What would the Corinthia Palace Hotel & Spa on the Mediterranean island of Malta share in common with an enchanting medieval city and a bevy of timeless vintage cars from all over the globe? Age? Maybe… but that’s not quite the ticket; more likely, it’s the factthat together they are planning the fourth edition of the popular ‘Mdina Classic Car Grand Prix’, taking place on the sunny Island October 9-12, 2014.
What started as a casual idea by French Entrepreneur and classic car enthusiast Thierry Giovannoni while on the island back in 2007, has since developed into one of the more popular appointments in the ’Classical Car’ events diary internationally.
Come October, hordes of aficionados and a bevy of incredibly graceful old machines ranging from 1920s and 30s Bugattis to 1950s Ferraris, Maseratis, Jaguars, Alfa Romeos, Aston Martins and many more big boy brands, will be battling it out wheel to wheel around the ancient city’s winding perimeter roads, originally planned for knights and horses in shining armor, now magically transformed for today’s ‘Kings of the road’.
The event will also feature a ‘Concourse d’Elegance’, held in the magnificent main square of Mdina itself, where the finest local period cars and motorbikes will vie with their highly polished foreign versions for the ultimate crown.
Competition, however, is only one aspect of the Mdina event. Malta is well renowned for its temperate climate, spectacular views, historical heritage and hotels and restaurants, and there’s no better time of the year to enjoy all this than in October, when the weather is usually at its best and the island is flourishing with activity; open air concerts and dinners on romantic terraces, cultural and archaeological expeditions, or perhaps some lazy spells on golden sandy beaches. Indeed, there is no known area in the world the size of Malta that packs in so much and such a variety of old and new, relaxing and exciting experiences.
And this is where the Corinthia Palace Hotel & Spa comes into the picture, as the Mdina Grand Prix’s official hotel partner, its main competition base, and host to all of its participants. The hotel, itself styled as Malta’s ‘Grand Dame’ of hotels, was opened in 1968 by the local Pisani family in the presence of Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh. It’s location, right in the middle of the Island and equidistant from the capital city of Valletta, European Capital for Culture 2018, and the old city of Mdina, venue of the Grand Prix, makes it a convenient base to not only attend the grand Prix events, but to also explore the rest of the Island on one of the Grand Prix’s organised cultural offerings.
The Corinthia Palace has won the Best Hotel in Malta award presented by the World Travel Awards for the past six years. The hotel is set in luscious gardens and features several restaurants and bars and a unique spa, with indoor and outdoor pools and an eclectic mix of holistic treatments that will score points with your senses. The main feature of the hotel is its early 20th century elegant villa, which now serves as the hotel’s main fine-dining restaurant and, on this occasion, as a suitable venue for the great trophy presentation ceremony at the end of the Mdina Grand Prix event.
The hotel can also offer a special accommodation package that includes a vintage car tour of the Island for guests wishing to book outside the dates of the Mdina Grand Prix.
Corinthia Palace Hotel & Spa, www.corinthia.com/hotels/malta/palace-hotel-and-spa/destination/whats-on/mdina-grand-prix