I hadn’t been abroad since eighteen years ago. Yes, I know this is a very long time to not have ventured into hotter climbs. Believe me when I say – I hadn’t felt the needed urge,not to get away from the bustle of Britain, many a time as a matter of fact. It took us (myself and my fiancé Amy),surprisingly less time in getting our passports renewed.
Before we knew it we were booked up for ten days away, with Amy’s dad too, flying out to the lovely Malta. We were flying from Stansted, which seemed fine. It was a little while after the buzz of the holiday, talking with our friends and work colleagues, that we were informed gently that Ryan Air were not the most reliable airline.
The 25th of June came around quickly. We had spent wisely and well with our new holiday clothes. We managed to get lots of nice deals with the likes of Sports Direct, likewise shops. Good old Primarni came in a treat too!
Amy’s nephew’s, boyfriend had very kindly agreed to take us to Stansted in the car. This was no trouble as our flight was scheduled for a 17:35pm take off.
The sun was shining, which marked the start of the great British heatwave of 2018. All packed, we set out for the air port. Rob (Amy’s dad) sadly saying a begrudging ‘goodbye’ to Hugo the dog. We got to the airport in good time. After securing our cases with greatly vibrant rainbow straps we headed off to check in.
Not going away for such a long period of time, gosh was I in for a shock! I passed through the detector with no problems. It was the part where they get you to empty, all your goods out into a large grey tray. To say the least; I became quite confused at this process, to the amusement of myself and the security guy! All was well, we rounded the corner opposite the airfield only to be met with a very large que of people awaiting for our flight departure gate to open. ‘Shock – horror!’ – it was delayed. Not dramatically so, though sadly enough so, that we would now be landing at Malta an hour or two later than scheduled. (well done Ryan Air.)
Flight, flight, flight!
Finally, all strapped in and ready for take off – all be it an hour plus later than agreed, it was time for the safety formalities of ‘air health and safety’ which I can safely say have not changed one bit since I last stepped aboard an aeroplane.
Now we had a couple of ‘livener’ drinks at the airport, I thought it would be fun in continuing this on the plane… I ended up having two JD and cokes…
This would have been ok with or – after a healthy portion of food. I’m on holiday – after eighteen years, what can you expect?…
All in all the flight was smooth. We approached a mellow Malta now at the 21:30pm mark. We had a free taxi laid on for us with our tour operator (Mercury Holidays.) Sadly after consuming the two JD and colas, my IBS had been triggered to say the least, then what with the two – three hour journey into Malta I became extremely disorientated. Our tax driver, bless her was really nice even after having to wait all that extra time for us to land. With a good hand, helping us with our heavy luggage into the car off we went to Ramala Bay Resort.
Into Ramala Bay (Resort)
Alas, the otherwise beautiful car journey into the contemporary, blissful Ramala Bay was shattered due to the sickness that came upon me due to not eating enough pre flight. With dollcit tones of our driver recommending sights and eateries as we drove, I was curled up in the corner of the back seat feeling very unwell indeed.
After the drive through the serene, sea air streets up into Ramala Bay – we finally arrived at our destination. A large, glass fronted reception fronted by large stone pillars. It was dark by the time we pilled out of our taxi, with more abundance of help from our driver we ventured inside of the large reception area where we were met by a friendly gentleman – front of house who proceeded to check us in via the EPS there. He then gave us our room card entry keys, with our room numbers on. He also informed us that as we had missed this sitting of dinner (due to arriving late.) that we were due a free lunch the next day in the restaurant they have on – site at the resort.
After checking into our rooms, our first lapse of disappointment was the sleeping arrangements. Myself and Amy’s room had two single beds, made up as – two single beds. Mortified was not the word, thoughts or feelings. To add slight ‘insult to injury’, we then found out that we had no mini bar (as promised by the hotel and our travel provider.) We were however happy at the amazing view (even though it was dark) of the bay, also the amazing aircon system that was in place in our rooms. Storage was ample, enough for our clothes and keep safes. On this note: we soon discovered that in order to use the safe provided in the room, you had to pay an additional fee.
After dosing up with pain relief, Amy and her dad went to check out the hotel, play a game of cards and grab a quick cocktail before hitting the hay.
Awaking – first day!
Just what we travelled for – brilliant sunshine, glorious, sparkling gold over the bays sea. A perfect post card picture all in all. The large heat resistant curtains pulled aside by Amy to reveal this scene of paradise itself – just outside our window. Sadly the sleep which we took could have been a lot better. Due to the two single beds cobbled together to make a double – this was not the case. In addition no one had offered to see if all was to our satisfaction once sent to our rooms to unpack.
Breakfast is served in a large, spacious dinning area. We chose the outside veranda overlooking the bay. Once again the beautiful picturesque view of the bay which encompasses the front to the back of the hotel. When dining outside you are also treated to the ‘in house cats‘ who also come to share your food – if you so wish to do so.
Our first morning dining went without hitch. We spent the first afternoon by the pool – soaking up the gorgeous Maltase sun. Being treated to highs of over twenty two degrees with clear skies was just what the doctor ordered.
First lunch – first ‘crunch’….!
After a mornings tiresome sunbathing, come lunch time we were all quite hungry. Having our free meal for lunch time given to us by the hotel themselves as stated above, on our arrival – due to the fact that we missed last nights dinner, we were highly looking forward to the lunch at Ramala Bay Resort.
After a quick freshen up we ventured back up to the dining area for lunch. First off the waiting staff (in abundance) were very friendly towards us, ushering us to a table of our choice, it was here however that the hospitality ended for us. We soon noticed that all the other dinners around us were drinking water, water in fact was being served to everyone in nice glass queffes. Our male waiting staff came over to take our order, now his spoken English wasn’t that good so a slight communication era was in order as he attempted to serve us. We asked for water, as we were very thirsty.Given the said language barrier it took us a short while in able to establish correct communication levels. When he did return he hurriedly barged past both my fiancé and her dad in the process. He then once again brashly demanded our room numbers – to this we all shocked and surprised, after all we had only ordered ordinary water to drink…
The rude service continued into our lunch. We received a lot of glares and stares from him and his co workers as if we had done something terribly wrong. As we left we were asked some hazy words about being all inclusive – we had not opted in for this option. For our first time dining here we were NOT impressed. Saving this was only the food, to which we immediately found out was of a very good quality.
With more amazing sunshine, sun tan top ups, we relaxed through until the early evening. We treated ourselves with pre dinner cocktails! Once again very expertly created by the experienced bar staff on site – all be it (some please remember) who’s hospitality services towards us were not from the happy vibrations… I must add at this point that, one does expect more on the customer services / hospitality levels, after paying a fair amount for the experience of holidaying abroad at a likewise resort.
‘Dastardly dinner (no.1)’
Sadly, we were served once again by our ‘favourite’ waiting service gentleman who kept up his stone faced, highly edgy persona. We once again had difficulty is ordering water.
As stated above the food was of a high calibre. Myself and Amy are both full vegetarian, we were comfortably catered for. The flavours were outstanding, with nice large selection to choose from. If nothing else the in house cats gave us endless entertainment throughout! We spent our first evening relaxing, drinking more cocktails whilst playing cards in the relaxing climbs of the bar lounge.
Sadly – the resort still had not sorted our sleeping arrangements or mini bar…. (*Sigh)
Meeting the Mercury agent
After another nights (not so great) sleep, we had arranged to meet our agent on the now Wednesday afternoon in reception area. We enjoyed another nice fresh breakfast with the cats. We reclined – pool side, whilst basking in temperature’s of over twenty degrees (loving life right now!)
The afternoon luncheon soon came around once more. We ventured up to the dining quarters, sadly service was still at an all time ‘low’. After many a ‘gruff’ look, long stares from the waiting staff – one can safely say that the hospitality levels as such at Ramala Bay Resort – are bordering on the ‘shocking‘ level. After more mishaps, with barley being able to order a timid water once again it was time for us to meet our rep in reception.
Hold tight to your sun hats! – Sandra C remained most calm throughout our talk with her. To her credit she did sort out for us the mini bar and bed situation. We finally obtained the reason for our awful treatment for past two and a half days. It all boiled down to money – ‘all inclusive’ then the wearing of the wrist band that separated you from the rest… We / I was then forced to upgrade to the all inclusive package which then entitles you to: certain free drinks (on range offer from the resort.) Resort – included lunch, (plus water.) All of which we were NOT informed on, subject at time of sign up to actual holiday from Mercury Travel. We were given a ticket, then upsold a talk on a history trip to the neighbouring island of Gozo. All in all with this ‘stealthy service’ I personally felt all but ‘half cocked‘ looking to the rest of this holiday.
Needless to say after this half baked experience, the tide began to turn. Amy and myself shared some amazing memories in the evening sunset over Ramala Bay. The trip to Gozo was nice, yet not without fault. A local toilet cleaner was very rude to Amy on our trip out there. All she was requiring was a ‘pee‘. We were also upsold a photo package, we took part in the lengthy process. Only to be told afterwards that we would require a lot of money to purchase any worthy snaps…
I find it with a sadness, that virtually the entire holiday experience nowadays is one of expenditure. That and one of being ‘upsold virtually everything in sight!… Even our free ticket to a Blue Lagoon boat trip, was tarnished due to our rep not explaining the process in full. Due to her negligence we missed out on two exclusive boat trips.
Rounding up, rounding over:
We made the most of the entire holiday. It just seemed slightly overshadowed by the highlighted discrepancies. All in all – it held true ‘romantic value’. Two – three couples became married whilst we were there. Malta boasts the amazing weather, very near the throws of Italy. Warm shoreline’s, with great beaches. It does seem a shame to mention the ‘bad hospitality’ at the resort itself – yet, we are in 2018 now. This sees us with many trying to ‘create the ultimate holidays’ dream‘. It could be perceived that they are trying a little too hard in the wrong places…
On the afternoon that we left, I treated myself to a pizza at the resorts outside café bar (pool side.) I must say #cookingandmixing that this was quite truly exquisite! Amazing base, a very nice balance of the cheese and mushroom (sourced locally) – as was the amazing tomato sauce on the base! Top marks all over here. #cookingandmixing
The flight back home – alas was delayed tremendously. To add further insult to our travelling injuries we were then held when back at Stansted due to lazy waiting staff on the plane, who systematically messed up pretty much all of our baggage arrivals… AWFUL!
All in all we enjoyed the holiday, it was just sadly mainly the heat lived up to the full expectations of ‘holiday glory’ here. It seems a shame that in this age, there are still so many segregation’s of the classes. Still with many romantic bollounge moments, the holiday was worthwhile indeed. We would like to visit the Carrabin next time, here’s hoping!….Cheers!
Quantum Creations 2018.