Palazzo Castagna Co-Owner Alison Spiteri Sacco has described the transformation of the palazzo into a hotel as an ‘amazing journey’ for her and Rudolph Spiteri Sacco.
This week, Palazzo Castagna celebrated its official launch, marking a new chapter for the luxury tourism sector in the south of Malta.
The 18th-century palazzo, set in the village square of Ħal Għaxaq, has been carefully restored to retain its historic features and charm, while being transformed into a luxury boutique hotel for guests looking for an authentic experience of Malta.
The palazzo is the brainchild of the husband-and-wife team. Together, they bring an acquired experience to the project, as specialists for turnkey solutions across a variety of residential and commercial projects.
“Palazzo Castagna has been an amazing journey so far,” Ms Spiteri Sacco said.
“It’s a completely different business to what we have been doing for the last decade, but it’s an honour for us to invest in bringing high-end tourism to the southern part of Malta. It’s a feat we are proud of achieving and another milestone in our working life,” she added.
The hotel’s location also affords easy access to many historic sites and attractions in the area, such as the Three Cities, Blue Grotto, Marsaxlokk, Tarxien Temples, and Mnajdra.
The pair’s background has also nurtured a passion for sustainability as well as quality, Mr Spiteri Sacco said.
“Our work has given us a solid base to create a high-end boutique hotel with sustainable rooms. All rooms are soundproofed and highly insulated to conserve energy,” he continued.
“The detail in the building is a reflection of how serious we are about conserving Maltese heritage and enriching buildings in the best way possible,” Mr Spiteri Sacco affirmed.
Restoration works on the palazzo began in 2021 and took almost two years, before the hotel opened its doors to its first guests over the summer.
The boutique hotel includes a rooftop pool and bar, a chapel, a tea garden, a cafeteria open also for the Għaxaq community as well as a restaurant. The restaurant, offering a fusion of Italian, Arabic, French and British cuisine is situated in ‘Sala Nobile’, that features artworks from the 1700s. The venue is also available for business meetings, events and family celebrations.
“We hope guests can experience the amazing, rich history of the palazzo, which dates back to 1755, as well as the beautiful village life that Għaxaq has to offer, with its lovely, warm community,” continued Ms Spiteri Sacco.
The Palazzo Castagna story
Built in 1755, ‘Dar Castagna’ is believed to have been the first home of newlyweds Angelo Castagna and Theresa Mangion, the daughter of a well-known businessman from Għaxaq. Angelo became the mayor of the Għaxaq district for 21 years and, together with their four children Salvu, Maria, Margerita and Filippu, the family and their descendants are believed to have stayed in residence until 1930.
To this day, the primary school of Għaxaq and some of Malta’s roads bear the name of Filippu Castagna, who would become the last governor of Gozo and an important historical figure who played an integral part in the French colonisation of the Maltese Islands.
Through the years since, the Palazzo has served as the first ‘każin’ (club) for Santa Marija and has belonged to the clergy, before it was sold and then sold again, to begin its latest transformation into the Palazzo Castagna boutique hotel, ensuring the building’s rich history will live on for generations to come.
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