Malta Business Travel Tips
We compiled a list of useful travel tips for the business traveler to Malta, to help you find out where to stay in Malta, where to eat, how to move around and how to save time and money. Read on to discover them.
Landing in Malta
The Airport in Malta is small. Sometimes, if the airplane lands close to the main hall you can even walk from the plane to the main hall.
The Airport in Malta – Review
We would put a grade of six out of ten to the airport of Malta. It doesn’t feel new and it doesn’t feel very clean, although you will not see something really strange or bad at it. It’s just ok. As an example, the airport toilets are ok but they are not perfectly new and clean and you may not find soap foam when you wash your hands. There is some refurbishment taking place in the airport as well.
On the minus one level of the airport, there is a food court with some restaurants including a Burger King and a KFC.
There are some duty-free shops where you can shop the usual stuff that you find at airport duty frees.
From the Airport of Malta to the Town
You cannot just get outside of the airport and get a taxi to get you to Valetta or Paceville. You first have to go to a Taxi kiosk inside the airport and pay the price of your transfer, which is usually 20 euros tIt costs 20 euros to get to Paceville or Valetta. The taxi drivers drive like crazy and there is usually a lot of traffic on the road. There is no Uber in Malta and usually, you cannot stop a taxi from the road. Bear in mind that if you need to get a taxi when you are in Malta, you will have to call for one and you may have to wait for 15 to 20 minutes for the taxi to come and pick you up from your location. A couple of times we were even waiting for forty minutes for the taxi to arrive.
Where to Stay in Malta: the best business hotels
The best hotels in St Julien are Hilton and Westin. They are both on the waterfront, overlooking a beautiful bay and they offer excellent views. The next best hotel you can find is the Intercontinental and then the Holiday Inn Express, which is next to the Intercontinental and it is actually operated by the latter.
The Malta Holiday Inn Express: our Review
The Holiday Inn is a new hotel. It is pretty basic but it is functional and it has modern rooms. The breakfast is on the eighth floor and you can even sit outside, be enjoying a beautiful view of the bay. The breakfast is pretty simple though. Scrambled eggs, sausages, an espresso machine, fruits, marmalade, and honey.
On the downside, it is very close to a road with many bars and clubs and the front rooms have some noise in the evening. If you sleep light ask for a room on a high floor. Moreover, you will not find water in the rooms as in Malta you can drink the water from the tap. But this is not evident when you arrive, so you may need to go down on the street and buy some water from the shops. Fortunately, there is a shop selling water right next to the hotel.
If you need a power converter from the European plug to the English plug that is used in Malta, you can ask for one at the reception. They will put a temporary charge of twenty euros to your room, which you get back at the checkout if you return the converter.
The rooms also offer USB chargers, an iron machine, a hair dryer and dove shampoos. There is no swimming pool in the hotel.
The reception is on the eighth floor in the same area of the breakfast. There are one or two persons in the check-in/check-out process and sometimes the checkout process can be slow. You may need up to fifteen minutes to check out including the waiting time. As an advice, you should better ask the reception to get the invoice details of your company during the check-in process, to save yourself sometime when checking out. The stuff is very polite and helpful.
Holiday Inn has a very small lobby on the ground floor, just for up to ten people to sit.
In the evening the door of the hotel is closed and you need to open it with your card to enter. There is a security person at the door during the evening.
The Intercontinental hotel: our review
The Intercontinental hotel is a big hotel but the rooms are older. It has a casino on the minus one level which offers blackjack tables and slot machines. It’s a small casino, so don’t expect anything spectacular. The breakfast is very luxurious but it is usually not included in the hotel room price so you will have to pay extra for it.
The rooms are quite so you will not have an issue sleeping well here. There is a swimming pool in the hotel.
Using a Taxi in Malta:
You can Book a taxi in Malta at www.ecabs.com.mt or call them at 21383838. These are black cabs. Sometimes the taxi drivers get confused on who they have to pick up, so we suggest that you confirm your destination with the driver when he arrives. The drivers usually speak English well and you can communicate easily with them.
As an indication, a taxi to get you from St Julien to Ta-xbiex will cost you 20 euros. The cost of the taxi from Paceville to the airport of Malta is also 20 euros. You can order a taxi from an Ecabs office that is right next to Holiday Inn express; the eCabs has also a mobile app for iPhones and Android smartphones. If you need a receipt bear in mind that sometimes the taxi drivers don’t have a receipt and you need to send an email to hr@Ecabs.com.mt to get the receipt.
In Malta, the car driver sits on the right side of the car and they drive on the left side of the road, similar to the UK. Parking is really difficult almost everywhere in Malta and there are not many paid parking places. So you should better avoid renting a car and just get taxis to move around. The distances are not big but there is traffic.
Where to eat in Malta
The Sciacca grill next to the Intercontinental hotel is a popular choice. You should better make a reservation before going. It serves fish and meat. You can even have fresh lobster for 80 euros.
The service is rather slow though. Sometimes it is really slow and you may need to wait a lot of time to get seated, then go to the vitrine to select your food and get it served to you. This restaurant has no food menu. You just go to the vitrine with the meats and the seafood and you select your food and you can see the prices written on small cards (prices are per 100 gm). You can also order starters at the same spot, reading them from a big table next to the vitrine.
You will pay around 50 to 70 euros for a good meal with wine here. They accept credit cards without a problem. The crowd is international people mainly.
An even better restaurant to go is Loren and Fiz. It has a nice balcony with a view of the bay. This restaurant mostly has meat, even though we tried the salmon with wasabi sauce and it is great and it costs 22 euros. There is a mixed grill choice with 80 euros for two persons, with around a kg of different types of meat to try. And of course, you can always get a porterhouse steak or other types of steak. The meat is greatly grilled and you will enjoy most dishes here. They easily accept a credit card.
The restaurant is on the first floor of a building and you will need to go up 15 stairs. Then you can either sit outside in a small balcony with around 10 tables, each one appropriate for two people, or inside, where you will find much bigger tables which can host up to 10 people. Sitting at the balcony offers a great view of the bay just in front of the hotel so you should better go for it if you are just two persons going out.
A third recommended restaurant to eat is Salt n Pepa at the Portomaso bay. You will need to book obediently go there as it is popular with travelers and tourists. It’s not a cheap place and you will have to pay more than fifty euros for a meal with some wine.
Wines in Malta
The most well-known winery in Malta is called Marsovin. It has two famous wines: the Grand Maitre and the Primus. They are both red strong whines and grand maitre is usually 15 percent more expensive than PrImus. primus costs 69 euros at the restaurants and 37 to buy in Malta if you visit the Marsovin winery. You can also get it at the airport of Malta for 63 euros a bottle.
The 1865 Carbenere is another good wine (around 30 euros at restaurants) and even though it comes from Chile and it is not local, it is popular in Malta. It is like the Chilean Malbec, with strong tannins and it is a great choice to accompany your meat dishes.
The casinos in Malta
Gambling in Malta is a big thing. It drives the economy as more than 300 gambling companies are registered in Malta. There are several casinos in Malta and sometimes they are hosted in Hotels.
The Casino at Portomaso is the best casino in Malta. It offers a Free entrance. Poker tables with one, two blind bets and blackjack tables starting with ten euros minimum bet. Bring a passport with you as you will need to register the first time you come. They will give you a card and the next times you can enter just with the casino cards. It’s not that busy during the weekdays. It is a safe place and you will feel nice playing in it.
The biggest poker tournament of Europe takes place in Malta every November.