“Design-lovers will adore these amazing architectural conversions (5 self-catering apartments sleeping 2 apiece)”
We stayed in spacious top-floor studio, Gallery. It has views over the harbour on all sides, seen through lovely picture windows, and an original patterned tiled floor, newly polished and set off to perfection by deep grey poured-concrete walls. The bathroom, with its powerful rain shower, is also concrete-coated, with zinging mustard-yellow tiles and a heated towel rail. There's a walk-in wardrobe area, plus a nook with coffee machine, fridge and kettle. Cable TV (an unobtrusive flat-screen) and a selection of DVDs and books make the space feel homey.
Since our stay, Library has been added, it has a wall of shelves filled with coffee-table art books, and a large hammock. Atelier (formerly the architect's workspace), styled as a mini workshop, was next. All rooms have the same size and layout, and are fantastically lovely. Each has a private slice of terrace on the roof with deckchairs for sunbathing.
In a residential street nearby, the unique Retropad is a one-bedroomed maisonette with the same grey walls, fabulous hexagonal floor tiles and salvaged pieces. Another latest addition is serene Hideout, in the fortified medieval town of Birgu (aka Vittoriosa) on the South side of the Grand Harbour. Formerly Chris' grandmother's home, this small townhouse has vintage and modern furniture on Maltese tiled floors, a conservatory style shower bathroom beside the brand new kitchen below, and the bedroom and breakfast balcony above.
You'll find an expresso coffee machine with Illy pods, complimentary water and juices in your fridge, and a kettle for making tea in all five spaces. In the townhouse, there's a communal kitchen upstairs for preparing food; it opens onto a terrace with great views and dining furniture. In the cupboards are all-needed appliances, like pots, pans, knives, etc, as well as salt and pepper, olive oil, and sugar. There's also a small fridge, mini oven/microwave and toaster. Retropad has a retro Smeg fridge-freezer, and a kitchen constructed atop a vintage marble-topped table with pots and pans underneath and a Belfast sink to one side. Hideout, in contrast, has a new fitted timber and marble kitchen with hot plate, toaster and kettle.
Valletta has some excellent restaurants, and Anna and Chris will give you a booklet with their personal recommendations of eateries and bars, as well as information about the best places to buy food locally if you're looking for supplies.