I have just returned from a 2 week holiday to the Grand Hotel in Mgarr, Gozo. The hotel was really good with only a couple of slight niggles, more of which later. We had a superior sea view room which was HUGE, complete with enormous bed, sofa and 2 easy chairs, little table and chairs to eat indoors, bathroom, and balcony with 2 loungers plus another little table and chairs to eat outside. The room was well equipped with large wardrobe with plenty of hanging space (+ hangers!) and 4 large drawers with extra open areas for other clothes. We also had a large TV which we don’t tend to watch on holiday but came in very useful to watch the 2nd week of the Olympic games now and again! The food was of good quality, good choice and very plentiful – I think I’ve put on half a stone over the fortnight!! And the service we received from all staff was really good – everyone was so helpful and friendly. The pool was fantastic and never seemed to get overly busy, even in the height of the season. We always managed to get a couple of loungers whenever we wanted them, complete with very necessary sun-shades.
The hotel runs a courtesy bus to a local beach (stony and quite small) and also into the capital, Victoria. The roads aren’t very good in Gozo so you do tend to get bounced all over the place but George, the driver, is a fount of knowledge and happy to tell you about various places and events as he drives you.
The only couple things I would suggest the hotel might need to improve are:- 1) the showers in the bathroom which were feeble bordering on barely adequate and kept running hot and cold 2) lunchtime food, or to be more accurate, the waiting time! On a few occasions we had to wait nearly half an hour for a sandwich
Apart from that, I really can’t fault the hotel and would recommend it.
The town of Mgarr (pronounced Mjarr we are told!) was, apart from the harbour, very quiet with not much to see or do there. There was no ‘heart’ of the town and no shops apart from one supermarket.
The local buses are extremely good value – you can buy a day ticket for €2.60 and catch as many buses to wherever you want on the island during the day. Really useful as lots of times you have to go into the capital, Victoria, and change buses. The buses themselves are very clean, comfortable and air-conditioned but unfortunately they do not seem to run on time so you might have to wait for a while.
The Gozitans all speak English and all the street and shops signs are also in English too so you will have problems at all making yourself understood. And they are also a very friendly people we found, always happy to chat or help if necessary. If you are looking for somewhere hot, friendly and are happy staying by the pool and relaxing, this is the place for you! Beaches are very few and far between and not up to much to be honest, and the ones there are tend to get absolutely packed. You can get a water taxi over to the little island of Comino and go to the Blue Lagoon however I would strongly recommend that you go first thing in the morning as it gets full by 11.00am although more and more people keep arriving through the day. You have next to no chance of getting anywhere to sit and the lagoon itself, though beautiful, is just so totally packed with us tourists that you can’t really appreciate how lovely it is I’m afraid. If you have your own private yacht you will fare better as you can moor up in the lagoon and sunbathe on deck – unfortunately my yacht is still in the showroom so we had to squash on to the island with hundreds of others!! Maybe next year….