Imagine a small island surrounded by turquoise waters, total population of three, sun-kissed over 300 days per year and named after a flavorful spice…
Any ideas where this might be?
Caribbean, Maldives, South Pacific?
No, this is the island of Comino off the coast of Malta and in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea. For us in Europe, it’s an exotic destination that’s just around the corner. Yet Comino has only one touristic structure: a tired, 3-star hotel that’s closed in winter. I recently visited the site with our client, who is considering the creation of a 5-star resort designed with sensibility and in tune with the island’s unique, fragile eco-system.
Has the time finally arrived for Malta to emerge as a new luxury destination? The island has all the necessary “ingredients” to be successful in this quest: an enviable climate, crystal clear waters, culture and heritage that are thousands of years old, easy access with short-haul flights from all over Europe, and quick internal travel distances.
It is really an exotic dream that’s just around the corner. However, the poor architectural quality of many 3- and 4-star properties built over the past 40 years hasn’t helped Malta overcome its reputation as a cheap destination.
Therefore, it’s encouraging that the winds of change are enticing travelers to the capital, Valetta, where the celebrated hotelier Gordon Campbell Grey has recently taken over the historic Hotel Phoenicia.
Having visited it during my trip, I can attest that Gordon’s touches of timeless elegance permeate the entire space. It will undoubtedly be a great success story and confirm Malta’s ability to charm and attract a very refined type of clientele.
Our case in Comino has an even deeper significance, as both the investor and operator are determined to become “custodians” of its exquisite environment. Their holistic plan extends beyond the mere boundaries of the resort, embracing a quite remarkable vision for the entire island.
It’s a privilege to be charged with such extraordinary design responsibilities, particularly on a small plot of land where a single great project can make a significant difference.
Our pencils are ready…