Pared down modern style and lux­ury at the In­ter­Con­ti­nen­tal Malta

The Malta Independent on Sunday - - LIFESTYLE & CULTURE - *** *** *** ***

We’ve read or heard of the In­ter­Con­ti­nen­tal‘s ren­o­va­tion al­though there wasn’t much fuss made con­sid­er­ing it is such a big project. And sud­denly, be­fore you know it the con­struc­tion of the High­line Suites, its Club In­ter­Con­ti­nen­tal Lounge and the mag­nif­i­cent Sky­beach lux­ury con­cept are ready. ***

To cel­e­brate this the team at In­ter­Con­ti­nen­tal Malta opened its doors to the me­dia and press. The event was or­ga­nized with mil­i­tary pre­ci­sion but friend­li­ness by a team led by Martin van Kan, Area Gen­eral Man­ager. ***

As soon as I walked in last week I was wel­comed by Valentina who ac­com­pa­nied me to the 18th floor where I was in­tro­duced to the hos­pi­tal­ity and mar­ket­ing teams some of whom I had met on pre­vi­ous oc­ca­sions.

The staff have PhD’s in charm. There were smiles, gra­cious­ness and a glass of chilled pros­ecco – a win­ning com­bi­na­tion. ***

A well-in­formed young lady then con­ducted me through some of the suites and fi­nally to Sky­beach. I was swept away by a tide of lux­ury through­out. Sky­beach is out of this world. This is where the evening ended and where I caught up with a cou­ple of friends, en­joy­ing the lovely roses, the pros­ecco and some truly de­li­cious and ‘dif­fer­ent’ canapés. ***

The wow fac­tor of these High­line Suites is un­de­ni­able. Each suite is spa­cious, beau­ti­ful and ad­dic­tively com­fort­able. Ar­chi­tects and de­sign­ers have brought to­gether state of the art tech­nol­ogy and a stream­lined glam­our – sump­tu­ous but sim­ple. The fur­ni­ture is de­signed by Minotti, well renowned for their sig­na­ture clean de­sign. They re­cently re­ceived rave re­views at the Salone del Mo­bile in Mi­lan. *** It’s hard to over­state the im­por­tance of un­der­state­ment to the suc­cess of this ho­tel. Noth­ing about the suites leaps out as big or flashy or in-your-face. The ir­re­sistible charm of its 50 el­e­gant but un­fussy suites creeps up on you slowly. It’s all about sim­ple pleasures. Make no mis­take: it’s luxe but luxe of a won­der­fully low-slung, lowkey, low-im­pact va­ri­ety.

Let’s not for­get that clean lines bring you in­ner calm and bal­ance – a wel­come con­trast to our daily lives.

The Deluxe suite has an area of 64 square me­tres. It in­cludes a large liv­ing area and ter­race with pri­vate loungers. The white out­door fur­ni­ture is by the renowned fur­ni­ture de­sign­ers Gan­dia Blasco.

Those oc­cu­py­ing the suites have ex­clu­sive ac­cess to the 19th floor, the in­fin­ity pool and all the ser­vices pro­vided on that floor. Ah, the feel­ing of space! What with a Treesse bath which of­fers hy­dro-mas­sage op­tions, high qual­ity beauty prod­ucts from Ac­qua di Parma, an Illy cap­sule cof­fee ma­chine, per­son­al­ized but­ler ser­vice through­out the day and so much more the feel­ing of self in­dul­gence is well per­fected. I could live in one of those suites for a few days with­out emerg­ing from it ex­cept to go on the ter­race. ***

The Club Suite is even big­ger than the Deluxe Suite. Here the au­dio vis­ual equip­ment is by Bang & Olufsen and I loved the elec­tri­cal blackout cur­tains, which re­quire just one sim­ple press to en­sure com­plete dark­ness. ***

The Panoramic Suite is big­ger still. There re­ally is a feel­ing of free­dom and space up there.

The Du­plex Suites have floor to ceil­ing win­dows.

The Am­bas­sador Suite and the Pent­house Suite have two bed­rooms. Last but not least I must not for­get the Pres­i­den­tial Suite, the grand­est and most lux­u­ri­ous suite of all. Here the ter­race wraps around the whole suite al­low­ing you to eas­ily en­joy from each room grand views of the Mediter­ranean.

I noticed there is a se­lec­tion of books about the islands in this suite. Nice touch I thought.

There is a per­son­alised but­ler ser­vice avail­able through­out the day in the lux­ury suites. This ser­vice pro­vides any­thing re­quired, whether it be a sil­ver ser­vice din­ner in your suite, per­sonal shop­ping as­sis­tance or guid­ance around Malta’s his­toric sites and at­trac­tions. As one but­ler put it “whether the guest wishes to dine at the ta­ble, in bed, on their ter­race or even in the bath, we de­liver.”

One of the guests wanted to have a run­ning ma­chine on her ter­race. Trans­port­ing this heavy ma­chine in the lift and along cor­ri­dors was a huge job that re­quired six of the main­te­nance staff to move the thing. But it was done.

An­other guest wanted com­plete pri­vacy in his room and for there not to be a sin­gle chink of light shin­ing through the win­dows. For a large part of the pre­vi­ous day, Ben­jamin, one of the but­lers found him­self in the Pres­i­den­tial Suite, with sev­eral large rolls of tin foil and tape cov­er­ing very care­fully every last crack of light.

Now that is ser­vice. The rooftop in­fin­ity pool is on the 19th floor. Lovely! There you can en­joy the Sky­beach bar and res­tau­rant which pro­vide all those en­joy­ing the ho­tel’s High­line Suites with pri­vate and in­ti­mate at­ten­tion.

Ev­ery­thing about this project sug­gests it will live up to (if not ex­ceed and per­haps ut­terly con­found) ex­pec­ta­tions.

This sort of ser­vice doesn’t just hap­pen. Back in your mind you know that the full weight of the In­ter­Con­ti­nen­tal’s ma­chine is be­hind this: noth­ing has been left to chance; ev­ery­thing has been ac­counted for to the last per­nick­ety lit­tle de­tail: the labour of love that has made it pos­si­ble has been im­mense. But the trick is in the way they make it all seem so easy and nat­u­ral. It feels as light and ef­fort­less as a sea breeze.

I asked Kevin De Ce­sare, our host, if he had had any sleep­less nights. ‘Nights? Years!’ he replied. He didn’t look it. Damn it. He never seems to age. But now it is all over and all those in­volved who worked so hard must be very proud of their achieve­ment. mbenoit@in­de­pen­dent.com.mt

Part of the Pres­i­den­tail Suite with the star in­spired sus­pended lamp de­signed by Moooi

Sky­beach with its in­fin­ity pool and loungers

The re­fur­bished lobby area

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