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“Paradise revealed”
Review of Kaya Mawa

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Kaya Mawa
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Likoma Island
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 16 July 2014

I swooned when I saw the secluded beach and gorgeous rooms built into the rocks of Kaya Mawa lodge, each with a stunning view from the giant netted beds. Kaya Mawa means ’maybe tomorrow’ and there is no hurry to do anything. I was alone but this is perfect for honeymooners. After delicious breakfast of fresh muffins and the best ever eggs benedict, served with smiles, under my very own baobab tree, I rode one of the lodges bikes slowly down the track to the tiny market, chatted to smiling children, and watched fishermen bringing in their catches. Later, after a superb massage to the sound of real lapping waves, I agreed to a Malawi G&T on the beach and listened to the local choir as the sun set, before being served an exquisite candlelit dinner. Sometimes life is tough but you just have to grin and bear it.

Room Tip: All the rooms are perfect, and also unique. They are all on the ground floor, close to the sea. I m...
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  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled solo
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1  Thank JanieHampton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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86 - 92 of 194 reviews

Reviewed 15 July 2014

I stayed 3 nights at Kaya Mawa with my parents and my aunt and uncle. 3 of us stayed in one of the 2 room family suites and it was perfect! The rooms were big, beds were comfortable and the bathroom was huge! The deck was the perfect place to sit and read. There were also lounges out on the beach. More than the location, the hospitality made our 3 nights there perfect! Everyone was genuinely friendly and helpful. We were taken care of, but not in an annoying, over the top way. The attention and care was just right. To top everything off, the food was amazing! My stay here was the end of 3 months in Malawi and it couldn't have been better! Michelle was the perfect host!

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with friends
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Thank Jennifer C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 July 2014

Amazing.
We spent 4 nights here. We truly were not ready to leave.
During our stay, we felt As if we were the most important guests at the resort. Michelle and her staff were on top of their game.
We were always greeted by name. They showed an interest in us. They remembered our dining preferences. They provided suggestions in arranging our days and evenings. They went out of their way to pamper us. They allowed us to relax and enjoy our stay.
The food was superb. I was amazed at he multi-course meals and the amazing creativity of the chef. Private dinners on the beach under the light of the moon, a candle, and 3 lanterns every evening were romantic. We simply showed up when we were hungry and they treated us royally. (no set times for anything except our spa appointments).
And the spa set out In the lake where all you can hear is the gentle waves. There is no better spa music in the world. Our massage therapist found muscles I didn't know I had. Every day I enjoyed a different treatment.
We rode mountain bikes into town to visit the market and cathedral (largest in central Africa). We kayaked up and down the shoreline. And we saw t he amazing fish in the lake with the provided masks, fins, and snorkels.
We enjoyed watching the fishermen at work on the nearby beach.
We lazed at our room set on the waters edge and got some pretty good suntans. The plunge pool was colder than the lake so we didn't spend much time in it.
Room service was fantastic. Housekeeping gave us a completely freshened room each day. The king size bed with netting was comfortable. Nice linens. Lots of comfortable sitting and cuddling spaces inside and outside.
This place is a challenge to get to; but well worth the effort if you like to fall off the edge of the world.
Yes, they do have great Internet in the lounge if you really must imbibe.
I just hope someday I can get back to this dream vacation

Room Tip: Upgrade to the deluxe rooms
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  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank SequimWATraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 June 2014

Kaya Mawa simply blew us away. From the hospitality through to room design+comfort+features and just the sheer spectacle of the setting Kaya Mawa is hands down the best place we have ever been to. As part of our multi stage honeymoon Michelle and her team easily earned top spot on our favourites list and we have only praise for the entire team at the resort for taking care us and making our stay so special. A special note of thanks goes to the Chef and kitchen.... You guys are amazing. Thanks to you all and we hope to be back some day!

Activities: Paddle boarding, Kayaking, Sailing, Snorkelling .The water is simply just so inviting and clear.

Many thanks from Lester and Amy

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank SlyJok
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 June 2014

Andrew and Will were in the process of building what is today a superb hotel-Kaya Mawa. I had a small backpackers place across the lake in Nkhata Bay called "Backpackers Con-X-Shon" and got to know the lads well.I had on this occasion been invited to spend some time at their hotel. My first impressions were WoW! ,they had built it all by hand and using all locally sourced materials.It was fantastic. Being the naturist that I am I stripped down and got to have a swim in the fantastic lake Malawi. since it was a private beach I strolled around in my birthday suit and enjoyed nature as it should be enjoyed- Naked!!.. I was summoned to join the lads and some guests on the beach for Mad hatters sundowners,It was just that all of us got a hat to wear and Pink Gin and Tonics served ,me still naked.....oh to be British...Well done lads,your legacy lives on....Highly recommended ,although I suggest you wear clothes now....

Room Tip: Try and book the honeymoon suite,it's on it's own island....
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  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled solo
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Thank Shocked F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 June 2014

we had a spectacular 4 day trip to LIkoma island and Kaya Mawa during a recent trip to Malawi. The island is beautiful and peaceful with very friendly residents. Kaya Mawa is spectacular- we stayed in the last building at the end of the property and it was by far the most beautiful place we have every stayed- the architecture is breathtaking. also the highest level of service we have ever experienced- they attended to our every need- and made a special effort to find some calm water for our kids to go wake boarding- we also went on a beautiful dive to see the Cichlids. This is a special place- a little off the beaten path but so worth it

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with family
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Thank ZZcircus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 June 2014

We visited this beautiful Lodge to celebrate my son's recent wedding. With a group of 17 family and friends and the whole place closed to any other guests, this was the house party to beat all house parties. A first for Kaya Mawa. The Lodge staff, led by the brilliant Michelle and Becky were wonderful, with absolutely nothing being too much trouble to ensure this would be the most wonderful experience of our lives.
We laughed, we sang, we danced, had fun day and night and celebrated a beautiful wedding which exceeded all our expectations.
As we arrived at the start of our holiday, my husband and I celebrated our wedding anniversary with cocktails and canapés on the beach at sunset. Michelle, Cocktail Queen of Likoma, devised a wonderful new cocktail, which was duly christened during a naming competition, as Dark Elephant - I recommend that anyone visiting Kaya Mawa makes sure they ask her to make one.
Rich, Kaya Mawa's fabulous chef made lovely Swahili style canapés.
A riotous Hen Party was held the night before the wedding, which was so enjoyable that some of the Island's residents thought that the Malawi election results had been announced!
The morning of the wedding dawned as beautiful as every morning before and after it and the groom's party set off, by kayak, to the next beach, dressed in the kaftans which had been provided in each room. Imagine the looks on the faces of the local fishermen and their families when this group of men disembarked, all wearing kimonos, who then proceeded to have a rounders match, followed closely by a rugby masterclass for some of the kids!!! The photos are wonderful!
Back at the Lodge, following various pampering sessions at the in-house spa, the ladies were treated to hair styling by Michelle, who also arranged for everyone to have flowers for their hair.
With the arrival of Father Francis, the wonderful 90 year old island priest, the wedding guests settled themselves under the Mango tree to await the arrival of the bride - accompanied by her father and the fantastic local choir. A truly, truly wonderful moment, which resulted in tears all round! The wedding celebration was beautifully led by Father Francis and the choir, ably assisted by flower girl Grace. Champagne toasts and a candle-lit dinner on the beach, beautifully prepared by Rich, the Lodge's fantastic chef and his team, followed by music and dancing rounded off the most wonderful, magical wedding day I have ever attended.
An indication of how good the staff are came two days after the wedding, when, following yet another kayak trip, the groom discovered he had lost his new wedding ring. After a search of the beach and shallow water, it was decided that trying to find it would be a bit like trying to find a needle in a haystack. Insurance claims once back in England would, hopefully, lead to a new ring being purchased. Imagine the delight and massive surprise when during breakfast the next morning a group of the staff danced and sang round the tables, clutching the bride's bouquet - which we all thought was a lovely 2nd day of marriage African celebration. How wrong could we be, Darlington, Wilson, Joffrey and some of the other guys had got up at 5am, walked with the nightwatchman, whilst he raked the beach - and had found the ring, which was then handed over to the groom nestled in the bouquet - yet more tears all round! That takes caring for guests to a whole new level
Other highlights of the week included a visit to schools in Mbamba and Nkwhazi (which was also the name of the stunning room we had during our stay) and the local hospital, as did a walk through Mbamba, the market town that is also home to the largest cathedral in Central Africa. All very humbling experiences and ones which made us all realise just what privileged lives we all have. We also visited the workshop, set up by Kaya Mawa to provide employment for local mums, which makes a whole range of articles which are sold locally and via their website.
A beach barbeque - another first for the Lodge - led to a spontaneous round of applause for Rich and his team.
One afternoon the local fisherman came to the beach and cast their nets in one of their daily fishing sessions. Some of the younger guys in our party decided to help them bring the nets in - an experience which left them all with the deepest respect for the strength and ability of the local fishermen (and their wives) who haul in these huge nets three times a day. They were even presented with two of the largest fish from the catch as a thanks for their help - needless to say, the fish were handed over to one of the locals on the beach. A visit to a local big football match between two of the local teams was an afternoon to remember, with everyone being so impressed by the skills displayed by footballers who don't wear boots and have to play on a hard packed, stony field. We all wondered how today's precious, precocious Western footballers would cope with those facilities. A local netball match also showed why Malawi is the second or third netball nation in the world.
I cannot really begin to describe how wonderful the whole Kaya Mawa experience was, it has certainly given us memories which will last a lifetime. A wonderful place with amazing staff who take guest care so seriously but who make you feel that you are part of the Kaya Mawa family, Michelle, the job application as Commis Chef to Rich still stands!!!!!

Jane and Chris

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with family
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1  Thank JAW825
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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Additional Information about Kaya Mawa

Address: P.O. Box 79, Likoma Island, Malawi
Region: Malawi > Northern Region > Likoma Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Likoma Island
Price Range: £376 - £508 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Kaya Mawa 3.5*
Number of rooms: 7
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Kaya Mawa Likoma Island
Kaya Mawa Malawi/Likoma Island

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