Travel Blog - The stunning Solana Hotel, Mellieha, Malta.
Updated: Oct 6, 2020
12 March 2020.
The most convenient thing about travelling on the #Gozo Channel line to/from Gozo is that you pay the fare on your return journey.
This was super for me on my outward journey as there was a ferry firing up when I arrived at #Cirkewwa meaning I could head straight to boarding. Much less stressful too when you have a large suitcase with you 😆 as I can never travel light!
The return foot passenger fare is an extremely reasonable €4.65! Children travel for just €1.15! There is also a car plus passenger rate of €15.70 and overnight services also attract an additional discount.
I have to take a seat outside, every time, I simply can’t sit inside, its too beautiful a #voyage!! Even with large suitcase in tow 😆
I’m sad to be leaving Gozo as I’ve had just the best time, and I’m also a little loathe to leave behind the sleepy pace of life for the hectic larger island of #Malta.
The #Covid-19 virus is very much starting to take a hold across the #world now too. There are now 9 cases on the islands. An announcement was made earlier today that schools and churches are to close 😔 To be honest I’m also starting to get a little anxious as to whether or not I will be allowed home in two days time, but there are far worse places to be stuck eh!🤞
As the ferry docks in Cirkewwa, I book an #eCab taxi to take me to my next destination, the stunning Solana Hotel in #Mellieha, which will be home for my final two nights.
I have never stayed in Mellieha before and I’m excited!
Mellieha I guess is more of a town than a village these days, but to me it still has that homely feel.
This hilltop town is only around 4 1/2 miles from the ferry terminal and only 14 miles back to the #airport.
Ecabs taxis are super and extremely reasonable. You can call, but I use the app, it’s so very much like #Uber which I use all of the time back home!
There is one difference though, unlike Uber who give an approximate fare, with Ecabs, the price the app quotes you is the price you pay! I’m extremely happy as my journey today has cost just €9.30!
Alternative travel options at the ferry terminal are, a regular taxi rank, but you really need to haggle with them, and a bus terminus too. My car has arrived after just a couple of minutes of booking, the app provides you with updates and the cars exact location throughout, and I’m now on my way!
As the taxi pulls in to my destination, my first impression of the hotel is that it’s very grand.
The name does make me giggle though as I keep thinking of our UK comedy, Benidorm and its Hotel Solana.
This Solana is a far cry from its Spanish namesake thankfully 😅
The lobby is extremely impressive, plush velvet settees accompany a large set into the wall #aquarium, and there are beautifully fresh and vibrant #flowers adorning the reception desk.
I immediately feel at home!
I’m continuing with the self treats 😆 and have booked myself into a #Luxury Suite! These rooms are located on the top floors ensuring plenty of sunlight and they have a large terrace for lounging. I can't wait!
The check in staff are lovely and explain all I need to know about the #hotel!
There are lots of dining options, I’ve booked a bed and breakfast rate, and breakfast will be served in the #Bellini 🍾 🍑 restaurant tomorrow morning, how apt is that name for me 😆 The Bellini also serves a sumptuous sounding buffet dinner with an unlimited wine/beer package for €6.50! Ooh tempting 😆
Other dining options are Tosca serving a #Mediterranean menu, and Prickly Pear for light bites and #cocktails! Leisure wise I have the Nataraya Day #Spa and Wellness Centre, and the #panoramic Top Deck rooftop pool! Wow!
The hotel has 165 rooms and there are two towers to the property, I’m in the second one.
To get to my room, I need to take the lift behind reception down three floors, then follow a covered walkway across to the second tower, where I then take another lift to the top floor.
The first thing I’m struck by as I manoeuvre my way between the two buildings is the artwork. A stunningly bright modern interpretation of traditional Maltese scenes. I absolutely adore them.
It only takes me around 5 minutes to reach my room, and as I open the door, I’m rendered #speechless.
The suite is #exquisite.
There is so much natural light and from the hotels elevated position, I have a spectacular view of The Parish Church and the azure blue sea below at Mellieha Bay. Two glass walled balconies allow the #panoramic view to continue when I'm relaxing in my personal sun lounger too.
My Suite has everything I need to ensure an extremely #comfortable stay ☺️
It's #modern luxury at its finest, I have a sofa, lounge chairs and table, along with a 50” Satellite TV complete with sound bar! I also have a safe, free WiFi, a well stocked minibar and a coffee machine!
The bathroom is gorgeous, with the hotels very own toiletries, and a mammoth walk in shower! On the bed are bathrobes and #chocolates, and I'm loving the lounge pillows! I’m feeling a very #lucky girl indeed ☺️
First thing I need to do though is to find my bearings and have a little #explore.
There’s only a couple of hours of daylight left, so no time to dilly dally!
I head downhill towards the beautiful #church, I’m saying church but there is actually a church and a #sanctuary in the same grounds. Oh my goodness there are a number of absolutely #divine patisserie's on this hill, before I leave I'm going to have to #indulge!
The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Mellieħa is a #Marian shrine (a shrine to the Virgin Mary) and sits in the shadows of the grand Parish Church which is dedicated to the Birth of Our Lady. They are both set in a #majestic setting overlooking the valley and bay below. It’s a beautiful time of day to stroll around the square and grounds. Sadly neither are open but both are breath-taking from the outside.
I’ve read there is a lovely little #café somewhere near here with panoramic views and as I no longer have the car, I feel a #sunset glass of fizz is in order 🍾☺️
Sadly just as I find the Sea Breeze café, I notice the owner packing up some of the chairs. I ask if he’s still serving, sadly I’m about 15 minutes too late 😔 It’s such a shame as even in the off season I'd happily sit here with a throw for the early evening chill enjoying a #sundowner and taking in the sunset 🌅 It would be #mesmerising to watch from this amazing vantage point.
Next door I’ve spotted a black iron gate which leads to a small cemetery, the Cimiterju Sultana tal-Vittorji
It’s so #serene and #peaceful and above all extremely #ornate.
I always have a little trepidation before entering a cemetery, there are souls at rest and I always feel like I’m trespassing. I very respectfully pop in keeping very much to the path and stay only for a couple of moments. It truly is beautiful inside.
I take another stroll back to the square outside of the church and afterwards decide to head back to my suite and take in the sunset from my own amazing vantage point!
I need to do a little stop first at my quaint but well stocked grocery store to pick up a bottle of my #favourite white Maltese #wine 😃
Wine purchased, and back in my suite, I’m just in time to witness a staggeringly colourful sunset.
Today has been another #fabulous day, I’ve packed in so much!
For those who travel to Malta frequently, when a hotel advertises they offer Satellite 📡 TV 📺 it generally means BBC World News and CNN in English, and sometimes National Geographic 😆
The Solana Hotel has true Satellite TV 🤩 lots of #movies and even soaps to choose from.
I’ve decided tonight I’m going to treat myself to room service for two reasons.
One I’m completely bushed now that I’ve sat down 💤 and two, I was given a COVID-19 guidelines document at check-in too and it’s really hit home.
In Gozo, having my own private #farmhouse I felt I had a safe haven, here where it’s busier I feel a little more anxious.
Plus the room service menu is #amazing!
There are dishes included from all of the restaurants onsite. There is so much to choose from!
The cocktail list is extensive but one is calling out to me, actually shrieking, the Maltese #Mojito, as it has my favourite prickly pear Maltese #liqueur as it’s base flavouring 😋. That's a must!
What shall I have to start........following a quick phone call to the Guest Services Centre I've established that the soup of the day is a house made #mushroom! That's a definite.
Now to main course, ooh #risotto, I adore risotto and roasted #garlic, #pancetta, #parmesan and #butter sounds absolutely #delightful. Ooh my tummy is rumbling in #anticipation.
Wow now that’s service, its only taken 30 minutes for my food to arrive.
The hotel is very much keeping to the Government COVID Guidelines which calms me. The lovely lady who brings me my food asks if I would like her to leave the food at the door rather than enter 👏
The food is piping hot and so very flavoursome, its all absolutely #delicious! Oh and the cocktail, well its simply to die for 😍
This happy girl with a happy tummy is now ready to put her feet up and relax.
I have another day bursting with new adventures ahead tomorrow and I’m extremely excited 😊
I utterly fell in love with Mellieha and I can't wait to share with you more hints and tips and more of my adventures next week!
Until then my lovelies, take care and stay safe!