Friday 27 November 2015

MALAWI: Umodzi Park - Malawi's First Ever 5 Star Hotel

Malawi's first ever 5 star hotel is about to celebrate 6 months of welcoming guests. Officially opened on 1 May 2015, the Umodzi Park business precinct in the heart of Malawi’s capital of Lilongwe, includes the world-class Bingu Wa Mutharika International Convention Centre (BICC), the five-star 130-key President Walmont hotel and nearby, is the private estate featuring 14 Presidential Villas for dignitaries and long-term stays.

This multi-faceted development forms a vital part of Malawi’s plans to boost the tourism sector and is managed by Peermont Hotels, Casinos and Resorts. Peermont was awarded the management contract by the Umodzi Holdings Board in October 2014. Peermont already operates a number of large resorts and convention centres in South Africa and Botswana, and brings with it a proven operations and marketing track record, including a substantial business network of customers.

Umodzi Park stands majestically in the central business district of Lilongwe, in close proximity to the government and presidential buildings, and 20 minutes’ drive from the Lilongwe (Kamuzu) International Airport.

The sweeping entrance to the business precinct, with over 2500 secure parking bays, leads up to the statuesque double volume and twin buildings of the BICC. The magnificent structure includes the Lilongwe Auditorium, which seats 1500 delegates and is accessed by a large volume foyer, which can accommodate the same number of guests. The Heron, Ibis, Pelican, Sparrowhawk and Sandpiper conference rooms can be combined or used individually to cater for up to 70 delegates each, and are perfect for company meetings or plenary sessions.

Njobvu (Elephant), Mbidzi (Zebra) and Mvuu (Hippo) are banqueting venues that can be used individually to house 200 delegates, or combined to cater for over 1 000 guests. A further four multi-functional venues, Mphasa, Mbuna, Chambo and Usipa (all local fish species found in Lake Malawi – Africa’s largest fresh water lake, just over an hour’s drive away) offer varying configurations, that each cater for 15 people, in a boardroom set-up, or up to 60 people in cinema style set-up. Mafuma (meaning royalty) is an exclusive VIP boardroom, lounge and holding room that has a separate entrance and dedicated lift, providing an unparalleled level of safety and security for senior government or corporate dignitaries.

The BICC also features the Mseko Bistro that serves speciality coffees and light snacks, sandwiches and salads for delegates. Both buildings of the BICC open out onto the massive Malawi Square, a large paved outdoor exhibition and event area. The square displays the sun of the Malawi flag that is etched into the vast paved brickwork expanse.

Flanking the square is the Pabwalo Amphitheatre, another outdoor facility with superb acoustics, ideal for smaller concerts and theatrical events.

Guests are welcomed to the new 5 star President Walmont hotel via an expansive reception area. The impressive hotel overlooks Malawi Square and offers 130 rooms and suites, with 60 Classic King Rooms, 59 Classic Twin Rooms, a Special Assistance Room and 10 Presidential Suites. The rooms are designed to reflect local Malawian influences with a distinctly continental African flair. All rooms include air-conditioning, 40-inch TVs with local satellite channels, a writing desk, international plugs, Wi-Fi, a mini bar that is stocked on request, and a tea and coffee station.

The signature Wild Orchid Restaurant, which serves local and international delicacies and a superb selection of wines, offers elegant indoor seating and outdoor pool deck terrace dining and serves an international breakfast buffet and à la carte lunch and dinner menu. For light snacks and refreshments, the relaxing and beautifully appointed Lobby Lounge and Bar is open throughout the day. The ‘afropolitan’ Afroma Terrace Bar on the first floor, offers a soothing respite where guests can enjoy laid-back music and sweeping views, of Malawi Square and the BICC – perfect for sundowners and sunsets. The hotel also offers a Spa and Wellness Centre, a curio shop, hair salon and meeting rooms.

Just a short drive from Umodzi Park are 14 Presidential Villas, housed in a secure estate, affording the ultimate in privacy and security. The Presidential Villas are an ideal option for discerning international government delegations, long stay guests, and royalty. The Villas offer a private clubhouse, as well as relaxation and sporting facilities.

Whether it’s an international conference for heads of state, an important product launch, unforgettable wedding, a music concert, an outdoor exhibition or festival, an exclusive cocktail party or merely an intimate boardroom meeting, Umodzi Park is able to cater to all needs... it can truly lay claim to where Africa’s leaders meet and stay.

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