VAL­LETTA'S NEW WAVE OF HO­TELS

Virgin Australia Voyeur - - TRAVEL -

Vis­i­tors no longer aban­don Val­letta for beach re­sorts come bed­time — it's now home to a co­hort of bou­tique ho­tels . Sleek moder­nity meets past glory at Casa El­lul (www.casael­lul.com), a Vic­to­rian-era palazzo in the city's heart. Each gue­stroom is unique. Pick Suite 7 dur­ing sum­mer, and soak in a jacuzzi on the pri­vate ter­race, or Suite 5 in win­ter — a bath in the en­closed wooden bal­cony has en­vi­able views of the neigh­bour­ing Carmelite Church.

The glazed fa­cade of La Fal­cone­ria Ho­tel (www.lafal­cone­ria.com) is a giveaway — much of the orig­i­nal 16th-cen­tury build­ing was lost to World War II bombs. Rooms are mod­ern and mono­chrome, but the past echoes too, from the lime­stone lion guard­ing the stair­case to the cel­lar plunge pool, un­der the vaults of the orig­i­nal well. Although The Phoeni­cia Malta (www. camp­bellgray­ho­tels.com/the-phoeni­cia­malta) lies just out­side the bas­tion walls, it must be con­sid­ered part of Val­letta's fab­ric. A favourite of the Queen as a navy wife in Malta, it has bounced back from decades of ne­glect with a re­fur­bish­ment to re­store its Art Deco glam­our. The short walk to Val­letta's walls is more than made up for by lux­u­ries such as a heated in­fin­ity pool of­fer­ing Grand Har­bour views.

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