The Rose Tattoo
We all have dreams which some of us see turn to an enjoyable reality. Paul and Marie Coley visited Malta when the main part of the Westin was still a dream—a hotel that was going to be built. They saw the plans, they loved the location and promised each other that when they had enough money they would come to have a hotel wedding here.
Malta—especially the Westin Dragonara Resort—means everything to Paul and Marie and when they speak about it they really light up. They feel Malta is their second home and would dearly love to spend more time here when they retire.
Not that retiring is on their minds or horizons—they both love their work and are still too young to move to that phase of life. But ever since they first saw Malta while on a budget holiday in Bugibba the island just cast its spell on them.
Back then, in 1989, they spent very little time in their resort—they wandered around, they absorbed the Maltese way of life, enjoyed the food and the sights. Their dream of celebrating their wedding at the Westin Dragonara materialized as a wedding made in heaven—all grandly organised by the Westin team. The Coleys describe the day as just perfect: picture and event perfect at one of the best luxury hotels in Malta.
Notwithstanding the dream they wanted to follow, they vetted the Westin Dragonara very closely to confirm it would ensure a memorable occasion. And, as Paul says “wow did the Westin tick all the boxes and they more than delivered.” The weather was perfect and the setting just right. It was a hotel wedding with magic.
Paul always dreamt of having a wedding with a backdrop of fireworks. He adores the colour and sky-lit revelry but Marie isn’t so passionate about them and in the end they didn’t choose that option. However, the place was still awash with fireworks and colour as the wedding day coincided with a nearby village feast. “This is what is so great about the location,” Marie tells me. “It has everything - view, proximity to a wonderful bay and village and great service.”
The wedding catering was another dream come true—the Westin Dragonara excelled in that department too.
“Everything moved like clockwork,” Paul tells me, while Marie butts in to say “They took great care of us and gave us everything we had dreamt of. The meticulous detail they went through was unbelievable. We had a wedding planner booked from our UK agent and the synergy was great. There might be a few luxury hotels but I don’t think anything beats the Westin Dragonara.”
“We just lay back and enjoyed the occasion—and the preparation was quite a feat seeing that we had people flying in from all over and staying at the hotel,” Paul says.
“Logistically it could have been a nightmare,” Paul tells me with a twinkle in his eye, “but the Westin Dragonara and Malta are only involved in dreams, in good, memorable dreams.”
Paul knows all about logistics as he is stores and logistics manager with nine people under him for a company involved in solar energy products. And Marie cares for people with learning disabilities. People and travel are the Coleys’ passion.
Since getting married at the Westin Dragonara the Coleys have returned to Malta a few times, staying at the hotel to celebrate their wedding anniversary. They have also visited with their two children, Danielle and Bradd. Touring the island and spending a few days in Gozo is a big attraction for the Coleys who love the Maltese landscape and the way of life.
Malta has given them new culinary treats—Marie loves lobster. “Quadro Restaurant is magic! But their lobster is even more magical. I had it there first and I have never looked back.” Paul fell in love with rabbit—which Marie still can’t eat as she thinks of the lovely bunnies hopping around.
Both Paul and Marie are immensely grateful to the Westin Dragonara because the service is not just excellent but provided by friendly people whom they now count among their friends. And to the Coleys this is what service and luxury is all about—having people that make the difference around you.
“The words luxury and hotel are truly apt when one looks at what the Westin Dragonara offer. It started with a hotel wedding but our love for the hotel remains very much alive and growing,” Paul tells me.
When the Coleys had finalised their wedding plans, Marie had a small—most artistic and delicate—tattoo inked on her wrist. It depicts a rose with their wedding date and wedding rings etched around the illustration.
To her and Paul the rose is a loving bond representing what the Westin Dragonara gave them—a day, full of glorious roses, that will be etched in their memory for as long as they live.