Positioned in the middle of the Mediterranean sea, Malta is a breathtaking archipelago steeped in rich history. In fact, the Maltese Islands proudly boast three sites inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The island nation gets its unique culture from various previous rulers over the country, leaving behind their influences along the way. Here, some of the most impressive examples of baroque architecture sit side-by-side with twenty-first century boutiques for a truly individual landscape. We recently travelled to Malta’s tiny capital city, Valletta, and enjoyed a dose of local hospitality while staying at the boutique hotel, The Saint John.
The city of Valletta has a small town feel, easily walkable from one end to the other. In complete contrast to the hectic Sydney traffic we experience on a daily basis, we embraced the casual sense of freedom by choosing to walk as much as we could. Valletta’s beauty is unmistakable, with every turn providing a different glimpse of what the golden-hued city has to offer. Narrow streets are lined with ancient stones and play host to cafes, outdoor patios and striking, detailed architecture. The unforgettable sunsets cast a warm haze over the city, enhancing the antique terracotta townhouses and cascading limestone cliffs beyond. The meandering laneways inevitably lead to panoramic vistas that show off the pristine, azure waters that are home to marinas lined with boats, from colourful Maltese luzzu to luxury yachts.
The Saint John
Much like the city of Valletta, The Saint John has its own interesting past, having served a variety of purposes, from a private residence, to more recently, a general store. Opening in 2016 as a boutique hotel, its twenty-one rooms are an ideal place to stay for those looking to take advantage of the city’s intimate atmosphere in style. The hotel’s design is an eclectic mix of old and new, highlighting its historical architectural features while providing a modern space for discerning travellers to enjoy. This, combined with friendly, welcoming service make The Saint John an appealing accommodation option in Valletta.
From the Deluxe Room, large, sunny windows offered views over Merchants Street; a charming area with an interesting mix of shops and restaurants. The high ceilings and sophisticated furnishings made it a comfortable and enjoyable place to rest after a day of walking in the sun. We appreciated the effort that clearly went into designing each of the rooms, in particular, the clean, minimalist bathroom that features marble tiles and timber cabinetry for a feeling of laid-back luxury. Seen throughout, The Saint John has a unique approach to the style of their rooms, combining retro elements with industrial touches.
As well as the Deluxe Room, we spent a couple of nights in one of the beautiful Superior Rooms at The Saint John during our trip to Valletta. It had a really spacious, practical layout that included a large entryway with a desk, as well as a sitting area with armchairs. While the bed was really comfortable, it’s always nice to have other places to sit and relax in a hotel room. The room’s climate control meant that we could retreat back to the hotel to take much-needed breaks from the summer sun and feel instantly refreshed. Smart lighting controls, speedy Wi-Fi and bedside USB ports were a few other modern additions that made our stay hassle-free.
The Superior Room hosts a similar vein of interior styling, with quality materials such as leather, timber and steel making appearances in furniture and accessories throughout. Black and white framed images of the city decorated the walls and were a nice way to fuse the hotel’s past with its new modern form. A traditional Maltese balcony flanked one side of our room, drawing in plenty of natural light.
The Wrap-Up | The Saint John Review
Offering friendly service, eclectic design and modern amenities, The Saint John is a pleasant place to stay to take advantage of the vibrant culture, unmatched natural beauty and rich history that the Maltese city of Valletta has to offer.Book: The Saint John