For many, Corinthia Place Hotel marks the birthplace of luxury tourism in Malta.
The original villa, which still stands on the site today, was initially built as the residence of the chief justice of the island and was subsequently used by British forces during WWII.
Following the return of peace, it was purchased by Paul Pisani, then patriarch of the family that would come to redefine hospitality in Malta.
Surrounded by exquisite gardens, his initial ambition had been to transform it into a family home.
However, realising the potential of the property, Villa Corinthia was transformed into a luxury restaurant, soon establishing itself as an essential part of Malta’s then glittering social scene.
Later in the decade, following independence from Britain in 1964 and the success of the restaurant, the Pisani family south to transform the villa into a luxury hotel.
Expanded in the neoclassical style, Corinthia Palace officially opened in 1968 in the presence of his royal highness the Duke of Edinburgh and actor Roger Moore.
The opening received coverage from the Times of Malta, who heralded it not only as “a valuable contribution to tourism,” but also explicitly as a “Pisani family venture”.
At a time when the market was focused on the beach holidays, the Pisani family – which still owns the property today – took a decision to offer something different.
Now, more than half a century later, Corinthia Palace Hotel sits at the heart of the Corinthia portfolio of world-class properties dotted across Europe and Africa – a tribute to the ambitions of the family.
Corinthia Palace Hotel is positioned between the island’s capital, Valletta, and the historic sights of Mdina, the still inhabited picturesque medieval silent city.
The property trades on this prestigious location – away from the main tourist areas, but across the street from the San Anton Palace, the official residence of the president of Malta.
Guests have the opportunity to walk in the manicured grounds of the palace, in keeping with the regal aspirations of the 150-room five-star hotel.
On arrival, this air of sophistication pervades, with luscious gardens dotted with orange trees sealing the property off from the surrounding neighbourhood.
The only sound is the gentle caress of two ornate fountains.
Immaculately tailored staff move seamlessly across the marble-floored lobby as they go about their business.
Check in is quick, painless, and discreet, and I am in the room in moments.
Around me in the hotel, British guests are common - drawn by the shared language, low-cost airline routes, and value for money – with an older demographic dominating.
French arrivals, who appreciate the charm, history, and unique location of the Corinthia Palace Hotel, are also growing in number, while the Scandinavian market is seeking out Malta more generally.
Corinthia Palace Hotel offers the leisure guest an extensive range of facilities, including the Athenaeum Spa & Health Club, complete with a wide range of revitalising treatments and indoor and outdoor pools.
Eagle-eyed guests with a taste for history will notice the swimming pool is shaped like the Neolithic Hagar Qim temple – a nod to Malta’s historic past.
Taking a dip in the outside pool, the distance from the beach could not be further from my mind.
Corinthia has built an oasis in the centre of Malta, miles from the hubbub of St. Julian’s and the other tourist areas, creating something unique on the island.
With the original villa as its main dining venue, this hotel is all about warmth, personal attention, and traditional elegance.
Serving Mediterranean cuisine, Villa Corinthia is located the covered limestone courtyard of the original property.
It is the elegant heart of the hotel, popular with locals and hotel guests alike.
During my all too short visit, a wedding for hundreds of well-heeled guests was in full swing.
It would be hard to image a more appropriate venue for such a luxurious party, with the Corinthia Palace Hotel offering a mix of northern European sophistication and Mediterranean liberation.
The hotel also boasts other top-class restaurants, including Rickshaw, offering Asian-fusion dishes, and the al fresco Summer Kitchen.
For corporate guests, modern business facilities are available, with two large conference rooms easily accommodating 400 theatre style and 500 for a reception.
A quiet, regal location at the beating heart of Maltese tourism.
Sister property to Corinthia Hotel St George’s Bay and packed with elegance and luxurious charm, Corinthia Palace Hotel is an oasis at the heart of Malta.
Find out more on the official website.