11 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Stylish 4* hotel with 44 bedrooms, in a...
"Stylish 4* hotel with 44 bedrooms, in a terraced town house located at the head of Spinola Bay. The main road in front of the hotel is busy day and night; with a wide promenade it goes to Sliema where the promenade ends at a building site. The glossy and spacious reception also houses a coffee bar/bar/breakfast area.
A secure garage for 9 guest cars is provided, at no extra charge on the 3rd floor (road level at rear). On the 9th floor is a swimming pool and sun beds, with a good view of Spinola Bay. Restaurants are located in the basement and on the 1st floor. Guest rooms are on the 4th to 8th floors, 15 having good bay views with balcony or small terrace.
Staff were very helpful and polite.
We booked a junior suite. Our bedroom was huge, with a comfortable double bed made up of two singles joined together, it was 6ft wide. There is a mini bar (expensive), 2 large armchairs, 2 coffee tables, desk area, television (we watched BBC world service), wardrobe and room safe (no extra charge). Room temperature is set on a digital panel, it is very good. Double glazing keeps out most of the traffic noise; rooms on the higher levels will also be quieter and subject to less traffic fumes on the balcony. Good soundproofing between rooms.
A tiny balcony was furnished with 2 chairs and a table. The bathroom comprised: bath with water jets and overbath shower, WC and washbasin. We were also provided with dressing gowns and slippers. There is lots of shelf space, and an overbath washing line.
It is advisable to check your bill at departure, ours included 2 meals and some mini bar items that we did not have.
We found our room to be a lovely warm and comfortable refuge from busy Malta, we stayed in February, so the highly controllable heating was appreciated. I do not know if there is any difference between a junior suite and a seaview room; apart from the price.
The shower did not have much water pressure, and the same tap unit filled the bath, so it took at least 15 to 20 minutes to run a bath.
The Jacuzzi bath was good, the water stayed hot and is soft, so there were lots of bubbles. The oddly shaped washbasin is tiny, and holds very little water. Towels were changed daily.
The carefully coordinated dÃ©cor was a little worn, the white walls showed up lots of scuff marks; of the five glass drawer fronts three were cracked and the carpet was a little grubby in the places. Minibar and room service supplement is expensive. The sheets were changed sometimes, and sometimes they had small holes in them.
Spinola Bay is very sheltered, with no waves. There are lots of restaurants with good views over the water. Swimming is not permitted. If you drive yourself to the hotel you may wish you had taken a taxi. The hotel is next to McDonalds, and the car park is accessed from the rear; turn into the road by Pizza Hut and a palm tree, take the first left, and look out for the entrance on your left (sliding electric gate). There are bus stops to the front of the hotel, with a cheap and frequent service."
- Travel date: Sun 25th of March 2007
Two thumbs up!! Best hotel staff !
"Two thumbs up!!! I would definitely stay there again!!First, location, location, location. It is surrounded by nice restaurants, cafe, and supermarket. The bus stop is right in front of the hotel. Second, best staff. We were welcomed by the sweetest and friendliest staff, Stephania. She booked all the excursions for us, told us where to eat, and how to get from one point to another. She was so nice from the beginning to the end. Then, there was someting wrong with internet connection in my room, so George (I think is the manager of the hotel) just switched us to another room. He was great. He also helped us decide where to eat and etc. Then the head waiter from the restaurant in the hotel, Lito, his professionalism and the friendliness really impressed us. What a service does he provide. Friendly, professional and happy people, can't ask for anything better. Room is clean, and the cleaning lady would leave us chocolates at times. Sweet touch. Thank you for great 4 days stay at Hotel Julian!"
- Travel date: Mon 9th of January 2006
Lovely location, rock hard bed!
"We stayed here for our honeymoon and we were upgraded to the Ambassador Suite, which I wouldn't imagine has had any ambassadors in it. It was a good sized room, with a big bed and a living-room area, and a television at each end. We had a lovely view over the bay, and a small balcony too. It's definately worth paying for a front view, and some of the smaller rooms at the back of the hotel looked really really tiny when we located them on the fire escape plan.
The bed was ROCK hard!!! It was oversprung and was like sleeping on a trampoline, to the point that I slept on the sofa for a couple of nights!
The food in the hotel is really outstanding - there are 2 restaurants and a cafe, and we tried the cafe daily, and the restaurant downstairs, which was exceptional, and reasonably priced, but very busy so book ahead.
The hotel has a great location - close enough to Slima and St. Julians to get to see everything easily, but far enough away for a bit of peace.
There is a pool and a sun terrace but these were pretty much out of action for the duration of our stay. The staff were friendly and helpful, and didn't have any of the stiffness of some larger chains.
We'd stay there again, but only if they change the bed!"
- Travel date: Tue 20th of December 2005
If you want something different, with a bit of style, you'll love it.
"If you want a big, impersonal, chain type hotel, this is not for you ,but if you want something different, with a bit of style, you'll love it. We stayed in the hotel for a week in early November. So often 'boutique' hotels are a triumph of style over substance, but this hotel has both in abundance. Without exception the staff were pleasant, friendly and helpful. We had a junior suite with a fabulous view of the bay. It was attractively decorated, with a sublimely comfortable bed and was good value for money. There are lots of excellent restaurants nearby, especially La Ghonella, Allegro Andante, Lorenzos, Meze and Zest. The hotel also has a good coffee shop with wonderful cakes and pastries - we got into the habit of skipping dessert and going back to the hotel for a coffee and cake.
The bus stop is just across the road from the hotel and from there you can catch a bus to most parts of the island. The buses are very cheap, reliable and an experience not to be missed! For a different day out we recommend Fort Rinella, where in the afternoon volunteers, acting as Victorian soldiers, show visitors round the fort and give demonstrations of bayonet practice, shooting etc (you can even fire the cannon for a small extra cost). It's good fun and very interesting.
Needless to say, we can't wait to return to Malta and we wouldn't dream of staying anywhere else but Hotel Juliani."
- Travel date: Thu 8th of December 2005
Care, Comfort, and Convenience
"My husband and I stayed in the hotel for a week and greatly enjoyed it. We appreciated the friendliness and care of those who work there. We had a seaview room on an upper floor with a marvelous view of Spinola Bay from our room and balcony. It was certainly worth the bit of extra money. The room was comfortable and aethetically pleasing with a well-appointed bathroom which included a jacuzzi tub. The location is also very convenient to public transportation and a wide variety of restaurants and pubs. I would most definately recommend it."
- Travel date: Sat 19th of November 2005
Hotel Juliani: Overpriced and Disappointing
"Having traveled to many parts of the world, I understand that hotel standards vary and star ratings are relative. However, I cannot imagine a stretch of the imagination that would allot 4 stars to the Hotel Juliani. I have stayed in 2-star hotels in Southeast Asia that provided far better service.
While there were a couple of exceptions, the front desk staff were for the most part surly, clueless, and unhelpful. Two days running I was unable to get a wake-up call when I requested it (and they refused to provide an alarm clock when I asked for one). They even gave someone a key to my room while I was still occupying it. The roof deck with the pool was not attended to in any way, and pool towels were rarely available without a struggle.
At the end of my stay, there were also errors on my bill that were very challenging to sort out thanks to the aforementioned front-desk staff.
I'm flexible, but I do have some expectations for a hotel that charges as much as HJ. If I smile and say hello to someone at the front desk, I do not expect a blank, unfriendly stare in return. If I request a wake-up call, I expect the phone to ring at, or very close to, that time. I expect facilities to be clean and well maintained. And I do not expect my privacy to be invaded by someone who's allowed to enter my room while I'm in it.
I don't think all of that is a lot to ask, but it's apparently too much to ask of the Hotel Juliani. If I had it to do again, I would absolutely stay elsewhere.
The San Kempinski resort on Gozo was far, FAR superior, and only marginally more expensive."
- Travel date: Tue 1st of November 2005
Can't Wait To Go Back!
"Incredible. Had a fantastic time. Staff is friendly, warm and attentive. They go the extra mile to feel like your at a posh NYC hotel. What a warm welcome after spending a week in Sciliy. I felt like I just got off Survivor Island and landed in civilization when we got to Hotel Juliani. Try the Hot & Sour Thai Soup at Zest...oh, yummy. Great rooms, and impecable front desk.
Two thumbs up!"
- Travel date: Mon 10th of October 2005
"Stayed here for a four night break in September 2005 - The best thing about this hotel is it's location, set in the heart of a beautiful little bay in St. Julians, you have the quiet, seculded areas to your right and Valetta just a few minutes on the extraodinary and reliable buses which run from a bus stop outside the hotel. To the left you have all the night life you could want in the new bay developments and the whole area comes alive at night with no hassle but lots of lovely restaurants and places to eat!
W we arrived 45mins before the standard booking in time and were told we would have to wait (rules are rules I suppose!) When we booked in we were told that we had a free upgrade (although it looked exactly like the room I had booked over the internet!) The room was very spacious with ensuite jacuzzi bath etc. and beautifully decorated with a fantastic sea view. Room service was regularly and teh standrad was high as you would expect.
On the negative side there was no room service and the minibar wasn't re-stocked for three days after I drank all the orange juice in the heat!. Each morning the breakfast buffet, ran out of either eggs, bacon or tomatoes, and we were left waiting while the kitchen replenished the supplies.
The staff were friendly and polite, but not terribly helpful having failed to pass on an important message left for me and I had to ask twice for them to book me a taxi back to the airport. A bit of a let down after the great email communication before hand when we had a limousine arranged to collect us at the airport!
I would definietly stay here again - the price was very competitive by comparison with other 4 and 5* hotels and the atmosphere more intimate. The hotels own restaurants are fantastic, but the staff were a little bit reactive which I suppose is to be expected in the Mediterranean climate."
- Travel date: Mon 26th of September 2005
Great hotel if you like it intimate and romantic
"Stayed there mid-august with my partner and we really enjoyed our stay at the Juliani. We got upgraded from sea view room to junior suite which was very nice (they might not be huge, but they still are suites!), with a beautiful view of the bay. Choose a sea view room! Breakfast was great, and while the service might not be up to U.S. top-hotel-standards, the hotel exudes an intimate, romantic and hip-cool athmosphere that you won't find easily on Malta with all the uggly and oversized hotel-resorts. The location is probably the prettiest and most comfortable of the island, and St. Julian's bay is known as the culinary center of the island, so great restaurants abound there (try Barracuda in neighboring Sliema!)."
- Travel date: Tue 13th of September 2005
Overpriced, understaffed but beautifully located
"We stayed at the Juliani between August 25th and September 6th and were greatly disappointed. We, like other "posters" arrived late at night and found a poor welcome, nobody to help with our luggage and most importantly the wrong room assigned to us. We had booked directly with the hotel and paid for a Junior Suite but were given a sea facing double room. The hotel had the audacity to tell us that a double room was a Junior Suite. There was a shortage of staff which meant no maids after 16.30 and often nobody staffing the pool bar/cafe during the daytime. Breakfast was fine and Zest restaurant was very good. Meze was closed during the summer but instead was replaced by Eauzone near the pool. Food was also good there but there was only a very limited menu available. As far as the Cafe Juliani was concerned there was basically just Foccacia on offer with teas, coffees and drinks. To sum up, poor value for money.
The hotel's location, however, is perfect. Right in the middle of Espinoza Bay, St Julien, near bus stops, restaurants and cafes. Good for strolling around town."
- Travel date: Fri 9th of September 2005
Losing its edge?
"Arrived in the early hours having booked online direct with the hotel.
We booked a side sea-view double and got a rear street view twin.
We requested a non-smoking room as we are both allergic - we got a smoking room.
We also specifically requested a car park space and guess what, the car park was full (it can hold 6 cars for a 44 room hotel). All this was not much fun at 2am and not sorted out until the following day (and then only begrudgingly).
The breakfast is pretty basic and again there are only 8 tables for 44 rooms (so be prepared to wait).
Now for the positives - the location is superb and the staff friendly. But best of all the in house restaurant ZEST is a gem - having eaten in many of the best restaurants in the world this can really hold its own. Not only is the menu and wine list interesting, but the quality excellent and the service also. And all at a reasonable price.
But because of the room issues I'm not sure we will return, and I wonder whether they have lost their initial "opening" energy and desire to please as evident in numerous other reviews."
- Travel date: Sun 21st of August 2005