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Merchants Street was in full-on celebratory mode on Friday 29th September as AX Hotels officially opened its first hotel in Valletta, AX The Saint John. The unveiling of this hotel showcased the new lease of life that has been given to a historic 17th-century building and its transformation into a #smart space for smart #people.

On the evening, AX The Saint John Walk highlighted the official inauguration of the hotel together with an exclusive fashion show, by the international clothing brand Cessani, who launched an exclusive selection of bow ties and its new winter collection on the evening.


Mr Angelo Xuereb, AX Holdings Chairman, together with Ms Claire Zammit Xuereb, Director of Hospitality and Care, officially inaugurated AX The Saint John, in the presence of various distinguished guests.

AX The Saint John

Mr Xuereb illustrated the significance of another successful project implemented on behalf of the company and described the opening of this hotel as “another dream came true”. He explained that AX Hotels had become hospitality leaders in the Qawra area, followed by a strong presence in Sliema, and now its extension of quality and excellence to the Maltese capital, Valletta.  Mr Xuereb explained that “We have been looking for the right property that fits within our portfolio for the past eight years!”  Then in just one day, we concluded on two properties well located close to each other.” The other property is the proposed Palazzo Merkanti which is situated on the same block, on the corner of St Christopher Street.  As a result, “AX Hotels will have two five-star level boutique hotels with a total of 50 hotel rooms and suites,” said Mr Xuereb.

He also emphasised his satisfaction at seeing “my dream of 1989 materialise, when I published my first Master Plan for Valletta, followed by a number of updates on how we can improve Valletta.” Mr Xuereb went on to highlight the importance of the European Capital City of Culture 2018 as the catalyst that encouraged Government and the business sector to invest in restoration projects and as a result transform Valletta into a vibrant UNESCO World Heritage City.


AX The Saint John boutique hotel represents a combined effort within AX Holdings, from planning to finishes, together Ms Claire Zammit Xuereb’s conceptual idea and her magic touch. Mr Xuereb stated that AX The Saint John “(…) is based on an industrial design that blended well with a 147-year-old baroque building.  The final product is unique for Malta and is outstanding from the other beautiful boutique hotels in Valletta.  The positive comments by the tourists are proof of its quality standard,” he added.

AX The Saint John

In her speech, Ms Zammit Xuereb explained that “when we created AX The Saint John, we wanted to do something quite unique, which is different in style and concept, to what you find in Valletta today.” She also mentioned the Cheeky Monkey Gastropub, a popular outlet that has been established since 2015 and is nowadays known as one of Malta’s most popular venues for craft beers, cocktails, delicious food, and entertainment. This concept has proven to be incredibly successful with locals and foreign patrons. So, a Cheeky Monkey Gastropub is now complementing AX The Saint John and providing a unique entertainment spot in the heart of the capital city.


“AX Holdings may seem like a huge corporation to you, made of hundreds of people. Well, it is! However, at the heart of it, are a few people whose heart beats for the company as though it is their own. Regular humble people who are committed to doing extraordinary things with their time. I am immensely proud of my team, who have made AX Hotels what it is today. We have grown together! I thank them all, for their passion, which doesn’t exist much today, and their families for all the support,” added Ms Zammit Xuereb.

AX The Saint John is an amalgamation of history, style, and technology inspired by the imposing St John’s Co-Cathedral, the exclusiveness of a club, and masculine tones.


Curious to see more? Book your stay with us and let @AXTheSaintJohnMalta be your home away from home in Valletta!