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“Still a very special place”
Review of Sunbird Ku Chawe

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Sunbird Ku Chawe
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Zomba
Certificate of Excellence
The Netherlands
Level 6 Contributor
124 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
“Still a very special place”
Reviewed March 16, 2012

It must have been somewhere around 2006 that Kuchawe became a Sunbird in stead of Le Meridien hotel. Having been there quite often before that, I feared that standards would have slipped since. Well, they did. But not very much. The only real issue is the maintenance of the (bath)rooms. Staying at Kuchawe Inn is still very enjoyable: the location is stunning, the building itself is worth the visit, the restaurant is OK (by Malawi standards).
The only real sting was in the winelist: prices easely double that of other (Sunbird!) hotels.
Try to arrive in the afternoon, have tea in the lovely garden, have drinks in the cosy bar, and during diner ask staff to light the fire in your room. Most likely you will enjoy your stay.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank RallyWise
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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148 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    45
    57
    26
    13
    7
See reviews for
31
36
6
32
Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (36)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Tete
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed February 5, 2012

The reception was good, the staff are all courteous, though there was a bit of a mix up with our reservation. It took us a few minutes to get that sorted out, but they served us coffee on the house whilst they were sorting it out, so we overlooked that minor mishap.
We took room 132...Oh what a fantastic view! I believe that is the best room. It was also immaculately clean, bathroom, bedlinen, towelling & all. The drainange in the shower was a bit slow, but the tub made up for it.
The restaurant: the food was well done i was really hungry & surprised at the time our orders came out.
The garden:well trimmed, wide variety of plants/flowers, well kept garden furniture and a "chess board" on the ground with wooden "characters".
The staff: very courteous, friendly. 10 out of 10 points for them!
The infrastructure: still in good shape, I did not come across anything falling part or dysfunctional. The TV reception is bad though. But hey, what do you need TV for when there´s such a fantastic view to enjoy outside?
Mmmm...I´d definitely go to this place over & over again and recommend it as the first stopover to anyone going to Zomba for the night

Room Tip: Take room 132. It´s on the first floor and has the best view
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank AdventurousTete
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Indianapolis, Indiana USA
Level 2 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed August 3, 2011

We were completing nearly 2 months of medical work in Malawi, and completely exhausted. We decided to take some time and stay at Sunbird. It was one of our most delightful experiences in a long time. Relaxed both inside and outside. The scenes were magnificent, and the inside of the hotel was spectacular. Will go back over and over.

Room Tip: Get a room facing out from the mountain so you see the great view
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  • Stayed September 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank MalawiTraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cape Town Central, South Africa
Level 5 Contributor
51 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
Reviewed June 13, 2011

The Good:-
We arrived there from Thyolo on the bumpy hole riddled Blantyre road and were received with a friendly smile. We were then taken to our room,s and after inspecting it, we really weren't happy, as we wanted something with a garden and not a first floor. well ... our rooms were changed to a garden access with no quibble.

The Bad:-
Since my last trip to Ku Chawe Inn, sometime in the 90's, nothing has changed. The cheeky monkeys are still there to steal your food, the menu is pretty much the same (even the "fresh onion soup"), and the tourist trap outside the main entrance with wood carvings is also still there.

The Ugly:-
The rooms were appalling, furnished in the 80's, I don't think they were ever renovated since. The rooms were filthy, smelly and had just the basics. No hot water, this had to be brought in by 20ltr buckets from reception, and with two small kids this was a looong wait.

If you can ... miss this place, go up Zomba for the day and find yourself another place to stay in.

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank fbenettolo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore, Singapore
Level 4 Contributor
45 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed June 6, 2011

I stayed 4 days at the Sunbird on the plateau. The walks from the hotel in the morning were a refreshing start of very hot and long working days. The breakfasts buffet were offering a surprising variety. And the dinners matched this. the only recurring issues were the difficulty to connect to the internet from the rooms and the time it took for the water to warm up in the most remote rooms.

Room Tip: ask for a room close to the reception - avoid 222
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  • Stayed May 2011, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank domtouche
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Udzungwa Mountains
Level 4 Contributor
24 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed October 23, 2010

We hadn't intened to stay in a Sunbird hotel as we had heard the were bad but we enciutered a couple of people who said they were ok, and we were keen to check out Zomba plateau, so we checked in to Ku Chawe. What a mistake. We should have camped. Service poor, room shabby with a thin dor through to the next door room so you could actually hear the man in the other room snoring during the night (and this was in a so-called "deluxe" room), restaurant hideously overpriced and food took voer an hour to come. Don't stay here if you can help it - the location is all it has to offer

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank HanWood1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bruessel
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed August 14, 2010

The hotel is located on the top of the Zomba Plateau, with stunning views wherever you look from. The surroundings of the hotel are very beautiful, they take good care of the garden. Breakfast is served in a buffet, with a wide range of options. Be aware of monkey, they may grab your fruits! If you are keen on walking there are plenty of walks with diverse difficulties. Outside the hotel there is a market where you can find lots of local handycrafts as well as local guides, they will be happy to show you around.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Tintin1910
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sunbird Ku Chawe

Property: Sunbird Ku Chawe
Address: Zomba Plateau, Zomba, Malawi (Formerly Le Meridien Ku Chawe)
Phone Number:
Location: Malawi > Southern Region > Zomba
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Zomba
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Sunbird Ku Chawe 3*
Number of rooms: 37
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Also Known As:
Sunbird Ku Chawe Hotel Zomba

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