The closure of the current Mellieħa Bay Hotel rang in the end of an era in the area as the 49-year-old hotel closed its doors for the final time and waved goodbye to its final guests.
Among those final guests were a Belgian couple who first visited Malta in the 70’s after reading about it in a National Geographic article.
That’s Annie and her husband, Jean-Pierre, on their final day at the resort before their closing party.
The couple had come to Malta earlier this year to reunite with some old friends they had met when visiting the island for the first time back in 1973.
Back then, these four men were more than happy to assist the Belgian couple set up camp in the north before some of them headed to Gozo with the tourists.
Since then, Annie and JP visited Malta regularly, usually opting to stay within Valletta’s confines but occasionally also at the Mellieħa Bay Hotel.
And after hearing that the hotel was due to close, they decided to stay there one last time and recreate the experience that made them fall in love with Malta in the first place.
This included reuniting with Daniel Grima, one of the four friendly men they had met during their first visit to Malta.
Annie, JP and Daniel, along with Daniel’s wife, shared stories of their travels in Malta, reminiscing of days gone by “when life was simpler”.
JP and Annie also got to see off all the staff of the Mellieħa Bay Hotel on their final day, snapping a few photos of the hotel employees alongside the amount of years they had spent working for the establishment.
Some of the staff had been there since virtually day one, including Charles Sammut (known as Rokky). He’d been there since the age of 16 but sadly passed away just a week before the hotel closed down at the age of 58.
Two other employees, Joe and Peter, had been working at the hotel for almost all their lives too – 45 years each.