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“Gorgeous!”
Review of Huntingdon House

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Huntingdon House
Ranked #1 of 2 Thyolo B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 30 April 2013

Lovely old house full of character makes for wonderful place for a relaxing stay in a secluded, peaceful environment. Maps are provided, and a guide if you would like one, for various walks around the tea estates, which are lovely. Use of the mountain bikes is free for those staying at the lodge as well. Doing the tea tasting at the factory is a fun chance to learn more about the whole process and is definitely recommended.
The food is delicious, the service was excellent and the grounds are lovely. Such a beautiful and relaxing place.

Room Tip: Stay in the Chapel if you can – soaring ceilings, private porch. A unique and stunning place to stay...
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  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Denise J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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75 - 81 of 102 reviews

Reviewed 28 April 2013

Huntingdon Lodge was, without doubt, the highlight of our short sty in Malawi. We visited as part of a tour and stayed, with our family, for two nights. From the road the lodge is still some kilometres to drive and you finally draw up in front of the lodge with the well manicured croquet lawns opposite. From the time we arrived to an iced tea welcome drink to the time we left, we were treated extremely well by the 'stand-in' manager and the staff.

Huntingdon was the former family home of the owners of the Satemwa tea plantation, Chip Kay, and his parents. The house was built in about 1922, retains most of the original colonial character and the rooms are named after their former occupants; Fathers Room; Mother's Room; Chips' Nursery etc.. If you are lucky, Chip may visit and regale you with stories of his life in Malawi and his flying exploits when he was much younger (in the sixties); some of which make the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end and would give modern day Health and Safety officers palpitations.

The dinners were served in the dining room and, on a cooler than usual evening, a log fire burned in the grate. Meals were delicious and even the picnic, prepared for a day trip to Likubula Pools, on the side of Mt Mulanje, was ample and very tasty.

We were lucky enough to occupy the Honeymoon Suite, aka the old chapel. The room is immense, probably larger than the size of a tennis court and very well appointed, with a huge double four poster bed and an enormous bathroom with a shower built for two.

The estates are free to roam around and the Thyolo 'mountain', is a fantastic place to drive or walk to for a picnic or for a sundowner as it commands views across the estate with Mt. Mulanje in the distance.

This lodge is a glimpse back to a colonial past, is very comfortable and with good food, well prepared and served. The setting is amazing and just a little different. Highly recommended.

Room Tip: The honeymoon suite is awesome but all the rooms are of a high quality
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  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled with family
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Thank Jandamart
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 April 2013

Our daughter and family including twins of 2 and a boy of 5 had a lovely 3 days here in April. The garden is amazing and walks round the tea estate were interesting and so peaceful. a walk to see birds was a real pleasure. The rooms are huge and very comfortable and the meals were delicious. The biggest decision was whether to eat on the verandah or in the atmospheric dining room. Staff were very helpful and the children well catered for. Great excitement on finding a chameleon sitting on the lawn and a snake winding round a tree nearby! We did have a problem with the 'Thyolo flies' and good insect repellent is advisable.

Room Tip: All the rooms are lovely
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  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled with family
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Thank UkMarkm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 April 2013

Our family, 2 teenagers and 2 adults, spent 3 nights at Huntingdon House over Easter 2013. We had a very good experience at this unique location. Friendly staff, good food, stunning gardens, interestig rooms and the beautiful surroundings of a working te estate made this a holiday to remember. We also played a round of golf at the nearby Thyolo Country Club - an undulating 9 hole course, complete with sand greens and roaming herds of goats, set amongst tea plantations. A must do is to take a picnic basket - prepared by the kitchen staff at Huntingdon house - and go up to the Thylo mountain lookout point. Stunning views of the earea, mount Mulanje and the Shire valley.

Room Tip: Father's room seemed the best, but our teenage kidz loved the Planter's room. we stayed in t...
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  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled with family
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Thank Jacques_11_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 March 2013

I spent two days and nights at Huntingdon House with my spouse and teenage daughter and was fully immersed in the life of a tea planter circa 1930s. Huntingdon House has a very authentic feel. It feels as though the owners have just left for the weekend and allowed you free rein of their house. It has a relaxing largesse but also an intimacy that is very beguiling. The local staff have a knack of appearing just when you're contemplating a cup of tea or a refreshing rock shandy and consult you on your meal requirements as if you were VIPs in a luxurious retreat. Every mealtime was special and with little touches which I won't describe so that I don't spoil the magic for future visitors. The house is mostly a wonderful place to relax but there are self-guided walks or bike rides around the estate, the chance to visit the tea factory for a lesson in tea tasting and also a drive to a remarkable picnic site (with a very fine picnic lunch provided). Annette, who is the manager and a member of the family that runs the tea estate, is very attentive and ensures that you get the most from your experience. I thoroughly recommend it as a unique place to stay (better than any 'themed' hotel), a place to enjoy delicious food and good service and to experience the nature and birdlife of Malawi. A real gem

Room Tip: There are five rooms. All are wonderful, characterful and relaxing. Anette seems to have a knack of...
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  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled with family
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Thank Chris O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 February 2013

My wife and I booked to have high tea at the Huntingdon house in Satemwa Tea estate. We were staying at Blantyre (the commercial city of Malawi) and drove down south east, first went to Mulanje mountain via the M1 route. Decided to drive back to Blantyre via the M5 route which takes you right through Thyolo district where the lodge is located. Location setting is simply breathe taking, a seven kilometer drive into a tea farm. Very friendly and motivated service. Homely milieu. The food menu has a wide range, and even from the teas there was plenty of variety. The tea we had been brewed to perfection. Chocolate cake, light to the palate and very tasty. We did not sleep in the rooms, but just from looking around, we we were impressed by the attention to detail. The setting is of a Victorian theme, with very well dusted and polished floors, precision artwork hanging on the walls, huge four pole beds, Victorian bath tabs with polished bronze taps and piping. The exterior is of a simplistic but very stylish theme with luscious green lawns. This is definitely a hidden treasure in central Africa. I would recommend it to everyone, and i plan to go back to spend a night! just a tip, to visit the place one has to make an advance reservation (24 hours prior) and avoid making reservations via mail, it is better to call.

  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank trottingkenyan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 November 2012

We were staying nearby and after a tea tasting session at the nearby tea factory called in for lunch and what a delight it was.
We were all beaten by the chef who produced an excellent so called light lunch of great quality.Ellen was our waitress who looked after us very well and took us on a tour of this delightful property.
You will not be disappointed.

  • Stayed: November 2012, travelled with family
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Thank Hodlaw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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Additional Information about Huntingdon House

Address: Satemwa Tea Estate | PO Box 6, Thyolo, Malawi
Region: Malawi > Southern Region > Thyolo
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 B&Bs / Inns in Thyolo
Hotel Class:5 star — Huntingdon House 5*
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Arguably the most scenically beautiful region of Malawi, The Thyolo district forms the heart of Malawi's tea producing region with rolling hills of immaculately cultivated, emerald green plantations and some of the oldest estates in the country. With magnificent views of Mount Mulanje and the Lower Shire valley to the west, Satemwa enjoys a temperate climate of the Shire Highlands and relaxed ambiance of a by-gone era. Visitors to this corner of Malawi cannot but help to be caught up in the colonial magic of the area and diverse scenery which ranges from tropical evergreen forests to riverine thickets and rolling hills. Huntingdon House was built in the 1920's and the estate has been in the Cathcart Kay family for generations with members of the family still running the tea and coffee production of the estate. The grand old colonial style house has been tastefully restored as a joint venture between the Satemwa Tea Estate and the Ulendo Travel Group. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Huntingdon House Malawi/Thyolo

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