I won a week’s stay half board with Headwater Travel in the November prize draw.
The hotel is on the edge of the village of Sannat overlooking Ta’Cenc peninsula. It is a beautiful location with views across to the small uninhabited island of Comino and the north coast of Malta.
The hotel is a long, low building which is unobtrusive and blends into the surroundings. It is surrounded by well maintained gardens and has a large car park.
There is a pleasant reception area in the main building with a huge lounge off, TV room and bar with terrace overlooking the pool. There is a small, well stocked shop which sells post cards, stamps, gifts, books and maps. It is open for a couple of hours in the morning and most evenings. English newspapers can be ordered from here. There are two swimming pools, spa and wellness centre. We didn’t use any of these but friends who did enjoyed them.
The rooms are in long low stone buildings scattered around the grounds. The paths are reasonably well lit after dark, and the lights of Malta can be seen across the sea.
We had a very pleasant room at the end of a block of four. The design had been carefully thought out and it had everything we needed for a comfortable stay. There was a small terrace area with two wicker chairs and table overlooking the pool. This was an excellent place to relax with a cup of tea when we returned in the afternoon. In May most guests were ‘silver travellers’ so there was little noise from people using the pools. It may be different in the height of summer. (The door can’t be opened from the outside, so make sure you don’t lock yourself out.) Other rooms had terraces overlooking the gardens.
It was a large and comfortable room. There was a ceiling fan and also air conditioning so we could keep the room at a comfortable cool temperature. We had a room with two single beds with bedside table and lamp each. There were two large and soft pillows each and a duvet. There were extra blankets in the wardrobe. We had two easy chairs and a small table. There was plenty of wardrobe space and a long low cupboard with a minibar and drawers with TV and kettle. There was a plentiful supply of tea bags which were replenished daily.
There were warnings about mosquitos and not to leave doors and windows open after dark. A plug in mosquito repellant was provided but we didn’t need it.
There was an excellent shower over the bath but it had a plastic door rather than a shower curtain, so the floor did get wet. There was a good supply of towels and generous bathrobes. Plenty of toiletries were provided which were replaced every day. We used the small towel rail above the bath for hanging washing. My only criticism would be there wasn’t much space for sponge bags.
There is an excellent restaurant with an outside courtyard with a large carob tree. This is laid up for breakfast in the mornings and is a most enjoyable place to sit in the mornings.
The dining room is divided into two rooms. On a Saturday night there was live music in the back room with someone singing with a guitar. I don’t enjoy singing while I’m eating but he was actually quite good. It was mainly 60s pop songs which probably reflected the age of the diners. Other evenings there was a selection of 60s and 70s pop music played in the background.
Staff were excellent and there were plenty around. Used plates were cleared quickly and water and wine kept topped up. Although there was an à la carte menu, most people ate off the set four course menu. course service with plenty of choice. It began with an antipasto dish followed by a choice of four starters which were usually pasta or rice based and included a fish and vegetarian choice. There were five choices of main course, again with fish and vegetarian options. Deserts laid out on table in dining room for you to go and choose and then brought to your table. These included a selection of flans, cheesecake, gateaux, creme caramel, fresh fruit, cheese and biscuits…
Food was good and helpings of starter generous. With vegetables they could have passed as the main meal. I learned to ask for small helpings. The range of choices were good and the only problem was deciding which of 2 or 3 choices to pick. Deserts were consistently good.
Breakfast was a self service buffet. There was fresh fruit salad, yogurts, cereals, selection of cold meats, cheeses and smoked salmon and mackerel as well as a choice of sausages, bacon, mushrooms, tomatoes, and scrambled eggs. There was white and brown bread and rolls. We loved the brown bread which we think contained rye and seeds. There were also croissants, pain au chocolate, cakes….. After a breakfast like that we didn’t need much lunch.
Ta’Cenc is a 5* hotel and rightly so. It is a very relaxing place to stay and staff are so nice. We really enjoyed our stay there. There is a footpath onto the Ta’Cenc peninsula which is crossed by a series of footpaths and a nice place to walk. There is an aerial map in reception which shows the footpaths and marks places of interest. Ta ‘Cenc also has its own private beach and during the summer runs a free minibus service to and from this.