conferences and meetings market in mind. From the outside, the hotel looks a little like a cruise ship, and it has a sweeping aquamarine swimming pool.
WHERE IS IT? Next to the bastion walls of Valletta on Great Siege Road in Floriana, a five-minute walk to the city centre and its businesses.
ROOM FACILITIES Both the rooms and the public areas are traditional in style, with dark wood furnishings and carpets, giving the hotel the air of having been around for 20 years rather than 20 months. So it comes as a surprise that there is good technology – free wireless internet access, multi-channel LCD TVs, data ports, and direct-dial telephones with speakers and voicemail. Rooms also come with a minibar, robe and slippers, air conditioning, a safe, tea and coffee-making facilities, and a spacious bathroom.
RESTAURANTS AND BARS Admiral’s Landing is the main restaurant and has buffet options for breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as à la carte choices. Spice Island offers Mediterranean, South East Asian, Middle Eastern and Caribbean cuisine, with live cooking stations and an outstanding Sunday lunch – book well in advance. In summer, there is also the Yacht Club, open 10am-6pm for light dining and located next to the pool and private marina.
BUSINESS AND MEETING FACILITIES The hotel’s ballroom on the seventh floor has outstanding views of Marsamxett harbour and can accommodate up to 1,000 people reception-style. There is also a business centre on the seventh floor and ten meeting venues, including the Piazza Marina with outdoor pool deck.
LEISURE FACILITIES There is a large spa with indoor pool on level one, a private marina and a gym.
ROOM HIGHLIGHTS The balconies overlooking the harbour (which most rooms have), ergonomic work chairs, tables and free wifi internet.
HOW MANY ROOMS? There are 439 over ten floors in three categories – Deluxe, Executive and suite.
PRICE Internet rates for a midweek stay in March started from E108 for a Deluxe room.
CONTACT Grand Hotel Excelsior, Great Siege Road; tel +356 2125 0520; excelsior.com.mt
VERDICT A very traditional hotel with friendly staff. The location and views of the sea are a real draw.