Set against a backdrop of historical fortress walls, the luxury all-suite hotel, Cugó Gran Maċina Grand Harbour, has opened in Senglea in Malta. The much-anticipated opening follows the extensive renovation of one of Grand Harbour's most famous landmarks: Sheer Bastion.
Located just five miles (or 10 minutes by water taxi) from Valletta - European Capital of Culture 2018 – there is no better time to visit Malta.
The iconic Sheer Bastion structure was originally built in 1554 during the reign of Grand Master Claude de la Sengle. Cugó Gran Maċina Grand Harbour derives its name from the large sheer crane structure (macchina) used for centuries to welcome seafarers and to hoist the heavy masts and cargo. Cugó Gran Maċina Grand Harbour is a centerpiece of the Cottonera Regeneration Project that has also recently seen the transformation of the Vittoriosa waterfront, which the hotel overlooks.
Juxtaposing the old with the new, the design of Cugó Gran Maċina Grand Harbour, was overseen by Maltese architect Edwin Mintoff in conjunction with Milanese Interior Design firm Daaa Haus.
Cugó Gran Maċina Grand Harbour's luxurious minimalist design preserves original historic features to blend natural and traditional materials with modern, clean lines. The architecture incorporates glass and natural light to throw relief on the high vaulted ceilings, chalk-white walls, limestone, and slate in the large communal areas. Lacquered raw steel, lava stone, limed oak, Carrara marble and Maltese hard stone are also used in the hotel's elegant design, while the Old and New Worlds are seamlessly brought together in the creative use of lighting, tufted wool rugs, bespoke Italian furnishings, and locally commissioned artworks by Victor Agius.
The stylish and comfortable 21 suites range from 40 square metres to 130 square metres and all offer unobstructed views of the Grand Harbour and the surrounding marina. The suites feature large living rooms and bedrooms, Milano sofa beds, free-standing baths and walk-in showers. Impressive mezzanines float above custom crafted bathrooms and Tom Dixon and Flos & Louis Paulson light fixtures are used in the hotel lobby as well as some of the suites.
The two signature suites - the Macina Suite and the Presidential Suite – each have 130 square metres of living space, a bathtub with a view, and kitchenettes. The Presidential Suite also has a spectacular harbour terrace.
A rooftop pool offers breath-taking views of Vittoriosa and Cospicua, extending as far as the city of Valletta. With complete privacy guaranteed, here guests may choose to take part in various seasonal activities on offer such as aqua gym, yoga and pilates. Exclusive appointments with personal trainers can also be arranged, in addition to in-room spa treatments.
The 930 square metre rooftop terrace overlooking the Three Cities can accommodate events for up to 1,000 guests, and is ideal for weddings, special events and corporate functions.
Hammett's Macina Restaurant, opening on the 22nd February will be run by the renowned Chef and Restaurateur, Chris Hammett, and will serve Maltese cuisine with an international twist. The hotel also has a bar and café, and a boardroom for small conferences.
General Manager, Thorsten Sander, previously manager of Hotel Nassauer Hof in Wiesbaden, one of Germany's leading Grand Hotels, brings a wealth of experience to Cugó Gran Maċina Grand Harbour, having worked in a number of hotels in Germany and the United States.
Together with its sister property, the acclaimed luxury villa hotel Cugó Gran in Menorca, the opening of Cugó Gran Maċina Grand Harbour establishes the Cugó Gran Collection which is under the management of IBB Hotel Collection. IBB currently operates 10 hotels across Europe and is part of the Von der Heyden Group which has over 25 years of expertise in leisure and real estate.
Says IBB Hotel Collection CEO Vladimir Saal: “Our Cugó Gran hotel in Malta enjoys an unrivalled historic location and has been designed to surpass the needs of the most discerning traveller looking for a memorable experience. Cugó Gran Maċina has the potential to regain its former glory and live again as an integral historical part of the Grand Harbour. No expense has been spared to achieve this level of luxury.”