Valletta Vintage

Valletta, Malta
Book from Book from £59 per night

Design-lovers will adore these amazing architectural conversions; affordable, arty and perfectly placed

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 a separate floor, with a theme (Gallery, Library and Atelier). Next came Retropad, a self-catering maisonette in a quiet residential street nearby, followed by 5 impeccably chic apartments occupying the entirety of a building a few doors down, each smartly styled to give you a guaranteed one-of-a-kind hideaway.

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. The eclectic Retropad has a salvaged marble-topped table acting as kitchenette plus a hexagonal tiled floor, while the latest additions vary in size but all have their own cooking facilities and access to a shared roof terrace, ideal for sundowners. All are utterly 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
  • 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)
  • Though 5+ year olds are allowed, the properties aren't very suitable for children; there are no extra beds available but FA can fit a travel cot
  • Retropad is in a different building to all the other apartments and has no outside space

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
Romantic
  • Designer Studios
  • 9 apartments
  • Basic self-catering (restaurants nearby)
  • Ages 5+ 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
  • Communal kitchen
Room:

Rooms

This eclectic (and growing) collection of lodgings offers three studios, a 1-bedroom maisonette and five spacious apartments.

All three studios have a similar size and layout, and are fantastically lovely. Each has a private slice of terrace on the roof with deckchairs for sunbathing. Library is named after its wall of shelves filled with coffee-table art books; it also has a little dining area inside a bright windowed gallery, a perfect spot for your morning brew. Atelier was once the architect's workspace; now styled as a mini workshop, it comes with groovy low-slung chairs and a slimline white four-poster bed. We loved our stay in the spacious top-floor studio, Gallery, which has picture-window views over the harbour on all sides, and an original patterned tiled floor 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 homely.

If you want more space or independence, the unique Retropad is a one-bedroomed maisonette in a residential street nearby. It comes with the same grey walls, fabulous hexagonal floor tiles and salvaged pieces.

Alternatively, a stone's throw down the street, you'll find an old house transformed into 5 stylish apartments: largest of them all, FA, has a bright living area with pops of colour and soothing organic lines, leading to a low-lit bedroom and ensuite with a freestanding tub; the small but seductive penthouse studio SOL with a private wrap-around terrace; RE, with neon pink wall art and a hanging perspex orb chair, is for the modern art lovers; the tiled floors in dark red, pale blue and earthy yellows bring warmth to DO, otherwise characterised by white-washed limestone walls; MI is the smallest of the lot, but sleek scandi-style furniture and a mezzanine bed space make clever use of this snug studio. They all have their own kitchen facilities (albeit minimal). A couple of these have their own private balconies and terraces, but all five share access to the sun-soaked roof terrace with immaculate views over Valletta.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Beach towels
  • Bose sound system
  • Complimentary cold drinks
  • DVD player
  • Fan
  • Hairdryer
  • Iron
  • Satellite TV
  • Terrace
  • Toiletries
  • WiFi

Eating

In the rooms, you'll find a bag of freshly ground coffee from local roasters Lot 61 and a filter pot, complimentary water and juices in your fridge, and a kettle for making tea. There's also a shared kitchen and dining area (for guests in Gallery, Library and Atelier).

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.

DO, RE, MI, and FA all have small kitchenettes, well equipped to whip up basic meals in the comfort of your own apartment. SOL has a mini fridge and coffee/tea-making area hidden away in the floor-to-ceiling storage unit, which is enough to put together a simple breakfast and store some snacks, but you'll be heading into town for full meals.

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

  • Valletta’s major sights are a short walk away from the rooms and maisonettes: St John’s Co-Cathedral, the Grand Master’s Palace, Renzo Piano's new parliament building and City Gate
  • The townhouse, meanwhile, is practically next door to the Fort of St Elmo with its Malta at War museum
  • Take a harbour boat tour or ferry trips to Malta's historic Three Cities - Vittoriosa, 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

The studio rooms, apartments and maisonette 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. Fa can fit a travel cot if needed.

Best for:

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

Distances:

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

Location

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 whole collection is close to Fort St Elmo, and the district has a residential, local feel that adds to its charm.

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 2 independent reviews from i-escape guests

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

Owing to a mix up with the booking we were given a new apartment in the collection, Do, part of another 17th century townhouse. It was beautifully designed, in a great location and perfect for a couple. A terrace on the roof was a good place for an evening drink. The expanding Valletta Townhouse collection offers a great alternative to Valletta’s boutique hotels

9/10,

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