13 ELEGANTLY FURNISHED, SPACIOUS ROOMS AND SUITES
THE IBB HOTEL PALAZZO BETTINA
The IBB Hotel Palazzo Bettina Malta features 13 luxuriously furnished suites, ideally equipped for both the leisure and business guest.
Palazzo Bettina consists of a ground floor, first floor, and 2 mezzanines: at the top of the building there is also a large panoramic terrace, complete with a swimming pool and jacuzzi, overlooking the beautiful marina.
The reception area, located at the main entrance welcomes guests in style and is characterised by an amazing vaulted ceiling. The atrium overlooking the internal courtyard gives the hotel character; from here, it is impossible not to breathe in the history that permeates the walls of this building.
Even though the building is steeped in history, the 4-star hotel in Birgu provides the latest technological solutions and free WiFi throughout the property.
Palazzo Bettina is the 8th hotel in the IBB Hotel Collection portfolio, which operates several hotels in Poland and Germany, and another in Malta close to its location.
The beautifully finished boutique hotel appears to date back to the 17th century and has a long and varied history serving as a residence for several distinguished individuals and families, in particular, Elizabeth Muscat Dorell (1741-1829), known as Lady Bettina, who also gave her name to the building.
Lady Bettina was a court lady of the Queen of the Kingdom of the two Sicilies. Part of the high society and the wife of Diego Muscat, apart from being a benefactress of the St. Lawrence church, the building alongside the Palazzo, she was also famous as being the aunt of Fabrizio Sceberras Testaferrata, one of the most famous Maltese Cardinals.
History has it that the Cardinal himself was born in this place, as indicated on a plaque outside the building, even though some historians trace back his birthplace to the St. Paul Parish in Valletta.
Following the death of Lady Bettina, in 1829, the palazzo was given as a convent to Saint Emily de Vialar. In 1832 she founded the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph of the Apparition and she settled there before the mid-1800s. However, the legend goes that the nuns soon left the building, which at that time was also known as “the place of the Abbot's bakery”, as it was apparently haunted: the nuns could no longer put up with the noises they heard throughout the night. Even though no documents or direct witnesses exist, according to history the entity that haunted the building was the ghost of the Abbot, son of the Maltese Baron Joseph Gauci, whose relatives lived there before Lady Bettina. The story goes that the Baron’s relatives had killed his son by throwing him into the oven and burning him alive; such brutality was conjured up for inheritance reasons, as the Abbot was the only son and heir to the Baron himself, and without him, they would have inherited everything.
The palazzo served as a British military hospital in the second half of the 19th century.
Finally, St Ġorġ Preca, a Maltese Catholic priest and the founder of the Society of Christian Doctrine as well as a Third Order Carmelite also made use of the property as one of the seats for the Society of Christian Doctrine in the inter war years. The property was split into tenements just before the World War II and was somewhat damaged during the war, following which it remained disused for a long period.
In 2017, Palazzo Bettina was purchased by the Sormani family. Renzo Sormani, a successful Italian entrepreneur in industry and real estate, was charmed by the history of the building.
Sormani, with extensive experience in recovering and renovating ancient buildings with the objective of returning them to their original splendor, decided to undertake this new adventure. The result of the investment can be seen in the complete renovation of the building, transformed into a luxury boutique hotel.
The restoration was completed in the summer of 2021 and included the creation of 13 rooms fitted with every possible comfort and luxury.
IBB Hotel Collection took over Palazzo Bettina in 2023 and re-opened the boutique hotel as a 4-star hotel.
The building integrates perfectly into the historical context of the marina and the renovation, which was carried out right from the beginning with the objective of preserving its authenticity but also enhancing it and has showcased Palazzo Bettina in its original splendor.
All of the floors in the boutique hotel have been made using prestigious decorated tiles and the windows, doors, furniture, and accessories have all been made by the Italian company Deflorian, originally from Trentino Alto Adige, selecting and processing the best wood from the Dolomites since 1947.
Very special care was taken in the selection and creation of the technological solutions: every room is fitted with controlled automation systems, with every door opened by a card, as well as control of lighting, electricity, TVs (all exclusively LED), and air conditioning.
Palazzo Bettina has been restored with passion, combines ancient with modern, and offers an optimal solution both for those looking for a luxury historical dwelling with a certain flair and for those searching for an elegant, modern, and progressive solution.
Its central position is strategic for passing visitors as well as for business customers and tourists who want to breathe deeply into the Maltese climate and culture.
It is now part of the IBB Hotel Collection, which operates hotels in Poland and Germany, and a 5* hotel in Malta. In the next years, IBB Hotel Collection plans further development in Europe and beyond.