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Norman Carr Cottage
Certificate of Excellence
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“When can I go back?”
Reviewed May 5, 2010

If you're looking for a relaxing and idyllic weekend, look no further. After half a day the owners make you feel like you're old family friends, and the quiet beautiful beach can't be beat. Plus boat rides and all delicious meals included at a good price!

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank JKC123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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117 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (23)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Norway
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed April 12, 2010

This place is truly heaven, for many reasons. The natural scenery, the feel of the buildings and rooms, the food, the drinks, and on top of all: the staff and the two owners, Jenny and Taffy.

The words 'hurry' or 'stress' may have their equivalents in the Chichewa language, but it sure does not feel like it at Norman Carr. After almost a week in Malawi, including a stay in Lilongwe, a safari trip, local transport (crowded minibuses) and a stay at a small village in the middle of nowhere, arriving at Jen and Taff's place was completely mind blowing. It is a place that makes you mentally (and physically) sit back and enjoy the tranquility of the place and your own existence, with a whisky soda in your hand at the beach side deck, with a reed hat and a book in one of the sunbeds or hammock chairs, or napping on the huge beds in the lush, delicate rooms. Enjoy!

Room rates were 66/88 USD (depending on room class) at the time of our visit, incl all meals but excl drinks.

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank hbholiday
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Level Contributor
12 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed July 20, 2009

Jenny and Taffy will make you most relaxed at this lodge which has to be one of the best kept secrets in Malawi. The rooms are decorated in African stylle with comfortable beds and outdoor bathrooms. Meals are simple and delicious always with plenty of wine and beer on offer. Best of all was the included boat trip on 'Alfie' to see the sea eagles and sundowners which seemed to last all night!

Stayed July 2009, traveled on business
Helpful?
1 Thank JJCDubai
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hong Kong
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed April 22, 2009

We had read a couple of rave reviews about this place, and I had e-mailed and chatted on the phone to Jenny and Taff, the owners, a couple of times before the visit. Five of us (my parents, wife and 3 year old son) stayed three nights just before Christmas, and wished it could have been longer - in fact we tried to go back after spending a few days in other hotels further along the lake, only to find it was full (hardly surprising).
The rooms were tremendous - huge, comfortable beds, cleverly designed mosquito-netting, and stunning outdoor showers.
The food was the best we tasted in Malawi - varied, expertly cooked, and even catering to our personal favourite dishes. Tea and coffee flowed throughout the day, and the MGT's (Malawi Gin & Tonics), wine and beer were exceptionally well priced, enjoyed in the company of Jenny, Taff and the fellow-guests.
On top of all that, the boating, canoeing, snorkelling, water-skiing, internet use were thrown in for free. Seriously, you couldn't ask for more.
A few traders set up their handicraft wares on the beach every morning, in typically laid-back Malawian style. We also travelled around the area, north to Monkey Bay and Cape Maclear, and south to Mangochi. There's also golf just down the road at Club Mak - in short, there's plenty to do and see if lounging on the beach just gets too hard.
To sum up: excellent value for money, great company, total relaxation, superb lodgings in a beautiful country.

  • Stayed December 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Chris088
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cape Town, South Africa
Level Contributor
11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed September 22, 2008

My wife and I booked five nights at Norman Carr Cottages, located right on the waterfront of the lake, for a quiet "get away for a while". The accommodation, whilst simply decorated, is fantastic. King size double beds, spacious rooms, and an absolute pleasure. The resort is run by the owners, Taffy and Jen, on a full board basis. The food was plentiful and tasty, and well varied. Drinks were very reasonably priced, and tea and coffee available as and when. They could not have been kinder or more considerate hosts. We arrived as strangers, and definitely left having made two new friends. Would love to go back again. If you want racy nightlife, don't go here - if you want tranquility and a little piece of paradise, this is it!

  • Liked — Quality and comfort
  • Disliked — no negatives
  • Stayed August 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank DenisCPT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed June 21, 2008

You must go to the Norman Carr Cottage in Monkey Bay, the most gorgeous place run with great skill and charm by Taffy and Jenny, an absolutely lovely couple. The moment we left I began scheming to get back!! It's hard to believe that you can stay in this paradise for something like $180 US per night, room and board, and that includes boating excursions!! Only your bar tab might add a little bit extra, but very little. I should add that Monkey Bay is a bit of a trek from either Lilongwe or Blantyre (a few hours' ride by car,) but it would be worth a far longer journey to come here.

You wake up and have coffee on a lovely thatched-roof terrace overlooking this beautiful, beautiful lake, mirror still, with little boats scattered here and there. The rooms are huge and so comfy, with wonderful sheets, and it's got the prettiest bathrooms ever, they are actually outside, with beautiful little brass taps, so you shower in this balmy garden-fragrant air, I can't tell you how lovely it is. All the service is perfect--attentive and friendly, but not obtrusive. Plus the main thing, Taffy and Jenny are so hilarious, so smart and so kind and loving. The food is just exquisite (and very plentiful; the English breakfast is to die for.) You can go on a little boat every day to snorkel with the thousands of different kinds of multicolored Cichlids in the lake. It's magical, having these little fish like animated neon confetti kind of chasing you about. These daily boat trips are all included, and are really unforgettable (and go so well with the magical elixir that is Malawi Gin and Tonic!) It's the loveliest place to snorkel (and the easiest, even for a klutz like me.)

Basically this is one of those beautiful dream places where you can laze about in utter bliss, or go and see some amazing sights, if you want to.

Then you have this gorgeous dinner, and then a long walk under the night sky thick with stars, the lake softly lapping against the beach.

You can also make excursions to nearby places like Cape Maclear (gorgeous: don't miss Otter Point) from here. If you're at all interested in British colonial history, there's some wonderful (if rather hard to find) books out there about Malawi--John McCracken's Politics and Christianity in Malawi is an awesome book that sheds a surprising amount of light on African politics and culture today. I mention this because Cape Maclear featured very prominently in Malawian colonial history.

(But the main thing I remember is beautiful evenings, wonderful company, and Malawi Gin and Tonic! I wish I had one right now ...)

Our stay at the Norman Carr Cottage was one of the most surreally perfect experiences of my life. If you ever get anything like the chance to go--do it!!

  • Liked — Perfect food and service in an exquisite location
  • Stayed May 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
6 Thank mrscorlett
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Norman Carr Cottage

Property: Norman Carr Cottage
Address: Southern Lake Shore, Cape Maclear, Lake Malawi National Park, Malawi
Location: Malawi > Lake Malawi National Park > Cape Maclear
Amenities:
Free Parking
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 19 Specialty Lodging in Cape Maclear
Hotel Class:3 star — Norman Carr Cottage 3*
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Norman Carr Cottage is situated on the southern lake shore of Lake Malawi, in the beautiful sheltered bay of Namakoma just 15km from Monkey Bay. A gentle and restful place where we promise you a memorable Malawian experience. You will be left with fond memories of this charming African country where time stands still, the pace is gentle and the scenery is stunning. Malawi has much to offer, sun drenched beaches, turquoise waters, abundant brightly coloured cichlid fishes, great for snorkeling and diving. Discover the magic of the open air aquariums which the southern lake shore is renowned for. We offer daily trips to various dive sites and remote islands for snorkeling and to experience the joy in the flight of the fish eagles ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Norman Carr Cottage Hotel Cape Maclear
Norman Carr Cottage Malawi/Cape Maclear

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