We had visited Comino before for the day, seen the fairy-tale Blue Lagoon, and walked across the centre, but fancied staying at the only hotel on the island.
A long 2-storey pink building, it is only open to guests over the summer months so 1st week in October means it will soon close for the winter. Not sure what to expect, but Mercury Holidays offered an all-inclusive week for a reasonable price, from Birmingham Airport and including transfers. Unfortunately, Ryanair changed the flight times so that we didn’t arrive in Malta until we’ll after 9.00pm. Anyone familiar with the islands will know that the ferry port is around an hour’s drive, so we were getting a bit nervous. “Are you sure we will be able to get across to Comino at this time of night?” we asked the Rep at the airport. Of course, no worries she said airily. As the last transfer couple, the driver dropped us off as planned at the slipway for our small ferry. Just us. Surrounded by large expanse of empty concrete carpark, silence, and a clear starlit sky. Really?
The boat will be here soon he called as he dashed off. After 10 minutes, we doubted whether there was a boat, then a young man appeared out of nowhere and confirmed the ferry was due, but if it didn’t appear, we could use his phone to contact the hotel. A strange start, mainly because of the flight times changing, but when we landed after 11.00pm, the night porter met us at the ferry, carried our cases up to reception, and everything was ready for us to sign in – including a welcome drink and a plate of sandwiches.
Though in need of some renovation work, this 1960s hotel is clean and comfortable and the staff are excellent. It is the only hotel on the island, no roads only rocky dirt tracks, and no dogs! All-inclusive is clearly the best option, but the small ferry runs several times a day to Gozo and mainland Malta at just 11 Euros per guest for the week. Our package with Mercury meant this was included so we couldn’t fault their organisation.
There was always a very good range of freshly cooked food in the restaurant, including vegetarian dishes, so you won’t go hungry and a well-stocked bar. It is perfect for walking and exploring the island, and the Blue Lagoon on other side of the island is certainly magical (though crowded with day visitors on trips). There are plenty of sunbeds and outside eating areas.
It is closing for the winter although a big renovation plan is being considered, even knocking it down and rebuilding as a 5-star luxury spa resort. Not sure that client group will find the surroundings appealing. It would only work, we believe, if it changes the fundamental character of the island which would be very sad.