Excelsior Grand Hotel
14 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Poor service and rude staff
"Extremely poor service in bars and restaurants. Restaurant staff are rude and surly. Asked for table for 3, shown to table for 2. When I pointed this out was told abruptly ‘wait there’ before being shown to an unlaid table and waited at least 10 mins for service. Ordered tea and coffee but only coffee arrived. Again staff were surly when I pointed this out.
Booked a 3 night stay after a cruise and my wife asked if upgrades were possible before we arrived. We were given a partial sea view yet others from the cruise were upgraded free! When we complained the response was not good basically telling us that’s the way it is. After more complaints were were offered a full sea view. However, when we got to the room, over 3 hrs after arriving, it was set for 2 not 3 people. Surely, the staff can check a booking? Again more waiting for a 3rd bed!
We then enquiried about a free drink voucher we had. The waitress in the Tiki bar said originally that it was for soft drinks, but then came back and said as it was for P&O it was Prosecco, but only in the main bar. We decided to visit later, before our evening meal, and asked for the Prosecco offered previously. The SAME waitress from the Tiki bar, then told us it was soft drinks only. When I repeated our earlier conversation she stated her supervisor said it was just soft drinks. Clearly, this shows poor attitude and training again!
We then requested an extra pillow for the room, via reception, but unsurprisingly this never arrived either!
Overall, this is not a 5* hotel and this is disappointing as the hotel has good facilities and views across the Valletta harbour area. The decor is tired and in the Tiki bar is poor and broken in places.
Extremely disappointing overall as I have had far better service and experience in much ‘lesser ‘ graded hotels!"
- Travel date: Wed 1st of August 2018
this hotel is by no means a 5 star hotel, stay at your peril, book another hotel
"It’s with a heavy heart that I write this review but having given the hotel ample time to discuss my concerns while I was staying at the hotel I feel that I am amply justified in my comments.
Firstly I write this review with a great deal of experience of both hotels both in Malta, UK and the rest of the world but also my experience of Malta, having lived there for some time.
Firstly I was really looking forward to spending some time on an Island that I have loved for some 20 year and chose to stay at the Grand Excelsior Hotel as this was my partners’ 60th birthday treat so thought 5 stars would be provide us with an exceptional stay.
I will try to be as concise as possible
We chose to book a Deluxe Sea View Balcony Room on a B&B basis at no small amount approx. £1700 for 7 days incl. flights though British Airways
I contacted the hotel prior to our arrival to one arrange transport from the airport to the hotel as the times of our flights were not the most convenient timings but thought a small price to pay, and also to upgrade to half board as we thought that being 5* the food would be exceptional, transport was duly arranged by the hotel and this would be charged to our account and payable upon our departure. We were advised that we could buy vouchers for our evening meals at a cost of 30 Euro per person per meal, again was happy with this cost as we thought that being 5* the food would be exceptional
We duly arrived in Malta having flown in on British Airways from Gatwick arriving at 10pm and as promised a driver from the hotel was waiting for us in one of the hotels cars, all good.
Walked in to the hotel and was suitably impressed by the décor and then spent 30 minutes so waiting in queue to check in as only one, have to say very over worked and harassed receptionist had to check in a number of guests. We were finally checked in and also bought our vouchers for our meals which we thought was a strange way for a 5* hotel to deal with evening meals, this is more the style British holiday camp we thought at some point they might ask us to wear a wrist band, gladly this did not happen.
We were told our room was on the 4th floor, no assist was available or offered to take our luggage or to show us to our room which I would expect from a 5*. Had to wait for ages for a lift would not expect this at 10pm in the evening and
Entered the room, again all good.
Now is where it all goes wrong!
We thought we would have a drink in the Bar as we’d had a long journey, nice enough bar but Air Con switched off in Bar so it was like a sweat box
The following morning went to breakfast on the 4th floor, firstly was advised that the breakfast room was closed and we would have to go to the 5 floor restaurant so we waited for some 15 minutes for a lift to take us up to the 5th floor that didn’t arrive, as no lift arrived was told that the breakfast room on the 4th floor was now open and full of residents then the maître d clicked his fingers at us to beckon us to an available table, sorry I don’t come to clicking fingers !! I don’t know who he thought he was but I have a dog and don’t call him like that
Breakfast was ok not brilliant but ok, I’ve had better cuisine at an IBIS then back to the room to use the toilet and found that the toilet was blocked so had to go to toilets in reception. The toilet block on a further 3 occasions and toilets in reception where also blocked to the point they had overflowed.
Was advised that this was a problem with the plumbing In Malta, sorry I lived and worked in Malta for 4 years and NEVER one did I had an issue with the plumbing
We decided to go in to Valletta so hotel arranged transport, (A golf Buggy from an external source) for us, at a cost of 8 Euro each way. As hotel in a dip and there is a great number of steps to reach the road and then a walk up hill up to Valletta quite impossible in the heat and as my partner has a heart complaint.
The hotel boasts on their website
*Complimentary Courtesy Car from the hotel to the Capital City Valletta operating Monday to Sunday at 10:00hrs and 18:00hrs*
Later we hired a car and used the hotels own underground car park to see 3 battery operated golf carts that could have been used to ferry residents to and from Valletta
Then evening meal that we were really looking forward to, the food was and I don’t use this word lightly ‘ABISMAL’, scraps of items with salad for starters and one taurine of soup and main courses that had seen better days , nothing was labelled so you could not tell what you were eating
Beef that was a tough as old boots, chicken that was cooked on a griddle that was also tough and full of bones, pork chops that were totally over cooked and vegetables (when available) that were being kept warm and were inedible, the deserts were passable but by no means 5 star cuisine , went to bed hungry!
Following day we spent lounging wound the pool that is acceptable but ordered 2 diet cola and baguette, the baguette had seen better days and the cola was as we checked later served out of a 2 litre bottle kept unrefrigerated so was warm and flat.
Then in the evening was the round the world buffet by the pool, thought maybe just an off day, we do try to give anyone the benefit of the doubt, again over cooked Chicken, Beef, Pork and vegetables followed by diarrhoea the following day, can’t say if it was the baguette or buffet or both that caused that but we hadn’t eaten anywhere other than the hotel, or it could have been the over flowing toilets.
Well enough is enough, having read the poor listings on Trip adviser I stated that was not prepared to go home and complain on any review site without giving the hotel the opportunity to respond to our issues, spoke to the receptionist that was polite and stated that she was sorry for the issues that we has suffered but she was not in a position to make any comment and that she would arrange for the duty manage to contact us to discuss these issues.
I complained in the Wednesday morning giving the hotel ample time to contact me before we left on the Saturday in order to discuss the above issues, not once did they contact us, I’ve stayed in 3* hotels and if we were out they have always left a message in room that they had appended to contact us, would have thought that a 5* wouldn’t have an issue with communications.
So in conclusion very bad food, bad plumbing in hotel lack of services and terrible communication with guest
I would advise anyone thinking of booking this hotel to AVOID this hotel like the plague as they do not give a dam about their guests. As I have stated that I gave the hotel amply time to contact me while at the hotel with no response so the hotel stating to clients who complained after they have left with the blanket response of the following is an insult
*I am very sorry to see you did not enjoy your stay. In order to understand what went wrong, I would require further information about the facilities, food and service. I invite you to contact me on [email protected] if you are interested in sharing your experience.
I hope to have the opportunity to welcome you back!*
No chance !!!!!
Plenty of other 5* hotels in and Valetta and Selima"
- Travel date: Sun 1st of July 2018
"The Excelsior Grand Hotel in Malta is a very nice hotel. The building and surroundings are beautiful. The pool are is spacious and very nice. The view on the harbour is stunning. For me, big downside is there is no grass around the pool, I personally do not like concrete pool areas. Service: Extremely helpful and kind staff. Rarely seen such friendly people. Anything you ask, they try to accomodate. Downside is that they seem to be quite new and inexperienced at this and while they try, it is not always what you ask for. Rooms are really nice, also very good bathroom. Do make sure to ask for a seaside room at the end of the hall as we had a garden room and that means your room gives out onto the parking.
Yes, the hotel is not completely ready yet but it is barely noticeable and did not bother me at all.
All in all, a very nice stay, very nice hotel, would definitely go again."
- Travel date: Tue 6th of May 2008
"An amazing property with out standing location and to top it all the staff is well trained and capable to handle all situation, I was very dimanding cos had a familly memeber with special needs and all the staff was willing to help. The Excelsior is still new and is still not fully operational as a 5 star hotel but when you feel that all the managment and staff are really caring and after the customers needs you can say that they know how and when to deliver to a five star standard, The food was an unforgetable experiance the amazing variaty that one can find is undiscribible I had the oportunty taste the Asian, Mediteranian and the Sunday familly buffet and no one of my familly or friends walked out disapointed, it was a life time experiance we enjoyed the Excelsior and Malta"
- Travel date: Sat 3rd of May 2008
"Superb 5* Hotel. Staff are friendly and helpful. Indoor and outdoor pool., health and fitness centre and all you require from a first class hotel."
- Travel date: Fri 2nd of May 2008
"We stayed here for 6 nights and thoroughly enjoyed it. Staff were very attentive and helpful. Room was comfortable and quiet. Free wireless internet was a big plus. Many nice amenities, such as indoor and outdoor pools, spa, sumptuous buffets for breakfast and dinner. Everything brand spanking new. Location was terrific for our purposes (though not so much if you come to Malta to hang out at the beach). Old Valetta and the main bus station were just minutes walk away (though up numerous steps, so elderly and disabled be advised)."
- Travel date: Wed 30th of April 2008
Not quite there yet
"Hotel in good location for Valletta. Rooms all new so excellent, Front room views are better than side rooms. I would avoid rooms overlooking the pool area, as it is used by kids for continuous football. You won't enjoy your balcony (unless they are your kids)
Food is not 5 star but OK. They still need to work on the pool area as very basic hard landscaping. Need to soften it to make it more pleasant to be there. Biggest area is lack of control, people are allowed to play music at varying levels making relaxation difficult. Also if you want to eat by the pool you have to avoid the constant footballs from the kids. Was there on business first, leisure for a couple of days afterwards. Not quite sure it gets either right yet.
Finally they are booking large party groups and on one night (Friday) a large group +50people moved out on to the pool area and had a shouting/singing session for nearly an hour at approaching midnight.. The management did nothing to curtail it.. If they can improve the mangement of a few areas, it could be good."
- Travel date: Mon 28th of April 2008
Excess in the Excelsior
"Spent three nights here over the particularly early Easter this year. Greeted at the front desk by people with hot towels and a cool drink (quite a shock after flying Ryanair). Assigned a lovely room with a waterfront view - see pics. All staff were exceptionally caring and helpful. Breakfast has EVERYTHING you could possibly want. Didn't eat there at night as we wanted to vary our experiences. Bar very pleasant at night and got great tips and information from barman Ray Celeste - a history graduate who filled in our knowledge gaps (extensive). Didn't see ANY kids there so I don't know how how it would suit families. One downside, the hotel is a 10 minute uphill walk from the city gates plus 89 (yes, I counted) steps from the ornate front gate to the door (you can sense the height difference in my 3rd photo). It is expensive, but does provide exceptional service, facilities and style. I used it for 3 out of 7 nights on Malta and was glad to have the variety - much more luxury and I wouldn't have made it up the steps at all!"
- Travel date: Thu 3rd of April 2008
Fantastic stay, highly recommended
"The Excelsior Grand is a 5-star hotel in Valletta. As an executive summary, staying at this hotel was a superb experience and I would highly recommend it.
Location: The hotel is just outside of the Valletta city wall, about 10-15 mins walk from the main attractions. It is a great base for exploring Valletta. To get there, either take taxi or bus. To reach it from the main Valletta bus terminus, walk directly away from the city gate past the Phoenicia hotel, and turn right. The Excelsior Grand is a short distance down the hill on the left (look for the black wrought iron gate, there is not a prominent sign). Thumbs up for location.
Staff: Staff were very helpful. The check-in staff were pleasant and the process was smooth. The concierge was quite knowledgeable about the local attractions, and made good restaurant recommendations. The bellhops were also friendly. Thumbs up for staff.
Room: My room was spacious and well-appointed. There was all the "nice" stuff you would associate with a high-end hotel, like a robe and slippers laying on the bed upon evening arrival. Quality seemed good - there are very few rooms that I walk into with shoes on and notice that the carpet and pad are sufficiently high quality to feel good underfoot. The hotel provided two complimentary bottles of water (it is suggested not to drink the Valletta water). The bed was large and comfortable. The room was equipped with a larger flat-screen TV, and a fairly standard channel lineup. The hotel provided free WiFi (get instructions from the reception); the signal in my room was fairly limited, and the speed was on the slow side, but it worked fine. The room was very clean; I only stayed for one night, so I can't really comment further about housekeeping.
Bathroom: My bathroom was large and very clean. It had a large free-standing wash basin, and tub/shower. Washcloths and amenities such as shampoo were provided, and of upscale quality.
Facilities: The hotel has a superb pool with a view of the harbour. The hotel restaurant also offers a view over the harbour, quite amazing. The buffet breakfast was of good quality and decent variety. I also ate at the hotel restaurant one evening, when they had a Mediterranean buffet (every Saturday?). The buffet had reasonable variety, quality was so-so and it was on the expensive side. Restaurant staff are (like the other hotel staff) very helpful and attentive.
Miscellaneous: As noted in other reviews, the Excelsior Grand has recently undergone renovation. There is still some work ongoing, but it seems to be confined to common areas and I understand all the guest rooms have been completed. I could still hear drills from the restaurant, but never from my room. There MAY be some facilities unavailable (gym), but generally I would not let the reovation put you off.
Summary: The Excelsior Grand was a truly great experience, and I recommend it both to fussy travellers and those looking to splurge a little. I paid 100 Euro for my room, including breakfast, which I regard as a bargain. In summer, you could pay twice that and not feel cheated. I would definitely stay at Excelsior Grand again if in Valletta."
- Travel date: Mon 24th of March 2008
Superb in all respects
"We stayed for four nights early in March 2008 and I consider it one of my best hotel experiences. The staff could not be more helpful and friendly. The hotel location is magnificent, nestling against the outer walls off Valetta (although it is a bit of a steep climb to the entrance of Valetta city). We ate at the hotel three evenings and the food was superb. Our harbour view room was first rate. To summarise for any future visit to Malta we will head straight for the Excelsior."
- Travel date: Thu 13th of March 2008
Brilliant stay in soft opening
"When we visited the Excelsior, it was in the soft opening stage. As a result, we got the rooms for an absolute steal (on a p.p. basis, 42 Euros/night) for one sea view room (first two photos) and a sea front room (last photo). Both were exquisite - the views amazing, the rooms very well appointed, obviously recently renovated, all mod cons etc.
I know there were renovations going on - at times you would see someone ducking through a side panel, they were furnishing a room up the hall etc, but so quiet! You would never have known. The loud music from a nearby club (which only penetrated through glazed doors because I had my door wide open to let in the breeze) was more penetrating.
The negatives? There are a few bugs eg they were still setting up wireless in the rooms, in my friends' room the tv was not working properly (which controlled internet, tv etc) and took a while to fix, one morning there was noone at the concierge's desk and we were kept waiting 10min, and the first morning breakfast wasn't outstanding (but it was the other days!). And the only REAL negative is finding the way in when you come in at 1am - the little turnoff to get to the front entrance of the hotel is not marked, nor is the hotel, and it took us a while. Of course, this was a foretaste of Maltese signposting, but is easily fixed.
The service was high class, rooms great (did I mention huge, comfortable beds and massive bathrooms?) and location great whether on foot to Valletta, to the buses or driving. Malta is a truly special place.
In summary, the excelsior beat the pants off the other "5 star" hotel we stayed in (in Sweden). Well worth it."
- Travel date: Thu 6th of March 2008
Soft Opening -Benefit of Doubt
"Having taken advantage of a British Airways sale by purchasing two flights very cheaply, we liked the look of the Excelsior Grand, in particular the location overlooking the harbour, and the fact it was fully refurbished having changed ownership
Book a deluxe sea front room -you will not be disappointed with the amazing 180 degree views of the harbour even though the rates are slightly higher and facilities the same as other deluxe rooms.
A lot of facilities eg restaurants/spa are not yet available but as we were expecting this did not affect our level of enjoyment
There were very few guests in the hotel so would have expected the service to be excellent. However this was not to be and quite often staff were happier for instance polishing cutlery rather than attending to serving guests/removing dirty plates etc
At breakfast on each of the four days we had to request and wait for a member of staff to be retrieved from the kitchen to man the "egg station". The variety of items available was excellent although because they chose to fill up the hot food containers fully at the start of the service, because there were so few guests the quality began to deteriorate -it would be better in such circumstances to top up little and often
Room Service comprising Burger & Club sandwich took 40mins
Housekeeping hit and miss with regard to replenishing towels etc
The hotel has a great location on the waterfront and is only 5 mins from the Bus Station which connects the whole island -the drawback being the hill you have to negotiate to get there or alternatively there are over 140 steps going the "quick" route. However I understand in due course there will be a shuttle bus and even a water taxi in due course
On checkout Reception were not aware of the special tarrif we had booked "Global Mastercard" but after making enquiries the correct charges were applied
All in all there is great potential at the hotel but the inexperienced staff need much training in all aspects before it achieves the expected standards of a 5star hotel"
- Travel date: Tue 29th of January 2008