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A 2-night stay Grand Hotel Excelsior to celebrate Charlene’s birthday in great style.

Updated: Jul 2, 2023

A weekend stay at Grand Hotel Excelsior and dinner at its Tiki Restaurant was on the cards to celebrate Charlene’s birthday.

When you’re picking a hotel stay for a special occasion, such as a birthday, it is important to find a perfect place with a combination of great service and food, as well as equally lovely rooms. After some research, we opted for a two-night stay at the Grand Hotel Excelsior, which is located in Floriana and a stone’s throw away from the capital city Valletta.

Excelsior Hotel Valletta Breakfast
Breakfast with a view at Excelsior Hotel Valletta

We have to admit, this was our first time visiting Grand Hotel Excelsior and we were excited. Upon arrival, we were greeted by the staff at the front desk who quickly checked us in. We went to our room which was most lovely, with a spectacular view of Marsamxett Harbour. This extra large terrace with beautiful sea views was one of our most favourite things. Absolutely beautiful. Right there and then, we decided to order breakfast to be sent to our rooms the next morning.

Breakfast on our terrace was wonderful. Grand Hotel Excelsior gave us three options to choose from; intercontinental, healthy and English breakfast. We opted for the intercontinental and healthy breakfast options. What we were presented with was a small feast. With a wide selection of fruit, cheeses, cold cuts, salads, pastries, breads, eggs, yoghurt, juices, teas, coffees, and biscuits overlooking the beautiful view, we had a lovely, lazy morning together.

Excelsior Hotel Valletta breakfast
Exquisite breakfast with a view

After spending all morning on the terrace, we decided to continue enjoying our time, whilst making good use of all amenities by going down to the pool. Due to COVID-19 we are extra cautious that places are coherent with regulations. We were quite happy that the pool area was not overcrowded or too loud. Overall we felt quite comfortable at Grand Hotel Excelsior amidst the COVID-19 situation. If you have small kids, there is a small pool available, sitting near the larger pool.

If you get peckish whilst at the pool, you’ll be happy to know that there is the lovely Tiki Restaurant at Grand Hotel Excelsior a few steps away. You can dine at Tiki Restaurant or sit on your deck chairs and make orders from your deck chairs from the pool menu. The pool menu has a selection of snacks and drinks, such as cocktails.

Excelsior Hotel Valletta
Cocktails at Tiki Restaurant

After dining out at Tiki Restaurant, we ended up ordering from there during our entire stay and pretty much tasted all of the core items on the menu. We were dining with another couple, one of whom has gluten intolerances and was also well looked after. When the restaurant gets busy, the service can get a bit slow, however, the service was friendly and the food was a complete delight. Besides, whilst waiting there is an amazing view to enjoy!

Excelsior Hotel Valletta tiki restaurant
Tiki Restaurant

On our first night we enjoyed delicious cocktails whilst waiting for the food. We started dinner with scallops, Pappardelle and the Lobster and Crab Ravioli. The scallops dish is gluten free, and consists of Scottish scallops, capers, black raisin puree, pickled cauliflower and verjus froth. The scallops were perfectly cooked. The portion was relatively small compared to the other starter dishes, but it was one of the finer starters we had on the night.

Excelsior Hotel Valletta scallops

There is also the gluten-free option when going for the pappardelle dish. These are served with wild boar ragu, pecorino Romano and soft herbs. The dish was lovely, with the pappardelle cooked al dente. The ragu stood out with a strong beef taste. We would easily recommend this starter from the selection of the night.

Excelsior Hotel Valletta pasta pappardelle
Pappardelle with Wild Boar Ragu

The Lobster and Crab Ravioli were topped with a creamy bisque, confit cherry tomatoes and herbs. This dish exceeded our expectations. I find that often ravioli filled with a sophisticated filling such as lobster and crab, tend to be loosely filled and lacking flavour. However, these ravioli were the opposite, generously filled and flavourful, albeit lacking a bit in saltiness.

Excelsior Hotel Valletta ravioli
Lobster & Crab Ravioli

For our mains, we chose the fresh fish of the day and the Grass Fed Beef. The latter consisted of pan-seared rib eye, wild mushrooms, cafe au lait sauce and beef jus. Beef was cooked medium-rare just like Jonathan requested it. Apart from him being happy to see a big chunky piece of meat on his plate, the meat came with a nice and thick sauce.

Excelsior Hotel Valletta Beef
Pan-seared Rib eye, wild mushrooms, cafe au lait sauce and beef jus

The fish of the day was Red Snapper, and this was easily my favourite dish for the whole dinner. Usually, I’m huge on desserts but I must say that the fresh Red Snapper was definitely the star of the evening. The fish was delicate, fresh and light. Also, the sauce which complemented the fish really gave the dish that extra something. Do bear in mind that at 7 euros per 100 grams, the fresh fish can be a bit pricey, but if you’re looking to treat yourself, you definitely need to consider this option.

Excelsior Hotel Valletta Red Snapper
Red Snapper. Easily my favourite dish of the dinner.

For dessert, our eyes went straight to two options; the Dark Chocolate, Caramel & Forest Fruit dessert and the Peanut Butter and Milk Chocolate option. Although they were pleasantly looking desserts, the appearance was nothing special. For 6.50 euros we did expect a little more magic, when it came to appearance. The taste on the other hand, definitely made up for it.

The Peanut Butter and Milk Chocolate dessert reminded me of Snickers. It has a lovely crunch to complement the creaminess of the dessert. It is slightly salty and also has a very familiar taste to many other similar desserts. We did find this quite heavy so it might be worth sharing this one with someone.

Jonathan preferred the Dark Chocolate, Caramel and Forest Fruit dessert because it was lighter and he enjoyed the dark chocolate and forest fruit combination.

Excelsior Hotel Valletta dessert
Dessert time!

It is important to note that the Dark Chocolate, Caramel and Forest Fruit dessert is actually vegan and gluten-free. The Peanut Butter and Milk Chocolate dessert is neither. Overall a very enjoyable dinner.

On the following night at Grand Hotel Excelsior we opted to have dinner on our room’s terrace. We started off with the Acquerello Risotto and the Sailor’s Mussels. The Sailor’s Mussels were cooked in a combination of Sauteed shallots, garlic, lemon, white wine, and fresh parsley.

Excelsior Hotel Valletta mussels
Sailor’s Mussels

On the side we were given grilled garlic sourdough bread crust. We found the mussels to be pleasantly meaty and well seasoned. The sauce in particular really stood out. You should note that the Sailor’s Mussels do not contain any lactose, in case of any allergies or intolerances.

The Acquerello Risotto is a gluten free dish which has a delicious combination of roasted pumpkin, basil, toasted seeds, and tete de moine cheese. The risotto was creamy, very flavourful and full of that delicious cheesy taste. Perfect.

Excelsior Hotel Valletta risotto
The Acquerello Risotto has a combination of tastes.

For our main courses, we opted for the Free Range Chicken and the Caponata Tart. The Free Range Chicken was pan roasted and had a delicious base of tomato, chilli and onion salsa. The chicken was very tender with lovely crispy skin and was very enjoyable to eat. The proper roasted taste and texture. The Hasselback potatoes could have done with a bit more cooking. This dish is also gluten free.

Grand Hotel Excelsior Free Range Chicken
Free Range Chicken and the Caponata Tart

The Caponata Tart is the vegan main course option from the Tiki menu. This dish was pleasant. The caponata taste was on point. Although not the best dish of the evening, it was one of the better vegan dishes we have tasted in a while. We often do try to get a taste of vegan dishes when we can as we believe that although we are not vegan ourselves, restaurants need to add more interesting vegan options on their menus.

Grand Hotel Excelsior Caponata Tart
The Caponata Tart

Dessert is my favourite part. We decided to try two different desserts to complement our delicious dinner with a view (from the terrace). We opted for the Tiramisu and the White Chocolate, Citrus and Almond dessert. I’m a little bit biased here and favour Tiramisu in most situations.The Tiramisu from Tiki Restaurant made it to our personal favourite Tiramisu desserts we have tried.

The White Chocolate, Citrus and Almond dessert was light and creamy. There’s an option for every chocolate lover; whether you like white chocolate, milk chocolate or dark chocolate. If you’re vegan or gluten intolerant, the Dark Chocolate, Caramel & Forest Fruit dessert is your best bet. Otherwise, choose your favourite flavour.

Excelsior Hotel Valletta dinner
Great dinner with a view.

Overall, we had a wonderful time at Grand Hotel Excelsior. We enjoyed the pool area without feeling overly crowded or unsafe. We finally got an opportunity to get those tans we had been promising ourselves for weeks. If you are into food, you’ll enjoy your stay at Grand Hotel Excelsior. We would definitely recommend you trying their great cocktails, choosing the Acquerello Risotto as a starter and then following with the fresh fish.

If you have any food intolerance let the people at Grand Hotel Excelsior know and they will definitely go out of their way to accommodate. Also, if you need any assistance, we suggest asking for Giovanni from the front desk. He helped us whenever we needed and made sure our stay was easy and flowing.

Excelsior Hotel Valletta vacation
Wonderful dinner and a much needed break.


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