The Daily Telegraph - Saturday - Travel




Malta’s best-known hotel has an attractive­ly simple layout – its elegant Palm Court leading through original glass doors to the Phoenix restaurant and its lovely elevated terrace overlookin­g lush gardens. It was refurbishe­d in 2017

and is now fresh and fashionabl­e, but has lost none of its dignified demeanour. The hotel was built in the late 1930s by Lord Strickland, 1st Baron Strickland, fourth prime minister of Malta, and his wife Lady Margaret. The couple wanted to provide Malta with a luxury hotel

of internatio­nal standards, but it was not until 1948 that the then widowed Lady Strickland finally opened the hotel,

it having been requisitio­ned by the RAF

during the war.

Two wings house the 137 bedrooms and suites, which overlook either

the Grand or the Marsamxett Harbour, many with balconies.

There is a clubby cocktail bar, its walls

decorated with photograph­s of past guests, including Nöel Coward and Winston Churchill; and in the

Palm Court, the charming scenes of Malta by artist EC Dingli are a highlight. On the floor below, the art deco ballroom is where Queen Elizabeth II and Prince

Philip used to enjoy dancing when they lived in Malta in the 1950s. In the refined Phoenix restaurant, the food is simple yet sensationa­l:

sea urchin risotto followed by line-caught red snapper with white asparagus for dinner, say, accompanie­d by one

of the very drinkable Maltese wines on the list. The dreamy infinity pool overlooks the harbour, while the hotel’s recently constructe­d spa is a place of calm sophistica­tion. Doubles from £196

(00 356 2291 1023; phoeniciam­

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United Kingdom