The first one of this kind in Birgu


Fi żmien sena, Palazzo Vittoriosa fil-Birgu se jiftaħ il-bibien tiegħu bħala l-ewwel lukanda 'boutique' ta' ħames stilel f'din il-belt. Huwa l-proġett tal-koppja Olandiza Remco u Jessica Slik li ġew jgħixu Malta tmien snin ilu. Qed jaħdmu fuq dan il-palazz tal-1550 għax fi kliemhom stess iħossuhom privileġġati li huma parti minn din il-belt.  Peress li dan il-palazz huwa kbir, minbarra li se jservi bħala d-dar tagħhom se jilqa' l-klijenti f'ħames kmamar li se jintramaw b'karattru uniku kull wieħed.

Fost l-ewwel nies li se joqogħdu f'din ir-residenza se jkun hemm artist Daniż li se jqatta' tliet xhur f'Malta. Is-Segretarju Parlamentari Mario Demarco qal li dan il-palazz uniku jiġbor fih it-tliet setturi li hu responsabbli għalihom: it-turiżmu, l-ambjent u l-kultura. Semma kif dan il-proġett jiffoka fuq il-kwalità u mhux in-numri.

Is-sidien tad-dar faħħru l-appoġġ li sabu mill-Gvern, l-Awtorità tat-Turiżmu u s-sussidji tal-Unjoni Ewropeja, il-MEPA kif ukoll il-Kunsill Lokali tal-Birgu. Is-Sindku tal-Birgu, John Boxall, qal li l-Kunsill għandu kumitat magħmul mir-residenti barranin li jgħinu biex il-Birgu jkompli jittejjeb. Il-koppja Olandiza ntrabtet ukoll li se tħallas it-taħriġ fl-użu tal-kompjuter għat-tfal tal-Birgu.



   Beginning of Works                                                When works will be finished


A couple who took over Palazzo Vittoriosa two years ago to restore it and transform it into a five-star boutique hotel are hoping they will start accepting bookings as from Spring next year.

Mr and Mrs Slik fit in well with the tourism authorities’ plans. “I wish them luck, assuring them that there is place for boutique hotels in our country, especially in places like Vittoriosa,” Tourism Parliamentary Secretary Mario de Marco said in launching the restoration works.

The house owners, praised the support given by the Central Government, the Malta Tourism Authority, the Council, MEPA and the subsidy given by the European Union. The Mayor of Birgu, Mr John Boxall, said the Council has set up a committee made up of foreign residents residing in Birgu, to help further in improving Birgu. Mr Boxall, added that the Dutch couple, have also offered to pay training in the use of computer for children of Birgu.

Boutique hotels, he said, are always individual and therefore extremely unlikely to be found among the homogeneity of large chain hotel groups. They are designed differently from regular hotels. While some clients observe that chain hotels may feel impersonal and businesslike, boutique hotels’ interior designers take great care to coordinate furniture, wallpaper, artwork, and all the elements of the room to ensure that the patrons of each room feel as if they are at home.

“The length to which boutique hotels will go to ensure their guests are happy is another thing that sets boutique hotels apart from the rest. There are likely to be many extra perks to the room, anything from customising breakfasts to free laundry services,” Dr de Marco added.

He said the government wants to strengthen
Malta’s competitiveness and of tourism service providers through the promotion of sustainable development. The government also wants to stimulate investment to improve the quality of services offered, enriching visitors’ experience and satisfaction.

To attain this objective a grants scheme was launched with the first call issued in February 2009. This has seen 29 successful projects, consisting of hotels, restaurants, tourism attractions, diving schools and English language schools. The second call was issued in October 2009. 111 project proposals are currently undergoing evaluation. The third call will be launched in October 2010.

“Vittoriosa is in the process of blending the old with the new. This is more evident and pronounced in the Vittoriosa Waterfront where old palaces and buildings were restored and transformed into a casino and catering establishments, where new buildings were constructed in place of derelict buildings and where a yacht marina, catering also for super yachts, was built. But the old buildings were kept intact with the least interventions to restore them to pristine glory.

“The Collacchio is today the pride of the residents and an area which is sought by tourists who want to delve further in our history,” he said.