The best five-star hotels in Malta and Gozo, including private beaches and harbour-view infinity pools

Advice

These are unusual times, and the state of affairs can change quickly. Please check the latest travel guidance before making your journey. Some of these hotels were visited pre-pandemic.

From an iconic Art Deco grand dame, to the latest boutique address; a quiet, classic inland retreat, to a beachside, all-facilities, no-need-to-leave resort, Malta has five-star quality to match all tastes. Along with its sister island, Gozo, the pair are known for their sun and sea holidays, but they are also hailed for their extraordinary history and the fabulous sights this has left behind. A testament to this is the dazzling array of beautiful buildings that some of the most notable hotels now occupy. Between sparkling waters and glowing Baroque buildings, golden sands and golden stone, here’s our pick of the best five-star hotels in Malta and Gozo, in locations including Valletta, Sliema, Mdina and San Lawrenz.

Iniala Harbour House

Valletta, Malta

8
Telegraph expert rating

Facing Valletta’s Grand Harbour and the golden-stoned Three Cities that stretch just beyond it, Iniala aims to attract the world’s most discerning luxury travellers to Malta. The four honey-stoned townhouses that date from the 1600s belie its modern, style-conscious interior, where most of the furniture is custom-made and distinctive modern artwork is juxtaposed with age-old original features. All manner of extravagant experiences (including tours, workshops and excursions in the 44ft Riva Rivarama yacht) can be arranged, and enlightened fine dining at ION – The Harbour, its lauded rooftop restaurant is the place to dine. A spa is in the making, too.


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From


£
298

per night

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Phoenicia Hotel

Valletta, Malta

9
Telegraph expert rating

Malta’s iconic Art Deco hotel has the best of both worlds: space for a long colourful garden, expansive terrace and infinity pool overlooking the harbour – whilst still being within a 10-minute walk of almost all of the sights and restaurants of Valletta. The style stays true to the hotel’s early 20th-century origins, but nevertheless feels fresh. Green plants dot the interior and the terrace is bordered with flowers and kumquat trees. The hotel has an indoor pool too, which runs alongside a honey-coloured 16th-century Knights-period wall discovered during its construction, and a spa, making this the perfect place to combine sight-seeing with relaxation and pampering.


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£
111

per night

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The Xara Palace Relais & Chateaux

Mdina, Malta

9
Telegraph expert rating

The five-star Xara Palace is the only hotel in Mdina, so staying here gives you the chance to really appreciate ‘The Silent City’ in the evening, when all the tour groups have gone. The covered central courtyard acts as a lounge/bar, while on the top floor is Michelin-starred de Mondion, one of Malta’s best restaurants. The hotel’s 17 individually furnished rooms and suites are like exceptionally high-ceilinged country-house bedrooms. Lower-floor street-side rooms look out onto a narrow Medieval alley so can be a bit dark by day, but higher floors on the bastion side have panoramic views over the island; some have terraces with whirlpool tubs and an 180-degree view.


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£
135

per night

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Grand Hotel Excelsior

Valletta, Malta

8
Telegraph expert rating

Built almost into the bastion walls of Valletta, between the capital and the sea, the Excelsior boasts panoramic views across the water to historic Manoel Island and modern Sliema. Service can be a bit mixed but the hotel has plenty of space and facilities, including a spa, gym, sizeable indoor and outdoor swimming pools and even its own marina for guests in Marsamxett Harbour. The public areas are vast and decorated with an array of artistic works, flower paintings and prints of old Batavia – and some almost psychedelic patterned carpets. The traditional-style modern rooms are large and airy. Sea view rooms are larger still and have individual balconies/terraces.


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£
126

per night

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Corinthia Palace

Attard, Malta

8
Telegraph expert rating

Corinthia Palace is in a quiet, traditional and classy residential area of Malta, just across the road from the President’s San Anton Palace and its public gardens with fountains, flowers, and small aviary. The hotel’s tranquil garden is dominated by a large split-level swimming pool (that echoes the shape of Malta’s unique Neolithic temples). When the weather is cooler, slip behind the glass walls of the Athenaeum spa for a dip in the bath-warm indoor pool, a sauna or a treatment. For the more active, there is also a well-equipped gym. Ultimately, this traditional hotel is an ideal place for a peaceful break, away from coastal crowds and the bustle of modern Malta.


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£
176

per night

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Kempinski Hotel San Lawrenz

San Lawrenz, Gozo, Malta

9
Telegraph expert rating

Built with local stone, this long low-rise hotel sits comfortably in the Gozitan landscape. Walls of limestone and floors of terracotta are set off with occasional pieces of traditional dark-wood furniture, limestone sculptures and colourful modern impressionist-style prints. And the hotel has all the facilities including Gozo’s top spa. You can smell its warm rich scent before you reach it and treatment rooms are plentiful and spacious with genuinely calming music. Not only is there a large indoor swimming pool but a fairly large ‘therapy pool’ too (no children), a whirlpool tub, steam room and hammam. And that’s just inside. In the gardens are sunbeds, terraces and outdoor pools.


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£
71

per night

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The Palace

Sliema, Malta

9
Telegraph expert rating

An urban five-star contemporary hotel in the heart of an upmarket residential area minutes from the Sliema Waterfront. Staff are very helpful, friendly and give genuine individual attention. The infinity rooftop pool and terrace have great views and the indoor pool, sauna and steam room open onto another terrace. The Marion Mizzi spa offers a broad range of facials, massages, manicures/pedicures, Ayurveda treatments and even a children’s range, all delivered by qualified international therapists. Most rooms look outwards with balconies overlooking the streets and upper-level rooms may have harbour views. A few of the suites are themed – and fun.


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£
65

per night

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Radisson Blu Resort & Spa, Golden Sands

Mellieha, Malta

8
Telegraph expert rating

This large modern five-star hotel dominates Golden Bay, a wide stretch of sand that is rightly considered one of the best beaches in Malta. All rooms have balconies, some with panoramic sea views. There are four swimming pools – inside and out. Outdoor ones sit on a long limestone terrace, dotted with palms, overlooking the sea. The hotel has a small stretch of private beach, though outside peak times there is probably more space on the public beach. The Myoka spa – also with sea views through glass walls – offers wet and dry therapies, though the more active can head to the watersports centre for diving, snorkelling, jetskiing, paragliding and more.


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£
132

per night

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The Westin Dragonara Resort

St Julian’s, Malta

7
Telegraph expert rating

A large, family-friendly, five-star resort hotel, The Westin Dragonara has plenty of facilities for all ages. The extensive pool terrace reaches down to the sea where rocky ‘beach clubs’ provide access to clear blue waters – and cold beer and cocktails. Two large outdoor pools overlook the open sea, while an indoor pool and whirlpool bath are overlooked by a substantial gym, and spa treatments are offered in the beauty salon. The hotel provides an extensive menu of watersports from diving to paragliding, and there’s a 24-hour casino. All rooms have balconies, some with panoramic sea views.


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£
83

per night

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Contributions by John O’Ceallaigh

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