We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Potentially a great product but service is appalling”
Review of Ufulu Gardens

We can't find prices for this accommodation
Our online travel partners don't provide prices for this accommodation, but we can search other options in Lilongwe
Check In dd/mm/yyyy Check Out dd/mm/yyyy
Ufulu Gardens
Ranked #5 of 27 Lilongwe B&B and Inns
Reviewed 7 June 2013

Superficially, the Ufulu Gardens Hotel is a good value establishment, with large rooms (including a separate lounge area) at $100 per night for a suite. However, things went downhill rapidly from there.
Upon arrival, I was informed that the room rate had increased to $120 for the third to seventh night inclusive of my stay. When I discussed this with Elizabeth, the manager, she agreed that the website price should prevail and that I should be charged $100 for all nights of my stay. This was discussed with and agreed by the owner.
In addition, the reception staff seem utterly incapable of managing foreign currencies. The Euro is hardly a minor currency but they initially ended up undercharging me by MWK 80,000, which I then paid. Furthermore, in general the reception staff were rude and unhelpful and could not remember that I was keeping the room until 1245hrs on my day of departure, rather than the normal 1000hrs checkout time. On reflection, they are THE worst I have ever encountered in the world.
However, because the hotel only changes rates every three months and works in local currency, even though the website rate is clearly in US Dollars, I was in fact being charged the local equivalent of $123 per day.
So, in US dollars, I was expecting a rebate of $100. With these rigged exchange rates, I received the equivalent of around $31. The principle here is surely that the room rate you see on the website should be the price you pay, it’s that simple.
Moreover, the website claimed that all rooms have a veranda/balcony area. However, this is definitely not the case and I had to ask to change rooms when I saw that the room initially allocated to me had no outdoor seating area. As of June 6th 2013, the old prices and the fiction regarding the verandas was still on the Ufulu Gardens website.
Elizabeth the manager is friendly and approachable, but it appears that she has been given only limited discretion by the owner to deal with customer complaints. This is a great pity as the Ufulu has the potential to be a good quality hotel, subject to a) firing many of the staff who have no place in the hospitality sector and b) improving the catering facilities, which are dire (breakfast excepted).

Room Tip: The block 28 including 28 and 29 have verandas but others do not.
See more room tips
  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank simmonad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review
Reviews (60)
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
Language

48 - 54 of 60 reviews

Reviewed 28 April 2013

A nice setting with well laid out gardens.. Rooms are OK, clean and large enough with air conditioning, decor a little basic and will soon be looking tired... The long term accommodation is again OK but all rooms are expensive for what they are.
The restaurant is stark and utilitarian... the food is really mediocre, breakfasts are basic, the choice for dinner is limited and, like breakfast, of a basic quality.
This all needs improving as places like Latitude 13 just round the corner lead the way and show what can be accomplished with a bit of effort... so pull up your socks Ufulu Gardens and dont be so complacent

  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank John T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 March 2013

I stayed on business here and found it to be quite comfortable and a lovely setting. The cottage type arrangement of rooms is charming and makes one feel part of something more than just another chain hotel. My room had very effective screens on the windows, and I did not need mosquito netting. I also had air conditioning, which worked very well. The bed was comfortable and the the room and bathroom were very clean and kept that way for three days. A mosquito repellent is provided in each room, each day, and it is not only very effective, but the most comfortable to wear that I have ever experienced (no offensive smell). Staff were most helpful. I had several meals here and enjoyed them all. The menu did change every day. We had a reception and it was very successful. We ran out of food because we had more people attend than expected. The setting around the pool was stunning. And the roofing provided protection from the rain that allowed the party to go on in full force. This reception area is quite far from the rooms, so i believe that the noise did not transfer. All of my nights were very quiet. My only suggestion is to upgrade the wine offerings. But perhaps there is not a big demand for wine, given that the beer is so popular. This is Malawian owned and operated. I will return to Malawi for business and this will be my first choice. I prefer this to the more Holiday Inn type accommodations also available in Lilongwe. I think the family owners and staff are doing a great job. I am thankful to them for making my first stay in Malawi so enjoyable.

Room Tip: I don't know if assignment to a room with effective screens on the windows and air conditioning...
See more room tips
  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Markey2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 January 2013

If you hadn't driven through the gate and into the beautifully manicured property you would think you were in a resort in the U.S. In fact, the owners of Ufulu did live in the western U.S. before moving to Lilongwe and opening the hotel/motel/bed and breakfast/Conference Center complex on the north side of the city. If you have even the slightest concern about where to stay when you are traveling in Malawi, don't hesitate, or worry. Ufulu Gardens will fit the bill for you in every respect.

Room Tip: In three different trips to Ufulu, and staying in three different rooms and parts of the complex we...
See more room tips
  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank DSStephens
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 October 2012

This lodge is perfect for business or leisure and in fact I saw a mix of the two there. I stayed in one of the studio chalets (although they have houses if you are with your family or a lot of friends) and it has a great veranda with a view of the gardens which was great for a morning coffee. I was in Lilongwe with a friend for a wedding and although this hotel is on the outskirts of the city, Lilongwe is actually pretty small so it did not make that much of a difference and saved us in price. The staff were great, everybody really took the time to get to know you and be friendly, my only complaint really is that there were no mosquito nets in the rooms. All in all i'd recommend this hotel to anybody planning a visit!

  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank cyborgpanda
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 October 2012

I stayed at Ufulu along with my mother and sister for a week. We stayed in the studio rooms which i loved right away, each had a sitting area, great lighting and furniture and a mini veranda and garden area which was great for me as i like to hang out outside and have a sun downer every now and then. I also had a 2 drinks by the new pool area. The pool is massive and makes for a beautiful scene. There was a wide variety for breakfast when i did wake up in time, it was english breakfasts every morning although service could be a little slow at times, they were very friendly during each encounter i had with them. This place is located a little on the outskirts of the city, which makes for a very peaceful setting, about a 10 min drive into main town i would estimate and it is the closest hotel to the airport.

Room Tip: This is a great place for families. If you have kids you may want to opt for one the appartments so...
See more room tips
  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank missyoungtraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 September 2012

I'd have loved this place if I was just rating on the room, lots of space with a separate living room and large bathroom. Comfortable bed. But this is the first place I stayed in Malawi with no mosquito nets, which were definitely needed. And their internet is atrocious, please just do like every other respectable (and even unrespectable) lodge in Malawi and get skyband. I had to pay for access cards that charged by the hour and worked only half the time (and if they did it was far too slow to be effective). The restaurant has some good options for dinner, but breakfast could use a lot more attention. In sum, good place for sleeping and eating but if you need to get work done while at the lodge, find somewhere else.

Room Tip: Request a room with a mosquito net. They have them, you just have to ask for them
See more room tips
  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank Adam M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotels you might also like...
Travellers also viewed these Lilongwe hotels
0.0 mi away
Crossroads Hotel
Crossroads Hotel
#3 of 13 in Lilongwe
172 reviews
0.0 mi away
Kiboko Town Hotel
Kiboko Town Hotel
#2 of 13 in Lilongwe
215 reviews
0.0 mi away
Madidi Lodge
Madidi Lodge
#7 of 13 in Lilongwe
75 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
0.0 mi away
President Walmont Hotel
President Walmont Hotel
#4 of 13 in Lilongwe
98 reviews
0.0 mi away
Sunbird Lilongwe
Sunbird Lilongwe
#8 of 13 in Lilongwe
114 reviews
0.0 mi away
Sunbird Capital
Sunbird Capital
#5 of 13 in Lilongwe
208 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Ufulu Gardens? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Ufulu Gardens

Address: 43-365 Ufulu Road | Lilongwe 43, Lilongwe, Malawi
Region: Malawi > Central Region > Lilongwe
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 27 B&Bs / Inns in Lilongwe
Price Range: £86 - £114 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Ufulu Gardens 3.5*
Number of rooms: 42

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing