21 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
OK if you just want a bed for the night!
"We stayed in this hotel in October 2006 for a week. We arrived in the evening after a taxi ride from hell. The driver was falling asleep at the wheel and we weren't sure if we'd actually live to see Malta or not!
We checked in and went to our room a little exhausted but glad to be alive. The overall room was quite nice but there were a couple of problems. 1) The shower cubicle had sliding doors which opened to a corner - fine if you are stick thin but if you are more than average size then forget booking a room with just a shower. 2) We had a large window which looked on to the balcony, the balcony looked on to a wall of a building next door - nice view! We couldn't even see the sky.
That night we decided to go out and explore the local bars. We didn't end up getting in until the small hours only to find the front doors of the hotel were chained up and padlocked. We ended up knocking on the glass doors to be let in. The reception is 24hrs but usually the guy sleeps on the settee in the evenings. (One night we crept in to find him snoring on the settee in the reception area).
We had to switch rooms the morning after we arrived to one with a bath and shower attachment. That room was much more spacious and we had a balcony but this time the windows opened out to face the other rooms in the hotel. Again we had no view of the sky to see what the weather was doing, for all we knew it could have been raining and we wouldn't have known!
It was very warm in the room even at night with the air con on which had to be switched off as it was too noisy and I couldn't sleep.
The breakfast is not something I'd rush to get up in time for. It was a continental breakfast and quite varied if you liked that sort of thing. The bacon was really grisly and very fatty/greasy and cheese too strong for my liking. Nothing was really that nice food-wise.
The reception staff were very helpful and friendly.
We used the indoor pool and jacuzzi which were both quite small. There is an outdoor pool which was on the roof top and not heated. We didn't use it as the water was really cold.
The hotel is down a back street and about a 5 minute walk to the sea front which wasn't bad. It is also in a quiet part of the town.
We had everything we needed in the immediate area such as bars, restaurants, bank, supermarket and so on.
We are going back to Malta in September 2007 but to stay in a different hotel. Hopefully slightly better than The Crown.
If you just want one or 2 nights there then I would recommend this hotel but for more than that look around."
- Travel date: Mon 13th of August 2007
Don't go to this Crown Hotel
"We had stayed twice at the Crown Hotel and really enjoyed our stays. The last time was Christmas in 2005. This time was a special birthday event.
But this third time was a disaster. Basically, because it is no longer a 4 star hotel. We paid for all inclusive (as we had done before), but ended up putting up with a 2 star hotel which seemed to be having trouble with stocking up the bar (main bar and mini-bar); cleaning rooms and other public areas; providing decent food etc. etc. The hotel also needs complete refurbishment and general investment to bring it up to 4 star.
We were just staying for a week - fortunately - and the rep. from the tour company wisely did not visit. We did manage to catch him one day at the office, but despite promises he still did not visit. A couple who were just completing their third week (even after the draft beer ran out for four days!) said they had not seen the rep. at all. Reps from other tour companies did visit.
Complaints to staff and the management were met with indifference and blame on staff and tour companies. I was informed that a food inspection team had visited the previous lunch time and declared everything fine. They had actually been given a different meal from that on offer to the rest of us!
The indoor pool, gym etc. were closed every time I went down to them. Fortunately the lovely roof pool was open and was the only 4 star attraction left.
Two school/youth parties stayed at the same time, and this is clearly the market the hotel must want to attract.
It is a pity, because it was a lovely hotel."
- Travel date: Wed 27th of June 2007
"After many happy years returning to Malta, I had the unfortunate experience of stying at this hotel. I could complain about almost everything in the hotel, from cold unappetising food to dirty rooms and reception areas to doors which could not lock. Reception staff did their best under difficult circumsances ( many many complaints from what looked like all guests) but what appalled me most was the management contempt when we tried to complain. This is not typical of Maltese people or hotels. Even the smallest of cafes are clean. Please don't stay here as it will run your opinion of Malta."
- Travel date: Sun 17th of June 2007
shame about the reception
"This is a pretty good hotel. Let down by the reception staff.
Their attitude was unwelcoming to say the least.
The femail receptionest was really gruff and we felt that we were intruders.
We asked the male receptionest the way to the bus stop.
He treated us like a pain in the arse. Pointed in a rough direction
and gave us a photo copied map which was as much use as a chocolate teapot!
Do not stay in any of the rooms facing the road. There are noisy trucks doing very early deliveries. There was also an unpleasant sewage smell in our room. We had to change rooms.
The food and staff in the restaurant was excellent.
The pool is nice but was spoilt by noisy teenagers which shattered the peace.
The hotel is located a good fifteen minute walk from the sea.
It is all up hill on the way back.
St Pauls Bay is very nice indead with some lovely bars.
We attended a free concert which was in the local square one evening. Music was great!
If you like your motors their is a great local museum. They have some lovely classic stuff from the fifties and sixties.
Gozo is worth a visit as is Valletta."
- Travel date: Sat 16th of June 2007
Ok for backpacking, NOT 4 star!
"My friend and I booked a twin room at this hotel based on Expedia's statement that it was a 4 star hotel, only 200 metres from the beach. They also had some cleverly edited photos that made us very excited about our stay.
We were sorely disappointed. The hotel is nearer to Bugibba than St Paul's bay, and Bugibba is Malta's poor answer answer to Benidorm. There is no beach (unless you call some rocks and a tatty 1960s style Lido a beach), and the English rule. If you want a pint and a ham and cheese sandwich for 1Lm, or fry ups and pubs with sky sports showing the latest Premiership matches, then great. If you want to stay in a pretty, authentically maltese resort, GO SOMEWHERE ELSE!
As for the hotel, it's a good 20 minute walk from the amenities (if you call chavvy bars, restuarants and tacky shops amenities) of Bugibba and the "beach", up a random little street and next door to an Irish pub. The layout it quite random, with many rooms whose only door in outside on a balcony overlooking a tiny courtyard, opposite which is a huge wall. So you don't get any daylight.
We too had problems getting our door to close and lock, both from outside and inside, although with some brute force we did manage to get it to lock. The air conditioning was useless and filled the hotel with the stench of petrol, although they appeared to have fixed this by the end of our short stay.
The breakfast in the restaurant (which was boiling and stank of petrol due to the problem above) was trying to be English, so was your basic buffet with nice bread and cereals, but sweaty cheese and fruit, and questionable looking eggs, beans and sausages. The "fruit juice" didn't taste of much either.
The swimming pool, which looked wonderful on the photos, was on the scruffy looking roof, and the views weren't great - mostly other tatty roof-tops. We didn't fancy trying it out, it was deserted!
Also if you do decide to stay here check your mini-bar is full when you check in or they'll try to charge you for the missing things when you check out.
So to conclude, this is fine as a basic hotel (I've certainly stayed in worse while backpacking), but NOT 4 star, or at least not what we Brits would expect from a 4 star. Perhaps Malta has different rating criteria, but compared to the rest of europe this is only 2 star, 3 at most. The resort is fine as a base to bus around the island, which is the cheapest way to get around, but not typical of the rest of the island, which seemed much prettier and less chav-tastic. Although unfortunately much of Malta is now being built up, covered in high-rise hotels etc. It's a shame. Wish I'd have been able to visit 20 years ago before it was spoilt..."
- Travel date: Thu 31st of May 2007
Lovely stay at the crown
"We have just returned from the crown hotel in St Pauls Bay Malta
on the 27th may 2007.I have to say that after reading the other reviews we were panicking because alot of them are pretty bad, well we just can not understand this we had a great time,the staff went out of there way to help you they were extremely friendly .The rooms were nice and clean although the view wasn't very good just over looking other roofs,but so what you only sleep in your room.It says that you get continental breakfast where in fact we had cereals yogurt cheese ham boiled eggs poached eggs bacon sausage beans tomatoes toast bread scrambled eggs and fried eggs the last two were on alternate days it was brilliant!!!!!! You couldn't ask for more.People have said it is not a four star hotel ,well for the price we paid and for the welcome and service we got I would stay it was !! It was excellent! I will definetely be going back there!!"
- Travel date: Tue 29th of May 2007
Not 4 star
"If you are disabled or generally unfit do not choose this hotel, the pool and restaurant are on the fifth floor,there are 2 bars, one on the ground floor which does not open till 6pm despite literature stating it opens at 11am,so if you return from a walk you have to hike up 5 floors to get a drink.The other bar is by the pool and opens at 11am till 6pm.On 2 nights food is served in the pool area so the bar downstairs does not open at all and all beverages hot or cold are served from paper cups. I totally agree with other reviews re this hotel,it definitely is not a 4 star,however it was considerably better than others we saw.If you want a clean,comfortable cheap week in Malta,book this,if not try Le Meridian or the Fortina spa resort for 5 star luxury."
- Travel date: Wed 5th of July 2006
Don't go to the Crown Hotel!!!
"We were overbooked at their sister hotel The Windsor Hotel in Sliema, so had to stay here... What a big mistake.
1) Initially we were very upset at having to stay in St Pauls Bay as we had been told we were staying @ The Windsor in Sliema. Which is where we wanted to stay as we were looking for venues for our wedding there. But we made the best of a bad situation and gave The Crown a fair go.
2) The room we were given on Friday 21st October was 1207 at the front of the hotel. We were unable to sleep most of the night due to the music we could hear from The San Pawr hotel opposite. this went on until at least 1.30 - 2am.... So we asked for another more quieter room the next day.
3) We were then given room 1320 on Saturday 22nd October and this was no better and I had to ring down to reception @ 11.55pm to complain about the noise once again. The man on reception was very helpful and gave us the option of 2 "quiet rooms" and told us to decide which one we wanted & return the other keys in the morning. We chose room 1321 which was very quiet and managed to sleep that night.
Various problems with rooms / hotel etc:-
4) Room 1320 -
There was tape in the floor of the shower cubicle and it was also very dirty
The door to the room didn't lock from the inside
The plughole in the sink didn't work, so water took ages to go down it
5) The TV's had no buttons on them, so we were unable to change channels
6) The bath towels were very small and just about covered us
Dinner - there wasn't much choice for starters or main course and it was not edible at all
Breakfast - there wasn't much choice on the hot food, so we had to settle for the cold options, which wasn't sufficient really
8) Air conditioning:-
Was very noisy but didn't actually cool the room down at all
9) Indoor Pool / Jacuzzi:-
There were no instructions on how to use either of them, so unable to use the facilities
Neither were very clean either and totally unmanned, which obviously didn't give anyone much encouragement to use them
10) When we checked out on Monday 24th October and stated once again that Mark from Dream Days would be settling the bill and it was all on the computer. The people on duty at reception doubted what we were saying and mumbled loads of things in Maltese whilst we waited... We were eventually allowed to check out and had to give them the number for Dream Days.
As you can imagine we were not very happy with our stay at all and can definately say that this was not a 4 Star hotel!!!
Basically if you are thinking of staying here, DON'T, it will be the worst experience of your life!!!!"
- Travel date: Sun 23rd of October 2005
4* in Malta is not 4* in England
"We stayed for 3 nights in early April 2005. I am quite sure that this hotel, the Bugibba/St. Pauls area, and Malta itself are VERY different in the peak months of July-September. However, here is what I can say about our stay at the Crown.
Regardless of what other reviewers on this and other websites might say, this hotel IS a four-star hotel in Malta. But you absolutely MUST remember that Malta is a very poor country in that sense. Many people from the UK think this hotel is more like a 2* hotel, but a 2* hotel in Malta would not be allowed to open in the UK (health and safety). The Crown Hotel has a very nice and helpful staff, and they do appear to want to make a 4* stay. But unfortunately, the facilities are just too limited. Remember that when you're there, don't compare it to English hotels, compare it to Maltese hotels. You can find some there that look too run-down to be homeless shelters in this country, so keep perspective! The Crown is not an all-inclusive beach resort, it is an adequate hotel on a poor island.
The location is on a random street among a bunch of other houses and similar buildings. It is within a few minutes' walk to buses around the island. It has a pool on the roof (open but freezing cold in early April), with sun loungers and a bar. There was also a non-operational jacuzzi on the roof, which I expect they will open by summer. The views are mostly of other buildings in Bugibba/St.Pauls, but you can certainly see the sea and inland areas (it's a tall building in the area, but the view isn't perfect). The pool in the basement is very small. It fits one person comfortably, 2 okay, and 3 at the limit. You can't swim laps, but it has a power motor thingy to let you swim "virtual" laps in place as it pumps water toward you. There are no signs up about how to use it, so just play around with switches on the wall and buttons on the unit to turn it on--same for turning on the jacuzzi. Although 4 could fit in theory, the sauna is big enough to fit 2 people comfortably (especially if the two that are in there already are naked--you really don't want to sit on the level below them!! Yikes!!)
The food was... Hmmm... okay. All meals were buffet style. We were only on breakfast, but dinner smelled rather institutional and basic, bland. The restaurant on the 4th floor is configured so the smells of dinner fill the lifts, and we were glad we didn't go half-board or all-inclusive. Breakfast was clearly targeted to their main guests: English OAPs and German families. They had several bread options, hams, cheeses, etc. Cooked options were so-so eggs, really really fatty bacon, bad baked beans, sausages, and warm sweet rolls that were stale. Tea was either too weak or too strong, coffee was fine. The options were fairly limited, but the staff was amazingly helpful in the morning and would drop what they were doing if you needed something replentished.
The rooms have tile floors, which were desperately in need of a good clean. Similarly, the shower had enough mould growth to deserve serious attention (hopefully they do an annual clean in May!). The room had a minibar in it, and a TV. The TV worked by pushing the buttons on the front, but you could also get a remote if you give a deposit at reception (fully refunded in cash when you return it). The TV has one Maltese channel, a German one, a French one, 3 or 4 Italian channels, and BBC World in English. The bed was okay, but felt a big springy and felt due for a replacement in a year or two. The hotel's entertainment consisted of a live musical act every night at the bar in reception, as well as a movie shown in the TV room (right next to the bar, so I imagine the music would overpower the movie anyway!).
It is walking distance from the main night-life area of Bugibba, and a long-walk to Qawra if you felt like going there for some reason. At 69 St. Anthony Street, there is a restaurant called "Little Italy" that is fantastic! Of all the restaurants on that street, it was the only one that was full of locals--the others had a few tourists each. It was so good we ate there twice, so highly recommended!
Overall, if you do want to stay at the Crown, remember that it is a base for you to sleep at while you explore Malta. If you want a Beach resort, either go for a 5* hotel in the St. Julian's area (with private beaches), or don't go to Malta. If you want a really affordable adequate hotel to stay at, that puts you in position to discover Malta, this is a good choice."
- Travel date: Wed 6th of April 2005
quiet and uneventfull hotel
"Crown hotel claims to be a 4 star accomodation. this is most definately NOT the case. be warned, this hotel offers very little to keep you entertained. DO NOT go "all inclusive" unless you are happy to spend your eveings with non or very poor entertainment. You will feel the need to explore outside the hotel for suitable evening activities, thus spending extra money on drinks etc, which you will have already paid for in your "all inclusive" package.
they own the Irish pub next door, which appears to have more lively goings on most evenings. BUT you have to pay for your drinks in there, even when "all inclusive" It really does seem that the hotel will put on either non, or terrible live acts to push you out of the hotel, thus meaning they will be lining their pockets with funds generated from sales from their "irish" bar next door.
Plus, there is no suitable facilities for children either. they will find themselves bored with nothing provided from the hotel for entertaiment. the resort of St pauls Bay & Bugibba is very very nice, just don't stay at the Crwon Hotel unless you are lookin for an extremely QUIET and NON EVENTFULL holiday"
- Travel date: Thu 2nd of September 2004
"I was extremely disappointed in this hotel: we booked it in the knowledge that 4 star meant a certain level of comfort and cleanliness, as well as the fact that it contained a gym (crucial for my holiday partner as she was running a 10 mile race two days after we returned), a sauna, an indoor swimming pool, and a jacuzzi as amenities for guests. Regarding these:
- Gym: according to the extremely rude and unhelpful reception staff (besides one guy called Victor), the gym was "in the process of being moved downstairs" (I'd wager that they've been telling guests this for a while now) so the gym consisted of 4 pieces of equipment in a room, 2 of which didn't work (cross trainer and weight machine), and a cycling machine that shook and tottered from side to side in an alarmingly unstable way whenever you used it. When we complained to our holiday rep about this and they asked reception about it, reception staff said that they had made arrangements for us to use the facilities of a nearby hotel as compensation, and that they would tell us how to the following morning. Which would have been fine, except when we asked them the next morning about how we went about this, we were told it wasn't possible at all: so clearly just a fig branch to appease the rep until she was out of the building. Considering that we had picked this hotel specifically because it was a of a certain standard and had gym facilities, this is obviously unacceptable and caused completely unnecessary stress and irritation.
- Sauna, jacuzzi: the sauna was variously "not working"/"someone has forgotten to turn it on"/"has a leak" depending on the day, and every time we asked about it we were told to ask again the next day when it would be fixed (surprise surprise, it never was). Regarding the jacuzzi, we were just told that it wasn't working and that was that. There also appeared to be a jacuzzi on the roof, but that had wood and coverings over it and was not uncovered at all during the time we were there;
- Indoor "swimming pool": one of the reviews on this site called it a glorified swimming pool, and this is completely accurate: it was absolutely tiny. To even find it we had to ask the reception staff, who before we'd even seen it told us that "it's not very nice, you don't want to use it". So that was encouraging.
Among other complaints:
- Extremely rude, unhelpful reception staff who were a) rude to the point of offensive, and b) overly defensive when asked the simplest of questions (an inquiry as to whether we needed to pay reception for use of the computers was met with "it's not our fault if they break!" Um, ok.)
- The "bar" by the swimming pool only seemed to be open when the staff happened to be around, which was not very often;
- Much of the hotel and the corridors in particular outside our room smelt of mould and damp, as other reviewers have pointed out;
- The lifts did indeed drop alarmingly when you got into them, which I'd imagine makes a lot of people nervous and is hardly encouraging;
- The fans in the room were loud enough to prevent you going to sleep, and got louder throughout the night/the longer they were on (every night I had to get up and turn it off at around 4/5am as it wakes you up);
- The majority of the sun loungers by the rooftop swimming pool were either broken or mouldy, and whilst we didn't use any of the parasols ourselves we did witness them going flying a number of times;
While you expect/resign yourself to the fact that "4 star" in Malta and the like may not be what you'd expect 4* to be in other countries, you do expect as a minimum that a hotel that advertises that it has certain facilities actually, you know, has them on offer for their guests to use, and that staff are (again at a minimum) apologetic or actively helpful in compensating you in any way if these facilities are not in use for whatever reason. The unavailability of the gym and the sheer unhelpful, "that's how it is, deal with it" attitude of the staff caused needless stress and irritation that could have easily been avoided, and is the kind of thing that can seriously damage the relaxation you are meant to feel when on holiday. This hotel certainly does not deserve to be called a 4* hotel, I would say 2* at best, and should certainly be reviewed again by inspector's to rectify this.
As for fellow holidaymakers, I would strongly advise against booking here: not only does it fail on offering what it advertises, it also falls down on offering a cheaper, "no thrills" service where you can expect a minimum amount of fuss and/or problems. Please don't waste your time going here, I implore you: the fact that I've spent half an hour typing this out when my Outlook inbox is still bursting to the seams after a week away from the office should say something as well."
- Travel date: Mon 10th of September 2012
The Maltese Tourist Office should shut this place down as insanitary.
"We had 14 an awful holiday at this hotel.
One of the main reasons we booked it was the fact it had 4 stars and advertised itself as being air conditioned.
The place is an absolute dump!
For a start the Air Conditioning doesn't work. It makes a hell of a racket blowing hot air around, but doesn't cool the place down. Probably cause they don't buy any coolant gas for the system!
When you complain, staff lie to you.
A couple who were unfortunate enough to be staying there for a month tipped us off, that every week the manager tells complaining guests that the system will be fixed the following week, safe in the knowledge that most of the guests will only be there for a fortnight.
It's like being in an oven, you can't sleep at night and it's so hot in the dining room that nobody wants to eat there. Management must be raking in the money as half board guests eat at local restaurants as often as they can, rather than suffer the infernal heat of the Crown's dining room.
And the place is completely filthy too.
They must be breaking some kind of law by cutting off the water supply to the toilets in public areas? All those guests going to the toilet, unable to wash their hands, place must be crawling with germs.
People complain about all the students being there. I wonder if the parents of those kids are aware their children are staying in a place where even the most basic hygiene regulations are flouted?
The swimming pool water is mucky and cloudy with a greasy film on top, heaven knows what bugs are in there.
Whole place is run down and dilapidated, dirty or broken parasols and sun loungers.
If it's got 4 stars they must have been awarded sometime back in the fifties and it's not been inspected since. When we got back we wrote to the Maltese Tourist Office suggesting they take a look at the place as it's giving Malta a bad name.
- Travel date: Sun 15th of July 2012