Sliema’s lowest-rated hotel on TripAdvisor, The Park Hotel, has officially been shuttered by Maltese authorities after the establishment failed to reach a four-star standard.
The hotel, which lies on Graham Street, had garnered a shocking amount of negative Tripadvisor reviews, with 372 out of 1,442 of them detailing some scary accounts of holidays from hell from the island of Malta.
“Daylight robbery”, “horror unbelievable”, and “I don’t know why they call this a hotel” are just some of the titles for the reviews left by unhappy customers on the popular ratings site in recent months.
The Malta Tourism Authority showed up this morning with an enforcement notice to stop the hotel from operating any further
In response, the hotel’s owner, Esther Camilleri, filed a legal injunction to halt MTA from shutting her hotel down, but a Maltese court upheld the MTA’s enforcement notice, saying that Camilleri had tried to ‘weaponise’ her injunction. Judge Robert Mangion said that if he accepted the injunction, the courts would be prejudicing any potential future action by the MTA, and potentially damaging the tourism industry.
Speaking to Lovin Malta, an MTA spokesperson said the operation has already started, and people who had booked a stay at the hotel will now be relocated to other hotels
“The operation has started and management is cooperating. As from today, arrivals will start being relocated to other hotels and tourists already occupying rooms will be allowed to leave when their holiday is finished. Those tourists who are booked to arrive from Tuesday 9th July will have been already relocated to another hotel. Two enforcement officers have already taken possession of the front office and lists,” the spokesperson told Lovin Malta.
The court condemned the hotel, saying it was not worthy of its four-star rating, nor of welcoming visitors
Camilleri said she spent half a million euros in repairs since MTA’s first inspection in June 2016 – however, MTA said the repairs had yielded no ‘significant’ results
Worried that the hotel would tarnish Malta’s reputation among tourists, authorities have now shuttered the Sliema hotel – and not a second too soon for many customers.
One customer, who uploaded shocking photos of her son’s bitten legs, detailed her experience at the hotel
“This hotel is an example of how a retired four-star hotel should look like – dirty and half-working. We’ve spent four nights there and this is what we faced: bedbugs! I’m not an experienced entomologist, so when I first saw a bedbug I just thought it was a casual bug and didn’t pay attention to him. But after I saw it biting my son everything changed. It might be extra easy to grab these bugs to your own house and have a lot of fun killing them – and your neighbours might be involved too.”
Another review, simply called ‘Run Away’, went as so: “The hotel was filthy and in very poor repair. We found a bug in the bath, and when we complained at the reception, we were told it was normal! It reeked of smoke, there were hairs under the sheets and on the floors and nothing was clean to an acceptable standard. Everywhere we looked was worse than the places we looked before.”