Top hotels in Buġibba, Qawra and St. Paul’s Bay
There are no 5-star hotels in the area to my knowledge, but that’s not surprising. Buġibba, Qawra and St. Paul’s Bay mostly attract families with children and couples of all ages who don’t have a 5-star budget for accommodation.
That doesn’t mean you’ll only find “cheap and cheerful” hotel options in the area, however. It also doesn’t mean that if you’re a couple looking to avoid busy resorts with children all around you won’t find a suitable hotel.
These three villages are clustered in the North of Malta and blend into each other, which means some hotels may be listed as being located in Buġibba whereas their official address is shown as being located in Qawra. It can be a little confusing but what it comes down to is that it’s a relatively small area, where pretty much everything is within walking distance and public transport (route buses) offer good reach within the area (as well as other parts of Malta) for the lesser-abled.
My hotel recommendations in this area
I’ve listed the best hotels I know in the area, both from personal experience as well as close friends who stayed there, similar to my list of best hotels in Malta (for the island as a whole).
DISCLAIMER: None of these hotels were listed against payment. Also, I know most hotels in the area but have purposely included only the below. The rest I wouldn’t recommend to friends, some not even to my worst enemy. 😉
- If you’re staying in Buġibba, Qawra or St. Paul’s Bay, have a look at my restaurant recommendations in this area.
- This area is known to be busy during the summer months and public parking is limited. If you’re looking to rent a car, make sure the hotel offers parking on its premises.
- Although most hotels are oriented towards family holidays, you can find a few good options that are quieter and more suitable for couples.
Hotels in Buġibba
Buġibba is the core of the wider area and saw most of the early development of the area as a tourist destination. You’ll come across a number of hotel listings for this particular village but most are “cheap and cheerful” type of accommodation that don’t really meet the standards of what’s expected from good quality hotels nowadays.
You’ll generally find much better options in Qawra although there are a few exceptions.
The Dolmen Resort Hotel is located on the coast of Buġibba and is one of the better-known hotels in the area, with good quality accommodation.
- Probably the best location within the wider St. Paul’s Bay area: Bus terminus, places of interest, artificial beach and Ta` Fra Ben beach are all within short walking distance
- All amenities you’d expect from this type of hotel: restaurants and bars (including a seaside bar/lido with pool across the road), indoor heated pool, gym, sauna, tennis court, etc.
- Great spa facilities
- Paid parking available
- Not quite the 4-star hotel that’s advertised
- Not the most modern-looking hotel in the area.
Up until last year, I would never have recommended staying at the Sunseeker Holiday Complex. The hotel was LONG overdue for a thorough refurbishment. Thankfully, management decided to invest recently and the hotel and its facilities have received some much-needed attention. As a result of its facelift, the Sunseeker is a worthy hotel to consider for travellers on a budget.
- Good option if you’re on a budget – gets the basics right
- Good location, close to the seafront (and Buġibba’s artificial sandy beach)
- Nice rooftop area with pool. Also serves as a breakfast area with nice sea views.
- Friendly, helpful staff.
- Despite renovation, it’s not the most modern or well-equipped hotel in the area. You get what you pay for.
TIP: Request a room at the back of the hotel and on one of the higher floors. They’re quieter and offer better sea views.
Hotels in Qawra
The db San Antonio has undergone major renovation recently and is probably the best hotel/resort of its kind in the area nowadays. It may not be the cheapest option but you get much more value than comparable hotels, in my opinion.
- Good location: On the edge of Qawra and Buġibba (and around the corner from the Dolmen Hotel, mentioned above)
- Recently renovated to high standards
- Known for its friendly staff and high-quality service
- Well equipped, spacious fitness centre and great spa facilities
- Overall, good quality amenities
- Several good restaurants on its premises that suit different tastes, serving different types of international cuisines
- Paid parking available for €5 per day
- Can be a little pricey, but usually, good value is offered
- Restaurant food is appreciated overall but gets mixed reviews from time to time. There are plenty of dining alternatives around in the area, however.
TIP: The sea-facing side of the hotel offers great views out towards St. Paul’s Island and is worth paying the premium for.
The Palazzin is a “no frills” type of hotel. It’s not a resort with entertainment, it’s not known to offer great food, it does one thing and it does it well: Offer clean accommodation at reasonable prices.
In other words: If you’re not travelling with kids and you’re looking for a clean, decent room in the Buġibba/Qawra/St. Paul’s Bay area without having to pay for all sorts of amenities you won’t need anyway, this is a good option to consider.
- Good accommodation with the facilities you’d expect including AC
- Good budget option if you’re looking to explore Malta and not looking for an all-inclusive resort
- Friendly, helpful staff
- Although most parts of the area are within walking distance, the location isn’t amazing, tucked away in a side street off the seaside
- Not really suitable for families with kids
- Few amenities
- Looks a little tired in places. Nevertheless, clean rooms and overall good reviews.
- No private parking. Don’t stay here if you’re staying in the high season and renting a car. Public parking is a precious commodity here in summer.
The Seashells Resort is one of the larger hotels in the area, located on the Eastern side of Qawra along the coast. The hotel is known to be a good option for family holidays at reasonable prices, with good facilities and a pool/entertainment area on the coastline, across the road from the hotel itself (which can be reached via a small tunnel as well).
- Reasonably priced, good for families with kids
- Good facilities, well-reviewed entertainment
- Nice sea views in rooms on the front of the hotel
- Good location, although not centrally located near St. Paul’s Bay and Buġibba.
- Will need refurbishment soon
- Often advertised as 4-star, but really and truly 3-star. Reasonably priced nevertheless
- No private parking. Look elsewhere if you’re renting a car and are looking to explore.
TIP: Request a room on 3rd floor or higher to enjoy sea views.
The Qawra Palace Hotel is similar to the neighbouring Seashells Resort. Also oriented towards family holidays, the hotel offers a similar level of service and standard of accommodation. The Qawra Palace Hotel also offers an outside pool area across the road from its main premises.
- Suitable for families with kids, as well as couples of all ages
- Reasonably priced with good facilities and clean rooms
- Good location, although not central within the area
- Friendly staff, good service.
- Not the most modern hotel around
- Really and truly 3-star, not 4-star as advertised. Reasonably priced nevertheless
- Some parts of the hotel look a little tired, even though still well maintained
- No private parking. Look elsewhere if you’re renting a car and are looking to explore.
The Park Lane Aparthotel is a bit of a gem in an area that’s known more for larger, family-oriented hotels. Offering a mix of hotel rooms and self-catering apartments, its unassuming, modern interiors and central location offer a good option to couples of all ages.
- Smaller hotel, also offering self-catering apartments
- More suitable for couples (as opposed to families with children), being quieter
- High quality, modern accommodation that is reasonably priced
- Good location, close to seafront and around the corner from Buġibba bus terminus
- Few amenities aside from the small rooftop pool and terrace. Not a huge con if you’re not looking for a resort-type hotel.
- No private parking. If you’re renting a car, you can use the paid parking (€5/day) of the nearby db San Antonio Hotel + Spa, which is 5 minutes away on foot.
The Salini Resort is a hotel located just outside the Buġibba/Qawra/St. Paul’s Bay area. It’s a good option for those looking to benefit from a location suitable for exploring Malta while not being right in the middle of the hustle and bustle of what can be a rather busy location during the high season.
Having undergone refurbishment recently, you get good quality and modern accommodation with relative peace and quiet. This hotel gets very good reviews now that it’s been revamped so definitely worth considering.
- High quality, modern accommodation. Recently refurbished.
- Quiet all-inclusive resort, located outside of the busier parts of the Buġibba/Qawra/St. Paul’s Bay area
- Highly rated staff and service
- Free car park on-site
- If you’re not renting a car, you might not be happy with the location. There are few restaurants/bars around in the immediate vicinity and although nearby, it’s quite a walk to get to Buġibba, Qawra and St. Paul’s Bay. The hotel offers a shuttle to the heart of these villages and public transport is accessible right outside the hotel, but you depend on others for transport.
Hotels in St. Paul’s Bay
St. Paul’s Bay isn’t known to offer much choice in terms of hotels Really and truly it’s more the type of place you’d find a privately-rented apartment to explore the island from, rather than an all-inclusive 5-star resort. As a place, it’s the closest you get to a typical Maltese village (compared to Buġibba and Qawra) but still quite touristy.
Alternative accommodation in Buġibba, Qawra and St. Paul’s Bay
Especially in St. Paul’s Bay, there isn’t much choice when it comes to hotels and you’re usually better off looking for self-catering apartments. These are usually rented out by individuals and you can usually get a good deal through sites like Airbnb.