Malta is quite possibly one of my favourite destinations in the world. Full of beauty, history, crystal blue waters and hidden gems you’re sure of a great time. I was whisked off to Malta by Mr M for our first holiday together. We’d been together around 3 months and for my 24th birthday he’d booked 10 days of pure relaxation on this tiny island!
With its 300 days of sunshine a year it’s definitely an all year round destination. We were lucky to be able to go just before the school holidays which made it feel like we had the whole island to ourselves. We stayed at the 4* Maritim Antonine Hotel and Spa which was wonderful. The staff were all super friendly and knowledgeable and nothing was a problem.
The hotel overlooks the Parish Church of Mellieha. I’m in no way religious but being from an Interior Architecture background I definitely appreciate well designed buildings. This was no exception. It astounds me every time that these historic buildings, especially churches were made with such great attention to detail with the limited amount of tools that were available. To the side of the church is a beautiful courtyard with trees and benches. A perfect place to contemplate and look out over Mellieha Bay.
Near to the church is the Mellieha Air Raid shelter, for €2.50 euros this was well worth it. The shelters were dug by hand to provide shelter from the WWII bombing. Being able to be in a space where these people lived, gave birth, ate and slept was haunting. They have wax figures and furniture in some of the spaces so you can see just how difficult life would have been.
There’s not much nightlife in Mellieha, there are a selection of good bars and restaurants and an amazing bakery who still to this day produce the best apple turnovers I have ever tasted. Fact.
Mellieha Bay is around a 15 minute downhill walk from the hotel, there is a restaurant / bar conveniently located around half way down which is a much needed water (or beer!) stop on the walk back up.
On my actual birthday Mr M spoilt me rotten. We had decided to stay in Mellieha and relax to celebrate the day. Unbeknown to me in the morning he’d disappeared out of the hotel room and upon his return had a card and a present with him. For someone who hasn’t done cards since this one is held dear to my heart! He’d managed to find a little shop that sold little trinkets too and he picked me up a Maltese cross necklace charm. This was super thoughtful and super cute considering he’s not usually one for surprises like that!
My birthday started off with a couple hours of sunbathing next to the cutest garden pool, and this view. I love how Mediterranean architecture always looks slightly disheveled and unfinished. The hotel has two outdoor pools and one indoor pool. The garden pool isn’t the biggest but being low season it wasn’t busy which was perfect. The other pool is situated on the roof, which a lot of people favour as the view is outstanding. After sunbathing we went and had treatments in Le Spa which is situated within the hotel. This was the beginning of an ever lasting love of massages. I had genuinely never felt better.
For the evening Mr M had booked us a table at the restaurant across the road from the hotel called The Arches Restaurant and Wine Cellar. We had arrived at around 8pm after having a cheeky cocktail in the hotel bar. We were shown to our table and started with a glass of wine. The meal was quite possibly one of the best that I’d eaten in a long long time – I was super impressed. By the time we’d finished up, we noticed there had been no one else in the restaurant the entire time we were in there. We often joke that he’d arranged it and booked the whole restaurant out for us for my birthday! It was a lovely lovely experience to have the place to ourselves, to just relax and chill out and be waited on hand and foot – it was my birthday after all!
Mellieha continued to surprise us with it’s beauty and wonder for our remaining days there. If you ever find yourselves visiting – take a trip to Mellieha you won’t be disappointed!
Keep your eyes peeled for more Malta related posts in the upcoming weeks!