Gillieru Harbour Hotel

6  / 10
Average rating (43 reviews)
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1 / 10

"After having grown up in Malta I had a fair idea of the hotels on the island and 4* and 5* hotels are usually fantastic. I have lived in the UK for a number of years now. We have just come back from a long weekend in Ta Cenc in Gozo (5*) for a wedding, a truly lovely hotel. On our way over we had a very late flight and decided to book into the Guilleru hotel for 1 night to rest up before catching the ferry to gozo the next day. I have never stayed there, but for a number of years have dined at the Gilleru fish restaurant which is lovely. As the Gillieru Harbour Hotel was rated 4* we assumed it would be a nice place to stop over. Well I could not have been more wrong!!!! If it hadn't been 3.30am and being totally exhausted from travelling we would have walked out the hotel that night and booked elsewhere! This is not a 4* hotel, more appropriately rated a 2* at its best!! The rooms were falling apart and stinking of sewage! The mattresses were dark brown and torn. The furniture was cheap pine that had not been changed for a decade. The bathroom (if you could call it that!)stank of wee and sealant had been topped up on the sink over the years to cover cracks! It was truly a foul hotel. We thought breakfast would hopefully make up for the room.........wrong!! There were 3 types of cereal, which looked like they had been there for a decade! A few slices of ham and luncheon meat, bread, jam and butter were your other option, if you wished to have any cooked food you had to pay extra! I went to poor some juice out of a jug and the plastic on the jug spout was clearly broken and spilt everywhere! How this was missed on filling it is beyond me. The tablecloth was covered in stains and the waiters looked like they had been dragged in to work. My brother who was staying there contacted me in the morning and was equally shocked. When he complained about the state of the hotel, he was told "that's just your opinion" - great customer service! If this hotel was rated a 2*,at least you know what to expect and the choice to stay there is yours. But rated as a 4* and costing 90 euros for 2 adults and a child per night it is truly shocking that guests are expected to pay this! At this price guests could find a 4* hotel in Malta at a much higher standard and get what they are paying for!"

  • Holiday details: Jun 2011, Breakfast Included, Booked Independently
  • Advice: don't go

4 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes

8 / 10
First Package

"When we arrived in Malta for our first ever package holiday, we had trepidation. As we meandered through to our destination, this trepidation heightened. We were dropping off other holidaymakers at their hotels, and thought 'what have we done'? We were last on the coach and when we saw the Gillieru the sweating stopped. It ended up that we had chosen a gem. The staff were excellent and greeted returning guests as if they were family. The food was beyond our expectation, prepared by the chefs in the attached restaurant. My wife, who is a vegetarian, appeared to be singled out for special treatment, and had an excellent varied diet. The room was a little tired, but acceptable and clean, unfortunately there were problems with the air conditioning. The swimming pool came as a shock, the water is recycled from the sea and tasted unexpectantly salty. All in all we can recommend this hotel to anyone who does not think that they are getting the same star system that is used in UK. We would use this hotel without hesitation on returning to Malta."

  • Holiday details: Sep 2009, Half Board, booked with Chevron
  • Advice: Mix with other frequent users of the hotel. Visit Valletta by local bus.

3 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes

3 / 10
Back in the day....

"Very old fashioned, could have been in the 1970's as I don't think it has been updated since then. Food very basic and a care home menu (lots of sprouts and boiled potatoes, plastic flowers on the tables). Not a place for singles, very dull, no music, entertainment, internet access or tea/coffee facilities, probably best left to couples of a certain age, or used as somewhere to sleep and nothing else."

  • Holiday details: Nov 2010, Breakfast Included, booked with Chevron
  • Advice: cheap but not cheerful...

1 reader found this review helpful. Did you? Yes

4 / 10
We would not go again

"If you can be guaranteed a room facing the sea and don't mind a rather basic hotel then this is worth considering. Our first night in a small, hot room overlooking the road was truly awful with noise from the traffic and customers partying in the cafes across the road making sleep very difficult.

It's situation however is pleasant with sea views on three sides and good areas in which to sit and relax.St. Paul's Bay is quiet and there are shops not too far away which is fortunate because the eating facilities in the hotel are limited. Breakfasts are spartan with slices of plastic cheesed and similar cooked meats being the main feature.They will do you a very good full English for Euros 4.70 if you feel like paying extra.We didn't try the restaurant but were told that the food served there was " alright" We did eat well however in the restaurant attached to the hotel although the advertised pizzeria was never opened during our stay.

Other points you may wish to consider are these : the lighting both in the rooms and in the public spaces was far too dim to read in and there are no facilities anywhere to get make a hot drink. Tap water was salty and therefore undrinkable which meant lugging heavy bottled water from the shops.

To sum up, the hotel is in need of some imaginative regeneration and, although it was run efficiently, a few more smiling faces in the staff would not come amiss.We went at the end of September and perhaps they were suffering from end of season fatigue.

  • Holiday details: Sep 2010, Breakfast Included, booked with Thomas Cook

2 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes

3 / 10
Don't Bother with this hotel, go elsewhere.

"I am writing this review from my room in the Hotel (507). We booked two rooms (for my mother and I). We arrived at 12:30 at night, full of expectation, and where immediately disappointed. There are NO drinks facilities in the room. We where unable to get any refreshment upon our arrival. The only thing the receptionist could offer us was bottled water which we where charged for. I ended up buying a kettle, tea bags and coffee to make my own drinks. Additionally, when I requested a key for the room safe we where charged a fee (not a deposit) of 12 Euros for each key. The standards of the room are best described as shabby. The walls have bad repairs, the bath rooms have black on the tiles and rusty fittings. The hairdryer in my room was broken, the hose was ripped and did not feed air through. The pillows where lumpy and in need of replacement. As for the supposed 'cable TV'.. forget it.. only two news channels and one film channel. The voices where also out of sync with the picture. AS for the air conditioning... it did not work... I was here in Oct when temperature was only about 25 degrees and I suffered from the heat. All those other reviewers who where here at the height of the season have my deepest sympathies.. they must have cooked. THe showers are a joke as well. They are so low down on the wall that unless you are under 4ft tall you need to crouch or kneel in the bath.

Generally the staff where polite until the fifth day we where there. We had handed our keys in at reception (in the drop box). Upon our return we asked for the key and the receptionist could not find the key to my mothers room. We stated we had put the key in the drop box but the receptionist started insisting that the key would be there if that was the case. So we went back to our rooms and turned everything out looking for the key and panicking over this key. After half an hour of this, a member of staff came to the room and presented us with the key; the receptionist had found it after all. I was so annoyed at this that I went to complain to the receptionist as she had insisted that we must have the key and basically implied WE had lost it. Upon complaining she got stroppey and was in no way apologetic. She was totally unconcerned that she had effectively accused us of loosing the key. Had we been able to afford the cancellation fee and find another hotel we would have left the Hotel there and then.

As with the other reviews, the continental breakfast is sad,lacking and a joke. The meat is basically 'spam' and the cheese is plastic. The cereal is cheap and nasty and the breads where barley adequate. If you want a cooked breakfast you have to pay for it. The bar is lacking and if you go the the restaurant you will pay over three euros for a pint. A great place to go to is 'Nibbles' which is run by a great bloke called Dave and you will get a pint for 1.45 plus he does Sunday Dinners every weekend, all day breakfast and it is clean, quite and well run. Across the road is a great little eatery run by Silvio who is extremely polite and gives a good service and value for money and the food is great.

The only good point for this hotel is the location (right on the sea front) and the views. Also you are in a quite part of town. If you want Internet... forget it... their Wi-Fi in the foyer did not work properly (it kept dropping out) I only managed to get on the Internet as I found an unsecured network in my room. The pay phone in the foyer did not work. You have to buy a phone card (5 Euros) from the Lotto shop next to the dentist on the high street to use the phone 'outside' the hotel by the Church - 'pathetic'

My only advice is Don't bother.. Travelodge back in England do a better job than this.

  • Holiday details: Oct 2010, Breakfast Included, Booked Independently
  • Advice: Don't bother, go some where else

3 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes

8 / 10
Great place to stay

"I have read a lot of negative reviews on this hotel which are clearly written by people who are not prepared to adapt when abroad. The staff are great, the food is straightforward and wholesome - you should not expect an English breakfast abroad although it is available if you pay extra. The rooms are clean and the hotel well decorated. Probably not suited to younger people as the hotel is at the end of the resort. It is an ideal base from which to explore the island - buy a 5 or 7 day bus pass and Malta is there to be explored. Go to this hotel. Ideal for a winter holiday."

  • Holiday details: Jan 2010, Half Board, booked with Chevron

3 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes

8 / 10
thomas cook

"this was firt visitfor my wife and self to malta, when booking with thomas cook we booked half bourd requesting sea view room, on arrival at hotel we were given a back room looking onto street. when i enquired about it i was told on availability, and it just happend they had one but it cost us 140 euro extra, going down to breakfast if we wanted an english breakfast it cost another 4-70eura per person a day,the evening meal was ok but if you wanted a drink of water you had to pay for it from the bar it was the same if you wanted coffee or tea after your meal I must say the hotel and staff you could not fault in particular MARY ROSE at reception who could not help us enough in booking trips and giving us directions in getting about"

  • Holiday details: Oct 2009, Half Board, booked with Thomas Cook
  • Advice: yes we would all the people we spoke to would go out of their way to help, we intend a return visit
  • Activities: we enjoyed all we saw, still lots to see

2 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes

6 / 10
Back again....again

"Like a bad penny back to the Gillieru. Unexpected trip but enables me to see if it has improved on previous ratings (9/10 in 2001 decreasing in years to last years 4/10).

Well I've been going since the late 90's on and off, last year was a real low point, with poor food and general hygeine. This year though, something has changed.

The quality of food has gone up as have the prices, but then the latter was a shock for Malta generally (Steer clear of Malta airport food, its nearly £2 for a packet of average size walkers crisps and £3 for a standard bottle of fanta).

Some things don't change though at the Gillieru, the erratic cleaning of the rooms. Sometimes it seems to be done, other times you think the cleaner just goes in to sit on the balcony for half an hour.

Did I mention the mini bar? 10 years ago it was always fully stocked. Each year though, the stock has been reduced. This year you have to go to reception and order a bottle/can etc which is then brought up. The now empty mini bar is still there though waiting to be plugged in.

TV's - Aren't the Gillieru's strong point. I enjoyed my daily intake of Sky News world and the german channel on the 17 inch old style tv though. Just a shame the supplied remote didn't(as is usually the case) work.

Air Con - Many a bugbear this for Gillieru residents if you check out other review sites. This year though it worked. I was actually cold during the night. Be aware though that the air con for the whole hotel is on a timer. It is amazing how much the Gillieru experience is enhanced by working air con (take note Gillieru).

Food - The powdered mash is still there but the menu has definately been upped which is great. The fish and pork meals definate highlights. More thought seems to be taken with the menu.

Staff are still friendly to the regulars (see previous postings from me on this) and yes there is still no entertainment. Apparently the non entertainment issue has been the case for 20 years. But then, the Gillieru never claim to have it and this is never shown in brochures.

The Gillieru as I type this is fully booked. A first for sometime apparently. They even have celebrities staying there. A former top Rugby referee, an actress and the 80's pop group UB40!

However the Gillieru still needs a make over. Get some new tv's in, make sure the aircon is working in all rooms at all times, get a proper minibar system in place, train staff to be nice to non regulars.

There has been an improvment which is why I'm giving it 6/10 this year. It still has to go some way though to reach the dizzy 9/10 I gave it in 2001. In truth, the Gillieru is like a heart attack victim that has just been given the kiss of life. Let's hope the paramedic isn't called again or the Gillieru really will be in never never land.

Until next year I guess....

  • Holiday details: Aug 2009, Half Board, Booked Independently

Did you find this review helpful? Yes

8 / 10
My Malta experience 2009

"Just back from Malta and have to say it was one of the best ever holidays I had. The hotel was by no means the cleanest I stayed in but was sufficient to our needs and the rooms were attended to every day and clean towels aplenty. Wish we had known about the pool towels and would have left our towels at home. Breakfast was always a pleasant experience and Josephine was a character and looked after everyone. The continental selection was great and you can for a few euros have a cooked breakfast and had the poached egg on toast a couple of times and was yum and only 1.70 euro. The pool bar baby prawn salad was fab and had that nearly every day. Prices were fine..............I think because we went to a 5star in Turkey last year and water there was 5euro the gilleru was a steal.

My only bugbear was the lifts....they have a mind of their own and break down almost every day. On the whole though this for what I paid which was £1500 for myself the hubby and our 9yr old for 2wks on a b&b basis including insurance was a fab holiday and would go back to Malta and would consider the Gilleru because of its location...quiet away from buggiba and had a city view looking at the church.

Going back next May minus our child as we loved it.


  • Holiday details: Jul 2009, Bed & Breakfast, Booked Independently
  • Activities: Gilleru Fish restaurant and the Bognor for fillet steak...yum

3 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes

9 / 10
a great holiday

"We have just come back after 2 weeks at this hotel and we could not have asked for a better time. The staff are brilliant, especially in the restaurant, reception is helpful and the rtaurent managers were very friendly, especially Charles. A special mention for Josephine, and the people who kept our rooms clean. If you have not tried this hotel it is well worth a visit. OK some people might think its not up to scratch, but if you want 5 star, book the Hilton and don,t winge. Vale for money, fabulous views, wonderful people. Malta has it all. This was my third visit 2 to this hotel and it won't be my last."

  • Holiday details: Jun 2009, Half Board, Booked Independently
  • Activities: we went everywhere it has great churches, coves and bays, markets, everything!!!

2 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes

9 / 10
A great hotel to stay in

"This is a fantastic hotel. The staff work very hard and will do anything to ensure a pleasant stay. We had a sea view and 'what a view'! It was out of this world. We had two balconies and fantastic views from both. Everything was spotlessly clean and one day, we left a do not disturb sign on the door and when we opened the door, clean towels were left for us in a large polythene bag. The service could not be faulted. Mary Rose was so helpful and also Josephine. Lovely staff, didn't get the name of any others. The pool area was great with plenty of sunbeds. The only reason that I didn't give the hotel a score of 10 was because there was no entertainment at all, our radio didn't work and the only channel we could sometimes get on (in English) was sky news.

The bus fares were really cheap but the taxis were so expensive. I suppose they try it on with all newcomers but even though we are quite seasoned travellers, we fell for it and paid up. Another serious bugbear (and it was terrible) was the amount of timeshare touts, all with the different spiel for the same thing. 'To get money out of holidaymakers' It went towards spoiling the holiday for us, that and the fact that everywhere closed quite early. The place was so quiet everywhere we went and we were told that Malta had lost a lot of trade, probably through the 'credit crunch'.

  • Holiday details: May 2009, Bed & Breakfast, booked with Thomas Cook

3 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes

4 / 10
Back again due to a family...

"Back again due to a family bereavement(long story).

Did not expect to be back again here. Certainly not in the heat of July. I went with the family regulars this time around. This meant a seaview guaranteed(even though we didn't pay for it) and working air conditioning 24/7. Did this make for a better time of it? Erm no.

I first posted on here back in 2001. Then the Gillieru Harbour Hotel was good. But several visits since then have seen a decline. The state of the pillows this time around was truly gross. Blood stains and other nasties, an empty mini bar (apart from one day), the plug broke, towels were not clean everyday and the tv either had a silent sky news or no tv at all.

The food in decline still. Clearly cutting corners. If chicken is on the menu as a main then you know it will be chicken soup for starters. Lamb on the menu as a main, well you can guess. If you like octopus and cauliflower soup you will be in for a treat. It didn't get much better than that. The powdered mash potato is worth remembering too.

Apart from a couple of days when some athletes were there, the hotel was far from fully booked and the quietest I've seen it.

It was also interesting to see first hand my relatives who know Charlie etc and the difference in how the hotel staff behave towards them. Myself and others on here have met with a frosty reception from the same staff. It was laughable that the hotel staff were falling over themselves to help my relatives. I could see though that to other non regulars they were as frosty to them as a cornetto.

Unfortunately the Gillieru Harbour Hotel has fallen into the trap of initially cutting costs to make more money but then *issing first timers off and regulars resulting in less take up the following year. Year on year it has had an effect. What we are left with is a hotel in decay.

In a couple of years I fully expect to see the Gillieru Harbour Hotel on one of those holiday horror shows. It's a shame though. The Gillieru Harbour Hotel is in a fantastic location, but as long as the owner thinks of his wallet instead of the up keep of the hotel it won't get better.

The Gillieru Harbour Hotel is a shadow of the hotel I first visited in 2001. Even my relatives who have been going for 15 years were disappointed. Sorry Gillieru Harbour Hotel time to shut up shop, give it a makeover and start again.

  • Holiday details: Jul 2008, Half Board, booked with chevron

2 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes

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Top traveller tips for Gillieru Harbour Hotel

  • by sue317

    " friendly, quiet and busy at the same time. Views to die for , People who go out of there way for you "

  • by kfjlawson

    " A good base to explore Malta on foot or by bus. "

  • by Tel

    " Go but read the reviews and don't expect 4 stars "

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Gillieru Harbour Hotel is also called:

  • gillieru harbour st pauls bay
  • hotel gillieru harbour

Address: Church Square, St Pauls Bay SPB 01, Malta