Holiday from hell’ hotel gets enforcement notice

La Valette, also run by Blue Sea Malta Ltd, has been closed by the tourism authority. Photo: Matthew Mirabelli

The tourism authority has slapped a hotel with a two-week enforcement notice following an inspection at the resort which was described as a rundown homeless hostel by a Scottish tourist. The Blue Sea St George s Park Hotel in St Julian s was inspected on Tuesday and handed the notice on Friday, MTA CEO Paul Bugeja told this newspaper. The operators of St George s Park Hotel Blue Sea Malta Ltd are the same operators that were served with an enforcement notice last September for another hotel they operated in the vicinity, the La Valette, which has since been closed by the tourism authority.

In the meantime, St George s Park was operating under the understanding that it was undergoing refurbishment. However, following an inspection in January, it was established that the hotel was not satisfying several criteria required for a three-star category hotel and the operator was notified to address these shortcomings, such as cleanliness, finishings and the state of the furniture. Following another inspection last week, the MTA served a two-week enforcement notice to the operators on Friday.

The visit on Tuesday came in the wake of the publication of an article in the Daily Record, Scotland s second-highest circulation newspaper, recounting the experience of Yvonne Maguire at the hotel. The report said it was a Discount Holidays © holiday from hell , and the 50-year-old described the place as disgusting, uninhabitable, like a rundown homeless hostel, filthy and falling apart . Headlined Wish you were here? No Chance , the article quotes Ms Maguire saying that breakfast included mouldy bread and that cockroaches were coming up the drains on the one night they ate at the restaurant.

When contacted, Mr Bugeja said that the authority carried out inspections throughout the year, and also investigated complaints related to tourism operations, which usually led to an inspection of the premises. Following a report, the operator is notified of deficiencies and given a deadline. However, in cases of notable shortages, legal action is taken.

This could include an enforcement notice to either rectify the irregularity or stop operations.

Tourism operations need to commit to the established standards in the relevant legislation that contribute towards value for money to the customers, Mr Bugeja said.

In a bid to improve the monitoring of such operations, MTA has strengthened its Enforcement Directorate personnel complement by increasing the number from eight to 18 people in the last six months, he added.

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