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Sunbird Livingstonia Beach
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Salima
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Depends what you are comparing this too...”
Reviewed September 27, 2008

My wife and I had been in Malawi for two weeks prior to staying at this hotel, doing aid work. Sunbird was a two day excursion for our group to debrief on the previous three weeks.

It is probably one of the nicest hotels in Malawi. The beach and lake are wonderful. The exterior of the building and the grounds are also beautiful.

The rooms are fine, esp by Malawian standards. The deluxe and chalet rooms are much much nicer than the standard. The mattresses are open cell foam, not very thick, and not exactly new. There was hot water (!), and the plumbing worked - so these are pretty great things to have in the country.

Don't compare this to a resort in first world countries though. You will get bugs. The beds aren't great. The food is pushing the low end of average - especially for the price (the breakfast buffet was really the only highlight of food there). Quite frankly I thought it was a little steep in price all around.

Nonetheless it provided a nice place to stop and take a breather and think about the world.

  • Stayed September 2008
    • Value
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    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
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Helpful?
Thank uberZ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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117 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
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  • Value
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (28)
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English first
Hampshire, UK
Level Contributor
53 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 79 helpful votes
Reviewed July 17, 2008

Stayed at this hotel for 2 nights as part of our tour with Jules Verne. It was a beautiful location right next to the lake with well maintained gardens. The staff were very friendly and helpful. Our room was a rondavel - around room with a thatched roof and a spacious round bathroom. There was plenty of space and a large fridge. You were given a couple of complementary bottles of water and the usual tea and coffee. The views from our little garden were beautiful as we were right next to the lake. I keep wanting to say sea because it does look like the sea with the waves coming up the beach. The food was included in our tour price. The breakfast was excellent - the evening meal was average. Everyone who ate the lamb thought it was vile - so if you eat here stay away from that!! The fish and steaks were fine. We were surprised at how windy it became in the evening. It would be extremely calm and then the next minute a warm wind would roll in from the lake. It became very windy with the waves crashing up on the beach. Although we had mosquito nets we didn't see or hear any. The nets were in good condition and the maid told me they sprayed the rooms to keep out the ants. There was a shop hidden away in the garden. If you want to use it don't wait for it to open - it doesn't. Go to the desk and ask to go in - they will open it for you. Like most hotels in malawi it isn't geared up to tourism. They haven't any leaflets about what to see or maps. They do have some out of date excursions chalked up on a blackboard outside - without any details of what they are. Make sure you have a guide book and decide what you want to see before you get there. While we were there it was windy in the morning and the lake was rough. If you book a trip to the fishing village in the morning it will be cancelled if the water is rough. Book it for the afternoon when it was calm. Just outside the gates of the hotel there are some stalls selling goods. They are also willing to give a very detailed guided tour of their fishing village for a small fee. All in all we enjoyed our stay here and were very comfortable

  • Stayed May 2008
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank ceramica
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
England
Level Contributor
30 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
Reviewed March 26, 2008

Stayed here for one night and the only problem was the air conditioning, which resulted me changing three times before they found a room wher one worked.

Staff very helpful.

  • Liked — Staff
  • Stayed March 2008, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank Sedgley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Salima hotels

Raleigh, North Carolina
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed December 1, 2007

I stayed in Salima for just one night in their luxury corner suite and it was lovely. It's not luxurious by American standards, but it certainly is in Malawi. The lake is beautiful and I felt like I could stay there forever. While walking on the beach that morning I came across two baboons that were looking for their breakfast and they followed me back to the hotel buffet! The food is very good - be sure to order their specialty Chambo (fish) and chips - it was delicious.

At night you can see the lanterns of all the fisherman out in their boats, which was very cool. The only thing that freaked me out was when the security guard came onto our veranda in the middle of the night, and I didn't know who he was. I tried calling the front desk but no one answered, and I could tell that he was carrying a knife (which makes sense considering he's a security guard), but when I called out to him he just left and everything was fine.

If you're ever in Malawi, be sure to visit the lake and stay at this hotel. There's a wonderful market just down the road where you can buy incredible wood carvings and crafts for unbelievable prices.

  • Liked — It's beautiful and very peaceful
  • Disliked — Service can be an issue
  • Stayed May 2005, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank chachina
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
reno nevada
Level Contributor
11 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
Reviewed December 10, 2006

This has been a year ago but the memory is still fresh of this very unpleasant stay at Le Mridian Livingstone Beach. Granted travel to Malawi is not your everyday occurence and you cannot expect things you find elsewhere. In fact in 10 days spent there we met NO Westerners that were not missionaries or foreign government workers. But standards at supposed quality international hotels have to be better than this.

Having done research into places to stay on Lake Malawi we found the Livingstone Beach and the reputation as"the nicest in the country". Le Meridian seemed a solid brand and off we went. Pleasant drive from Llowngwe. We rented a car and had no difficulties as roads in Malawi, for most part, are very good and have little traffic. You do need to concentrate however as always people walking on side of roads.

I will get to the point about this hotel. Nice pool and beach. Friendly staff. We got malaria.

"Family Suite" with no a/c in the Malawian heat, equipped with ripped and torn mosquito nets. How did the mosquitos get in the room and inside our nets? A ripped and torn window screen. We woke up the next morning with bites everywhere. Staff in no hurry to fix the problem.

Food was lacking. Only choice was a sad looking buffet(pronounced in Malawi as "boof-it")with a prohibitive price tag

We left after 2 days of a planned 7 day stay realizing we were overpaying in an extraordinary way.

We found suitable accomodation at half the price further south towards Monkey Bay. Malawi is a lovely country with the most welcoming people and worth a trip to.

Stayed December 2005
Helpful?
8 Thank OmarSuarez
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mandal, Norway
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed October 17, 2006

This hotel is very good. The rooms are nice and clean, but not as luxury as I aspected.
The bar is good, but the white whine of the house, was a bit "sandy".
There were to swimming pools in the public area, and I nice restaurant with food that tasted very good. But, it is africa, and it took ages to get our meal. We decided to eat lunch about 12 am, and we had to wait 1,5 hours to get our meal...Things take time in Africa. Get used to it! :)

The bar/restaurant is placed about 50 metres from the beach. The view is very nice.

I really recommend this hotel in this area. It was not very expensive as well.

  • Stayed September 2005, traveled with friends
    • Value
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    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
4 Thank TrondK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
131 reviews
95 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 354 helpful votes
Reviewed July 11, 2006

In the past, I've usually thought of Le Meridien as being rather luxurious. I certainly wouldn't call this place bad, but it wasn't quite what I had expected.

First of all, the staff are extremely friendly, and try to help wherever they can. The pool is great, the hotel is on the beach (and the beach is great - make sure you wander along it, as you're bound to see kids playing football or generally mucking around having fun). The restaurant is pretty good as well - make sure you try the Malawi shandy - I think it's meant to be ginger ale, Sprite and bitters - sounds terrible, but on a hot day is very refreshing. Oh and the bar is nice as well

Essentially, in the public areas, the place feels really great, and it's difficult not to enjoy. The only catch though is the rooms, which feel a good notch lower in the quality stakes. There's nothing disastrous about them - they're clean, and the shower works, but it just felt a little bit of a let down, after such a great time for lunch and wandering along the beach.

Having said all that, it's almost certainly the best place anywhere near Senga Bay / Salima - none of the other places come close in quality.

  • Stayed June 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank pmbma
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sunbird Livingstonia Beach

Property: Sunbird Livingstonia Beach
Address: Senga Bay, Salima, Malawi (Formerly Le Meridien Livingstonia Beach)
Phone Number:
Location: Malawi > Central Region > Salima
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Salima
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:2 star — Sunbird Livingstonia Beach 2*
Number of rooms: 35
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Also Known As:
Sunbird Livingstonia Beach Hotel Salima
Sunbird Livingstonia Beach Salima
Sunbird Livingstonia Beach Malawi/Salima

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