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“Management from a bygone era - be prepared”
2 of 5 bubbles Review of Korea Garden Lodge

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Korea Garden Lodge
Ranked #10 of 12 Hotels in Lilongwe
London
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
“Management from a bygone era - be prepared”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 3, 2009

Despite reserving two rooms a month ago and our names being in the book, our arrival appeared to be a complete surprise to the receptionist, who, after consultation (see below) dispatched someone to make up our rooms. The one room had clearly not been used (or cleaned) for some considerable time. We had booked Silver Class rooms ie not the best, but not the worst (on the basis that Bronze is lower than Silver). One room was simply dirty with one, fitfully operating electric socket. The other appeared not to have been used for some time, which had allowed it to become dirtier and darker. The only socket in the room was impossible to get to with the fan, it was very warm in the room, as a desk had been positioned so that the fan flex couldn't reach it. On moving the desk we discovered that it didn't make any difference, the socket was dead anyway. Enquiries to the desk established that any request had to be referred to someone who resided in an office behind the reception area and who was not seen the whole of our stay. The girls at the desk were given no training except to go to this unseen person for instructions, an enlightened management style that died out in most of the rest of the world a century ago. I'm not saying that the staff we were in contact with were unwilling to help, quite the contrary, but they seemed to have little autonomy.

Eventually someone came to sort out the electric socket and eventually it was replaced - and a 4 way adaptor (with three working sockets) produced. The use of washing up gloves as a protection from shocks did not inspire confidence in the state of the electrics as the handyman had already switched off the circuit at the fuse board.

The showers were dirty and the aroma in one of the shower toilets indicated a less than freely flowing drain. The beds were OK.

The swimming pool bottom and steps were covered with a layer of dirt making the idea of swimming unattractive. The food was passable without being attractive. The only thing that appealed was the fresh fruit.

We were tired, we protested, we got nowhere. We have experienced other comparable places in Lilongwe. We'd avoid the Korea Garden Lodge if given another chance.

  • Stayed October 2009
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank elroycanard
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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110 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    4
    28
    43
    23
    12
See reviews for
9
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Rating summary
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (24)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Norwegian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Adelaide
Level Contributor
11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 8, 2009

We booked a room before travelling to Malawi and got confirmation by e-mail. On arrival, no room was available and we were told to sleep 2 adults and 2 children in a room with a double bed and a single bed. Room stunk of cigarette smoke.
Despite having a confirmation e-mail, staff were unhelpful in finding us a room, so we left to stay elsewhere.

  • Stayed July 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Wallaby6996
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Lilongwe hotels

England
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 12, 2009

Upon arrival in June, 2009, there's no room for us. It was fully booked by Americans Japanese and other tourists. Luckily, before departure, we stayed in a gold room: spacious, beautifully furnished with authentic African furniture. Throughout our travelling in Malawi, we met kind and friendly staff but hot water was scarce. At the KGL, we enjoyed an utter hot bath. The breakfast, with a wide range of food and served by 3 or 4 staff, was excellent. Hanging out my washing in the back garden,I enjoyed a long chat with young staff who were keen to know about England. 8422 Kwcha -30 pounds was a good value and I can simply say the room was one of the best we've ever stayed around the world.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank beatifulplanet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Japan
1 review
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 9, 2009

I have stayed in Korean Garden Lodge for 2 weeks. I have enjoyed staying there very much. The comfort has been increased little by little thanks to friendly staffs. When I left from this Lodge, I felt as if I left from my home. If you stay this Lodge the more, you must feel you would like to stay there the more. The longer stay is the better for your good memory in Malawi.

While I have stayed in Lilongwe, I have relied on them very much. Washing clothes, ironing, renting car, exchanging money and recharging unit in my cell phone^^.

There are some types of rooms; I have stayed an Executive room. You can choose it depending on your budged. The price was reasonable. If you stay any room, you can use wireless internet, beautiful pool and great restaurant.

I often had Korean foods in the restaurant, Bibimba, Pulkogi, dumpling soup. Especially, Bibimba was most delicious food in Malawi for me.

I had a clean room, towels and comfortable bed with mesquite net. Wireless internet service is available even in the room, in addition to it, I have used computer in business center to access internet as well. The signal of internet in business center is very strong. I couldn’t believe here was Malawi.

The location is also very good. It takes only 7 minutes from biggest shopping center in Malawi, Shop Right, on foot. However, there is one challenge to stay. There are almost full booking in most days, because this Lodge is very popular now. Therefore, I strongly recommend you to make a reservation before you go to there.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Nicier
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
South Africa
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 27, 2008

Advertisements for the Korea Garden Lodge talk about setting standards of executive accommodation - clearly, however, these are not very high ...

Three colleagues and I had the misfortune of spending some nights at the KGL last week whilst working in Lilongwe, Malawi and are still talking about our dreadful experiences there.

The rooms in the Executive Wing where we stayed are in dire need of refurbishment and were not particularly clean. Curtains were hanging off their rails. Towels, when supplied, were threadbare, stained and distinctly unappealing – they should have been replaced long ago. Reports of a leaking toilet elicited no response whatsoever; a towel therefore had to be used to block the apparent source of the leak for the entire duration of our stay.

Unlike the promises in their advertisements of “superb dining” and “fabulous restaurant”, the food, when items offered on the menu were in fact available, was neither superb nor fabulous.

When we asked on our first night about what was available for desert, the response was “What would you like ?” to which we again asked what was available. After the waiter had gone to the kitchen to ask, he returned to tell us that we could have “Tea or coffee” In subsequent days, one of my colleagues even resorted to persuading the chef to let him fry his own eggs for breakfast in order in order to be able to eat something edible (we noted, with amusement, how several of the other guests then asked him to prepare their eggs too!)

(We generally ate dinner at the Mimosa Restaurant at the Capital Hotel after the first two evenings).

The swimming pool appeared to have algae and was a source of attraction for any number of mosquitoes. (The pool is immediately adjacent to the restaurant).

In terms of WI-FI internet access, the signal is often not very strong and do note that the strongest connection is in the corner of the restaurant near the pool table so get there early and grab the nearest table to the corner that you can...

With one or two notable exceptions, staff, whilst generally friendly, do not appear to be very service-oriented.

We left the hotel with great relief and have, happily, spent additional nights at Cluny Lodge (not too far from KGL) where we received a warm welcome from our hosts, Marinus and Bev. The accommodation there is clean and comfortable, the food is good and nothing is too much trouble for either of them as far as their guests are concerned.

Bev even produced dinner for us on Sunday evening – the one evening when the kitchen is officially closed – and Marinus will go out of his way to take you to the bank or wherever else you need to go in Lilongwe and will also collect you from and drop you off at the airport. Their daughter, Shannon, who lives on a farm outside Lilongwe, is also available to advise on places to visit, etc and will even make arrangements for you if you require. Truly, a “one stop shop” and a home from home.

  • Liked — Nothing
  • Disliked — Everything but cleanliness would be one of the key factors
  • Stayed August 2008, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank Siamcat1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Korea Garden Lodge

Property: Korea Garden Lodge
Address: Plot No.3056, Tsiranana Avenue | Area 3, Lilongwe, Malawi
Location: Malawi > Central Region > Lilongwe
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Kitchenette Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #10 of 12 Hotels in Lilongwe
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Korea Garden Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 338
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Korea Garden Hotel

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