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“Small but beautifully-formed”
Review of Danforth Yachting

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Danforth Yachting
Devizes, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
470 reviews
67 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 207 helpful votes
“Small but beautifully-formed”
Reviewed September 24, 2013

Slightly odd place in some ways. It's quite small, occupying a beautiful lake-front location at Cape McClear, but it's the only luxury place planted down in the middle of a lot of very poor countryside. The lodge is owned by Howard, who's real passion in life is his catamaran, moored just a few yards offshore. He's around a lot, but leaves the lodge management to Babette, and her husband Jerome (who is an excellent chef). Overall our stay there was very enjoyable, but it's a mixed bag of things. On the negative side - the 3-hour+ transfer from Lilongwe is NOT enjoyable, or even very interesting, meals are at very fixed times (including being summoned by a gong), there are a lot of notices/ rules, the property is VERY small, there is something of a (not discussed) security problem (bars on windows, CCTV etc), and the pool is rather small. On the positive side - the rooms & en-suites are clean & comfortable (if a little tired in the decor department), they have mosquito nets & a turn-down service, the food is superb, the laundry service is fast and efficient, there are lots of water-sports activities to do (some are free, some chargeable), it is very quiet, restful & relaxing, and the catamaran Mafusa is a great experience for an evening sun-down cruise ($40pp). Howard, the owner, is a bit of a silverback - it's his domain and he lets you know it. It's obvious that the yacht and yachting are his real passion, not running the lodge. However, overall we very much enjoyed our stay.

Room Tip: As far as we could see, all the rooms were exactly the same
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Andy F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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148 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
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  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (30)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Level 3 Contributor
21 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed September 21, 2013

Probably the best place to stay in Cape Maclear. Away from the noisy backpackers areas, you'll find a great spot to rest and enjoy the lake. Staff is just great and they make sure the service quality is high. The food is exquisite and rooms are spacious and very clean. Actually there is nothing to criticize, but....we still thought the room rate was too high (~$380 p/n). Of course a lot is included such as the use of non-motorized water sports to explore the lake, breakfast, lunch and dinner, and laundry as well. Surprisingly, drinks are then not included for that amount (not even soda). As mentioned, the rooms are fine, but not the most modern or nicely decorated ever. All in all, we were satisfied with our stay, but still feel we overpaid a little.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
1 Thank Chris B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
West Midlands UK
Level 4 Contributor
26 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed September 6, 2013 via mobile

We stayed at Danforth on the recommendation of a travel agent in Blantyre. The location is lovely, the room was charming and the food was very nice. There was however a slight air of contrived orderliness that felt regimental and attentivenes that is just a little too full on for my taste. It is obvious that Howard and Michelle run a very tight ship and i am sure that for many this is fine but for me, the attention was just a tad oppressive which made it difficult to relax.

  • Stayed September 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank jcody58
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paris, France
2 reviews
Reviewed August 27, 2013

This small lodge, only 8 rooms, is a dream come true. Michelle and Howard dreamt of the place where they would like to go and this is to our benefit. The rooms are big and decorated with taste, there are plenty of little spots where to read, rest, chill, have a drink, have a chat. The staff is great and knows well how to make you feel comfortable (thank you Jerome for the great french cuisine, Babette for your "no problem" smile and sparkly eyes, PJ for your patience and teaching skills and Peny with an N for your cheerful energy). The snorkeling amidst the cichlides, the kayaking, the diving in the swim throughs in the rocks formation are the best occupations to keep your day busy, if you wish so. Everything there is charm, calm and delight in an amazing environment nearby this magnificent pristine water lake.
This comment might sound a little bit over the top, but go there, and see by yourself, it's worth the trip !
Mélanie and Thomas

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank mejoi7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed August 22, 2013

From the moment we arrived in this lovely boutique hotel, we were made to feel extremely welcome, and like a new friend rather than a guest. The owners are lovely, Howard will take anyone on in a yacht race on the lake and drinks in the evening were very relaxed and gave us a chance to talk to all the guests. The young couple who manage it were absolutely wonderful and organised many a birthday treat for me which I had never expected. On a many months trip through southern Africa, this was definitely our favorite experience.

  • Stayed May 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank NZ_CameronM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Berkeley, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed August 20, 2013

We spent four nights at Danforth after our Zambian safari. After a long drive from Lilongwe airport (transfer arranged by The Responsible Safari Company - excellent), arriving at Danforth was like happening upon a green and calm oasis. We were made very welcome by owners Howard and Michelle and their team of hosts Babette, PJ and Penny and thoroughly enjoyed the culinary delights prepared for us by French chef Jerome. The accommodation, food and service were fantastic - full board included early morning tea/coffee from 6am, breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea (cakes to die for), hors d'ouvres before dinner and then dinner with a wide range of cocktails, beers and wines. The setting on Lake Malawi was perfect for enjoying the ubiquitous African sunsets (and sunrises!) and we made full use of the water sports on offer. We enjoyed the sunset cruise (with drinks and hors d'ouvres) aboard Howard's well-appointed 38' catamaran 'Mufasa' and also spent an enjoyable couple of hours on our final day with Howard teaching us to water-ski (proving there's truth in the old adage you can't teach an old dog new tricks!) and then thrilling my two children (aged 21 and 15) with an exhilarating tubing ride. We also kayaked quite a bit to burn off calories before dinner! Apart from water sports my children enjoyed table tennis and pool and there were also cards and board games available. I particularly enjoyed the brisk early morning dog-walking with Howard and Michelle each day. A surprising and appreciated bonus was that Danforth did all our laundry for free which made the inevitable post-holiday hassle back in the UK easier to bear! All in all, I couldn't recommend Danforth highly enough. It's not cheap but it is good value for the quality and level of service offered at so many levels. It is the perfect post-safari wind-down.

Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
Helpful?
Thank 29nickyf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed August 16, 2013

We were fortunate enough to spend a few days at Danforth Lodge chilling out after being on safari, dinghy sailing, learning to water ski, with amazing service and loads of laughs with the whole team there. We then spent five days on the yacht Mefusa with Howard, Victor and Dixon, which was an absolute privilege and something everyone should try. Massive fun, especially sleeping on deck as hubby was too claustrophobic to sleep in the cabin. Sorry about the pillow which blew overboard one windy night. Many many thanks to all at Danforth for an unforgettable experience.

Room Tip: all amazing
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Fay D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Danforth Yachting

Property: Danforth Yachting
Address: Cape Maclear Road | Stand CM10, Cape Maclear, Lake Malawi National Park, Malawi
Location: Malawi > Lake Malawi National Park > Cape Maclear
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 19 Specialty Lodging in Cape Maclear
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Danforth Yachting, situated on the beach at Cape Maclear bordering the Lake Malawi National Park, offers superb lakeside accommodation. Danforth is both a luxury lodge and a Malawi yacht charter company. The Lodge has eight spacious, en-suite rooms, tastefully decorated in cool, nautical colours and all opening onto a large patio. All rooms have spectacular lake views. Swimming pool, watersports, scuba diving and sailing. Double, twin and family en-suite, air conditioned rooms. Great hosting. Excellent meals. Full board. Bar with DSTV. The live-aboard catamaran yacht Mufasa, a 10 berth luxury yacht, is available for crewed yacht charters to the far corners of Lake Malawi. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Danforth Yachting Malawi/Cape Maclear

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