20 applications to construct or develop boutique hotels – relatively small hotels with upmarket facilities – have been approved by the Planning Authority in the past three years, this business portal has learned. PA application data, which is available through the Planning Authority’s website, also shows that 15 applications for boutique hotels filed since 2015 are still pending. One application was rejected in 2015.
This means that out of 50 applications to construct or develop boutique hotels since 2008, 36 applications were made in the past three years.
No boutique hotel applications have been rejected since MEPA split into two separate authorities in April 2016.
Valletta is by far the most popular city for applications to develop boutique hotels in Malta. Since 2008, 10 applications to construct or develop in the capital have been approved. Four other applications are still pending a decision, whilst three applications were withdrawn or refused. The next most popular locations are Birgu and Rabat, Gozo, with four applications each. Birgu has seen two applications approved and two pending, whilst Rabat has three approved applications and one which is pending.
29 of the 50 total applications have been accepted, with 16 still awaiting a decision and five applications withdrawn or refused.
Fourteen applications were made to develop in Gozo. Most of these have been approved.
The data confirms that the boutique hotel concept has become very popular with Maltese developers. The trend is not exclusively local, as the international hospitality sector has been pushing for increased innovation in recent years.