Upon arriving in Malta I felt we had been transported to a world gone by. En route to the Corinthia Palace Hotel and Spa we whizzed past ancient 16th-century palazzos, Valletta, a Unesco World Heritage city and a country relatively untouched from modern changes with the exception of cars. Maltese citizens have built a bustling life around the history of this small country. Beautiful and picturesque with views all around of the pristine waters of the Mediterranean, reminding you regularly just how lucky you are to be here.
Pulling up to the five-star Corinthia Palace Hotel and Spa, once a private villa in the 19th-century, it exudes elegance (and didn’t hurt that the Malta Classic was happening while we were there where vintage cars were perched out front.) The villa was scooped up by the Pisani family in the early 1960s slowly making its way from family villa to a restaurant to its present day state as a 150-room luxury resort, making it the first in the extensive global Corinthia portfolio.
The location could not be more optimal, right across from President’s San Anton Palace where lush gardens filled with an array of brightly colored flowers, fountains, even a hedge maze are open to the public and a few dozen quite charismatic free-range peacocks. From the Corinthia we could access just about any point in the country with ease, a brief 15-minute drive to the ferry to Gozo or a 45-minute drive over to Valletta. The hotel though, while situated in the middle of a busy city, is actually one of the most tranquil of places I’ve been in quite some time.
I had this overwhelming sense of calmness while there. Greeted with a bubbly cocktail, up the elevator I went to my spacious room – which each and every single room has a balcony – a huge win for anyone who loves to enjoy coffee in the morning or an evening read outside before heading to bed like I do and how many hotels have you stayed in where you’re guaranteed to have a balcony?!
The Corinthia Palace property is quite expansive allowing us ample places to get lost in while there. I being the pool aficionado that I am immediately slipped on my suit and went out to enjoy the beautiful, large pool on the property, which with two levels in the shape of the Neolithic Hagar Qim temple is best summed up in one phrase … ħafna jibred. Maltese for very cool.
Noshing at Corinthia Palace:
While we did a significant amount of eating our way across the country we were able to enjoy leisurely breakfasts each morning before we headed out for our adventures. As I knew we’d be eating quite a bit and far too often during the day so most days I’d start with a light breakfast of fruit from room service and a fresh coffee on one of the many patios on the property.
The weather is quite lovely all year long so we took advantage of that every chance we got from a nightcap on the back patio that opens up just outside of the Caprice Lounge Bar to enjoying the last few days of their outdoor Summer Kitchen with a homemade pizza and a glass of Maltese wine. Though one of the best meals we had was enjoyed at the Villa Corinthia, which was the courtyard of the original villa. The meal was exquisite, a flavorful Maltese ensemble of dishes always paired with local wine and finished off with Maltese coffee – a rather unique coffee made with chicory cloves and aniseed – definitely an acquired taste but a must give it a try.
I think it’s safe to say that I’ll be back again!
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