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The Xara Palace, Mdina, Malta
A stylish stay within Mdina's old city walls, this former aristocratic family home charms with 17 comfortable suites, two restaurants - one Michelin-starred - and a roof terrace with unsurpassable views across the island.
Rooms available from £190.65 per night
You're on a small, quiet piazza inside the medieval city walls, opposite the baroque Vilhena Palace. Just steps away are the narrow streets leading to the historic sights of Mdina. Palazzo Falson, a 15th-century townhouse-turned-museum formerly owned by Maltese nobility, is a few minutes walk away. The incredibly-preserved Roman home, Domus Romana, lies just outside Mdina.
The hotel is within walking distance of many of the city's historic sites.
By plane: flights to Malta from London take 3 hours 15 mins; flights from Manchester take 3 hours 35 mins. The hotel is a 25-minute drive from the airport. Free public parking nearby. Book flights to Malta.
CHARACTER & STYLE
This feels like a - rather luxurious - family home: antique rugs, wooden chairs, wall-hangings and gilt-framed paintings all make the place feel cosy and welcoming. The old stone steps leading to the rooms are charmingly uneven, thanks to centuries of use. The airy open courtyard is the perfect spot for a drink.
Staff are incredibly friendly - some have been here for many years. We were given useful tips for local bars and restaurants on arrival. There's no pool on site, but guests can use the one at sister hotel Xara Lodge, in Rabat.
- Swimming pool
- Fitness centre
- Free public parking
- Free Wi-Fi
Rooms give off the air of an Italian palazzo, with soothing paint colours and antique furniture (some of the headboards have been salvaged from churches), although they do lack modern touches like USB outlets.
Room types: Duplex Room, Deluxe Room, Duplex Suite, Deluxe Suite, Executive Suite, Deluxe Suite, Executive Duplex Suite, Presidential Suite
Key amenities: ensuite bathroom with bath and shower, complimentary toiletries, bathrobe and slippers, hairdryer, TV, free Wi-Fi
Food & Drink
The view almost rivals the food at De Mondion, which is perched atop the hotel. Michelin-starred chef Kevin Bonello prepares Modern Mediterranean dishes like beef cheek with Hollandaise sauce and truffle and pigeon with beetroot and foie gras. Trattoria 1530 is more casual - think traditional dishes such as pizza and pasta.
de Mondion: fine dining, Michelin star. Dishes include pigeon with beetroot and pearl onion tarte tatin. Open Fri & Sat for lunch and Tues-Sat for dinner. Mains from €33.