Offering comfortable accommodations and with a fantastic roof top pool, Hotel Juliani is perfect for those looking to be in middle of Malta's action.
While sitting in Palermo, Sicily we were trying to figure out where we would head to next. We weren't ready to give up the beach life quite yet and although Spain was calling our name, we were looking for somewhere else to visit first. That's when Malta entered our radar. One quick google search and it was decided, we would spend a week in Malta playing in the bright blue water and discovering the beauty of this ancient area.
Once ruled by the Greeks, Phoenicians, Romans, Muslims, French, British and Spanish, the island of Malta is not short on historical sites. There are ancient ruins to see, beautiful old structures and of course, bright turquoise waters. The once revolving door of rulers is closed and Malta is now part of the European Union, making travel to this paradise very easy and a slightly exotic destination for Europeans. The area itself is a beautiful mixture of Mediterranean and Italian influence, no doubt from it's proximity to Sicily, and the vibe is just relaxed and cool.
For our stay, we wanted to be in one of the livelier towns, close to the water and with easy access to Valetta. We settled on this great little boutique hotel, Hotel Juliani, right on the waters edge.
All About Location
The location of Hotel Juliani, couldn’t have been better. Tucked away in plain sight, the hotel is located right on the edge of Spinola Bay in St. Julians. One look around and you will realize you're in the center of a hip little beach town. Women walk by in bikini tops and jean shorts and the dress code for men, is mostly board shorts and flip flops. It's like my hometown San Diego, yet with that European edge.
Right outside of the hotel lobby is a bus stop, that can take you anywhere you need to go on the island. It’s perfect for a day trip to Valetta and some of the other surrounding areas. Now typically I’m not really a fan of public transportation, especially bus’s but these are different. They are clean, well kept and come by every 15 minutes. Totally convenient and worth it!
Simple & Peaceful Luxury
We stayed in a sea view deluxe room facing the water - which you absolutely have to do. Several nights we would just sit on our balcony with a bottle of wine and watch all the commotion unwind in front of us. As soon as the door shut, you couldnt hear a peep. You would never know, countless party busses were passing by with music blaring.
Our room had all the usuals, including a large bathroom, small desk area and seating area. The colors were mostly turquoise and black & white, giving it a beach vibe. The rooms were a little bit outdated, but the views made up for it!
During our stay, the hotel was in the process of renovating their rooms, and we missed the newly decorated rooms by about a week! But we were able to get a sneak peak of the new look…and wow the style is fantastic! Playing off the hotels color palette of turquoise and white, additions of fun patterns are all intertwined. The result is a very chic and posh environment. This new makeover is a winning combination of chic and good design. In addition to the rooms, the hotel is adding some communal space, perfect for private meetings as well a a state of the art fitness area. I can’t wait to come back and see the final results!
Asian Fusion at Zest
I never expected to travel to the Mediterranean and taste some of the best Asian food I have had. Now we tend to stay away from restaurants that offer multiple types of “Asian” cuisine…How is it possible for someone to have great Balinese food, Sushi and Thai all in one place. Well at Zest, they break the rules. They hire the best chefs in the area, who specialize in specific cuisines and when they come together they create pure magic, giving us guests a fantastic option to Mediterranean/Italian cuisine.
The restaurant itself is on the second floor of the hotel overlooking the town and the vibe is completely modern - very different than the rest of the hotel. The staff is incredibly friendly and knowledgeable and well the food...it's just delicious!
We had a tasting menu that somehow managed to include all my favorite Asian dishes. We had sushi, duck, pad thai and a trio of curries. The food all tasted very authentic but with a bit of creative influence. I love it when a chef can give new life into typical dishes. At around 50 Euro a person the price was very reasonable. Even if you aren't staying at Hotel Juliani, Zest is definitely worth a visit.
What to do
Malta is full of so many great things to see and do. You can spend your days visiting old, yet historical ruins (we're talking 1000BC old), wander around the narrow streets of Valetta, gawk at all the colorful windows and of course bask in the sun. A few days we took the ferry across to Valetta where we ventured into a few grand churches, but mostly got lost in the "baroqueness" of it all.
Now the hotel is located right on the water, but there really isn't a beach, or place to lounge. So on days when it was too hot, we headed up to the roof top pool and enjoyed negronis poolside. On Thursday evenings they had live music on the roof top and a great happy hour to take advantage of, so you can guess where we were.
Overall Hotel Juliani was a perfect home base to explore the island. It was romantic, charming, served delicious food and I loved that we were in the middle of it all - with plenty of privacy!
For more information about Hotel Juliani make sure to visit their website: