• Old Town • Rooms sleeping 2 to 4 guests
Valletta, Malta’s golden capital city, is a maze of narrow streets rolling up and down hills, past churches and pavement cafés, with every corner decorated with statues and colourful balconies. The city’s concentration of historic architecture means the whole of Valletta has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and its unique cultural mix has seen it christened 2018’s European Capital of Culture. Valletta’s beauty and its position on cruise ship routes around the Mediterranean mean the streets can be packed with visitors on a sunny day, but there’s always a hidden away spot which you can escape to – and one of them is The Saint John, one of Valletta’s newest and smartest boutique hotels.
Right in the heart of Valletta’s historic core, The Saint John is a luxurious oasis tucked away in among the busy city streets. It’s part of a small hotel group called AX Hotels which runs seven four- and five-star properties around Malta. The Saint John opened in 2017 on Valletta’s Merchants Street, but the building has a much longer history, starting life as a 17th-century merchant’s residence and shop before eventually being transformed into a 21-bedroom boutique hotel.
Despite an extensive renovation, the building has still kept a lot of its original character. It still has that distinctive Maltese style, with a golden limestone frontage and neatly painted blue balconies and shutters. But although the building looks traditional from the outside, once you walk through the door the interiors are a lot more contemporary.
Like a lot of Valletta’s historic houses, the rooms are built around a light-filled central courtyard. At The Saint John it’s been whitewashed with blue shutters on the windows. The entrance hall has been painted in soft grey tones, with marble floors and splashes of bright red from the chairs. You get an immediate feeling of calm as you come in through the front door, with homemade lime and lemon water by the door which you can help yourself to cool off on a hot day. The hotel’s friendly staff are there to welcome you too and can give advice about what to see, where to eat and how to get around Valletta and the rest of Malta.
Read more about the hotel and the area on our blog,