Some travellers like to return to a favourite destination time and time again but Michael and Mary Hirst from Harefield, Middlesex, have surely taken the term ‘repeat visit’ to another level. This year the couple celebrates 50 years since their first visit to the Hotel Phoenicia on Malta, where they have stayed over 150 times.
Michael and Mary Hirst first visited Malta in 1959 when they were returning to the UK from Africa. The couple were instantly smitten with the island’s beauty and the warmth of its people, and have since made the island and the Hotel Phoenicia a home from home.
“Although both Malta and the Hotel Phoenicia have changed a lot since our first visit, what has remained is their character. I have had some memorable moments here, and we have even celebrated our Golden Wedding Anniversary here, with the whole family. And the service at the hotel is second to none - all members of staff take care of us so well. This is what makes the Phoenicia a unique hotel,” says Michael Hirst.
Alex Incorvaja, UK & Ireland Director of the Malta Tourism Authority, comments: “The Hirsts’ 150 holidays to Hotel Phoenicia is a remarkable feat. I am sure there are countless amounts of other British couples out there who have also made Malta into their second home, albeit not with 150 visits to their credit! The charm of the Maltese Islands has made the destination a favourite for British travellers over the years and this, coupled with the warm hospitality found at the Phoenicia and many other Maltese hotels, ensures the Islands are visited time and time again. “