Built by the Knights of St John in the 16th century, the St Barbara Bastion overlooks Valletta's Grand Harbour and its to-and-fro dghajsas and bobbing yachts towards the Three Cities, the medieval fortified towns of Birgu, Senglea and Cospicua.
Atop this fortification is a new hotel making waves in this three-island archipelago in the Med. Launched during the pandemic, Iniala Harbour House is spread over four old grand townhouses and ancient vaults. Renovated over five years, the houses' original features have been restored, contemporary artworks by both Maltese and international artists and modern design touches added by the collaborating triad of Spain's A-Cero, Istanbul's Autoban and Malta's Data Haus for owner Mark Weingard, who describes this hotel as 'the first super-luxury hotel in Malta'.
The result is an eclectic masterpiece of a boutique hotel with 23 individually designed suites – varying from deluxe rooms to four residences. Most rooms have a private balcony, and some have a plunge pool. The property also boasts a private guesthouse. Located a few doors down, the Hideaway is spread over five floors and offers unparalleled sea views.
There's more besides: a fancy gym, vaulted spa and pool, and rooftop restaurant. ION was awarded a Michelin star within the first six months of opening, thus becoming Malta's third starred restaurant. In summer 2021, it was announced that one-to-watch chef Alex Dilling would be taking up a 100-day residency to bring a new level of culinary skill to the 'stunning, sunny' island.