14 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
"The room was a nice size and comfortable, reasonable cost. Dining was buffet style and very good food, the staff were friendly, a special mention for Hany who was friendly and efficient. Chia on reception was very efficient and always smiling.
plenty of bus routes from outside the hotel. Overall a good hotel to stay."
- Travel date: Sat 16th of April 2016
4*? More like a generous 3
"On arrival at the Solano hotel, Mellieha, we were met with smiles and a warm greeting. It soon became apparent though that our receptionist was all teeth due to the fact that she was about to go on holiday and I can only assume, get away from a work place that fell below the standards that she was going to expect at her destination.
On entering our room we were struck by the unoriginal decor and twin beds stuck together with an over large sheet â not conducive to a married couplesâ getaway when they have actually paid for a double room! The bathroom was slight, awkward and under-supplied although fortunately not streaming water down the walls as was the case with another coupleâs experience who we met later in the week. A foray onto the tiny balcony revealed a view that can only be described in laymenâs terms as âbeige wallâ, as indeed, that was in fact all it was.
A poor quality room can be easily forgiven â after all, the hope is that you will be spending only a limited time within the four walls. Therefore, it was with great expectation that we pursued a viewing of the two swimming pools on offer. Firstly to the roof terrace where a pretty little pool with plenty of âoff-peakâ bathing areas met our perusal. However, for a country known for its windsurfing, there was surprisingly little shelter provided from the regular blusts coming from the bay and many a sun worshipper was seen scarpering beneath a rented towel or two.
The second pool was no picture either. Tucked away deep into the basement of the hotel and light in a way that Rembrandtâs âNightwatchmenâ would have been proud. This dingy uninviting area proved doubly repellent when entering the tepid, bordering on downright cold âheatedâ pool. It was to prove a virtually un-swimmable haven of the hot-blooded and the many goose-bumped.
Near to the pool area, a âsmall gymâ lay in wait for the fitness seekers. On a more personal note, I always tend to look for a gym when booking a hotel â something about honing the body with both a tan and a trim. Therefore, I was hugely disappointed when over half of the equipment proved to be broken, faulty or downright dangerous. Within this sparse, overheated room, a lone âhoodieâ, minus occupant, lay abandoned on the one working bike machine. One can only assume that the wearer had been savagely mauled by the malfunctioning bench press.
And so, with the facilities failing miserably, we retired to supper and the âItalianâ theme that awaited us. Despite the fact that my wife (along with a growing population) canât eat gluten, she braved the menu of pasta, pizza and flavoured bread whilst looking forward perhaps to the vast range of wonderful cheeses and fine risottos. No such luck! The menu was inadequate to say the least. Not only was every âmainsâ dish poisonous to her but it also turned out to be malevolent to any food loving animal. Everything on offer was either hugely overcooked or had lain in salty sauces for so long that Jamie Oliver could have been inspired to a whole new series. From breakfast through lunch into dinner and afters, our culinary experience of Solana was highlighted by consistent half-board and half cooked disappointments. From watery coffee to pink cheap sausages (probably made from the local dog population) to dinner meats that had barely left the bits of bone that it still swam lovingly beside, nothing proved palatable.
Of course, you could go ahead and buy additional coffees to compliment your overcooked scrambled eggs but on the current evidence we decided to spend our hard earned cents in some of the wonderful bars and restaurants nearby.
If you must give this below average 3* (being generous here) hotel your money then go for the room only and be prepared to do some walking. Honestly though, Iâm sure there are better places in Malta so stay there!
- Travel date: Fri 20th of April 2012
A very nice hotel but not really much to...
"A very nice hotel but not really much to do for the kids.
The games room was never working and the worst thing about the hotel was all the students that were there. They practically took over the hotel and were rude and disrespectful to visitors of the hotel.
Other than that I had a very pleasant stayed and loved the country. I will definitely be going back to Malta but to a different hotel.
- Travel date: Sat 15th of September 2007
Good place to stay if you want to laze about
"Chose this hotel as a result of the reviews we read here, and we were not disappointed. Stayed on a B&B basis.
The room was large with two single beds side by side which were very comfortable. Plenty of cupboard / wardrobe space, small kitchen which was in a locked cupboard (if you wished to use it at a small cost). Fridge available below this, did not work very well. Bathroom and shower pretty standard.
Breakfast was buffet style hot and cold, with as much to eat as you wished and was off a good standard.
Staff at the hotel were very efficient, organised and helpful and above all friendly.
Pool and terrace bar (closed) on roof with loungers and shades is a nice touch.
Bar service could have gone on a bit longer at weekends, but then you could have just gone across the road if you wanted another drink.
Overall a very good and pleasant place to stay. I am sure you would enjoy it."
- Travel date: Thu 17th of May 2007
very satisfied with the solana
"My boyfriend and i stayed at the Solana hotel for a couple of nights on a B&B basis. We booked through expedia.com and the price we were given was a real bargain.
The room was quite big, very clean and quiet. Since i had read some reviews about noisy rooms facing the street, i called the solana and asked to be given a quiet room, and they did give me a good one. The staff was very kind
we arrived from the Luqa airport by taxi, and i recommend that if you haven't rented a car. It's true that busses are really cheap, but our taxi driver behaved as a real tour guide and spend a few words about every little village we'd go through. after all you pay 13LM and in 30 mins tou're delievered to your room! It takes about 90 mins by bus.
About the hotel, the roof top pool was very nice and clean, it's a shame the bar was closed, but after all it's still low season for malta and it was only us by the pool.
The breakfast was very good, with a wide choice of cereals, jams, cakes,different kinds of bread, hams, bacon, cheese etc..
As i said, we were on a B&B basis so didn't check lunch or dinner.
About restaurants, i'd highly recommend Arches,beautiful environment, very good creative cuisine, great service, an endless worldwide winelist and not expensive at all considered all this.Anywhere else around europe you'd pay at least 4-5 times more for a service like that!
We also tried Giuseppi's but were a bit let down. The food was not bad but the waiter seemed to be very angry wiyh somebody and never smiled.
We'd definately go back to malta and to this hotel and we recommend it.
sabina & nicola"
- Travel date: Mon 14th of May 2007
Very nice hotel
"Agree with most things people say here. We said in a room at the back, so was not affected by road noise but I know the people we went with were woken up a few times.
Hotel very clean, good size rooms and large bathroom - excellent shower. Breakfast was the only meal we had in the hotel and this was very good. A wide range of foods offered in a buffet style.
Took us about 20 mins in a taxi from the hotel. We ate at the Windmill twice - up the road about 10 mins walk on your left. It was really nice food. Also ate at Ta Peter across the road where ththey were very welcoming and good value food.
We dived at paradise diving which was about 15 mins away near the ferry to Gozo - they wil come and pick you up, [-] Excellent guides and excellent, relaxed diving.
Got the bus to Mdina one day - worth a visit.
My only moan would that reception was a bit disprganised, we asked them to book a table at the arches for us - they said they couldn't do it as their computer was down, when we asked the arches was open on sunday - they said yes. Sunday came and the Arches was closed! It also took us 3 times to ask them to print out our bills ready for us to cheque us prior to an early flight.
If you do have an early flight they will prepare a breakfast box for you - which I thought was a nice touch.
I would def stay here again - I loved Malta!!!"
- Travel date: Tue 8th of May 2007
Clean, friendly staff
"Just got back from a 3 night stay at The Solana, read reviews before I went and agree with most. We had a room at the front with a balcony overlooking the main road, didn't find this a problem as I always take my earplugs wherever I go as I find air-conditioning etc distburbs me so road didn't affect me or my husband who didn't wear earplugs! Enjoyed sitting on balcony, bit noisy I admit, but enjoyed people watching and seeing their old buses and vehicles trying to get up the hill! Room and hotel both very clean, cocktails not great but they try, breakfast - would have been good to have some cooked tomatoes and mushrooms as I don't eat eggs or meat but survived on good cheese rolls, fruit salad and turnovers which were all good. Didn't eat there in evening, 2 restaurants we would recommend were either the Arches at lower end of High Street in Mellieha and also Il Mithna (the windmill) at the top end, some say Arches pricey but definately not compared to UK restaurants of same quality and service. Also the Savini Restaurant which is just below the Bella Vista Hotel in Qawra. Caught the bus from Mellieha to Sliema for some good shopping, bus cost 50c each bargain! Rooftop pool too cold to go in and indoor pool also not as warm as we would have liked so only went in once, couldn't get internet to work at all. Would go to The Solana again but would also like to try the Maritim to see how it compares, Solana very good value for money."
- Travel date: Mon 30th of April 2007
I stayed at the Solana for a week B&B wi...
"I stayed at the Solana for a week B&B with it being my first time to Malta.
I holidayed with my partner and our 10 yr old daughter, the hotel was very clean, the staff - cleaners, receptionist, waitresses etc - were very friendly and helpful.
The food at Solana was excellent and was well worth the price what we paid.
When I visit Malta again I will come for either 10 or 14 nights because 7 was not enough.
The facilities were used every day by my family, especially the indoor heated pool & Jacuzzi!
I would recommend the Solana to anybody looking for a nice relaxing break and nice friendly people."
- Travel date: Tue 17th of April 2007
"Plenty of detail in other reviews, so not to repeat here. Important that you do not become saddled with the first floor front bedrooms which have no sound proofing and suffer immensely from road noise - we had 2days with NO sleep until eventually being moved to the top floor. The price you pay is irrelevant if you cannot get any sleep.
Best bars are Reflections and (I think it was called Cross Keys-only 20 yards from Reflections). Billys Bar is welcoming. These bars are at the top of the hill walking away from Mellihia (5mins from hotel).
Best restuarant is on the way to these bars at the top of the hill called Il Melitha (or something like this - it is Maltese for the Windmill and cannot be missed)-good food, ambience and value"
- Travel date: Mon 16th of April 2007
Very good hotel
"My husband and I have just returned from 8days holiday at the Solana Hotel in Mellieha Bay (booked through Choice Holidays on a B&B basis). We had an excellent flight with Air Malta from Ldn Stansted â on time, efficient and with no baggage losses. The Solana Hotel is on a busy street and therefore I would recommend anyone staying there to request a room at the back (best rooms in my opinion being on top floor, near the rooftop pool â valley views are rooms 1510 and 1511). The room we had on that floor was a good size with two beds and its own private balcony where the sun fell during the afternoon. Bathroom was large and if you put out the âservice requiredâ on your door handle you will get a full clean and change of towels every day. Only wish they had duvets and not blankets! Voltage and plugs are the same as in England. The aircon was quite loud â not sure if that is throughout the hotel or not, so maybe take some ear plugs!
The pool and seating area are on two levels and I think there is a bar during high season. Being Spring, the pool was too cold to swim in (and itâs not all that big), however we found some spots out of the breeze and enjoyed a good few days sunbathing. I would imagine the breeze would be most welcome in the summer period!
The breakfast was between 7-10am and consisted of three cereals, scrambled egg, bacon (which I liked), baked beans, omelette, frankfurter sausages, different types of bread and French sticks, different hams and cheese, tinned fruit and yogurt and finally, a toasting machine accompanied by three different jams. This did not vary, apart from the type of omelette (cheese/onion, or mushroom, or cheese). There was plenty all the time and the service was very good. The downstairs bar also offers reasonably priced snacks and beverages adjoining a very nice lounge area where you can watch people come and go both inside and outside.
As you come out of the hotel, directly opposite, there is a bus stop going down the very steep hill to Mellieha Bay itself (the beach area). Further down on the same side as the hotel is the bus stop going the other way to Sliema (645) or Valletta (41 or 45). Cost for each journey is 25c or you can get a day pass for LM1.50, which enables you to get on any bus anywhere around Malta, so good value. You donât need car hire, unless you really want to.
Our favourite restaurant was the newly acquired (formerly known as) TaâRandi restaurant which is cave like inside and offers good value for money and delicious pizzas (cash only). Meal of 1 large main course with drinks for two people was about LM9.00
There is an internet cafÃ© just up from the hotel which is LM1.00 for 80 mins. connection. Itâs slightly slower than the hotelâs own service, but you get three times more minutes.
Favourite destinations in Malta for us were Valletta (a World Heritage Site), and also where we saw soldiers from the Terracotta Army at their Archaeological Museum and took the Luzzu cruise around the Harbour; Mdina for itâs beauty and location; Sliema/St. Julianâs for the shops and buzzing atmosphere. Mellieha Bay in comparison is very much a family place, or for the more mature, with not an awful lot going on in the evenings. We didnât go to Gozo or Sicily on this occasion, but they are both worth going to. You have to remember that there are a lot of areas in Malta which are not attractive and this island well deserves more investment by being part of the EU. But what it lacks in charm in some places is more than made up by the (on the whole) lovely people.
All-in-all, a really nice destination for a short break holiday - we were lucky with the weather, but for warmer (but not too warm) weather, I would say May/June/September/October would be perfect."
- Travel date: Tue 3rd of April 2007
Lovely Place to Stay
"We were immediatly impressed with the outside appearance of the hotel and we were not disappointed with the rest of the hotel either.
This year the German tourist industry has just found Malta and the Germans seem to be very keen to visit the Island, so much so that we were told 80 extra flights had been organised this year to supply demand. The hotel was very multi-cultural, including visitors from Sweden and Italy.
The staff were courtious and helpful, the room was very clean and serviced every day, it was a decent size with plenty of storage space for our clothes.
There were a few niggles that I didnt report as they didnt bother me but did report them at the end of the holiday, things like the radio alarm clock didn not work and the ariel plug on the tv was missing.
It was too cold to swim in the outdoor pool but I did use the basement pool which was fine but couldnt get the spa pool to work.
We were allocated a room on the first floor at the front of the building with a balcony, it was nice to sit out but the street noise from the heavy vehicles that run up and down the mainstreet was, at times, VERY noisy. It did fizzle out by about 11pm but started up again around about 6am. Not really a problem for us but I can imagine it would be too much for some.
The TV stations available were very limited and I could only find one English speaking Chinese channel, the big TV in the public lounge area had BBC World available.
The internet service was only available at the sister hotel, the Pagola unless you had your laptop with you, then you could tap into the Wireless service. Although a couple of internet cafes were across the road for LM1 for an hour.
The hotel is 'plagued' by salespeople for the hotel and sister hotel on the doorstep and as long as you are not hooked by their very persuasive patter they will leave you alone once they know you are not going to buy. I would not like to put my neck on the line and say it was a con but I know from the hierachy of staff that we saw around that a lot of the money that you would be expected to pay out would go on commissions!
We stayed on a B&B basis and the food was fine, a slightly strange idea on what a full English Breakfast is but the food was hot and nicely presented and a serve yourself buffet style, a large selection of continental style breakfasts were also available, Cheeses, Fruits, Yogurts, a variety of breads, cereals and cakes. They always watered down the orange juice into a pale orange water with a slight orange taste.
There was also a small variety of snacks available from the bar area which were nice, if a little pricy. The drinks at this bar were expensive compared to the bars and restaurants further down the street.
We tried most of the restaurants and would highly recommend a visit to L'Amigo, head waiter called Nicholas (if you go, remind him of the couple from Leeds who knew where he worked at Freeport Castleford) And try the rabbit!
Master Wok was a nice chinese on the same street. Others worth a visit are Randi restaurant which is partly built into the rockface and for a basic bar with good beer and decent mixed grill visit the Stop Inn near the police station.
AVOID the Mandarin where the staff fetched their small children to work so spent much of their time alternating between seeing to the children and attending to their customers. The starter arrived at 8pm and was very nice, the rest of the meal arrived either burned or cold at around 9.30pm. We paid and left, leaving most of the food untouched.
Another resturant closeby is the Ta' Peter which was ok, but most of the food seemed to be of the mass produced variety and I did hear the microwave ping a couple of times.
A must is a visit the the WW2 air-raid shelters which are dug into the rockface near the church, I was amazed by the workmanship and the hardship the Maltese went through during the war years.
We enjoyed the round malta cruise with Captain Morgan cruises and also the malta in a day trip, I think they were both LM16 each per person, but a good day out with lunch included, although I would have expected to get to taste traditional Maltese food, instead we were presented with thin sliced roast beef in mushroom sauce with chips!
I would love to go back to Malta and would go back to the same hotel as I was very impressed with the overall experience and the things that were wrong were very little things!"
- Travel date: Thu 22nd of March 2007
Excellent hotel for bargain price
"Having read the reviews of many of the hotels in Malta we opted for the Solana as it had very few bad comments about it and we were definitely not disappointed. It turned out to be one of the best bargains we have had over the past few years, for less than Â£16 a night we got a super room and breakfast (thats for 2 not each) .We stayed from the 11th to 16 March 2007. We arrived very late evening but were made very welcome and were given a very spacious room with a extremely large bathroom. Although we had only booked bed and beakfast we dined in the restaurant on 3 evenings and the food was great on each occasion ( buffet style but plenty of choice and different every night). We had wine every night with the meal which was excellent quality for less than Â£4 a bottle so we didn`t feel ripped off with the drinks prices as you do in most hotels, the local dark beer ( Blue Label) is also excellent. Staff were always very friendly and helpful and the hotel was very clean, it was too cold to use the outside pool but the indoor one was lovlely ( the jacuzzi could have been warmer though). Yes there are some timeshare reps hanging about the outside of the hotel but just say you are not interested and they wont bother you again.
The only advice I would give if staying there is to ask for a rear room as the hotel is very close to the road and traffic noise is very loud in the street facing rooms from very early morning.
Mellieha is a quiet but very hilly village and not all restaurants are open at this time of year.
All in all a very enjoyable stay."
- Travel date: Mon 19th of March 2007