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“Tired and bone weary!” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Sunbird Livingstonia Beach

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Sunbird Livingstonia Beach
2.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Senga Bay, Salima, Malawi (Formerly Le Meridien Livingstonia Beach)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Salima
Durban
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Tired and bone weary!”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 18, 2012

We loved Lake Malawi and spent an amazingly long time in Malawi despite the country being so small. It is in a sad state with poor governance and downtrodden people. We were lucky to be there shortly after Zambia had donated fuel so we were able to travel freely.

Again, many of the places we stayed at are not on Trip Advisor so we are not just picking on the Livingstonia. We camped for a few days then decided to spend 2 nights in the hotel as weekend approached as we were warned the area gets very busy with visitors from Lilongwe.

The Livingstonia is a faded beauty but still has the lingering essence of a glorious bygone era. How these people keep going is a mystery! Supplies are short, fuel is short and everything is a struggle.

On the positive side the beach is sublime - the location in general is fantastic and management do a great job of keeping the beach private and free of local residents and pedlars.

I hate marking a destination poorly but the truth perhaps brings helps in some way. We will be back, Malawi!

Room Tip: Be aware that the area gets very busy over the weekends from Lilongwe.
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
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62 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    9
    27
    19
    5
    2
See reviews for
8
11
2
24
Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (19)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Blantyre, Malawi
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 2, 2012

Spent 6 nights on holiday and had fun all week through. very expensive by Malawian standards but worth the money. The rooms are clean and comfy, food is great with wide variety. We would lazy around on the beautiful sandy beach when tired of swimming or water sports, or else by the pool side basking in the sun.
Its a definate go again when I need to relax, wonderful environment for the family too!

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Poolville, Texas
Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
103 helpful votes 103 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 29, 2012

We stayed here again - that let's you know we like it here! Yes, it is very expensive, but the views are great, the food is good and the rooms are above average. The beds are actually comfortable (rare in Malawi). The shower had plenty of both hot water and pressure - another rare luxury in this country. The breakfast was great - a large variety of foods and drinks. The staff was helpful and friendly. The hotel is considered a little 'down in the heels' by some, but I think the touch of rustic makes it more appealing.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bath, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 18, 2012

stayed at the livingstonia so many times ever since i was a child living in malawi..it was a police college first then a hotel called grand beach and then livingstonia.
run by a dutch couple it was awesome and claen and freindly..something happened to the through a political mix up and they left..so a local company took over and standards dropped as well as hygiene and quality for money...hotels of this style are not cheap!!
great beach and camp site next door...reccomended.

Room Tip: demand a room near the beach and enjoy a drink on your konde (balcony)....take a walk to the nearby...
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled with family
    • 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newport Pagnell, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 12, 2012

Stayed for two nights and was lucky enough to watch the full moon rise over the lake on the first night - magical!
Plus: wonderful sandy beach; spacious, comfortable & clean room; staff very helpful & friendly, great food!
Downside: bathroom needs updating
Our stay was at the beginning of the holiday and it was the perfect place to just relax, enjoy the beach & sunshine and leave work behind.

Room Tip: Our room was right by the beach which is wonderful but not for the light sleeper when the wind / wav...
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Glasgow, Scotland.
Top Contributor
58 reviews 58 reviews
41 hotel reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
65 helpful votes 65 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 8, 2012

Unquestionably beautiful setting, great staff, big pool and fabulous beach setting all let down a bit by rooms that haven't been updated for a very long time. Basic utility furniture, basic bathrooms, no frills whatsoever.

Food was about average for Malawi but the dining room upstairs is a bit depressing.

Nevertheless, enjoyed our stay here and would add some stars if and when they get the decorators and furnishers in.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manila, Philippines
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 30, 2012

I spent 2 weeks at the Livingstonia on business. On the plus side I loved getting up in the mornings and enjoying a morning coffee out on the beautiful deck looking out at the lake. The staff from the grounds keepers to managers and restaurant workers and simply genuine and warm. The supper meals were really tasty and well priced. My bed in an upgrade room was super comfortable. The pool is large and kept super clean. The beach is spotless and does not have the hawkers you have to endure like you do at Kenyan and Zanzibar coast hotels.
On the down side is there are signs of ageing in the facilities and supper took way too long (over an hour most nights) to prepare. I had the complementary instant coffee in my room but when I tried to get some milk it turned into quite an ordeal and when it came I had to pay. It was not much at all but I found it a rather cheap practice, ie coffee is complimentary but creamer will cost you??? They had a hard time getting breakfast ready for 6:30 which was difficult for business personnel staying there who had to leave early. I had a strange event when on Tuesday I booked a massage for 3 on Friday and come Friday at 3 Reception told me that the massage person was on a day off but they would call her in. I said "I booked it Tuesday" to which they replied "yes, you did". Still pondering that one. The massage, by the way, was wonderful.
Don't let the down points take away from your potential visit here. All are outweighed by the great staff and beautiful view. A peaceful place for sure. Lives up to the Warm Heart of Africa mantra.

Room Tip: 104, 105, 106 and Rondovels are great.
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled on business
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sunbird Livingstonia Beach

Address: Senga Bay, Salima, Malawi (Formerly Le Meridien Livingstonia Beach)
Location: Malawi > Central Region > Salima
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Salima
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:2 star — Sunbird Livingstonia Beach 2*
Number of rooms: 35
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Sunbird Livingstonia Beach Hotel Salima
Sunbird Livingstonia Beach Salima
Sunbird Livingstonia Beach Malawi/Salima

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