January 21, 2022

A Chat with Mike, The Owner of 19 Rooms from Malta

Mike, the owner of 19 Rooms, with his dedication to one-of-a-kind hotel and travel experience, and his expertise in curating perfect vacations, will make sure to make yours unforgettable in his newly renovated boutique hotel in Malta. Classic comfort, historic charm, and contemporary style of this enchanting Maltese palazzo will make your stay unique and leave you wanting more.

A Bittersweet Story Turns into a Passion

19 Rooms’ bittersweet story begins before Mike made his arrival. The hotel opened its doors in 2018 by a couple of successful restaurateurs. Unfortunately, the Covid 19 pandemic hit business hard and forced the owners to give it up. Mike stepped in and re-envisioned 19 Rooms and reopened the boutique hotel by 2021.

19 Rooms
The peaceful ambience at 19 Rooms

When you enter 19 Rooms, it’s easy to feel the love and care put into it. The boutique hotel exudes a peaceful ambience. Mike worked hard to blend the original Baroque architecture with a modern, sleek, and contemporary interpretation during the restoration process. He believes that a boutique hotel and your stay can be in “fine style, but also comfort”. Mike strives to provide a feeling of “home” and he has curated an experience that goes far past the limits of traditional tourism.

A Hotel Where Hospitality and Experience are in the DNA

Travel and education are deeply engrained in Mike’s DNA. From his very first trip as a young boy, Mike fell in love with the whole experience of travelling. He soon figured out how to combine it with his other passion, education, and worked in the international education field for 20 years. Through this collision of worlds, he was able to traverse the globe and come into contact with people from all walks of life. Through his travels, he experienced hospitality and boutique hotels at their best and word. “These experiences gave me the energy to move into hospitality and boutique hotels”, and it is that energy he has brought into 19 Rooms with full force. Mike explained the philosophy he weaves into his work at 19 Rooms,

“Hospitality for me is about exceptional service and being an enabler for your guests.”

He heavily draws inspiration from his own excellent travel experiences and his personal favourite is from a hotel in Lugano, with his wife and his then 18-month-year-old daughter. “This was no fancy hotel, but the staff had incredible attention to detail and by observing our behaviour, they personalised our stay. They had a small range of toys in the restaurant, and every morning, they would place the toy my daughter was playing with the day before on our table.” Mike recalls the memory with a smile and his own attention to detail becomes even more appreciated.

19 Rooms
Lounge of 19 Rooms

The staff at 19 Rooms, with Mike at the helm, are passionate about creating the most memorable experience for the guests. They want to pamper you beyond your wildest expectations. Each guest and each stay is different, and they work to provide a unique, tailored visit. They work with the guest’s desires and curate connections with the community; to find hidden gems, fantastic restaurants and unforgettable experiences.

Eco-Sustainability is a Central Part of the Hotel’s Life

Besides providing the perfect trip for a guest, sustainability is at the top of the priority list for Mike and 19 Rooms. Mike says that ”climate change and sustainability are some of the most important challenges that we are all facing as a planet, and this will not go away for the foreseeable future. We all need to, as individuals and as a collective, take the right decisions and actions to try and rectify what is a dire situation.”

 “We recognise the realities of climate change and focus on reducing our footprint and being a responsible part of our community.”

One of the many ways that 19 Rooms works to fight its carbon footprint is by sourcing its food locally from the island. This act creates an essential relationship between the hotel and the local community, helping to take care of each other.

19 Rooms

Besides sourcing food, the hotel staff try to connect the guests to the community to encourage local interactions between travellers and the city. Mike and 19 Rooms are also currently working on certifying with Green Key. They aim to be fully offset all their carbon footprint and to be the first hotel in Malta to do so.

The Philosophy: No One Stay is the Same

Mike believes that there is no one perfect hotel stay. It all depends on the circumstance, the trip and who, if anyone, you are travelling with. If he is with his wife, he prefers luxury. If it is for work, then convenience and location matter.

 “The common thread with all these, however, is a personalised service, the human touch and attention to detail.”

19 Rooms is all about the details. From the moment you walk through the doors and take in the serene beauty of the restored baroque building, you notice how meticulous the boutique hotel is. From every piece of hand-chosen furniture to the colours and decor, Mike’s passion fills 19 Rooms. The sand, earth colour plate, with pops of blues and orange, means that the calm of an Italian sunset on the shore surrounds you throughout your stay.

19 Rooms
Michael Xuereb, the owner of unique 19 Rooms

Where are you dreaming of going next? Costa Rica

What makes you happy? Family, great experiences, a good laugh

Where do you get your energy from? Purpose, people around me, success and achievement