Instead of working from home, why not spend a few days in luxurious surroundings overlooking the sea in a five-star hotel? I had the opportunity to do exactly this when I took a four-day workation at Hilton Malta hotel.
Imagine rising at daybreak to watch the sunrise over the Mediterranean, working in the comfort of the Executive Lounge with all the perks, and winding down in your leisure time by exploring sunny Malta. In this article I give an honest, comprehensive review of my workation experience at Hilton Malta, and explain how you can make the most of it.
Hilton Malta provided me with a complementary stay so I could review their workation facilities. Our opinions are our own and we always make genuine recommendations based on our experiences. If you make a booking after clicking an affiliate link on our site, we may make a small commission at no extra cost to you.
Why Malta is a great destination for a workation
The island nation of Malta is a gem in the middle of the Mediterranean, surrounded by pure turquoise waters and adorned with quaint sandstone towns and villages among lush green countryside.
Since our first trip back to Malta back in 2019, it is a place we always think about returning to. The rise of remote working in our lives has opened new possibilities to for us to do this and experience the country in a different way. As a seaside resort destination that also has an advanced modern infrastructure, Malta is perfectly set up for taking a remote working getaway – otherwise known as a workation.
Great weather all year round
With around 3,000 hours of sunshine per year, nowhere in Europe is sunnier than Malta. Summers are hot and winters are mild, and with not much rain to speak of, and so it is a great place to visit at any time of year for good weather.
When we visited Malta in winter we experienced temperatures of 16° in January, which was a welcome escape from the freezing rain back home in the UK! Malta’s warm weather and constant sunlight makes for a workation that is both productive when you work and enjoyable when you want to explore.
Well connected and convenient
Living in the UK, we usually need to make a long journey to reach sunny island destinations. But Malta is just a three-hour flight away from London, making it irresistibly accessible, and with only a one-hour time difference there is no need to worry about jetlag.
Malta is also well connected across the entirety of Europe, with direct flights to over 100 destinations in 33 countries. Whether you are in Seville, Stockholm or Sofia, it’s easy to reach.
The main island is only 27 kilometres long, 14.5 kilometres wide and well connected by roads. It doesn’t take long to reach anywhere, and the views along the coastline and through the rural inland areas are gorgeous.
English is one of the two official languages in Malta along with Maltese, and is well spoken around the country, and so there no language barrier for English-speaking travellers.
Scenery, history and culture
There is much more to Malta than sunshine. Whenever you want to escape from work, there is a huge amount to see and do around the island, which we cover in more detail below.
Around Malta’s islands you will find some of the most jaw-dropping coastal scenery in Europe, with majestic rocky arches towering over pristine waters. There is also 7,000 years of history to explore, from relics of settlements stretching back beyond the Bronze Age to the legacy of the legendary Knights of Malta.
In the evenings you can sample delicious Maltese cuisine, which draws influence from all over the Mediterranean but has a distinct identity.
Malta is a place where a special importance is placed on having a healthy work–life balance. It has more national and public holidays than any other country in the European Union.
Why is this good for a workation? It matters because it means that the value of time off is an intrinsic part of the culture. People work hard in Malta, but they also know how to relax and how to celebrate – and it’s refreshing to work for a while surrounded by this mindset.
Hilton Malta review: a five-star workation
When I took my transfer from Malta International Airport to the Hilton Malta (helpfully arranged by the hotel), the taxi driver promised me “you’re about to stay in the best five-star hotel in Malta!”. He set the bar high, but these expectations were well and truly met!
The taxi driver’s friendly, conversational nature set the tone for my stay at the hotel. The staff were attentive (but not intrusively so) and courteous throughout, from the front-of-desk team to room service and everything in between.
Hilton Malta stands on the Portomaso Marina in the seaside town of St Julian’s. It has an exclusive seafront within its complex and the hotel environment has a secluded feel, but is also within close reach of many attractions nearby. The historic capital, Valletta, is just a 15-minute ride away, and lively St Julian’s is on the doorstep.
The balance of privacy, luxury and nearby adventure makes a sweet combination for a workation. You have peace and solitude when you need to focus, absolute comfort when you need to relax, and endless ways to use your downtime.
Luxury room with a sea view
I stayed in an Executive King room with a sea view on my workation at Hilton Malta. Many of the rooms at the hotel have views of either the sea front or the Portomaso Marina.
Having a panoramic view over the water is not only beautiful, but it also brings a calming quality to the room. Whenever had moments of writer’s block or stifled creativity, I could step outside, breathe in the ocean air, then come back to my laptop feeling refreshed and full of ideas.
The sea view is east-facing, which means you have the added bonus of an unobstructed sunrise. In the mornings I even took my laptop outside onto the balcony and did my daily email cleanup against the backdrop of the rising sun.
As for the room itself, the first thing that struck me when I arrived was the size. It was like an entire living area inside one room, with a widescreen TV facing onto the huge plush bed, and a separate area with a sofa and table where I could work. The bathroom was spacious and luxurious, and I could also make use of tea and coffee making facilities, although there was always the option of room service for convenience.
As a general rule at home, I don’t like to work in the same room where I sleep. But this wasn’t a problem in my room at Hilton Malta, as the bedroom and workspace felt naturally distinct. And the spaciousness was accentuated by the modern white decor and natural light beaming in through the sea-facing window doors.
A variety of working environments in one hotel resort complex
When on workation I usually like to experiment with different working environments. In all honesty, at Hilton Malta I would have been happy to stay in my room the whole time! But there were also many other great options around the hotel which I tried out.
As you may expect of a Hilton hotel, the wifi was flawlessly strong everywhere in the complex, and you are never far away from a plugin point.
The Executive Lounge, which was handily on the same floor as my room, is a relaxing space to work in ambient comfort. You can set up on one of the stylish glass-top tables or deluxe sofas, or take your laptop out onto the terrace for another sea view. Friendly staff are on hand to serve you drinks, real VIP treatment! You can get afternoon tea and pre-dinner drinks here as well.
On the ground floor, the huge, high-ceilinged lobby area has an array of seating areas with power points. I found this useful for editing some photos at the end of my stay before I headed off to the airport. Just outside the lobby, another terrace area overlooks the swimming pool and the sea beyond.
A couple of floors below, the business centre and meeting rooms area provides another option (if there isn’t an event on). Tables in the hallway area here face out onto the marina.
All of this means you have an array of options for working in the hotel complex. And if you want to try something alternative and work elsewhere for a day, there are various coworking spaces nearby that offer single-day rates.
Top-notch food and drink
I began my days at Hilton Malta with a delicious five-star breakfast served in the Executive Lounge. That’s after enjoying the sunrise from my room of course! It’s a brilliant buffet-style spread, with a wide choice of freshly made hot and cold foods.
One evening I treated myself to a gourmet meal at the hotel’s Oceana restaurant (which also serves breakfast daily). Given the restaurant’s name and the proximity to the sea, I couldn’t resist a seafood option and had salmon pastrami as a starter, served up with a crab and kimchi salad. Creative and sumptuous! This was followed by a perfectly slow-cooked slice of pork belly for my main.
There are more places to eat and drink around the hotel, including the Blue Elephant restaurant, the Quarterdeck Bar, the Aqua Bar and the lobby lounge. Almost somewhere different for every day of the week!
A plethora of amenities
The scale of Hilton Malta is impressive; you could spend a whole week in the hotel and still not make your way around all of the amenities.
In addition to the bars and restaurants, there is also a fitness centre, tennis courts and spa. Treating yourself to a massage is a fitting way to unwind at the end of your day on a workation!
Hilton Malta is as much a resort as it is a hotel. The outdoor pool area surrounded by sunbeds and facing onto the sea is exemplary of this. There’s an indoor pool as well – it’s quiet in the mornings, which is lovely for having a relaxing swim before you start work for the day.
Refreshed and revitalised
Even though I was staying at Hilton Malta to work, I returned home feeling refreshed and revitalised as though I had been on a holiday. The luxurious setting has that effect!
This was a solo workation for me, as Lisa had an event on back at home. But Hilton Malta is also ideal for taking a workation as a couple. You have the romance of a five-star hotel on the sea, and plenty of space to work, whether you want to set up together or separately.
Things to do in Malta on your workation
Whether you want to explore the picturesque coastline and sea, learn about fascinating local history or get immersed in Maltese culture, there is no shortage of activity options within easy access of Hilton Malta.
Below I share how I used my time on my workation in Malta. You can also find some ideas in our three-day Malta itinerary.
Take a street food tour of Valletta
Valletta, the historic Maltese capital, is built on a promontory that juts out into the sea, flanked on each side by scenic harbours. The city is home to some of Malta’s most famous buildings and museums, and its cobbled gridded roads are lined with interesting shops, restaurants and cafés.
I decided to take a Valletta street food and culture walking tour to learn about the city from a culinary perspective. This turned out to be a brilliant choice! Marisa was the guide for our small group, and she gave us a personable introduction to Valletta.
The tour really hit the right balance between learning about the history through stories and hidden gems, and getting to know the food culture. We tried various delicacies and dishes to take us through a day’s worth of Maltese food and traditions. There were some drinks along the way too, including a Maltese coffee and a local beer.
Explore Maltese coffee culture
Coffee is a big part of the culture in Malta and has played a significant historic role. In the 17th century, Valletta had as many as 28 coffee shops, which compared to 80 in London at the same time, and with a much smaller population.
Specialist coffee shops and charming cafés are still part of the fabric of the island, particularly around Valletta, Sliema and St Julian’s. When you are out exploring it’s refreshing to pop into one of these places.
Coffee shops and cafés are also interesting places to work in Malta. Most have good wifi and a power supply. Try Coffee Circus for example, where you can work while watching coffee beans grind in the Sliema café, or have a bite to eat in the underground Valletta café. You can find more examples in our guide to the best coffee shops in Valletta, including cafés with plug-in points.
Take a sunset cruise to Comino and the Blue Lagoon
The purest beauty of Malta is found in its seascapes. The clarity and colour of the waters around the Maltese islands are indistinguishable from a tropical location.
I booked onto a sunset cruise to the Blue Lagoon, beaches and bays to witness this scenery first-hand. The trip is brilliant value, with five hours of cruising on a catamaran, stopping off at beauty spots and interesting locations along the way.
There are opportunities to jump in for a swim, including at the idyllic Blue Lagoon, and a break at Comino where you can go on-shore for a stroll up to a viewpoint. The boat captain gives narration on the scenery, famous filming locations and the natural habitat. Finally, a BBQ buffet is served up just in time for that stunning sunset view over the water!
The cruise sets off from St Paul’s Bay, which is a scenic drive away from Hilton Malta along the coastline. You can also choose to take the daytime cruise, but the sunset option gives the best of both worlds and is timed perfectly for the end of your working day.
Try scuba diving
Malta is one of Europe’s top locations for scuba diving. Not only is there an array of interesting marine life, but also a scattering of shipwrecks all around the islands dating back to when it was a wartime battleground. And the pristine waters provide excellent levels of visibility.
On a previous trip, we went diving in Malta with Watercolours Dive Centre, which is just around the headland from Hilton Malta. If you haven’t dived before, this is a great place to start! The experienced team is friendly and welcoming, and will make you feel at ease whatever your level of experience.
Book your stay at Hilton Malta
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