We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Sub Par”
Review of Sunbird Ku Chawe

Best prices for -
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 6 more sites!
Sunbird Ku Chawe
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Zomba
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed July 19, 2012

Our stay at this hotel was enjoyable because we chose to make lemonade out of lemons. When we arrived, they put four of us in a room with one bed. They then asked us if we could sleep on mattresses on the floor. We told them no, so they brought in two beds. This created absolutely NO walking room. The bath tub was dirty, the floor in the bathroom was dirty. The hot water did work. The management staff was just not very helpful.

The grounds are stunning, no doubt about that. That is the only redeeming quality.

The restaurant is unnecessarily fancy and completely overpriced. Of course, it happens to be the only place to eat.

I would never go back to this hotel. I would stay elsewhere in Zomba and just drive up to the plateau for the day.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank oconnorjen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a ReviewReviews (156)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Language
  • More languages

122 - 128 of 156 reviews

Reviewed July 11, 2012

Just spent 7 nights in the Ku Chawe Inn on the Zomba Plateau. We stayed in a deluxe room which had plenty of space. The open fire could be lit at night while you're having dinner, a nice touch. We had a small terrace area overlooking the lovely gardens with great views across Zomba. The bathroom had a separate bath and shower, it could be doing with a bit of a makeover but it wasn't that bad. The staff are very friendly and helpful, the housekeepers, receptionists, bar staff and in the restaurant. The food was pretty good, plenty of choice at the buffet breakfast with eggs cooked to order. In the evening it varied from the occasional buffet to an a la carte, both were fine ( I'd recommend the goat biryani).
Walking on the Plateau is fantastic, you don't need a guide from the hotel, we used one of the local guys working in the curio stalls outside the hotel, he was great, took me to places and described thing I couldn't have done on my own.
All in all avery good hotel in a great location but if you're going during the dry cool season pack accordingly!

Room Tip: Deluxe Rooms have A/C that also blow hot air, helpful for cold mornings.
See more room tips
  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank clyde-valley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 28, 2012

The Sunbird Ku Chawe is a very nice property that was built quite a while ago. The building is very unique and beautiful. The rooms have had some updates, but the bathrooms need a complete makeover. The beds feel old. The fireplaces in the rooms are wonderful on cool plateau nights. The breakfast is nice with lots of local fresh fruit. The DSTV selection is not good. The hotel is the only large place on the mountain and it is good for a night or two.

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank malawimatt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 15, 2012

High up on the Zomba plateau the hotel has a bit of a 70s feel to it - face brick with many arches and fire places in the rooms to boot. The terraced gardens make a wonderful setting for a few sundowners or to relax in with a good book. The views over the tree tops below and down into the valley on a clear day are nothing short of spectacular.
Rooms are adequate but could do with an update. The fire place in the room is a real winner, particularly on those cooler nights in the winter months.
Food is again average but by no means unacceptable.
The bar is well stocked with the standard Malawi smile adorning the staff. Again; warm fire standard protocol for the cooler nights.

This is not a 5 star hotel but it is good value for money and there are not many better options in the area.

Room Tip: Get a ground floor room with a terrace that opens onto the garden.
See more room tips
  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank BigWillyStyle42
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 10, 2012 via mobile

I've just spent 8 nights at the Ku Chawe and wanted to write a review to praise the staff and hotel in general. The hotel is situated on top of the Zomba Plateau about 10km outside of Zomba with stunning views towards the Mlanje mountains and Lake Chilwa. It is reached by a switchback road which - when the clouds descend - is a fantastic drive. I had a lower floor garden room with a huge bed, masses of floor space, great bathroom and access directly onto the beautiful hotel gardens. The main hotel is a really interesting design - think interconnecting wine vaults - designed with summer coolness in mind, but wonderfully atmospheric with roaring open fires. The food in the restaurant was consistently good - I ate there 6 nights out of 8 - and some of the best food I had in Malawi. I am now addicted to spicy chicken livers! Finally, the staff were amazing. Incredibly friendly, courteous and always helpful. Overall, a lovely hotel and well worth the money - just don't expect to stroll into Zomba!

  • Stayed: June 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank davidjnash
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 3, 2012

I stayed here at the end of May last year. After a mix up with the reservation had been sorted out, I had no complaints. The staff were friendly, happy and helpful, the food was excellent and the room was perfectly adequate. The situation provides wonderful views and walks but makes getting up and down to the town difficult or expensive unless you have your own transport. However, if you ask at Reception they are very obliging and may be able to help out with their own transport.

The Manager (Benedict) is a good host and always willing to do what he can to ensure your stay is enjoyable and he does his best to deal with the difficulties (monkeys, power cuts, etc) that are beyond his control.

Room Tip: Ground floor have direct access to the gardens and nearer to Reception are possibly bigger and more...
See more room tips
  • Stayed: May 2011, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank smithp52
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
Thank RallyWise
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Zomba
1.5 mi away
Hotel Masongola
Hotel Masongola
#2 of 2 in Zomba
16 reviews
1.6 mi away
Pakachere Backpackers & Creative Centre
0 mi away
Skinny Hippos Lodge
Skinny Hippos Lodge
#6 of 30 in Mangochi
11 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
0 mi away
No photo provided
Bluegum Avenue Lodge
#4 of 10 in Zomba
1 reviews
Show Prices

Been to Sunbird Ku Chawe? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Sunbird Ku Chawe

Address: Zomba Plateau, Zomba, Malawi (Formerly Le Meridien Ku Chawe)
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: $118 - $272 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Sunbird Ku Chawe 3*
Number of rooms: 37
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, Priceline, Travelocity, Booking.com, Hotels.com, Orbitz, Hotwire and TripOnline SA so you can book your Sunbird Ku Chawe reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Sunbird Ku Chawe Hotel Zomba

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing