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1st time overseas / Malta

Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
31 posts
1st time overseas / Malta

We are planning a trip to Malta in September, and would like advice...

1. Malta vs Italy:

I live in the USA, and have never traveled internationally (only to Mexico & the Caribbean). Originally I thought I’d like to visit Italy, but we have decided on going to Malta, though we have not purchased our flight tickets yet. For those of you that have visited both places, which would you recommend?

2. Hotel Juliani vs. Westin Dragonara vs. Hilton Malta:

In my research, we have decided to stay in St Julian’s, and have narrowed down our choices to these three hotels. Do any of you recommend one over the other?

3. Live music: We love live music, all genres (esp smooth jazz, latin jazz, blues, classic rock), and would love to hear music native to the Malta Island. Any recommendations.

Thanks for your help.

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10 replies to this topic
Island of Malta...
Destination Expert
for Island of Gozo, Island of Malta
Level Contributor
5,960 posts
157 reviews
1. Re: 1st time overseas / Malta

All of those hotels are great! Lucky you to have the choice!

Malta is very different than Italy in that the English language and history here have shaped the country. Food has a Mediterranean style.

Lots to see and do and due to its size, you can achieve a lot in a short visit.

Lytham St Anne's...
Destination Expert
for Malta
Level Contributor
12,767 posts
28 reviews
2. Re: 1st time overseas / Malta

The hotels you have listed are all very good.

My choice would be the Juliani . It is a small boutique type hotel in a lovely position overlooking Spinola Bay. Only 40 rooms ,so quite small.

The other two are much bigger but also excellent.

It is difficult to compare Malta to Italy .

Italy is a big country with many big cities but Malta is very small ---- 17 miles by 9 .

Like trying to compare New York to Texas !

However for a small Island Malta has an incredible history and there is a lot to see and do.

May I suggest you get a guide book , or google Malta and have a good read about the place and see what is of interest to you.


Rawai, Thailand
Level Contributor
2,152 posts
31 reviews
3. Re: 1st time overseas / Malta

You don’t say how long you have.

I’d guess that flights to Rome would be easy for you, so if you have sufficient time, use Rome as your gateway, then do flights to / from Malta.

Again, if you have enough time, schedule the bulk of it in Malta, but fit in a few days in Rome after / before your transatlantic flights.

The Netherlands
Destination Expert
for Saint Julian's
Level Contributor
3,303 posts
113 reviews
4. Re: 1st time overseas / Malta

My choice would either be the Westin or the Juliani. If outside space (including a nice beach club) is important then the Westin, whereas, if like suggested by Graham you like a more intimate environment, then the Juliani which does have a nice rooftop pool with lovely views. If you select the Juliani select a bay view room on an high floor since the rear facing rooms don't have much of a view. The Juliani Ambassador suites are very nice, and often less expensive than a standard room at either the Westin or Hilton. There is nothing wrong with the Hilton, it is a lovely hotel, but I'm not keen on the Hilton brand generally.

Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
31 posts
5. Re: 1st time overseas / Malta

Great. Thank you for your comments. Once we schedule our flights, and get the dates nailed down, I’ll be back for more advice.

Sliema, Malta
4 posts
1 review
6. Re: 1st time overseas / Malta

There is also a full day boat trip and tours of Sicily...leaves early in the morning and returns very late at night. Also, if you are adventurous, go on the Jeep safari tour of Malta and/or the quad/ ATV tour of Gozo... so much fun!!

United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7,798 posts
73 reviews
7. Re: 1st time overseas / Malta

All 3 hotels are fantastic however I do prefer the julani it's just a bit more friendly as it's not as big as the other two,however I do like the Westin also especially it's pool/beach club,so if you want a bigger pool area then the western would suit,I don't dislike the Hilton it's a fantastic hotel,just not keen on Hilton's in general.


Destination Expert
for Malta
Level Contributor
6,329 posts
15 reviews
8. Re: 1st time overseas / Malta

Paceville is a small part of St Julians and a number of bars there have live music by local bands. Maybe you could check Visitmalta.com which has an upcoming events section - you might be lucky

Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
31 posts
9. Re: 1st time overseas / Malta

Great, thanks everyone!

Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
31 posts
10. Re: 1st time overseas / Malta

Great, thanks everyone!

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