The Kempinski Hotel San Lawrenz is an absolute paradise from which to discover Gozo, the mythical island of Calypso.
Edward F. Nesta and I stayed at the Kempinski Hotel San Lawrenz in June 2007, and were staggered by the amenities, beginning with their restaurants. While most hotels usually only have one restaurant, the Kempinski Hotel San Lawrenz has two exceptional restaurants, Trattoria San Lawrenz where Executive Chef Francesco Colore creates authentic Italian cuisine, and ĽOrtolan where Executive Chef Jonathan Spiteri creates Mediterranean and Maltese cuisine. The hotel even has organic herb, vegetable, and citrus gardens, which the chefs use in the restaurants.
We enjoyed al fresco dining at both of the restaurants, where a few of the selections that we dined on included Medaglione di Maiale in Crosta di Parmiggiano con Aspargi and Penne Rigate con Pomodori Secchi, Pesce Spada Affumicato E Olive at Trattoria San Lawrenz; and Smoked Cheese and Shallot Spring Rolls accompanied with Salad Leaves and Sorbet de Cassis, and Rack of Lamb Wrapped in Flaky Filo Pastry Flavored with Indian Spices and accompanied with Lemon Rice laced with Curry Masala at ĽOrtolan.
In addition to the two main restaurants, they also have two Pool Bars for cocktails and snacks, Gazebo for light lunches and barbecues, and Il-Baldakkina, their Café and Lounge, which has an interesting cocktail menu with wonderful sayings, and also offers appealing Low Calorie Drinks from 65 to 100 calories for guests counting their calories.
The Kempinski Hotel San Lawrenz is perfect if you enjoy sports, and has two outdoor swimming pools for adults, an outdoor family pool, a heated indoor pool, Jacuzzi, Fitness Center, Squash and Tennis Courts, and they even have their own Dive Center managed by Blue Waters Dive Cove conveniently located by the hotel's outdoor swimming pool, for guests looking to try diving for the first time, as well as for seasoned divers. As Divemasters, we were thrilled with the possibility of diving on Gozo especially when we heard that the underwater visibility is an impressive 30-40 meters (98 - 131 feet). Diving in Gozo was an incredible experience as we dove below the historic landmarks of the Azure Window and Inland Sea.
The hotel loves to pamper its guests, and has two unique Spa experiences, the Marine Care Centre at the Kempinski Hotel San Lawrenz Spa, which incorporates elements of the sea into their treatments, and the Softouch Ayurveda Centre at the Kempinski Hotel San Lawrenz Spa, the first authentic Ayurveda center in the Mediterranean and the largest in Europe, that follows the Ayurvedic five-thousand year old holistic treatment approach of body, mind and soul through the use of herbs and over 300 types of oil. Of course, we indulged ourselves with treatments at both of the Spas.
Softouch Ayurveda Centre Marine Care Centre
The hotel's daily activity sheet posted by the reception desk offers a plethora of choices for guests to select from, including musical evenings with pianist Terry Shaw every Wednesday at the Café and Lounge beginning at 7:00 pm, followed by music at ĽOrtolan, and on Thursday evenings, Dirk Reinhardt, Food and Beverage Manager, offers guests the opportunity to learn about Maltese wines with his Wine Tastings in the Café and Lounge.
Sightseeing was never easier with the hotel's twice-daily complimentary shuttle service to Dwerja, Ramla, and Victoria. Not wanting to immediately immerse ourselves with the culture shock of driving on the left side of the road, we took the shuttle to the historic fortified city of Victoria, where we explored the history as well as did some shopping, returning to the hotel with purchases of Maltese wines, lace, and silver filigree jewelry.
For guests who want to keep up with business during their hotel stay, there is an Internet Café, and there is also wireless Internet available in the guestrooms. If relaxing poolside with a good book is more your idea of having fun, the hotel has a library with a large selection of books available in multiple languages.
After a day spent discovering Gozo, we loved returning to our large, corner guestroom and standing on our balcony overlooking the pool watching the ever-changing scenery as day turned to night.
Our rectangular shaped room featured a painting over the king bed with a wood headboard and white linens, nightstands on either side of the bed, large terracotta tiles floor, and limestone yellow walls. There were his and hers closets, one of which had a safe large enough to accommodate a laptop, other amenities included slippers, and an iron and ironing board. In the sitting area, there was a loveseat with orange printed fabric and a matching comfortable armchair, as well as a rectangular wood coffee table. There was a television on the credenza opposite the loveseat, which held a discrete mini-bar, as well as a coffee/tea maker, and a large potted philodendron added a homelike touch to the room. Patterned orange floor to ceiling fabric hung on black wrought iron rods framing the French doors leading to the balcony, as well as the wide window overlooking the countryside and tennis courts.
The large desk opposite the bed was the perfect place to work, although with so much to do at the hotel and spending time discovering Gozo and Malta, we rarely did more than write out a few postcards at the desk.
The marble bathroom featured a combination shower/tub, large mirror over the vanity accessorized with fresh flowers, shaving/make-up mirror, a large selection of Kempinski branded amenities, and two fluffy robes.
In addition, the hotel has private residences for purchase for guests looking to experience the beauty of Gozo with the exclusive services offered by the Kempinski Hotel San Lawrenz.
Service throughout the hotel was excellent, and the professional staff at the Reception Desk always went the extra mile to make each guest's stay memorable. In fact, since we had a very early morning departure, the reception staff even arranged a lovely breakfast box full of goodies for us to enjoy on the ferry ride to Malta.
Read other articles on the Kempinski Hotel San Lawrenz and the Maltese Islands in the Destinations, Restaurants, Chefs' Recipes, Spas, and Adventures sections.
Kempinski Hotel San Lawrenz
Triq ir-Rokon, San Lawrenz
SLZ1040 Gozo, Malta
For information on the Maltese Islands, please visit: Malta Tourist Authority at www.VisitMalta.com and Heritage Malta at www.HeritageMalta.org.
© July 2007. Luxury Experience. www.LuxuryExperience.com All rights reserved.