Valletta Vintage

Valletta, Malta Book from Book from £89 per night

Design-lovers will adore these amazing architectural conversions (6 self-catering apartments sleeping 2-8 apiece)
Chris Briffa is the wunder-architect who’s overseen some of Valletta’s most stunning conversions of historic buildings, and this is he and his partner Anna’s personal project. They initially converted the 16th-century townhouse used to home his architectural practice into three inexpensive yet beautifully designed self-contained rooms with cooking facilities. Each is on separate floor, with a theme (Gallery, Library and Atelier). Next came Retropad, a self-catering maisonette in a quiet residential street nearby, followed by Hideout, a peaceful pied a terre in the medieval streets of Birgu on the South side of Valletta's Grand Harbour.

All are decorated with a changing selection of art by local artists; furniture includes beautiful mid-century vintage pieces. In the townhouse there's a communal kitchen and terrace upstairs, and each of the bedrooms has a private roof terrace dotted by design classics such as Verner Panton chairs. We've yet to see the latest additions but note that the eclectic maisonette has a salvaged marble-topped table acting as kitchenette plus a hexagonal tiled floor, while the pied a terre boasts a conservatory-style bathroom along with a sunny breakfast balcony. Unique.

Highs

  • For couples who appreciate art, beautiful design, meticulous attention to detail and fantastic use of colour, with a vintage twist
  • Very good value: designer looks at affordable prices
  • In charming residential streets of Unesco-listed Valletta, or the serene old fortified city of Birgu (Hideout)
  • All townhouse rooms have large south-facing roof terraces with deckchairs and glorious views across the periwinkle-blue waters of the harbour and golden-walled Fort St Elmos
  • No need for a car. The city is easy to navigate on foot, and you can bus/ferry to beaches, the Three Cities and Gozo

Lows

  • No room service, no maid service (though it can be arranged at an extra cost) and limited reception hours; you're very much left to your own devices (though some will prefer this)
  • Only Doma is suitable for younger children, but there are many stairs so you'll need to keep an eye on them
  • Retropad is in a different building to the other apartments and has no outside space
  • Hideout is located in Birgu, not Valletta. Birgu is a quieter area (a bonus for some)

Best time to go

June and September are the best months to visit Malta as the weather is perfect, the sea is warm enough to swim, and there are not so many crowds. July and August are hot, busy, but fun, and May and October are also lovely months to be here. Easter and Christmas are celebrated extensively, so are other good times to be here.

Our top tips

Use Valletta as a base for visiting the rest of Malta, and Gozo, the neighbouring island, as distances between places are never very far. You can easily be in the city in the morning, the beach in the afternoon, and a bar or restaurant in the evening.

Great for...

Cheap & Chic
City Style
Honeymoon
  • Boutique Guesthouse
  • 6
  • Basic self-catering (restaurants nearby)
  • Any age welcome in Doma
  • 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
  • Communal kitchen
Room: Library

Rooms

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. Doma has also appeared since we last visited - a remodelled 18th-century townhouse spread across five floors (introducing a family element to this hotel).

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.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Beach towels
  • Bose sound system
  • CD player
  • Coffee / tea making
  • Coffee maker
  • Complimentary cold drinks
  • DVD player
  • Fan
  • Hairdryer
  • Iron
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Satellite TV
  • Terrace
  • Toiletries
  • WiFi

Eating

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.

Features include:

  • Coffee / tea making
  • Coffee maker
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Restaurants nearby
Eating: Retropad
Activity: Valletta

Activities

  • If staying in the townhouse, you’re practically next door to the Fort of St Elmo with its Malta at War museum, and the rest of Valletta’s major sights are a short walk away: St John’s Co-Cathedral, the Grand Master’s Palace and Renzo Piano's new parliament building and City Gate

  • Take a harbour boat tour or ferry trips to Malta's historic Three Cities - Vittoriosa (where Hideout is found), Senglea and Cospicua

  • Laze on pretty Golden Bay beach or day trip to Gozo for the picturesque San Blas or Ramla Bay. There are wonderful places to go swimming off the coast, too (including a spot 5 minutes away from the townhouse) - plus some of the best dive sites in Europe

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Boat trips
  • Cycling
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Museums / galleries
  • Nightlife
  • Scuba diving
  • Shopping / markets
  • Swimming

Kids

Doma house has been added since our last visit and is suitable for families with kids of all ages.

Best for:

All ages

Family friendly accommodation:

A baby cot is available in Doma, as well as an inflatable mattress and 1 twin bedroom. There are many stairs in Doma, so all children should be supervised. The other houses aren't suitable for young children - all beds are doubles and there are no extra beds, so it would only work for a solo parent travelling with an older child.

Baby equipment:

Cot

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Families Should Know:

There are many stairs in Doma, so children should be supervised at all times.

Distances:

  • Airport: 16 min drive (Luqa)
  • Supermarket: 4 min walk
  • Hospital: 15 min drive (Mater Dei)
Kid Friendly:

Location

Except for Hideout, Valletta Vintage is in the heart of Valletta (the capital of Malta), which is a compact city so it's easy to walk around as long as you don't mind hills and steps. The townhouse is close to Fort St Elmo, and the district has a residential, local feel that adds to its charm. Hideout apartment is located in the serene old fortified city of Birgu.

By Air:
Fly into Luqa (Valletta) Airport (8.5km); click on the links below for a list of airlines serving this airport.

Getting Around
You won't need to hire a car (Valletta Vintage can organise a transfer, or just jump in a taxi), but car hire is cheap for when you want to explore elsewhere on the island - see our car rental recommendations. You can park for free outside the property.

Otherwise there's a network of local buses heading almost everywhere from Valletta (the bus depot is a 10-minute walk from the townhouse).

Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through i-escape.com.

More on getting to Malta

Airports:

  • Luqa (Valletta) Airport 8.5 km MLA

Other:

  • Beach 1.0 km
  • Shops 0.1 km
  • Restaurant 0.1 km

Our guests' ratings...

Based on 13 independent reviews from i-escape guests

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

The apartments are well located towards the end of the tip of Valletta next to the Fort. The style is vintage look, as the name suggests and the house used to be the office of a well-known architect from the Island. It was good that there was a small kitchen and rooftop where we could sit and watch the evening sun. There are a few small issues; we found that the bathrooms lacked light, a few more towels would have been useful and there are no hooks at all to hang anything. The water supply was a bit temperamental, but that could have been a general issue in Valletta. We found the system of opening and closing the apartments and getting the keys and locking them away again a bit cumbersome.

6/10,

A classy property in a great location. Highly recommended.

9/10,

We stayed in the Retropad and thought it was great. The design is fantastic and it is spacious and very comfortable. Very central location in Valletta. This isn't a hotel so you are very much on your own, but we enjoy having this independence and the owner did check in by email while we were there to make sure everything was going OK.

10/10,

We stayed in Library which proved to be the perfect sanctuary from the hustle and bustle of central Valetta. Great decor, spacious, in the ideal location for visiting all the places of interest. Giovanella was just a call away at all times whilst the tips and recommendations booklet was just the right level of service we needed to enjoy our short stay.

10/10,

Beautiful apartment in a great location with impeccable service from start to finish. Couldn't fault Valletta Vintage or i-escape and wouldn't hesitate to use again.

10/10,

Great location. We loved the roof top terrace to enjoy an apperative on. The rooms are spacious and stylish. A quiet and restful place to stay but you need to remember that it is an apartment not a hotel and so you are very much reliant on yourself.

7/10,

Loved this place, not cheap but very stylish and only a ten minutes to most things. We stayed in The Gallery; very large room, beautiful decor, good shower, tea and coffee making facilities in the room, loads of hanging space. Great communal kitchen for the use of the 3 rooms, we never saw anyone else whilst there. The roof terrace is fabulous. We sat up there one night with a picnic and a bottle of wine and watched the boats come in to the harbour and the sun set over the Fort. Lots of thought and love has obviously gone in to this place and the airport pick up and check in were perfect. Great location and quiet at night. Check the size of the bed as my husband is 6 foot 3 and the bed, although very comfortable for me had a foot board.

10/10,

The apartment is very nice with everything you would need. We initially hadn't realised it was in Birgu which is right across the water from Valletta but we actually preferred this location to being in Valletta!

10/10,

loved the rooftop terrace and interior design of the room

10/10,

We've had a fabulous stay in Valletta and loved our apartment (the Library) in Valletta Vintage. Emily who runs the show was an absolute star and even though she doesn't live on the premises she is a call or text away and very proactive and helpful. Highly recommend this special place.

8/10,

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