The courtyard at Talbot and Bons - a great alternative to a Malta airport Hotel
Europe

Better Than a Malta Airport Hotel – Talbot & Bons

Whenever we have an early morning flight home from Europe, I will usually seek out an airport hotel for that last night.  Long travel days are exhausting.  I’m all for doing anything I can to minimize that first-thing-in-the-morning stress of getting to the airport for an early flight. Staying nearby helps.  So when I discovered that our air itinerary home from Malta started with a 7am flight, I reflexively looked for a Malta airport hotel. 

And I couldn’t find one.  The Malta airport isn’t surrounded by the typical chain hotels you can find in other major cities.  Certainly this is due to the fact that the capital city Valletta is only 15 minutes away.  However, we also needed a COVID test before our return to the US, and testing at an airport clinic on the day before our flight was the easiest option. So I pressed on looking for some sort of Malta airport hotel for our last night.

What I ultimately found was a Bed & Breakfast in a small town adjacent to the airport….walking-distance adjacent.  Talbot and Bons Boutique Bed & Breakfast. It looked pretty nice online and so I booked it. And I’m so glad I did!  This Malta B&B gem turned out to be far better than any airport hotel I’ve ever stayed at. 

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The Property

Talbot and Bons is a 12-room boutique Bed & Breakfast located in the small town of Gudja – just a few streets over from the Malta airport.  It only took us 10 minutes to walk from the property to the airport departures hall, and even less to walk to the COVID testing site, located in one of the airport’s parking structures.  So for us, the location was doubly perfect. 

The property itself is a beautifully restored 400 year old farmhouse in the center of Gudja. While it appears quite unassuming on the outside, just wait until you step through the doors.

The exterior of Talbot and Bons Bed and Breakfast near the Malta airport

It features a reception area where you can also sit and have a coffee… 

The reception area of Talbot and Bons Bed and Breakfast in Gudja Malta near the airport

A central courtyard where breakfast is served each morning…. 

The courtyard at Talbot and Bons - a great alternative to a Malta airport Hotel

A side courtyard with a small pool and loungers. Plus, the first sunscreen bar I’ve ever seen….

The pool area at Talbot and Bons Bed and Breakfast in Malta
A sunscreen bar at Talbot and Bons Bed and Breakfast

And my personal favorite – a wine cellar that also functions as a lounge area….

The wine cellar and lounge at Talbot and Bons B&B near the Malta Airport

Our Room

We stayed in Room 1, situated on the ground floor in between the two courtyards.  The first thing we noticed were the thick limestone walls.  This Maltese limestone is a huge part of Maltese architecture everywhere on the island. We loved spending our last night in Malta enveloped by it’s cool charm. Plus, those thick walls offered lots of privacy and quiet, despite the room’s central location on the ground level.

Looking inside one of the rooms at Talbot and Bons B&B
One of the ground floor rooms at Talbot and Bons near the Malta Airport

The bed was the most comfortable of our entire trip.  There was a workspace for Mrs. TT and a couch for me.  And the bathroom?  Check this out….

A bathroom at Talbot and Bons B&B in Gudja Malta

The Staff

In a word…Awesome!  Cherise the manager, reached out to me immediately after I booked, making herself available to answer any questions that I would have in the time leading up to our stay.  

We arrived 3.5 hours prior to check in – we were simply moving over from a 10am check out at our previous place.   Cherise had no problem accommodating us early. She even served us cappuccinos in the reception area while we briefly waited for the staff to finish cleaning our room early.  

Because we would be leaving prior to breakfast service at 5am the following morning, Cherise knocked on our door mid-afternoon with a paper sack breakfast she’d prepared for us – a sandwich, fruit, juice, and a muffin. 

The Neighborhood

Gudja is small.  And there is not a lot to see.  Unless you love wandering quiet village streets.  And I do!  

The church in Gudja Malta
A block of houses in Gudja Malta near the airport
A street in Gudja Malta

Dining

One disadvantage though of staying at Talbot and Bons is the lack of dining options.  There are no restaurants in the immediate area.  Cherise recommended considering a food delivery service – Bolt is a popular one on Malta.  

Because we had our COVID testing appointment at the airport, we ate lunch there. A commercial building on the north side of the airport offers several good eateries, including a bistro owned and managed by Talbot and Bons.  We decided to eat at an Italian restaurant called Vecchia Napoli where I actually enjoyed the best pizza of our whole trip.

The Malta Airport Terminal
The Malta Airport Terminal

For dinner, I walked the 1.5 mile round trip over to the same commercial center, and bought some take-out sushi along with small wine bottles.  We enjoyed these out in Talbot and Bon’s courtyard. And the sushi from Zen Sushi was excellent.

Sushi from Zen Sushi in Malta

If you don’t like the idea of walking back and forth to the airport like we did, it would be easy to use a ride share service like eCabs to eat in a nearby town. A good choice would be the popular fishing village and seafood-eating destination of Marsaxlokk, only 10 minutes away.

Departure Morning

While you could arrange for eCabs to transport you the short distance to the airport, we easily rolled our luggage through the quiet early morning streets of Gudja.  The walk is relatively flat.  You’ll find a couple of larger roads to cross, but they all have crosswalks and pedestrian signals. 

The early m morning quiet streets of Gudja Malta while walking to the airport from Talbot and Bons

A Malta Vacation Base?

While Talbot and Bons is a no-brainer Malta airport hotel choice, could you use it as your base for an entire Malta vacation? 

Personally, I would choose an area that is a bit more central to Malta’s major sites, and one that offers more dining options.  For some ideas, you can click here to read more about our experience staying in Senglea and The Three Cities. Or here to read My Thorough Guide to Traveling in Malta

But, Talbot and Bons could be a convenient place to base yourself for a few days while exploring the southern end of Malta while visiting places like Marsaxlokk, the Blue Grotto, and the megalithic Tarxien Temples.   We found ourselves wishing that we’d stayed an extra day just because we enjoyed the property so much. I highly recommend it.

Click here to go to the Talbot & Bons listing on Booking.com

To read about other cool properties that I highly recommend, check out my post about the time we stayed in a cave house in Setenil de las Bodegas Spain. Or at the Sevier River Ranch & Cattle Company near Bryce Canyon Utah.

And to read even more about southern Malta, then check out my posts about our stay in the beautiful harborside town of Marsaskala Malta.

2 Comments

  • timothy john linnell

    Totally agree. It’s a real gem, inexpensive and I really loved the breakfast spread, it’s a real shame you missed that: it’s generous and great quality, everything is fresh and delicious. It’s laid out in a little room off the main courtyard.

    Been there twice and I’d book it again in a heartbeat. The staff are just exceptionally nice too.

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