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“Great staff but what justifies the room rate?” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Cape Mac Lodge

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Cape Mac Lodge
Cape Maclear, Lake Malawi National Park, Malawi   |  
Hotel amenities
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Great staff but what justifies the room rate?”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 23, 2013

Had a good stay but still wondering about the room rates. We stayed from Friday to Monday during a quiet weekend and there were hardly any other guests. The bar and restaurant staff were fantastic and the pool nice and clean.
The food was definitely very good - we had fillet steak and the Fish of the day as well as the dijon fish fillet but after two nights we ventured somewhere else as the menu is limited - and very hard to read in the dark light of the restaurant.
The rooms were ok size wise but very dark and although there where mosquito nets around the 4poster bed the way they are fixed at the back means that there is plenty of space for the mossies to get in.
Due to the lights on the front porch of each room there are so many mossies when u go in it is impossible to keep them out of the room or the net- each porch eould would benefit from extra nets a lot and maybe the odd spray session in the room. I also had to ask for fresh towels everyday even though they were pretty obviously in need of changing due to the sand and dust all around. For 150 dollars per night (we got a 10% discount which was nice but then had to pay 5% bank charge for visa at check out) I would expect new towels as well as soap at least. The Aircon worked very well but I was confused about the whole television with DVD only set up.
The bar area was great and the seating in the garden in front of the rooms a nice touch.
Think the price should include wifi although probably have to expect that it is still pretty unreliable. We experienced no power cuts - which was nice as no Aircon would have been a nightmare.
this is a nice place to stay but the room rates are not justified. The restaurant and bar prices are very reasonable though! And once again the staff was fantastic!

Stayed October 2013
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19 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (6)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Richmond
Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
26 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2013

We spent two nights here at Cape Mac lodge after being in Blantyre and Dedza. First, location. It is right on the lake, with lovely sunset views and direct access to the beach. It is quite close to a settlement of course, and there are boats hopping back and forth, so the water is not totally pristine - nor is it bad however. There is a little garden in front of the rooms with tables and chairs and it is reasonably leading until the local kids strike up their "band" to get the mazungo's attention. Next, rooms. The rooms are high ceilinged, with fans and aircon, and the aircon definitely works. They are definitely gloomy and dark, which can be a little challenging and they are short on drawer space and wardrobe space. Bathrooms are large and quite airy with a shower that has hot water and reasonable power (for Malawi at any rate). Towels were not changed and linen wasn't the freshest ... You might think about your own pillowcase if you don't like that musty, sweaty jungle smell. Also, bring your own soap. Food - "ok" but it would be hard to last a week. William, the French chef in the very modest kitchen, tries hard. The pommes frites were hot, salty and crispy. The best in Malawi. Breakfast was pretty good and there were toasted sandwiches for lunch. All in all, not bad, but not especially varied. The breaded lake fish on our second evening was very nice and tasty - my 14 yr old teenager liked it. The pasta and meatballs is not great - tastes soapy - and I'd steer clear. Amenities - the pool was fine for a refreshing dip. The table tennis was good fun, and the TV in the bar (locked away at night) was not too obtrusive. Things to watch out for. First - mozzies. We were there in late dry season, so they should not have been bad, but there were a lot of them. Bring a spray, especially for the first night as until you check in, the doors and windows are left open. The nets are effective, but not when they are in there with you! Second - the vendors. Prepare for a hard sell, and - the first time I had this in Malawi - the kids trying to pull your camera off your shoulder etc. Some of the goods they have are quite nice but the selling is tiresome. Speak to Madam, the owner about who to deal with. Equally, speak to the lodge about a boat trip - they are operating a sort of rotation / co-op amongst the boatmen. We had a very nice 3 hour trip to the various islands and to see fish eagles : five people, USD 40 each. As ever, cash is preferred, or if not cash VISA only (no MasterCard). One word of warning - on the last night we were there, there was some sort of beach party which kept most of our party awake til 4am. Not great. Overall though a decent place to stay, not perfect but fine for a weekend break. And the lake is truly magnificent.

Room Tip: We were in rooms 4 and 5 which face the beach. Somehow, 4 seemed slightly less gloomy than 5 but I d...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bognor Regis, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 4, 2013

Located in Chembe village on the shore, with several cheaper lodges close by, we expected more for our money than we got. The room (with AC and hairdryer) was clean but gloomy. The beach in front of the lodge although swept was dirty with much dog poo, the lake was also a bit oily and not as clean as further up the beach and itinerants bothered you as soon as you stepped out of the gate.
The small pool was fine but occupied by non residents for one whole day. Froggies was also a bit limited menu wise and could do with a revamp. Thedrinks/meal service was good though.

If you smoke you will be happy here too.

Room Tip: If you want a double bed ask at time of booking.
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reading, Massachusetts
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 22, 2013

We stayed two nights. The room was nice with upstairs loft. The pool and jaccuzzi were clean. Location is right on the beach. Other comments mention hospitality and the good food. Of the four places we stayed in Southern Malawi the food here was significantly lower quality than the other other three. Certainly edible but the chicken and fish were over cooked and generally bland. I think we met "Madame" at the end of our stay. We had seen her coming and going, generally showing up just long enough to bark out orders to the help who seemed to live in fear of her. She talked to us with a tone of voice just a notch or two nicer. Make sure you place the all-important USB stick with some wierd movies on it clearly out for the maid to find easily, otherwise you will be made to feel like you are trying to steel the family silver.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 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
    • 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.
Harare, Zimbabwe
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2013

We did not stay here although the promise of air conditioned rooms made us wish we had! We had a lovely dinner with friendly staff and probably the only restaurant in Cape Maclear where the food took a normal amount of time to arrive. A little more expensive than other restaurants, but worth it!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Pingtung, Taiwan
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 11, 2012

I like to travel with my bulky subal underwater camera housing and two Inon strobes. Cape Mac Lodge helped me arrange private text which cost 180USD one way. The room is spacious and equipped with universal plug set and a long table, so I can assemble my U/W DSLR and got those high tech electronics fully charged for the dives the next day. Although from cape mac lodge to frogman dive shop took me 15min by walk, I just found a boy to help me carry my camera. After diving, you can jump into the Jacuzzi or enjoy a massage(on request). Foods are yammy!!

Room Tip: Room facing to the beach would be nice, sometimes you can hear beach boys singing and dancing.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Blantyre, Malawi
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 29, 2012 via mobile

I think more than anything else the treatment I received Frm the French couple that owned the place made the world of a difference dispite all the small things u may feel shld be changed! They have a beautiful lay out, lovely pool and jacuzzi area! But the hospitality I received out shone any where Iv ever stayed at!

  • Stayed March 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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.

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Additional Information about Cape Mac Lodge

Address: Cape Maclear, Lake Malawi National Park, Malawi
Location: Malawi > Lake Malawi National Park > Cape Maclear
Hotel Style:
Ranked #10 of 15 Specialty lodging in Cape Maclear
Also Known As:
Cape Mac Hotel Cape Maclear
Cape Mac Lodge Malawi/Cape Maclear

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