Manoel Island Marina Review Summary
After a weeklong sail from Gibraltar to Malta with an unscheduled stop in Algeria and Tunisia, the port entrance to Malta was a very welcome site. After seven days of living aboard Britican, the crew of 5 adults and 1 child were very eager to get on stable ground and enjoy a hot shower.
We entered the Manoel Island Marina around 11pm and since the marina was closed, we anchored outside its line of pontoons. Coming from England where most marinas are open 24 hours/day, every day, I thought it was strange that we couldn’t moor on a pontoon but perhaps that’s the way things are in the Mediterranean.
Stable land and hot showers would have to wait one more night
When we woke, we received a call from the marina attendant, Pierre. He directed us to the berth, helped us with our warps (ropes), gave us the ‘slime line’ (ropes permanently anchored in the front of boats to help keep the boat tied down) and gave us a warm greeting.
My husband, Simon, got off the boat and was driven over to Customs by another marina attendant. Apparently, that’s not common practice but Simon was grateful for the help. We then spent a couple hours trying to get the electricity to work. After trying three or four different outlets on different poles we finally got some juice.
Unfortunately, however the facilities didn’t match the excellent customer service. They were quite a disappointment considering the hefty 118 Euros/night fee we were paying. The toilets leaked and didn’t flush well, there’s no hand dryer or papers to dry your hands and the biggest let down was the showers. Not only was hot/warm water in short supply, but the pressure went from mediocre to a dribble. Furthermore, the mirror had a large brown blemish across a large space (see picture).
If the fees were less, I wouldn’t be so upset, but for 118 Euros/night (excluding water and electricity), I thought that we’d at least get a hot shower! It’s the small things like flushing toilets and hot showers that are on top of my list when it comes to selecting a marina. Of course, good shelter, stable conditions and a nice view are important too, but sadly, I wouldn’t recommend Manoel Island Marina if you’ll be depending on the use of their facilities.
Note: Mooring prices are dependant on the length of your boat. Our boat is 56′ so if you’re boat is smaller, the fee will be less.
The Manoel Island Marina, Malta Review – In Detail
Excellent however everything they did for us seemed to be accompanied with this response, ‘This isn’t our standard service. We usually don’t do this for our customers.’ They helped us go to customs, printed out some plane tickets on their printers and Pierre especially was extremely helpful.
With the capital city, Valletta, in the background Manoel Island Marina is an amazingly beautiful mooring. Each morning I woke up, popped up on deck and enjoyed the spectacular view. Off the back of the boat, we had Valletta’s huge fortress buttresses and skyline and from the port side, we had a lovely view of beautiful buildings. Towards the entrance of the pontoons was a service road and behind that a boatyard.
Manoel Island Marina is perfectly located to go anywhere on the Island or to the other close island. There’s a bus stop near the entrance of the marina and with a short walk, you’ll find boats that will take you to Valetta, Gozo, a 3 cities cruise and much more. Furthermore, there are loads of restaurants, bars, shops and even a mall within walking distance.
Comfort of mooring
The Manoel Island Marina is very well protected. Even when it got a bit windy we barely moved around.
The marina was very quiet at night. One evening we did hear a neighboring bar get a bit rowdy and it was a Monday night. The noise stopped before we went to bed so it wasn’t too late.
We didn’t experience any noise from other boaters.
General atmosphere on the pontoon
Everyone moored around us was extremely helpful and pleasant. We made quite a few new friends and really enjoyed the company.
Facilities on the jetty
Water – took us three different hook-ups to find one that worked.
Electricity – took hours and the help of an attendant to find an electricity outlet that worked.
Facilities on land (Toilets, etc)
Toilets and showers (3 of each)
Distance to facilities
We were on pontoon D which was the furthest pontoon from the facilities. It was quite a hike. I took a good 10 minutes with Sienna (3 ½ year old) as she had to avoid the cracks! A normal person would take 5 minutes. It doesn’t sound like a long time but when you have to do it a few times/day it does seem to take a while.
- Three stall in total
- Each unit is sturdy closes very well
- Each shower head has more water spraying out the sides than down on your body
- Water pressure goes from mediocre to a drip
- Temperature ranges from scalding hot to tepid constantly going back and forth. Unfortunately it then goes cold and once it’s cold it stays cold.
- Only one stall had hooks on the back of the door – and it had 2 of them
- No place to put soap other than the floor
- Only 1 chair was provided outside the showers so there was a serious lack of places to put clothes, bags, towels. If left on the floor everything would get wet
- Overall the cleanliness was very good – however, the cleaner cleaned in the morning and closed the bathrooms while doing so. We had to wait ½ hour one time to get into the facilities at 8am.
- Our suggestion: use the first shower upon entering – it has the best pressure and the most amount of water than will hit your body. Unfortunately, there’s no hooks, but we felt that the priority was getting the best shower.
- Three toilets with one missing a seat
- Only one flushes everything down – the others take a couple flushes
- Our suggestion: use the first toilet you come to upon entering
Other things to note
There’s no hand dryer or paper towel to dry your hands after washing them.
Outside the showers was an alcove holding the hot water tank and some hooks. The floor was covered in dust and the alcove was cordoned off with a tape. It looked as if the ceiling fell down and no one had the time to clean it up. Instead of sweeping the floor, the mess was left and tape was used to cordon it off.
We were told that if the toilets ever got locked, we could ask the attendant in the office adjacent to open them up for us. We went at 10:30am and the woman’s was locked and no one was in the offices. After carrying all our shower gear up (and Sienna’s stuff) we had to return with out showers. After going back around 12:30, the toilets were still locked but an attendant was available to open the doors. We were told that we could pay 25 Euros (refundable) to get a card to open the toilets anytime but since we thought someone would be on hand to open them, it didn’t make much sense. So, if you stay at Manoel Island Marina, knowing what you now know, it might be worth getting that card!
There’s no laundry or shopping facilities on site but they’re not a far walk into the town.
The closest Wifi is at the Paparazzi Bar – located at the entrance of the marina, right next to the toilets and showers. Another great location for Wifi is the Irish Bar across the street from the Marina entrance called, Jubilee Café.
Overall Verdict on Manoel Island Marina
Overall, it’s a beautiful location however the facilities really let the whole marina down. It’s just not value for money. If money is no object and you have enough water on board to shower head to Manoel Island. If, however, money is a concern and you want nice facilities I suggest you look elsewhere.