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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Malta and its top 5-star hotel gear up for the Mediterranean’s “medieval” vintage car rally – The Mdina Grand Prix, October 9-12, 2014

What would the award-winning 1960s 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 fact that together they are planning what promises to be a spectacular fourth edition of the popular “Mdina Classic Car Grand Prix,” taking place on the sunny island on October 9-12 of this year.

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, vast historical heritage and superb 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 it’s all there and doable in days on just 316 sq. km of land, surrounded by the bluest of seas.

And this is where the fabulous 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. Its 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 organized cultural offerings.

The Corinthia Palace is no ordinary hotel and has, for the last six years in a row, won the Best Hotel in Malta award presented by the World Travel Awards, considered as the “Oscars” of the travel industry. 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.

Announcing the hotel’s sponsorship of the Grand Prix event, Corinthia Palace Hotel & Spa general manager David Woodward said, “With our own, highly-anticipated cultural calendar running throughout 2014, we thought this would be the perfect opportunity to extend our services to a renowned local brand, and the Mdina Grand Prix is a perfect match for the hotel.”

Participation in this year’s edition of the Mdina Grand Prix is expected to smash all previous attendance records and in anticipation of this, the Corinthia Palace Hotel & Spa, in tandem with the Grand Prix organizers, has put together a special accommodation package for two persons sharing a deluxe twin room for two nights on bed & breakfast basis. The package includes a welcome drink, complimentary Wi-Fi, a lunch at the hotel’s Orange Grove, a “Green Mondello” cocktail at the Caprice bar, a two-day “Gold” pass for the Grand Prix, use of the Spa facilities, indoor pool, fitness center and sauna garden, and late hotel check-out subject to availability. The cost for all of this is of €401 for both persons for two nights and inclusive of taxes.

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.  Further details on the Grand Prix and Corinthia accommodation packages are available on http://www.corinthia.com/hotels/malta/palace-hotel-and-spa/destination/whats-on/mdina-grand-prix

The following is a brief overview of the Grand Prix 2014 program:

Thursday, October 9, 2014
0900 hrs to 1600 hrs - Hill Climb at Mtahleb & BBQ onsite

Friday, October 10, 2014
1100 hrs to 1600 hrs - Mdina Glass Concours d’Elegance
Following the fantastic success of the Mdina Glass Concours d’Elegance last year, this glamorous event will once again be held in Mdina. The island’s best classic cars will be joined by our overseas participants, and a festive atmosphere is guaranteed, with live classical music and owners in period attire.

Saturday, October 11, 2014
09000 hrs to 1600 hrs – Practice + Qualifying
1600 hrs to 1700 hrs – Paddock Area open to the general public

Sunday October 12, 2014
0900 hrs to 1600 hrs – The racing is on

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