Home > Malta > Short-term vacation rentals in Malta

Short-term vacation rentals in Malta

At a first glance, finding a short-term rental apartment in Malta appears a piece of cake as you browse through pages of penthouses, spectacular seaviews and beautifully converted houses of character. But dig a little deeper and it’s not as easy as it might first appear. Something I discovered recently when organizing a Spring break on the island.

Aside from the Easter weekend, March/April is still officially considered low season. For sun-starved Nordic residents suffering from the winter blues (like me), the blue skies, sunshine (albeit a little windy), al fresco dining and lower volumes of tourists makes it the perfect time to combine a private/work trip. The hotels are all offering special deals at this time so if you don’t like scorching hot temperatures, need some sun therapy and want value-for-money, then Malta’s a good choice at this time of the year.

Many of the five-star hotels were offering discounts of 50% on their room rates, “stay seven nights and pay for four” and complimentary upgrades … on average you can get a nice double room in a four or five star hotel for around EUR 80 per night including breakfast and a seaview if you search hard enough (or use your negotiation skills). But, most hotels on the island are not pet-friendly which posed a problem for my furry four-legged companion who loves hotels but, unfortunately, the feeling is not always mutual.

So, wanting to travel with my dog and needing some freedom to cook my own food, plus requiring internet access for work, I began scouring the vacation and short-term rental agency sites. Which soon proved interesting!

“It’s illegal to keep dogs in apartments!”
One of the biggest rental agencies informed me by email that “Unfortunately none of the owners accept any pets, and it is illegal in Malta to keep dogs in apartments.” To which I replied that I had a Chihuahua not a Great Dane which was used to living in small city apartments as we live in downtown Stockholm. I also pointed out that I knew plenty of people living in an apartment in Malta with a dog, or at least a cat, but never received any reply. Walking down the seafront in Sliema every evening more or less confirms this as I meet plenty of lovely dog owners, all of which live in the neighborhood … in apartments!

As a landlord myself, I understand that not everybody want to rent out their property to tenants with pets, children or to smokers. So that’s fair enough and I kept on searching with just seven days left before my departure date.

Up to EUR 200 a day in low season … plus bills!
There is no shortage of beautiful apartments, villas and town houses to rent but it’s a matter of selecting the area you want to live in. The most popular (and built-up) area in Malta is around the Sliema/St Julian’s/Valletta area and if you rent here it means you can save on a car rental (as parking can be a hassle and the public bus transport system is frequent and good.) plus you are close to all the main attractions and facilities. It’s a good choice if you will be on your own for some of the time as the area is always buzzing. If you’re a group of people or if you are looking for peace and quiet, then check out the Mellieha or Bugibba areas in the north (or Marsascala in the south) which are very pretty seaside areas and just a short trip away from the main towns.

So I short-listed my favorite ones based on location, price, internet and dog-friendliness. I noticed they were quite pricey – the average rate was EUR 80 per day but there were apartments off the beaten track for EUR 50 a day or the luxury apartments at prime developments like Portomaso for EUR 150 per day. Which could be ok if you’re not watching your bank balance or if you are a group of people that can split the costs.  

Well, I fell in love with a converted house of character in Marsascala area which had its own small swimming pool in the courtyard and could sleep up to six people making it more than big enough for me, the Chihuahua and my visitors; and a two-bedroomed apartment with sea-view on the Tower Road in Sliema. And the negotiations started. The house was unfortunately booked for some of my dates so that ruled it out. And the two-bedroom apartment would set me back EUR 1,600 for a three-week rental. Ouch! As if this wasn’t already high enough – for off-peak season – the owner also wanted me to pay the electricity and water charges. And then the agency informed me that their fee was another 20% on top of the EUR 1,600. Ouch again. When I explained it was too much, the agency fee went down to 15% and provided I didn’t use too much water or electricity, the bills could be included. I said “no” and “Auf Wiedersehen”. Sure, everybody has to make a cut on this deal, and yes, electricity and water rates have risen dramatically in Malta in the last few months, and yes, there is a seaview … but EUR 2,000 for three weeks …in April? What happened to the recession?

In the end, I contacted my Maltese friends as a last resort. And within minutes had two offers – one for a three-bedroomed furnished apartment in Marsascala including internet and bills for EUR 40 per day; and a furnished two-bedroomed apartment in the Sliema/Gzira area for EUR 1,000 a month (including bills if I used water and electricity sparingly) or EUR 40 per night.

The morale of the story: like in many other countries, try to get a local contact and shop around. Ads in the local newspapers and on local social sites are much better value than going through the agencies and rental companies. If budget’s not an issue for you, then the agencies have fantastic properties available and will deliver a professional and personal service.

The end result ... an apartment two minutes walk from Spinola Bay in St. Julian's.

Advertisements
  1. February 13, 2011 at 9:52 pm

    Hi there, You’ve done an excellent job. I’ll certainly digg it and personally suggest to my friends. I am confident they will be benefited from this website.

  2. T
    September 1, 2011 at 4:40 pm

    Hi Alanna, can you contact me via e-mail via which companies you’ve tried to accomodate your request for a short term rental? I’m seeking one too. Thanks -T

    • September 5, 2011 at 4:09 pm

      Dear T,
      A friend of mine is renting out a very nice penthouse in Sliema with fantastic seaviews of Manoel Island and the Valletta bastions at a competitive rate. It’s also a brand new apartment When do you need the apartment from? It is one-bedroom and with large terraces on front and back, fully furnished. Let me know if you are interested!
      /Alannah

  3. Lucretia
    March 13, 2013 at 8:01 pm

    Hi 🙂 I am looking for an appartment and I have a dog .. its soooo difficult to find one which is pet frienldy … can you help me please

  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: