The Malta Independent 17 October 2019, Thursday

AX Group inaugurates 5-star luxury hotel in Valletta

Friday, 13 September 2019, 13:34 Last update: about 2 months ago

The €15 million investment project is part of AX Group’s long-term vision for the regeneration of Valletta.

Valletta's first 5-star luxury hotel, Rosselli - AX Privilege, was officially inaugurated on Thursday, 12 September 2019. As the seventh and latest addition to the AX Hotels chain, the project involved a €15 million investment in the restoration and development of a 17th century Palazzo into a luxury hotel housing 25 designer suites, all part of the AX Designer Collection, and three dining venues.

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Rosselli - AX Privilege is part of AX Group's long-term plan for the regeneration of Valletta. Mr Angelo Xuereb, Chairman of AX Group, who published a masterplan for Valletta three decades ago, has stressed the need to upgrade and improve the city. His vision included the regeneration of old buildings into boutique hotels, the creation of pedestrian zones and implementation of measures to attract residents back to the city.

"I've always believed that in order for the regeneration of Valletta to take place, there needs to be a strong investment from both the private sector and from the Government, which started a few years back and is currently still underway. While AX Hotels are already prominent in Qawra and Sliema, AX Group now saw the need to invest in Valletta", said Mr Xuereb.

The Group's latest project, led by AX Construction, involved removing accretions to restore the Palazzo to its original state, while taking measures to raise the benchmark for hotels in Valletta. These actions include protecting the building's limestone against humidity, and installing special lighting effects on the building's façade.

Events such as Malta's EU Presidency and Valletta 2018 have highlighted the importance of investing in restoration works and the built environment in the city. AX Group hopes that their endeavours will be emulated by the Government, who are encouraged to install similar lighting effects on the restored façade of the Old University and the Jesuit Church opposite Rosselli. Mr Xuereb also urged the Planning Authority to erect a new Board with an expert understanding of historic buildings, in order to safeguard Malta's heritage, create well-balanced buildings and be efficient so as to reduce the inconvenience to the neighbourhood. 

"Valletta is a unique city that deserves high-quality international exposure", said Mrs Claire Zammit Xuereb, Hospitality Director of AX Group. "With Rosselli, we sought to create a 5-star hotel with a difference in order to complement the progress and development that is taking place in Valletta today. Our aim is not to sell rooms, but to add value to the city of Valletta and elevate Malta's potential to tap into new international markets."

The Rosselli project also includes a new dining concept for Malta. Grain, the restaurant located within the same Palazzo as Rosselli, introduces three different concepts on three different levels. "We've opened Grain Street, which is accessed from street level, and in a few weeks we will be opening underGrain, which is based on a refined dining concept. In a year's time, we will also be opening overGrain, on the top floor of the hotel", said Mrs Zammit Xuereb.

Mr Michael Warrington, CEO of AX Group, said: "AX Group has a long-term vision for its investments. We believe that in Valletta there is still much potential for the appreciation of the value of property. We've already invested in two properties and are looking at other properties and investments in the near future."

AX Group is currently in the planning stage for another two hotels, which are expected to be opened in 2021 and 2022.

"I am proud that AX Group is living my vision for Valletta and we are committed to continue to be a major player in our country's economic growth and well-being to our workforce and service providers", Mr Xuereb said. "Without any doubt, Rosselli is going to play an instrumental role in raising the level of quality of hotels, both in Valletta and across other parts of Malta."


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