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“Peaceful & Relaxing”

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The Makokola Retreat
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Mangochi
Certificate of Excellence
Lilongwe, Malawi
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
“Peaceful & Relaxing”
Reviewed April 9, 2014

Club Mak is an oasis in the Southern Region, with beautiful mature gardens and lots of shade trees. The hotel is quiet, calm and a great place to unwind in relative comfort. The southern end of the Lake is not the best of it, but Club Mak sports a lovely pool on the beachfront and a breezy bar, with a long golden beach and plenty of space to soak up rays without feeling crowded. Staff are friendly, polite and obliging - most Malawians are gentle smiling people and Club Mak is no exception. Malawi is third world Africa, so the pace is slow and relaxed, but that's why you take a holiday after all! It is nice to get away from refrigerated rooms and enjoy a natural breeze with fans to turn the air - and less noise! If you travel anywhere in the tropics you will experience insects like ants and mozi's, especially in the rains, but Club Mak has no more or less than anywhere else.

Cuisine at the hotel is very good, presented well, hot on arrival, cosmopolitan in theme, and a welcome change from much of the usual fare on offer in most venues in Malawi. Rooms are not just rooms, quite self contained and spacious so you can really get away and relax in several ways at the hotel: from outdoor wallowing to indoor wallowing. Or get active with water sport's or sightseeing or walks in the gardens! If you are looking for a grown up, uninterrupted, private and very comfortable place to retreat in lush surroundings after hours on the road or weeks in the city or a stressful job or want to let the kids run and play while you watch from a distance - Club Makokola is a winning spot.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled on business
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank 744SLP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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118 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (28)
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English first
Kent, England
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed February 7, 2014

We had a great 3 nights at Club Mak. Beautiful location and gardens, enormous rooms, good food, charming staff who even set up the dinner table on the beach for us. Fans in the rooms were fine, we did not miss air conditioning. Unfortunate that the spa was out of action as some of the family would have welcomed a massage. The all-inclusive basis worked out well for us.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank CooperJohn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 4 Contributor
31 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed January 8, 2014 via mobile

It is expensive, service is slow. No a/c in rooms and the small fan is ineffective. LOADS of insects and mozies. Very hot. I don't get why they provide two blankets on the bed. They add 6.5% on visa payments without saying so in advance. The food is nice though. The ambience is not bad. Service is variable from room to room. It's not worth it at all. Cape Maclear resorts are much better. The manager has an attitude problem and could do with more customer-friendly approach training. The other staff are nice, friendly and polite, but very slow to respond. I would not recommend this place at all.

Stayed December 2013
Helpful?
4 Thank Chisanga C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lilongwe, Malawi
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed January 7, 2014

Makokola, is beautiful! The decor and the well manicured lawns.
We were doing a trip around a few places and of all the ones we visited this was our least favorite.
There had been a crocodile sited and the lake was "out of commission" for the week before we were there and during our stay (I guess this might have been out of their control). This in mind we went to play squash , but these are poorly ventilated and it was like playing squash in the Sahara. Finally the food. The lunch menu is really below standard. We have Fish - "Catch of the Day" and it terrible. dripping of oil and not very little taste. Dinner Menu was better!

So if you are looking for a lying on the beach holiday with drinks - you wont mind Makokola but if you are into good food, a little bit of activity on your holiday then this review probably applies.

Room Tip: Ask for the beach front view. The mornings are gorgeous!
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank adevelopinghuman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
43 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
Reviewed January 2, 2014 via mobile

I stayed here with my family for 3 nights. The price is very very high for poor quality service, rooms, food and facilities. Almost 1000 us dollars for 4 people in 2 rooms per night. No air con, ants everywhere (biting ones), crappy TV, paint spills in the bath and lizard droppings crusting the walls and thatch. No attempt by waiting or cleaning staff to deal with ants at all and for some reason only one of our two rooms ever had an evening turn down service. Insects in the room were also a problem with a large number of mosquitos and flying ants. The bar area was empty every night by 7pm due to the thousands of sand flies and ants making the bar top itself a crawling mass of insects. I complained to the manager on checking out as i had to pay a 6.5% surcharge for paying with a card which is high and unusual for malawi ... They also convert to US dollars for credit card payments which i presume is due to having some offshore account ... Again very unusual for Malawi. Stay elsewhere - the sunbird hotel is a much better option. Staff are friendlier and you will be much more comfortable. I'll stay well clear of this place in future. Management seriously need to address the insects, dirt and their attitude to customer service.

Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
Helpful?
6 Thank travellingnickers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lilongwe, Malawi
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed December 11, 2013 via mobile

A group of 36 of us have had a wonderful couple of days at Makakola Resort. The newly upgraded conference facilities are perfect and can handle any size group. Food and staff have been great as usual. Playing golf on the Malambe course is a great way to end the conference as a team building activity and fun was had by all !

Stayed December 2013, traveled on business
Helpful?
Thank Riaan H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montague
Level 6 Contributor
193 reviews
99 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 122 helpful votes
Reviewed November 15, 2013

The grounds are beautiful. The views on Lake Malawi are gorgeous. The patio area for each lakeside unit was very nice. The housekeeping staff were exceptionally helpful and responsive. Almost all other staff were gracious and welcoming. The beach was lovely. The bar was well stocked and the restaurant served consistently good food. I attended a conference and stayed three nights. The conference facilities were excellent. Control of ants on the grounds was a problem. But the staff responded immediately and it was never threatening.

Room Tip: Ask for a room facing the lake.
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Markey2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Makokola Retreat

Property: The Makokola Retreat
Address: P.O.Box 59, Mangochi, Malawi (Formerly Club Makokola)
Location: Malawi > Southern Region > Mangochi
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Mangochi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:3 star — The Makokola Retreat 3*
Number of rooms: 66
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Also Known As:
The Makokola Retreat Hotel Mangochi
The Makokola Retreat Malawi/Mangochi

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