13 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
excellent hotel and spa
"Cannot fault this hotel, lovely location fantastic views, buffet very varied and always hot and plentiful. The room was lovely with wonderful sea views, the indoor pool and spa was amazing and the staff could not have been more helpful. Would highly recommend."
- Travel date: 18th February 2015
"I am staying at the resort at the moment I leave tomorrow after a weeks holiday, I cannot believe the people who stayed with the bad reviews actually stayed at this hotel. I found the staff especially Karen in the lobby bar to be exceptional they are all so friendly the rooms are large and cleaned to a high standard , the food is varied and very good the only problem I have being a single traveler is that there is little or no entertainment on a night. It is my first time in Malta and loved every minute of it and would definitely come back but to a more built up area. So well done to the staff of this hotel you are doing a great job."
- Travel date: 7th April 2014
Just got back from a week's stay at the ...
"Just got back from a week's stay at the Riviera. We are a young(ish) couple, at 30, and we enjoyed our stay immensely - many of the beautiful photos on this site are true reflections of the hotel; it's an extravagant looking place with a cosy feel to it, an excellent spa/gym/sauna area and a lovely open pool area. The rooms were functional, comparable to a 3 star hotel in the UK and always clean. There were only 2 English-speaking channels on the TV but luckily I didn't go on holiday to watch TV in my room! We had a "country-view" room which had a view of the side of rural Marfa ridge, which consists of small fields, farm buildings and the Red Tower at the top. To the left, you could actually see the water of Ramla Bay and, if you leaned over, the open sea so it's almost a sea view anyway. With regards to some of the "unfriendly" staff comments, I'd say that they are no more unfriendly than any other cross-section of service staff in Europe (although they were always polite and courteous) but they are human, afterall, and they are at work. In the absence of the simpering, patronising "have a nice day" culture of service staff in America, for example, you only have to make a bit of effort yourself to engage them in conversation and you'll find that they are helpful, friendly and have a great sense of humour. If you expect ridiculously subservient, sycophantic robots you should not go to Malta; the people have different personalities which are rich and varied which makes the place a truly European (and rewarding) experience. The hotel is a little isolated which during the day is not a problem due to the good transport links with the rest of the island but at night could be a little frustrating if you fancy stepping out for a late drink. We solved the problem by getting a cab to Mellieha which has a few late bars, but St. Julians/Paceville could also be an option, albeit a 40-minute-each-way journey. Food-wise, the Riviera has 2 restaurants open in May - the Mirasol and the Sol E Mar. The Mirasol had decent enough buffet-style food and the Sol E Mar was an excellent continental-style restaurant, offering a selection of world-wide dishes. The Lobby Bar is quite simply a lobby bar but the Charley Noble cocktail bar was a cosy place with cheesy local music in the club style with great cocktails (in fact, Janelle and Christian, two staff members, came second and third respectively in a recent local competition between hotel bar staff in the area, including Hilton staff) and a relaxed atmosphere. In summary, this hotel is in an exclusive location, is quite posh-looking but a little isolated for folk wanting to get a late drink. I'd definitely go again. "
- Travel date: 4th June 2008
one of our best holiday
"w,e spent 3 weeks at the riviera for our birthdays and our 45th wedding anniversary,we were made to feel very special,with flowers wine and basket of fruit,its a first class hotel and the service from the management to the cleaners was excellent, we had a lovely room over looking the pool its a beautiful location with easy access to anywhere,by regular buses with cheap fares, also close to ferry to see Goso.we will return"
- Travel date: 9th October 2007
Nice Hotel but thats all
"Sep27/Oct 4th very nice hotel had a superb suit overlooking sea staff on reception to much talking, and dont smile, staff in the lobby bar and the downstairs bar couldnt care less, hotel run out of draught beer after 3 days,and didnt refill, food good staff in dining hall excellent.In general malta people dont seem to smile WHY."
- Travel date: 8th October 2007
Definitely not a 4 star
"First impressions are that you have indeed landed in a great 4 star hotel. It soon became clear this wasn't quite the case. For starters, the staff on the reception desk spent more time talking to one another and ignoring us than they did trying to help us check in. We booked a double room but got a twin room. Beds were quite hard and the pillows were as useful as a ball of cotton wool and similar in size! The bathroom was at best basic. Our main issue was the air con which was very poor to the point of non existence on a few nights. It was stifling hot at night and in the morning and made for a very uncomfortable sleep. When we complained we were told that the air con was only switched on between 4 in the afternoon and 1 in the morning! Believe me, even at that it was awful. On a brighter note, the pool area was quite nice. Unfortunately Sept is considered 'winter' (at 28 degrees!!) so the pool bar was not open every day which was ridiculous as the pool area was pretty full each day. The food was okay but there were a few scary moments - prawns not cleaned and raw chicken served at the buffet, thankfully not to me! On complaining about the prawns not being cleaned I was told they were frozen. Which apparently meant I was wrong. I've eaten prawns enough to know how they should be served. Not only did the extremely rude service manager try to argue with me, he did not offer me anything else when I told him I would not be eating them. That was the Bistro restaurant Sol e Mar. We did not return there. Which made life difficult as there few places to choose from. The riviera is very remote. Handy for travelling to Gozo and Comino but little else. The other two hotels in the area had more facilities for younger people and also small supermarkets, the riviera has only a pokey little gift shop. Overall we were disappointed and won't be returning or recommending this hotel. Perhaps at the height of summer the staff are more pleasant and helpful and perhaps the air con works properly but you only get one chance to make a first impression."
- Travel date: 3rd October 2007
It was just okay...
"This hotel has a lot of hiccups that if they were smoothed out, it would be a great place. Firstly the air conditioning in the hotel is not the best. It was a common complaint amongst people we were talking to in the hotel. There was 2 nights out of 10 that we couldnt sleep properly due to the heat. We tried to sleep with the doors open but this didnt make any difference. Some mornings it was unbearable as the sun was beating on the patio and the air conditioning was very poor so the room was quite uncomfortable. I didnt think the staff were great. They didnt seem to know how to deal with a problelm properly. Any problem we had was met with "i'll fill in a report card and someone will deal with the situation tomorrow". This wasnt great to hear when you heard it about 3 or 4 times. It meant basically any problems you had, it wasnt dealt with. For people who like to snuggle up at night with a loved one and watch a movie - forget it. This hotel has only one channel in English, BBC Prime and thats it! There is a movie channel which shows one movie at 8pm and one at 11pm but they are old movies and they are usually in German. For a four star hotel little things were missed like shampoo's etc in the bathroom. All that was provided was a shower cap. The beds were quite uncomfortable. After requested a double bed there was only 2 twin beds left which we pushed together. That wasnt a problem but the beds themselves were quite hard and there was a few sore muscels in the morning. It is definitely not four star hotel standard and please please dont be disappointed if you think it is. Many of the problems we had, other guests had. My boyfriend liked the spa treatments in the hotel, I didnt. Everyone will have difference opinions about this. On a lighter note.... The housekeeping staff were great and always did a good job. The food in the bistro was gorgeous and the wine was very good. The Maltese wine in general if fabulous and very cheap also. Its a handy location if you want to visit Gozo. Its a beautiful part of the island, nice and queit and Hola Beach has some good entertainment on sometimes. I wouldnt recommend the Hotel Riviera or stay there again however unless it went through some air conditioning adjustments and the staff and management need to be better trained. Overall out of 5, I would give it a 2!"
- Travel date: 2nd October 2007
Very Dissapointed. Much better Hotel next door
"This Hotel has the facilities of a 4 star but is far from that. The main issue is that the Staff donât have the necessary training and with the exception of the Hola Bar team are not polite. Itâs almost like you are a hindrance being there and are processed accordingly. Additionally the whole place could do with a good clean. The Riviera make you pay the accommodation up front and itâs clear why. We booked a double room and were given a self catering twin room which was in reality a time share room. We were advised this by our neighbouring room who had a time share in the Hotel. On a positive note the view is great if you get a Sea View however thatâs where it ends. I found every aspect of the hotel very very poor and the meal we had in the Sol E Mar Resteraunt (a Pizza) was the worst, tasteless Pizza I have ever had. They hadnât washed the mushrooms. When I discussed with other customers and mentioned this to other residents in the hotel, they all agreed the food was awful. Breakfast was very poor and badly organised. The tables were not clean there were many flies. We were very glad we didnât have to have anything other than Breakfast in the Hotel. The Ramla Bay Resort and Spa is a short walk away and we found many of the Riviera clients eating in this Hotel instead which I can fully understand. You can also take the bus into Mellieha and a Taxi back. There are some very nice restaurantâs there. We stayed in 4 hotels on this vacation. The Grand Hotel in Gozo, the Radisson SAS in St Julianâs and the Corinthian in St Julian and they were all great. The Grand in Gozo was 4 star and fabulous. It was night and day difference between the Riviera. The Riviera Resort & Spa is the worst Hotel I have stayed in for many many years and can think of no reason why anybody would stay in this Hotel. If you want to be processed insulted and pay extra for every little thing (security safe extra, pool towels extra with clean next day pool towels extra also) in a Dirty Timeshare full of German package tourists this is for you. If you want to stay in this particular location then treat yourself to a real Hotel and check in the Ramla Bay Resort. When you arrive and walk to have a look at this hotel, youâll be annoyed you didnât. Donât stay here your worth more!"
- Travel date: 27th September 2007
Lovely, restful hotel but not a 4 star
"We booked this hotel based on a number of reviews read here- we wanted a peaceful, chilled out resort with good facilities on site and sea views and thats exactly what we got! We got a good deal on one of the suites for 5 nights and granted it was spacious and had beautiful views of the harbour, Comino and Gozo but I really didn't think it up to 4 star standard. A previous review said something along the lines of "good 3 star, not a 4 star" and I'd agree with that. On the plus side, the staff were efficient, helpful, friendly and impressively multi-lingual. The food served in the restaurants, particularly the bistro was to a very high standard, though I thought the menu was a bit limited. As an alternative to eating in the hotel, try out the beachside restaurant on Hola Beach next door- they do a great rib-eye steak cooked just the way you want with lots of crispy potato wedges, onion rings and coleslaw. With a glass or two of the local rose as the sun goes down, listening to chilled out beats, there's no where else you'd rather be. Back to the hotel itself: the public areas, including the lobby, pools and pool decks were spotless and well maintained and there was no problem bagging a sun lounger any time of day. Large beach towels were freely available from reception- once signed for- and spending a few hours by the pool on the first couple of days was extremely relaxing. A dip in the Med is made easy by way of ladders afixed to the rocks along the shore or an elogated jetty off of Hola Beach. Then we got bored and in the case of the other half, burnt, and decided to explore a bit on the buses having forgotten drivers licenses for the hire car. On the negative side, the decor is a bit dated, the furnishings a trifle worn and there was a feeling and smell of dampness about our room along with evidence of recent work on the masonry- new plaster on a large section of the bedroom wall was half-heartedly concealed by a curtain and a pile of broken concrete and plaster obviously from the repair was swept into a corner of the balcony and left there for the duration. We had to request tea and coffee facilities and no milk was supplied- I was gasping for a cup of tea all week!!! We got the mini bar stocked up with local wine and beer so we were happy enough with that! Also disappointing were our room balconies: they were quite narrow, overlooked and didn't get any of the evening sun the way the balconies both above and below us seemed to. We were on the third floor with a seaview- the balconies of those rooms facing the sea on the top floor (4th) and the second floor balconies below us (which were huge in comparison and jutted out some way) seemed to get sun into the late afternoon and evening. We weren't spending a whole lot of time in the room anyway so it wasn't that big a deal. Would have been a nice place to kick back with a few beers in the evening though! Overall a nice place for a restful break. Though it might be a bit too quiet for those wanting a variety of bars, restaurants and clubs, we loved the general area and we'll certainly be returning to Malta. I'd say we'll self-cater in future- fresh food is so freely and cheaply available and barbecuing would be a great option! The bus network is good, but would recommend a car- everywhere seems to be well-signed and there was no evidence of maniacal driving that you associate with the Med. Our taxi and bus drivers were polite, considerate of other drivers and knew how to indicate along with how to negotiate roundabouts and I can tell you that coming from Ireland, I was a shocked! Overall, a success!"
- Travel date: 21st September 2007
"i booked a family room and upon arrival upgraded to a seaview since the view of the sea and of gozo is something one should not miss. The room was clean and the hotel service was also good. The pool area is very nice and great for anyone with children. The food at the hotel was also very good. We also spent a day at hola beach which is right next to the hotel. Renting out a car is a must since it makes travelling round the island much easier and a visit to Gozo is also a must!! Overall great service and extremely helpful staff."
- Travel date: 16th August 2007
"We stayed at the Riviera for a week and had a fabulous time. I would recommend it to anyone wanting to vist malta. They do a fantastic BBQ on a friday night at the hotel and on a Saturday night at hola beach with a Theatrical performance. The Theatrical performance is not of the same as a west end show quality, but none the less entertaining. I would recommend going on a boat trip to the blue lagoon, but leave on the first boat at 9am as it is very popular and gets crowded( the boat leaves directly opp. the hotel). Mellieha bay is fantastic and has lots to do for everyone in the Family. If you want a bit of history I can recommend Medina/Rabat. We are deffantly going back there!"
- Travel date: 8th August 2007
Just what we wanted
"Being our first time to Malta my husband and I decided to spend our holiday in a good hotel with a spa and close to the beaches as we love staying outdoors. We could not have been luckier. We specifically looked for a good hotel in the north part of Malta and found the Riviera that met our criteria. The hotel has a nice decor with plenty of daylight and open views of comino and gozo. The room was of a good size, comfortable, very clean with a nice balcony overlooking the beach with palm trees. We booked on BB and dined once in the main restaurant were buffet is served. Food is good but it was a bit crowded and could only eat indoors. The a la carte was lovely and we dined outside on the terrace. Luckily we saw the beach with palm trees from our room so we went there. I don't know why but this beach, Hola beach is not well advertised in the hotel. The sunbeds are free but you have to pay Lm1 for the umbrella for the day. They play great chillout music and buddha bar music all day and evening. We had some great lunches and dinners under the palm trees. Try the ribeye there its' marvelous! They have a good selection of cocktails to choose from. Wine is really cheap there starting from Lm2.50 a bottle! Beer costs 50c!!! Service at the hotel was quite good although the waiters tend to be always in a hurry. We were surprised that we always found sunbeds by the pool although the hotel seemed full. However we really loved the beds at Hola beach. We hired two beds with mattress, sheets and pillow for Lm2.50 a day. Great way to relax and fall asleep listening to nice music and sipping a cocktail! The bars are good at the hotel with limited outdoor seating. The downfall is that they close at midnight which we found a bit odd. Thank god the bar at the beach stays open till late so we were always there for drinks. The hotel was generally clean and luckily this hotel does not take students so it was not noisy. We had some treatments at the Spa which were great. My husband also had a great massage on the beach as they do massages only on sundays. This is what we really wanted for our holiday and we are really glad that my husband does his research well!! We'll definitely go back!! Cats."
- Travel date: 27th July 2007
Top traveller tips for LABRANDA Riviera Hotel & Spa
"make the most of the buses - very cheap at only 6.50 euros for the whole week"
"Bus stop no far get a day pass for 1.50 euros gan get on and off any bus great value "
LABRANDA Riviera Hotel & Spa is also called
- Riviera Resort & Spa
- riviera hotel mellieha
- the riviera hotel