Solana Hotel

Gorg Borg Olivier St, Mellieha, Island of Malta, MLH06, Malta
#3 of 12 hotels in Mellieha
Good (3.0 out of 5.0) 4 reviews
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Good value spa hotel in Mellieha

Great (4.0 of 5.0 stars)
by written on February 12, 2014

I stayed at the 4* Solana Hotel & Spa with my fiancee and her parents for 3 nights during our visit to Mellieha in December 2013.

We booked our stay through Expedia and paid £33 per night for each double room with buffet breakfast included.

We paid in full at the time of booking; about 10 weeks before our visit.

Location

The Solana Hotel & Spa is located on Triq Gorg Borg Olivier, the steep main road that runs through Mellieha down to Mellieha Bay and the beach.

We arrived on bus number 222 from St Julian's and disembarked at the "Snajjin" stop which is conveniently located right opposite the hotel – literally a few metres from the hotel's front entrance.

This bus stop is also convenient for catching the bus to Cirkewwa (about 10 minutes away), where the ferries to Gozo depart from.

There are lots of restaurants, souvenir shops, mini-markets and cafes within a few minutes walk of the hotel, particularly up and down Triq Gorg Borg Olivier. You will also find a few banks with ATMs and money changing facilities along this street.

Mellieha's main sights are easily visited on foot from the hotel. For example, the World War II Air Raid Shelter, the Parish Church of Mellieha and the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Mellieha are all located less than 5 minutes walk downhill from the hotel. It took us around 20-30 minutes to walk downhill (along winding roads) to the beach. Rather than make the steep climb back up, we caught one of the numerous buses that travel back up the hill and through Mellieha.

At the end of our stay, we left Mellieha on bus number 41 to the Maltese capital, Valletta. We caught the bus from "Adenau" bus stop, a 5 minute walk downhill from the hotel, and the journey to Valletta took around 1 hour and 10 minutes.

Bedroom

Our double rooms (# 2103 & 2105) were located in a separate annex building, a few minutes walk from the main building. From reception, we had to take a lift down to level -2, walk along the adjoining "bridge", past the leisure facilities, and then back up (by lift or stairs) to level -1.

Despite being on level -1, our rooms were not underground. We had read reviews prior to our visit of windowless subterranean rooms and feared that we had been allocated two of those rooms. In fact, we had a balcony which looked across a decorated patio area towards the hotel's restaurant and, thanks to the hilly terrain of Mellieha, gave us the sense of being elevated high above the ground and Mellieha Bay.

The double bed was actually two singles pushed together, but was very comfortable.

The room contained a large wardrobe, with mirrored doors, and plenty of room for two people's clothing for several days.

The wardrobe housed a safe. However, it was not complimentary; it cost €10 (as well as a refundable €10 deposit) for us to hire it for 3 days. It was probably the smallest in-room safe that I've ever encountered in a hotel; it was fine for storing our passports and cash, but not large enough to fit my netbook into.

The flat screen TV picked up around 10 channels, including Sky News, BBC Entertainment and Eurosport.

In-room wi-fi was chargeable (€4 for 1 hour / €8 for 6 hours / €12 for 12 hours) – but was free in the hotel's reception/cafe area, so we used it there instead.

There was a small kitchenette in the room, including electric oven hobs, a fridge (with no minibar items taking up space!), a microwave, a toaster, a kettle, pots and pans, cutlery, crockery, wine glasses and a bottle opener. We only used the fridge and the wine glasses during our stay and were able to close the wooden doors on the kitchenette (making it look like a wardrobe) to keep it out of sight.

The room temperature could be set by remote control, but there was little need for us to interfere too much with this in December. We turned the temperature up a couple of degrees at night.

There were plenty of lights in the room as well as ample UK-style electrical sockets conveniently located for charging batteries and devices overnight.

A large TV unit/desk provided four large drawers for storage and there were bedside cabinets on either side of the bed. One of these cabinets housed a radio alarm clock.

A small dining table and three chairs were provided in the room and there was a small plastic table and two plastic chairs on the balcony.

Our en-suite bathroom was clean and reasonably sized. It contained a powerful shower over a full sized bathtub.

No toiletries were provided, but there were liquid soap/shower gel dispensers located next to the washbasin and attached to the wall in the shower.

A hairdryer was provided and the towels were replaced each day.

Breakfast

Breakfast was served daily from 7:30am until 10am in the downstairs Bellini Restaurant. It took the form of a buffet and offered a fairly extensive selection of cold and cooked items.

There were four types of cereal to choose from (including muesli, cornflakes and rice crispies), fresh fruit, fruit salad, various flavoured yoghurts (cherry, peach, natural...) and several yoghurt/mousse/fruit combos served in sundae glasses.

There were bread rolls, sliced bread, cold cuts of meat (ham and beef), cheeses (Edam, spicy Mexican, Maltese goats cheese...) and salad items (olives, capers, tomatoes...).

Cooked items included scrambled eggs, gammon (as an alternative to the more commonly found bacon), very nice pork sausages, baked beans and grilled tomatoes. The selection was the same on each of our three mornings. We had hoped that there might be a little variation (mushrooms, hash browns, different styles of eggs), but we weren't really there long enough to get bored of the choices on offer.

There was a good selection of cakes, including a fairly stodgy bread pudding, chocolate chip cake, muffins and jam sponge.

Drinks included orange juice, pineapple juice, water, coffee and tea. The selection of hot beverages was somewhat limited; just standard tea bags and one style of coffee available from the coffee machine.

Overall, it was a very good breakfast, particularly as it was included within the very reasonable room rate.

Facilities

Our room rate included a complimentary "spa credit". This entitled us to a 45 minute session in the spa's jacuzzi bath.

We made our booking for 9:30am on a Sunday morning and were the first people to use the bath that day. We waited for 15 minutes or so while the bath was filled up and heated up.

The bath is located in its own private room (with no proper changing facilities) and has a nice ambiance with tea lights surrounding the bath. However, it isn't really suitable for 4 people. Not only does it become rather cramped with 4 people in it, but it causes the water level to rise to the extent that it floods the room and causes the jacuzzi jets to stop functioning. We had to take turns sitting out of the bath so that it would operate as intended. In hindsight, we'd have been better booking two sessions for two people rather than one session for all four of us.

As well as the spa (which also offers massages and treatments), the hotel has both indoor and outdoor swimming pools and a gym/fitness centre. The indoor pool is open from 8am until 8pm.

When we first visited the indoor pool (while exploring the hotel, but not actually going in the water) the room that it was located in was lovely and warm like a solarium. We were looking forward to returning later during our stay for a swim and a relaxing soak in the jacuzzi (unlike the spa bath, the jacuzzi was large enough to accommodate maybe 8-10 people at a time). However, when we returned later the room temperature was much cooler and the water was only lukewarm. It wasn't as relaxing as we had hoped. Another guest complained about the temperature to the hotel's staff and it became apparent that the solarium wasn't operating as it should do. We never got chance to go back and experience it as it should have been.

The changing facilities around the indoor pool and gym were woefully inadequate. There was a small shower/wet room next to the pool with a frosted door that didn't really give too much privacy. In addition, no towels were provided, so we had to use the bath towels from our room. We could have hired pool towels for a €5 deposit and a €2.50 cleaning charge.

The gym/fitness centre contained a selection of exercise bikes, running machines, weight benches and other equipment that looked far too complicated for me!

The outdoor pool enjoys a spectacular rooftop location with great views over Mellieha and down towards the coast. It is surrounded by sun loungers and there is a seasonal pool bar. It would be a nice place to relax in the warmer summer months. In December, it was a good spot for some panoramic photographs.

General

We arrived at the hotel and were welcomed with ice cold glasses of the refreshing Maltese soft drink, "Kinnie". We thought that this was a really nice touch and it was particularly appreciated after a long and uncomfortable bus ride from St Julian's.

Our arrival at the hotel was around midday and we were advised by the very friendly receptionist that check-in was not until 3pm. As the hotel had been full the previous evening there were no rooms available for us to check straight into. She promised to do her best to get us a room before that time, but as we were heading out to sightsee and eat it didn't really matter. We stored our luggage in the locked restaurant area (the luggage storage room downstairs was already full when we checked) and returned around 3pm to find that our rooms were ready for us.

Unique Quality: Adjoining the reception area is Cafe Puccini; an ideal place to sit in an evening and access the hotel's complimentary wi-fi. The cafe serves a huge selection of snacks, desserts, beers, cocktails, hot beverages and soft drinks. I would recommend their giant cookies (just €1.25 each) and the "Maltese Coffee" (€3.50) which contains the local "Bajtra" prickly pear liqueur.

Overall, we were all very impressed with Solana Hotel & Spa and found it to be very good value for money. It enjoys a good location within Mellieha (especially its proximity to both the "Snajjin" and "Adenau" bus stops), offers well-furnished, comfortable rooms and a more than adequate breakfast buffet. Despite a few minor gripes (no free wi-fi in the rooms, an inadequately sized (and chargeable) room safe and malfunctioning leisure facilities), we would be more than happy to stay there again and would recommend the hotel to others.

Directions: Located on Triq Gorg Borg Olivier, the steep main road that runs through Mellieha. Opposite "Snajjin" bus stop.

Madmartigand's Profile Photo

Well located some rooms are too small

Good (3.0 of 5.0 stars)
by written on September 7, 2010

Good location and general status. Some internal room are to small and with small internal windows. Wondeful pool o the roof

Unique Quality: Pool

KjerstiVT's Profile Photo

WARNING! Booking a room at the Solana Hotel is gam

Terrible (1.0 of 5.0 stars)
by written on September 21, 2009

It's gambling booking a stay at the Solana Hotel. You don't know if you are booking for the Solana or it's sister hotel the Pergola. We booked at the Solana, but they just sent us to the Pergola when we arrived because of double booking. Many have experienced the same thing, though with various results. The hotel gives a different excuse to everyone it happens to. For us we eventually got an okay room at the Pergola, but the only compensation we got for their mess was a non working internet and a free buffet dinner wich was awful. That is just inexuable for the Solana, and it's no way to treat it's cutomers!

Our story:
Me and my girlfriend bought a trip to Malta and booked two weeks at the Solana Hotel through expedia.no. We paid and everything was confirmed. But when we arrived at Solana Hotel, the first thing the receptionist tells us is that they have double booked us. We were later told that it was a computer breakdown right before we arrived so they had not had time to tell us, but then again each receptionist gave us a different reason... They moved us to an apartment at their sister hotel the Pergola. It was also a four star hotel and we would get the same type of room he told us. Tired after the trip and confused by the message we just stuttered yes. They gave us two small bottles of pepsi and sent us to the Pergola in a taxi. In the reception we could immediatly tell that it was an older hotel. The room they had booked for us at the Pergola was right above the reception with a balcony view to a wall five meters away, holes in the ceiling, two big cockroaches in the doorway, really bad air and the air condition didn't work. We complained and the receptionist gave us another room for one night only as he said. We said yes and thought we could fix everything the day after. The room he gave us for that night was acctually really nice and big, and with a balcony view to the pool and ocean. The next morning another receptionist called and said she would give us another room after breakfast. Thank god we wouldn't have to go back to the first room at least. The room we got, and would spend the rest of our vacation in, was also nice with a balcony view to the smaller outdoor pool at the Pergola (no ocean view). Some days after we gave it another go for getting a room at Solana for the last week and some compensation for their mess. We were told that it was impossible getting a room at the Solana. Eventually tired of arguing with the staff we settled with free wireless internet at our room and a free dinner. The internet had a so bad connection it was useless. The dinner proved to be a dinner buffet at their hopeless Pergola restaurant. That was the best we could get it seemed wich of course was a really bad compensation for they just having their way with us and sending us to the Pergola Hotel.

We also asked them if this had happend before to people booking rooms at their hotels. They denied this, but strangely enough it is many people here at trip advisor telling that they have experienced this. Lying makes it seem like they are covering for something. Is it a plan they have for getting both of their hotels fully booked? It seems obvious that it is.

We visited the Solana at some occasions and it looked like a modern hotel with high standard restrooms (wich can be rare at Malta). We tried the café in the lobby; awfull food. The bar is okay. The service is not the best. The free internet in the lobby works fine but is not so fast. Solanas location in Mellieha is central and good, but too get to the beach you would have to take the bus since it's a very steep hill down to Mellieha bay and the drivers drive like crazy.

Unique Quality: I think the worst part is that they try to trick they guests, and then denie it and not giving any compensation afterward they getting caught. Would not recommend to anyone and would not go back if I was paid even..

Directions: Right next to the mainroad, very noisy..

leics's Profile Photo

Central, newish............

Good (3.0 of 5.0 stars)
by written on January 5, 2007

The Solana is a 4* sister hotel to the Pergola, also in Mellieha. It is fairly new, very smart and very clean. There are both rooms and 'apartments' available, the latter having a kitchenette for self-catering. There's an inside pool/gym and a rooftop (unheated) pool with surrounding sun terraces (good vies from the roof).

The Solana has a cafe/bar in the reception area which is open 24 hours for residents, a breakfast/dining room and a larger function room. All the public areas are non-smoking, but the rooms are not. There are no gardens or outside seating, apart from the roof and immediately outside the frontage.

The staff were generally helpful and pleasant (although we were not pleased to be woken by the maid at 7.30 am on Christmas morning). There's no baggage room (not good; bags have to be left in the downstairs 'lounge') and they charge a daily fee for tea/coffee etc in your room (which is not, in my experience, normal hotel practice). However, there is a fridge and a kettle so we simply bought our own from the local supermarket.

Breakfast was the standard help-yourself European variety, with bacon/eggs/beans (!) etc as well as cheese/meats/bread/spreads and so on.

Unique Quality: All rooms have twin beds. There are no doubles. This, I think, is a little odd.

The rooms at the front, although lovely, are extremely noisy; they are directly over the road, and by the time they reach the hotel most vehicles are groaning at the strain of the hill. The double glazing is simply not up to the job, even with my ear-plugs in. We asked to be moved after one night and, to be fair, they moved us to the back which was much, much quieter except when tyhere was a function in the room directly beneath. We were charged 10 ML for the privilege of being moved. I really wouldn't advise anyone to take a room at the front of this hotel.

It's a good hotel, but it needs to try a bit harder if it's going to be a very good hotel.

Directions: It's on the main street, halfway down the hill.

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Solana Hotel

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Address: Gorg Borg Olivier St, Mellieha, Island of Malta, MLH06, Malta

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Amenities at Solana Hotel

  • Restaurant
  • Swimming Pool
  • Wheelchair Accessible
  • Room Service
  • Fitness Center
  • Suites
  • Shuttle Service
  • Bar / Lounge

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