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“OK, but too expensive”
Review of Sunbird Capital

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Sunbird Capital
Ranked #5 of 13 Hotels in Lilongwe
Reviewed November 21, 2013

I stayed at Capital Hotel for one night, in an Executive room. The room was fine, nothing special, but everything was in working order (which cannot always be expected in this part of the world..). Breakfast OK, but I should have liked some more fresh fruit (the pineapple came from a can), and the coffee was very sour (=undrinkable).

Pros:
-Beautiful garden, especially the courtyard with Mimosa restaurant (the restaurant was closed due to rehabilitation, but the garden was still open)
-Good location, a short walk to the City Centre
-Nice swimming pool

Cons:
-No internet/wi-fi included
-Too expensive compared to what you get
-Housekeeping at odd hours (knocking at my door after 6 pm and befor 8 am).

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled on business
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1  Thank Kristinelill
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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134 - 140 of 209 reviews

Reviewed November 11, 2013

Had a night here on our way north from Lilongwe to northern part of Malawi. This is certainly the best choice in Senga Bay. We upgraded to a deluxe room - it has a sitting area and a large bed. The view was directly of the beach, which was empty given that is was early November.
Got a good low season rate for the room.
G&Ts were very good.
Food was so-so. Breakfast ok - some fresh fruit.
Would stay here again when in the vicinity.

Room Tip: Fork out the extra to get a deluxe room.
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  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank TheWorldIsSoDamnBig
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 2, 2013

The location is perfect for a business trip to Lilongwe especially if you need to be close to the banking sector of town. They have recently upgraded all the rooms and passageways. The ground are immaculate! The food is very average with a limited menu, however there are 2 restaurants on site and daily buffet bbq. The business centre oen until 10pm however be aware teh the WIFI in the rooms hardly ever work and if it does, it drops regularly. The pool is great, as is the gym and salon. It is filled with family and business and busy over the weekends. There were no problems settling the bill (which was a real pleasure). It is however expensive and not great value for money, but the best in town.

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled on business
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Thank Bridgette D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 30, 2013

Not cheap at USD 172 a night. The rooms need upgrading. Lock broken on the bathroom door and the shower cubicle on the bath won't stay open. The internet is a scratch card which you have to buy. These days you get used to high quality internet free in the rooms even in Africa and this is poor quality. The check out takes ages. Bed was comfortable but the aircon was a bit slow to cool the room. Dinner was average, I had the buffet and the selection was limited to say the least.
The staff are friendly and helpful but even their efforts don't make up for an expensive offering that is seriously in need up upgrading. It only scrapes by on the basis that there is limited alternative. Time the wised up to the need for service quality and customer expectations.

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled on business
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Thank gam8le
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 25, 2013

Bear in mind that is not a wealth of choice in Lilongwe, this hotel is also very popular as a conference venue and should i have wished to use the pool I would have had to do so in the full view of a hundred people in suits. The room was spacious and not uncomfortable. The squashed mosquitos on the wall in the bathroom were a shame, in fact the bathroom as a whole was a weak point with a really dated mixer shower over the bath and a sliding glass door that has to be held open to get out. The wifi (not included) was terrible and required a log in every few minutes and was at best intermittent. Breakfast was ok but nothing to write home about. The restaurant food was also ok, rather slow and contrary to what it says in the menu, pizza's are not available until after 6pm. The gardens were nice and well attended and the door staff friendly and conversational. There are in the evening, a quantity of ladies of the night who frequent the bar, and attempt to sell their wares. Although not pushy it is nonetheless a little off putting and I suspect, puts people off staying there for long. There is 1 small bottle of water provided per day however the shop has plenty available at approximately twice the local supermarket price.

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled on business
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Thank Smarshy12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 20, 2013

I have stayed at this hotel twice. The first time, in 2007 for 2 weeks and this time (March 2013) for 1 week. The hotel had been upgraded since 2007 with new furniture and decor. The staff remain fantastic, friendly and obliging.
I think the hotel is very very good. It is clean, the food was good (huge helpings), the facilities are fine and you have, on tap in the hotel reception, fresh Mzuzu coffee free of charge.
I have stayed in more expensive and higher rated hotels but this beats many of them

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled on business
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Thank Java55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 5, 2013

Everything has to evaluated in it´s context. If this hotel was located in Europe it would get 1 star for the price, or alternatively cost €40 and get 3 stars. But In Malawi things are difficult to get hold of (like furniture and other goods) and are amazingly expensive, so I can understand the outdated decoration and certain lack of infrastructure. For example there is always electricity and water, and that has a high cost in Malawi.
I stayed here a week upon my arrival in Lilongwe for a 6 month job. I needed something close to City Centre. For Lilongwe, this is a good hotel with above-average standards. Rooms are old, carpets are worn out just as other users have pointed out, but are decent and clean. No flat TVs here, they have the old huge-box version, and with very little channel choices (In Lilongwe you can easily get a much better package).
I have to say that the garden is very beautiful and well taken care of. You can walk around and there are many trees, and flowers all over the place.

Staff is friendly, although at the front desk they may take some time for check-in/check-out. I have returned several times for the restaurant and many times employees look at my credit card as if it was the first time in their life they have seen one, and hardly know how to use the machine, despite carrying out charges every day.

The food is quite good for Lilongwe, although it is much the same every day, which you will notice after your third day at the hotel. Breakfast was very good indeed with fresh fruits, eggs served as ordered and a variety of other things.There is a nice buffet in the pool and in a very nice terrace in the evening; but it is exactly the same every day.

The pool is nice, although cold in winter. The gym is extremely basic, but I then noticed it is difficult to find anything much better in Lilongwe.

If you need Internet like me, then you are in trouble at the Sunbird. For me this is inadmissible for it´s category and cuts out in my Sunbird Capital´s evaluation a whole star; there is no excuse: in Lilongwe you can easily get a much better service. First of all the charge it, which is not good, but perhaps acceptable. You have to buy scrap cards that they sell at the hotel. The service is provided by a third party called Skyband, which is terrible! Even paying, the service is extremely bad. Of the week I stayed, on one day the service was down the whole day, and another day it was so slow it was unusable. You only can connect one device at a time, so if you have a smartphone and a laptop it is either one or the other simultaneously. If you move within the room, it disconnects, and you have to enter the long password all over again. I noticed people at the reception with laptops complaining about it. Others were working close to the reception in order to gain a stronger signal. I cannot understand how management can see this and do nothing about it. Most of the time I just went to the business centre where the have a couple of computers with internet, but again old and slow.
The Sunbird Capital targets for business customers, so they really should fix this.

In conclusion, for a couple of nights, and if you don´t mind about internet, it is quite suitable and of a good standard in Malawi.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled on business
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Thank RodrigodelaBarra
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sunbird Capital

Address: Chilembwe Road, Lilongwe 3, Malawi
Location: Malawi > Central Region > Lilongwe
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 13 Hotels in Lilongwe
Price Range: $116 - $235 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Sunbird Capital 4*
Number of rooms: 170
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Sunbird Capital (formerly Le meridian Capital) in Lilongwe Malawi. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sunbird Capital Lilongwe
Sunbird Capital Hotel Lilongwe

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