Phoenicia Malta

Phoenicia Malta Ltd is submitting a full planning application to the Planning Authority for a €35 million restoration and regeneration project aimed at transforming the disused adjacent St John’s Ditch into a beautifully landscaped extension of the hotel’s grounds.

This proposal, which is aimed at integrating historical preservation with luxury accommodation, marks a significant investment in both The Phoenicia Malta and the entrance to Valletta.

The St John’s Gardens project is spearheaded by Mark Shaw, Owner of Phoenicia Malta Ltd, which owns and operates the award-winning Phoenicia Malta hotel. Mr Shaw, who acquired the hotel in 2013, has since been committed to enhancing and upgrading the property. This latest venture is set to be a landmark development for Malta, merging the hotel’s five-star legacy with conservation and sustainability principles.

Notably, existing permits for this project allow for more extensive development, but the new plans focus on sensitivity and have further improved various aspects of the restoration – an ethos that sets The Phoenicia Malta apart.

“This transformation has been a long time coming,” Mr Shaw comments.

“We are thrilled to take steps to finally bring it to life – not just as an extension of the existing Phoenicia Malta, but to further enhance the city’s rich heritage and ‘Product Malta’ as a whole. The project aligns perfectly with our commitment to elevate Valletta’s cultural and touristic landscape while offering an unparalleled experience to our guests,” he adds.

Phoenicia Malta

A forward-thinking investment in Malta’s future

The proposal for St John’s Gardens involves several key elements designed to respect the historical context while introducing world-class amenities. It focuses on the restoration of the Old Stables and Coach House, both currently in disrepair, to create 28 additional guest rooms.

Furthermore, the dilapidated Laundry industrial building will be demolished and rebuilt to provide 23 new guest rooms and suites. Additionally, the project includes the restoration and uncovering of parts of the fortification network currently obscured.

And the project is not just about adding more rooms; it represents a strategic business move to diversify and enhance the hotel’s offerings. By incorporating historical elements and modern luxury, The Phoenicia Malta aims to strengthen its position as a premier destination for high-end tourists and business travellers. This aligns with broader efforts to enhance Valletta’s international appeal as a cultural and historical hub.

Economic and environmental impact

The St John’s Gardens project represents a substantial investment in The Phoenicia Malta’s future, both economically and environmentally. The initiative is expected to create jobs during and after construction, stimulate collaboration opportunities, and attract more tourists to the area. By enhancing the hotel’s capacity and facilities, the project aims to increase the length of stay and spending by visitors, which will have a positive ripple effect on the local economy.

Phoenicia Malta

Sustainability is at the core of the St John’s Gardens proposal. The project will protect existing trees and introduce new indigenous plants, following comprehensive environmental studies, while sustainable construction practices will be implemented. Efforts to reduce energy and water consumption and minimise waste are integral to the design, reinforcing The Phoenicia Malta’s commitment to eco-friendly operations.

Enhancing the guest experience

One of the main objectives of the St John’s Gardens project is to further enhance the guest experience at The Phoenicia Malta. The new proposal will create a lush, tranquil environment, featuring improved pathways and the introduction of electric buggies to facilitate movement within the hotel grounds. These additions are designed to ensure accessibility for all guests, further enhancing the luxury experience.

The project will also see the extension and improvement of the Bastion Pool area, which is already seen as a favourite among guests. The new pool facility is designed to fit harmoniously as an extension of the existing Bastion Pool. This careful consideration of the site’s topography seeks to ensure that the new facilities blend seamlessly with the surroundings.

Phoenicia Malta

Minimising disruption

In a bid to ensure that the current hotel operations are not disrupted, the St John’s Gardens project will be carried out in carefully planned phases.

Construction traffic will utilise separate access routes, preventing any increase in congestion around the hotel and ensuring a smooth continuation of guest experiences and hotel events.

This phased approach is designed to maintain the high standards of service and luxury that guests of The Phoenicia Malta expect.

A commitment to heritage

Ultimately, the St John’s Gardens project is a testament to The Phoenicia Malta’s commitment to preserving and enhancing Malta’s cultural heritage. By integrating historical preservation with modern luxury, the project aims to create a lasting legacy for future generations.

“We take this next phase of The Phoenicia Malta’s development very seriously,” Mr Shaw emphasises. “We believe it will not only enhance our hotel’s offering but also contribute to the broader appeal of Valletta as a destination,” he continues.

As the plans await approval, the anticipation builds for what could be a transformative addition to Valletta’s landscape. The €35 million investment in St John’s Gardens represents not just a development project, but a forward-thinking vision that honours the past while embracing the future. Should the proposal be approved, it will undoubtedly become a source of pride for the local community and a beacon for sustainable luxury tourism in Malta.


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