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“Decent business hotel”

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Golden Peacock Hotel
Ranked #15 of 25 Lilongwe B&B and Inns
Reviewed July 3, 2014

I stayed at the Golden Peacock for a 2 week work trip to Lilongwe. First time to the country and as we drove up to the hotel grounds, I was taken aback by the shear size of this hotel given its surroundings. 2 wings separated by a short walkway and a very decent size swimming pool. The hotel definitely have a very very distinctive Chinese feel to it from the color scheme to the architecture and even signs were labelled primarily in Chinese.

I stayed at the rear wing which I must say was pleasantly surprised at how modern it is. Everything worked well include the air con even though I didn't need it as it was winter. The rooms are large and comfortable with a working TV and comfortable beds. Toilets are clean and modern with a large shower and pressured hot water (although it seemed like the hot water tendered to run out during the mornings and at night if you have it on for more than 10 minutes). There's also a bath tub but I like my showers better.

The hotel has 2 restaurants, one western and one Chinese. The Chinese restaurant's service was fast and efficient and the food authentic. Didn't try the western restaurant other than daily breakfast which was dull and boring but edible and will do the trick. The location is far from anything interesting. Within walking distance, there's a shopping center with a large Chinese supermarket which is useful for buying things like water and snacks. There's also a bar and a dance club which opens up at night in the same compound. During the day, you can also make it on foot to the new parliament building which is interesting.

The only downside is the speed of the internet at the hotel. Wifi cuts in and out and signal is very poor not to mention slow. LAN cable in the room is also slow to the point where emails wouldn't load. Worthwhile investing in a SIM and buying a 3G package which tends to work quite well at the hotel and other areas in town. The gym is also way too small and poorly equipped for a decent workout but that's life.

Overall, nothing fancy but a comfortable stay if you're here for work. Staff are reasonably friendly but Chinese management looked like they really didn't want to be there. Not the nicest thing to see in the morning. I also found it weird that management would have breakfast in the dining area where guests eat their breakfast....never seen that before at a high(er) class hotel.

Room Tip: Higher floor rooms have a decent view of the city as the hotel is somewhat on top of a small hill. T...
  • Stayed: June 2014, traveled on business
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Thank youers_aus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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56 - 62 of 92 reviews

Reviewed June 1, 2014

I have stayed in this hotel a several times while doing humanitarian work in Malawi.
The Best: Clean rooms, and very soft, clean towels--hard to find in Africa!
The Worst: The beds are VERY firm. VERY.
I agree with other reviewers who have said the internet service is a weakness. However, I would say it is as good as can be found anywhere in Malawi, and I have stayed in other hotels in Lilongwe and Blantyre on several occasions.
I also agree that sometimes the service is unfriendly, both from Chinese and Malawians at the hotel. The experience is certainly not an African one at this hotel. However, the staff have politely done anything I've ever requested.
We have always been served tasty, fresh food at the Chinese restaurant--recommended, especially the green beans.
I disagree with other reviewers on breakfast--they serve a large variety of breads, juice, yogurt, fruit, and several hot items--bacon, sausage, potatoes, and malawian meat and nsima, and Chinese breakfast. If you would like full English breakfast, there is a chef standing at the serving area who will gladly make eggs to your liking or omelettes to go with your rashers.
Close (but not walking distance) to government district and good restaurants.
Overall, beautiful and comfortable hotel in Lilongwe, and I am excited to go back--look for lush greenery in January and February, purple jackaranda trees in September and large bushes of poinsettia in May!

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled on business
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1  Thank WHSpain
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 31, 2014

Seeing that Lilongwe doesn't quite have a choice where good hotels are concerned this newish Chinese built place is the best of the worst.

Rooms are big and cleanish (though the toilet tiles seem to have stained since my last visit last October) what really drags this place down is the horrible horrible service.

They literally look like they have chosen the worst of the Chinese & Malawian service staff to work here. Every other Malawian i met outside of this hotel were incredibly warm and polite so im guessing the surly Chinese owners and staff must have rubbed off on them.

But till they build a better hotel in Lilongwe weary travellers are probably stuck with this place which is a disgrace to the star system - a shockingly inappropriate 4 stars.

And don't even get me started on the wifi..... The only thing worse nowadays than hotels charging for wifi is free wifi that doesn't work at all.

Avoid if you can.

Have heard that some lodges nearby are better.

Room Tip: Higher the better... There was a wedding on one day and the windows are not sound proof
  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled on business
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1  Thank Vishal S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 31, 2014

Stayed at the Golden Peacock for a business trip, including hosting a training at the hotel. The hotel grounds are quite pretty and there are two hotel buildings with a nice outdoor pool separating the two. The rooms are quite comfortable with all necessary amenities. The one major complaint was the internet signal which was actually quite poor. The signal was its strongest at the early hours of the morning (2am or 3am) and quite weak thereafter. It wasn't very strong in the lobby either. The meeting venue was very comfortable, nice chairs, table and AV support. The hotel staff were very pleasant and very helpful. But it was like being in China in the heart of Africa. The hotel decor is very Chinese, many of the signs were written in Chinese, including the hotel receipt. There's also a nice Chinese restaurant on premise and a second restaurant that serves more "western food". Overall nice location, nice rooms but major complaint was the internet.

Room Tip: Two hotel buildings, ask to stay in the back building as the rooms have been recently updated and th...
  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled on business
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Thank Fao2001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 18, 2014

To be fair, I wasn't expecting much when I arrived but I was very pleasantly surprised. The approach to the hotel is impressive; reception staff could not be more efficient and the room was definitely 4*. There are two parts to this hotel, linked by a very oriental walkway with a carved wood roof. The walkway has a car park one side but the other overlooks the pool and a garden area with views across open grassland to distant mountains.
There is a Chinese restaurant in the main hotel, which is one of the best I have experienced, and a more 'Western' bar & restaurant in the annexe. The latter is not like any bar you would expect! OK they have beer, wine & spirits but a marked lack of anywhere to sit, except for 4 bar stools, is unusual.
The food in the Annexe restaurant is acceptable, though I found the a la carte in the bar preferable to the buffet.
Downsides? Breakfast, if you. Are expecting anything like a "full English" will be an experience. One morning I enjoyed braised liver & curried rice!
The location is remote; there is a mall a short walk away (and walking here is quite safe) but don't bother as the are only about four shops and a supermarket. To get anywhere interesting will require a taxi ride.
Internet is variable. The rooms have an Ethernet cable and a weak wireless signal but there re times when neither works.
Overall, I was there for 11 nights and enjoyed every one. It is comfortable, exceptionally clean and very efficient (my TV couldn't get a signal, which I assumed was a signal issue, but when I returned there was a new TV working perfectly!). I will be happy to stay there again should I get more work in Malawi.

Stayed: March 2014, traveled on business
Thank Otto148
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 17, 2014

If you are in search of internet and keys to your room then this hotel should be avoided. The electronic keys were not available so for the first day entrance could only be achieved through assistance of a housekeeper. Then staff were kind enough to remove outer casing of electronic screening device on door (with butter knife) to reveal an old fashioned lock into which a key could be used. Internet was truly rubbish. If anyone wants to set up a small business then i recommend a carpet cleaning firm to support this hotel. Other than these issues the rooms were fine and food was good.

  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled on business
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Thank Fenbeed
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 15, 2014

I saw the other reviews but felt I would give The Golden Peacock a chance. NEVER AGAIN! I travel across Southern Africa and am used to the "this is Africa" excuses but hard to play that card here. In all my travels around the world, this is probably the hotel which has failed most to deliver to what I would have expected!

Staff are sultry and openly belligerent, a far cry from the Malawians I have met in other hotels and outside. First encounter was trying to sort Internet which even after management intervention and rude front of house staff, failed to perform to an acceptable standard to access emails; within minutes of trying at the Sunbird Capital round the corner I had access so clearly an internal issue. So, DO NOT. Plan on having Internet access.

It appears Chinese management and technical staff with little mastery of English run the show!

Food in the Chinese restaurant was good quality and timely while the rest of the hotel was poor. Tried to dine in on two other occasions and both were very unimpressive!

Lots of other examples of a lack of attention to the customer' needs eg skimping on toiletries, hard beds, single pillows per person, tardy service, scruffy appearance in certain areas, poor maintenance, to name a few. In short, no sense of pride or service!

A microcosm of the Chinese in Africa? A Chinese managed hotel in Africa which superficially looks good but fails to function to the standard you would expect. A degree of arrogance that this is good enough for Africa but falls short of international standards?

The management have succeeded in making you believe that this is not the Warm Heart of Africa with staff who appear extremely unhappy in their work. A very poor advert for Malawi and Malawians. Avoid! I won't be back again or risk a Chinese managed hotel, even if it is cheaper!

  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled on business
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3  Thank ZimGuy2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Golden Peacock Hotel

Address: Area 13 Plot Number 97 City Center | Along Presidential Drive, Lilongwe +265, Malawi
Phone Number:
Location: Malawi > Central Region > Lilongwe
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #15 of 25 B&Bs / Inns in Lilongwe
Price Range: $129 - $155 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Golden Peacock Hotel 3.5*
Number of rooms: 254
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
We provide business to all type of guests ... more   less 
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