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“A Quiet Escape with”
Review of Ufulu Gardens

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Ufulu Gardens
Ranked #3 of 23 Lilongwe B&B and Inns
Pretoria, South Africa
Level Contributor
80 reviews
50 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
“A Quiet Escape with”
Reviewed 3 October 2013

Stayed in Ufulu gardens for 3 months...the gardens are well done and the rooms quite clean but they need an overhaul of the furniture and equipment in the cottages. I loved the pool area even though during weekends it can become very congested as they allow day visitors of all sorts to make use of it as well.

There is nothing exciting about the food as the menu sadly lacks innovation or creativity. If you arrive a bit later for breakfast you might be told that they have run out of food or some items on the menu even though the restaurant will be open :( . The staff seem to lack enthusiasm or initiative...maybe their are not motivated well enough to at least smile.

In short, Ufulu has great potential..it just needs to put more emphasis in being relevant and exciting to guests in terms of meals, room ambiance, staff reception etc

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Admiral N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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58 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (14)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Korean first
  • Any
English first
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
20 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 September 2013

This hotel had the most beautiful gardens. It was a wonderful retreat to have that is very accessible to central Lilongwe. Rooms were clean and very nice. This would definitely be the first place I recommend for people looking to stay in Lilongwe. It's a bit pricier than Africa House, which is also great.

Stayed August 2013, travelled on business
Helpful?
Thank GES123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tias, Spain
Level Contributor
68 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 80 helpful votes
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.
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  • Stayed May 2013, travelled on business
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank simmonad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hay on Wye
Level Contributor
168 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 88 helpful votes
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
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Helpful?
Thank John T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Montague
Level Contributor
185 reviews
97 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 116 helpful votes
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...
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  • Stayed March 2013, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Markey2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Indianapolis, Indiana
Level Contributor
250 reviews
66 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 89 helpful votes
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...
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank DSStephens
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vancouver, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
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
Helpful?
2 Thank cyborgpanda
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Ufulu Gardens

Property: 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 #3 of 23 B&Bs / Inns in Lilongwe
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Ufulu Gardens 3.5*
Number of rooms: 42
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