Entrance (access to a sunbed and regular umbrella): €20 for normal sunbeds; €25 for cushioned sunbeds; €40 for VIP sunbeds; €100 for a luxury bed for two; €120 for gazebos (max. 4 people)
Average spend (for umbrella, sunbed, two drinks and one course): €60
Free access: No
Table (sunbed) service: Yes
Access to the sea: No
Parking: Parking available at a fee
Best for: Seamless transition from day to night pool parties
Stay away if: You’re not into crowds
Café del Mar is perhaps best known for its summer pool parties. Home to Showers, Lost and Found Festival as well as a number of weekly events, Café del Mar is just what you’re looking for if you want to move from sipping cocktails by the pool to dinner and/or dancing the summer nights away.
This is an adult venue, though there is a kids’ pool tucked away at the entrance and families are welcome, though children are not allowed at the main infinity pool.
The views from the sunbeds are pretty spectacular. A clear blue infinity pool transitions seamlessly to the deeper blue of the horizon with St Paul’s Island breaking from the lighter blue of the skies. These are the Monday Blues we can really get behind.
Entrance is free to use the restaurant, however if plan on using the pool, it can get pretty expensive. At €20 for a sunbed, €25 if you want something half decent and options that increase to €50 a head you wouldn’t expect crowds. I opted for the cushioned sunbeds which were a little too close to each other for comfort. When you can hear every word of the conversation going on next door and even smell their drinks, you tend to feel a little claustrophobic.
Once you get into the water that all seems to melt away. The pool is shallow enough to stand in which makes it a perfect spot to sip on cocktails and socialise with friends. It’s easy to get into the water and stay there for the entire afternoon, coming up only for refreshments and some food.
The pool menu is light with a selection of salads, sandwiches, burgers and pizzas at an average of €15 per plate. Just a few steps behind the sunbeds, the restaurant offers more discerning palates something a little better for those with larger appetites and deeper pockets, with starters averaging €10 and mains, €25.
The sunset is really something else at Café del Mar, so much so that people gather at the entrance to take photos of the sun setting over St Paul’s Island. Though the crowd is starting to change from the day group to night and bikinis are swapped for dresses and high heels, but some of the day group linger on, heads turned out towards the horizon, watching the sun set while enjoying the last of their drinks before heading off. But really why head off when you can simply put on a little more clothing and have dinner to the sounds of live music or DJs. As the night goes on, the party builds so you can easily hang on a little longer, put on your dancing shoes and dance the night away.
Address: Malta National Aquarium, Triq it-Trunciera, St Paul’s Bay
Facebook: Café del Mar Malta
Written by Rachel Zammit Cutajar who was too busy doing handstands and having ‘F’ it Fridays to load herself.