167, Merchants Street, Valletta
Date of Creation
Hotel General Manager
Mr. Kevin Callus
Throughout his 20+ year career with AX Hotels, Kevin Callus has acquired a wealth of knowledge in managing a range of hospitality offerings which cater to a variety of clientele. Mr Callus’s career journey began at AX The Victoria, where he worked within various facets of the industry and rose through the ranks to his appointment in 2012 as General Manager of AX The Palace, a 5-star hotel in Sliema which has continued to garner a host of industry accolades under his tenure. As of August 2020, Mr Callus’s managerial responsibilities expanded to oversee AX Hotels’ Valletta properties, including the 5-star Rosselli – AX Privilege and Under Grain, a fine dining restaurant which achieved Michelin status, a pinnacle achievement in his career. As General Manager, Mr Callus ensures all hotel and restaurant operations run efficiently and cost-effectively, while continually seeking to optimise guest and employee satisfaction throughout.
History & Story
Pietro Rosselli was born in Valletta on the 23rd February 1607. He married Alusietta Massa who was the daughter of the Master of Mint, Mastro Antonio Massa. The couple, celebrated their marriage vows in St. Francis Church, Valletta on the 29th April 1634, had a son whose name was Maruzzo and lived at Casa Rosselli-Massa, at 167, Merchants Street, Valletta. Today, this beautiful building has been renovated to impeccable standards as the 5-star boutique hotel, Rosselli – AX Privilege.
A goldsmith of high standing and a contemporary of the Fontainbleu School, Pietro Rosselli’s portrait shows a confident gentleman, proud of his association to the Order of St. John. In his portrait, he is seen wearing the Mezza Croce (Half-cross) badge. This badge was a result of the Order honouring him by making him a Donat, a distinction awarded to few, and rarely to Maltese.
Additionally, both Grand Masters Jean Paul Lascaris Castellar and Martin de Redin appointed him Jurat of the Valletta and Harbour Cities Università in the decade between 1649-59. This was an extremely prestigious and influential position, given only to those considered to be the leaders of society.
Pietro and Alusietta enjoyed huge respect amongst many. They were renowned philanthropists and it is said that they have paid for the building and decoration of the Oratory of the Goldsmiths’, that of St. Helen, and for the embellishment of the Confraternity’s Chapel in St. Paul’s Shipwreck Church in Valletta. They also endowed the chapel of San Pietro ad Vinculis in the Jesuits’ Church in Merchants Street, just across the hotel, giving it damask wall coverings, silver lamps and oil paintings by Mattia Preti, then the court painter to the Grand Masters. The couple’s ability to commission Mattia Preti to work for them, further indicates the wealth and standing of the family.
Massa and Rosselli’s portraits may be found in a chapel of the Confraternity of Our Lady of Charity and dedicated to Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Siggiewi.
Pietro Rosselli passed away in April 1676, possibly as an early victim of a terrible plague in Malta during that year. Alusietta eventually passed in August 1682.
Today, the couple lie in their chapel in the Jesuits’ Church in Merchants Street. The tombstone bears an inscription that highlights how Pietro Rosselli wanted to distinguish the worthiness of his soul from the money he held. It is also adorned with Rosselli’s crest which includes the distinctive Mezza Croce and three herons.
Rosselli welcomed its first guests on the 26th May 2019, designed by Forward Architects
Main Strengths, Special Touch
Built in the first decades of the 1600’s Casa Rosselli-Massa is a clear example of a transitional building, incorporating the classical lines of Renaissance architecture and the more florid early Baroque styles. The house has been respectfully restored to bring out the elegance, sophistication and good taste which its original architects strove to pass on. Without reneging on comfort in any way, Rosselli will take you back into a timeless complex but infinitely more distinguished.
Valletta, The Fortress City, Citta’ Umilissima, “a city built by gentlemen for gentlemen” is Malta’s grand capital city: a living, working city, the administrative and commercial heart of the Islands. The magnificent fortress city grew on the arid rock of Mount Sceberras peninsula, which rises steeply from two deep harbours, Marsamxett and the Grand Harbour. Started in 1566, Valletta was completed, with its impressive bastions, forts and cathedral, in the astonishingly short time of 15 years, even more remarkable is the fact that mechanical tools did not exist at the time and the whole city was built entirely by hand.
Key sites/activities in the area
1. St. John’s Co-Cathedral
2. Grand Master’s Palace
3. Upper and Lower Barrakka Gardens
4. Republic Street and Merchant Street
5. The Casa Rocca Piccola
6. Teatru Manoel
7. The National Museum of Archaeology
8. National Museum of Fine Arts
9. The Fort St Elmo and the National War Museum
10. The Three Cities
1. The foundation stone of Valletta was laid in 1566.
2. Valletta was one of the first European cities to be constructed on an entirely new site.
3. The city of Valletta was built in the mid-16th century and is a fine example of Baroque architecture.
4. Valletta was actually named after the famous French Grand Master of the Knights of Malta, Jean Parisot de Valette.
5. The City of Valletta has been recognised as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO since 1980.
6. Valletta is actually the third capital city of Malta (Mdina was the first and Vittoriosa the second one).
7. Valletta has been awarded the title of European Capital of Culture for 2018.
8. Valletta is the second southernmost capital of the EU member states.
1.The Toy Museum – the museum provides the ideal opportunity to show children how toys have evolved over the decades
2. Malta 5D – the theatre takes you on a unique journey of Malta’s rich history and culture in the form of a spectacular 5D show. The auditorium treats visitors to moving seats, air blasts, water spray and even leg ticklers while watching the film
3. The Fun Train – Malta Fun Trains run in the most visitor-orientated areas across the island, including Valletta and are a great source of entertainment for children and adults alike
• Number of suites: 8 luxury Suites
• Number of Luxury rooms: 17 luxury rooms
• Number of rooms, (keys) in all: 25 rooms in total – Rosselli has six unique designer room categories all centred around historical detail
Maruzzo – Representing the son of Pietro Rosselli & Alusietta Massa These rooms are inspired by the youth and the adulthood of Maruzzo, son of Pietro Rosselli and Alusietta Massa. The youth is represented in the eclectic composition of conventional styles resulting in a playful palette of timeless trends. The strong chiaroscuro is the representation of the son’s adulthood, hence creating a mixture of contrasting finishes. Rich in texture, colour and architectural motifs, the Maruzzo Collection are all about aesthetic boldness without compromise. Their finish is an elegant dialogue between old and new.
Mezza Croce – Representing the very prestigious title awarded to Pietro Rosselli by the Order of St. John. The philanthropic contributions made by Pietro Rosselli led the Order of St. John to reward him with the very prestigious title of Donat. He proudly displayed this title with the Mezza Croce (Half Cross) badge pinned to his chest. Inspired by Pietro’s determination to achieve this title and by his artistic abilities as a goldsmith, these suites deliver a twist on traditional flooring and plastering techniques and make them a haven for the artistic pundits. These near monochromatic suites are east facing and embraced by the morning sun. Their plush textures add a hint of romanticism to the contemporary feel of these rooms.
Alusietta – Representing Pietro Rosselli’s wife, Alusietta Massa. Even a strong woman can radiate femininity. These suites are a tribute to Alusietta Massa, wife of Pietro Rosselli. They represent the few private gardens that deliver an unexpected haven of peace in Valletta. The rooms are adorned with dark floral motifs and backdrops together with arched doorways. They are set in a dusky atmosphere touched upon by feminine undertones and are an encaptivating escape for all guests. This mystical collection is very well suited to reflect Alusietta’s character.
Don Pietro – Representing Pietro Rosselli himself. There is a sense of peace and wellbeing when one makes a philanthropic act. Pietro Rosselli was an outstanding philanthropist and these suites are dedicated to the many contributions he has made during this life.
Set in the calm atmosphere of the Palazzo’s courtyard, and flanked by the hotel’s arched colonnade, the suites aim to take our guests to a moment of calm and serenity, away from the busy attributes of the city. Each suite has its private spa facilities that include a wellness indoor terrace, a sauna and rain shower. The room is then dressed up with a combination of Carrara marble, traditional stucco and warm walnut giving the suites an undeniable soothing and refreshing sensation.
3 Herons Suites – The Junior Suites are representing the family crest, found on the facade of the property and on Piero Rosselli’s tomb. These rooms pay homage to all the things Rosselli did and reflect the architecture in Valletta. Located in the piano mobile, the 3 Herons Suites enjoy double height, offering guests their own private lounge area and the sleeping quarters at mezzanine level. With their kaleidoscopic marble flooring, bevelled mirrors and intricate light fittings make these Suites whimsical and unusual. A contemporary take on palatial design.
Sixteen 34 Suite – Representing the year, the Pietro Rosselli and Alusietta Massa married. There is the belief that a happy marriage will make a better business man or woman. In 1634 Rosselli and Massa got married and their relationship was renowned to be very strong. This unique Suite brings together a dedicated private working lounge with interconnected sleeping quarters. The Suite may be specifically tailored for the guests’ needs and give way for those travelling both for business or leisure with the family. The interior is inspired by Classicism with palatial solid wood flooring and a modern-day interpretation of the traditional. At times business and leisure can go together.
Restaurants & Bars
• GRAIN STREET
Grain offers a casual dining experience with small plates to share and no set rules. During your experience, there are no set starters or main courses and we are enthusiastic to see our guests try different dishes without giving too much importance to a specific sequence. It makes us happy to see our patrons make random selections that may even feel unusual from the classical approach of a starter, main and dessert.
To accompany this ability to experience multiple flavours in our food, we also decided to make all our wines available by the glass. This continues to give our guests the opportunity to be more adventurous in the way they approach lunch or dinner at Grain.
• UNDER GRAIN
The formal training from our kitchen brigade is a classic one, and to a certain extent, we also feel good honouring the more classical type of service at Under Grain. As you visit our restaurant one floor under street level, you can immerse yourself into an environment of informal luxury. Our menu is concise but is assured to be of the highest quality and curation.
This refined experience extends itself to the service provided to our guests. We would like you to absorb the sensations we tried to instil in this restaurant with the aim of seeing you leave the restaurant with a sense of satisfaction towards the fact that a classical dinner can still be possible in this day and age.
• OVER GRAIN
With a breath-taking view and a relaxed, informal atmosphere, our rooftop is an ideal space for private events and functions in the Capital. Over Grain gives us the opportunity to entertain guests in a variety of ways, yet remaining unique due to its location and setup.
• Outdoor Pool
Sip a cocktail while taking a dip in the splash pool located on the higher level of Rosselli – AX Privilege while admiring the views of the Valletta city skyline. There’s no place you’d rather be, we will make sure that you enjoy every minute.
• Roof Garden
Over Grain welcomes you with a breath-taking panoramic view of the capital city and a relaxing atmosphere. Order your signature drink, sit back on one of the deckchairs and make the most out of your time at Rosselli – AX Privilege.
• In-Room Spa Treatment
Being pampered and treated like royalty, enjoy an in-room spa treatment for an ultimate relaxation. Our masseurs will be right with you. Unwind, breathe easy and enjoy.
Corporate & Celebration Events
• Meetings in the City
Rosselli offers a dedicated board room, perfectly suited for private and executive team meetings. The fully equipped Board Room is located on the ground floor, tucked away behind the courtyard’s colonnades.
• Private Room
Whether for business or leisure, we understand that at times, our guests would like to dine in complete privacy. With a separate entrance, our private at Grain room, is perfectly suited for business lunch and dinner meetings or a private family gathering to celebrate life’s special moments.
Hotel and restaurant Awards
• In just 48hours of its opening, Rosselli was shortlisted for two awards – one of the top 7 Hotels under 50 rooms and one of the top 4 Best Suites in Europe in the International Hotel and Property Awards
• Rosselli made an honourable mention on Forbes, claiming; ‘A 17th-century Baroque property on Merchants Street in Valletta, it is within the distance of many of the main sites, cafes and nightlife’
• Rosselli made it to Travelmyth’s list of top 5 honeymoon hotels in Valletta
• Rosselli received a special commendation for interior spaces during the Premju Emanuele Luigi Galizia for Architecture and Civil Engineering
Number of employees