Casa Ellul

Valletta, Malta Book from Eur225

Reviewed by Abigail Blasi
Stunning conversion of a 17th-century townhouse into a boutique hotel, enhancing its original features with contemporary style
All Valletta’s streets are beautiful. Tall 16th- and 17th-century terraced townhouses line narrow lanes, fronted with beautiful wooden and glass-pannelled balconettes. Casa Ellul stands on one of the loveliest of all, just a few doors down from Europe’s oldest theatre, with a glimpse of sea at the end. The warren-like mansion has been in the family for over 5 generations, and its wine-merchant sibling owners have overseen a fabulous labour-of-love conversion by local Maltese architect Chris Briffa. He’s created 8 suites that are all different, with lashings of character, style and charm.

Original features including stone windows and a marble staircase have been maintained, and combined with modern touches such as free-standing bathtubs and work-of-art photographs. The courtyard at the centre has been given a stylish makeover, too, with a statue of a Greek god, bright designer chairs and a stripe of vertical lawn. This is an intimate place, the welcome is warm and the conscientious staff give great advice on what to see and where to eat.

Highs

  • Supremely comfortable beds (romantic doubles, spacious twins) and gorgeous bathrooms
  • Sea views, terraces and Jacuzzis in the largest rooms
  • A creative chef who whips up whatever you fancy for breakfast
  • The small size of the hotel allows for personal attention and lots of local recommendations
  • Central location, walking distance from everything in Valletta, including the ferry for trips to Gozo and Comino (no need for a car)

Lows

  • This is an old house, so rooms are all shapes and sizes
  • It's not cheap, but it's worth every Euro
  • Not ideal for kids and an expensive baby-cot rate
  • No lunch or dinner served, but there are great restaurants close by

Best time to go

The best times to visit Malta are June and September, when the weather is perfect and you'll miss the crowds. However, you're guaranteed very hot weather in July and August and there's always a lot going on.

Our top tips

If you'd like some time at the beach then head down the coast and swim off the rocks in Sliema, or take a 30-minute drive to the island's loveliest sandy beaches on the north coast.

Great for...

City Style
Honeymoon
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 8
  • Breakfast and light snacks (restaurants nearby)
  • Welcome but not ideal
  • Open all year
  • Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
Room:

Rooms

The 8 suites are decorated in soft dove greys, with subtle flashes of colour. All are different, all are stunning. Traditional features include polished pattern-tiled floors and enclosed balconies, and antiques such as the house's original piano mix with mid-century-style furniture (including specially designed Mad Men-esque TV sets). Contemporary art by local artist Ritty Tacsum adorns the walls - stylish photographs and wallpapers of Valletta.

We especially liked the Deluxe Suite converted from the original kitchen, with its orange glass wall separating the walk-in shower from the main room. All rooms are romantic but the Piano Nobile Suite, the largest room, is the pick for couples, with a white wrought-iron screen behind the bed and a free-standing bathtub. The Duplex and Executive Suites have a more contemporary feel, as they were newly constructed on the rooftop, with poured concrete walls, private terraces, Jacuzzis and stunning views.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Bathrobes
  • Central heating
  • Coffee tea making
  • Cots Available
  • Extra beds
  • Fan
  • Hairdryer
  • Ipod dock
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Phone
  • Safe box
  • Satellite tv
  • Terrace
  • Terrace
  • Toiletries
  • WiFi
  • Wifi internet

Eating

Breakfast is served in the small breakfast room, elegantly decorated in classical shades of grey and looking onto the central courtyard. Besides a buffet of cereals, croissants and juices, there's a cooked menu to choose from; we particularly liked the French toast with fresh strawberries! You can also ask for eggs however you like, or some other style of cooked breakfast (small supplement), as well as bowls of fresh fruit.

Otherwise there is 24-hour room service for drinks, and from 7am-7pm you can order light snacks. They don’t serve lunch or dinner, but the hotel manager has splendid suggestions for local restaurants, some of which are only a few doors away.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Breakfast
  • Coffee tea making
  • Light snacks
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Room service
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • You’re within walking distance of Valletta’s major sights: St John’s Co-Cathedral, the Grand Master’s Palace, the Malta at War museum in the splendid Fort of St Elmo, and the art and archaeological museums
  • Take boat or ferry trips across the harbour to explore the neighbouring Three Cities, or ask Casa Ellul to organise private yacht hire
  • Casa Ellul can also arrange guided tours around Malta, trips to Gozo and Comino's beaches, whatever you like - just ask
  • Malta has some of the best dive sites in Europe
  • There are many prehistoric sites in easy reach of Valletta, including the fabulous underground Hypogeum in nearby Paola

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Boat trips
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Museums / galleries
  • Nightlife
  • Private guided tours
  • Sailing
  • Scuba diving
  • Shopping / markets
  • Snorkelling
  • Swimming

Kids

Children are welcome on request, though it's really an adult hotel; baby cots, extra beds and highchairs are available.

Best for:

Babies (0-1 years), Children (4-12 years)

Family friendly accommodation:

The Deluxe Suite, Junior Suite, Twin Deluxe (Shower) and the Piano Nobile Suite can all fit an extra bed or baby cot; the latter 2 interconnect so could sleep a group of up to 6.

Kid Friendly:

Our guests' ratings...

10/
Rooms
8/
Food
9/
Service
9/
Value
9/
Overall

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Rates for Casa Ellul