Valletta, Malta

The Saint John

Rates from (ex tax)$179.75

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 60 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (EUR180.00), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

Style

A life of leisure

Setting

Moneyed Merchants Street

Found at the heart of Valletta, boutique hotel The Saint John brings a refined retro aesthetic to a traditional 17th-century home. Step through the door from historic Merchants Street, and the first thing you’ll notice is a glass case filled with decorative bowties – a hint at the hotel’s dedication to lordly leisure. The interior courtyard and box-style balconies provide ample opportunity for stately loafing; upstairs, the rooms keep within the theme of indulgent pastimes with vintage light fittings and brown leather detailing that recall the details of a 1950s sports car.

Smith Extra

Get this when you book through us:

A pair of tickets to a museum of your choice, a bottle of wine and a fruit plate in the room on arrival

Facilities

Photos The Saint John facilities

Need to know

Rooms

21, including two suites.

Check–Out

Noon, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 3pm.

Rates

Double rooms from $179.75 (€153), excluding tax at 18 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional government tax of €0.50 per person per night on check-out.

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 60 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (EUR152.54), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

More details

Rates usually include a buffet Continental breakfast, which includes freshly-baked bread and croissants, cold meats, fruit, yoghurts and freshly squeezed orange juice.

Also

Some of the rooms have glass bathroom doors, so be sure to ask when booking if that sounds a little too liberal for your liking...

At the hotel

Interior courtyard and free WiFi throughout. In rooms: flatscreen TV, minibar, espresso machine, tea-making facilities and free bottled water (on arrival).

Our favourite rooms

Superior Room number 201 feels particularly spacious thanks to its high ceiling and closed wooden balcony, which overhangs pedestrianised Merchants Street. Quad Rooms have two separate bedrooms, making them the go-to for families.

Packing tips

An old-school camera and black-and-white film – an excellent way to capture the dramatic shadows cast by the Baroque buildings.

Also

All of the hotel’s common areas are wheelchair accessible. There’s a lift to all floors, and some of the Comfort Rooms have wider doorways and larger bathrooms.

Children

Over-4s are welcome at the hotel. There are no extra beds, but baby cots are available on request.

Food and Drink

Photos The Saint John food and drink

Top Table

One of the tables by the window, from which you’ll be able to watch the foot traffic along Merchants Street.

Dress Code

As you please – it’s distinctly laid-back.

Hotel restaurant

Casual gastropub the Cheeky Monkey makes a significant stylistic departure from the hotel. Here, the look is much more utilitarian, with stripped wood tables, bright red banquettes and TV’s set to sports channels. The burgers, fish & chips and calamari are all popular, as are the crêpes, which make an excellent mid-afternoon snack. Those looking for traditional Mediterranean cuisine or a more formal setting may want to take to the surrounding streets, where options abound.

Hotel bar

The Cheeky Monkey’s bar serves craft beers, classic cocktails and single malt whiskies. Try a Cisk beer, which is one of Malta’s own.

Last orders

Breakfast is served in the Cheeky Monkey from 7am to 10am; the full menu is available from 10am to 10pm.

Location

Photos The Saint John location
Address
The Saint John
176 Merchant Street
Valletta
VLT1174
Malta

Planes

Malta International airport can be reached from many larger European airports. It takes 15 minutes to drive from there to Valletta. Smith24 can arrange flights and transfers; call anytime, day or night.

Trains

The arrival of buses spelled the end for Malta’s single-track railway, which closed in 1931.

Automobiles

It’s worth hiring a car if you plan to explore the rest of the island, but you won’t need one to explore Valletta or the other old cities across the harbour. Parking on the street is free, but finding a spot can be difficult, particularly during working hours. The Smith24 team can arrange car hire.

Worth getting out of bed for

The hotel’s central location puts you within easy walking distance of many of Valletta’s historic sights, including the Grand Master’s Palace, St John’s Co-Cathedral, the Manoel Theatre and Casa Rocca Piccola. To the southwest are the Upper Barakka Gardens, which are built on the city’s highest point. From here, you’ll get the the best views of the grand harbour; there’s also a midday gun salute from the 16th-century battery. For a contrast from crumbling palaces and Baroque artworks, try Blitz, an independent gallery and exhibition space that acts as a platform for much more contemporary (and sometimes radical) forms of art. If you’re hoping to see a little more of the island, you could hire a car and a driver from Prestige Cars, who offer an eight-hour package. There’s the old city of Mdina to the west, which is wreathed in 4,000 years of history and home to St Paul’s impressive hilltop cathedral; the apostle is said to have lived in a grotto near the city walls after being shipwrecked on the island in 60 AD.

Local restaurants

Found inside hotel la Falconeria, L’Artiglio achieves simple elegance through its trompe l'oeil floor tiling, blue leather banquettes and glazed earthenware plates. Soulful Mediterranean flavours underpin the menu, with the chef creating daily specials from the best ingredients he can get hold of. Less traditional but wildly popular nonetheless, The Pulled Meat Company specialises in slow-cooked soul food, showing particular talent for preparing melt-in-the-mouth ribs, steaks and pulled pork. Their agnolotti pasta has also inspired a particularly enthusiastic group of admirers.

Local cafés

Coffee shop Lot Sixty One already had outposts in New York and London before they set up another on Valletta’s Old Theatre Street. As with their other shops, the coffee is always roasted locally on a hallowed Probat L12, a revered German roasting machine. For ice-cream, there's Amorino, founded in 2002 by two childhood friends with a lifelong love for gelato. Their devotion to their favourite foodstuff is clearly as strong as ever, as the locals can’t seem to get enough of their creamy creations.

Reviews

Photos The Saint John reviews

Anonymous review

Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this boutique hotel in Valletta and unpacked their bottle of Maltese wine, a full account of their city break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside the Saint John in Valletta…

Founded in the 1500s by the Order of Saint John, Valletta has always had a gentlemanly character. When a young Benjamin Disraeli – who would later be Britain's prime minister – visited in 1830, he went as far as to declare it ‘a city of palaces built by gentlemen for gentlemen.’ The Saint John clearly had all this in mind when they created a hotel that takes a bowtie as its emblem. In fact, the first thing you see when walking through the door is a display case filled with couture designs, setting an urbane and polished tone. From here, you walk along a passageway decked with marble, pass through the hushed interior courtyard or climb a grand staircase that’s been lovingly restored. In the rooms, a shift towards a more vintage look provides a pleasing contrast, lending a mid-century touch that’s big on tactile materials: grainy wood, polished metal and supple leather. Taken together, the two styles read like a history of fine living through the ages, pairing the abode of a 17th-century merchant with that of a Modernist pleasure seeker.

The Guestbook

Whenever you book a stay at a Smith Hotel with us, we’ll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in The Saint John’s Guestbook below.

We loved

The location is great. Rooms are a good size although the bathrooms are not as big and functional as you'd expect. Great value for money. Don't expect white glove service however!

Don’t expect

Pampering and white glove service.

Rating

Stayed on 12 Apr 2018

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