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Le Méridien St Julian’s Hotel & Spa, Malta

Le Méridien Hotel & Spa offers Lisa Kjellsson 'blissful' spa treatments and an unbeatable breakfast in the young, party-loving environs of Malta's St Julian's

The credentials:

Le Méridien chain’s Maltese outpost is a large, modern, five-star haven overlooking pretty Balluta Bay in the bustling area of St Julian’s. With a wide range of rooms and suites, al fresco dining, indoor and outdoor pools, and a spa and fitness centre, it ticks a lot of boxes. The Myoka Lotus spa offers an impressive list of treatments, ranging from hot stone massages and detoxifying body wraps to its signature ultrasound facial.


The terrace of La Bajja Restaurant, overlooking the bay and its floodlit limestone buildings, is a nice spot for dinner. The menu is classic Mediterranean fare with a contemporary twist: I opted for organic salmon and mash, with a delicious avocado sorbet for dessert.

The food was beautifully prepared, our waiter was most attentive, and the setting was ideal for a balmy summer evening, but for me it lacked real ambience. It didn’t help that halfway through the evening the party at the table next to us started puffing away on cigars (smoking is still permitted in open-air public places in Malta).

The next morning, the breakfast buffet served in the Scirocco Restaurant was among the best I have sampled. It offered absolutely everything you could wish for, including a glass of prosecco with your pancakes and bacon. Top marks.


Le Méridien offers a wide range of comfortable rooms and suites, all with a balcony (although not all are large enough to sit out on). The executive suite my friend and I stayed in was very comfortable and offered stunning views of Balluta Bay. I slept well but was unfortunately woken up at 7.30 the next morning by the faint but insistent beat of the club music that permeates all the hotel’s common areas (in this case the above pool deck), so sadly no lie-in for me.

I was underwhelmed by the bathroom, which was less luxurious than other, more affordable, hotels we stayed in on the island. The loo was separate but lacked a hand basin.

Who goes there?

Around 30 per cent of Maltese tourism is accounted for by Brits, but during our stay at Le Méridien the clientele felt more international. I can’t see it attracting many under-30s given the relatively high price point and, although there were a few children around, it is decidedly more of a grown-up than family-friendly venue.

Out & about:

Tourism is the beating heart of the local economy and St Julian’s is also where many of Malta’s English-language schools are located, so it’s a young and party-loving crowd. Go for a stroll along the seafront promenade that links St Julian’s with Sliema and take in the buzzing nightlife or, if bars and casinos aren’t your cup of tea, other parts of the island offer a wealth of culture.

The beauty of Malta is how much there is to see and do in such a small place, so make the most of your stay, not least by exploring the beautiful capital, Valletta, which is a short taxi ride away.

The worst thing:

The smoking on the restaurant and rooftop pool terraces.

The best thing:

The spa. I booked myself in for Elakizhi (£73 for 55 minutes), a full body massage involving kneading with linen bags containing medicinal herbs cooked in Ayurvedic oil. This ancient Indian treatment is designed to relieve muscle and joint pain, especially backache, and improve circulation. I certainly found it relaxing, and afterwards felt so spaced out I needed a nap. My friend had an Indian head massage (£39 for 25 minutes) and found it equally blissful.

Also worth highlighting is the excellent service we encountered throughout our stay. Customer satisfaction is clearly at Le Méridien’s core and one of the reasons the hotel has earned its fair share of regulars.

The details:

Rooms from £100 per night in low season. During the high season (May–October), executive suites are priced from £480 per night.

Le Méridien St Julian’s Hotel & Spa, 39 Main Street, Balluta Bay, St. Julian’s STJ1017, Malta; +356 2311 0000; www.lemeridienmalta.com

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