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Club Riza Reviews
We love Malta and if a tent was all that was available we would still go….whatever shortcomings Club Riza has it is not bad enough to complain about which is what most people do…..travelling is about enjoying the country you visit, not how many tv channels you get in the room.
Anyone watching tv while on holiday should just stay home.
Club Riza is a lot better than a lot of hotels I’ve stayed at. Thumbs up for Club Riza.
Value for money, can’t ask for more.
Probably the worst place I have staying in over 20 years of travelling.
Well, where do I start? I have contemplated this review for days as there was simply no way to express our dissatisfaction on a review typed via a mobile phone. I apologise in advance for the length of this review, but visitors MUST be warned and be aware, so I urge you to read the full review. This must be, bar none, the worst two nights stay we have ever had to endure in our travelling life (around 20 years). In my earlier days, I have stayed in hostels and dorms, and this place ranks amongst those, however, it is not advertised as such.
On arrival, the entrance and foyer are chic and contemporary and alludes to apartments that will be of the same quality, unfortunately, this illusion is shattered as you walk out of the foyer and into the corridors towards the rooms.
The first thing that hits you is the smell. It is musty and dank, something I do not think I have experienced since I used to visit my grandmother towards the end of her life (some 40 years ago). The corridors themselves are dark, dingy and depressing, with some very odd ceiling material that looks like a decking (yes, similar to what you would use for a patio or boardwalk), yet many of the “planks” are ill-fitting or broken. The sea of very brown doors that you pass by hints at what is to come.
Getting into the lifts is the next challenge. These look as though they are from buildings erected in the 60’s and remind me of a friend’s lift in the UK whose flat dates to this period. They feel rickety and are awkward to keep open as you attempt to get your luggage inside.
Finally, you get to your room, which for us was a studio apartment…..
Now, we are timeshare owners with our home property in Greece, and we had exchanged our week via RCI. Our own property is a studio apartment but is of a very good quality. It has a proper full size double bed and a small but perfectly functional kitchen area, and has a light, contemporary feel, given it is updated and refreshed. We expect, nay demand, that the room we exchange with is of equal or better quality to not only our home resort but also our own home. We should feel as though we are in a place that we can relax in, that makes us feel we are on holiday, and that we can call home for a week or two. This apartment was none of these things.
The room was super small – ok I can forgive that, but where was the bed??? It turns out that this was in a cupboard, effectively nothing more than an old pull out camp bed!!! Honestly!! In today’s world who in their right mind would offer a camp bed as the main sleeping accommodation? I can understand if this was a secondary bed perhaps for kids, or in the above-mentioned hostels, but this is neither a hostel or a secondary sleeping area. My partner now suffers from severe back issues and there was no way she was going to sleep on this thing.
The rest of the room looked as though it was straight out of the 1970’s. Not the cool 70’s like Starsky and Hutch or early David Bowie, but the really bad 70’s like a bad Val Doonican jumper or a wobbly TV set. It felt like this was the original fixtures and fittings that were used in the room when the apartment was originally built, and had not been touched in 40 years. It was horrid and incredibly depressing. My partner was almost in tears.
Of course, we immediately complained. The guy on the front desk (who was the only staff on duty in the entire resort), then phoned through to a manager. We were informed that all the rooms are the same and that the room description outlined that they have these types of bed! Honestly and again, what resort (apart from a hostel) would even contemplate such sleeping accommodation in 2017? I can see that this might have been chic and cutting-edge design in the 1970’s, but things have moved on. However, the manager offered us an upgrade, yet we would HAVE to pay for this privilege, another €75! We honestly thought about junking the resort entirely and just see if we could get another hotel, however, the manager then informed us that if we did this, then RCI would not help us further. As it turned out, this was sound advice, however, for this night (and indeed the next) we would be forced to pay and move into the “upgrade” apartment.
When I say upgrade, what I mean is a slightly bigger 1 bedroom apartment. It was still horrid, poorly fitted out and dirty. The bathroom had broken tiles, a scummy bath with a very tacky shower curtain. The bedroom did seem to have updated furniture, although updated from this point of view was to the 1980’s. Again, it was awful and had two single beds that were also very uncomfortable, and glaring fluorescent strip lighting. The outside table was a disgusting plastic table that looked as if it had been purchased from a cheap store, again about 20 or 30 years ago. The sofa was grubby and stained, and there is just acres and acres of bad broooowwwnnnn decor. Ugh. Everything is in drastic need of a full refurbishment, and oh, that smell, it follows you everywhere – even opening the windows doesn’t clear it. We even had the displeasure of the dogs barking in an adjacent property (that I have read in other reviews), although thankfully they did not bark for any great length of time.
So, what did we do? Well, after a horrid night’s sleep we just wanted to get out so walked around Saint Paul’s bay. During that walk, RCI phoned and said they would consider moving us to a new location. Several hours passed but then they phoned back and said that the Radisson Blu had a room although they were unsure of its state. We were going to be in the Saint Julian’s area the following day so arranged to drop in and check out the room.
From the moment we arrived at the Radisson Blu, we were taken care of. We saw the room at 6:30pm and by 8:30pm we had moved from the awful Club Riza and into the Radisson. However, we were not done yet. On checking out of Club Riza, they still had the audacity to charge us €25. To be honest, at this point I just paid to get out with the minimum of fuss. Credit to RCI again, they have at least given us a credit on our account to cover this as well.
So, what should be done going forward? Apparently, many apartments in the area (and even the Mediterranean) are similarly furnished, however, I personally think this is something that therefore needs to be addressed across all timeshare properties. As mentioned, I think owners should expect at the very least a like for like, and I am disgusted that rooms and resorts like this are even listed on the RCI exchange site. NO resort should offer camp beds as their main sleeping accommodation in ANY room, period. I personally think that resorts that do nothing to their property to refresh the rooms and communal facilities should be dropped completely from the listings. After all, this is what we all pay a significant amount of money to buy into a timeshare and pay the ongoing maintenance.
I expect to be taken care of when I exchange properties. I expect the little things to be in place, including cleaning materials such as washing up liquid and a scourer, but also expect that the larger items to be sorted as well, such as well-designed décor and a comfortable living and sleeping environment, even if the room is only a studio. These resorts can get away with providing the bare minimum, meeting just the items written in a list (such as bedroom count, number of plates, etc.), but honestly, there should be a minimum quality level as well. I would not have my own home to be as poorly built as the rooms are in the Club Riza, so that is just wrong, and needs to be addressed.
Week in April 2018
Just got back yesterday Tuesday 25th April from Club Riza Aparthotel.
Unfortunately, we were one of the people who got dragged in when we went to Malta 18 months ago. We took you the 1-year Timeshare thing has it delays for 18 months as we already had holidays booked for the coming year. Don’t get caught. If you like going back to the same place every year it might be for you and have the freedom to travel as a when you like and do it often it might work out.
I struggled to book the week I wanted and the hotel I wanted. We tried for the Sliema hotel first but fully booked so no joy,
I do have to say that the room we stayed in room 204 was spotless and they changed the bedding every 2 days which I did not think they would. Plenty of things in the 2-bedroom apartment for you to cook. T.V my husband was happy with the choice of channels.
All of the areas in the hotel are very clean and not a thing out of place.
Indoor and outdoor pool although cold.
We were concerned before arriving that they were going to try and sell us extra timeshare as a meeting was requested with the sale manage on the day after we arrived.
We said we were too busy. We then ended up meeting with Geoff on Monday but he knew he was flogging a dead horse with us.
Well if you want some life in a hotel and a bit of evening entertainment you won’t get this here.
As for the restaurant well don’t bother. Chicken and chips, fish and chips, nuggets and chips. No different meals from different countries. We did no see anyone eat there.
All in all if it like gods waiting room as there are mainly older people in the hotel and I am over 50 and my husband is over 60 and we were the youngest.
The receptionist was very good and you could have a laugh with them but not anybody else.
If you are happy to have a base for a holiday because you are out seeing the country it is a very good one and you know that your rooms are going to be spotless.
Not far from the bus station, loads of restaurants around and supermarkets.
All in all, we had a very good holiday and the weather was fantastic.
We purchased a trail year membership with Discover Access and unfortunately only were able to take advantage of one trip to Lanzarote. We booked our “Dream Break” before the membership expired at Club Riza.
We felt we were treated as second class customers because our membership was not renewed. Instead of the lovely pool view or even an open view we were promised we were on the ground floor overlooking a busy street and building site. We never used the balcony. When we asked for an upgrade we were told it was full.
However , on talking to other guests we found out this was not true. If we had a decent room it would have been better. The fridge did not cope with more than a few items so some things went off. The gas rings would either not light or kept going out. The blanket for the fold down bed was a disgrace.
On a positive note, it was very clean and the hotel staff were very friendly and pleasant. If going check out your room position first.
The room was good it was just in a terrible position.
Clean but dated
Club Riza is exceptionally clean and although the reception and pool areas are lovely, the accommodation is very dated. Our apartment was over the main lobby with no direct sunshine, and therefore very gloomy.
The staff are lovely and very helpful but unfortunately, the George Cross pub and “restaurant” let down Club Riza.
The menu is very limited, we couldn’t order a meal for 7.30p.m. as the kitchen would have been closed and the bar was closed before 9.30p.m
Does What It Says on The Tin
Club Riza is an apart-hotel and we visited it through our membership of discover access.
For clarity an apart-hotel is a hotel containing self-catering apartments but, through discover access, these apartments are available at a ‘per apartment’ price rather than per head. As a result, there are no surcharges for less than full occupancy. Naturally, the larger the apartment, the higher the price; albeit a very reasonable price.
We had a “sleeps 4” apartment (room 314) which overlooked the outdoor swimming pool (there is also an indoor heated pool) and provided a pleasant enough view over the bay.
The rooms were comfortable enough and just about everything required, for four people was supplied for self catering. The room was cleaned, very well, on a daily basis; as was the hotel at large. In fact we were impressed at just how clean the hotel staff maintained everything.
The hotel staff were warm and welcoming and always ready to provide advice and guidance.
There is not a great deal within the hotel, in terms of bars or restaurants, however there are many of these in the immediate area to the point were you could be spoilt for choice. Our favourite was The Plum Tree, about 300 yards from the hotel, smallish but cosy, great staff, good food and very decent helpings.
Mini-markets 50 yards and 150 yards from the hotel, for any self catering supplies. Larger supermarkets about 500 yards away around the square.
Overall, as our first visit to any apart-hotel, we were very pleasantly surprised with Club Riza and would recommend it to anyone wanting a self-catering holiday in Qawra.
Almost Adequate Apartment
Access to Riza is by membership of the club Access to Leisure.
We were invited to join at the Preluna hotel some years ago aligning up for 1 year membership and being awarded a ‘free’ holiday which we chose to take at Club Riza. We were allocated an apartment with fine views and plenty of sunshine. On this holiday we agreed to join for further 5 years. The purchase of a 4 way adapter overcame the shortage of sockets for charging phones, I pads etc. and we enjoyed the use of the pool, The George Cross Public House (with the drinks all from cans or bottles) and good food, service and company. The George Cross does not accept plastic – cash only.
The kitchen area, which adjoins the lounge/dining/additional sleeping areas, relies on natural ventilation which passes through the whole building with poor acoustic absorbing qualities so conversations and entertainment from apartments above and below can be somewhat annoying. The bathroom uses the same natural system although the problem is more with odours than noise.
Since joining for the longer period, we have returned several times, but have been allocated apartments in the one area of the building which does not attract any sunlight and is consequently darker and colder than the balance of the building. The shortage of power sockets has not been addressed – for example the Kitchen has just 2 sockets to feed the toaster, kettle and microwave. The gas ovens are difficult to light, a problem sometimes compounded by people trying to light the with strips of paper.
Most places in Malta seem to offer free Wi Fi – Club Riza does not, offering an expensive Ozone alternative. There is a charge for the safe key, and for the use of Riza’s bathing towels.
The Cleaning and Reception staff are terrific as is Marc who runs the Public House, Restaurant and offers a service of food in the rooms. The information about a new availability in Guernsey promised by our Representative soon after our arrival never materialised due to lack of printer ink. (We were there for a fortnight.)
In the years that we have been visiting Malta, there have been masses of changes, but Club Riza has not reflected the improvements. We will return but hope for better accommodation in the future so that the Trip Adviser Excellence stickers which in the past have been earned can again be justified.