Malta, it’s fair to say, is having a bit of a “moment.” Visitor numbers are climbing steadily, and Skyscanner named the sunny, culturally rich island nation its number one 2017 travel destination, reporting a 59 percent increase in incoming flights last year. Malta’s Three Cities—Vittoriosa, Senglea, and Cospicua—form the cradle of this ancient Mediterranean land’s rich and storied maritime history, and few locales are more central to that story than the exquisite harbor that embraces Senglea. Here, on the very spot in this fortified city where a landmark structure, or “Macina”, dating from 1554 hoisted heavy masts and other cargo onto the vessels that coursed through these waters, a new hotel—Cugó Gran Macina Grand Harbour—is readying itself to rise.
Naturally, the goal here is to bring forth a living testament to the past—as Cugó Gran Macina Grand Harbour will, with its high-vaulted ceilings and large, architecturally relevant communal spaces—but also to embrace today’s international travelers, those who enjoy experiences that are both culturally rich and stunningly designed. To meet that goal, the renowned design team Daaa Haus is using a team of local craftspeople, artists, and carpenters to augment interiors that will also feature work by top European designers. If you envision an inspiring environment of chalk-white walls, limestone, and slate filled with tufted wool rugs, Scandinavian pieces, and bespoke Italian sofas and beds, then you will start to get the beautiful idea in play here.
Cugó Gran Macina Grand Harbour’s elegant design will also utilize a wealth of rich materials, such as lacquered raw steel, lava stone, limed oak, Carrara marble, slate, Maltese hard stone, and custom tinted glass, through its 21 suites that range from 40 square meters to an impressive 130 square meters across two floors. But all that said, the real showstopper here will be the unobstructed views of the Grand Harbour and the surrounding marina—accessible from each and every suite, as well as the rooftop terrace and pool—views that stretch back to the 16th century and beyond.