The Phoenicia by Andy Mossack
"Meester Rod Steewart, he is in park tonight next to hotel" exclaimed my enthusiastic taxi driver, whose grasp of English was patently better than any of my Maltese.
He also went on to tell me that the bus station was also next door to my hotel together with the majestic entrance to the ancient walled city of Valetta. In fact, The Phoenicia Hotel was perfectly positioned for just about everything in Valetta, including some simply breathtaking views of Ta Xbiex and Manoel Island.from the pool area at the end of the gorgeous garden terrace.
The Phoenicia is the oldest luxury hotel in Malta. Built in the late 30's and perched high up overlooking the harbour, the imposing building still retains an air of colonial grandeur whilst at the same time managing to provide some outstanding personal service that makes you feel a little bit special. Special enough for a host of celebrities to have stayed there including Rachel Weiss and Pierce Brosnan whilst none than HRH herself and various other political leaders have attended a goodly function or two.
Once part of the Forte empire, but now privately owned, The Phoenicia's 138 guest rooms are a glorious fusion of art deco and modern luxury including flat screen tv's, lavishly comfortable beds, soft robes, in-room tea and coffee and of course those great views.
The stand out point for me though was the quality of the food. There are three restaurants, the Pegasus Brasserie where you'll find informal contemporary Maltese and Italian fare, the signature Phoenix Restaurant where you can enjoy fine dining on the spectacular terrace overlooking the twinkling lights of the harbour below, and the Palm Court for light lunch snacks or just a relaxing coffee or tea or evening cocktails. The dishes are imaginative, freshly produced creations that embrace Maltese traditional cuisine with a twist. I also found the willingness to find me something off menu if required a refreshing and welcome experience in a world where 5 star hotel service can often get over stuffy and formal.
The Phoenicia also has a number of close associations with local suppliers to offer guests activities such as scuba diving, golf and historic tours without having the hassle of searching out for tried and trusted operators.
Malta does offer everything for a great holiday. It's one of most cost effective destinations in the Euro zone, English is an official language, there's plenty of nightlife in Sleima or St. Julians, more than enough antiquity and architecture for even the most hardened of scholars and simply glorious panaramic views of the Med.
If you're looking for a luxury stay with the kind of personal touch that will make it a home from home, then The Phoenicia will tick all the boxes for you.
Then of course, if you are lucky enough like me, to be there when Rod Stewart is playing in the park next door, you can just sit back on your balcony with a nice glass of wine and watch the whole show! Highly recommended.
Who is Andy Mossack?
You need to know one thing. Quality travel is in my DNA. I have written about places and people all over the world, some good and some bad, but the bottom line for me that a place has to have a signature. It has to have something about it that will be worth the effort of going there. I’ll inform, perhaps amuse, certainly educate and hopefully entertain. But above all, I’ll deliver a snapshot that will either give you that signature or leave it unsigned, and you know what that means... Andy has been writing about world travel destinations for over 10 years and during that time has experienced his fair share of highs and lows. Never one to shirk his responsibilities, he always delivers insightful, honest pieces that just simply tell it like it is.