Valletta six-storey hotel will impact long-distance views

The Planning Authority’s design advisory committee has warned that a hotel extension has led to a deleterious impact on the Valletta streetscape and long distance views

The existing Ursulino Hotel in Valletta
The existing Ursulino Hotel in Valletta

The Planning Authority’s design advisory committee has warned that a hotel extension has led to a deleterious impact on the Valletta streetscape and long distance views.

The small Ursulino hotel is set to expand by expanding into a neighbouring property in St Ursula Street and through the addition of three new floors, raising the height of the building to six floors above the ground floor instead of the existing four levels, one of which recently approved at a receded level.

The application by hotel owner Andrew Sultana foresees merging neighbouring properties, internal alterations to the existing properties, the construction of additional floors, and the change of use of the existing guesthouse and dwelling to a fully-blown 34-room hotel.

The existing 11-room hotel, which does not include the nearby residential property already, includes three full floors above the ground floor and a receded fourth floor which was approved in 2017.

A technical rendering of the proposed development
A technical rendering of the proposed development

But the Design Advisory Committee, a panel appointed to advise the Planning Authority on design issues. Has already issued a stern warning that “the proposal would have a deleterious impact on the streetscape as well as the long-distance views of Valletta – a UNESCO world heritage city”.

The committee has called for a change of plans insisting that a proposed fourth floor is retained at its present receded alignment and not turned in to a full floor as proposed. It also said that only one further receded floor should be considered for hotel services, thus excluding a proposed receded sixth floor which is set to include a pool and a bar.

Sultana had started the project by purchasing the small property in St Ursula Street “with an idea of giving guests a quiet and luxurious home-away-from-home that they could return to after exploring the city”.

“I knew that it was important to offer our guests the best views of the Grand Harbour, and the result is our spectacular roof terrace, which offers guests at Ursulino Valletta the most magnificent views of one of the most beautiful ports on the planet,” Sultana said in an interview with a travel blog.

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