Mercure Malta St. Julians

Old Oct 9, 20, 9:53 am
  #1  
Original Poster
Accor Contributor Badge
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Brasil/Spain (but a heart in Scotland)
Programs: Star Alliance Gold, Iberia Oro, SkyTeam - Elite Plus, Le Club Accor - Platinum
Posts: 395
Mercure Malta St. Julians

Mercure St. Julian's Malta

1 Review | 0% Recommended

Mercure St. Julian's Malta

Qaliet Street St St Julian's, Malta MT STJ 3257

Mercure Malta St. Julians (13 Photos)

Mercure St. Julian's Malta

mercuremalta-11.jpg

Check In

We arrived at the Mercure Malta St. Julian’s at about 1pm. I was initially told that an early check-in was not possible. Since the hotel wasn’t full, and I am an Accor Gold member I found this slightly disappointing. It was swiftly resolved though, and an early check-in was possible.

 

mercuremaltablog-7.jpg

When I made the booking online it was possible to confirm the reservation with my AMEX card. Upon trying to do a pre-authorisation for the stay, my card was repeatedly declined. I was eventually told that the hotel doesn’t accept AMEX. It was a slightly strange experience. Since this is apparently the case I don’t know why it was an option online.

I was given the Accor welcome drink voucher without having to ask, and apart from the issues with payment and the initial denial of an early check-in it was a fairly fine experience.

Room

I believe I was upgraded from a Standard Double Room to a Superior Double Room. Unfortunately, I have no idea what the difference between the two room types is. For all intents and purposes the room was what I would expect from a Standard Double. I cannot think of any reason why you’d pay any extra for this room.

 

mercuremalta-1.jpgmercuremalta-6.jpg

Unfortunately, things did not start well. The bathroom had not been cleaned properly and there were hairs in the shower left from the previous guest. As we planned to head out to get something to eat anyway, I asked at reception if they could ask for housekeeping to rectify this while went grabbed lunch. It was slightly surprising that a brand new hotel was already having issues with cleaning.

Upon returning to the room the hairs had not been removed. To be fair, this did seem to be taken seriously when I again went to reception. The manager dealt with the matter and ensured it was rectified. He also offered us complimentary breakfast for the duration of our stay. This was good service recovery

Despite it being a supposed perk of Accor Gold Status, the hotel did not offer any welcome gift. Not even a solitary apple. Since the welcome gifts offered are often disappointing anyway, it’s not a huge thing, but it showed a lack of effort. 

The room itself was fine. The interiors have been well finished, and are to a high standard. There are some things that still need finishing though. For example one of the light switches was missing its

The room was equipped with a kettle and mini fridge. The mini fridge had two bottles of complimentary water. These, however, were not replenished during the stay.

 

mercuremalta-9.jpg

The bed was, as you’d expect, extremely good. The room was also well soundproofed. The bathroom, excluding the cleaning issue, was extremely good with a large rain shower. The amenities (shower gel and shampoo) were also of a much higher standard than the usual mercure ones, which was a positive. 

To my surprise though, the hotel does not offer any amenities such as a dental kit if requested. I was told I’d need to pay €1 for this. In an Ibis I understand it, but at a 4-star hotel like a Mercure, I’d expect this to be offered on request. It feels a bit cheap.

There was a small balcony, however, this was pretty useless as there was no furniture. I believe some balconies on the other side of the hotel do have furniture though

Dining

At the present time the Mercure Malta offers a restaurant which is open just for breakfast. There is also a bar which is apparently open 24 hours, and has a dedicated bartender until 10pm. The bar is located in the main lobby area. It was slightly sterile, although to be fair these aren’t normal times, so I wouldn’t have expected it to be a hub of activity

mercuremaltablog-8.jpg

We just used the bar to obtain our welcome drink. It was possible to use this for soft drinks as well as beer and wine. It was possible to take these up to the pool area and I was given plastic cups to enable this. But more on the pool space later.

Although we didn’t originally plan to take breakfast, we did on two mornings due to the fact we were offered it on a complimentary basis. The quality was mediocre, but the staff managing it were very good and the restaurant space was very nice. The set-up appears designed for a self-service buffet concept, but obviously that it not possible at the moment

mercuremaltablog-4.jpgmercuremaltablog-5.jpg

Instead, you were required to queue at the buffet area behind a tensabarrier. The staff then plated the items you requested. I am not convinced this is the best way to manage things. As the breakfast was never particularly busy, it’d have been far better to offer some sort of table service. It’d have avoided guests having to queue, and would have been a more relaxing option. For example, NH in Spain is offering a ‘tray service’ breakfast at the moment. Personally I think this works better

mercuremaltablog-6.jpg

The options were standard. It included a continental selection as well as some hot options. The quality and variety wasn’t anything amazing. If I am honest, I wouldn’t be inclined to pay the €12 per person charged for breakfast.

 

mercuremaltablog-1.jpg

Pool

Perhaps the main reason to stay is the rooftop swimming pool. This was a genuinely nice space and a great place to relax. You can also enjoy great views of St. Julian’s and the marina

mercuremalta-14.jpg

We weThe weather in Malta was in the mid to high 20s, however, the pool was freezing. It’s a shame it isn’t heated for use outside of the main summer months

mercuremalta-13.jpg

When things are back to normal and during the summer, it could potentially be crowded. The pool is small, and the area around it isn’t large either. I can envisage it being difficult to get a sunbed during peak season. This said, the rooftop area does have space for more chairs, and perhaps during the summer more will be available

mercuremalta-12.jpg

I was quite surprised they haven’t thought about some sort of bar provision by the pool. If you want something to drink, you currently need to go down to the ground floor, go to the bar, and then take it back up to the rooftop.

In the summer, it’d perhaps be good if they did something like the Novotel Sevilla. Here they have a makeshift bar by the rooftop pool. It actually works really well and is a nice feature.

Location

From the airport you have a couple of options. You can either take the X2 bus from the airport, a taxi, or use an app such as Bolt or eCabs.

To get to the hotel we opted for the X2 bus which cost €2 per person. In hindsight this wasn’t the best option. The bus is slow. Very slow. Even though the hotel is just over a 10km journey from the airport, it took a good hour. On the plus, the bus stop is a couple of minutes walking distance from the hotel

Learning from our mistake, we went back to the airport from the Mercure Malta St. Julian’s using eCabs. It’s an app similar to Uber or Cabify. For this we paid just under €12 and it was a much better option than the bus.It took about 15 minute

As for the location, it was good. You’re around a 10 minute walk from St George’s Bay and there are plenty of bars and restaurants nearby.

Overall

We paid €160 for three nights. At this price, the Mercure Malta represented good value. I’m not sure I’d return here if I was in Malta again, however.

The issues with cleaning weren’t acceptable. Especially given the current environment. Accor status recognition was mediocre, and while the rooms are nice, there wasn’t anything amazing about them. I just expected a bit more from a brand

Regardless, it’s still nice that there is now an Accor option in this part of the world.

Mercure Malta St. Julians

Would you like to write a review on the Mercure St. Julian's Malta?

No, thank you.
Yes
jackr27 is offline  
Old Oct 9, 20, 1:39 pm
  #2  
Accor Contributor Badge
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Spain
Programs: ALL Plat, HH Gold, Marriott GE
Posts: 892
Thank you for the review.

Bit worried at the cleaning standards, especially in these times, and have to ask for the room to be cleaned twice. I just wonder what else was missed.

Pool looks good though ( views ).
Goldorak and jackr27 like this.
hotel_user is offline  
Old Oct 10, 20, 2:49 am
  #3  
Accor Contributor Badge
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Zagreb, Croatia
Programs: Accor ALL Gold, Marriott Bonvoy Gold
Posts: 111
Yes, thank you for a very interesting review! 👍
jackr27 likes this.
EcotoneHR is offline  
Old Oct 12, 20, 2:20 am
  #4  
Accor Contributor Badge
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Programs: LeClubAccorhotels Platinum, M&M FTL
Posts: 526
When I made the booking online it was possible to confirm the reservation with my AMEX card. Upon trying to do a pre-authorisation for the stay, my card was repeatedly declined. I was eventually told that the hotel doesn’t accept AMEX. It was a slightly strange experience. Since this is apparently the case I don’t know why it was an option online.
The shocking truth is that the ACCOR credit card verification feature is a form just like the one for your names and such, they just record your CC number and send it to the hotel (btw, booking.com does the same), so that the front desk staff and everybody with access to that data (be it on location or by hacking into the hotel's systems / emails) can help themselves to your card details. Unless, of course, the hotel does not accept your card and the standardized ACCOR CC form has no way of letting you know...

For example one of the light switches was missing its
Oh those little details that can go missing


****


ANYWAYS, thanks for the review, looks like the hotel is more or less as advertised, and good value for Malta. Can't wait for flights to Luqa to resume from my home airport to finally visit the island!
jackr27 likes this.
JTCz is offline  
Old Oct 12, 20, 5:46 am
  #5  
Accor 10+ Badge
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: CBR
Programs: LeClub AccorHotels / Accor Plus (Platinum), Qantas Frequent Flyer, Virgin Velocity
Posts: 552
Originally Posted by JTCz View Post
The shocking truth is that the ACCOR credit card verification feature is a form just like the one for your names and such, they just record your CC number and send it to the hotel (btw, booking.com does the same), so that the front desk staff and everybody with access to that data (be it on location or by hacking into the hotel's systems / emails) can help themselves to your card details.
Unless I have misread your post, it is a bit misleading.

I have worked on and off for Accor for more than ten cumulative years and your statement is pretty misleading, at least in the context of my employment with multiple Accor hotels in Australia.

In the event of a prepaid booking direct with Accor, the hotel is NOT provided your credit card details prior to arrival. It goes through the OGONE payment system. The hotel receives their funds by BANK TRANSFER. The payment method on the booking (when it downloads into Opera) states "OGONE" - there are NO credit card details on file when it comes through OGONE. The credit card is only entered upon arrival for incidentals. If it is possible to retrieve CC numbers from OGONE prepaid bookings, that's at a head of department level of access on another website, because it does not download into your booking on the hotel's PMS.

In the event of third party booking (booking.com etc), there are two scenarios.
First, you prepay through the third party. Again, the hotel is NOT provided your cc details. The third party provides the hotel with a VIRTUAL CREDIT CARD to the value of the prepayment, which the hotel charges. This is the extent of the transaction between customer, third party, and hotel. The customer pays the third party, the third party pays the hotel. The customer's CC is NOT provided in this case.

Second, you book a flexible rate through the third party. In this case, your CC details are provided to the hotel, just like if you booked a flexible rate direct with the hotel. This way, the hotel can charge the card in the event of no-show.

In terms of the hotel itself and access to data - how many people have access to a CC number depends on how the hotel sets up its PMS privileges. In ALL cases, the CC number is redacted (except last 4 digits) and requires at minimum a double click to reveal, which shows up in audit, so the hotel can determine which user revealed the CC number. In all properties I worked at, only management accounts were set up to reveal CC numbers, regular Front Desk receptionists could not reveal CC numbers. Of course, standard IT safe practices need to be practiced, such as locking workstation when away and not sharing passwords.

Again, these are from my experiences working for Accor in Australia, so results may vary between regions, I guess?

Last edited by Maelstrom; Oct 12, 20 at 5:51 am
Maelstrom is offline  
Old Oct 12, 20, 6:36 am
  #6  
Original Poster
Accor Contributor Badge
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Brasil/Spain (but a heart in Scotland)
Programs: Star Alliance Gold, Iberia Oro, SkyTeam - Elite Plus, Le Club Accor - Platinum
Posts: 395
Originally Posted by JTCz View Post
Oh those little details that can go missing
Yes, it should have been 'was missing its cover'!

I tried to edit a couple of typos just after posting, but had no success in making the edit stick for some reason
jackr27 is offline  
Old Oct 12, 20, 1:18 pm
  #7  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Accor 25+ Badge
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Paris, France
Programs: AF/KL Flying Blue Platinum for life/Club2000 Ultimate, Accor ALL Diamond
Posts: 16,434
Originally Posted by jackr27 View Post
Yes, it should have been 'was missing its cover'!

I tried to edit a couple of typos just after posting, but had no success in making the edit stick for some reason
The hotel review function of FT is full of bugs for a while now but it's getting worse. There is a thread dedicated to this in the technical support forum, but very few bugs are being fixed unfortunately :
Issues with FlyerTalk Expert Hotel Reviews? Report them here!
If you look at the 2 last pages of the discussion, you will see 2 regulars of the Accor forum who are discussing problems
Goldorak is offline  
Old Oct 12, 20, 3:06 pm
  #8  
Accor Contributor Badge
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Programs: LeClubAccorhotels Platinum, M&M FTL
Posts: 526
Originally Posted by Maelstrom View Post
Unless I have misread your post, it is a bit misleading.

(...)

Again, these are from my experiences working for Accor in Australia, so results may vary between regions, I guess?
They do, but more importantly, they vary between Accor-managed and franchise properties. The level of security when booking a non-prepaid rate is minimal when it comes to franchise hotels (in Europe, at least), and even some Accor-managed hotels where, as you said, it all depends on the level of security employed by the management. In essence, somebody often has to key in the number of a screen (or, even worse, a print-out - I've had this multiple times when my CC details where appended to a booking waiting in an envelope with my name on it for the agent to key in) into the terminal to remotely charge the card.

All in all - there is a way to see your CC details when you book a non-prepaid rate, which, in this day and age, I find quite disastrous. But then again, knowing Accor's IT, it is still better than being randomly charged by a moody system...
JTCz is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: