Malta will have its first six-star hotel, thanks to a €400 million investment that will turn the Corinthia San Ġorġ, Radisson SAS and the nearby Corinthia Marina into one mega resort.

The hotels, set on a 76,000-square-metre plot in St George’s Bay, will be redeveloped by the Corinthia Group into a “sprawling” development that will not include tower blocks.

“This is not going to be some monster development. I guarantee that this will be a very particular development and one of the most striking in the Mediterranean,” Corinthia Group chairman Alfred Pisani told a news conference yesterday.

Mr Pisani described the project as an “oasis of excellence”, which will include two high-luxury hotels, a beachfront lido and another “lifestyle” hotel for corporate visitors.

We don’t want to have a mess of trucks carrying building waste through such a popular area

The development, expected to take four years to complete, will dominate the Paceville peninsula and include residential apartments, a number of commercial developments as well as several retail outlets.

No artists’ impressions of how the entire project would appear were made available, as the designs are still being drafted. Mr Pisani said the resort would become the Corinthia Group’s flagship property. The Corinthia boasts several luxury hotels around Europe, including in London, Budapest and St Petersburg.

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat attended the press conference, together with Tourism Minister Edward Zammit Lewis, who hailed the development as the largest the island has ever seen. Dr Muscat said the project would have “incalculable” ripple effects on the local economy and is estimated to generate some 600 new jobs.

Mr Pisani said meanwhile that although the footprint currently occupied by the three hotels would not necessarily increase, the amount of space allotted to rooms would grow by a third. However, there would actually be fewer rooms than at present.

Hotel footprint won’t grow

While the size of rooms in the three hotels currently averaged around 28 square metres, the smallest rooms in the new six-star hotel would be around 40 square metres.

He said the rooms would be of the highest standard and this was necessary as the price tag of some rooms would more than double.

Mr Pisani said he was still stunned at the progress the Corinthia Group had made over the past 53 years. “I remember when all of this started as a restaurant. Now we have hotels from Lisbon to St Petersburg.

“This next step is really taking it into the future,” he said.

Asked to provide more details on the works, Mr Pisani said he hoped the government would allow construction to take place all year round.

In recent years, major construction works in tourist areas have been halted during the summer months. Dr Muscat was quick to interject that the government wanted the planning process expedited and it made sense for works to continue throughout the summer months.

The company, he said, had very good ideas about work practices, including transporting construction waste by sea instead of by land.

“What is clear is that we don’t want to have a mess of trucks carrying building waste through such a popular area,” he said.

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