With 316 sqm of natural Mediterranean charm, the archipelago of Malta offers cultural similarities, impressive natural landscapes, delicious food, historical attractions and a wide range of water and land activities to the Middle Eastern traveller. Combine these with some extraordinary curated experiences and it promises to be a holiday you’ll remember for a long time.
For more insight, we chatted with Damon Camilleri Allan, Director, Exclusively Malta, a premier destination management company owned and managed by the prominent Maltese Camilleri Allan family. Exclusively Malta offers tailor-made experiences rich in culture, adventure and off-the-beaten path engagements.
An emerging luxury island destination, Malta is great for scuba diving, submarine experiences that take you around shipwrecks, restful nature walks with picnics and a deep dive into cuisine and culture, which is heavily influenced by the Arab world.
“It is striking for many to learn that Malta has a very strong Arab influence dating back to the 9th century to the 13th century. Their main influences were on agriculture and our language, which when dissected will be at least 30 per cent Siculo-Arabic,” Allan tells TTN.
Some of Malta’s most prominent noble families can be traced as far back as the 14th century. Mdina, the old capital of Malta, was, and still is, the centre of nobility with many families having their primary or secondary residences here.
“Through our relationships, we can have guests meet with these families and talk about their history and see some of their most prized possessions. We pride ourselves on our Private Malta programme, wherein visitors access places and people in ways that are unheard of. Of course, our high level of service plays into that and all the other luxuries that can be afforded to them during their stay in Malta.”
Speaking of luxury, the island’s poshest property to date, Iniala Malta, is all set to open doors this winter. Located on the historic St. Barbara Bastions, overlooking Malta’s famous Grand Harbour, Iniala Malta is a bespoke boutique hotel spread over four Maltese townhouses and several ancient vaults, each having been lovingly restored to perfection. Iniala Malta offers 23 rooms and suites, vary in size from 21 sqm to 162 sqm, and some suites come with their very own plunge pools.
Other high-end properties on the island include InterContinental Malta, Kempinski Hotel San Lawrenz Malta (on Gozo Island); The Westin Dragonara Resort, Malta; Malta Marriott Hotel & Spa; Hilton Malta; The Xara Palace Relais & Chateaux; and Radisson Blu Resort & Spa, Malta Golden Sands.
“Number 14 is a luxury five-bedroom, all-ensuite private home that we manage. This boutique property is spread over more than 500 sqm of living space including a grand drawing room, dining room, office, TV snug, kitchen and a central courtyard with shady seating area. There are three open log fires with a supply of wood, a maid service, great for Middle East guests.
“Another fine property is Casa Pace nestled in the Santa Marija Estates in Mellieha. This four-bedroom luxury villa has all the amenities you would be looking for including, yes, even a cinema room. The main attraction is the outdoor space, which sprawls overtop the whole villa providing magnificent views of the Mediterranean. When thinking Casa Pace think James Bond!
“We provide all the luxury transfers and yachts too as per client needs, of course.”
Malta is recognised as one of the best destinations for scuba diving: not for schools of fish or reef, but for the stunning underwater landscape and sunken WWII wrecks. There’s also the submarine experience, which is great for luxury travellers. A half-day submersible experience can set you back by €20,000 + Vat ($23,650 + Vat), inclusive of chef-cooked meals and beverages, a professionally made two-minute, and a six-man crew with a doctor certified to use the advanced medical equipment onboard. For overnight stays, there are three twin ensuite cabins that can host up to six guests. Experiences may be booked anywhere from half day to a week.
“We can arrange for clients to enjoy a day or multiday scuba diving plus submarine dive experiences in the Maltese waters, with the submarine, which can be enjoyed as a standalone explorer charter or as a support to another superyacht.”
For those with deeper pockets and an insatiable hunger for adventure, there are opportunities to explore further afield, such as Italy and Greece, where the HMHS Britannic, the sistership of the tragically lost Titanic, rests.
By Rashi Sen
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