db San Antonio Hotel + Spa
18 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
"We booked this hotel after reading all the reports on this website. The hotel is ideally situated. The staff were extremely helpful. We only used the restaurant for breakfast, but the selection of food that was available was first class. The rooms were very spacious but could do with a lick of paint, but allowing how many people have probably stayed in the hotel its to be expected. The outdoor pool was very clean, so to was the indoor pool. We will definitely go back to this hotel again and i would recommend it to all my friends."
- Travel date: Wed 4th of October 2006
A real four star experience
"This was a great hotel. We had been told that four star in Malta meant three stars or less but the San Antonio deserved all its stars. Our bedroom with sea view was massive and kept very clean by the friendly maid who even left us little notes on our pillows! The outside pool was a great temperature and there was always room to find a sun lounger. The breakfast was amazing with a wide range of different food, including fresh fruit. We only ate in the hotel restuarant once but it was reasonably priced and very tasty. Happy hour in the bar meant half price cocktails and the bar staff were friendly and efficient.
We were concerned about booking in Malta after hearing so many mixed reviews of different hotels and resorts but I would recommend this to anybody - a great base for a fab holiday!"
- Travel date: Fri 29th of September 2006
Very pleasant experience
"Booked based on other Tripadvisor reviews and glad that we did! Stayed 19th - 27th Sept and I think that we benefitted from being towards the end of the season - certainly no scrum at breakfast, and plenty of sunloungers to choose from. Had no problems with noise from other rooms, and it's well worth paying extra for a sea view. The hotel isn't really in St Paul's; it's on the border with Bugibba/Quawra, so you don't get the brochure views of bobbing fishing boats - that's a little further up the bay. On the other hand the bus station is 200 yards away and is brilliant for getting around the island cheaply.
Overall the hotel was well up to a good English 3 star. The outdoor pool is very good with its lagoon configuration, and the sauna, gym and indoor pool/jacuzzi were fine. Hotel is spotlessly clean, and we found the food more than acceptable. Our room was a good size as was its balcony and well fitted with a good size bathroom (bath and shower)
Food is buffet service (unless you pay extra for the a la carte restaurant, which we didn't) with a good selection at breakfast and a different carvery each night. Again thanks to Tripadvisor's reviews we didn't book half board but simply purchased vouchers on arrival for 3 night's evening meals - 4.95 Lire inc. glass of wine, so cheaper than from the brochures and you can choose when to use them.
Thanks to an awful return flight time (03:00 hrs) we needed to book a late check out which they were happy to accommodate for 10 lr
The only thing that would stop me awarding the hotel an excellent rating was the lack of free in room broadband internet (they do have 2 computers in the hotel, for which you buy vouchers - in our case 50 mins (5 x 10 min blocks) for 1lr, and the somewhat elderly telly showing rubbishy Italian TV.
Staff were uniformly pleasant and helpful and the bar does a daily happy hour so I enjoyed two large G&Ts for 1 Lr....
Didn't sample the evening entertainment so can't comment.
Overall would be very happy to go back to this hotel and indeed to Malta - the time share touts are a nuisance but will leave you alone once you say you're not interested."
- Travel date: Tue 26th of September 2006
Great Hotel - Centrally located
"The Grand Mercure San Antonio is a modern, air-conditioned hotel with easy access to shops and the Qawra promenade.
We paid extra for a seaview which was fantastic. We could see the northern Maltese coast, Comino and Gozo in the distance from our balcony. Those without a sea view had balconies over looking the shops, restaurants and bars.
The live entertainment at the hotel every night was brilliant.
- Centrally located. Less than 2 minutes to the sea front.
- Great facilities. Gym, Sauna, pool, restaurant, cafe and bar all on site.
- The rooms are spacious and clean.
- There is a good variety of food served at breakfast.
- There were always free sunbeds whatever time of day and we didn't see any evidence of reserving sunbeds with towels.
- At the weekend this hotel was noisy! A lot more guests had arrived including a large male 'stag' party.
- The walls are paper thin and you can hear everything in the adjourning rooms - especially at night!
- Tea and Coffee facilities are extra. They can be hired for 2LM per day (even though our brochure said it was included).
- Breakfast was manic! Everyone just pushed and shoved to get at things. Breakfast is served from 7am - 10am. I would recommend going down early!
-The Hotel held a private function for 1,000 local people whilst we were there and a lot of the guests were asked to leave the pool area so that the staff could set up the tables. Many people were not happy.
Bugibba is a great resort for those who like a lot of bars, restaurants and shops. If you want a little less people and a little less noise then take a short stroll along the promenade to Qawra Beach. It is much more peaceful.
This resort is plagued with them! They are predominantly British. Their usual opening line is "Are you British on holiday?" (Must have been my other half's chalky white legs that gave us away!)
We were accosted 4 to 8 times a day - every day. In the end we started playing a game with them by pretending to be a different nationality every time we were stopped. German doesn't work as they are trying to sell to Germans as well. Oh yes and the Tibetan Monk disguise didn't quite wash either.
They are pitched just near the hotel and there is no escaping if you walk to Qawra Beach either as they cruise up and down the promenade in their cars looking for victims. You just don't need this sort of thing on holiday and we will not be returning to Malta because of this.
A visit to Gozo is a must."
- Travel date: Sun 17th of September 2006
Still Malta's No.1 Hotel
"We have just returned from our 2nd visit to this fantastic hotel. What can I say except excellent. Even better than 2yrs ago. The staff are all very friendly and only too willing to help in any way they can with any questions you may have. The Resturarant and food served was out of this world with all tastes catered for every day. Every day on entering the restaurant you are greeted with a smile and served with a smile. The cleanliness of this hotel is A1. All in all we had a very relaxing and very very enjoyable 2nd stay at this hotel and we look forward to the 3rd.
With the bus depot just a 5 min walk you can travel the island for only a few cents every day. There are also numerous excellent eateries in the resort all at very good value for money together with many shops to while away the hours if you ever got fed up of soaking up the magnificent sun by the pool.
An Excellent hotel and a excellent resort."
- Travel date: Tue 5th of September 2006
A genuine four star experience
"Having read mostly good reviews on this hotel we were expecting a four star experience and we were not disapointed! Our sea view room was spacious, spotless and very quiet. The air conditioning was first class and coped with a heat wave of 38 degrees. Facilities in the hotel were the best we have experienced anywhere and staff (both local and non-Maltese) were extremely polite and efficient. The pool area was huge and we were always able to get two loungers albeit, shaded positions were at a premium sometimes. Pool side service was very efficient and the "Animation" Team" ensured that those who wanted entertainment were adequately catered for. In the evening there was musical entertainment in the bar with local musicians accomodating a wide range of tastes.
As for the food, the buffet meals were first class: a wide range of choices and always hot and apetising. The spacious dining room never seemed to get overly crowded although the two evening "sittings" sometimes caused a small queue to form at the restaurant door as people filed in. However, this was never a problem as the restaurant team were always quick and efficient. By the way, we were B & B but purchased dinner vouchers at 5 lire each which worked out cheaper than going half board via our travel agent!
We made friends with a couple of our own age group (mid 50s) from Scotland and we all agreed that from a value for money point of view the San Antone was as good as it gets.
Quite honestly, everyone we spoke to in the hotel was 100% happy. Our only small "query" was that although the hotel was quite full there never seemed to be a lot of people about - especially in the bar in the evening. Again not a problem, as it left lots of room for us!
So, overall verdict: if you don't like this hotel you are hard to please. It was professionally run to a standard that puts some UK establishments we have experienced to shame.
Just avoid the timeshare touts hanging around outside who were more trouble than the mosquitos."
- Travel date: Sun 25th of June 2006
"My 23 year old daughter and I stayed at this hotel in February. The Hotel was excellent, very well situated by sea and near to bus terminus which takes you anywhere on the island. The room and bathroom were very clean with large balcony and and also its own fridge and safe. The facilities were great - gym, swimming pool, sauna etc all at no extra charge. The food was fantastic, very large choice and loads of it. Breakfast consisted of whatever you wanted - rolls, cooked meats, toast, cereals, fresh fruit, pancakes, pastries and full cooked breakfasts - yummy. Evening meal choices were soup,pasta dishes, all kinds of salads, fish, meat dishes and veg etc - spoilt for choice and the desserts were wicked! Staff were very pleasant and helpful. Did not really see entertainment so cannot comment on that. Would definately return to the same hotel. Can't understand the bad reviews we both found it a lovely hotel. We actually chose it because of the reviews on here, and weren't disappointed it was actually better than we hoped!"
- Travel date: Tue 2nd of May 2006
A good continental hotel
"We stayed at the Mercure hotel for 10 days in April and we were pleased with the hotel. Our room was very big and cleaned well everyday. The fitness facilities are excellent you can have full use of the gym. The indoor pool did get busy but in Summer it is probably quieter. The outdoor pool is large and well landscaped. The pool is a little too cold in winter though. There have ben comments on the food. On the whole I thought it was good. There was FRESH milk and the food was unlimited. Fresh crepes were cooked everyday for breakfast and the cooked breakfast was always good. The deserts were excellent and being French owned they clearly have a good pastry chef. Yes, some steaks and fish were not cooked right through, but you have to remeber that this is french owned and that you should not expect a hotel to just cater for the Brits.
Staff were always very friendly and the hotel is well located within the resort.
Overall Buggiba is a good choice in the low season because there is still plenty happening, unlike many of the other quieter resorts. I checked out the hotels across the area and none in Qawra looked up to scratch and there was only the Dolmen to rival it. If I went back to Bugibba again I would stay at the Mercure hotel."
- Travel date: Wed 26th of April 2006
The Hotel Management are awful and rude
"I have just returned from staying at this hotel and I must warn anyone who intends to go there, the food is absolutely awful and the management staff are incredibly rude. The Maltese staff are really great and friendly and could not be faulted. However, if you are staying half board or eating at the hotel, you will have to have a strong stomach as most of the food is either pickled or lukewarm and as for vegetarian options, forget about it. The hotel mainly caters for Germans or French. When we complained about the food (as some of it was not cooked properly, including boiled eggs which were all runny and gooey) to our rep, the restaurant manager (who was not local) came up to us and started to shout at us, saying that we should not have complained to our rep, he was very agressive. For the rest of our stay, our hotel room was not cleaned and whenever we had a query, reception were very rude. Even though we were half board, we spent more money eating out at the various restaurants. This hotel was classified as a Four Star hotel, but unfortunately it was more one star service. If anything, the three star hotel down the road called the Bugibba Hotel Complex was far more superior food wise."
- Travel date: Wed 19th of April 2006
"Having read reviews thought we'd find this hotel great. Did we? Not really. The Maltese staff were very sweet - as usual - but the management is clearly awful. The restaurant was like queuing in an Army cookhouse 40 years ago and most of the food was luke warm and of poor quality. Being offered a pot of preserves stating BBE August 2004 says a lot! What could we say positive? Good location and close to several excellent cafes/restaurants. Recommend "Ta' Pawla" and La Stalla both in the same road as the hotel. Their substantial meals were hot and tasty and cost half the hotel prices."
- Travel date: Sun 2nd of April 2006
"We sold our time share to the hotel, who said we could use this anytime we wanted not just 1 week a year, but we would have to pay Â£99.00 for a week bed and breakfast. My husband and I thought yes that sounds good we don't need to go now in the school break as our son did not want to come on holiday with us anymore, so we signed over our Â£5000.00 RCI timeshare to the hotel. We did not use it the year after, but last year decided we would like to take a late break, phoned up, email only to be told the company had gone bust and we had lost all our money, nobody contacted us to let us know. So all please beware, Â£5000.00 down and no holidays....."
- Travel date: Mon 11th of May 2015
Kidnapped from bus stop outside our hotel!
"We were staying at Golden Sands and we were just at bus stop deciding where to get bus when we were approached by a gentleman who said he was doing a shuttle down to T Pauls bay as there was going to be a procession down there with floats etc. like fools we believed him! Nearly down there when he informed us we needed to go into a hotel to have a quick look round for 20 minutes ! Needless to say it was a timeshare scam. Beware do not get fooled like we did! Would never stay at the hotel only because of lies told!"
- Travel date: Tue 28th of October 2014