Accommodation: Vallettastay Casa Zoe
Location: 153A St Nicholas Street, Valletta, Malta
Research and Booking
Paul and I did a day trip to Valletta and we loved what we saw! So, we vowed to come back again and stay a few nights to give us more opportunity to take in the sights… as well as indulge in some food and drinks.
Yet, we were leaving things a bit later than normal, to book 3 nights at one of the Valletta hotels.
And, we’d read reviews from other people, that it can be noisy in Valletta at night. So, we wanted accommodation, which would have some peace and quiet… mainly for when we were sleeping.
Then, as we were finding it challenging to find places to stay in Valletta that ticked our boxes… we even searched a little further away in Floriana.
Yet, in the end we decided to stick around the Valletta area. While there were some choices as we were searching Airbnb accommodation… we weren’t getting helpful responses from some of the owners.
So, we searched on Agoda.com to see what accommodation we could find. Then, while choices were limited for the budget we wanted to allocate… we found a Maltese house of character, called Vallettastay Casa Zoe.
And, for 3 nights in the Northern part of Valletta, very close to Fort St Elmo… we paid 261.37 Euros. This was without breakfast, but was apartment style.
Vallettastay Casa Zoe is at 153A St Nicholas Street… which was near the tip of Valletta close to Fort St Elmo. So, we’d taken the Malta public transport bus, which stopped at the major bus terminal in Floriana… near the Triton Fountain.
Then, there was supposedly a bus… number 133 that would take us within a couple minutes walk to the accommodation. Yet, we’d have to wait about another 20 minutes before it arrived.
Thankfully we only had a small carry on bag each, so we walked from the bus terminus to Casa Zoe.
So, the accommodation was a few hundred metres from The Malta Experience… for which we’d bought tickets. And, it was easy walking distance to other sights in Valletta, which was convenient.
Plus, to walk to the heart of Valletta with all the restaurants and bars… it was also a few hundred meters away by foot. So, from a location perspective it was a thumbs up. Yet, for us, we thought it was easy to get around by foot anyway.
And, when we wandered down St Nicholas Street to Vallettastay Casa Zoe… it seemed to be on a quiet residential street.
So, that was also a positive for us. But, we were hoping for quiet neighbors and that we would find out soon!
Although we booked Casa Zoe via Agoda.com… the management of the check in process was by a group called, Vallettastay. So, after receiving the confirmation booking from Agoda… we never from them again until after check out. And, the rest of the process was by Vallettastay.
So, we received several emails, with the first asking us to complete a legally required registration form… including entering customer details.
Plus, there was other information about getting discounts on a keycard. But, we never got the opportunity to use it as there was no keycard! Yet, that was no big deal for us. So, if that’s important to you, ask them about it.
There were also other packages that they offered including a taxi service, continental breakfast pack, luggage storage and more… all for fees.
Then, several days before we were to check in, another email was sent to us. And, this one included information such as how to check in… which was via punching in a code next to the door of the apartment.
Plus, we received the wifi login and password details in that same email.
And, there was other information… such as advising that there would be a charge of 40 Euros for Personal Emergency Assistance, after standard working hours. Yet, that fee would be waived… if the company was found directly responsible for the inconvenience.
So, if you do stay in accommodation with Vallettastay owned by the VBL Group… then make sure you read EVERTYHING they send you in detail! Because, you don’t want to be charged excess fees.
So, here’s a view of the apartment outside, as we were walking towards Vallettastay Casa Zoe…
And, we could see a deep, ruby red colored door and the same color window frames…
Then, once we were at the front door, the name of the apartment was on a plaque. And, there was keypad so we could enter the code to access the apartment.
So, it was convenient to not have to take keys and carry them around. But, in saying that, we had to make sure we remember the code or had it on us!
Then, once we opened the door… we noticed that it was cool inside as the air-conditioning was on for our pre-arrival. That was great especially as we’d walked from the bus terminal at Floriana to the apartment, and we were hot!
So, the air-conditioned apartment was very welcome.
And, what we also noticed immediately was the damp smell in the apartment. Being a traditional styled Maltese apartment… some of them have this odor, which was a little off putting.
Yet, we did like the old style character compared to other modern Valletta hotels… for something different.
Then, after we closed the door, there was a section to the right… and a corridor with these stairs leading to somewhere…
So, we decided to go up the stairs first and check it out. And, as you can see from the photo, the stairs are a little uneven… so we had to take extra care going up and down them.
We managed to find the light switches, and thankfully there were several lights… as very little natural light came through the window.
So, in the kitchen area was a large table with 4 chairs, and a big bin…
Then, within the kitchen was a full size fridge and freezer combination, hidden behind closed doors. And, next to that was a microwave and oven…
Then, there was lots of bench space with an electric cooktop…
Plus, we noticed that there were lots of cupboards, so we checked out what was in them.
So, there were a few sets of large and small plates…
As well as four big coffee/tea mugs…
Plus, there were cups and saucers…
Then, we found several tall and short glasses, as well as wine glasses…
And, in a couple of the drawers there was a cutlery set, with other kitchen utensils…
Then, in another drawer was a pot, frypan and colander…
And next to those was a plastic chopping board…
Then, beneath the sink area was a hidden washing machine…
There was an air-conditioning unit in the kitchen too… as well as a couple of decorative pieces to help give it a homey feel. So, this was thoughtful from Vallettastay.
The Living Area
So, we then walked down from the kitchen to the living room…
Again, we had to turn all the lights on when we went to check out the living area.
And, here we saw a large glass coffee table, with a smaller glass side table. And, on top of that was a folder with lots of information about the apartment, as well as things to do, for example.
Plus, there was a large couch, which was comfy to relax after a day of sightseeing…
Then, opposite the couch there was a big flat screen TV sitting on a cabinet… with a couple of shelving areas above it…
And, looking at the living room towards the front door direction… we saw that there were thick red curtains. So, what would be behind these curtains?
Well, once we had drawn the curtains open, there was this plant and windows that looked onto the street. We had them shut throughout our stay, so weren’t sure if the windows could be opened.
Plus, we didn’t think there’d be much privacy! So, while the thick blackout curtains were great… it would’ve been even better if Vallettastay had installed sheer curtains too.
Yet, as there were curtains there we assumed the windows could be opened. Plus, there were a few hooks nearby the doorway, which were convenient.
So, next to the living room we had to walk down a few steps to get to the bedroom. And, there was no doorway between the two rooms, which would’ve been a functional addition.
The bed looked a little smaller than we’d like, yet it was quite comfy. And, there were side tables on either side with drawers, as well as lights…
Then, on one side of the bed we saw extra bedding and cushions…
And, near that was an area which had an iron, ironing board, hair dryer, shelves, bin and some coat hangers…
Plus, when we looked around there was this…
It was a dehumidifier, which came in handy. And, it helped heaps to reduce the musty smell and dampness.
And, on one side of the bed was a glass door, which led to a small courtyard…
So here, there was an outdoor table and 4 chairs.
And, here’s a photo we took looking up from the courtyard area…
Yet, the strange thing was there was no curtain to cover the door. And, there was even something that looked like a curtain rail. But not sure why there was no curtain put up?
So, we weren’t sure if the neighbors could peer in and see us! And, thankfully we had brought our eye masks too so any morning light wouldn’t wake us.
So, if you’re reading this Vallettastay, putting a curtain back up would be great.
Now, there was a door that separated the bathroom and bedroom. And, once we opened the door, here’s what we saw…
There was a funky orange colored wash basin, with amenities including soap, body lotion and shampoo…
Plus, there was a make up mirror and a couple of glasses nearby a window with fly screen…
And, there were some towels, hooks, towel rails and the standard toilet… with a small bin.
There was a glass door for the shower area, and there was a hand held shower device as well as a rain head shower…
So, it was quite dark in the bathroom even with the lights on.
The Chill Out Area
Now, after we’d checked out the bedroom and bathroom… we noticed that there were steps leading downstairs…
Again, we had to be careful walking up and down these stairs too. Yet, once we looked around the corner, there was another room!
And here, there was another couch set up, which looked like it could be folded out to form a bed. Plus, there was a couple of bean bags. Yet, apart from those items that was about it that was in this chill out type area….
But, in the photo above you may have seen a small broom. And, the reason we put that there was because we saw this thing that frightened the hell out of us…
Sorry about the blurry photo, but what we took a photo of was a scorpion! ARGH! So, we had to use the broom to get rid of it. Plus, there were some other little critters that happened to crop up in the apartment during our stay.
And so you know, there is no door separating the bedroom and this chill out area.
Around Vallettastay Casa Zoe Apartment
So, being in Valletta there’s plenty to do! And, as many things are walking distance to Casa Zoe, there are lots of things to do in Valletta.
Thus, a one of the things closest to the apartment is, The Malta Experience. So, this is and audio visual show displayed in a large theatre, which reveals Malta’s 7,000 year history.
Plus, the show available in 17 languages… where each viewer needs to wear a headset attached to each seat to hear the commentary. Then, after the show is a guided tour of the La Sacra Infermeria.
So, the price for the show and tour is 16 Euros per adult.
Malta has a deals website, where occasionally they’ll have specials… for things like The Malta Experience. And, when we were there we scored a bargain for just 18.27 Euros for 2 adults.
To find out more check out our blog post HERE.
Then, right next to The Malta Experience is Fort St Elmo. And, this Fort in the shape of a star, date back to 1522. The fort was originally built to block and hold back the attacks by the Ottomans… in the Great Siege of 1565.
Nowadays, this commanding fort offers incredible views of the sea around Malta. Plus, within Fort St Elmo is the National War Museum… which houses artefacts that go back to prehistoric times. So, adult tickets to see all this is 10 Euros each.
And, speaking of beautiful views… at the end of St Nicholas Street where Vallettastay Casa Zoe is, a somewhat secluded rocky beach is a must visit. There’s a shallow little pool area, yet we could swim out into the harbour and enjoy the views and clear water.
And, there are many snack bars, pastizzerias, restaurants and bars within walking distance. So, a great place for local Maltese cuisine is Nenu. And, the owners are passionate about their business and food, using local produce where they can.
To find out more about Nenu the Artisan Baker, CLICK HERE.
Plus, if you’re up for a game of bocce at the local club on the corner… tourists are welcome to have a game or two!
There is plenty more to see in Valletta nearby, so we’ll write up a blog post about it soon.
We Drink Eat Travel Wifi Speed Test
There is one word to describe the wifi at Vallettastay Casa Zoe, and that word is… ATROCIOUS! So, this would have to be one of the worst wifi connections we’ve had on our travels… even in comparison to the third world countries!
So, when we could get the internet is was only in the living area. And, many times it wouldn’t connect…
Thus, when we could get the wifi and get a reading, the download speed we clocked up was 3.75 mbps on the download… and 3.67 mbps on the upload.
Plus, what was even more crazy was that even though we entered the correct password, this appeared…
So, unless there’s an upgrade to the wifi, don’t rely on it for your daily internet connections! Even trying to open emails or go on social media was a hassle, or non-existent most of the time.
Vallettastay Casa Zoe Check Out
So, the day before we were to check out, we saw an email from the VBL Team. And, within this email amongst other things was the checkout process.
And, there were a few things bolded in capital letters like the checkout time. So, we were reminded that the CHECKOUT TIME is at 10:00 HRS, which was fine.
Yet, just after 9am we thought we heard knocking on our door. But, we thought we were hearing things so carried on with what we were doing. Then, we heard what we thought another knock at our door, so was starting to walk to our door.
And, by that stage someone had opened the door and was going to walk in. OMG… luckily I was dressed!
So, eventually I worked out she was the cleaner, who asked when we were going to check out. And, I responded back by saying we’d check out by 10am. So, then she asked if she could drop off a huge garbage bag full of stuff inside our doorway.
To cut a long story short, it was annoying having the cleaner come before our check out time. And, whilst she apologized a few times this shouldn’t have happened.
Thus, a word of warning that you may have unexpected visitors before the actual checkout time!
Would We Stay At Casa Zoe Again?
The Vallettastay Casa Zoe is a cute Maltese, modernized home. Yet, there were a few things that’d stop us from staying here again, including…
- There was no curtain in front of the glass doorway of the bedroom
- There is a musty smell in the apartment. While the dehumidifier helps… if you have strong reactions it may hamper your breathing or sleep.
- The staff need to know that check out time is 10am!
- The lighting could be improved in the bathroom, yet this was a small thing for us.
- Also, overall it is quite dark in the apartment based on the style it is. So, it didn’t bother us for a short stay as we weren’t in the apartment much. Even so, we do prefer having lots of natural light.
- In the living area a sheer curtain would’ve been handy… so we could let natural light in without peeping Toms looking in.
- Plus, the wifi was crap.
In A Nutshell…
So, the apartment in a traditional Maltese building, was fine for our needs in Valletta. If we’d booked much earlier, we may have been able to find different accommodation at a better price.
Yet, we appreciated how clean it was in the apartment. Plus, it was well equipped compared to other apartments we’d stayed at around the world. And, the convenience to amenities was great as well as the cool swimming area.
And, it was more quiet than what we expected for being in Valletta… based on reviews by others about staying in other Valletta hotels. Although a bedroom curtain would be great!
So, check it out as a place on your short list if options are limited.
Plus, they offer 10% discounts on future stays for returning guests.
And, at the end of the day… Valletta will steal your heart and you’ll fall in love in love with it and Malta!
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Note: All of our reviews and comments are our opinions and no-one else’s. Even if we receive complimentary goods or services we share our opinions honestly.