It’s not the only sixteenth-century Baroque palace in town — in Valletta, Malta, Baroque architecture is a seemingly inexhaustible resource. But the Palais Le Brun is unique all the same. It’s the execution perhaps more than the concept that makes it such a remarkable hotel: once the residence of the leader of the Knights of Malta, it’s now a 28-room boutique hotel that sacrifices little in terms of either comfort or atmosphere in the course of its transformation into a modern lodging.
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The palace’s classic architecture is still intact, though the interiors have been restored to the point of looking absolutely new — the marble floors in the bedrooms look as though they could have been laid yesterday — and they come with the modern necessities, like bedside USB outlets and espresso machines. The stone-and-tile bathrooms are the clearest exemplar of the approach: classic in aspect, but with the welcome addition of walk-in rain showers.
Patakka, the hotel’s restaurant, is open all day, shading from a hearty breakfast to upscale Mediterranean fare by dinner, all served in an elegant cellar space. And from within Palais Le Brun you’re at the heart of old Valletta, close not only to many historic sites but to a surprising number of bars, cafés, bakeries, and restaurants.