The Best Boutique Hotels in Malta

12 Cool Boutique Hotels in Malta

With its sunny Mediterranean climate and relaxing island vibes, Malta is one of our favorite vacation destinations in Europe. It might be one of the smallest countries in the world, but Malta has everything you need for the perfect summer getaway. 

The historical bastions and forts of Valletta, which overlook the iconic Grand Harbour, are packed with medieval and military heritage. Founded by the Knights of St. John in the 16th century, the capital is home to a stunning cathedral, spectacular harborside views, and countless palaces that have been transformed into boutique hotels.

Across the island, you can lose yourself in the maze of streets and villas hidden within the walled city of Mdina. This is an ancient Maltese capital (predating Valletta by centuries), and it’s still home to the nation’s richest, most elite families. Explore gorgeous beaches and stunning bays, take in the nightlife of St. Julian’s, or take to the water as you snorkel, dive, or sea kayak around Malta’s long and rugged coastline.

Once you’ve explored the main island, take the ferry to Gozo or a yacht to Comino, where you’ll find outrageous natural sights like the Blue Hole and Blue Lagoon. Gozo is home to megalithic temples dating back to Neolithic times, and it’s the best place in Malta for a day at the beach.

If you’re planning a Mediterranean island vacation, keep reading as we explain exactly where to stay in Malta. 

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Where to Stay in Malta

Where to Stay in Malta: Best Boutique Hotels

Malta is a compact country to visit, and no matter where you choose to stay, you’ll easily be able to reach any of the major Maltese sights and attractions. The main island of Malta is densely developed and populated, and you can choose between beautiful five-star boutique hotels and more traditional beachside resorts. Gozo, the smaller island, is much less developed and is best explored on a day trip. 

If you’re here for sightseeing, you’ll want to base yourself in Valletta, the island’s historic capital, where restored townhouses built by the Knights of St. John now host luxury suites and rooftop swimming pools overlooking the Grand Harbour. In the Three Cities, also overlooking the Grand Harbour, equally grand hotels have been built into the bastions and towers designed to defend Malta.

Along the coast, trendy design hotels and beach clubs await you in the modern shopping and party-oriented districts of St. Julian’s and Sliema. Inland, and the walled city of Mdina, home to historic villas, is the best place to immerse yourself in Maltese heritage and traditions. 

If you’re struggling to choose the perfect hotel, here are our picks for the best places to stay in Malta. 


The 12 Best Hotels in Malta

1. Corinthia Palace Malta

Unique Hotels Malta: Corinthia Palace Malta
Photos: Corinthia Palace Malta

One of the best hotels in Malta is the Corinthia Palace, a beautiful five-star hotel located in the historic surrounds of San Anton. 

You’ll be perfectly positioned halfway between Valletta and Mdina, the new and old capitals of Malta. You’re also staying opposite the San Anton Palace and Gardens, the residence of none other than the President of Malta. 

You’re in esteemed company, and there’s no doubt that the hotel is popular with politicians, celebrities, and the Maltese elite, a fact which is reflected in the Corinthia Palace’s regal service and palatial design. The neoclassical palace dates back to the 1860s, and many of the Greco-Roman-style features still remain today.

This was the childhood home of Edward de Bono, a Maltese creative and lateral thinker, although much has changed since he lived here. Rooms are modern and have been superbly updated to include king beds, luxurious drapes, and super soft furnishings. You’ll have views of the garden from your private balcony and complimentary ESPA products in the luxury bathrooms.

Recharge your senses at the Athenaeum Spa, where you can soak up the healing qualities of the Vitality Suite before soaking in the indoor or outdoor pool. Freshly brewed coffee is served at Josephine’s, champagne and cocktails in the Caprice Lounge, and Asian fusion cuisine at Rickshaw. Save time for an indulgent evening at BAHIA, a Michelin-starred restaurant located on the upper floors of the hotel’s Villa Corinthia Restaurant. 


2. The Xara Palace

Best Malta Hotels: The Xara Palace
Photos: The Xara Palace

Hidden away among the historic villas, sacred basilicas, and imposing bastions of Mdina is the Xara Palace, one of the top boutique hotels in Malta.

Mdina is the ancient capital of Malta, and there’s no better place for a luxury stay than a walled city built for the noblest of Maltese families. Even today, the population of Mdina is no more than 300, and the Xara Palace is one of the rare hotels found within. 

This five-star boutique hotel is a member of the highly prestigious Relais & Chateaux group, meaning it’s not only luxurious but filled with history, too. Ask for a tour once you’ve checked in, and you’ll learn that the former villa was originally built for the Moscati Parisio family in the 17th century, not long after the Knights of St. John took control of Malta. 

Your boutique room has retained period features, including high ceilings and split-level living and sleeping areas characteristic of Mdina villas. Small balconies overlook the medieval streets, while fine linen and king-size beds make for an effortless night’s sleep. In summer, the outdoor pool is a lifesaver in the Maltese heat, while in winter, you can cozy up inside the rooms with extra blankets for comfort. 

The dining experience at Xara Palace is second to none. Trattoria AD 1530 serves traditional Maltese dishes in an al fresco setting, including local rabbit cooked with garlic and thyme and baked sea bass in a squid ink sauce. 

The De Mondion is the hotel’s signature Michelin-starred restaurant, and you can enjoy an elaborate tasting menu on the terrace as you gaze across the rooftops in one of Mdina’s most romantic settings. 


3. AX The Palace

Best Hotels Malta: AX The Palace
Photos: AX The Palace

If you’d love to stay in luxury in Sliema, then look no further than AX The Palace. Located within the center of Malta’s popular seaside shopping district, this five-star hotel prides itself on its fashionable design as much as its luxurious offerings.

The pick of the rooms here are the signature AX Designer Collection Suites, which never fail to surprise. Decorated with quirky works of modern art or painted with sleek, smooth, and stylish color combinations, each designer suite is subtly different in character and tone. 

While the design varies from room to room, each of the boutique suites has a spacious private balcony, luxury linens, a flat-screen television, and a glorious bathroom. Enjoy the view of Sliema from the balcony, or better yet, make your way to the rooftop infinity pool, where you can sip on cocktails while watching the sunset over the Mediterranean. 

The Palace is a rooftop restaurant with equally wonderful panoramas and an excellent Asian-inspired menu, while you can also order local dishes from the hotel’s Mediterranean eatery. 


4. Palazzo Bifora

Unique Malta Hotels: Palazzo Bifora
Photos: Palazzo Bifora

Palazzo Bifora is one of the top boutique hotels in Malta. Located in a small but historic villa in the heart of Mdina, this is a five-star stay that seamlessly draws on its heritage. 

You’ll love how original period features from the 17th century have been masterfully preserved and incorporated into the boutique’s updated 21st-century design. The hotel is named for the unique “Bifora” windows that decorate the exterior and allow the Mediterranean sunlight to flood inside the rooms.

The hotel’s boutique suites are limited in number, and each has been wonderfully designed to reflect the classic Maltese character of the noble Mdina families of old. Maltese sage and clovers feature in the interior design and color palettes, as do those golden Maltese colors that reflect the sunrise or sunset. High ceilings are standard, comfort is a priority, and freestanding bathtubs are a welcome luxury.

You’ll love the view from your Bifora windows, but nothing can beat the rooftop terrace. Head up top, where the old villa’s sun terrace now features a small swimming pool and a magnificent viewing area overlooking the churches, spires, and towers of Mdina. 


5. Iniala Harbour House

Best Hotels Malta: Iniala Harbour House
Photos: Iniala Harbour House

The classic view of Malta looks out across the fabled Grand Harbour from the lofty heights of Valletta’s bastions, built by the Knights of St. John in the 16th century. Stay at the Iniala Harbour House in Valletta, and you’ll wake up every morning to this beautiful panorama.

This boutique hotel is perfectly poised to take your breath away. Located in a series of repurposed townhouses in the St. Barbara Bastion, the scene unfolds from your charming Maltese balcony. The best luxury suites feature private plunge pools on gorgeous terraces, where you can sit back and enjoy the skyline with a bottle of prosecco in hand. 

There are rooms, suites, guesthouses, penthouses, and residences for you to choose from. All are luxurious, and all feature a unique blend of modern tech, luxury comforts, and classic Maltese furnishings, colors, and designs. The bathrooms are lavish, but still, they’ve got nothing on the facilities available for your pleasure at the Essensi Spa by Iniala, where you’ll find saunas, steam rooms, and a heated swimming pool.

Dining at the Iniala Harbour House is an experience to rival your hotel stay. The rooftop terrace is home to ION Harbour, a sustainably minded, Michelin-starred restaurant. British chef Simon Rogan champions farm-to-fork produce and creates an eclectic tasting menu that changes with the Maltese seasons.  


6. The Cumberland Hotel

Best Malta Hotels: The Cumberland Hotel
Photos: Cumberland Hotel

One of our favorite boutique hotels in Malta is the Cumberland Hotel. This is one for history lovers because this sleek boutique retreat dates far back to the 16th century. 

Located on St. John Street in Valletta, the Cumberland Hotel was built by the Knights of St. John when they founded the Maltese capital hundreds of years ago. Once a lavish palace, it was transformed into a hotel in the 19th century, when it became a favored haunt for soldiers, sailors, and business people during the British colonial era. 

The boutique was recently revitalized, but historic features were integral to the redesign. Luxury rooms feature high ceilings and beautiful views of Valletta from tall windows or traditional Maltese balconies. 

The interior design, though, is decidedly modern in tone, with contrasting color schemes and parquet wooden flooring adding to the ambiance. There are just 23 rooms, so book early to avoid disappointment.

The Cumberland Hotel also features a peaceful central courtyard where you can unwind in the shade. Grana Valletta is found on the ground floor, where you can enjoy a sumptuous selection of Maltese and Mediterranean dishes all through the day. Head upstairs to the rooftop for the best view in the house, where you can sit back in the hotel’s jacuzzi as you take in the Valletta skyline. 


7. The Phoenicia Malta

Unique Hotels Malta: The Phoenicia Malta
Photos: The Phoenicia

The Phoenicia is a boutique classic that’s been welcoming guests since 1947. Now over 75 years of service later, Malta’s first-ever five-star hotel is still the best place to stay in the country.

Superbly located outside the stone bastions of Valletta, the Phoenicia overlooks seven acres of beautiful gardens from its prominent lookout position above the capital. The grand design and seamless service have long attracted celebrities, politicians, and even royalty, and the hotel is famous for having hosted Queen Elizabeth II on her honeymoon tour.

The 132 luxury bedrooms retain original neo-baroque features, but they’ve been updated to ensure they offer the highest level of comfort and the best possible amenities. Original tiled floors have been preserved, while the bright colors and Maltese decor add to the Mediterranean atmosphere. 

You’ll have a superb view from your window or balcony, while in summer, the Bastion Pool Bar & Restaurant (you’ll love the infinity pool) is the perfect spot to watch the sunset. You can enjoy poolside cocktails and informal al fresco dining or pop into the iconic Palm Court Lounge for a spot of afternoon tea. The marvelous Phoenix Restaurant serves a champagne breakfast, a beef Wellington that is to die for, and fresh fish of the day served with herbs and vegetables from the hotel’s garden. 

No five-star hotel is truly complete without a spa. Year-round, you can enjoy the delights of the heated indoor swimming pool at the Deep Nature Spa before soaking up the heat and minerals in the salt room, steam room, or sauna. 


8. Palazzo Consiglia

Unique Malta Hotels: Palazzo Consiglia
Photos: The Palazzo Consiglia

The Palazzo Consiglia is one of the most unique hotels in Malta. With an unbeatable position on St. Ursula Street, just a short stroll away from the serene Lower Barrakka Gardens, this beautiful boutique hotel is blessed with heritage and a rooftop terrace.

You’ll be staying in a former townhouse in Valletta, where 13 boutique rooms have been designed with the capital’s long history in mind. Each of the rooms has retained period features, such as vaulted ceilings, stone supports, and even the odd antique chair, dressing table, or wardrobe. 

Each room has its own name and character, too. Religiosa is designed with baroque furnishings and religious colors in an effort to evoke a sense of Malta’s Christian traditions. Nautica’s Mediterranean decor promotes the hotel’s location by the Grand Harbour, and Romantica is there for the honeymooners. All rooms are luxurious, with parquet floors, marble bathrooms, and an e-Concierge Tablet to help you plan your stay. 

Head upstairs to the terrace, where you’ll enjoy the historic Valletta skyline from the sundeck and outdoor swimming pool. Built into the stone vaults is a heated indoor pool and spa, where you can wind down with a massage or sauna session after a day’s sightseeing.


9. 1926 Hotel & Spa

Boutique Hotels Malta: 1926 Hotel and Spa
Photos: The 1926 Hotel & Spa

The 1926 Hotel & Spa could be the coolest hotel in Malta. This trendy hotel is the living legacy of Savour “Sunny” Bourg, a Maltese entrepreneur and socialite who helped refine the concept of tourism on his home island. 

Sunny was born in 1926, and the 1926 Hotel & Spa incorporates his ideals of hospitality throughout. The hotel is located in Sliema, where beach clubs (including the 1926 Beach Club, which is just a short stroll away) line a beautiful peninsula that’s packed with shops, restaurants, and cafes. This is boutique central, and you’ll love immersing yourself in the fun atmosphere of Sliema throughout your stay.

Rooms at 1926 Hotel & Spa are thoroughly modern, with light, Mediterranean decor that’s perfectly paired with its location. Luxury rooms are controlled through hi-tech Suite Pad technology, which gives you full control over lighting, temperatures, air conditioning, and much more. The Suite Pad also helps you to plan your getaway and provides access to restaurant and spa reservations at the hotel. 

Margaux Restaurant offers French cuisine in a plush setting on the hotel’s ground floor, while Sunny’s Lounge is the spot for a cocktail, glass of champagne, or a bottle of fine French wine while you socialize with other guests. The 1926 Beach Club has further dining and drinking options in summer, and the spa is the perfect place for a rejuvenating treatment. 


10. Rosselli Valletta 

Where to Stay in Malta: Rosselli Valletta
Photos: The Rosselli Valletta

The Rosselli Valletta is one for design hotel lovers. The 25 designer rooms are situated within a restored 17th-century Valletta townhouse built by the Knights of St. John. You’ll be just meters away from St. George’s Square and the Grandmaster’s Palace, and you’ll be staying in absolute luxury in the nation’s capital.

The restoration work was carried out by award-winning firm Forward Architects, who preserved the building’s history while completely revitalizing the decor and design. Baroque architecture sits seamlessly alongside freestanding bathtubs and flat-screen televisions, while rooms feature artwork and motifs inspired by Malta’s long artistic legacy. 

The blurring of old and new continues in the hotel’s Michelin-starred restaurant, which is inspired by the tailors and merchants who once lived and worked in the townhouses in central Valletta. Chefs at “The Grain” draw on the intricate skills required of a tailor, transposed to the kitchen, and you’ll love indulging in the carefully curated tasting menu prepared by Executive Chef Victor Borg. 


11. Cugo Gran Macina Malta

Best Hotels Malta: Cugo Gran Macina Malta
Photos: The Cugo Gran Macina

The Cugo Gran Macina is a work of boutique artistry that’s literally built into Malta’s very foundations. This five-star hotel is located within the stone bastions, walls, and towers of Senglea, where 21 design suites overlook the historic Grand Harbour.

The luxury rooms are located under vaulted stone ceilings built by the Knights of St. John. You’ll find king beds under crenellations and glorious views from wide windows offering spectacular panoramas of the marina. Antique features mix with plush modern furnishings, and marble or stone bathrooms offer freestanding bathtubs. 

Atop the hotel’s old battlements, you’ll find a glorious rooftop swimming pool and sun terrace. Take a dip, order a cocktail, then admire the rooftop scenes as you gaze across the Three Cities’ skyline. The hotel bar stocks 110 different types of vintage wines and spirits, while a hearty a la carte breakfast is served daily, fueling you up Maltese style for a day of sightseeing.


12. The Embassy Valletta Hotel

Best Malta Hotels: The Embassy Valletta Hotel
Photos: Embassy Valletta Hotel

One of the best Malta hotels is the Embassy Valletta Hotel. Centrally located on Strait Street in Valletta, this beautiful boutique hotel has a long history of hospitality. 

This was the site of one of Malta’s first-ever hotels, which was in operation from the early 19th century onwards. The 81 rooms are decidedly modern in taste, though, with a design-led concept championing contrasting decor, deep Mediterranean tones, and plush furnishings that can’t fail to be comfortable.

The best rooms feature traditional Maltese balconies or terraces with outstanding views of the Valletta skyline. Upgrade, and you could even enjoy the decadence of a private hot tub as you sip on champagne and bask in the Maltese sunshine. 

Fitness and therapy rooms are there for your health and well-being while on vacation, or you can head up top to the Roof Deck Pool, where you can soak up the sun or order cocktails in an impressive setting. 

The Rooftop Restaurant serves up Mediterranean classics with a view, including large plates of gnocchi, risotto, and pappardelle. The Courtyard offers afternoon tea in a peaceful setting, and AKI is one of the best Japanese restaurants in Malta! 

That completes our list of the 12 best Malta hotels! Did we miss any cool boutique hotels in Malta? Comment below so we can add them to the list!


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Author

  • Richard Collett

    Richard is an award-winning travel writer based in Southwest England who’s addicted to traveling off the beaten track. He’s traveled to 75 countries and counting in search of intriguing stories, unusual destinations, and cultural curiosities.

    Richard loves traveling the long way round over land and sea, and you’ll find him visiting quirky micronations and breakaway territories as often as he’s found lounging on a beach (which is a lot).

    When he’s not writing for BBC Travel, National Geographic, or Lonely Planet, you can find Richard writing for the Wandering Wheatleys or updating his off-beat travel blog, Travel Tramp.

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