When we decided to visit Malta for our family summer holiday, our attention turned to where to stay. We identified a shortlist of luxury hotels including the Intercontinental Malta, Westin Dragonara, Corinthia Hotel St Georges Bay, Radisson Blu Golden Sands and the Hilton Malta.
As we had elite status and points to redeem at both the Hilton and the Radisson this narrowed our search down and after hours researching all of the hotels above, we felt that the Hilton Malta was the best option for families.
We were right. The Hilton Malta is a luxury hotel geared toward families in every way – fantastic rooms, five swimming pools, four bars, three restaurants with child friendly menus, immaculate gardens and a wide range of activities on offer.
This will be one of the finest Hilton hotels that you will visit anywhere in the world and after checking out the other hotels on our shortlist when we were in Malta, we were so happy with our choice. Once we had checked in, we honestly didn’t want to check out 7 days later – the Hilton Malta is perfect for all the family.
This is our review of the Hilton Malta
After an early morning start and a 3 ½ hour flight from Cardiff, coupled with the fact that we didn’t go to bed until the early hours of the morning, (thanks to last minute repacking because of the small print when flying Ryanair) we were looking forward to getting to the hotel and relaxing in the Maltese sun.
Your Hilton Malta experience starts as soon as you step out of your taxi from the airport (just 20 minutes away approx. 20-25 euro) and your luggage is whisked away by the friendly bellman.
The sandstone exterior of the Hilton reminded me of an Arabian fortress and oozes luxury in a beautiful setting and made for a great first impression. Located in the upmarket Portomaso area of St Julians, with views of the multi-million pound yachts moored in the marina below.
With a stylish white and cream colour scheme, polished marble floors, grand chandeliers and lots of comfortable contemporary seating, the lobby felt more of a Conrad than your typical Hilton. The hotel opened in 2000 but was totally refurbished in 2016 and if this style represents the next generation of Hilton hotels, then we really like it.
As part of the Hilton Disney promotion to promote Toy Story 4, the girls were given a goody box on check-in which included a beach ball and a fun treasure hunt of things to discover around the hotel. When they completed it they were rewarded with an ice cream treat – more on that later.
The hotel has 413 rooms across the following different categories – standard, executive and suites which have recently been renovated so are all very impressive.
We stayed in an executive room on the 8th floor which was spacious, luxurious and the perfect choice for a family when visiting Malta.
Our room had all the mod cons that you would expect from a five star hotel including:
- Large flat screen television with more English channels than we have found at many UK hotels!
- Air conditioning
- A minibar with daily complimentary 2 bottles of still water for Hilton Gold/Diamond guests
- A large safe (that could fit a laptop), iron and ironing board
- Tea making facilities along with a selection of magazines.
What caught our attention as soon as we entered the room were the gorgeous views from our balcony towards the pools and the sparkling Mediterranean Sea.
The large balcony was one of my favourite parts of our room, where we would sit in the evening and relax whilst the girls were happy to take advantage of the hotels free WiFi for their iPads (although signal strength was a little disappointing) and taking control of the kids’ channels on our large flat screen TV.
The fresh, modern, contemporary and stylish feel to the interiors with its cool blue and white colour palette brought the Mediterranean indoors. I really like the Maltese inspired design touches that have been cleverly incorporated into the room and works well against the modern white furniture and cool geometric patterns on the walls.
Shortly after we arrived in our room, room service brought in our welcome gift for executive level guests consisting of two platters of cakes and fruit, which was a lovely welcome to the hotel.
Our two comfortable queen size beds were turned down each night and the gorgeous soft white snuggly duvet, super soft bed linen and the pillow menu, where you could choose your perfect pillow, ensured we all had a great night’s sleep.
Beside the beds and throughout our room were plenty of USB ports and electrical sockets (Malta use the English electrical system so no need for travel adapters) which is essential for families these days with so many pieces of technology to charge.
The bathroom was spacious, modern and stylish in keeping with the trend of the hotel. I really liked the large illuminated mirror and the fact that the bathroom had plenty of storage, ensuring that the countertops were clutter free.
On the bathroom shelf was a plentiful supply of the standard range of Hilton Crabtree and Evelyn toiletries. Also in the room were white fluffy bathrobes including child sized ones aged appropriate for the girls.
The cleanliness of the room was superb and the children enjoyed the attention to detail from the daily towel art to the gifts left for us on certain days during our stay.
One of the biggest perks of our stay was the impressive executive lounge on the 9th floor available to guests staying in an executive room or if you hold Hilton Diamond status.
We have visited some good hotel lounges over the years but the lounge at the Hilton Malta is one of the most impressive and really family-friendly so it’s definitely worth upgrading to the executive level rooms if you can.
Throughout the day, we could come in to relax, and enjoy complimentary soft drinks, water and hot drinks.
Afternoon Tea between 3pm – 5pm offered a selection of teas, coffees, soft drinks and a choice of freshly made sandwiches, cookies, cakes, scones and jam.
The girls really loved it here as did my husband and I as it was a nice respite from the sun. Chloe and Holly were treated to their own selection of handmade treats such as scones and jam, chocolate cake etc as they sat overlooking the sea.
In the evening between 6pm – 8pm a selection of canapes and drinks were available, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic, and it was a great place to start our evening with pre-dinner drinks.
In addition, all staff members in the executive lounge were incredibly knowledgeable and welcoming – it was like having your own personal Malta guide at your disposal.
The value of what you receive as an Executive Level guests more than exceeds the upgrade cost, so if there are rooms available then it’s worth looking at the cost difference to upgrade.
As a family we all have our wish lists of what we want from our hotel stays, and for the kids their no1 choice is always a good pool and the five pools on offer didn’t disappoint.
On our first morning in Malta, the girls were up bright and early as they couldn’t wait to dive straight into the pools and have fun.
The Instagram-worthy main saltwater pool was where we spent a lot of our time, with our giant inflatable swan we bought from a nearby store. It was zero-entry so it’s perfect for younger children and it was great that the hotel allowed inflatables into this pool as the girls in particular had hours of fun here.
The pool at the beach club (another one of the five pools to choose from) was my personal favourite, not only was it much quieter than the main pool it also had amazing sea views where I could watch the cruise ships come into port at nearby Valletta.
At the poolside, staff were always on hand to take drinks or food orders from the poolside restaurant. The girls got it down to a fine art, all they had to do was press the button on their umbrella which would call the server and shortly after they would be enjoying their favourite lunchtime meal, freshly cooked pizza and chips by the pool.
Even though it was peak visitor season we never have had a problem with locating a sun lounger or umbrella at the pool as there were always plenty available (although for a luxury hotel they should really have been padded).
Apart from the adult only pool, kids are welcome everywhere – it’s a really family friendly hotel so no restaurant, executive lounge or activity is off limits.
We wandered along the seafront next to the beach club (Malta has few sandy beaches so it’s very rocky) to a quiet spot for a swim in the Mediterranean Sea which was another high point.
It’s these little memories that make family holidays so important to me.
When it comes to choosing a hotel in Malta, if you are looking for the best, then the Hilton Malta is by far my favourite. We will definitely return.
There are several restaurants here offering something for everyone, ranging from casual poolside dining to formal dining to grab and go options at the Lobby Lounge. I would highly recommend taking the kids to have some of their delicious ice cream here (especially if you complete their treasure hunt given to kids on check-in) and enjoying the views from the 180-degree terrace overlooking the pools.
Both breakfast and the buffet dinner is served buffet style at the elegant Oceana restaurant, featuring an open kitchen which enables you to watch the chefs prepare your meals in front of you. It was so nice to enjoy our meals al-fresco on the terrace overlooking the pools or within the chic surrounding of the restaurant.
Starting with breakfast, we were greeted upon arrival with a beautiful buffet selection which awaited us, with lots of options from hot cooked breakfast to small pastries, a gluten free section, fresh fruit, yogurts and cereals.
The chefs at the live cooking stations created omelettes and eggs to order and a separate waffle and pancake station which was a favourite stop off for both Chloe and Holly.
As we had executive lounge access we could have had breakfast there but we would have missed out on the many fun touches the hotel offers children at breakfast.
They have their own breakfast kid’s corner and a highlight for the girls were the iced doughnuts and the balloon modeller who would be able to cleverly craft what the girls thought up each morning ranging from rugby balls to dolphins.
Once more the level of service received during breakfast was exceptional and this high level of customer service is a credit to the hotel management because it really does make a difference to your stay.
We dined at the Oceana Restaurant several evening during our stay, and each night featured an impressive themed buffet ranging from BBQ, Latin to Italian.
The quality of the food here is excellent, in fact it was some of the best that we have experienced on our travels especially for the children. You can also use your half board allowance (25 euro per person) toward the a la carte menu at Oceana.
One of our most memorable meals was at the hotels Blue Elephant restaurant, one of the top rated places to dine in Malta. The theming inside was excellent and as soon as we stepped inside it felt as though we had been transported to Thailand with its waterfalls, bridges and a setting designed like a Thai village.
The food here was equally as impressive and really family-friendly. The meals were served family style for everyone to share which was a great way for us to try new dishes and the fancy non-alcoholic cocktails were a big hit with both Chloe and Holly.
We chose to dine out three nights of our stay and within walking distance of the Hilton. You are spoilt for choice for family friendly restaurants ranging from chains such as Hard Rock Café and Planet Hollywood to local independent restaurants.
We let the girls pick and dined at Hard Rock Café and then on to an amazing family friendly Italian recommended by the concierge called ‘The Avenue’ just a 5 minute walk from the Hilton.
The hotel is more like a resort with the impressive amount of facilities available ranging from the enormous Myoka 5 Senses Spa with 10 themed treatment rooms, sauna, steam room, gym, water sports, squash and tennis courts.
Within the hotel were a number of shops, bars and beautiful public areas. One of my favourites was the Quarterdeck bar overlooking the yachts in the marina below.
There was a small children’s outdoor playground and a kids club running during the summer months (for kids 6 – 12 year old) it’s pretty low key. The only negative from a children’s perspective was the lack of kids entertainment at night. The girls kept asking if there was going to be a mini disco, and this would have been a lovely way to round off our fun filled days.
What we did
We happily spent the majority of our time at the hotel, especially as the girls enjoyed the pools so much, but we did manage to coax them away so we could explore Malta.
I really didn’t know what to expect from a visit to Malta before we arrived on the island apart from warm sunny weather is guaranteed but it’s such a beautiful destination and the Hilton is a great base to explore the island. We visited Mosta and its famous Mosta Dome the third largest in Europe before heading into the ancient walled city of Mdina.
If it looks familiar from the photos it was also the filming location for Westeros in the Game of Thrones TV series. This was one of my favourite days away from the hotel as we explored Mdina, it’s such a beautiful place with so much history. Popeye Village in the North of the Island is also worth visiting with kids, built for the Disney movie in the 80’s starring Robin Williams and is now a family friendly attraction.
The capital Valletta (20 minute drive from the hotel) was one of my favourite days out, like Mdina there is so much history to see here and the architecture of the buildings is equally as impressive.
As you know from our other trips we like a little retail therapy and shopping and the hotel concierge recommended that Sliema (10 minute drive away) was the best place for shopping in Malta.
Shopping in Malta is like shopping in the UK but with the sun as many of the stores that you’ll find in the UK are here including Debenhams, Next, M&S etc along with some of the girls favourites Zara, Flying Tiger and a new Korean store Mumuso – the first one in Europe which was full of cool products and was a big hit with both Chloe and Holly as they stocked up with their products.
We had such a wonderful family holiday here in Malta, we could have easily have spent another few days here as none of us wanted to leave.
If you are looking for a luxury family friendly hotel in Malta in a great location, then the Hilton Malta will be very hard to beat and I highly recommend it. We can’t wait to return.
We booked direct at the Hilton Malta and used a combination of points and cash for our stay. As one of the leading hotels on the island rates can be high but there are some great points redemption’s available starting from just 60,000 Hilton points per night for a family room and when the Hilton run sale events rooms can be secured for just over 200 euro per night which is good value.