Where to Stay in Malta for a Local Experience

Malta is packed with buzzing nightclubs, golden sand beaches and the world’s oldest megalithic temples
Malta is packed with buzzing nightclubs, golden sand beaches and the world’s oldest megalithic temples | Courtesy of 66 Saint Paul's and Spa / Expedia.com
Lucie Grace

At the crossroads of Europe and North Africa, Malta’s unusual history has seen a string of conquerors come and go over the millennia, each leaving their imprint. Today, the island is a sublimely rich, cultural melting pot of language and traditions, not to mention seafaring symbolism. Dig in deep to the petite country’s culture by picking one neighbourhood to call home on your return stay. No doubt, Malta will have you coming back, year on year.

1. The Phoenicia


A grand dining room at The Phoenicia with white-cloth tables, red and blue chairs and a chandelier
Courtesy of the Phoenicia / Expedia.com

Undeniably one of Malta’s finest heritage hotels, the Phoenicia is a local institution. Its sprawling gardens and luxurious infinity pool nuzzle the city walls of Valletta in the capital’s sister suburb, Floriana. If the exquisite hotel bar doesn’t capture you, head over to one of Floriana’s band clubs, Il-Gazin Vilhena, an intimate bar that will transport you back to the 1970s in the best possible way.

2. 1926 Hotel and Spa

Boutique Hotel, Resort, Luxury

A modern guestroom at 1926 Hotel & Spa with a fake-fur rug, double bed and a Scandi-style chair and desk
Courtesy of 1926 Hotel and Spa / Expedia.com

On the beautiful Quisisana coast of Sliema, this chic, modern hotel has its own beach club for those who prefer a dip in the sea, or divine infinity pools for the less intrepid swimmers. Walk the length of Sliema’s coast to the local’s favourite pizza restaurant, Piccolo Padre, and be sure to ask for a table on the balcony overlooking the bay.

3. The Waterfront Hotel


A pool area at The Waterfront Hotel has white parasols, sofa seating and views over the Mediterranean Sea
Courtesy of the Waterfront Hotel / Expedia.com

This chic hotel is perched on the shoreline of Marsamxett Harbour’s waterfront, gazing out over Gżira and picturesque Manoel Island. Boasting a heated indoor pool and an in-house restaurant that honours Maltese culinary traditions while adopting a modern flavour, the Waterfront is ideally located for a visit to Manoel Island. Be sure to pop into Funky Monkey to mingle with a cool young crowd until the small hours.

4. Solana Hotel and Spa

Spa Hotel

An outside swimming area at Solana Hotel & Spa with two pools and city views
Courtesy of Solana Hotel and Spa / Expedia.com

Located in downtown Mellieha, a short drive from Malta’s best beaches, this central property offers rooms, suites and apartments with contemporary interior design and views across the bay. Mellieha locals are unlikely to tell you about the tiny secret beach, Selmun (also known as Imġiebaħ Bay), whose remote sands require a well-rewarded hike to find. Don’t say you heard it from us.

5. Dolmen Hotel Malta


A modern dining space at Dolmen Hotel Malta with an open ceiling, light-wood furniture and hanging lights
Courtesy of Dolmen Hotel Malta / Expedia.com

The Dolmen has been welcoming guests to St Paul’s Bay for generations. Its chic redesign presents light, modern rooms for a young crowd to enjoy alongside the fun bars, decadent spa, diverse restaurant, gargantuan infinity pool and adjoining casino. The humble beach bar, Ta Fra Ben, is a neighbourhood favourite where you’ll want to watch the sunset night after night.

6. H Hotel

Boutique Hotel, Luxury

A luxurious guestroom at H Hotel with dark-marble floors, a round bed, and an attached patio with a hot tub
Courtesy of H Hotel / Expedia.com

The eccentric, decadent design in this boutique hotel sets a scene of pure opulence for your stay in St George’s Bay. Whether you select one of the suites with a private jacuzzi or find yourself whiling away the small hours in Rocco’s Whiskey Lounge, H Hotel will not disappoint. If you want to keep experiencing the unusual, go for a climb in neighbouring Pembroke barracks, whose ruins are perfect for an Instagram photo shoot.

7. Barrakka Suites


A cosy-looking guestroom at Barrakka Suites with a worn-stone wall, double bed, and striped chair
Courtesy of Barrakka Suites / Expedia.com

If you want to know where to stay in Malta for a weekend, these charming apartments in the heart of Valletta are perfect. With cool, crisp design – certain to please the discerning millennial eye – each of the Barrakka suites comes with home comforts including your own kitchen and television area. Pop out to Cafe Society, one of the city’s pioneering bars, to mix with the locals for music and the highest quality beverages in town.

8. 66 Saint Paul's and Spa


A courtyard dining space at 66 Saint Pauls & Spa with stone walls, a fountain at one end, and grey seating
Courtesy of 66 Saint Paul's and Spa / Expedia.com

One of Valletta’s finest boutique hotels, 66 Saint Paul’s was originally a glorious old palazzo. From minimalist, slick design to the rooftop pool and on-site spa, you’ll be utterly pampered after wandering the city. If you can drag yourself away, be sure to dine in Trattoria Romana Zero Sei, one of the island’s best Italian restaurants, tucked away from the crowds.

9. The Maltese Sun

Boutique Hotel

A row of townhouses with primary-coloured doors and window shutters, in the middle sits The Maltese Sun hotel
Courtesy of the Maltese Sun / Expedia.com

Quartered across a row of charming townhouses, this adorable guesthouse will give you an authentic slice of Sliema living. The attractive interiors, full of layered textures and patterns, provide a home-from-home feel. If a dip in the sea is not your thing, hang out with the locals at Neptunes Waterpolo Club – the freshwater pool is one of the best in Malta.

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