We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Spectacular” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Kaya Mawa

Best prices for your stay
Enter dates for best prices
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
Save
You added Kaya Mawa to your Saves list
Kaya Mawa
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   P.O. Box 79, Likoma Island, Malawi   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Likoma Island
Hong Kong, China
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Spectacular”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 12, 2014

Kaya Mawa simply blew us away. From the hospitality through to room design+comfort+features and just the sheer spectacle of the setting Kaya Mawa is hands down the best place we have ever been to. As part of our multi stage honeymoon Michelle and her team easily earned top spot on our favourites list and we have only praise for the entire team at the resort for taking care us and making our stay so special. A special note of thanks goes to the Chef and kitchen.... You guys are amazing. Thanks to you all and we hope to be back some day!

Activities: Paddle boarding, Kayaking, Sailing, Snorkelling .The water is simply just so inviting and clear.

Many thanks from Lester and Amy

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Write a Review

118 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    105
    7
    0
    1
    5
See reviews for
25
71
6
Business
0
Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (36)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Cape Town Central, South Africa
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
52 helpful votes 52 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 7, 2014

Andrew and Will were in the process of building what is today a superb hotel-Kaya Mawa. I had a small backpackers place across the lake in Nkhata Bay called "Backpackers Con-X-Shon" and got to know the lads well.I had on this occasion been invited to spend some time at their hotel. My first impressions were WoW! ,they had built it all by hand and using all locally sourced materials.It was fantastic. Being the naturist that I am I stripped down and got to have a swim in the fantastic lake Malawi. since it was a private beach I strolled around in my birthday suit and enjoyed nature as it should be enjoyed- Naked!!.. I was summoned to join the lads and some guests on the beach for Mad hatters sundowners,It was just that all of us got a hat to wear and Pink Gin and Tonics served ,me still naked.....oh to be British...Well done lads,your legacy lives on....Highly recommended ,although I suggest you wear clothes now....

Room Tip: Try and book the honeymoon suite,it's on it's own island....
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2014, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 5, 2014

we had a spectacular 4 day trip to LIkoma island and Kaya Mawa during a recent trip to Malawi. The island is beautiful and peaceful with very friendly residents. Kaya Mawa is spectacular- we stayed in the last building at the end of the property and it was by far the most beautiful place we have every stayed- the architecture is breathtaking. also the highest level of service we have ever experienced- they attended to our every need- and made a special effort to find some calm water for our kids to go wake boarding- we also went on a beautiful dive to see the Cichlids. This is a special place- a little off the beaten path but so worth it

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leeds, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 4, 2014

We visited this beautiful Lodge to celebrate my son's recent wedding. With a group of 17 family and friends and the whole place closed to any other guests, this was the house party to beat all house parties. A first for Kaya Mawa. The Lodge staff, led by the brilliant Michelle and Becky were wonderful, with absolutely nothing being too much trouble to ensure this would be the most wonderful experience of our lives.
We laughed, we sang, we danced, had fun day and night and celebrated a beautiful wedding which exceeded all our expectations.
As we arrived at the start of our holiday, my husband and I celebrated our wedding anniversary with cocktails and canapés on the beach at sunset. Michelle, Cocktail Queen of Likoma, devised a wonderful new cocktail, which was duly christened during a naming competition, as Dark Elephant - I recommend that anyone visiting Kaya Mawa makes sure they ask her to make one.
Rich, Kaya Mawa's fabulous chef made lovely Swahili style canapés.
A riotous Hen Party was held the night before the wedding, which was so enjoyable that some of the Island's residents thought that the Malawi election results had been announced!
The morning of the wedding dawned as beautiful as every morning before and after it and the groom's party set off, by kayak, to the next beach, dressed in the kaftans which had been provided in each room. Imagine the looks on the faces of the local fishermen and their families when this group of men disembarked, all wearing kimonos, who then proceeded to have a rounders match, followed closely by a rugby masterclass for some of the kids!!! The photos are wonderful!
Back at the Lodge, following various pampering sessions at the in-house spa, the ladies were treated to hair styling by Michelle, who also arranged for everyone to have flowers for their hair.
With the arrival of Father Francis, the wonderful 90 year old island priest, the wedding guests settled themselves under the Mango tree to await the arrival of the bride - accompanied by her father and the fantastic local choir. A truly, truly wonderful moment, which resulted in tears all round! The wedding celebration was beautifully led by Father Francis and the choir, ably assisted by flower girl Grace. Champagne toasts and a candle-lit dinner on the beach, beautifully prepared by Rich, the Lodge's fantastic chef and his team, followed by music and dancing rounded off the most wonderful, magical wedding day I have ever attended.
An indication of how good the staff are came two days after the wedding, when, following yet another kayak trip, the groom discovered he had lost his new wedding ring. After a search of the beach and shallow water, it was decided that trying to find it would be a bit like trying to find a needle in a haystack. Insurance claims once back in England would, hopefully, lead to a new ring being purchased. Imagine the delight and massive surprise when during breakfast the next morning a group of the staff danced and sang round the tables, clutching the bride's bouquet - which we all thought was a lovely 2nd day of marriage African celebration. How wrong could we be, Darlington, Wilson, Joffrey and some of the other guys had got up at 5am, walked with the nightwatchman, whilst he raked the beach - and had found the ring, which was then handed over to the groom nestled in the bouquet - yet more tears all round! That takes caring for guests to a whole new level
Other highlights of the week included a visit to schools in Mbamba and Nkwhazi (which was also the name of the stunning room we had during our stay) and the local hospital, as did a walk through Mbamba, the market town that is also home to the largest cathedral in Central Africa. All very humbling experiences and ones which made us all realise just what privileged lives we all have. We also visited the workshop, set up by Kaya Mawa to provide employment for local mums, which makes a whole range of articles which are sold locally and via their website.
A beach barbeque - another first for the Lodge - led to a spontaneous round of applause for Rich and his team.
One afternoon the local fisherman came to the beach and cast their nets in one of their daily fishing sessions. Some of the younger guys in our party decided to help them bring the nets in - an experience which left them all with the deepest respect for the strength and ability of the local fishermen (and their wives) who haul in these huge nets three times a day. They were even presented with two of the largest fish from the catch as a thanks for their help - needless to say, the fish were handed over to one of the locals on the beach. A visit to a local big football match between two of the local teams was an afternoon to remember, with everyone being so impressed by the skills displayed by footballers who don't wear boots and have to play on a hard packed, stony field. We all wondered how today's precious, precocious Western footballers would cope with those facilities. A local netball match also showed why Malawi is the second or third netball nation in the world.
I cannot really begin to describe how wonderful the whole Kaya Mawa experience was, it has certainly given us memories which will last a lifetime. A wonderful place with amazing staff who take guest care so seriously but who make you feel that you are part of the Kaya Mawa family, Michelle, the job application as Commis Chef to Rich still stands!!!!!

Jane and Chris

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
Leeds, United Kingdom
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 1, 2014

My boyfriend and I spent the week on the Island for our friend's wedding. It was quite honestly the best week of both of our lives from start to finish!
We arrived on the Island, flown in by friendly pilots on a 9 seater and 2 4 seater planes and greeted by 2 hotel staff and 2 jeeps.
Once we arrived at Kaya Mawa, Michelle and Becky, 2 of the managers got us settled into our accommodation of which we were blown away by.
Michelle then gave us a welcome meeting with a complimentary drink, explaining everything about the Island and how Kaya Mawa runs - power, services by staff and the laid back nature of meal times. It was after lunch when we arrived, she made sure the whole group( 17 of us) got some lunch if we wanted it.
Throughout the week the meals were spectacular, so much so Rich, the chef, received an impromptu standing ovation for his BBQ on the last night. He even went out of his way to ensure we sampled the fishcakes requested by the bride to be even with such a shortage of fish of fish on the island.
The accommodation was beautiful, giving us, particularly as a group the opportunity to have some privacy in our lodges but also an opportunity to socialise in the bar/ seating area. James even provided us with some sporting equipment to play with on the beach.
The staff could not have been more helpful, kind or happy - they would do anything for you and nothing was a chore - they even joined in on our 'beach games' - teaching them to play Rugby. Some of the staff played football and organised a game for us to go and watch one afternoon.
We went on a tour around the Island, visited the school and workshop all guided by hotel staff. the bar staff enlightened us on there cultural music by singing and playing the bongos! - a true credit to the company!
The day of the wedding could not have been any better - Michelle helping to get the bride ready, a lovely relaxed morning, Rich and Josh taking pictures, and Becky and James doing a lot of behind the scenes organising. The Chior sang - truly amazing!! they also came back on the last night to sing fair well to us and we had an amazing evening, singing and dancing eating and being merry.
I really can not explain how much of a fantastic time myself and James had - the staff are a great group of people who just made the paradise we were in the best time of our lives!
Thanks so much to all of you!
So sad we are back home now and back to work tomorrow.
Where are those contracts Michelle?
Beckie and James

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 9, 2014

We travelled to Kaya Mawa at the end of our honeymoon, after ten days/two weeks of safari at the beginning.

An exhilarating plane journey across the border from Zambia, with a friendly greeting at Lilongwe airport and an equally exciting journey to the island, was rounded off by the quad-bike journey to the hotel. We were shown to our rooms and immediately knew we'd made the right decsision.

The staff were exceptionally helpful at every turn, and the food, frankly, is astonishing. If anything it was a little surprising not tget more of the 'local fayre', but the chef happily explained this and talked about it (most of teh local catches are shipped to and sold on the mainland).

The snorkelling - right on our doorstep! - was beautiful, and I even got an 'ornithological' fix with the amount of birds around the rushes and so on near the room, including (I think) a Pygmy Kingfisher. There were also a couple of walks we took which showed off some spectacular views, and we went on a lovely boat-trip around the island - it was a touch choppy, but you can't really predict the weather conditions at the time of year we were there. As it happened we pulled in for lunch earlier than expected and ended up meeting a bunch of kids from another village, and played with them in the surf after lunch, which was amazing! Further round, on the same trip, we also saw the incredible cathedral, which is definitely worth a visit.

The only things that stop it being 5-stars across the bored can't be helped by the hotel at all: our room was quite near the local village's beach, and the singing and net-hauling that greeted the arrival of the catch was unexpected. But we were there at prime fishing time - a New Moon, I think - and they have probably been doing that for centuries before we decided to turn up there for a holiday. It was by no means a major disturbance. Also, we also timed it with an arrival of lake-fly, which leaves a fair amount of little flies - mosquito-size - dead on the floor in the morning. But it's Africa, and after two weeks here and there we were fairly used to some mozzies! And watching the geckoes in the bar feasting away is quite good fun...

It was, all-in-all, a perfect end to a perfect holiday, and we are already planning our trip back - although I hope we'll get there before our tenth wedding anniversary too!

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 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.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Top Contributor
63 reviews 63 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 16, 2013

OK, so perhaps coming off an at-times-rough 3-day canoe/walking safari might... well, color the amazing luxury and relaxation of Kaya Mawa a bit. The staff is super-helpful and friendly, the food is amazing, and the setting and housing is just perfect.

Room Tip: The rooms vary quite a bit - there are a few further out from the core of the property which offer m...
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
Price Your Stay

Been to Kaya Mawa? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Kaya Mawa

Address: P.O. Box 79, Likoma Island, Malawi
Location: Malawi > Northern Region > Likoma Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Likoma Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Kaya Mawa 3.5*
Number of rooms: 7
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia so you can book your Kaya Mawa reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Kaya Mawa Likoma Island
Kaya Mawa Malawi/Likoma Island

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Kaya Mawa, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.