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“Old world charm with new world service!”
Review of Huntingdon House

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Huntingdon House
Ranked #1 of 2 Thyolo B&B and Inns
Williamstown, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
233 reviews
60 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 310 helpful votes
“Old world charm with new world service!”
Reviewed 30 June 2014

Our first two nights in Malawi, after our long flights from NYC, were spent at the gorgeous and gracious Huntingdon House where the rooms are spectacular, the food is superb, and the setting is peaceful. My husband and I stayed in what had been built as a chapel. The room is enormous, with soaring ceilings and double doors out to lovely gardens. Our son and his wife had a somewhat smaller but no less elegant room off the main hallway. Meals were generous, excellently prepared, and beautifully served. Staff and management were warm and attentive. A one-hour walking tour of the grounds turned into something closer to three hours—the tea estate workers were welcoming and anxious to show us what they did. As a thank you, we printed some of their photos on our instant travel printer for them. (The electricity goes down from time to time—it's Malawi!) I would have loved to have had another couple of days to unwind in this gorgeous setting!

Room Tip: For a real colonial experience, request the Chapel Room! (Be prepared that the bathroom is up a few...
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank jww1075
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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94 reviews from our community

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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (26)
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English first
Dubai
Level Contributor
38 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 June 2014

After spending 3 days hiking on Mulanje mountains, this hotel felt like heaven. Stepping inside the hotel feels like passing into an old Tuscan farmhouse.

The Father's room we stayed in was huge and the bed super comfortable. The verandah leads out to magnificent gardens and is surrounded by rolling tea fields with nice walks.

The hotel is located at the Satemwa Tea Estate and it is possible to do a tea tasting tour. We were there during the weekend and unfortunately the tour was already booked out from day visitors to the Estate, so make sure that you book the tour before your arrival.

Dinner was served in an elegant dining room with a roaring fireplace. Breakfast was a little disappointing. We arrived at around 8 am and several other guests were already there. The cereals and fruit platter were already empty and after requesting more, we only were given some cornflakes. When we ordered eggs we were served only one per person, since they were running out of eggs on that day.

All in all it was a great stay, although service at the restaurant could be improved

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank woso
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level Contributor
81 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 June 2014

I was surprised at just how much of the original structure exists both inside and out. The grounds are simply stunning and the whole place like a time warp from former colonial days. The chocolate cake was so good that even I enjoyed it and I never but never enjoy chocolate desserts. Gluten free cupcakes and other menu items were prepared without fuss and presented in common with everything else with finesse. For a relaxing break away from distractions I can think of no where better in this stretch of Malawi. Thank you Chris for your attentiveness and that of all the other staff.

Room Tip: If staying and you don't have to, I would recommend either Chapel or Fathers Rooms. That said, e...
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Stephen W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lilongwe, Malawi
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviewed 9 May 2014

I went to Huntingdon House for two days with my boyfriend in April, and it was absolutely and truly a lovely stay.

Before we arrived, I was communicating with the management staff over email a lot. They very always very swift in their response, and really made me look forward to the stay.

The staff were very welcoming when we arrived, showed us around the house and told us a bit about the history of the house. The staff was always very helpful and polite throughout our stay, and also gave us just the right amount of privacy.

We stayed in the Chapel, and I can absolutely recommend it. It is a huge room, very tastefully furnished, very private, and absolutely stunning.

We also had some time to explore the surrounding tea estate, and I can really recommend walking up to the "picnic spot". The view was amazing, and the walk itself was very nice.
Otherwise, the food we got served at Huntingdon was very nice. Everything we ate was tasty, and the house is the perfect surroundings for a dinner. They lit the fireplace for us during dinner, and it was all just perfect.

I would recommend anyone a stay at Huntingdon House.

Room Tip: The Chapel is amazing!
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Ellen B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Saint Louis, Missouri
Level Contributor
37 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 April 2014

After safari in South Africa we traveled to Malawi. The Huntingdon House was lovely. Great food, superb setting and grounds, beautiful gardens, gracious hosts. Highly recommend. The ONLY criticism is that it included a tour of the surrounding tea plantation. The "tour" was watching an in-house video at the factory whereas I had hoped for a real tour and more immersive experience. But it DID include a tea tasting, which was very informative. Overall experience, thumbs up and would go there again.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank hursturbo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Standon, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 January 2014

Tea plantations are generally pleasant places. Their altitude takes the edge of the tropical heat, they are often an oasis of peace and calm, and if they are successful (as is Satemwa) they are neat, tidy and very well organised.
When you visit the Satemwa tea estate you can either stay in the Huntingdon House Hotel or in the Chawani Bungalow. The hotel is sophisticated, stylish and comfortable, with lovely bedrooms, nice public rooms, and sweeping lawns and gardens in the middle of the neatly manicured tea plantation. The food at the hotel was excellent and we had a particularly memorable dinner outside, under the tropical sky. The staff were charming and professional. There was a nice atmosphere there.
The Chawani Bungalow was for us a delightful place to stay as a family: spacious, quiet and very private, with nice gardens. It's not sophisticated or luxurious in the way that the hotel is, but we had a lovely time there.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank Richard B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lausanne, Switzerland
Level Contributor
83 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 November 2013

went there for a day's out with my work colleagues and their families... we loved it,
food way delicious
the table was absolutely amazing... when arriving, we thought a wedding was being organized, before realizing the huge white table under the trees actually was for our "light lunch"

... I will definitively come back with my wife one of these days

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled on business
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank michade
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Huntingdon House

Property: 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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