Mellieha Bay hotel set to more than double in size

Parts of proposed development set to rise to eight floors. Development will also include nine restaurants and three outdoor pools

The existing Mellieha Bay hotel (top) and its further massification and extension as proposed
The existing Mellieha Bay hotel (top) and its further massification and extension as proposed

Plans presented for the redevelopment of the Mellieha Bay Hotel envisage an increase in the total floor area over all its storeys, from its present 26,000 square metres to over 61,000sq.m.

Even the built-up footprint of the buildings on site will increase threefold, from 7,000sq.m to 19,170sq.m, a project development statement presented by the developers’ consultants ADI reveals.

The existing hotel takes the form of seven, interconnected blocks of nearly uniform height. The six new blocks envisaged by the new project will have a more varied height and massing ranging from four to eight floors.

The new hotel will include 472 guest rooms, up from the current 313. Its amenities will include seven restaurants, two seasonal restaurants and bars, conference facilities, three outdoor swimming pools, a tennis court, and a futsal pitch, and children’s play areas, set in landscaped gardens.

The construction will require deeper excavation beneath the footprint of the existing Mellieha Bay Hotel complex to accommodate three basement levels, as well as excavation outside of the existing footprint.

The consultants claim that the variation in the roofscape, together a more varied design treatment, could serve for better visual integration. But they acknowledge that the changes will have implications for the landscape and visual character of the area, which lies within the Marfa Area of High Landscape Value, and especially as viewed from the sea.

The footprint of the hotel will also extend beyond that of the existing hotel complex, both to the north and south of the existing hotel complex. Part of the extension will be located within the designated Rdum mil-Ponta ta’ l-Ahrax sa Rdum il-Hmar, also an Area of Ecological Importance (AEI). “This is likely to have a negative impact on ecology and ecological services through the loss of the natural areas affected and the habitats they support,” the PDS states.

A total of 195 car parking spaces are being proposed, of which 130 will be located underground.

Before it ceased operations in October 2019, the existing Mellieha Bay Hotel complex had a staff compliment of approximately 164 full-time staff. It is envisaged that the new resort will have a full-time staff complement of 300.

The Mellieha Bay hotel belongs to a company owned by the Mizzi Organisation, Alf Mizzi and Sons and Festa Limited. The 165,246sq.m of land surrounding the Mellieha Bay hotel was granted for a temporary emphytheusis of 150 years in 1963 at a yearly ground rent of €349.41, “for the development of a tourist resort hotel”.

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