Eco style at Malta’s oldest luxury hotel

(This post is sponsored by Hotel Phoenicia) Guest blogger Nikki Schinas reviews a luxurious eco-friendly stay at Malta’s oldest 5-star hotel.

Amidst the stress of work and winter routine, one could always do with a short relaxing break and escape to a warmer climate. I recently did so and treated myself to a luxurious stay at the 5 Star Hotel Phoenicia in Malta.

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Hotel Phoenicia, the island’s oldest luxury five star hotel is situated at the entrance of a unique UNESCO World Heritage site, Malta’s capital city, Valletta. This 450 year old city is teaming with culture and has a colourful and exciting history to tell. With grand fortifications, baroque architecture, old theatres and magnificent churches, I was never at a loss for what to do.

The hotel proudly welcomes you on entrance to the city and invites you to a comfortable and eco-friendly stay.


The Hotel Phoenicia boasts 128 guest rooms and 8 suites. Each room was designed with a touch of class, contemporary elegance and a sense of history to compliment the magnificent art déco of the building. My room overlooked the breathtaking views of the Grand Harbour which was a wonderful treat to wake up to each morning.

The hotel has incorporated a sophisticated IT system to analyse room temperatures and electricity usage to decrease energy waste.


Not just a magnificent building, Hotel Phoenicia has a large kitchen garden which provides fresh produce for the hotel’s restaurants. Award-winning chefs use the fresh food from the garden to create a range of delicious Mediterranean dishes. Food and beverages are carefully chosen to make certain that the majority of the food served is 100% organic.


After waking up to the beautiful view of the Grand Harbour, I’d head down to the Phoenix restaurant for a scrumptious local breakfast. Phoenicia has some beautiful facilities to explore.

A stroll through the 7.5 acre garden, which boasts colour and variety, will lead you to the stunning bastion swimming pool overlooking Valletta’s impressive fortifications. This is the place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city on a sunny day. Treat yourself to a light lunch by the pool and if you’re feeling indulgent try the range of cocktails by the pool bar.


Although tempted to spend my days relaxing by the Bastion swimming pool, I ambled along the streets of the  capital to get a taste of the Maltese culture. Experiencing the laid back hustle and bustle of life in Valletta gave me a perfect insight into the charming Mediterranean lifestyle and visiting the many museums and churches offered me a healthy dose of culture and history.

Recommended for… Those looking for a luxury, cultural and a relaxing eco-friendly escape

Be aware that… During the Summer months, temperatures have known to rise to 39 degrees, so it’s important to be prepared for the heat.

‘Good’ credentials:

  • The hotel is one of the first 5 star hotels in Malta to be awarded the MTA’s international ECO- certificate
  • The hotel plants its own trees to improve air quality
  • Staff training in eco-housekeeping methods means the hotel saves 150 gallons of water per year
  • Sophisticated IT systems were installed to read energy use and location to decrease energy waste
  • LED lighting was installed everywhere and plugged to intelligent systems to deploy Room Energy Management System


This post is sponsored by Hotel Phoenicia. Goodtrippers retains editorial control over all content and only selects sponsored posts that fit the Goodtrippers ethos.



An eco-lovers’ guide to Gozo

(This post is sponsored by Air Malta) The Maltese island of Gozo has more than enough for those looking for an eco-friendly holiday…

Gozo, just under 70 square kilometers in size, is part of the Maltese archipelago consisting of three islands: Malta, Gozo and Comino. Located in the centre of the Mediterranean, Gozo has embarked on an ambitious yet achievable vision to transform into an ecoisland by 2020.

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Supported by a keen and committed sustainable community the quality of life in Gozo is constantly improving through education, economic development and social progress. The Gozitan lifestyle, the island’s environment, resources, culture and identity are all being protected, and all play a significant part in attracting more visitors and investors to the island. Here are some eco-friendly ways to holiday on Gozo…

Residing in a farmhouse

Gozo is famous for its beautiful farmhouses available for rent all year round. Typically these farmhouses are surrounded with spectacular countryside and sea views, and all equipped to the highest of standards. A majority of these farmhouses keep their carbon footprint down to a minimum. Gozo is fortunate to be a sun soaked island almost all year round and many of the farmhouses available for rent make use of photovoltaic systems and solar water heaters. Using solar energy goes hand in hand with the vision of transforming Gozo into an eco-island

A tranquil lifestyle

You may easily encounter farmers working their land, and get to meet the authentic cottagetype entrepreneurs managing their shops on the main street or tucked away in the Lilliputian villages. Life on Gozo is tranquil and softpaced. The capital, Victoria, is slightly more upbeat with the amenities of a modern town centre.

Local harvest

Gozo, (and Malta) is known for its fresh produce, either caught from the surrounding sea or grown on land. Dolphin fish (known as ‘lampuki’ to the locals), tuna, octopus, prawns, mussels, grouper and sea dates are always available as is fresh Maltese bread, known as Ħobż biż-żejt. The bread is baked in a traditional way spanning back hundreds of years. It is then rubbed with local tomatoes while olive oil is spread onto it with the addition or mix of tuna, olives, onion and cheeselet known as ‘gbejna’.  The latter is a traditional small Maltese cheese made from goat’s and sheep’s milk, either served plain or coated in cracked black pepper. The very best ‘gbejna’ can be found in Gozo.

Landscape and activities

Gozo is quite rural and known for its scenic hills, which are also featured on its coats of arms. The landscape offers unique opportunities to experience a day out cycling with a difference. The landscape changes with every twist and turn, cycling through the gentle undulating slopes, often with country and sea views on either side. Cycling in the Maltese Islands as a leisurely or sporty activity is on the increase for people of all ages and shops catering for the needs of the cyclist can be found in most main towns, offering rentals and repair services, as well as organised tours for groups.

Gozo has some really excellent walking areas which present varying levels of difficulty. The best months for walking are April, May, early June, then later on in the year in October and November, weather permitting of course! You can obviously go in the hot summer months as well but do ensure you seek shade frequently and always carry enough drinking water (it’s best to head out early in the morning or late in the afternoon to avoid the scorching midday sun).

Rock climbing on Gozo was first developed by The English Army with a number of climbers developing a small Cliffs, Gozo, Maltaguidebook with traditional routes in the 1970’s. Since then it has been forgotten as a climbing destination. Gozo is an undiscovered heaven for rock climbers. The limestone rock, washed out by millennia of rainfall, has steep walls and overhangs which provide excellent routes and invite climbers to go to their limits. Gozo is gaining in popularity amongst the climbing fraternity. It offers enough variety and challenges to fascinate even the most experienced climber.

If climbing, cycling or hiking is not for you then Gozo has several very nice beaches that are useful for recreation and they are all remarkably unique. Besides the physical differences in the beaches themselves, accessibility and services are also factors.

Gozo’s relative isolation means that the beaches don’t get as overcrowded as most of the better beaches on the larger island of Malta, but during the hot summer days many are full of tourists and locals. Ramla and Marsalforn are two of the most popular beaches on the island, mainly because of their location and close by facilities.

Other beaches are equally unique and beautiful, but may see fewer visitors due to their remote locations. Ghajn Barrani, for example, which is on the road that runs from Xaghra to Marsalforn, is a beautiful and quiet beach, but not very accessible.

Getting to Gozo is fairly simple as it is only a short 15 minute ferry ride away from Malta, the main island. Located in the centre of the Mediterranean, Malta is just a few hours’ flying time from Europe’s main cities and Air Malta, the airline of the Maltese Islands, operates flights to and from all the major airports in Europe.

This post is sponsored by Air Malta. Goodtrippers retains editorial control over all content and only selects sponsored posts that fit the Goodtrippers ethos.