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“A Step Back in Time” 4 of 5 stars
Review of The Victoria Falls Hotel

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The Victoria Falls Hotel
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   2 Mallet Drive, Victoria Falls PO Box 10, Zimbabwe   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #6 of 12 Hotels in Victoria Falls
Certificate of Excellence
Vail, Colorado
Top Contributor
124 reviews 124 reviews
61 hotel reviews
Reviews in 65 cities Reviews in 65 cities
83 helpful votes 83 helpful votes
“A Step Back in Time”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 5, 2012

Normally I don't care for historic properties. I just prefer modern. However, for me, if I was going to go all the way to Zimbabwe and Victoria Falls I felt it really a no-brainer to stay at the world famous VF Hotel. I booked an upgraded room so it was large and while Victorian is never my style, it was very nice and had definitely been updated. The huge four poster bed with a canopy was romantic and I felt like I was in an old movie.

I loved the history lining the walls of the hallways and in the public areas. It was like a museum and I spent a good amount of time reading and looking at all the photos and articles and letters and posters and things throughout the hotel.

It is quite spectacular when you first walk through the hotel to the back patio and see the great lawn and the falls.

I wasn't impressed with the food or service on the patio restaurant (lunch and dinner), but then I always qualify my restaurant feedback with the fact that I am not a foodie and am extremely finicky. However, I found the breakfast buffet to be wonderful and the setting was spectacular.

The staff was rather cold and I think that might be the British formalness from whence this hotel has come.

If I ever make it back to the area I will probably try another renowned lodge or hotel because now I have "been there and done that" with the VF Hotel, just because it's not my taste or style, but if I had to stay there again I wouldn't complain.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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1,258 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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New Jersey USA
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 3, 2012

We stayed at the Victoria Falls Hotel for 3 nights while visiting the falls. This is just about one of the most elegant hotels that I have stayed in, just walking through the lobby and the halls felt like visiting a museum. When my mom and I arrived at the hotel, we were warmly greeted by the doorman. Then we were offered towels to cool off and glasses of refreshing grape juice. The location of the hotel makes it very convenient to visit the Falls, its less than 10 minutes walk from the back lawn. We could see the Victoria Falls Bridge and the spray from the Falls right from the hotel terrace. There were a bunch of cute warthogs grazing the grass on the back lawn.

All the meals at the hotel restaurants were superb, we ate dinner at the the Jungle Junction one night and there was an African song and dance show. The Livingston Room was elegant and formal and the meal was top notch, we were entertained by a pianist playing on the grand piano. We had high tea at the hotel terrace, it is an experience not to be missed, a true British Colonial feel. The breakfast is included with the hotel stay, there was different varieties of muffins, croissants, fruits, yogert, cereals, musli, cold cuts, and hot breakfast like pancakes, sausage, ham, bacon, potatoes, scramble, fryed, boiled eggs, and my favorite eggs benedict! My mom ordered the western omelette from the station. I enjoyed all the different fruit juices like papaya, mango and guava. People were drinking champagne too.

The hotel has a large and warm outdoor pool that was relaxing to swim in after visiting the Falls. Our room was big and over looks the pool and garden. There was a flat screen TV in the room, the air conditioning was quiet and worked fine. The hotel manager left a nice welcome note with a plate of fresh fruit and a box of chocolates because we are members of the Leading Hotels of the World. We had an wonderful experience staying at the hotel.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Top Contributor
87 reviews 87 reviews
42 hotel reviews
Reviews in 50 cities Reviews in 50 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 3, 2012

If you get a deal on the rate then this hotel is worth it. You could tell it was grand at some point but it does need an upgrade. You do get a very colonial/old European feel when you are there. The setting itself and overall grounds are beautiful though. Great view of the bridge and there's warthogs, birds and monkeys just hanging around at all times.

We did have a dirty towel but it was replaced. We are a married couple but their full beds are just two twin beds pushed together and each has a single mosquito net so we had to do some maneuvering to lay next to each other and not be separated by a net. Beds are also a bit hard.

Our most complicated issue was when we tried to book a day trip to Chobe (which we definitely suggest doing!). We were hoping to pay with a credit card but we were told they weren't sure and that they would contact us. They called us later in the day and said we could. The next morning when we were picked up we were asked to pay. That's when we were told we could only pay one with the credit card and one with cash. Odd but we agreed and paid one pass with cash. When we arrived at the boat we were told we had to pay it all in cash. We had brought it with us just in case but this is a large amount to have had readily available and it seemed as if no one knew what the case would be.

Aside from those things our stay was ok. High tea is a tradition and the tea is great, sandwiches just ok, but you do get to enjoy it on the patio with a great view. We only ate at the buffet restaurant while we were there but it was good each time we did and it's open air so it's quite nice when the weather is good. Bring bug spray! And having a direct route to the falls was very helpful. There are people who will try to sell you items or trade with you on the trail. If you are thinking of getting something, they will barter with things like clothes as opposed to money. But if you are nice but firm and say you do not want to buy anything they will leave you alone.

Business center accessible 24/7 with internet. There was a beauty salon and spa but which I didn't use but it looked a bit more like a converted office space than an actual spa. The pool area is like straight out of an Italian villa.

Overall the stay was fine - but try to find a good rate.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Seattle, Wa
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 30, 2012

You've made it to a world-class destination that you've heard of all your life. You may be a little tired from your travels and the hotel is too. But don't let that put you off.

The location is outstanding. Sit and relax on the veranda for afternoon tea and take in the "old" life. Have the buffet and watch the local dance act at the Jungle room for dinner. Both are very good.

The breakfast is excellant and the staff attentive.

After visiting the Falls (you will get wet), take an evening cruise on the Zambezi river; wow!

And/or visit the Wild Horizons site for orphaned elephants -- allow at least two hours and expect to fall in love with an elephant!

Room Tip: Try to get a room in the "refurbished" section.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cheltenham, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 25, 2012

This historic hotel has a beautiful setting. The public areas are truly lovely and the staff charming and helpful without being obsequious. All the meals we had were delicious and excellently presented. It's a shame then that we felt let down by the bedrooms, which need upgrading into the 21st century. The rooms (bedroom and lounge) were a reasonable size but the bathroom was small with no storage space. It's difficult to believe that such a hotel does not have a fridge in the room and that the very noisy airconditioning was so ineffective - but we'd go there again.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Canada
Top Contributor
703 reviews 703 reviews
218 hotel reviews
Reviews in 318 cities Reviews in 318 cities
542 helpful votes 542 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 23, 2012 via mobile

The history and location make this a good stay, although pricey. Rooms are good but aged. My AC and TV kept going off likely due to dated electrical wiring, staff good and offered to move me but I waited until next day (upgrade). Free wifi, staff good, several places to eat. I enjoyed the age of the hotel but hopefully some internal changes can be done with time,

  • Stayed November 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Florida
Top Contributor
250 reviews 250 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 53 cities Reviews in 53 cities
116 helpful votes 116 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 22, 2012 via mobile

Realizing this is Zimbabwe and a major tourist spot (Victoria Falls) and you're coimg off roads with a very arid landscape, this hotel is an oasis ! Dirt, dry dry and very sporadic people walking, there is no relief until you're here.
Hotel has a British colonial era feel; you're almost feel Dr Livingston and Stanley will be dinning there. Grounds are peaceful and comfortable to walk. Don't worry about the warthog family strolling the grounds. Different sitting rooms or areas are so inviting; read the many hallway memorabilia !
We were in updated renovated rooms; try and get these unles you are accustomed to no a/c, open windows & bugs. Bath amenities are ample & refreshing. Service is always with a smile; excellent to a fault. Guest Services is always responsive but not timely.
Food buffets are good .... Breakfast and Diner selections superb. High Tea of the patio excellent; a must to do.
As a side almost Victoria Falls and then history.

Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
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Additional Information about The Victoria Falls Hotel

Address: 2 Mallet Drive, Victoria Falls PO Box 10, Zimbabwe
Phone Number:
Location: Zimbabwe > Matabeleland North Province > Victoria Falls
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Spa Hotel in Victoria Falls
#4 Business Hotel in Victoria Falls
#4 Romantic Hotel in Victoria Falls
#5 Family Hotel in Victoria Falls
#5 Luxury Hotel in Victoria Falls
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:5 star — The Victoria Falls Hotel 5*
Number of rooms: 176
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
For more than a century, The Victoria Falls Hotel has been the address of choice for Royal Families, statesmen, celebrities and discerning travellers as it occupies a fine location from which to explore the magical wonders of untamed Africa. From the thundering Victoria Falls at its threshold, to the big 5 that roam freely less than 5kms away, the “Grande Dame” provides an experience like no other. Less than a ten minute walk away from the Victoria Falls Rainforest, this is one hotel that can truly claim to be unique.The Victoria Falls Hotel’s grand Edwardian architecture evokes the spirit of a bygone era. The courtyard and entrance completed in 1915, with flowering shrubs, palms and stately mango trees picturesquely reflected in the water lily ponds. The chic elegance of the marble floored reception area sets the tone for the style and sophistication synonymous with The Victoria Falls Hotel. Many a guest has marveled at the magnificent views seen from The Victoria Falls Hotel and the experience begins with the sun rising beneath the mist of one of the seven natural wonders of the world. Combining old-fashioned, traditional elegance with warm and welcoming decor, the main lounge provides a perfect backdrop for relaxing with friends, whilst the Bulawayo Room offers serenity and seclusion in surroundings of exceptional comfort and luxury. There’s a well-appointed curio shop specializing in colonial memorabilia. The Palm Lounge, bright and cool, is a quiet and secluded corner in which to relax, read or write. Throughout its many corridors and alcoves, the hotel’s long and fascinating history is depicted through photographs, posters and artistic impressions, reflecting the past glories of the empire. The quaint Chapel, built in 1929, has been the venue of many weddings and The Victoria Falls Hotel remains a favourite destination for honeymooners from around the world. Echoing its glorious past, The Victoria Falls Hotel’s traditional rooms and suites are truly a 5 star experience. Style and sophistication are trademarks of the hotel’s executive suites, which are luxuriously appointed with decor being warm, inviting and rich with tradition. Deluxe guest rooms are spacious, well-appointed and furnished in traditional Edwardian style with an "out of Africa" feel. All rooms are air-conditioned with every modern amenity including digital satellite television, direct dial telephone and a personal safe. Cast-iron, roll-top bath tubs in the stables wing rooms and suites turn the bathroom into a haven of sumptuous relaxation. All three restaurants have ideal locations, making dining around the hotel a memorable experience. Lavish buffets at the casual Jungle Junction restaurant are but one of the many choices for breakfast and dinner. Stanley’s Terrace is an excellent option for light meals throughout the day and is an absolute must for the infamous High Tea served every afternoon, with spectacular views of The Victoria Falls Bridge and the Falls themselves. Later, enjoy the hotel’s legendary cocktails or a gin and tonic in Stanley’s Bar while listening to the roar of the mighty Falls. Evening dining at the open-air jungle Junction restaurant offers an unforgettable experience with a fusion of flavours of Africa. Entertainment from ethnic groups epitomises the spirit of Africa; Jungle Junction is the ideal venue for incentive groups. Enjoy dinner and dancing in the elegant, Edwardian Livingstone Room, with classic a la carte and table d’hote menus. Whilst the Livingstone Room reflects the century old hotel’s style of grandeur and opulence, the dress code has been slightly relaxed for the convenience of the guest and it is no longer essential for gentlemen to wear jacket and tie for dinner. A fine selection of wines and liqueurs are available to complement the chef’s wonderfully innovative creations. Cool off and enjoy the splendour of the glorious colonial swimming pool set amongst the beautiful landscaped gardens, overlooking the famous Victoria Falls Bridge with the Batoka Gorge below. Massage treatments are available in the airy gazebos located around the poolside or in the tranquility of the hotel’s gardens. The Pullman Suite and the Centenary Room are well-appointed with exquisite antique furnishing, adding a new dimension of sophistication to conferencing. Suitable for meetings of between 8 and 40 people, conference packages (including spouses’ programs) are available. The Victoria Falls are approximately 1,690 metres wide with an estimated 550 million litres of water per minute cascading over a 111 metre chasm. It must be highlighted that Zimbabwe has 16 out of the 19 prime viewing spots and is where you will find the "untamed" Victoria Falls Rainforest with its many winding pathways and trails. In 1855 David Livingstone, arguably the first European to see the awesome Falls, remarked "scenes so lovely must have been gazed upon by angels in their flight." The Victoria Falls have been declared a World Heritage Site and enjoy special conservation status. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Victoria Falls Hotel

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