The Village Boutique and Spa: A hidden gem in Naxxar

We catch up with Michael Zammit Tabona, managing director at The Village Boutique and Spa. He talks to us about tourism in Malta, the factors that make Malta a great destination as well as everything this hidden gem in the village of Naxxar has to offer

The Village Boutique and Spa: A hidden gem in Naxxar

Could you tell us a little about the history of the palazzo?

The building is very old – I think it is about 500 years old according to architects. I’ve had it for quite sometime and didn’t do anything with it. It was the first building in this area – just a farmhouse on its own. Eventually, as the village started growing, they started building and so it became embedded within the village. If you look at the entrance and some of the rooms, you will see that they are very original – stone on stone like they used to build 500 years ago.

What is the concept of the hotel and what made you choose the village of Naxxar as a location for this boutique hotel?

Tourism should be spread around the country. I think Malta needed tourism to spread more into the villages. People can come into the villages and see a Maltese way of life, how the villagers live, rather than seeing Sliema and St. Julian’s. All my life I was in Sliema with Fortina Hotel, Tini court and the Sliema Hotel. I thought it was about time we had a decent property in a village. Yes there are some guest houses here and there scattered around with 5 or 6 bedrooms, but what I wanted to do here is have a small boutique hotel with the amenities of a five star hotel. Practically what we did is put all our experience into having all the amenities built into just 29 bedrooms. Besides having an antique reception, we have a bar, a restaurant, a buffet, a garden, inside and outdoor garden, a super spa, outdoor pool, indoor pool. We have many different treatments in the spa such as fat freezing, massages, pedicures, and manicures as well as qualified therapists. We are open to foreigners but also to locals who have a five star spa, bar and restaurant to enjoy.

I think the combination of being in a village is also very good for tourists because we are in the centre of the island here, 20 minutes away from everywhere. Naxxar is a quaint old village with old alleys. Visitors will have an experience of the Maltese village life here.

What can one expect from the spa and what treatments do you offer?

We have Spa Sana, an area that includes five different treatments, which you do on your own. It is a one-ticket pay all. This time we really concentrated on detoxifying and relaxing the body. In a one ticket pay all, you go in, you have a bio sauna for about 15 or 20 minutes, you go into the ice room where there is ice falling from the ceiling and you can rub it all over you, then you can even detoxify your body in the far infrared cabin. There is also a salt inhalation cabin where you can detoxify the body from the inside too. Here, you inhale a whiff of salt that detoxifies the body. We also have a hot and cold knipe system, which is beneficial for circulation. Besides detoxifying the body, you are also calming and distressing it. That is one of the features. Then there is the beauty side. We have an extensive selection of massages and facials, manicures and pedicures. We also have specific fat losing techniques; fat freezing and fat melting.

There are also a few cardio machines. It is not a full gym with weights, but it’s good enough for those wanting cardio.

There is a huge indoor swimming pool with hydro massage. When one walks into the area, they’ll just see a small door and small window. As you walk in, the place gets bigger and bigger, but you still won’t realise that there’s the spa. All underneath the garden and underneath most of the building, you will find the spa.

Are you open to everyone or are services limited to guests residing in the hotel?

We are open for everyone; the restaurant and the spa. We need a bit of everything; local trade as well as tourists.

What does the menu of the restaurant have to offer?

We have a Mediterranean menu and Italian chefs working in the kitchen.

Concerning boutique hotels, which is the added value that sets The Village Boutique and Spa apart from other boutique hotels in Malta?

I think the prices are very reasonable. What’s good about it is that we offer the option of inside and outside dining.  This is not a huge hotel with 500 identical rooms. Each and every room is different; different size, different style and different design. We try to be a bit different. I put all of my experience of 60 years working in this industry into 29 rooms, the restaurant, the bar and the garden. People are amazed when they come. I’ve been getting great reports about the place, so fingers crossed that people will realise what a jewel it is.

Do you feel positive about the future of the industry and tourism in general in Malta?

Tourism in Malta would be good if we get rid of this stigma of Covid. Yes Covid did come, but we heave reached herd immunity now, so it’s time to bring back normality. If normality comes, tourism will explode. It will take two or three years to get back to what it was in 2019, but Malta is well-positioned to be there if we get back to normality.

What makes Malta a great destination?

There is a bit of everything for everyone. English certainly helps and we are also lucky that the British came here because they put us on the map with the English language.  This means that it’s not difficult to get around in Malta since most people around the world speak English. If you combine the language with sunshine and history, the result is that people come here and enjoy themselves. I also think that Malta isn’t so expensive when compared to other countries. Malta is very well positioned and as soon as we get back to normality, we should be well on our way to getting back the numbers that we used to have.

Last but not least, why should people choose The Village Boutique and Spa?

I think we have a lovely country view. The view from the bedrooms is country side Malta.  Everyone says all we see is buildings. It’s not true. Come and sleep here and all you’ll see is country side. It is very quiet, and traffic cannot be heard, so it is really an ideal chill out place.  

We also have a complete dream sleep system in the bedrooms. We have chosen one of the most luxurious mattresses ever.  We are so proud about this mattress that we have a write up about it in the bedroom. There is also a pillow menu, which explains which pillows are laid on the bed, what pillows are extra and what’s inside the pillow for that complete dream sleep.  We also have a mosquito policy. From our experience, people coming to Malta complain about mosquitos so we are advising our clients what to do if they want to attract mosquitos.   We try to be different. We try to be fun.

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