Category Archives: Malta Events

Our Corporate Social Responsibility

Several companies are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). This implies that an organisation upholds its commitment towards operating in accordance to local and international legislation, norms and ethics, whilst going out of its way to make a positive contribution within society. CSR initiatives are very vast, and can include contributions of time or money, as well as environmentally friendly initiatives.

The Grand Hotel Excelsior takes its CSR very seriously by trying to stand out as a prime example of how building a sustainable and impressive business should also be coupled with goodwill. The company stepped up its efforts and commitment to driving societal change and promoting sustainability. The Hotel Owners and Management recognise the importance of working to assist those who are in need within the community, and these values are promoted to our team members. We believe that by upholding CSR values, the Hotel is working to establish itself as a responsible organisation within the community. This has helped us to attract and retain our valuable team members and guests.

As part of this initiative, the Grand Hotel Excelsior has established a Sports and Social Committee, which is made up of team members from various departments. The committee members meet regularly to plan activities for their colleagues. A number of these activities include what are known as “Aid the Community” and “Green” initiatives. We are fortunate to report high participation of team members in these activities, which is testament to the generosity of our team. We work closely with non-profit organizations and charities in order to contribute towards a sustainable and prosperous future. Our CSR initiatives can be grouped into the following criteria:
Philanthropy , Community Service, Sustainability and Education.

Philanthropic Initiatives

    Charity BBQ donation 2014    Donation to Hospice Malta
Our Sports and Social Committee has recently organised several philanthropic activities. One of them was assisting Dar tal-Providenza, a charity organisation which assists individuals with intellectual and physical disabilities. By organising a fund-raising BBQ for our team members and their families and friends in June 2013, the Hotel was able to purchase a ceiling hoist for the residents at Dar tal-Providenza. Following the success of this event, another BBQ was organised in June 2014. Proceeds were in aid of Hospice Malta, which assists those suffering from terminal illnesses. During the Festive Season our team members regularly participate in more challenging activities such as the President’s Run, which is organised on yearly basis, and the Santas Swim which has become synonymous with the Grand Hotel Excelsior within the local scene. The Santas Swim takes place each consecutive December when swimmers perform a brave dive in the cold winter sea. Both activities have taken place in aid of the Malta Community Chest Fund. In order to further assist the Malta Community Chest Fund, team members have the option to donate €1 from their wage on a monthly basis. The total donations collected are presented to H.E the President of Malta at the end of each year.

Excelsior Hotel Blood Drive 2014

Moreover in August 2014, team members participated in a Blood Drive which was organised on the hotel premises.

Community Service
Apart from donating funds to charities, the company feels strongly about Community Service. Our team members have visited the YMCA residents a number of times in order to share experiences and contribute to a more cheerful environment. In May 2012, we visited an institution which cares for children who are subject to care orders issued by the authorities, carrying out gardening work on the premises and preparing lunch for the residents. Last but not least, in June 2014, a group of members donated substantial amounts of pet food to the Island Sanctuary, an NGO which provides care to abandoned animals.

Sustainability
As part of its commitment to sustainability, the Grand Hotel Excelsior has devised an Environmental Policy. This is communicated with our team members during their Induction training, and forms part of the staff handbook. The performance and set objectives of this policy are regularly revisited with the aim of continual improvement by reducing, re-using or recycling. This year, we launched the Tiki Village, an outdoor dining venue which is comprised of furniture which is handmade in the Philippines using indigenous products. We are proud to have purchased these items directly from Filipino craftsmen, rather than buying mass produced factory items, as we feel that we are contributing towards the livelihoods of the carpenters and their families.

Due to the company’s eco-friendly measures and practices, the Grand Hotel Excelsior has received the ECO Certification from the Malta Tourism Authority (MTA) on three consecutive occasions.

Education
The company recognizes the importance of education and promoting cultural initiatives and activities. As a result, World Tourism Day is celebrated on a yearly basis and team members, guests and stakeholders are encouraged to participate in the event. This observance recognises the economic, social, cultural and political importance of tourism. On this day, team members wear the traditional costumes of different cultures and a number of stands are set up in the lobby featuring Maltese arts and crafts; wines and liqueurs. More notably, some team members wear their own traditional dress for enhanced authenticity. This year, the theme selected for World Tourism Day is ‘Tourism and Community Development’, therefore prioritizing the importance of CSR in the Tourism Industry.

Furthermore, the Grand Hotel Excelsior supports local culture, traditions and arts. A Maltese ‘Festa’ is organised on a yearly basis. The activity commences with a performance by a local marching band, playing traditional tunes in the lobby. The band then proceeds to the Bastion Terrace, which is embedded within the 16th century fortifications gracing Malta’s capital city. The venue would be decorated with ‘fjakkoli’, lanterns associated with festivities, while our team members are dressed in traditional attire. A buffet consisting of the finest in Maltese cuisine is served, and local artisans specialising in traditional crafts such as silver filigree, lace making and ceramics, display and sell their products at the event.

If you would like to know more about events and activities organised by the Grand Hotel Excelsior check out the News section of this luxury 5 star hotel‘s website.

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Festive Season Spa Vouchers

Christmas is soon here and it’s that time of year, of exchanging presents with our dear ones.

Everybody loves being pampered so what better way to treat them than to a special Christmas Spa voucher. Treat your special family members and friends to some well deserved quality time and relaxation.

PAMPER YOUR LOVED ONES AND
PURCHASE A SPA VOUCHER. 

Let them unwind and regain the energy with one of these EXCLUSIVE SPA PACKAGES…

Christmas-Spa-packages 2014

For more information or should you wish to book one of Our Spa Packages kindly contact Le Grand Spa Team on spa@excelsior.com.mt or on +356 21250520.

 

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Christmas Traditions around the World

xmas treeChristmas, the season of joy and forgiveness, involves several traditions. In this article, we examine the origins of some of the most popular festive customs.

Christmas Trees
Few of us could really imagine Christmas without having a beautifully decorated tree. So when did this tradition start? It has been suggested that the origin of decorating pine or fir trees with apples, roses, candies and colored papers commenced some time during the Renaissance and in early modern Germany. Its 16th century origins are linked to the period of Martin Luther, but its widespread popularity was due to its introduction by various members of the nobility. In fact, the Christmas tree decorating tradition became much more popular and widely accepted in the United Kingdom after Queen Victoria’s marriage to the German Prince Albert.

mistletoeMistletoe
It was commonly believed that mistletoe should not touch the ground between being cut and its removal after Candlemas, which commemorates the presentation of the child Jesus in the temple of Jerusalem. People would traditionally hang mistletoe in their houses to protect against fire. Moreover, any man and woman who met underneath it were bound to kiss each other. Each time a couple would kiss underneath the mistletoe, one berry would be removed. Once all berries
were removed, the privilege ceased.

Xmas CribNativity Crib – a Maltese tradition
In Malta, just like in any other country where Christmas is celebrated, the Crib is a part of the Festive season and tradition. It is believed that the very first Crib to be built in Malta dates back to 1617 and although there is no official document which can confirm it, the crib has been built every Christmas since then. The design of the Cribs was influenced mainly by the Neapolitan style. In fact, although this style was popular in Europe until the end of the last century, many Maltese disagreed with it, claiming, that such style did not represent the Holy Night and burnt them as firewood, during times of poverty.

The more acceptable style hailed from Sicily, and was introduced to the Maltese by a Franciscan friar, during the second half of the 19th century. The popularity of building cribs bloomed during the 19th and early 20th century. The most common materials were rustic stone, coal residue, and eventually, papier mache.

xmas  stockingChristmas Stocking
There is a lot of debate surrounding where the tradition of Christmas stockings originated from. A popular story revolves around the tale of an old man and his three daughters. Due to his financial situation, he feared that his daughters would be unable to marry, as he could not afford their dowries. St Nicholas was riding through the village and heard of this issue. He was also aware of the fact that the old man would not accept a donation from him. Therefore, he decided to enter the man’s house through his chimney. He found three stockings drying by the fireplace and he filled them with a bag of gold each. The following morning, the family found the gold and the daughters were soon married. Nowadays, inspired by this legend, adults and children hang their stockings by the fireplace hoping to find their stockings filled with gifts and treats the next morning.

xmas candyCandy Cane
The history of the Candy Cane dates back to 1670, when a German choirmaster wanted something to keep children occupied during the lengthy Christmas Eve ceremonies. He approached a local sweet maker who created a red and white stick with a crook at the tip of it. The shape of the sweet is said to allude to the shepherds who visited the child Jesus, whilst the colours symbolise Christian beliefs in the sinless life of Jesus. The religious connotations justified the distribution and consumption of sweets during worship. Eventually, this candy gained popularity across Europe and the sweet is now available in several flavours.

ponsiettaPoinsettia
A popular story states that a young girl in Mexico was too poor to buy presents to celebrate Christmas. The angels inspired her to pick some weeds growing on the side of the road and put them in front of the church alter. When these weeds blossomed, beautiful crimson blossoms sprouted from them, and they became poinsettias. Following this, it became a tradition in Mexico to include these bright flowers into Christmas celebrations. Locals believe that these plants have a special symbolism – the shape of the flowers symbolises the Star of Bethlehem, while the red colour represents the blood spilt during crucifixion of Jesus. Poinsettias are now a popular Christmas decoration worldwide.

Many of today’s traditions are deep rooted in history. The listed traditions remain very popular, and many are a signature feature in many households during the Festive Season.

Maltese love to celebrate Christmas. In fact some of the Maltese Christmas traditions include the nativity crib (also known as ‘il-presepju’), the Sermon of the Child (also known as ‘il-Priedka tat-tifel’) and the traditional Maltese Christmas Lunch. So if you will be visiting Malta during your Christmas holidays feel free to check out our list of events taking place in and around Malta.

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