Monday 12 June 2017

Malta - Hotel DB Seabank Review

Choosing the right destination for a family holiday can be HARD. With a world of possibilities out there and two children who like very different things, finding something that suits both their personalities and my budget can be tricky.

In the end I just stopped asking for their opinion and just booked the place with the biggest pool, as that's one thing I know they'd both love - and that's how we ended up at the DB Seabank in Malta.

As one of the youngsters wanted to go somewhere hot, and the other one insisted it not be 'too hot', I figured April would be nice inbetween so we headed off over the Easter holidays for a week. Here's what we thought.

The Room

We booked a family room which had a great layout for making our stay comfortable. When we've stayed in hotels before it's been all four of us in one room, usually in a pair of double beds. The squirmy kids sharing means they annoy each other, and since we're all in the same room, that means they annoy us too (I mean that in a loving way of course!)

Here they not only got their own beds, but got them in a separate, partitioned-off part of the bedroom. They got their own kid-space and we got our own adult-space, while still being very much together, pretty perfect. The kids even got their own TV, and got a surprising amount of enjoyment out of watching cartoons in Maltese for the rest of the week. I don't know if it's a wonderful testament to the universality of animation, or just that they've seen each episode of Teen Titans Go! about 400 times but they seemed to know when they were supposed to laugh....

Of course the 'adults' side of the room was the one with the nice big window and balcony!

Ocean views are available round the front of the hotel, and pool views at the back - we didn't get either but were happy with our quieter side room anyway, and still not a bad view at all!

As well as the sweet balcony and the perfect family space, rooms also came with tea and coffee making facilities and a fridge. Both parts of the room had ceiling fans too, which were a help as the only problem with the room really is that it did tend to get a little too warm for my liking.

The Pool

As mentioned, the huge pool was the main reason for booking this hotel and did indeed turn out to be the most appreciated part of the holiday.

As you can see, not only was the pool massive, it was also pretty quiet for the most part. Don't get me wrong, there's a very good reason for that,.. namely that it was absolutely freezing in there, but it didn't put these guys off!

There was also an indoor pool but this was both much smaller and much busier - we spent some time in there too but everyone preferred having the space of the outdoor one,.. and really it wasn't that bad once you got used to it!

The Food

Ok, so I'll admit, apart from the pool the other main reason I booked this hotel is because loads of reviews had mentioned how good the food was, and we do all love food! As well as the main buffet restaurant there was a pool-side restaurant for afternoon snacks as well as four other 'speciality' restaurants that could all be booked as part of the all-inclusive package. 

Booking into The Jungle was our main holiday food priority as it looked like the most kid friendly. It's pitched as an 'American Buffet' but it was the Jungle theming, complete with waterfalls, vegetation and the odd lil monkey that appealed most to the young ones - there was also a soft play area in the restaurant which went down a treat with the younger of my pair.

The older one was too busy concentrating on his food! Offerings included burgers, pasta, tacos, chilli, a well-stocked salad bar and some delicious desserts!

The next night we headed to La Pellicola,  the onsite Italian restaurant. I really dig the sweet checked tablecloths and Italian film posters on the wall. I didn't so much dig people putting their fingers in all the pizza on the buffet, ugh. Adults too, when did people forget how to eat? Not the staffs fault at all and I saw them remove anything that they'd seen anyone prodding (and tell people off a couple of times, which was awesome) but still a tad off-putting.

I still, of course, managed to put away some of the desserts though! 

As a family, we had mixed feelings about L-Orjent. I'd argue that this was the nicest of all the restaurants in terms of ambience and décor, and I thought the food was great too. I could have eaten the spring rolls 'til the cows came home, and the rice dishes, noodles and duck pancakes were all tip-top too. There was sushi available but none of us are fans.

Unfortunately a couple of our number are foodie philistines so the littlest one and the other grown up wandered back to the main buffet on a chip hunt while I ate some more spring rolls.

Our last night at the hotel was spent at the Brazilian restaurant El Rodizio, where skewers of meat are brought to your table and can be topped up with items from either the excellent salad bar of the separate 'sides' buffet. (I did take pictures but they've vanished!) Everything we tried was grand but due to the last minute changing of our plans during the day we'd ended up eating later than usual and weren't really hungry enough to really appreciate this experience. I didn't even have dessert!

The main buffet restaurant, Coral, was a bit hit n miss. Breakfast was a solid offering, and we were all excited to see pancakes were available. There was a children's section but I never saw anything in that bit other than chips and chicken nuggets. We generally found the food a little better (fresher, hotter) in the Laguna pool restaurant, but we didn't discover his 'til the last couple of days.

Overall, out party of four contained at least three very fussy eaters, and we all managed just fine!

The Entertainment

As well as a kids club, there were a number of activities put on by the hotel during the day, with a schedule for these found on the walls in the lobby. However, we didn't make use of these at all (with the small exception of the quiz one afternoon because we happened to be sat in the right place when it started), so really don't have a lot of insight on these - sorry!

We did make use of the bowling alley one grey afternoon though. This was a handy little feature, but it was chargeable so we didn't go overboard on it!

The evening entertainment was a bit of a funny one for somewhere so family orientated - as far as I can tell it basically consisted of a 'kids disco' starting at 8.30 which was just a half hour CD of party songs? They had the entertainers up doing the dances with the kids and were enthusiastic and everything but by day three I could have told you what songs they were going to play and in what order.

This was usually followed by a (predominantly dance-based) show, which by all accounts were of a very high standard, we only ever caught the start of this once and the kids weren't overly interested. All in all I think everything started a little late for these guys after a long day of holidaying.

The Location

The DB Seabank is located in a gorgeous little spot in Mellieha Bay. There's not much around, but the town of Mellieha is just a short bus ride, or a steep uphill walk, away. 

There's a beach pretty much directly over the road from the hotel, soft sand and the most beautiful colour water! The beach had plenty of places to grab ice cream or beach toys, as well as sun loungers to rent. The kids are odd though, and had very little actual interest in the beach. They much preferred to clamber on the rocks and explore the little caves just a little way up the road instead. 

There's a local shop and a couple of cafes and restaurants (it the piles of food at the hotel weren't enough!), and the hotel was within walking distance of the Popeye Village. It's not exactly a party spot, but had everything we needed, plus was real pretty!

Other stuff

There was a nice looking bar serving pretty cocktails in proper glasses (unlike my plastic beaker booze from the poolside bar) but 'twas an adults only bar so I never went.

Ditto the spa.

You can book excursions in the hotel lobby, but the day before your trip double check the setting-off time as apparently these can be changed after booking!
There's a bus stop directly over the road from the hotel, which should get you wherever you want on the island. The Gozo ferry is one direction, and pretty much everything else is the other direction. You can grab a list of destinations and bus numbers from the hotel reception.

Apologies for such a long post, but I definitely think I've covered everything? It was a really lovely hotel, and we had a fantastic holiday. 

Now I just needs ideas for next years holiday - any suggestions? 


  1. The desserts! They look so good, aww, I would have tried all of them (for reviewing purposes, obviously :)) ). Your review is long, but this is how a review for a hotel should be, with lots of pictures and details, really helpful. x

    1. Ah I definitely tried a lot of them! (For review purposes of course! ;p)

  2. This is great, I love really in-depth reviews of places to stay while on holiday, it's so helpful if you're looking to go to the same area. I absolutely love that view you had, what a gorgeous sight to see each day. I love those desert shades of orange. The desserts look so good too, and I'm glad you had such a good time and enjoyed the place as well - always good to hear! - Tasha

    1. Thanks Tasha! The desserts were a highlight! ;p
      It was a beautiful place to stay, we were very lucky!

  3. Oh my gosh! The food! The views! The pool! The hotel! It all looks so nice!

    1. Thanks Pete! It really was a lovely place to stay! x

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