On this island nation, you’re never too far from the gleaming turquoise waters of the Med. Whether you’re spending time sunbathing on the crystal-clear shores of Comino or visiting Valletta’s opulent palaces, you’ll leave with lasting memories. Our list includes some of the best places to stay in Malta, for care-free days in glorious surroundings.
Luxury hotels in Malta: sumptuous stays in the middle of the Mediterranean
Lap up the luxury in one of the capital's renovated palazzos
The Victorian palazzo of Casa Ellul is high on the list of the country’s top hotels. You’ll find this renovated boutique accommodation nestled in the streets of Valletta, Malta’s sandstone-coloured capital city. There are nine sleek suites, each masterminded by well-known architect Chris Briffa. His designs are complemented by striking restored patterned tiles, thought-provoking art and authentic antiques.
Wander around admiring the intricate wrought ironwork, artfully carved mouldings and flamboyant floral motifs. There are suites with traditional Maltese wooden balconies – book Suite 5 for one with a designer bathtub with views out towards the rounded cupola of the Basilica of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.
The owners of this labyrinthine hotel are wine merchants, so it’s no surprise that artisanal drinks are on offer. Sip on an elegant aperitif in the courtyard – a place the owners refer to as its ‘centrepiece’ – next to a statue of the Greek god Heracles. Or move up to the rooftop for panoramas over the church domes of Valletta on one side and the shimmering shores around Manoel Island on the other. These views provide a taste of the inspiring sights in store: highlights such as the 16th to 18th-century Grandmaster’s Palace are mere minutes away on foot.
All-inclusive luxury hotel in Malta beside the island's biggest sandy beach
Stay oceanside at db Seabank Resort + Spa, an all-inclusive resort where you can request a room with a sparkling view of the bright blue waters of Ghadira Bay, Malta’s biggest sandy beach. Top features include a 1,400-metre square lagoon pool and seven restaurants, so there’s plenty of space for a cooling dip and tempting cuisine to suit all tastes.
One of the top on-site eateries at db Seabank is El Rodizio Brazilian Restaurant. Book in here for tender churrasco meats prepared in classic South American style. You can also select sushi worth salivating over at L-Orjent Asian or take a seat under the tropical trees in the Jungle Restaurant, with its whooshing waterfalls and streams.
While the children are captivated by the kids’ club, parents can detox in the sauna and steam room. Discover soothing treatments such as the Mother of Pearl for a Polynesian massage coupled with a skin-softening coconut body scrub. Or you could escape for a few hours at the adults-only pool with a swim-up bar.
Reunited with the children, home comforts await in your room: two televisions, a balcony and air conditioning to keep little ones cool. Family spaces are decorated in cheerful blues and whites, with two sleeping areas split by sliding doors.
A five-star hotel with its own private rocky beach
Hotel Ta’Cenc & Spa is on the highest point of Gozo, with awe-inspiring views over sister islands mainland Malta and Comino. Set in a Special Area for Conservation, the stone-built complex is designed to blend in with its rugged environment – hence a lagoon-style pool edged by rocks and leafy green fronds. Swim from the outdoor section indoors to reach the airy spa with its heated Jacuzzi for a restful dip in the bubbling water.
Put a twist on your stay by sleeping in a Trullo, a rounded bungalow with a beehive-shaped roof. Each of these honey-coloured ground-floor spaces also has an en suite and patio for your exclusive use during your luxury holiday in Malta.
Return outdoors for al-fresco meals beneath a carob tree that dates back four centuries at Il Carrubo. The fare here is typically Mediterranean, with options such as truffle-flavoured veal and tomato-tinged calamari stew. Gozitan food is also served at the Kantra Beach Club, just steps away from the hotel’s private stretch of rocky coastline. Stay on theme by pairing your meal with a wine grown on the island, such as the Tanit Vermentino punctuated by aromas like sweet melon and peaches.
Hotel Ta' Cenc & Spa
A diving resort with an Ayurveda centre and spa
The Kempinski Hotel San Lawrenz is surrounded by 30,000 square metres of semi-tropical gardens. Find zen among the greenery or head to the Ayurveda Centre – one of the largest in the Med – for more of a helping hand to relax. Keralan staff administer South Asian treatments in a space furnished with artfully carved taila droni (‘oil vessel’) wooden beds shipped from India. Ayurveda treatments and European therapies are available at the spa, which also has a heated indoor pool. Afterwards, take a refreshing plunge – you’ll find three more pools outdoors, shaded by palm trees.
The hotel’s set in Gozo close to the island’s renowned scuba diving location, Dwejra Bay. Organise a lesson with the on-site PADI-certified Dive Centre to explore Gozo’s marine life and underwater caves – if you’re a novice, you can get your diving certificate here, too.
Submerge yourself in relaxing waters of a different kind in the light-filled bathroom of your Deluxe Junior Suite. These corner rooms are decorated in refined cream and terracotta tones. They also come complete with a spacious terrace, where you can lounge on a sunbed with views over the Dwejra Valley. Order room service or drop down a few floors to sample seafood delivered fresh by Gozo’s fishermen each morning at the Gazebo poolside restaurant.
Kempinski Hotel San Lawrenz
A luxury historical 1930s hotel with Valletta harbour views
Choose The Phoenicia Malta as your base in Malta’s capital and you could soon be perusing its exclusive collection of paintings by Maltese artist Edward Caruana Dingli. This colonnaded 1930s hotel is a short stroll from a waterfront flanked with contemporary bars and restaurants. Test eateries nearby or simply cosy up on the pink velvet chairs of the on-site Phoenix Restaurant for fine dining options such as confit pork neck with truffled white bean veloute and rabbit én gelee with Agen prunes.
Alternatively, opt for a laidback meal – think juicy beef burgers topped with gruyère cheese – next to the pastel green bar at Café Phoenicia. Afterwards, mosey over to the pool deck to relax on sun loungers with sweeping views over Valletta’s Marsamxett Harbour.
Harbour View Suites benefit from the same outlook and most have luxurious king-size beds to curl up on. They also have a separate sitting room with soft sofas for evening downtime. If you’d rather be outside as the sun sets and the stars come out, you’ll have not one but three of your own private balconies in a corner suite.
The Phoenicia Malta
Enjoy some R&R at a palatial Malta hotel
Settle down in Sliema at The Palace to balance a little R&R in the spa with nights out in the party-centric neighbourhood of St Julian’s nearby. Back at the hotel, you might want to spend most of your time at the refined rooftop pool – the highest point in the district, with glorious views out across the sparkling sea.
In the mornings, the blackout curtains in your soundproofed room are designed to help you sleep in for longer. These boutique spaces are all decorated in different themes, whether that’s in contemporary metallic tones or with retro floral wallpapers that will add panache to your social media.
Eateries at this hotel are defined by their irreverent names. Glide along the glossy checkerboard floor at The Tabloid restaurant for meals such as pan-seared duck or beef fillet with hazelnut crumble truffle mash. Or linger over afternoon tea with freshly made cucumber sandwiches – a nod to Malta’s British links – at the convivial Talk of Town Café. For ‘dessert’, amble across to the candlelit Marion Mizzi Spa and order the Chocolate Delight Massage, where therapists will relax your muscles while you breathe in the heady scent of cocoa.
AX The Palace Malta
A sumptuous hotel close to the airport for quick Maltese getaways
Within a 15-minute drive of the island’s airport, the refined Corinthia Palace Hotel & Spa is one of the best places to stay in Malta on a quick trip. Each elegant Executive Garden room, coloured in a mix of restful earthy tones, features a balcony, Nespresso coffee machine and ESPA toiletries. Upgrade to a suite for a separate lounge and dining room as well as a walk-in wardrobe – handy if you’ve overpacked.
The dedicated concierge is on hand to give recommendations on spots to visit around the archipelago. Travel to the Blue Lagoon by ferry for some of the clearest water in the world or wander around the dusky yellow streets of Mdina – the so-called Silent City. A courtesy bus service will take you to Sliema, where you can dive into the ‘Roman baths’ (which are thought to be Victorian), carved out of the seaside neighbourhood’s rocky coast.
Browse the on-site Charles & Ron boutique for Maltese-made luxury goods including leather bags and silky scarves, then change into your new outfit for dinner. You can sample Far East-influenced meals such as aromatic glazed duck at Rickshaw, washed down with a flavourful Thai cocktail. Or opt for the outdoor Summer Kitchen, where wood-fired pizzas are sprinkled with herbs grown by the pool.