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.
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