Mediterranean Resort: George Malta

When it comes to Malta, it is pure pleasure all the way! And the George Hotel at St. Julians in Malta knows exactly how to make your vacation a ‘more than pleasurable’ one.

Malta is a southern European country in the Mediterranean, 80 kms south of Sicily. It is one of the smallest countries in the world and its capital is called Valetta. The word ‘Malta’ comes from the Greek word ‘honey’ and is known as the ‘land of honey’ due to its unique production of honey owing to an endemic species of bees that inhabit the island. Another theory is that Malta comes from the Phoenician word ‘Maleth’ meaning ‘haven’. Ah, now that, I’d instantly believe, because Malta is indeed a haven for tourists.

Malta has seen many different transitional phases from one rule to the next right from the Neolithic period to the time it became an independent Republic and finally joined the European Union in 2004. In between, the Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans and Byzantines all left their influences on the island. The cultural scene in Malta witnessed a boom under the Knights after which the French took over, although the French rule was short lived. British rule in Malta lasted till 1964 when it finally got its independence. With so many different civilisations having passed through Malta, it comes as no surprise that the country is steeped in culture and heritage.

The George Hotel in St. Julians is an oasis within an oasis. This fascinating urban boutique hotel is reflective of the Maltese ideals of style and relaxation! Just a stroll away from the island’s sandy beaches and the Mediterranean Sea, and only about 6 kms away from the town of Valetta and about 8 kms away from the Malta International Airport, the hotel is quite ideally located. Large glass revolving doors lead you to the reception area and lobby which is complete with large sized contemporary pieces of art done in shades of blue besides plush sofas in muted tones of blues and browns. Once you’ve checked in head out to explore the Maltese islands and all is treasures.

Malta’s 7000 old historic legacy features eminently in all of its architecture be it the 16th century Grandmaster’s Palace (which is now the Parliament) or the Sacra Infermeria, which is today a conference centre. Art and music also play an important role in Maltese culture and it is evident in the astounding collection of paintings housed in the National Museum of Fine Arts with works ranging from early Renaissance to modern times as well as the number of shows at Valetta’s Manoel Theatre. Malta also has some of the oldest and most beautiful churches and old stone cottages. Want to discover some natural beauty instead? There’s plenty there too; the island is home to the oldest free-standing structures besides beautiful lagoons and beaches. Malta’s sister island Gozo is known as ‘the island where time stood still’ and is ideal for mountain biking or some rock climbing…….it’s going to be just you and nature!

What is a vacation without some shopping? Well, Valetta is a shopaholic’s dream come true whether you’re a serious shopper or just looking for some souvenirs. The open-air markets at the heart of Malta’s villages provide an experience in itself with each town having its own kind. For the locals, these markets are really a place for socialising, and as for the tourist- a rare sight!

After a well-spent day enjoying the sights and sounds of Malta, it is time to head back to your hotel and be pampered! The Le Spa by Transforma ought to soothe those tired nerves with its holistic healing methods and massage therapies followed by a dip in the pool. The Sky Rooftop Pool and Bar at the George Hotel is something out of a James Bond movie — stylish and inviting! After a couple of laps in the pool, you could relax on a comfortable deck chair or lounger while you treat yourself to some fine cocktails and snacks from the rooftop bar.

Head to the Comparrucci Restaurant for some amazing Italian cuisine. Enjoy a sumptuous meal in the most delightful setting; the restaurant’s glass ceiling with its arched beams looks spectacular especially in the evenings when the light reflects off it. Large palms adorn the front of the restaurant while life sized murals give the main wall an aesthetic appeal. High backed chairs upholstered in brown and white make for comfortable seating.

Accommodation at the George Hotel will leave you spoilt for choice. The Courtyard rooms, as the name suggest overlook the main courtyard and consist of a double room while the Deluxe rooms even have their own private balconies! The Junior suites offer breathtaking views of the Mediterranean Sea whereas the Penthouse Suites have private terraces that are perfect for enjoying the sunsets with a glass of wine.

The George Hotel’s Studios and Long Jets are ideal for extended stays; its chic urban design even includes a kitchen. You’ll find that the rooms and suites are all decorated in monochromatic shades of white and chocolate brown, this splendid colour theme occasionally offset by hints of blue in the little details of the cushions or the contemporary artwork on the walls. Comfortable beds with designer headboards are way too tempting to resist during lights out time and for those of you carrying your work along on this vacation (although that would be the ultimate sin), there are cosy work stations in most of the rooms.

After a long day, you’ll have absolutely no trouble getting a good night’s rest….. sweet dreams! Tomorrow is yet another day on this magical island with plenty more sightseeing, shopping and of course pampering and relaxation at the George Malta!