Casa Ellul

Valletta, Malta Book from Book from £213 per night

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 9 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; they've added a restaurant since our visit, too
  • 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
  • We can't personally vouch for the restaurant just yet, but we can't wait to visit

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
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 9
  • Restaurant and bar
  • 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 9 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. Since our visit, the Old Theatre Suite has been added. This modern suite is spacious and luxurious, with an open balcony onto Old Theatre Street.

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
  • Toiletries
  • WiFi

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.

When we visited there was 24-hour room service for drinks, and light snack available from 7am-7pm. Today, there is also the Risette Restaurant. Set under the iconic Lady of Mount Carmel church, it offers elegant informal dining, with an a la carte menu of fresh produce. Sample dishes include starters of seared prawns with broccoli, oyster and avruga caviar, and mains such as confit pork belly with fennel, Savoy cabbage and snails.

The hotel manager also 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...

Based on 2 independent reviews from i-escape guests

10/10
Room
9/10
Food
9/10
Service
9/10
Value
9/10
Overall

We loved Casa Ellul. A gorgeous boutique hotel right in the centre of Valletta. Luxury interiors, fantastic service, very attentive and professional team, great breakfast and super comfy beds and lovely room. We have been to Malta many times before, this hotel definitely raises the bar of the general standard of hotels usually available. It's not cheap but you get what you pay for. Beware - parking in Valletta is a nightmare and there is a lot of regeneration going on at the moment, be prepared with directions before you travel.

10/10,

We stayed at Casa Ellul for four nights and it was a wonderful experience that I would recommend. Unfortunately, both suites with whirlpools were booked but we nonetheless enjoyed ourselves. The location of the hotel is perfect, you are in the middle of the old town yet away from the main streets. The service was great and every wish we had (including express dry cleaning) was promptly seen to. I believe that for for the rates charged by the hotel, there is no need to charge guests extra for stuff like water or breakfast, however delicious they might be!

8/10,

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Rates for Casa Ellul