A Collaboration with IBB Hotels
This weekend my family had the most wonderful staycation at the Cugo Gran Macina Grand Harbour Hotel, a spectacular design hotel situated in the Senglea harbor, where history meets luxury and attention to detail prevails.
We checked in on Friday afternoon at around 3pm where we were greeted with a very warm welcome by the general manager Louise Pullicino at the reception together with two other members of the team. I had checked in online, the evening prior to arrival to adhere to their Covid-related check-in system which made it quick, easy, and safely convenient on site. Our bags were taken to our suite where we started our blissful weekend stay.
Photos by Oliver Pace
As to the design, you can see in the photos that the massive fortress walls of The Macina, a 16th century, Maltese landmark contrast with modern interior design and bespoke luxury fittings, creating a setting that cannot be described in words – it must be experienced together with its rooftop terrace with breathtaking panoramic harbor views.
Cugó Gran Macina Grand Harbour offers 21 spacious suites from 40 to 130 m², with high vaulted ceilings, modern utilities of the highest standard, hand-picked designer pieces and an uninterrupted view of the marina.
Discreetly tucked away on the rooftop of the annex building you find the hotel’s exclusive swimming pool, set on a terrace looking out across the water to Vittoriosa and Cospicua. In warmer months, you can relax back into one of the sun loungers and gaze over the Mediterranean setting.
We were allocated the Macina Grand Harbour Suite
The crown jewel of Cugo Gran Macina Grand Harbour, this suite enjoys a side view of the Grand Harbour, a large living room, a kitchenette and all other creature comforts.
– 130sqm (1,400sqft) – 2 king beds – Harbour view – 2 bedrooms – Large living room – Kitchenette – Complimentary WiFi – Air conditioning – 2 bathrooms – Shower and bathtub – LED Satellite TV Enriched with beautiful natural light, the Macina Grand Harbour Suite offers its guests all manner of comfort: a large living room with a dining table for up to 6 people, a fully equipped kitchenette with fridge, microwave and oven, a bathtub with harbour views and two wide bedrooms quipped with the most comfortable king size beds. The suite offers two bathrooms: a guest toilet and a private bathroom in the bedroom.
The Macina Grand Harbour Suite is located on the second floor and offers air conditioning and heating, an iron and ironing board, separate lounge area, free WiFi, safe, minibar, telephone, hair dryer, bath amenities, bathrobe, slippers and a modern multimedia system with a LED Satellite TV, national and international TV channels. This suite can host up to 8 guests with the possibility to connect to a Fortress Suite.
Apart from this, the team took special care to tend to certain details to put a smile on our faces. Our bedrooms had little surprises for us . In the main bedroom, we had pretty swans and rose petals set up with their luxury towels. For little Luna, upon entering her own room on a separate floor, she found to her surprise a cute elephant made from white towels with sprinkled fairy papers around it and she also had a lovely hamper with organic snacks and princess card games which she was estatic about! You notice from these things, at first glance that this team goes that extra mile to make your stay one to treasure for a lifetime. Trust me, in these challenging times, everything is appreciated a hundredfold and I really wished to point out how blessed we feel for having experienced this hotel and have the opportunity to share our experience with you here on the blog!
Dinner at Hammett’s Macina at Cugo Grand Harbour
One of the highlights on the first evening was our visit to Hammett’s Macina restaurant. As featured in my Instagram stories, we had the pleasure to experience this unique venue.
The menu is a taste of history derived from the island’s Mediterranean-Semitic roots – with a contemporary twist, created using only local, seasonal produce and hosting an expansive wine cellar. The menu is constructed by Chef de Cuisine Jorge Lugo and directed by award winning Chef and restauranteur Chris Hammet.
They are currently serving quite a varied menu with a “to share” concept. Our favourites included the Chicken Pastiglia, Grilled Pumpkin and their mouth-watering Chocolate Fondant. The shared meal format allows people to lend themselves to closeness and camaraderie. The idea is that one doesn’t only eat for sustenance but also to grow, as an experience, to celebrate and to reconnect with family and friends. We love this sharing concept and the portion sizes allow you to really explore a number of dishes. vic
The service was excellent and we really enjoyed our dining experience!
Other Things We Enjoyed Exploring in The Three Cities
We visited Esplora interactive Science Centre at Bighi with our daughter in mind. It is always a challenge to find things to do with kids, so this attraction was a fun treat. We explored most areas, attended one of the workshops and a show at the Planetarium. Every measure is taken to adhere to Covid safety measures including hand sanitising, social distancing and reducing show numbers to small groups. The cafe serves excellent food and snacks too!
This project is a first of its kind in Malta has been led by The Malta Council for Science and Technology. Esplora has been partly funded by EU funds, seeking to cultivate a culture of scientific curiosity and imagination by igniting a passion for questioning, investigation where visitors at Esplora are encouraged to explore, think and imagine.
The renovated building consists of several buildings and outdoor spaces, all interconnected following an extensive restoration and development process. The main exhibitions halls and the landscaped gardens consists of over 200 exhibits making this science centre fun. There is an exciting Activity Centre for visitors to experience hands-on workshops and entertaining science shows, making science relevant to our everyday lives.
If you have not visited yet, with your children, well I invite you to check it out!
Enjoy a stroll along the Senglea Waterfront
While walking around the Three Cities, you cannot help but admire the imposing bastions, restored to their former glory. They are quite a sight, especially at night.
Individually, each of the Three Cities has much to offer. Birgu is the most popular, and also the one boasting most attractions, such as the Maritime Museum, the Malta at War Museum the Inquisitor’s Palace and of course Fort St, Angelo.
Bormla, with its six kilometres of fortifications is home to an impressive parish church with an oratory full of works of art. Isla hosts two astounding churches (namely St Philips and Our Lady of Victories) and has a lovely garden at its tip overlooking Grand Harbour where you can find a great example of a Gardjola watch post.
Between the three, you’re in for some truly spectacular sights. Dive into the history of the Three Cities, take a stroll around the beautiful yacht marina or just relax in one of the many cafeterias, restaurants and wine bars.
Cut Steak House – a New Restaurant for meat lovers on the Waterfront
We were greeted with a welcome drink followed by a wide selection of sausages , various meat cuts including kangaroo, wild boar and a mouth-watering Canadian rib-eye.
For meat lovers, this newly opened restaurant can become your new favourite. It’s only been open one month, and they are very popular in this neighborhood!
Check them out! The red, black and gold decor inside makes it an ideal one to plan for Valentine’s maybe. We had a great dining experience together! Even little Luna loved their sausages and felt very welcome in the restaurant, so I guess it’s also child-friendly!
All in all, you can imagine what a relaxing, luxury weekend we were privileged to enjoy thanks to Cugo Gran Macina Grand Harbour. We will treasure the experience together with all the memories made forever. I must say that it fills me with national pride to witness hospitality of such calibre in Malta. I truly appreciate quality and determination for excellence. Thank you to all the team led by the stellar General Manager Louise Pullicino for taking great care of us.
Much love to all
For further information or bookings visit their site cugogranmalta.com
Cugó Gran Macina Grand Harbour
Triq Il-31 ta’ Marzu,
L’Isla Senglea ISL 1040,
M. +356 9986 4990
T. +356 2779 4100