The Malta Independent 22 October 2018, Monday

Senglea’s iconic Macina Bastion comes back to life

Tuesday, 19 December 2017, 14:58 Last update: about 11 months ago

The new opening of Cugó Gran Macina Grand Harbour in the historical city of Senglea is yet another milestone in 2017 for the IBB Hotel Collection as the hospitality company continues to expand further in Europe. Steeped in an evocative history going back to the 16th century, Cugó Gran Maċina combines a unique harbour location, spectacular views and the very best in modern luxury.

Following an intensive 18-month restoration and renovation process, Senglea's iconic Macina Bastion has now come back to life as an exclusive Cugó Gran luxury accommodation. It has welcomed its first guests, while its panoramic terrace served as the venue for its first wedding. Apart from being part of the IBB Hotel Collection, which operates hotels under lease, management and franchise contracts with three different own brands: Cugó Gran, IBB Hotel and IBB Blue Hotel, Cugó Gran Macina is the first member of Design Hotels from Malta.


Built in 1554 during the reign of Grand Master Claude de la Sengle, the Sheer Bastion has been one of the Grand Harbour's most renowned landmarks, deriving its name Macina (originally macchina) from the large sheer crane structure, used to hoist heavy masts and other cargo, which was eventually dismantled during the British period in 1864. Today, the Cugó Gran Macina is aiming high by aspiring to be a landmark of a different class, a luxury boutique accommodation that will be a showpiece on the historic Cottonera seafront.

Offering 21 suites with high vaulted ceilings and ample natural light, ranging from 40 square metres to an impressive 130 square metres, all decorated in a minimalist style to create a luxury environment, Cugó Gran Macina has been truly transformed into an inspiring accommodation with a difference.  Blended with bespoke interior design and luxury features, all rooms have unobstructed views of the Grand Harbour and the surrounding marina against a backdrop of historical fortress walls.

Overlooking the Three Cities with views extending as far as Valletta, the rooftop terrace has been tastefully converted to accommodate events for up to 1,000 guests, offering an ideal venue for weddings, special events and corporate functions. A guest swimming pool is tucked discreetly on the annex building rooftop overlooking picturesque Vittoriosa and Cospicua. The Cugó Gran Macina offers a restaurant and a bar, operated by the well-known and award-winning Maltese restaurateur Chris Hammett and his team, also catering at the rooftop terrace. One board room for small meetings and conferences completes the wide range of services. 

Thorsten Sander, 45, has been appointed its general manager. In his last appointment, Sander managed Hotel Nassauer Hof in Wiesbaden (Germany), one of the leading German Grandhotels.

Vladimir Saal, CEO of IBB Hotel Collection, said: "Thorsten Sander has a wealth of experience in the hotel sector, having worked in a number of hotels in Germany and the United States. Furthermore, this accommodation has been restored with much loving care as no expense has been spared to achieve this level of luxury. We strongly believe that the Macina historic building has now regained its former glory, enjoyed in past centuries and will live again as an integral historical part of Malta's majestic Grand Harbour."

And it shows. The suites have been designed with the discerning travellers in mind, having all amenities available in-room to make their stay all the more comfortable and inclusive in a uniquely historic yet luxurious setting. Every guest will be departing from Cugó Gran Macina with a great experience of hospitality lived in a truly historical setting.

The inspiring, bespoke and bold IBB Hotel Collection is a subsidiary of Von der Heyden Group, a developer and investor based in Malta. Currently operating 11 hotels in Germany, Poland and Spain, the Group has ambitious growth plans for the coming years. The Group is currently constructing an own asset in the historic city centre of Gdansk (Poland) under the IBB brand, namely IBB Hotel Dlugi Targ.

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