More about Fortina Hotel
Not worth the money
We booked into the a deluxe garden room in the 4 star hotel and thank goodness we booked a better room as whilst speaking to other people they said the horrible room they were in ruined their holiday. We found the staff to be very slap dash. There was never anyone around the pools to help you with loungers etc. or tidy up any glasses etc that were lying around. The reception area and other public areas is very tired and in need of a drastic overhaul. I didn't find the staff members in the spa to be particularly friendly or helpful in fact one or two were quite rude. After looking at the 5 star accommodation I would say to anyone stay there and pay the extra money it has to be worth it. Also the staff are not at all helpful in asking advice about where to park your car. They tell you you are only allowed 90 minutes outside but when we asked a couple of locals they said there was a small area where you could park all day without any restrictions. Why can't the staff be more helpful and find out all this information for their guests. I think they are trading on the fact that they are always full and don't need to be over nice to you.
4* Hotel, next to Spa Resort
We booked a late deal with Mercury. We stayed at the 4* hotel which is connected to the Spa Resort. Our deal was all inclusive, and, unlike some we have been on, the drinks were spot on and the food was superb. DO NOT upgrade from the buffet (it will cost you £99 per person if you do). The selection was superb, always 2 soups ( never the same for lunch as dinner) always a roast + another meat dish + a fish dish, excellent veg and great salad selection. As much wine as you want with your meal.
We stayed on the 6th floor sea view. The whole wall is glass. It has two sliding doors and it is the most amazing view..... overlooking the bay and straight across from Valletta. Absolutely superb. The 6th floor is the only floor that has the 'glass wall' the other floors have balcony's but they are not a patch on the 6th floor.
Very friendly staff. Excellent location for transport, two great outdoor pools on the waters edge.
BAD POINT... they are trying to sell rooms at the Spa Resort next door as timeshare. Simply tell them that you are not interested and they leave you alone, no hassle, no pressure.
I have been meaning to write this review for some time so please forgive the delay. My wife and I stayed at the Fortina in August 2006 for 2 weeks, due to unforeseen circumstances this was a fairly late booking and we were attracted by the hotel rating in the various brochures that we looked at.
The room that we were allocated was sea facing ( I think it was room 611) , it was a good size room but we were very disappointed with several things, the air con was very noisy, the shower was difficult to control, in fact in my opinion it was bordering on dangerous, someone could easily burn themselves, the toilet flush was poor and overall the room felt dated, although it was clean. The main concern with the room was the patio doors facing the sea front, while they afforded a fabulous view there was no balcony so when the doors were open immediately in front of you was a handrail made from a light gauge aluminium which did not seem to be very securely fastened, please be aware of this if you are nervous of heights, also this is not suitable for children
We did try to change rooms but the ones that we were offered were worse than the one we already had, after a week of trying and constantly being told that there were none available we were then told that the only chance of getting a better room was to pay for an upgrade but seeing as though we had already payed in excess of £2000 we thought it was no longer worth it.
There was a large construction site to the side of the hotel, the noise did not really affect ourselves but I did speak to several people who were staying in the 5* tower who did have problems with noise, dust and also two ladies were constantly shouted at by the men working on the site. I do not know the current state of play regarding the progress made on the building.
By day we usually stayed by the adults only pool, the area itself is nicely landscaped, however due to the surrounding buildings large areas were soon in the shade so the people who liked the sun were constantly on the move, this coupled with a lack of beds meant that certain areas could become quite crowded. There was also another sun area to the side of the hotel with a small pool of sorts however this area did not have its own bar meaning that you had to walk to the the pool bar, while the distance was not great you did have to negotiate several small steps, ramps, tiled floors and a small bridge before you reached the bar, this is no real problem if you are ok on your feet but I did see several elderly people struggling, it would have been nice to have a couple of waiters to help these people. For the 2 weeks of our stay only two bars were ever open in the 4* which I felt gave the hotel a slightly half closed feel, from what I could gather the hotel was struggling to attract staff, those that were there worked extremely hard especially those at the adults pool bar but it was not uncommon to be at the back of a fairly long que waiting for drinks due to people wanting cocktails and coffees etc
The all inclusive card that we had allowed us to eat in the buffet restaurant, it was only after speaking to several people that I found out that other grades were available, perhaps this was my own fault and again we could have payed to upgrade but when speaking to others I found that overall they had payed less for their holiday and also had the upgraded card included so in the end we decided to stay with what we had.
Overall the food was ok, however I did find that you were only asked once what drink you would like, if you wanted a second drink you had to catch the waiters eye and on occasions when the restaurant was busy this could be difficult. The food is served buffet style with the chef slicing various cuts of meat, at lunchtime you can then help yourself to any other items veg etc however in the evening the chef served you with everything which could lead to long queues and I did witness several arguments between the chef and people who had served themselves either mistakenly or had lost patience at queuing for a long period.
My wife really enjoyed the Spa treatments but in her opinion they are quite expensive, the Spa does do weekend promotions where the cost can be reduced by APO 50% but these can be booked up quickly so please be advised to constantly ask at the Spa from around Thursday teatime as to what is available.
Finally we were constantly phoned by the people who are promoting the timeshare, after telling them politely that we were not interested in any trips etc we eventually had to ask the management to stop them from ringing our room.
This was the first holiday that we have had in Europe for several years, overall for the price that we payed I was disappointed, people who we spoke to who were staying in the 5* rooms did say that they were really nice but did have similar complaints to ours over certain items, other people who I spoke to said that they had come here several time and loved it so I suppose it is each to their own.
The Fortina is regularly advertised in the UK press, if you do decide to go my advice would be to try in the off season as I heard that you do tend to get the better rooms and also people who booked with Mercury seem to get a better deal regarding price and room grade
Don't go there!
Don't stay at the 4* star hotel - unless you are happy paying through the nose for less than 4* accommodation! And hope you never have to complain - never have I experienced such an unprofessional way of complaint handling (since April 2006 they have ignored several emails from me). The nearby building work was noisy and dusty, the hotel maintenance meant we were choked by fumes while they painted the pool, loungers on the lido were hard plastic with no cushions, others were damaged with wires exposed, the website didn't advise the pools were unavailable for use until later in the year, housekeeping was sloppy, the reception area is drab and dated, La Vallette 'Restaurant' was the worst 'canteen' I've ever seen - dirty, shabby and meat pate left unrefrigerated with the same old lump of pate getting wheeled out day after day, Qui Si Sana Restaurant served a mix of unripe and overripe fruit, certain restaurants didn't keep to their advertised opening times, the spa area is drab in parts and bordering on expensive, the steam room was out of order for main part of our week, the cardio & weights area is out of the ark - such dated equipment, and the timeshare touts are plain rude once they realise you're not interested in listening to their 2 hour drivel. So while each point individually seems fairly minor, when you pay the prices based on their over-hyped website descriptions you too will be in for a big disappointment. That said, even though the hotel refused to accept any of my feedback, I note they immediately amended their description of the weights and cardio area - believe it or not they actually had the audacity to call it world class - I would call it world crass
Okay - but read this before you book
My friend and I stayed at this Four Star hotel for three weeks 1st Feb-22nd 2007.
We booked with Mercury Direct and paid about 780.00 each for the three weeks all inclusive. We decided to share as we did not want a small single room for three weeks and we upgraded to a Superior room.
We were initially very disappointed when we saw the room which was about 12 feet square with a lobby/bathroom off. The two queen beds were very old and creaky but not uncomfortable. The furniture was very old and very poor quality - only one chair. Nowhere near enough drawer space for two people - promises to see if another chest could be obtained never came to fruition.
The balcony is very poor quality, big cracks down the wall and tubular iron rails with peeling paint - HOWEVER - the view was fabulous, straight over the creek was the best view of Valletta that anyone could have.
We were on BUFFET only meals and 99% of the time they were excellent - great choice at every meal - salads always available and veggie meals - you must try the Bread and Butter pudding, I have never tasted anything so light and delicious, it was superb.The daily joints of meat were melt in the mouth.
The dining room is very pleasant and all the staff were very attentive at all times.
There is dancing every night in the main bar to a duo - get in early to get a seat.
Dress code is very loose - no men wore ties - some ladies wore long dresses and some jeans and no one looked out of place!
Disappointed with the TV as I had expected BBC, but only Sky News/sports and True Movies (they were dreadful and I usually love them)
WE were bitten in bed by mosquitos so take precautions
Also take an iron unless you want to pay as there is not a laundry room.
People who were booked into the DELUXE rooms found that they were huge rooms overlooking the garden at the back and a block of the hotel and NO SUN AT ALL. Some people downgraded to Superior to get the view and some sun - sea view rooms get the sun all day on the balcony - some balconies are very small.
Malta is not cheap - we received 100 lira for 150.00 sterling but we did not spend much being all inclusive.
The Battery guns are well worth a visit - be there around 11am and take the tour which allows you to stay near the gun at noon when it is fired each day.
I enjoyed Malta and the history of it, the roads are appalling and the bus rides, springs worn out, hard seats, are an experience not to be forgotten you have to laugh though! The churches are magnificent.
Three weeks was too long - wish we had only gone for two weeks. So be warned - you will almost certainly be disappointed in the size and furnishing of your sea view room but the rest of the hotel is okay. The fabulour view and the sun is worth the smaller scruffier room.
Stranded before take off!
It was a disaster from the start. We booked the all inclusive 4* package directly with the hotel for 2 families and paid half the money. When we were about to board the flight, we were stopped and informed that we have not paid. We had to pay on the spot for the flight tickets, totalling £1100, and I had butterflies in the stomach all the way there, hoping that we had not been conned and that it was a genuine mistake.
On arrival, to my relief, the hotel driver was there to pick us up. The matter was resolved quickly when we got there but unfortunately, another arose. After we had our showers, there was a pool of water in the bathroom, about 2 inches high, as the drainage pipe had a crack and the water went everywhere. As it was late, we reported it first thing in the morning. By evening, nothing was done and again, there was a mini swimming pool in the bathroom after our showers. I asked to be transferred to another room but was shown this tiny bedroom with extremely low ceiling. I declined and was told that we had to wait till the next day for availability.
Next morning, before we went out, I demanded that we were moved to a similar grade room or an upgrade with our luggage moved in by the time we came back, which would be after 5.00pm. Guess what??? On our return, we were given new keys for our room but we couldn't get in the room allocated. It turned out that it opened the room three doors away! But our luggage was no where to be seen! After yet another trip to reception, they gave us the correct key but still no luggage! We had to make another trip (it's definitely not the least amusing by now) to ask for the luggage and had to wait for another 30 minutes for it!
This was well below the 4* service as advertised.
Enjoyed the treatments
A girlfriend and I stayed at the hotel for three nights in February. We went specifically to sample the spa treatments and see some sun after a dismal January in the UK. We were very pleased with the treatments, the spa therapists were extremely well trained. After the aroma/shiatsu/reflexology massage, I felt totally unwound. Marvellous. Likewise, we were very pleased with the standard of food in the buffet restaurant. The staff were all very pleasant and the service efficient. The bonus was the harbour cruise we took via the hotel's 'Captain Morgan Criuses'. It was excellent and certainly a 'must do' for anyone visiting Malta for the first time. The big negative was that we opted for a garden view room in the four star hotel. No way was the room 4 star grade. It was small, the carpet and decor very tired and the matresses on the twin beds were past their best. We requested a new matress for one of the beds - it really was very bad - and though it did get changed eventually, this was only after repeated requests to housekeeping and much complaining at reception. Our only other negative was the much vaunted, " Spend one hour seeing the new spa and spa rooms and get a complimentary treatment". The one hour was nearer 3 and was accompanied by a strong sales pitch from the 'club' sales personnel.
I would stay at the hotel again solely for the spa but would definitely go for a better room in the five star resort and would be sure to avoid any offers of freebies in exchange for 'an hour of your time'.
I was very, very disappointed with the Fortina.
We booked a standard room and it was so atrocious that we paid (substantially) to upgrade to a 5 star room (it was our anniversary so we were prepared to fork out toavoid spending our special day in the ghastly room that we were first given.
Our room was designated "no view", but we thought that we could put up with overlooking the kitchen bins or whatever as we expected a room in a four-star spa hotel to be nice. It wasn't.
There was one good thing about it - it was quite a good size.
"No view" acutally means a dingy, mouldy light well, about 3m across. There was a balcony, covered in brown rust/mould. There were ugly green blackout curtains and no nets. Opposite our room window was a window to a corridor, frequently left open giving passers by a full view in. The ceiling was made of those lift up tiles like you get at school. The carpet was dark and ugly and the whole room smelt funny. (Must?)
The bathroom was the real horror. We know we didn't pay for a good room, but in a four star hotel, you expect a certain standard and this was nowhere near it. Considering that it is a spa hotel I just don't know how they could have such an awful bathroom in the building. It was VERY small and old-fashioned. It had cheap and nasty fittings and holes badly filled with grout where fitting had been moved. A fixed shower head. Low, narrow bath. I woud have felt short-changed with this quality of room in a 3 star hotel.
The "5 star rooms" were lovely, although as has been pointed out, there is a lot of shadow. The restaurants are nice enough - although the main buffet is a bit down market. If I were spending the money again I would stay somwhere else as the quality of the rest of the hotel doesn't match up to the 5 star rooms, but you still apy a 5 star price. The gym was horrid - greasy and cramped.
The lifts did break down frequently.
Finally, when we upgraded (and remember, we paid a lot to do this) the hotel had a pre-preapred form where we stated that in taking our upgrade we absolved them of any responsibility for the state of our first room. I wonder wny they might have such a thing ready?!
2/3 Star masquerading as a 4 star
We have just returned from the Hotel Fortina 4 Star resort. This definately was not a 4 star hotel. Although we had only booked the standard garden view room, this turned out to be very basic and looking quite old and tatty, the wardrobe was very tiny, so it was a good job we were only there for 1 week. We had paid the extra £99 per person to be able to eat in the other restaurants on the complex. This was a 'rip off'. You had to book in advance through the hotel reception, on arrival at these restaurants you were only able to choose from a basic menu , if you wanted anything else on the menu, you had to pay extra for this. At the Indian restaurant, there was only one large poppadum to share, we asked for onion bhajis but had to pay extra for these. It would have been cheaper not to pay the extra £99 per person and gone out into to Sliema for an indian or chinese. Meals in the buffett restaurant were only average, vegetables could have been more varied rather than peas, carrots and sprouts and the salad bar did not have a lot of variety either, it seemed to be the same salads every day/night.
The main bar in the hotel never had any Rose wine, we were told there was none, but it was strange that they had some in the restaurant and in the other bar.
It seemed the hotel was more interested in promoting the 5 star spa section of the hotel and I would not recommend anyone to stay in this hotel.