Malta, the beautiful rocky country, surrounded by clear blue Mediterranean waters, was our first trip when travel restrictions were lifted in 2021. We had visited 8 years previously but it was a little chilly in early March and this time, I wanted to see it in the glorious summer sunshine. I thought it would be nice to stay in a small hotel for a taste of local Maltese life and so we found Casa Birmula. Join us for this Casa Birmula review.
We were hosted by Casa Birmula Boutique Hotel but all opinions are our own.
Casa Birmula Location
On our second trip to Malta, I wanted to stay somewhere a bit nicer than our scrappy Valletta AirBnB room. Plus, having decided to hire a car, we wanted somewhere we could park easily and for free. Looking over a few blog posts, I noticed the name Birgu pop up as the perfect place for couples to stay. Done!
Birgu is part of the Three Cities area, opposite the harbour from Valletta. Casa Birmula is just one minute from the waterfront, up a few stairs. On the waterfront, there was always a free parking space, a bus stop and a ferry to Valletta so getting around was super easy. It is located net to a small local square and the modern bridge that connects this spit of land to the American University of Malta. Just five minutes walk north, on that side is a stretch of waterside bars and restaurants, great options for dinner.
Every room in Casa Birmula is different. When we arrived, we found to we were going to upgrade to the “Dingli Suite” on the ground floor. Not knowing what to expect, we opened the door onto what appeared to be a small living room.
There was a large TV on the wall, below which was a large writing desk. This also served as the home for a fancy coffee machine (I love a fancy coffee machine). To one side stood a tall wardrobe with all the trappings of a nice hotel room. Inside was fluffy robes, slippers, bath towels and extra pillows. We didn’t spend a lot of time down here as we were out and about so much.
We looked around confusedly for the bed. Was it a sofa bed? Then I spotted the stairs in the corner. These led up to a second floor and the rest of our facilities.
Emerging at the top of the stairs, we finally found our bed. Well, it was actually two single beds pushed together but this never bothers us. It sometimes leads to a better sleep as your partner’s tossing and turning isn’t felt on your mattress! Plus, the pillows were so large and comfy, we barely even noticed the mattress.
The whole room was bright and accented with lovely wooden beams , giving it a nice shot of character. In one corner was a large sink with a lovely big mirror, surrounded by its own light. There was a hair dryer on the wall which I didn’t think would be that good but it was actually reasonably powerful.
The bathroom is divided into two.
Downstairs, the toilet is tucked under the stairs in a classy little bathroom. Down here there was just simple soap. It was really nice but I didn’t love having to come down the stairs in the dark to use it at night. We didn’t have to do it more than once, but it is worth bearing in mind if you use the loo a lot over the course of a night. Request a room all on one level if that is the case. The shower was in a huge, cubby hole in the corner of the room. I thought it was going to be a small thing but there was a huge seat/shelf to one side. It was perfect for shaving my legs! We were given an abundance of toiletries in the shower and made use of a fair few. they had a nice unisex fragrance.
A Little Look Around the Property
Casa Birmula is a 400-year-old building and has been restored with a touch of eccentricity. In one corner, there is a rococo splash and elsewhere you could be in a Canadian lodge. The lobby of Casa Birmula is a central courtyard that extends high above you. Two sets of stairs wind their way up to the bedrooms on higher floors. They don’t quite get the natural light that pours down from the skylights but there are lights that pop on when you approach them.
To the side of the lobby, there is a small guest lounge with a big TV and some comfy sofas but we didn’t see anyone using it. I am sure that in winter, the wood burner makes the whole room nice and cosy but in the heat of summer, most people opted to head up to the roof for a bit of sun instead.
Up On the Roof
Passing through a short, dark corridor with clean bed linen, you emerge blinking in bright sunlight into the cool rooftop. Considering this is a boutique hotel, it punches above its weight on views. The tall, thin nature of the building means it extends all the way to the height of the the surrounding buildings.
The lower level is a fake turf garden with plenty of seating options. We brought a coffee and sandwich up and enjoyed our lunch in the sun. There wasn’t any shade up here at midday but as the sun descends you can find a little patch to escape it if you want.
Up a few more stairs, you will find the pool, the perfect place to float and enjoy the sun as it gets sunlight all day. The water was warm enough to hang for a while which is good because it’s too small to swim laps. Instead, it is just fun to hop about and splash a little. When we first visited, another couple were relaxing in it with a glass of wine each, an excellent plan in my opinion. They head off and we hopped in to enjoy the sunset.
Now, to reach the rooftop of an old building like Casa Birmula, you might think you’ll need to tackle plenty of stairs, but never fear, there is a lift too. Honestly though, it isn’t much quicker than walking. The tight, little lift is really rather slow….quite charming though.
Breakfast is provided at Casa Birmula and is a nice, friendly affair. It is served in a small, bright room off to the side of the lobby. It is part-buffet, part-served. Guests can pick from all the trappings of a continental breakfast. There is a nice selection of fruit, yogurts and the kind of cheap pastries that are pre-packed on one side, and then bread/toast and cereal on the other. At first it felt a little like a very hostel but additions like the fancy coffee tree, super cute little butter and jam glassware bowls and general wide selection of flavours/options was much better. Oh, and the pretty plates on the beautifully set breakfast tables are so lovely.
Along with the cold options, guests are offered a hot breakfast. The scrambled eggs, Canadian bacon and cucumber combination reminded me strongly of breakfasts in South East Asia….which I loved! There is a full breakfast option with beans on the side for any Brits who are feeling homesick but I’ll stick to my slightly pared-down version.
Final Thoughts for this Casa Birmula Review
I couldn’t help but be thoroughly charmed by Casa Birmula. It is clearly run with great care and a sense of the quirky. The friendly service really exemplifies this. Each interaction we had was friendly and informative. I get the impression they will do everything they can to help. If you want some character in your stay in Malta and a location that is close enough to a little nightlife but not busy then Casa Birmula is a great option. It won’t break the bank either!