Radisson Blu Resort & Spa, Malta Golden Sands
36 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
"stayed at this hotel in august 2006 and it was that good we are returning in july 2007. from the moment we arrived with our 2 young children(aged 7 & 9) to the moment we left we had a great time. nothing was to much trouble for the staff, we booked a 1 bedroom suite which was more than big enough, and the balcony was huge,
every aspect and area of the hotel was spotless and my kids could'nt get enough of all the pools on offer. both the private beach and the public beach were really clean and the beach cafe food was excellent.
the hotel prices can be a little expensive, but it is a 5star resort so what do you expect!"
- Travel date: Tue 6th of March 2007
Golden Resort Experience
"We felt a little overwhelmed by two bedrooms, a living room, a full kitchen (with dishwasher) and a dining room with just the two of us. We had three balconies, overlooking the ocean on both sides. (Room 1208 if you get a choice....) The staff were extremely helpful when one of our bags didn't arrive -- checking repeatedly at the airport for the status and delivering it to our room. We took full advantage of the free transport to Valletta, St. Julians and Silema, meeting other people staying in the hotel. One day we booked a taxi through the hotel and saw all of the Malta "highlights." The food wasn't terrific and it was overpriced, but they have a tiny grocery store downstairs where we bought staples and made our own meals. The area is isolated, but transportation was very cheap, when we weren't going within the range of the hotel's free van. We found the public buses -- 20 cents -- easy to use and fun. Most of the other guests were from England and Germany. We were the only people from the U.S. By the end of the trip, the soft English of the Maltese made our accents sound harsh. Everywhere we went it was "tourist-friendly" and, with a little creativity, there's a lot to do."
- Travel date: Wed 7th of February 2007
very very poor
"My family and i had booked the raddison golden bay in october when we got there the hotel looks nice to look at, but the rooms we were disappointed with we booked a suite and twin seren room like the family before the suite contained a room with twin single beds and a pull out sofa bed for two adults and two children and the twiin room well how on earth do you put two teenages and my mother-in-law in a room with two double beds when we went down to complain we were told by the manager that there had over booked and tryed to flagged us off with a free holiday next year and that we could stay at a sister hotel we was not very pleased
In the end we stay at the intercontinental st julians It was nice but it was not what we had booked
we have stay in the riviera and the seabank and these two knock the spots off the raddison as you can see we will not be staying at that hotel again its not what you expext an 5 star hotel to be"
- Travel date: Tue 28th of November 2006
The real 5* experience
"Went on the promotion with Island Hotels for 7 nights at this hotel. We had to attend a sales pitch afternoon for a couple of hours which told us of the benefits of "fractional ownership" and how they manage this. The units for sale were beautifully furnished and in perfect condition. After that we were left alone. Our accomodation was a one bedroom suite , excellent with sea views. Well furnished with good quality towels and bathrobes and slippers. Sheets changed every other day. Tea and coffee making equipment in room.
The hotel is excellent in every respect. Stands overlooking the sea and sands with a large lagoon pool and a couple of smaller ones and a jacuzzi. Pools outside are not heated. Indoor heated pool is part of the spa complex as is a well equiped gym. Spa treatments similar price to UK
The staff are all excellent and very helpful.There is a daily bus to Valleta which is free and runs three or four times daily . Local buses run from outside the hotel in two differnet directions and you can get to all parts of the island with these and a bit of working out. Bus stops early evening so you can get out to eat but will need a taxi back. These are expensive.
Drinks and food in the hotel is expensive, at least double outside prices, but the quality is excellent and compares with high quality restaurants in UK.
Some entertainment going on throughout the day but low key.
We had a wonderful holiday here and would recommend this hotel highly, and hope to return again."
- Travel date: Sat 4th of November 2006
A good experience except for....
"We have just returned from an Autumn half-term break courtesy Island Residence Club who invited us for a promotional stay having spend a week at the other Radisson SAS hotel at Bay Point, Malta, in October 2004. We were 3 adults and 1 pre-teen boy. We had to transfer to the Coastline Hotel, one of the group on Malta, for our final night. In exchange for a much poorer quality hotel, we recevied other benefits to "sweeten the pill". Readers who accept the terms of the promotion would need to be aware of this possibility. The Golden Sands resort was over booked, we were told, and so we had to be approached to make room for others. (Let the reader understand.) For the basic charge on the promotion, I guess what you get is not bad.
Previous reviewers have commented on the incomplete nature of the development and there is still some to be done, although we got the impression that most in-house work is done. There is further development planned in the surrounding grounds - a golf course. We did ask for a mis-placed curtain track to be rectified, even pointing out what we thought was the problem -that was never seen to.
Overall the hotel is comfortable and the Golden Bay beach is a pleasure - handy for the hotel, free loungers to residents (don't get fooled into paying for the non-hotel loungers in the non-private part of the beach). We swam in the sea a lot and enjoyed cheap snacks from the beach cafes. Some sea fun things are available - parakiting, banana boat, pedaloes - that type of thing. Not cheap, but good for a treat if you want to splash out (pun not intended). The Apples Eye Cafe closed about 4 or 5pm and ruined any plans for a cheap evening meal one night. However, the Agliolio restaurant in-house is reasonable serving pizzas, salads and the like.
We were put in a one bedroom suite with a large living room area and an excellent bathroom, well equipped, clean and stocked with the usual complimentary toileties. My wife and I had to sleep on the double-sized pull-out style sofa and we requested an additional matress to make it comfortable for sleeping. My mother and 12 year old son had to share the twin room which was not ideal, but we had to accept it. We paid for breakfasts in advance which were excellent. We complained about a cigarette smoke smell in the room but nothing was done to rectify it - just told that all rooms are non-smoking and we might get an air freshner (which never appeared). We asked for blankets and had to repeat the request before any appeared. This hotel failed in the way we often find hotels do, when travelling with our son, in that the number of towels and cups in the room are always less than the number of occupants. We asked for extra bathtowels and cups and got those reasonably quickly. But it is the lack of attention to detail that riles somewhat.
We were grateful for the tea and coffee making facilities supplied in the room, but were dissappointed that our expectation of a two bed suite with basic cooking faciities was not fulfilled.
My wife and I spent about 4 hours with the holiday club rep and gave the offer serious consideration. In the end we declined the offer and were not bothered any further. Consumer reports need to be more encouraging before one invests several thousand pounds in a scheme that does not provide any printed information or pre-view of a contract before signing!
Dining experiences were good - Essence is an excellent gourmet restaurant, and we were treated to a top-class meal in a civilized atmosphere. Buffet meal in Flavours on another night was also excellent, and the themes change on the various nights of the week.
Soft drinks poolside are marked up to 5* prices, but the loungers and poolside relaxation are good. Once the young trees (palms and olives) have matured, they should provide good, natural shade.
Guests should be aware of the remoteness of the hotel. Public service buses to serve the bay but travellers should check the last times. There is a courtesy bus which needs advance booking and we had to book two days in advance for a trip to Valetta. We hired a car which was basic, but safe. With the car we were able to access places of interest and restaurants further afield."
- Travel date: Fri 27th of October 2006
Trying Hard to be Five Star - Good but could be excellent
"Trying hard to be five star. SAS Radisson Golden Bay, Mellieha, Malta.
The Golden Bay Resort is a new (2005) five star SAS Radisson hotel with time share apartments in an attached building. All facilities of the hotel are available to timeshare residents. We rented a two bed apartment with sea view for 10 days. The rental agency TSL was efficient and helpful (Vanessa).
Check-in was at the hotel reception and reasonably efficient. However we were not told that a deposit would be taken for the beach towel cards we were issued with. We had to query the bill the next day to get this clarified.
When we arrived it was clear that time share sales were still underway and there were presentations being made every day. We received no pressure to buy whatsoever. We were welcomed by the manager of the apartment complex. There is still work underway â we were woken to the sound of hammers on four mornings, normally at about 8.30 am, which is acceptable. On the fourth morning when the noise started at 7.30am it took two phone calls to reception to get the noise stopped, but not until 8 am. Reception, on the second call, after waiting for 20 minutes and the noise not stopping, claimed it had been dealt with, and at no time did anyone apologise.
The hotel is in one of the remoter parts of the island, so a car is very useful and even in October all parking is full by late afternoon. On occasions we had to park a quarter of a mile from the hotel.
The apartmentâs general appearance was excellent and as you would expect in a five star resort complex. The dishwasher had never been used. There were some major irritations and a number of minor ones.
ïThe apartment is south facing with fabulous views over the swimming pool and the bay from a beautiful veranda. There are two tables and six chairs (one with a slightly torn seat) But there is no shade and even in the Autumn sun itâs much too hot to sit outside and e.g. have lunch or breakfast. We asked for a parasol. Staff offices on the same level have a complete line of them. We were first told that it was too dangerous, then that they could blow off. After pointing out the inconsistency and the fact further down on the same level the offices had parasols outside so the staff could sit in the shade, we were promised a parasol by the guest relations manager. No parasol was provided although we did get a complimentary bottle of wine.
ïNo privacy screen at the side of the apartment â people using public areas could (and on one occasion did) interrupt our privacy. The balcony adjoins the main public balcony where potential time share owners are brought to see the view every day.
ïThe electrical supply is unreliable. The supply to the room tripped twice and to the whole complex three times. It took an hour on one occasion to get maintenance to fix it.
ïNo net curtains in one bedroom, No soap trays in the bathrooms.
ïDespite notices on bathroom doors asking us to save the planet, re-use towels but leave towels for washing on the floor any towel with a hint of being used is removed for washing.
ïThe wifi signal is poor in the room. There is an alternative of a wired ADSL broadband connection using the laptop USB port through a connection adjacent to the telephone. But the only way that the laptop can be used in this way is if sitting or lying on the bed. There is no writing desk.
The apartment was kept beautifully clean by Nancy (high praise). On her days off the cleaners were offhand and the cleaning superficial.
The Public Rooms & Restaurants
All the reception rooms were spacious and beautifully laid out. The wifi signal at so-called wifi hotspots was poor in the Island Club foyer. In the âMokkaâ coffee shop the wifi connection was good and there are working height tables so it was easy to work there (and have an excellent espresso).
As non hotel residents we sometimes cooked for ourselves â the club deli has reasonably priced basic foodstuffs and apartment supplies and the kitchen was well furnished with cooking utensils, china, etc..
We didnât eat in the buffet restaurant (Flavours) but had excellent meals in the Italian âAglioglioâ and âEssencesâ gourmet restaurant. The food and service in these two certainly compares favourably with most restaurants of similar standing in other countries. The price of meals and drinks in restaurants and bars was not excessively higher than similar establishments outside the hotel.
The entertainment in the âSwizzlesâ bar was sometimes extremely good â the Wednesday night jazz group were exceptional.
My only food complaint is that the waiters refuse to serve tap water â guests are forced to buy expensive bottled water. When I asked for a glass of tap water I was told that Malta water wasnât good. This is despite the fact that the hotelâs own publicity states that water is on a closed system, desalinated etc. We drank the hotel tap water in the apartment. It tasted fine.
The swimming pools are excellent and there is a section of beach reserved for hotel clients.
Water sports facilities are patchy â the one sailing dinghy had a broken mast, there is only one windsurfer.
Management of the Gym is poor and there are some design problems. Opening hours are from 9 am to 6 pm. â Totally inadequate, gym users like to workout before breakfast or their day at a conference, or before evening activities. The weights machines were out of service the first morning I arrived. I put in a written request for them to be fixed that morning. I got no response. Nothing had been done a week later and even management staff were complaining that it hadnât been fixed. There are no chest straps for the heart monitors. There are three DVD screens but there are no proper loudspeakers (when jogging you need lots of volume). So there is a fairly tacky little CD player to play alternative music.
Many things about this hotel are excellent. Despite the unnecessary irritations the overall rating is good and I would probably come back. But some staff give a glib answer rather than addressing the issues. Attention to detail is need and there is an impression that both reception and housekeeping management have taken their eyes off the ball â itâs a good hotel that could be great.
25 October 2006"
- Travel date: Tue 24th of October 2006
over priced and isolated
"I won a one week stay at the Raddison and combined it with a weeks stay in Mellieha. For as much as it is a lovely hotel and very well furnished I found it very cold and unwelcoming, the staff were very efficient but not very friendly and I felt very intimedated by the girls at reception on our arrival.
There is a choice of three restaurants in the hotel but as they are also open to the public if you do not book in advance you are unlikely to get a table. This could be a huge problem as apart from a cafe across the road there is no where else to eat in the area. I also found the prices in the hotel very expensive, I was charged LM2.5 for a small bottle of water at the pool bar, the prices in the restaurants were far above average for Malta.
There is a store in the hotel but the choice of goods on offer is very limited and none of the drinks are refrigerated and as there was no fridge in our room, apart from a very overpriced frigo bar, you could only drink cold beverages if purchased from the bar.
The only saving grace is that there is a bus stop fairly close by so getting out was pretty straight forward. If you are happy to spend all your time either by the pool or lying on the beach you could well like this place but if like me you want to see some of the local culture you would be far better off staying in one of Maltas lovely villages. Neadless to say I will not be going back and after speaking to some of the other guests I will not be alone."
- Travel date: Mon 23rd of October 2006
Absolutely first class!
"We went to the Golden Sands for our first wedding anniversary, and we are so glad we did. After experiencing a Sandals Resort in the Carribbean for our honeymoon, we felt nothing could beat it.....the Golden Sands did in many ways.
The food is superb, so much choice, service is wonderful, although water is not free....but quite reasonable in bottles. Pools, spa (my stress buster sorted me out for months after!!), beach, water sports, fantastic!!!
If you don't want to pay the hotel prices during the day....you don't have to, good places to snack on the beach (which is right next to the hotel...literally a minute away!) 2 snack bars, half the price!!
Simply hire a car if you want to see Malta, plenty of car parking space around the hotel. Excellent rates if you hire through the hotel, get the freedom, its well worth it. Valetta is beautiful.
We went on the sales pitch for the timeshare, and we bought it was so impressive! So we are going back this Easter....and be honest we can't wait!"
- Travel date: Thu 14th of September 2006
A Great Bargain Holiday
"We booked this weeks holiday in April this year to stay from 25th August for one week. It was booked through an Interval International (timeshare mag) advertisement and only cost Â£59 for the full week for a family of 4 excluding flights. On arrival, we thought it looked a bit too 'concretey' and not a lot of pretty landscaping to soften it up. However, on arriving at our room, any negativity went by the by. We were allocated a one bed sea-view apt. with partial kitchen, and very spacious marble bathroom. The views were absolutely breathtaking as we overlooked Golden Bay with it's beautiful turquoise sea - absolutely gorgeous! Our friends who we travelling with however, we given a grotty, basic room overlooking wasteland at the back of the hotel (which incidentally we were told is to be turned into a golf course) with a pull-out sofa bed for their 2 kids. The mattress which was about 1.5 inches thick was totally inadequate and after complaining, they were given a proper mattress. They also moved room 3 times, as they were so unhappy, but I suppose that's a chance you take when taking up one of these offers.
Staying here on this deal involves a timeshare presentation which we thought would last a max of 2 hours! Wrong! Even with screaming, bored kids in tow, they rattled on for 4 hours! We told them right at the beginning we would only be interested in a sea view (which was fully sold out) and still they insisted we sit through their sales pitch.........so be warned. Good news though, we weren't hassled afterwards by phone calls as you would expect from people eager to get their commission.
Anyway,we ended up having a fab week. Loved the beach, the sea matched that in the caribbean and was very warm and the people and staff very friendly. All in all, a great chill out week by nice pools and a spectacular beach."
- Travel date: Thu 31st of August 2006
a lovely hotel
"my family have just had a two week holiday at golden sands, and have to say it was wonderful. The apartment we were in was fantastic, very spacious a real home from home, the kitchen was very well equipped even had a dishwasher, it was really lovely. THE staff were all really courtous and friendly, if we had any problems, ie needed extra pillows for a child, lightbulbs blew , things were sorted out really quickly, when one of our family members took ill the staff were brilliant, trying to assist in first aid and then calling for an ambulance, then ringing the next day to enquire how the person was, being genuinly concerned. The facilities were excellent too, everything was spotlessly clean, all the pool ares were spotless too, the chambermaids did an excellent job too, everything in our apartment was cleaned thoroughly, and fresh towels and bedding were there as well.
The only downside was you are a bit limited in travel outside the hotel at night, in the daytime there are plenty of public transport buses to take you into buggiba, or valletta for next to nothing in fares, but the last bus back is 6-45 in the evening so you are a bit restricted if you don't drive, and it starts to get a bit expensive if you get taxis all the time. Golden sands itself has a mini bus but you have to book it the day before and its a first come first serve basis, but staff there have said that there are more buses-both public transport and their own-going to be put on so hopefully things will be better.
we would like to say that we had a brilliant time and would highly recommend golden sandsand cant wait to go back there."
- Travel date: Sun 16th of July 2006
"Just returned from a wonderful weeks holiday in this hotel. Couldn't fault the hotel or staff, clean smart, stayed in a suite overlooking the sea. Beautiful views and balcony was ideal. Public transport is easy. Food in the Italian restaurant particularly good and very reasonably priced xx booked again already for next year "
- Travel date: Tue 16th of May 2017
"Just back from Malta were we attended a presentation at this hotel, we thought the place was lovely in a quiet location,we had only arrived the day before and was booked into a different hotel, we hadn't seen even the resort just walked out of out of our hotel when approached by Daniel who told us about the presentation and said we had won a weeks holiday in Tenerife,we decided to go view the Radisson and attend presentation, after seeing the complex we decided to book in for the night which we enjoyed, its is such a shame they don't give you the option to think about purchase at a later date or give you some free nights to sample the complex as to spend 18k after a couple of hrs presentation isn't enough. However since coming back I have filled in the questionnaire for the holiday in Tenerife and it said we will expect a call back I am still waiting. its such a shame that this is probably a scam and the Radisson it putting its name to it.
I can recommend the Italian restaurant they have near the beach, prices very gd and food fantastic, the only disappointing thing about our night stay was at breakfast, the coffee was made with tap water and was disgusting."
- Travel date: Mon 11th of April 2016