Hotel Fortina  

Plenty of pools and restaurants, a great spa, and first-rate views – that’s Hotel Fortina in a nutshell.

Hotel Fortina’s two main pools have widescreen views of Sliema’s waterfront. And from their sun terraces you can see the domes and spires of Malta’s capital, Valletta.

There’s another pool in the spa – the heated saltwater is packed with health-boosting minerals. Talking of the spa, it’s one of the hotel’s biggest drawcards. The arm’s-length menu ticks off sugar body scrubs and Dead Sea wraps, as well as milky Cleopatra baths and thalassotherapy treatments.

There are five restaurants to choose from. A smart buffet place comes with a side of panoramic city views, while a Thai à la carte serves up duck stir fries and spicy green curries.

Rooms are finished off in seaside colours, and every place opens to balconies with sea or garden views. Flatscreen TVs come as standard, too.

Location-wise, Hotel Fortina is steps away from Sliema’s huge shopping centre. Plus, the ferry to Valletta is only a 5-minute walk away.

TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

Based On 1026 reviews

  • Official Rating
  • 2Buildings
  • 8Floors
  • 200Rooms
  • 4Lifts

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Food & Drink

Bed and Breakfast

Buffet breakfast.

Dining options Breakfast Lunch Evening meal Drinks Snacks, Icecream
Half Board

Buffet breakfast and dinner, with the choice of 5 restaurants for dinner.   

Facilities ► View all

2 outdoor pools

Open during the summer months, these two saltwater pools come with impressive sea views, plus wraparound sun terraces aligned with sunbeds and parasols.

Italian restaurant and Pizzeria*

This place offers antipasti, pizzas and pasta dishes, plus the menu includes vegetarian options. Il Giardino Italian restaurant is open for dinner, and you'll find it at the Fortina Resort next door.

Table 1 Mediterranean restaurant*

A set menu of tasty Mediterranean dishes and a selection of wines are available here.

Rooms► View all

superior twin room with sea view

These light and airy superior twin rooms with a sea view can sleep up to three. They come with air-conditioning or heating, and bath with shower.

twin room with garden view

These basic in decoration, yet modern and chic twin rooms with garden view sleeps three.

TripAdvisor Reviews Show more reviews »

Not 5 Star

Was transferred to the "5 star"!! from the Fortina 4* after 10 days as hotel was fully booked advising it was an upgrade. From a very nice room with balcony overlooking the gardens and pool I ended up with a far inferior room overlooking towering apartments and a footbridge level with my balcony in everyday use by the public to get to the Tigne shopping complex. Like sitting in a goldfish bowl. There was no chairs on the balcony only two very poor condition sunbeds which were a waste of time unless you don't mind being looked at by all the general public. Television in English limited to BBC news and sky news international, anything else and you have to pay. Definitely not 5*. Might get a 2*in UK.More

WILLIAM P,

wouldn't recommend it

We stayed for 2 weeks, the first week on all inclusive and the second on bed and breakfast basis. This is not by any stretch of the imagination what I would call a 5 star hotel and I have considerable experience of international hotels. We were greeted at the airport by a driver with mercedes, taken to the hotel, greeted with fizzy white wine, a receptionist gave us a complicated briefing on the dine around meal rules and then the porter took us to our garden view spa room. This was a positive and promising start. The room and bathroom were excellent as was the situation overlooking the quiet garden/pool area Sadly, the promising start didn't continue due to several small niggles, most of which were due to the inflexible dine around system. The 4 or 5 restaurants situated around the pool are apparently not owned by the hotel and are part of a franchise. This meant that 1. Only a certain proportion of tables are reserved for all inclusive customers (the majority are for cash paying customers); guests must book 2 days before when table allocation opens. This removes flexibility and means guests have to eat when the hotel says and not when you want. Alternatively you can wait until after 9.30pm when unused tables are released (too late for us). This inflexibility coupled with one or other restaurants closing on different nights made dining not as pleasurable as it should have been. One other guest said she was using a spreadsheet to organise her dining arrangements 2.In one restaurant we were charged 2 euros for a bottle of water (we didn't want an open jug which had been poured out of an old and tatty bottle). This charge was removed when I pointed out that we had paid thousands of euros for the holiday, we only had a main course (no starter or dessert) and that any tip that I might leave was in jeopardy. Sadly this did not work in the Indian restaurant and I was charged 2 euros for a peshwari naan bread, again we only ate the main course, not 3 courses as per all inclusive. They were going to add it to my room bill but I insisted on a written bill and paid cash. How petty 3 We were not allowed to bring our drinks from the bar to the japanese restaurant for some strange reason. Another silly rule which were now spoiling our holiday. We were relieved when the first week was over and we dined when and where we wanted to. Good points Room, situation, swimming pool and salt water pool across the road and breakfast yum yum Average points. Lack of information/clarity. Staff indifference (I lost count of the times that I and other customers were ignored whilst bar staff talked amongst themselves, counted change, changed till rolls etc and then deigned to serve waiting customers). Facilities seem to be open to both 4 and 5 star guests so there seems little point in paying the extra. Local families (with children) were admitted with day tickets and were noisy and obtrusive. On Saturday night at midnight, a 10 year old local girl was banging on the lounge grand piano whilst relatives and staff looked on Bad points Dine around. all inclusive. Evening entertainment Overall holiday was OK but for the price we paid and and because it was a 5 star hotel, should have been much better. We will not return. Most of our complaints have been raised on numerous previous occasions by other contributors but it would appear that no notice has been taken. SadMore

Mal G, Plymouth, United Kingdom

'All Inclusive' not suitable for us

We stayed at the Fortina Spa for one week on an all inclusive basis. Check-in was a reasonably lengthy process but we were seen to immediately with drinks offered and our suitcases taken up to our room. Our photos were taken for id cards to be presented at the restaurants and bars to indicate we were on an all inclusive package. We were expecting a tower garden room but we were actually given a room with a stunning view over to Valletta on the 7th floor, which was a nice suprise. The room was spacious although the armchairs placed at the end of the bed were a bit of a nuisance, resulting in my husband moving one in to the corner of the room and the maid moving it back the next day - it was a battle of wills! There were two wardrobes with about 8 to 10 hangers in each and an iron and board in the room which we've never come across in a European hotel before. A safe was also located in the wardrobe. The bathroom was spacious with a separate bath and shower and seemed reasonably clean, unlike the wood-effect floor in the main bedroom! A few minutes of walking around in bare feet after a shower left my feet extremely dirty - I don't think the floor is actually mopped! I have read the previous reviews about the towels but seeing is believing - they were small, thin, fraying at the edges and may have been white in a former life. Certainly not what I would have expected for a 5 star hotel. The bath mats were similarly grubby. However, there was a reasonable selection of toiletries provided although I prefer to use my own. The fake lilac 'rose' placed on the flannels was totally tacky and pointless. The bed was quite firm, just how I like it, and I'm sure I would have slept very well had I not been so hot but my husband does not like the air conditioning on at night. The mini bar in the room was stocked with water, cans of beer and cider, Coke and Sprite, wine and spirits. The wine, beer and soft drinks were part of the all inclusive package but there were charges for other items. Unfortunately, the soft drinks were the sugary variety and I therefore purchased my own diet coke from the supermarket in the shopping centre next door. Free wi-fi was available in the room but only at low speed which is almost pointless and very frustrating. It was not even strong enough for my emails to come through to my iPad. It could be upgraded, along with a TV package, for what I understand was Euros9.95 per day. The room had a balcony with two sunloungers which, judging by the layer of grime on them, had not been wiped down for some time. There were also two planters on the balcony and these may have attacted the ants which were often found in the room. The main pool area in the gardens was ok and we never had problems getting a sunlounger, which were a little tired looking. It is not a very sunny area, which suited me as I prefer to shade-bathe. However, the small pool and jacuzzi area beyond the main pool was in poor shape with broken stone steps up to the pool, which looked quite dangerous, and a green painted floor which had certainly seen better days. Pool towels were available from the Island Bar but normally nobody was there until 10am. These towels were of a similar ilk to those in the bathroom, this time a grubby blue colour and so small that two were needed to cover the sunlounger. I will probably be one of the few people to complain about the variety of food. Unfortunately, I don't eat Indian, Chinese or Japanese food so this limited our choice of restaurants. We ate at Taste for three nights and they had a change of menu part way through our week. What I don't understand is why they felt the need to have Vietnamese dishes for half of the menu (the other half being mediterranean food) when they already have three Asian restaurants. I found the choice quite difficult to make but what I did have was well cooked and nicely presented. Service for the main part was also good. Table 1, mainly Italian food, was ok but it was not situated around the garden, like the others, and so we couldn't eat outside. We though Il Giardino would be good for a lunchtime pizza but we found this was only open for four evenings a week. We ate there on our last evening and found the pizza to be not too warm. Lunchtimes posed the greatest problem for us. We normally like a snack such as a sandwich, burger, omelette, simple pasta dish, etc but, being on the all inclusive package, only meals in the 5 restaurants open for lunch were available and the menus for Taste and Table 1 were very similar to those for the evening. Out of the six lunchtimes we were there, we only ate at the hotel twice, having the pasta of the day at Taste. Snacks were available at the Island Bar (although still pretty heavy food) but this was not part of the all inclusive package. Why?? We also had lunch over the Road at The Terrace which we understand it part of the Fortina Hotel as we could have charged the bill to our room (if our account had been properly set up!) but again, not too many ligher choices and not part of the all inclusive package. The breakfast was a buffet in Taste and this was really good with a wide range of cooked and continental breakfast foods - no complaints there! The Limes Bar was rarely used due to the good weather but unfortunately it did have a bit of a 'toilet' smell about it (hotel toilets just off of the bar) and personally I would not have wanted to sit in there. One thing that the hotel did lack was a little shop for convenience items which I must admit I did miss, especially on the day after arrival, which was a Sunday, when all the main shops were closed. We only really saw Sliema on the harbour side and found it to be a bit run down with dirty, cracked pavements and too many boat tour touts on the promenade. However, if you like English shops, this is the place for you with M&S, BHS, Debenhams, Wallis, and Dorothy Perkins, to name a few. I think we timed our visit with a lot of local festivals as there were guns, cannons and fireworks going off at all times of the day - a bit like being in a warzone at times! We did take advantage of the 1 1/2 hour Captain Morgan harbour tour offered to all hotel guests and when my husband picked up the tickets he was offered the 'tour of the hotel' no doubt to try the hard sell on timeshare but he declined and we were not approached about this again during our stay. We did enjoy the tour but it was a bit confusing as to which boat was being used and where to embark. I must admit that I am a bit of a fussy eater and would have preferred a buffet restaurant but, due to a recent illness, the holiday was booked in haste with less than four weeks before departure, once I was cleared to travel. Had I carried out my normal extensive research before booking then I'm fairly confident I would not have selected this hotel. I found the hotel to be quite pretentious, with all its 5 star airs and graces but lacking the final polish. It may well have been a 5 star hotel on day one but it is something which has to be worked at to be maintained.More

Angie49a, Whitstable

For a truly relaxing, 5-star experience, avoid this like the plague

I really don't know where to begin with this review. I suppose the main theme is disappointment. I know 5-star, I travel 5-star (but rough it too, at times). This is anything but 5-star. Let's be positive to start with. Saving graces: 1) the lovely Carrie in the spa who soothed away my aches and pains when the week at the Fortina Spa Resort was really getting me down, 2) the housekeeping staff on the second floor who were always polite, friendly and helpful and 3) the great gym which has a huge free weights and equipment section rather than the usual mindless cardio machines that you normally find in hotel gyms. Maybe a list will suffice and aid easy reading. a) Although some of the receptionists were friendly and helpful, others took the Maltese reserved nature to the extreme. It is strange to find an 'upmarket' hotel where the welcome is frosty and condescending. Service was so slow that it was a good idea to check how many people were waiting, then go away and come back later if you didn't want to stand around like a spare part for ten minutes. Such a contrast to the Palace Hotel, which I visited on my last day. They were charming and helpful, despite my travelling clothes. They even apologised for my unpleasant stay at an unassociated hotel, as they said they felt responsible, being fellow Maltese! b) I requested a garden room for peace. I was 'upgraded' to a room at the front of the hotel with a view of Valletta. It also had a view of the pedestrian walkway, the underpass and the road in front of the hotel - I was only on the second floor. c) There were ants running over the tea making facilities in the bedroom and all over the bathroom, including the towels. It was suggested that I had let them in from the plants on the balcony by opening the patio doors. They were clearly living in the space between the cupboard in the bedroom and the shower in the bathroom. d) There was a communicating door which was next to the televisions in both rooms. The elderly couple in the adjoining room listened to their television at a deafening level, fortunately switching off at exactly midnight. e) If I had felt like lounging on the balcony, overlooked by the walkway and breathing in the fumes, I would have had to scrub the balcony and the furniture first. Strangely enough I saw no ants on the balcony. f) A nice, clean, simple bathroom, with a great walk-in shower (other than the ants). How I was to miss that bathroom in the following days! g) After more than one attempt to kill the ants (almost gassing me by spraying them while I was standing next to the maid), and covering the room with ant powder, the receptionists eventually conceded that there was a problem. I was upgraded as a huge and personal favour (they made me feel like I was being totally unreasonable) to a spa room. I should perhaps mention that I stayed in a 5-star hotel on the island of Borneo and didn't see one insect in my room (complete with patio doors) in two weeks. Then again I stayed in a hut on stilts in the jungle and the only creature that visited was a lizard. h) The spa room faced onto the garden so was quiet! There was an espresso machine and more varieties of tea than you could wave a stick at. There was also a large cockroach in the bathroom one morning. I thought it was dead; it was just resting. It meant that I was nervous about going to the bathroom in the late evening and worried what I would find each morning. At least I got to know the girls from housekeeping and had a bit of a giggle as it seems I was famous for not only being friendly but also for getting the rooms with all the insects. i) The balcony furniture had bird droppings on it as there are hundreds of sparrows in the garden. I cleaned it myself. Talking of birds, the staff don't turn over the garden furniture at night, so most of it has something disgusting on it. j) The jacuzzi, which I put on to cheer myself up, was broken. k) The spa bath had lumps of black debris in the jets. Once I had cleaned it I found it terribly uncomfortable as an ordinary bath and difficult to get in and out of. There was an interesting metal bar at the end, to break your ankles, presumably. l) The shower was combined with a sauna (with a broken timer). This meant that you had to slide between vertical rubber abattoir curtains, as well as navigating the glass door. The timed jet system in the shower meant a straightforward wash was impossible. The only place to put things was on the seat. All in all, totally impractical. m) There was as ancient body treatment bed thing in the bathroom. Given the lack of maintenance of the other equipment, I didn't dare switch it on. n) The basins and separate loo/bidet room were nice :-) and housekeeping folded the flannels so they looked like flowers. I've never seen so many sachets of treatment creams. o) Lots of storage which was great. I particulary liked the drawers that snapped shut on your fingers if you weren't paying full attention when you closed them. p) Why do hotels ask you to hang up your towels and reuse them to save the environment, then change them twice a day? q) The buffet breakfast was grim: hanging around waiting for permission to sit down; vats of bacon boiling in front of you; surly staff; not a teaspoon in sight; greasy food; hot bowls and plates to eat cold food on; strange flat plates to eat hot food on. Nice warm Danish pastries though. r) The spa was not relaxing. Although it was meant to be peaceful, the jacuzzi was so noisy that people in it had to shout to make themselves heard. Although the other rooms were interesting, there were bits falling off the fountains, holes and splits in the seating, and it generally looked grubby and in need of refurbishment. s) The other guests were lovely. It was like having a nice chat in an old people's home. At least they cheered me up with all their banter when our paths crossed. Interesting to hear their own horror stories from their stays there. t) I went to the Thai restaurant and the Indian restaurant a couple of times. The food was good but service was amazingly slow, despite both being quiet. In fact, in all the hotel's restaurants I visited the service was slow and the staff seemed to be mainly trainees rather than local, experienced staff. u) The indoor pool was impossible to swim in as there were usually small Maltese children there with their parents, jumping in the pool, their shrieks echoing in the confined space. They also overran the changing room which was unnerving at the best of times, as it was basically open plan with a door that was never closed. v) On my last day I was going to check out after supper so reception said I could use the spa and the lockers downstairs during the day. The man on the spa reception told me that the spa was too busy and that I couldn't use the lockers until I went there for my treatment in the afternoon. The spa was like a morgue it was so quiet. Later that day, after some internal discussons, I was graciously allowed a key to one of the lockers in the changing room so that I could change into my swimming costume and lock up my phone, passport and money etc. The few times I went to the spa reception I felt that I was being high maintenance by asking for information, and that the man there had better things to do. I'm sure you know that false smile that doesn't reach people's eyes. Strange as I am famous for getting on with the staff in hotels and restaurants on my holidays, and have stayed friends with many people I have met on my travels. The younger man on the second spa reception was very friendly and helpful and the girls made much more of an effort. w) When I asked if I could check out of my room later because there were things that needed to be fixed before it could be given to another guest, they said yes, if I paid 70 euros. (The hotel I stayed at the following week in Madeira let me check in at 8.30am and check out at 5.30pm, with a complimentary breakfast thrown in because I had travelled overnight, plus a complimentary welcome dinner for me and my guest - no charge. Then again, it is a 5-star hotel). x) When I went for my last treatment, arriving early as requested, all the therapists suddenly disappeared off to a staff meeting. I and my fellow guests all started our treatments 10 minutes late, after waiting around rather baffled, but they finished at the usual time because of the following clients. No apology, except from the therapist, no compensation offered. x) Drinks at the bars were extortionate and nothing special. Coffees were small and cold and no better than the ones in the room. On the last day I sat in the bar for two hours and no-one asked if I wanted a drink, despite the fact that they were 'busying' themselves clearing tables and preparing goodness knows what. y) The musical entertainment was so grim and geared towards a much older crowd (I'm 54), that it drove me to my room every evening after supper. z) The best thing about my stay (other than Carrie's spa treatments) was the fact that the taxi driver arrived fifteen minutes early. I felt so miserable, unwelcome and 'difficult to accommodate' that I actually got to the point where I cried, walking around lugging my bulky day bag. The little cockroaches in the loos near the reception actually made me laugh. What a parting gift! I can see that a lot of people love this hotel. They obviously have lower expectations or have the Dunkirk Spirit when it comes to their holidays. Maybe if I'd have booked the 4-star hotel, I'd have been happier. After all the two hotels are basically the same place, except that the staff are much friendlier and more helpful in the 4-star, I'm told. May the 5-star thinks that aloof is 'posh'. Oh and please don't tell me that I should have said something. I did. Repeatedly. That is presumably why I got the sighs and eye-rolling when I said I really didn't like ants in my towels, cockroaches in my bathroom and staff that acted like they were doing me a favour when I asked for the simplest of things. Never again. Not even if they paid me.More

Julia G, Woking, United Kingdom

Nice hotel that could easily be better

Overall everything was OK. Small things about service attitude in reception desk and Lido bar gave a bit of an uneven experience as most of the times we got a nice and polite service with willingness to help and couple of times we were basically ignored. It's like they are sometimes holding back as it is not 5* as the building next to it. View from the room was awesome and the shower worked well. Bed was way too old and the springs in mattresses were worn out resulting to a supersoft bed that lacked support. The gym was super. From restaurants Table one was great, Sa re ga ma good if you like indian, Arigato a disaster on plate and the buffet La Valletta very good if you prefer buffet dining. Terrace was great but was not in meal plan. Can thai we passed after Arigato disaster and to the italian we never got seats as it was fully booked those times we wanted to go there. Apparently the Hotel quota runs out rapidly so remember to book well in advance all ala carte diners. Overall a good experience but as some things were 3* and some things 4 1/2 * it left a bit confusing feeling. More

Pirkkalaiset, Pirkkala, Finland

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Hotel Fortina
Rated: 4.0 /5 based on 1026 customer reviews
from £300.00