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“OK, but promises more than it delivers”
Review of Madidi Lodge

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Madidi Lodge
Ranked #7 of 12 Hotels in Lilongwe
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
139 reviews
135 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 125 helpful votes
“OK, but promises more than it delivers”
Reviewed 20 June 2014

Madidi is OK, but not fantastic. The plus - a large room, and an OK price. Other than that, the hotel is a bit mediocre in most respects. Nothing very bad, but nothing that would really bring me rushing back. With a bit of thought and good management, the Madidi Lodge could be much better, and much more appealing.

The room was very large. That was good. But rather oddly/haphazardly furnished - and many things in the room just didn't work. But it had all I needed (or would have done if all the lights and plug points had actually functioned). The food was OK - hardly gourmet, but I would say better than average. Limited choice at dinner (two dishes) is alright, as long as one appeals to you. The somewhat remote location of the lodge means that - unless you have a car or taxi - there aren't really any other eating options in the vicinity. Crossroads Mall is about 10 minutes walk away. The staff were helpful and friendly.

Two complaints. One is that although I appreciate the use of CFL bulbs in the interests of energy efficiency, this is the darkest hotel I have ever stayed in. To the extent that it is almost impossible to read or use a laptop at night (not much use if you are there on a work visit), and when taking a beer in the evening it is also virtually impossible to see anyone sitting round the table with you. Lack of lighting is a real problem. My second minor gripe is that the Madidi Lodge appears to be a popular place for romantic shenanigans - with which I have no problem at all (the more romance in the world, the better). But when they are being played out in rather physical terms in the dark nooks, crannies and sofas just outside my bedroom door (as they were for two days of my stay, by different couples), I find them a little intrusive. While the idea of having lots of little random seating areas, each with comfy sofas and piles of cushions, scattered around the premises is a really nice one, it seems that they have become places that are sought out for purposes other than polite conversation!

There's a small swimming pool. I didn't try it, as the weather was quite cold, but it's a nice touch.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank frequenttraveller63
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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67 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 (7)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
2 reviews
Reviewed 17 April 2014

The lodge promises a lot but fails to deliver. Roms are okay but bad lightning, old and worn-downed mosquitonets nets and no hot water in the shower. Among the two local specialities one could choose from for dinner was my course a chili con carne with cold Rice, just awful. The promising spa resultet in a booking that was miscommunicated even though it was repeated twice in two over two days and I never get any massage. Internet is weak and in the room almost non-existing even though you pay. They expect you to pay in cash upon departure.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Anja V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Lilongwe hotels

Chiang Mai, Thailand
Level Contributor
9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 February 2014

Madidi Lodge is the hotel for when you are tired of hotels. It is like a big house, with friendly helpers who get to know you. Ask for one of the big rooms; they are like apartments, with several small rooms and closets, sofas to lounge on, balconies, bednets (so you are not hermetically sealed into your room along with any mozzies that happened to get in). Sit under the big tree in the courtyard or by the funny little pool and drink a glass of wine. You can talk to the other guests. Lots of art everywhere, and if you like it, you can buy it off the wall. Simple, good food -- two choices a night. Tiny basic gym and really good massage. Not for the uptight traveler who wants the five star perfection, but like your own home might be, if you were living as a comfortable expat in Lilongwe. One of my favorite hotels anywhere.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled on business
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank BarbaraChiangMai
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
warrington
Level Contributor
38 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 October 2013

We arrived at 9.30pm as our bus from Blantyre was late but that was no problem and the taxi arranged by the staff had waited for us. Set in a quiet residential area in an old house this is an interesting place. We had an apartment which, had we been staying more than one night would have been excellent as it had a kitchenette and small dining table as well as 2 bedrooms. The staff were friendly and helpful. We didn't have dinner but breakfast was fine. It was a similar price to a hotel we had stayed in in the old town but had better facilities. I think as an overnight stay en route to the airport it is a good option.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank ajea
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Glasgow, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 18 October 2013

Convenient for airport.
Good and friendly service.
Acceptable/good breakfasts.
Poor quality accommodation, which included torn and dirty mosquito nets and stained covers on the beds around the pool area.
During our stay, we experienced a real problem with cockroaches and worms in the sanitary facilities.
A poor end to our stay in Malawi - the most expensive accommodation which we stayed in by far but certainly the most disappointing.
The Madidi is charging Western rates but in the opinions of our group the accommodation fails to match the rates being charged.

  • Stayed October 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Malawi2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tokyo
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 August 2013

Quiet place, courteous and very helpful staff ( honestly, it was wonderful to be looked after) and clean comfortable beds. Food is simple and tasty - mutton wrap was yum. Security guard is always present..
Staff also took care of internet and my small quirks - at breakfast.
I did not miss TV so much but the reception was a bit blurred upstairs.
On the whole, my business trip went on well, also due to the accommodation at Madidi.
Way to go Madidi!

P.S. Advance bookings maybe required. Madidi is houseful, mostly

Room Tip: Rooms on first floor are more quiet
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  • Stayed July 2013, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank ANITA V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Newton, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 February 2013

Nice hotel with some of the usual quirks in lodges in Malawi, but exceptionally helpful staff. Unusual layout around a courtyard, large "lounge" areas, rooms were nice, clean, beds comfortable. Nice small pool. In a residential area so car or taxi transport necessary to get into center of town. Wifi consistently good.

  • Stayed December 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank JaneGut
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Madidi Lodge

Property: Madidi Lodge
Address: no 367 Area 9, Lilongwe, Malawi
Region: Malawi > Central Region > Lilongwe
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 12 Hotels in Lilongwe
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3 star — Madidi Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 14
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
At Madidi we know that business travelling is not as glamorous as it looks from the outside, we believe that it is our duty to make our guests as comfortable and relaxed as possible. We like to challenge the conventional approach of bland designs and uncharacteristic set ups in order to fit everybody's taste. We feel that all our guests deserve to come 'home' to a place of comfort, relaxation and inspiring surroundings with the facilities that allow to finish off that report or meet colleagues and the opportunity to unwind and regenerate their energy at the end of the day. Madidi you can expect a non-standard and inspiring set up, our services offer travellers comforts and needs such spacious comfortable rooms, FREE WIFI, flexibility on breakfast and dinner times in beautiful and unique surroundings with personalized service. The 13 animal named rooms all have outside areas & balconies and have an African feel to it. Our menu offers a variety of home made comfort food that is prepared with care and attention and with a focus on using fresh local ingredients. The unique and tranquil pool area, gym & spa are designed to offer for some 'me time' and to spoil oneself. We believe that our attention to detail, design and service will make lasting memories. We believe in operating with our environment and community in mind. Where possible, Madidi promotes and supports local businesses and artist, the lodge is a showcase of local artists and we give preference to local suppliers. Furthermore, we aim to keep our carbon footprint as low as possible by recycling grey water, compost green waste and carefully manage the use of water. Madidi is easily accessible from Kamuzu International Airport and from the main roads leading to Blantyre and Lake Malawi. The Axa Bus and National Bus Company which offer transport throughout Malawi, are on walking distance from the lodge. ... more   less 
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