Valletta Vintage

Valletta, Malta Book from Book from £57 per night

Design-lovers will adore these amazing architectural conversions (5 self-catering apartments sleeping 2 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 and limited reception hours; you're very much left to your own devices (though some will prefer this)
  • No twin beds, and no kids under 4: this is a romantic retreat
  • 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
  • 4
  • Basic self-catering (restaurants nearby)
  • 4+ year olds only (but not suited to kids)
  • 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.

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 maker
  • Coffee tea making
  • 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 maker
  • Coffee tea making
  • 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

Only children aged 4+ are accepted, but all beds are doubles and there are no extra beds, so it would only work for a solo parent travelling with an older child.

Kid Friendly: Terrace

Our guests' ratings...

Based on 10 independent reviews from i-escape guests

8/10
Rooms
6/10
Food
8/10
Service
8/10
Value
8/10
Overall

loved the rooftop terrace and interior design of the room

10/10, , April 2017

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, , February 2017

Enjoyed the area and quiet location. No real outside sitting, but not a problem as the town square was so close and local.

9/10, , September 2016

We had a fantastic time in Valetta and certainly could not say anything bad about the property. We loved the decor and the vintage furniture and the espresso machine in Hideout. It was very warm at night and the AC was noisy but I think that's only to be expected in the Med in August! The location was excellent, the little information booklet provided was spot-on with restaurant recommendations etc and the owner's Mum even popped across the street to introduce herself and make sure we had everything we needed! It's not five-star (if that's what you are looking for) but the attention to detail and uniqueness of the property more than make up for that. I have used i-escape several times and have never been disappointed. This property certainly lived up to my expectations!

9/10, , July 2016

A beautifully designed, comfortable room with the added bonus of a communal kitchen (nice to have although in truth we only used the corkscrew!) and roof terrace with wonderful views over Valletta and the Med. An ideal spot to watch the fireworks that the Maltese love. <br>Our hosts organised a taxi for us from the airport which was handy as the house is at the far end of Republic Street from the bus station and it helped to have Simon, the driver, to guide us through the magnetic lock system when we arrived late at night. Valletta is a lovely place to be based - busy during the day with an influx of tourists but quiet at night. A UNESCO World Heritage site with charming traditional wooden balconies on limestone buildings that glow warm in the sun, the sparkling sea surrounding the peninsular and the island hub for the buses. Renzo Piano has created an eye catching new city gate, Parliament building and outdoor theatre. We recommend trips to Mdina and, for a fresh fish lunch caught by a boat with eyes, Marsaxlokk.

10/10, , September 2016

The room was spacious and elegant, and the mattress was comfortable. We enjoyed our stay and would recommend this place with two minor reservations; the electronic locks were difficult and confusing to master. We were also surprised to be charged an additional 20 EUR dry-cleaning charge upon departure for a relatively minor coffee stain on a chair cushion.

5/10, , May 2016

The owners have spent so much time and care over the design of the rooms, it is shame that the overall experience is lowered by the lack of high quality attention to bathroom toiletries, such as soap and body oils and towels. The size of the towels were quite small and we need two hand towels rather than one.

7/10, , May 2016

The room and furnishings were excellent, really enjoyed the design, and the bed/ pillows were very comfortable, 5 stars there. The only two drawbacks we found, is that the window in the bathroom didn't lock properly, and so it was always cold in there (we stayed in March), and similar problem with the windows in the room, where the draft was so strong, we could hear it all night! However in the summertime this should not pose a problem. Hosts' recommendations of restaurants were truly fantastic, we would only add one more from ourselves: Gin bar Yard32, a true gem.

9/10, , March 2016

A stylish apartment, well equipped, clean and modern. As good as the photos, if not better. An excellent location, beautiful views from two roof terraces and the addition of kitchen facilities provided ideal flexible accommodation. They arranged taxi pick-up from the airport, which was prompt and efficient and the person at the apartment was very helpful and friendly. Highly recommended.

9/10, , March 2016

We enjoyed our stay. Beautiful terrace and dining room above the bays and Fort St. Elmo. The Bedroom was very comfortable and very well appointed / equipped but difficult to heat well. Very efficient service and support.

9/10, , January 2016

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Rates for Valletta Vintage