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“Perfect getaway”

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Norman Carr Cottage
Certificate of Excellence
Mfuwe
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Perfect getaway”
Reviewed 14 August 2014

We arrived at Norman Carr Cottage with high expectations after a fantastic trip there 4 years ago. It was even better than we remembered. Food, rooms and setting are absolutely perfect and Taffy and his crew make you feel like part of the family in the first five minutes. Can't wait for the next time!

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Jackalberry
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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120 reviews from our community

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5
Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (23)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
London, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
35 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 114 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 July 2014

Taffy, the owner, collected us from the airstrip at monkey bay, friendly and chatty, he drove us the short distance to NCC. The rooms we were shown into ( apparently the family cottage) were truly horrid, a dark dingy hall with dark dingy bedrooms off it to either side, set at the back of the property. A bit of a view of the car park, some scrubby grass and a wall of the laundry or employees house. Very small double beds with a surrounding metal bar (unpadded) for the mosquito nets to hang from, at a height of about 5 1/2 ft, so we kept hitting our heads on it. All very gloomy. He was actually very apologetic about the room, and said himself that he didn't really like letting it out because "people don't like it" , but said that our tour operator ( Trip Africa) had insisted that we have this family cottage. This was later confirmed.
He promised to move us as soon as some other people left. After two nights we were moved into two very nice adjoining rooms facing the lake. Bright and airy , with large double beds, and the metal bar supporting the mosquito net was nicely padded. We liked the outdoor showers.
There is not a lot to do if you are not a honeymooner or a sun worshiper. The boat goes out in the morning a few hundred yards up the coast, anchors , and you can swim and snorkel, they provide flippers etc...
In the evening the boat returns to roughly the same spot and you can have a drink while watching the sun go down. It is very pretty. But a bit monotonous after a few times.
The evening meal is very good, a choice of two mains plus rice, potatoes, and a selection of veg laid out as a buffet. Excellent chilli sauce on the side.
Lunch is frugal but tasty, no choice. A couple of times we had to ask if we could have some bread and butter because we were still hungry.
The staff are really sweet and friendly, they lack training but are very willing.
Our teenage daughters liked the little beach sellers market, (set up for an hour each morning just in front of the dining area) buying crocodile tooth pendants and woven bracelets.
Fascinating three hour drive back to lilongwe airport, beautiful scenery, and picturesque villages that belies the hardship endured by the local people. For the most part the only vehicles we passed (on the excellent road) were bicycles that could barely be pushed along since they were so heavily laden and ox drawn carts.
People seemed to walk, again heavily weighed down by charcoal, or logs, or sheaths of straw, for miles and miles, many of them barefoot.
I shall not complain about bread and butter for lunch.

Room Tip: Avoid the "family cottage" at the rear of the property, the worst place I have stayed in s...
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Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
Helpful?
5 Thank Tapas31
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brussels, Belgium
Level 4 Contributor
35 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 June 2014

This little resort was one of the best during our 7-weeks trip through Southern Africa. It has a beautiful location on the lake shore, the food is very good, rooms are spacious and the rate includes free cruises with a little boat in the morning and at sunset out into the lake for swimming and snorkeling. Best of all, when my girlfriend refused to stand on the loading platform of a "Matola" (open pick-up truck) in Golomoti at the turnoff M5/ S127, Taffy was so kind to drive nearly 70 km from the cottage to pick us up !!

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank LingoBrussels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dubai
Level 4 Contributor
38 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 June 2014

The small resort lies on a quiet stretch of beach about 15 km south of Monkey Bay.

The beach view suites have a small living area and open air garden showers. The huge handmade king sized beds are very comfortable and are covered by a mosquito net.

The rate includes food and a morning snorkeling and a evening sunset cruise. During the morning cruise sea eagles will be fed, which is a great spectacle. There are also some kayaks which can be used free of charge.

Food was absolute delicious and plentiful.

After breakfast there will be a small curio market at the beach. The sales guys were very friendly and after bargaining with them we bought several things.

The managers Erica and Alistair were very friendly and always present to see if everything was OK. They made us feel at home.

If you want nightlife, be aware that the cottages are in a small and quiet village.

We had a very good time during our stay and highly recommend this resort.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank woso
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lilongwe, Malawi
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 June 2014

I stayed at Norman Carr Cottages last month and the levels of comfort and service that I experienced there was easily up to western standards. The rooms are so comfortable and every meal was like a banquet. Taffy and Erika made me feel so at home and really made sure that even the minutest detail was taken care of. I really couldn't have been more impressed with my stay and would definitely return to visit in a heartbeat. Easily in my top 3 places to stay in Malawi, especially with the sundown boat trip. What more does one need than Gin and Tonic at sunset on the lake?

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank matt L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
winchester
Level 5 Contributor
93 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 May 2014

We really enjoyed our five nights here. Regular boat trips in the morning to feed fish eagles and snorkel, and in the evening to have a sundowner, enjoy the sunset, and swim in the middle of the lake if you feel inclined. Lovely beach on the property for swimming as well (very slightly murky water from plankton). We were also lucky that they had a catamaran rigged and sailing for the first time on over 25 years while we were there, so we were able to go for a sail one morning too. Also an amble up the hill behind for lovely views.

(No swimming pool as such, our rating below is for the beach)

Excellent food, very informal atmosphere (no keys), sorry to leave.
If you want night life, be aware that the cottages are quite a bit south of Monkey Bay in a small village.

Thanks Taffy, Erika and Alastair (sorry, not sure of spelling) and all the friendly staff.

No space in tripadvisor for car drivers, but a plus too for Jacob whose name we saw in another tripadvisor review. He is Lilongwe based and drove us between various parts of Malawi. For our itinerary it was cheaper than renting, and much more friendly and relaxing. Contact him at redrosetravel1@gmail.com to plan in advance, or see http://redrosetravelmalawi.blogspot.co.uk/ for more details.

Room Tip: all seaview rooms pretty much equal.
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank reluctanttraveller47
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pietermaritzburg, South Africa
Level 6 Contributor
110 reviews
96 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 May 2014

Taffy kindly upgraded us to the king size rooms, from the courtyard ones, when we were the only visitors. The rooms are tastefully appointed and very well equipped - all with their own character and numerous handicrafts and artefacts created by local artisans. The morning boat trip to feed the fish eagles was a real treat - sitting on an arm chair on a catamaran and then snorkelling in the crystal clear water of the lake. There are ample places to sit on the private beach, or on the deck. Our only regret was only staying 2 nights! High recommended and definitely hope to return.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank FrequentTravellerKV
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Norman Carr Cottage

Property: Norman Carr Cottage
Address: Southern Lake Shore, Cape Maclear, Lake Malawi National Park, Malawi
Region: Malawi > Lake Malawi National Park > Cape Maclear
Amenities:
Free Parking
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 19 Speciality Lodging in Cape Maclear
Hotel Class:3 star — Norman Carr Cottage 3*
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Norman Carr Cottage is situated on the southern lake shore of Lake Malawi, in the beautiful sheltered bay of Namakoma just 15km from Monkey Bay. A gentle and restful place where we promise you a memorable Malawian experience. You will be left with fond memories of this charming African country where time stands still, the pace is gentle and the scenery is stunning. Malawi has much to offer, sun drenched beaches, turquoise waters, abundant brightly coloured cichlid fishes, great for snorkeling and diving. Discover the magic of the open air aquariums which the southern lake shore is renowned for. We offer daily trips to various dive sites and remote islands for snorkeling and to experience the joy in the flight of the fish eagles ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Norman Carr Cottage Hotel Cape Maclear
Norman Carr Cottage Malawi/Cape Maclear

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