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“THE place to be on Lake Malawi.”

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The Makokola Retreat
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Mangochi
Certificate of Excellence
Pretoria, South Africa
Level Contributor
24 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“THE place to be on Lake Malawi.”
Reviewed April 26, 2014

We stayed at Club Makokola during December – the resort’s reputation precedes it and many people (some of whom have not even been there before) told us that it was THE place to be on Lake Malawi… And they were 100% correct. From the minute you walk into the reception you can feel that this place is special, well designed and well run.

The (PRIVATE) beach is fantastic and large enough for all holiday-makers to have their own little piece of sand. The view is amazing and the swimming-pool & bar area is like something out of a magazine. The bar-staff are friendly, the drinks cold and the cocktails well thought out to quench any thirst on a hot day. The food is of very high quality and naturally the fish is a highlight. Add-ons like the golf-course, the various water activities available, the private airstrip and the tennis courts make for an excellent stay. I highly recommend a trip to the island!

We also took some time to take a look at the other options in this area of the lake and none of them comes close to Club Makokola – highly recommended!

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
4 Thank Conrad C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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118 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    50
    44
    13
    5
    6
See reviews for
32
34
6
20
Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (28)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Mzuzu, Malawi
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed April 24, 2014

The Makokola retreat is truly a treat, or fifty daily treats! From sunrise over one end of the beach to sunset over the other it’s a succession of good surprises: fresh croissants, daily and homemade pastries, perfect cappuccino with biscotti on the side, lovely pool where you can really swim and your kids really play. There is a fantastic selection of food, most enjoyable and airy beach lounge, water sports, spa, tennis, beautiful gardens (with many specimen identified by both Latin and common name). There is such an attention to detail. I’ve seen people photographing the buffet table and many taking a video of what can be seen as one simply turns on himself because anywhere you look is beautiful. I’d like to leave you a couple of surprises but when you do go, enjoy an hour of kayak or a boat ride to the island (the snorkelling is good but even from the boat you see those bright blue cichlids, fish eagles, cormorants…) take your kids for walks, treat yourself to the best ice cream and as much as you like your room, don’t miss the yellow afternoon light as it reveals the texture of the mountains on the other side of the lake. Then is the time to sit at the beach bar and watch the fishermen on their incomparable lake Malawi.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank Emmanuelle R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed April 11, 2014 via mobile

We spent a couple of nights at Makokola with my family and we had a great time.
The hotel was all for us due to the low season. We really enjoyed the staff and the food, you have to try the pizzas and the gelatos. The rooms were nice and on the beach, a little humidity noticed inside but it was full rainy season time
Overall a good stay, room 32 is a great family room.

Stayed February 2014, traveled with family
Helpful?
1 Thank ffranco92
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
South Africa
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed April 9, 2014

Unrivaled beauty is the best way to describe The Makokola Retreat! Upon arrival you are greeted by friendly and helpful staff dedicated to making your stay a special one. Getting settled in is a breeze. Taking a walk around the establishment makes you realize why you chose them in the first place. The sunkissed beach, the serene pool and the lovely gardens all add to the charm. Delicious food and desserts are a definite plus! :) I won't hesitate to another visit!

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank ItsMeJo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed April 9, 2014

I and my partner have recently been fortunate enough to spend a number of nights at this beautifully maintained lake resort.The setting and gardens are in my mind the best Lake Malawi has to offer.The staff are attentive without being intrusive,the food superb and the ice cream to rival any Italian fare.Continual modernization of the facilities and conference center make this an ideal venue for business or pleasure,and children are made to feel most welcome

Room Tip: They are all good but room 44 is special
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank dave d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lilongwe, Malawi
Level Contributor
3 reviews
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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Helpful?
Thank 744SLP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kent, England
Level 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.
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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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