Birchircara, Malta Majjistral, Malta
September 22, 2005
An oasis of calm and relaxation; a place of tranquillity, atmosphere, and history. This describes to some extent Hotel Xara Palace, one of Malta's best five-star hotels and the only place of accomodation in Mdina. Squeezed on one side of a typical Maltese piazza which was formerly a monastery courtyard, Hotel Xara Palace occupies a palazzo which was reconstructed in 1530 replacing a much older conventual building.
There's no need to step inside to discover the hotel's perfect historical setting. Sculptured in stone on the left side of the building, you'll see the date of its reconstruction. Take your time to examine the hotel's main facade, an exclusive example of a restored piece of medieval Maltese architecture. Its beauty is manifested through its simple rustic design, the rows of symmetrical arched windows and the balustraded stone balconies which together impart to the building a monumental character and a chateau-style appearance.
A huge wooden door leads into the hotel's anteroom where the atmosphere of days past is enhanced by a collection of genuine antique furniture, fine paintings, manuscripts enclosed in showcases and shelves filled up with old ceramic figurines. The actual reception area lies to the left. Here the ambience is less formal, though still as fine and traditional as in the anteroom. The receptionists are friendly and helpful and from the start, they will try to make your stay at Xara Palace an experience long remembered.
Each of the hotel's 17 rooms boasts characteristic features that impart an air of peculiarity. No room resembles another but all are furnished with classic reproduct furniture, antique ceramic lampshades, gilded mirrors, thick-piled carpets and a couple of fine paintings. All this has been perfectly combined with the modern amenities one usually finds in a five-star hotel. Individual airconditioning, internet connection, cable television, safety deposit box, direct-dial telephone with bathroom extension, hair dryer and a luxury set of bath supplies are standard in all rooms.
The cheapest room which goes for US$200 has no view since this overlooks the hotel's internal courtyard. But for an extra US$50, clients can choose a room with a panoramic view that stretches out as far away as Valletta's harbour, and for an extra US$80, your room will have the facility of a panoramic terrace where you can relax amidst a profusion of well-manicured shrubs and climbers. If you can afford it, why not choose the hotel's most luxurious room? Called the Grand master's suite, it is a real extravaganza of self-indulgence, comfort and allurement.
For more luxury, step inside the Xara Palace a la carte restaurant. Here you can enjoy an evening of live classical music combined with the best Mediterranean food and wine Malta offers. The hotel's cocktail bar is also an ideal spot where you can while away the evening hours after a day of sightseeing. Free for hotel guests is the gym, sauna and relax centre, equipped with the latest exercise machines, steam baths and massage facilities.
From journal Malta's unique pre-medieval city