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.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“Beautiful views” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Sunbird Ku Chawe

Best prices for -
Check In dd/mm/yyyy Check Out dd/mm/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 1 more site!
Sunbird Ku Chawe
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Zomba
Toronto
Level Contributor
9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Beautiful views”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 November 2013

We stayed one night here as a base for a hike to the plateau. The grounds are beautiful and the views from the patio (and our room fortunately) are magnificent. We took many pictures. Our room was nice and I received good service when I requested assistance with a couple of items in the room.

However, the restaurant at dinner was disappointing. We found the service rather surly and the food forgettable. The tables are set in weird little alcoves which makes it harder for everyone to get around. Overall, it was an unpleasant meal. We enjoyed the breakfast buffet much more. It offered a lot of options, hot and cold.

Room Tip: We enjoyed the view for ours.
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank SesterGTA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review

138 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    44
    51
    24
    13
    6
See reviews for
30
34
6
29
Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (34)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 October 2013

Hotel in a beautiful situation up on plateau above Zomba.We stayed here for 2 nights with our 2 granddaughters in October. On arriving after very long hot drive from Mvuu we were hungry so ordered toasted sandwiches in the bar-they took 40 minutes to arrive! We waited for 1and quarter hours for our food to be delivered in the restaurant at dinner by which time we were almost past eating-the restaurant was not busy. The food when it came was quite poor-chips not cooked through and meat of poor quality. I'm not sure what goes on in the kitchen but someone needs to be put in there to sort it out.

Room Tip: Choose a room with deck overlooking garden
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank LizElliot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
18 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 October 2013

Oh dear.

We had booked a de luxe room (one below suite) and paid for same, but between booking and arrival the rooms had been subjected to grade inflation, such that standard rooms are now deemed "de luxe" and the garde we had paid for renamed "executive de luxe". We were shown into a tip of a room for our money. After some shenanigans, we agreed to pay for an upgrade to the very thing I had paid for (naturally I got our agency to straighten out the money side of this).

But that was just starters. The first executive de luxe room emitted brown water from the bath tap and leaked copious water to flood the bedroom carpet within 30 seconds of initiating a shower. Third change was slightly better but still the plumbing was bizarre - too boring to describe but a worrying link between gurgling bath outlet and perpetually trickling toilet.

I'll spare you the lengthy tale of ordering some nuts with our beer, suffice it to simply recommend that you don't try anything quite so baroque, as the head of food and beverage sees that as a sign that you are made of money and want to be ripped off.

This is the only place you can stay right up there on the glorious Zomba plateau, so if you want the views and activities on hand, you might simply have to put up with it.

Our lasting impression is of beleaguered junior staff trying their best in the face of chronic mismanagement. A place that could be truly excellent, but falls so short due to neglect and graft.

Someone who knows how to run a hotel should put this chain out of its misery and restore a potentially delightful property to the state it (presumably) formerly had and certainly deserves.

Room Tip: Allow plenty of time to change rooms a few times.
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank IanLHarris
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ludhiana
Level Contributor
356 reviews
54 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 266 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 September 2013

I would rate this hotel excellent because its a good property located in the middle of nowhere.
Built on top of a Hill and is surrounded by clouds most of the time.
Rooms are big with antique wooden beds and furniture.
The views from rooms are magnificent.
The restaurant area has indoor as well as outdoor seating. To have breakfast while surrounded by clouds is a nice experience.
The staff was nice and the drive up and down the hotel is very scenic.
There are many things to see nearby.
do visit the local market. quite an experience.

Room Tip: Get a room with balcony.
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2012, travelled on business
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Sharnjit_Sondh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ledbury
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 September 2013

Ku Chawe Inn is probably the best hotel for sight-seeing around Zomba and the plateau however rather like the town of Zomba the hotel has seen better days. The bedrooms are shabby which includes the garden rooms. We had paid extra for a de-lux room however the first room we were offered could in no way be described as even average! To start with it was only a few yards from the market traders with just a thin hedge between our room and the stall holders. The cacophony of sounds one would associate with a market was not quite what we had in mind for our first day as having just spent 36 hours travelling we were hoping for some peace and tranquility in which to relax. It was also the furthest room from the reception with many steps to navigate - a real problem for my husband who had recently undergone knee surgery. At first the female Receptionist was quite hostile when we asked for a better room, insisting all other rooms were booked and despite the fact that the hotel was half empty when we arrived. A large party did turn up later the same day and stayed for one night whereas we had booked for three however switching the rooms around was clearly not an option. The Receptionist was finally prevailed upon to offer us a room closer to the main building however this came with twin beds rather than a double. We accepted this room as it seemed there was nothing better on offer. That aside the public rooms and gardens are delightful. The restaurant and bar staff could not have been more hospitable and we found the food and service to be of a good standard. In short despite our initial disappointment we were finally won over by the remainder of the staff who genuinely wanted to please.

Whilst in Zomba we looked up a few acquaintances and then on our last day toured the plateau in a self drive 4x4 using a local guide. It was a trip we will not forget not only for the stunning scenery but also for the extremely hairy descent! We were grateful we had taken along a guide however as he was a non-driver he could not be relied upon to give advice on the best way to navigate some extremely hazardous conditions. When collecting the vehicle we were given a tip which was to ignore advice from locals when driving and to just trust our own judgement employing caution at all times. This proved invaluable advice.

Room Tip: Insist on a garden room either in the main block or close to it.
See more room tips
Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Susan H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Coggeshall, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
16 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 September 2013

Ku Chawe was clean and comfortable. We stayed in a garden room with fireplace which we made use of one cold afternoon. The views are lovely. The food here was unexceptional and took a long time to arrive even though not busy. Room service for drinks and firewood was quick and efficient. The check-in staff were lacklustre and gazed in amazement at simple requests. They also carried very little local currency to exchange even though they advertised it as a service.

One of the reasons for staying at Ku Chawe is to tour the plateau and see the sights and Chingwe's Hole etc but this is nigh on impossible now. Forty years ago you could tour it in a saloon car but now it is almost impassable even in a Landcruiser. This is not the fault of the hotel but removes some of the potential and should be addressed.

Room Tip: garden room with fireplace for chillier times.
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Ian B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Margate, South Africa
Level Contributor
176 reviews
58 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 September 2013

While the conference room was a little inadequate (not suitable for pinning papers to the walls etc) the management and staff did very well to accommodate our needs. My room was OK but with a leaking shower the carpet was continually wet. Food was above average and the hotel is in a great positiona and gardens are lovely. Poor connectivity is letting down many hotels in Africa and this was evident at this hotel as well. Overall a very pleasant 3 days

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled on business
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank GDTravelsMargateRSA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Zomba
0.0 mi away
President Walmont Hotel
President Walmont Hotel
#3 of 12 in Lilongwe
3.5 of 5 bubbles 75 reviews
0.0 mi away
Blue Waters by Serendib
0.8 mi away
Pakachere Backpackers & Creative Centre
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
0.0 mi away
Kumbali Country Lodge
Kumbali Country Lodge
#1 of 46 in Lilongwe
4.5 of 5 bubbles 120 reviews
0.0 mi away
Home Up Guesthouse
Home Up Guesthouse
#6 of 19 in Blantyre
4.5 of 5 bubbles 5 reviews
0.0 mi away
Huntingdon House
Huntingdon House
#1 of 2 in Thyolo
4.5 of 5 bubbles 91 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Sunbird Ku Chawe? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Sunbird Ku Chawe

Property: Sunbird Ku Chawe
Address: Zomba Plateau, Zomba, Malawi (Formerly Le Meridien Ku Chawe)
Phone Number:
Region: Malawi > Southern Region > Zomba
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Zomba
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3 star — Sunbird Ku Chawe 3*
Number of rooms: 37
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Hotels.com, Agoda and Odigeo so you can book your Sunbird Ku Chawe reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Sunbird Ku Chawe Hotel Zomba

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