Spas and hotels are enjoying a bumper weekend as the arrival of Valentine’s Day provides a much-needed boost to revenues, with several establishments reporting that they are close to fully booked.
This year, Valentine’s Day falls on a Sunday, allowing couples more options and flexibility for their romantic plans.
For Athanaeum Spa at the Corinthia Palace in Ħ’Attard, the timing of its refurbishemnt could not have been better, with its luxuriously renovated spa area offering a novel product on the market at a time when people are hungry for something different.
A representative for the Spa said it is close to fully booked for it’s first Valentine’s Day, and expressed satisfaction with the busy period.
With tourist arrivals numbering in the thousands instead of hundreds of thousands per month for much of the past year, establishments in tourist areas like Mellieħa might find it more difficult to attract local business, but for Schere Complex, this Valentine’s season is even busier than usual.
“I think it’s because everyone’s been holed up in their houses for so long, and of course Valentine’s Day is a great opportunity to forget about the pandemic for a bit and just enjoy being together with your partner,” says Schere manager Mary Rose Briffa.
In fact, although Schere does not usually open on Sundays, this year they are taking the opportunity and making the most of it to offset “in a small way” what has been a very slow year.
Ms Briffa explains how the four therapists working in the complex are all on half hours, “to share what little income we have”.
For the moment, however, they’re focused on providing couples looking to get out of the house with the best experience they can.
The Cavalieri Art Hotel reported similarly positive numbers, although the representative was at pains to explain that the refurbishment of the hotel is not yet ready and thus rooms are limited.
“So far it’s OK,” said a representative, “but we cannot compare it to previous years, not only due to the pandemic but also due to our ongoing upgrading.”
Meanwhile, the Phoenicia, which completed an 18 month refurbishment and extension by two storeys in 2017, reported a good weekend, although for Neville Juan Cardona, front office manager at the hotel for 28 years, it does not come close to what can be termed a really weekend.
In any case, all expressed relief that the timing of the holiday allowed couples some more freedom and opportunity to spend the romantic period at their establishments, with Ms Briffa pointing out that from Tuesday, things will be “back to a very slow normal”.
Boosting heads in beds, does not correlate with an improvement in quality.
The Malta Tourism Authority will provide local councils with information about owners of holiday premises