Hotel and Restaurants
When booking your Malta holiday, you will have the choice between a big variety of hotels and appartement houses. I tried to find a private bed&breakfast in the internet, but wasn't happy with the offers. Often the price was twice as much as a hotel room or they were in the middle of nowhere with no bus stop near. Our guide book recommended farm houses on Gozo, but this would have ment much extra travelling time as most sights are on Malta. Probably an interesting alternative to the tourist blocks and over-developed resorts on Malta if renting a car.
If you want to explore Malta by means of public transport, I feel that Qawra/Bugibbba is the best place to stay. Though it is in the island's biggest tourist resort St. Paul's Bay, it has the big advantage of its own bus terminal. You will have more direct connections and you will usually find a seat. Passengers who get on the bus at a later stop will fequently be forced to stand the whole journey which is certainly not a pleasure in an overcrowded, hot bus. Besides St. Paul's Bay is in the more rural north-western part of Malta where cycling is enjoyable. Qawra has beaches in walking distance, though these are not the most beautiful ones of the island.
Our hotel was the Santana in Qawra. The room was good except for the noisy central air conditioning unit next to our balcony. The breakfast room was far from being cosy, but we got used to it on the second day. The location of the hotel was very good: In contrast to many other hotels, it wasn't on a main road and hence a bit more quiet. The central bus station in Qawra was only a three minutes walk away from the hotel and a small supermarket right next to it. The hotel restaurant wasn't as good as the other places that we tried and hence we were fairly happy that we hadn't booked half-board.
There are countless restaurants in Bugibba. Many are specialised on British guests, i. e. you feel like being in an English pub and food is served at 6pm. Fortunately due to the vast amount of restaurants, everybody should be able to find a place that suits him.
Being on Malta, we certainly wanted to taste the local cuisine. Our guide recommended The Overflow in Qawra on the "Triq il-Maskli" road and we didn't regret going there. The quality of the food tasted delicious and it had a very nice atmosphere on it's small terrace. Please note that you have to order the Maltese dishes at least one day in advance, because it is made only on request. And: If you order a rabbit, you get what you ask for - a whole one...
Our favorite restaurant was a mediterrranean one on the "Triq il-Merluzz" road near the Hertz car rental station. Excellent service, very good food, nice interior.