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“Getting tired” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Sunbird Capital

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Sunbird Capital
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Chilembwe Road, Lilongwe 3, Malawi   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #5 of 10 Hotels in Lilongwe
Dunkeld, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
99 reviews 99 reviews
31 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
“Getting tired”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 30, 2013

Not cheap at USD 172 a night. The rooms need upgrading. Lock broken on the bathroom door and the shower cubicle on the bath won't stay open. The internet is a scratch card which you have to buy. These days you get used to high quality internet free in the rooms even in Africa and this is poor quality. The check out takes ages. Bed was comfortable but the aircon was a bit slow to cool the room. Dinner was average, I had the buffet and the selection was limited to say the least.
The staff are friendly and helpful but even their efforts don't make up for an expensive offering that is seriously in need up upgrading. It only scrapes by on the basis that there is limited alternative. Time the wised up to the need for service quality and customer expectations.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled on business
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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118 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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    49
    21
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Rating summary
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (38)
Date | Rating
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English first
Nairobi, Kenya
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
38 hotel reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 25, 2013

Bear in mind that is not a wealth of choice in Lilongwe, this hotel is also very popular as a conference venue and should i have wished to use the pool I would have had to do so in the full view of a hundred people in suits. The room was spacious and not uncomfortable. The squashed mosquitos on the wall in the bathroom were a shame, in fact the bathroom as a whole was a weak point with a really dated mixer shower over the bath and a sliding glass door that has to be held open to get out. The wifi (not included) was terrible and required a log in every few minutes and was at best intermittent. Breakfast was ok but nothing to write home about. The restaurant food was also ok, rather slow and contrary to what it says in the menu, pizza's are not available until after 6pm. The gardens were nice and well attended and the door staff friendly and conversational. There are in the evening, a quantity of ladies of the night who frequent the bar, and attempt to sell their wares. Although not pushy it is nonetheless a little off putting and I suspect, puts people off staying there for long. There is 1 small bottle of water provided per day however the shop has plenty available at approximately twice the local supermarket price.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled on business
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 20, 2013

I have stayed at this hotel twice. The first time, in 2007 for 2 weeks and this time (March 2013) for 1 week. The hotel had been upgraded since 2007 with new furniture and decor. The staff remain fantastic, friendly and obliging.
I think the hotel is very very good. It is clean, the food was good (huge helpings), the facilities are fine and you have, on tap in the hotel reception, fresh Mzuzu coffee free of charge.
I have stayed in more expensive and higher rated hotels but this beats many of them

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Madrid, Spain
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 5, 2013

Everything has to evaluated in it´s context. If this hotel was located in Europe it would get 1 star for the price, or alternatively cost €40 and get 3 stars. But In Malawi things are difficult to get hold of (like furniture and other goods) and are amazingly expensive, so I can understand the outdated decoration and certain lack of infrastructure. For example there is always electricity and water, and that has a high cost in Malawi.
I stayed here a week upon my arrival in Lilongwe for a 6 month job. I needed something close to City Centre. For Lilongwe, this is a good hotel with above-average standards. Rooms are old, carpets are worn out just as other users have pointed out, but are decent and clean. No flat TVs here, they have the old huge-box version, and with very little channel choices (In Lilongwe you can easily get a much better package).
I have to say that the garden is very beautiful and well taken care of. You can walk around and there are many trees, and flowers all over the place.

Staff is friendly, although at the front desk they may take some time for check-in/check-out. I have returned several times for the restaurant and many times employees look at my credit card as if it was the first time in their life they have seen one, and hardly know how to use the machine, despite carrying out charges every day.

The food is quite good for Lilongwe, although it is much the same every day, which you will notice after your third day at the hotel. Breakfast was very good indeed with fresh fruits, eggs served as ordered and a variety of other things.There is a nice buffet in the pool and in a very nice terrace in the evening; but it is exactly the same every day.

The pool is nice, although cold in winter. The gym is extremely basic, but I then noticed it is difficult to find anything much better in Lilongwe.

If you need Internet like me, then you are in trouble at the Sunbird. For me this is inadmissible for it´s category and cuts out in my Sunbird Capital´s evaluation a whole star; there is no excuse: in Lilongwe you can easily get a much better service. First of all the charge it, which is not good, but perhaps acceptable. You have to buy scrap cards that they sell at the hotel. The service is provided by a third party called Skyband, which is terrible! Even paying, the service is extremely bad. Of the week I stayed, on one day the service was down the whole day, and another day it was so slow it was unusable. You only can connect one device at a time, so if you have a smartphone and a laptop it is either one or the other simultaneously. If you move within the room, it disconnects, and you have to enter the long password all over again. I noticed people at the reception with laptops complaining about it. Others were working close to the reception in order to gain a stronger signal. I cannot understand how management can see this and do nothing about it. Most of the time I just went to the business centre where the have a couple of computers with internet, but again old and slow.
The Sunbird Capital targets for business customers, so they really should fix this.

In conclusion, for a couple of nights, and if you don´t mind about internet, it is quite suitable and of a good standard in Malawi.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Margate Rsa
Top Contributor
88 reviews 88 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 41 cities Reviews in 41 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 10, 2013

Only spent one night at the hotel so had a very limited experience. Position is good, gardens extensive and overall a very nice hotel. But at the cost of >R2000 per night you would expect that. Also it is about time hotels start providiong free wifi facilities.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled on business
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 6, 2013

I was 5 days at Sunbird Capital hotel for a conference, first time in Lilongwe/Malawi so not much experience to compare with other hotels in town but it seems well located (5' by drive from various restaurants).

The PLUSSES:
- Great staff overall, very friendly and eager to help. At conference coffee tables, always ready, quite a few of them really enthusiastic and funny. They're doing their best. Conference support staff (to attend to our needs) were not as friendly though.
- Good sleep quality
- Well lit rooms
- Easy to connect to town, restaurants nearby (recommend 'Blue ginger' and 'Mamma mia'), centre of town
- Nice Mimosa food court (hotel restaurant), sunlit or in the shade, with a good variety of dishes (though fruits could be riper)
- Clean hotel

The MINUSES:
- Terribly flickery internet - works well when few people are around but if a large group is around it's almost IMPOSSIBLE to access the net
- Quite expensive for a hotel that needs some refurbishing (old stationery / decoration).
- Hotel food is really quite expensive, better eat out!
- Restaurant staff habits to pick out your dishes, glasses etc. even when you're not quite done (I told them to leave a bit of time for customers)
- Break out room (Kauma room) very far from other rooms if you use them together
- Sockets in main conference room are terribly sensitive. We ended up disconnecting our projector without meaning to several times.
- Managers seem to be very much command-and-control but actually not necessarily on top of their game, compared with regular staff. I had to come back and check things several times before they were sorted out, despite speaking with various manaers.

It's not fabulous value for money but perhaps it's still one of the better hotels in town (?) and it has the capacity to host medium-large groups + again kudos to the staff who are trying their best to make your stay very pleasant.

Room Tip: Rooms in the row 01-20 (e.g. 101-120, 201-220, 301-320) have a view on the swimming pool, are closed...
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 2013, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 5, 2013

The Capital Sunbird is my choice for accommodations when in Malawi. The rooms are clean and spacious. The showers have excellent water pressure. The air con in the newly renovated section works well. The staff is very friendly and helpful. The pool is large and there is comfortable seating outdoors. Overall, a great choice for accommodation in Lilongwe.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Sunbird Capital

Address: Chilembwe Road, Lilongwe 3, Malawi
Location: Malawi > Central Region > Lilongwe
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 10 Hotels in Lilongwe
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Sunbird Capital 3*
Number of rooms: 182
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Sunbird Capital (formerly Le meridian Capital) in Lilongwe Malawi. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sunbird Capital Lilongwe
Sunbird Capital Hotel Lilongwe

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