When planning our trip to Malta I wanted to make sure that a visit to Gozo was included in our itinerary. We wanted to have enough time to explore some of the island and fit in a few SCUBA dives so we planned to spend 3 nights there before returning to mainland Malta for the remainder of our trip. We found an accommodation package with Kempinski San Lawrenz that included a free dive as well as a 20% discount on any other dives we booked through the hotel so this suited us perfectly.
Things got off to a great start when we were met at the airport by the friendliest transfer driver who took us on a little detour to Popeye Village where we stopped to take some photos.
He then dropped us off at the port where we boarded the ferry to Gozo. There was a second driver waiting for us on the other side to take us to the hotel.
After a smooth check in we were given a tour of the hotel facilities and then shown to our room – a junior suite with a pool view.
The room was incredibly spacious with a separate lounge area with flat-screen TV, and a work desk opposite the king size bed. The bathroom contained a separate bathtub and shower although apparently I forgot to photograph it!
In-room tea and coffee facilities were provided as well as complimentary bottles of water which were replenished daily – much appreciated in the warm weather! The air-conditioning in the room worked perfectly as well so we never felt too warm despite the outside temperatures.
The balcony had a seating area and overlooked the main pool.
Breakfast was included in our accommodation package, however since the hotel is located in pretty much the middle of nowhere we ended up having our dinners at the hotel as well. There are three restaurants to choose from – the Trattoria which serves Italian cuisine, the outdoor Gazebo restaurant serving fresh seafood and L’Ortolan which has a different buffet theme each night of the week. The opening hours of the Trattoria and Gazebo vary so be sure to check this. Unfortunately we didn’t get a chance to try the Gazebo since it was closed on the evening we had wanted to go. The food at both restaurants was good although you definitely pay more for dinners at the hotel than you would if you were dining elsewhere on the island. If you wanted to dine out there are local buses that will take you to the neighbouring towns but you won’t find much nearby on foot.
There were plenty of lounges by the pool and it was never over-crowded so you didn’t have to worry about getting down there early to save yourself a spot. Each lounge was covered by an umbrella so I could relax in the shade and not worry about getting burnt! It was the perfect spot to relax with a good book. In addition to the main pool there is also a smaller family pool which children are permitted to use, a residents pool and an indoor pool in the spa.
As I mentioned before we booked a SCUBA diving package with the hotel. The company used by the hotel is Blue Waters and they have a small shop by the main pool at Kempinski. We didn’t book anything before our arrival but they had no problems fitting us in on short notice and we ended up doing three dives with them – each one at a different location. The best dive we did was at the Azure Window which is just a short drive from the hotel. Their rates were very reasonable too and were the cheapest we found in Malta, even without the discount.
One thing I do recommend booking in advance though, is the spa. We would have loved to get a massage but when I tried to book one in they didn’t have any times available that suited us.
If you want to visit the Azure Window without doing a dive, there’s a bus stop right outside the hotel that will take you straight there, or its around a 30 minute walk. We caught the bus down one evening to watch the sunset and it was gorgeous. Just make sure you get the actual bus timetable from the bus company and don’t rely on what Google Maps tells you because they are wrong! Single bus tickets can be purchased from the bus driver.
The hotel also offers a complimentary shuttle to take you to a few different places on the island. Since we were doing dives each day we didn’t get an opportunity to do this but it’s definitely something we would have made use of if we had stayed there for longer.
We thoroughtly enjoyed our stay at Kempinski San Lawrenz and would definitely consider coming back if we return to Gozo.
Have you stayed at a Kempinski hotel? I’d love to hear about some of their other properties!