I was on Malta with my daughter. We opted for the “all-round carefree happiness package” of an all-inclusive holiday at the db San Antonio Hotel. A week of relaxation and enjoyment was the order of the day.
At Malta airport, we were quickly taken by minibus to the bay of San Pawl il-Bahar to the db San Antonio Hotel. Check-in was quick and friendly, and we were delighted to receive a bright orange wristband that would now accompany us for a week and open the doors to our all-inclusive holiday.
Before I go into a bit of detail about our hotel experience – we did like it. I wouldn’t go to this hotel again (or only under changed conditions) – but the week in Malta was really nice. Especially in mid-March, the temperatures were pleasant and got us in the mood for spring at home.
Our room at the db San Antonio Hotel
We were assigned a room on the second floor of the nine-storey hotel complex. So off we went into the lift and in no time at all we could enter the room.
At first sight, it looked exactly as the pictures on the internet had promised. It was super clean and the beds were very comfortable when we first lay down.
And then we opened the curtain to the balcony and saw … nothing…
In front of our balcony there was a wide roof that totally restricted the view of the bay. With my height of 1.60m, I had to stand on one of the chairs to be able to see the sea at all. Holiday feeling looks different!
What only turned out later was that we had been accommodated directly above the bar/event area. Every evening we could not only listen to the show programme at full volume (despite the closed balcony door), we were also “ear-witnesses” of the rehearsals and the loudly singing karaoke of drunken Englishmen. Relaxation looks different!
The other facilities in the room left almost nothing to be desired. There was good Wi-Fi, tea, coffee, TV, … The safe was a bit small, it didn’t fit a camera or a small laptop. This is not quite up to date for today’s times and should perhaps be reconsidered.
Food on an All Inclusive Holiday
Food and drinks galore – that’s the principle of an all-inclusive holiday. I am not a fan of buffet meals on holiday. Often there is no local food, but light versions of meat in sauce with side dishes and cakes. Most of the time the food is overcooked or completely unseasoned. That’s why I was really excited to see what would await me in Malta.
At the db San Antonio Hotel, I was very pleased with the food.
The breakfast buffet offered everything my heart desired: fresh fruit, muesli, pancakes, egg dishes… We were well satiated when we left the huge dining room. And to be honest, we never sat there for long. The restaurant was uncomfortable and (although low season and hardly any children there) terribly noisy.
There was a very varied buffet for lunch and dinner. I ate a lot of fish and was not disappointed once. The food was always well seasoned, never overcooked and always looked visually appealing. Desserts were also available, of course. The cake selection often made it difficult for us to make a decision.
At check-in, we were told that we would have the opportunity to dine several times during our week’s stay in a themed restaurant of the db San Antonio Hotel. The offer included an Asian restaurant and the Tagine restaurant.
We had to book our desired dates at a terminal beforehand. Then it turned out that the Asian restaurant was not open. So we went to the Tagine restaurant on two evenings. This restaurant belongs to the hotel (entrance is outside the hotel) and can also be visited by non-hotel guests. Crucial when booking the table, there are time limited slots where you can eat (18:30 – 20h and from 20:30 – 22h).
The Tagine restaurant offers Indian and Moroccan cuisine. Here, too, the food is presented in buffet form. I was pleasantly surprised when we entered the restaurant. It was quiet, cosy and also visually nice to look at. The food was great! From the starter to the final Indian or Moroccan tea, I was thrilled and would have loved to be there every night.
Then in the evening to the bar for a drink. We didn’t go there often, it was loud and uncomfortable. The beer was flowing and the older people present in March were drinking heavily. The later it got and the higher the alcohol level, the louder the guests became – time for us to leave.
Wellness, SPA, Fitness Centre
On two days, I got active in the hotel’s fitness centre. I was really positively surprised by the variety and quality of the equipment. As it was not very crowded, I could comfortably spend my time on the treadmill without feeling a long queue at my back. The weight machines were also in excellent condition and encouraged me to extend my workout a bit. (Small tip – there was no trainer in the room during my workout, only at the reception. If you don’t know how to use a machine, you should definitely ask for help).
The SPA of the hotel is designed in oriental style. We booked two different treatments in one afternoon. The prices were a little lower than in Berlin.
I opted for a neck and shoulder massage and my daughter for a facial.
We were taken to a small cosy waiting room. Here you could also relax a bit on couches after your treatment and listen to the quiet sounds of the music. Then we went into small treatment cabins. Here, too, pleasant music was playing and I felt quite comfortable.
We were satisfied with both offers and went back to our room relaxed.
We stayed at the db San Antonio Hotel in Malta in mid-March. The first three days it was stormy and raining from time to time. So it was just the right thing to visit the indoor pool.
In an impersonal room in the basement, full of sunbeds, we finally found the pool. The air conditioning was blowing hard over the loungers – but even without the cold air, it would have been far too uncomfortable for me to spend any length of time here. The pool itself was well heated, but very small – 4 strong swims and you had crossed it.
OK for a short stay, but no more.
When the weather finally improved, we were already looking forward to a cosy time by the pool. Unfortunately, nothing came of it. The entire pool area was closed during our time in Malta – construction work! Not even a partial area for sun loungers was released. Too bad, we were looking forward to it.
What remained was the rooftop pool on the 10th floor of the hotel. So we drove up to the hotel roof and looked for a corner sheltered from the wind.
The pool and the whole rooftop area is usable for people +16 years. It was beautifully quiet, you had a great view and the water in the pool was ice cold. I bravely went into the water for a photo and received a kind word from some of the seniors in return.
The pool bar was unfortunately closed, but the hotel crew had set up a makeshift drinks service in a room, which treated me to a hot tea after my swim.
The db San Antonio Hotel is about 5 minutes’ walk from Bugibba bus station. From there, numerous buses depart to take you to the most important places in Malta.
Our tip: You should definitely spend a day exploring Valetta. We also went to Popeye Village and discovered the film sets.
But the area around the hotel also offers the possibility of long walks along the coast or a visit to the Malta National Aquarium.