In the tip of the crisis and the awareness for ecology architecture is doing its best to accommodate the resident and the environment. This is the exact approach and philosophy that ‘Lucia Nova’ a new boutique ''hotel'' located in a historic building (250+ years old) of Valletta, Malta has taken as a main source. A project which has taken into consideration even the expenses of size and it may even be the smallest existing hotel with just two rooms for accommodation.
First and foremost the ecological factor comes in with the recycling of the existing. In this case this has been achieved by the use of an original historic residential building consisting of 3 levels and a roof terrace. The house has a very unique setup and consists of one room on top of each other, connected by a large spiral stone staircase. Mostly all of the deteriorating structure has been left as it was, emphasizing its wear through time and its importance. There is great emphasis of the old in the structure and of the new in the decoration. Even in the very few walls that were treated, they were done so in a way for them to match the existing conditions. The hotel’s philosophy is straight forward and clear, NO single dose toiletries, NO unnecessary large spaces, YES to personalized service, YES to eco-friendly accommodation.
Walking inside the living room on the first level and looking around, you are inquisitive and puzzled. The furniture is rococoesque together with mod and traditional all put together in the run down space. One would think that this residence belongs to a poor family with a rich uncle who showered them with FF&E’S. There is an overbearing emphasis of the relationship between old & new. Everything has a meaning and a symbolism. All accessories and decorative items have been purchased from flea markets reminiscent of those that would have probably been present originally in the interiors.
Attention is definitely paid to all finishes. Most of all the exquisite original Terazzo flooring. A key factor in the ambience of the space through geometric shapes and the presence of true historic value. A value that is also encompassed on the original narrow staircase. Running from street level to the terrace this staircase reveals its old age through its wear and tear. No secrets, no hiding & no regrets.
Leading up to the first completed bedroom one can’t take his eyes away from the marriage between the wall and the bed. Initially the wall looks like it has been treated with some special technique, but at a closer glance you understand that it is just the work of the great progress of time. In such a confined space all you need is a grand bed that invites you in. The true surprise is the black mod bathroom acting as a separate unit from everything else. Attention must be paid through the glazed doors reminding you that you may be leaving in the present but there is the great charm of the past.
The second bedroom on the upper level is now in construction and it is a hidden surprise. However we have inside information that it will consist of dark brown tones of stucco veneziano chosen to render part of the walls, a colour that was picked up from one of the layers of paint discovered when scraping the walls. For the rest of the room, exposed Maltese limestone, rich dark marble trims, patterned tiles and textured fabrics are in the works.
Lucia Nova, part of the Valletta Suites project, is a truly particular hotel for very particular clientele. Appreciation and awareness is mandatory together with excitements and playfulness. A combination of several styles but always one strong concept. Learn to see the beauty of that which has a history to tell and enjoy the excitement of that which has just been brought to life.