Hard as it is to believe today, there were few bars or hotels in Malta’s capital, Valletta, a few years ago. Many bars closed down when the British navy pulled out in the late 70s, while the big hotels were outside the city walls, leaving just guesthouses within.
In recent years, boutique hotels have begun to creep in and SU29 is a delightful, modern establishment at 29 St Ursula Steps. The historical building underwent a €2million makeover and opened for business a couple of years ago.
Many hotels use the boutique moniker despite having dozens of rooms, but SU29 really does live up to the boutique tag, with eight, individual rooms spread over its four floors.
Each room is slightly different but meet the same high-quality standards. There are marble floors throughout. My suite had a living room area with the biggest, deepest, climb-in sofa I’ve ever seen.
The gorgeous, contemporary style bedroom had chocolate brown-painted walls, expansive windows, and white wood and copper flourishes (the table lamp, etc). There’s a multitude of power points, and black and white paintings of Valletta on the walls.
Other rooms feature their own unique accessories. One of my fellow travellers had a punch bag in his room!
Breakfast is included in the price and includes a small but varied buffet selection of hot and cold dishes.
It really was a luxurious base from which to explore the city. The Upper Barrakka Gardens (a must-see) are just a three-minute walk away, offering a stunning view over the Grand Harbor and neighboring three cities.
The only slight downside was that the bells from a nearby church may well rouse you in the morning, but to be honest, I can’t think of any location in Valletta where that’s not likely to be a problem: There’s practically a church on every corner.
Also, St Ursula Steps is literally a street made of steps: so SU29 might not be the best hotel if you have mobility problems: taxis drop you at the top or bottom of the street.
For everyone else, SU29 is a cozy, hip hideaway in the heart of one of the Mediterranean’s most charming cities.
EasyJet flights from London Gatwick to Malta from £32.49 each way. Suites at the SU29 from £118 per night. For more information about the Maltese archipelago visit maltauk.com.
SU29: 29, St. Ursula Steps, Il-Belt Valletta VLT 1230, Malta +356 2124 2929 su29hotel.com