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“A piece of history” 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
Sydney, Australia
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
“A piece of history”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 18, 2013

No regrets staying here. I was expecting it to be quite run down but really there was only the odd frayed carpet. Everything else looked in good condition. It is a unique hotel colonial hotel oosing history. The decoration is really plush with massive paintings of british royalty, names for all the rooms and smartly uniformed staff everywhere.
The location is great. You cant see the falls but can see the spray from them in the distance. It took us about 20 mins to walk there.
The room was old-fashioned with a shower above the bath, but that was all part of the charm. The room was air conditioned and we found we did not need to use the mosquito net over the bed.
It is a large hotel so we needed to walk a few minutes to get to the pool and the breakfast area. Breakfast was plentiful and held outdoors. The only thing I did not like was the bees all over the sweet pastries, but I just avoided choosing those.
The service was excellent. We ate in various parts of the hotel and the food was top quality.

Room Tip: Our room had a great view of the garden and spray from the falls - worth requesting.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,261 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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Phoenix, Arizona
Top Contributor
133 reviews 133 reviews
34 hotel reviews
Reviews in 61 cities Reviews in 61 cities
66 helpful votes 66 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 18, 2013

This lovely "old lady" still has some wonderful historical touches, but needs much help if she is to be considered among her sisters in other parts of the world.

Plumbing fixtures and overall bathrooms need to be updated and modernized. Electrical outlets are insufficient and need to have options other than Zimbabwean capabilities. All exterior painted concrete flooring Ned's to have sand put in the paint (prior to painting) to provide some traction, as otherwise the grounds are like ice rinks with the guest sliding constantly. Door locks need to be replaced.

The Livingstone Restaurant is overrated. Lovely room, decent though spotty service. Inconsistent quality of food. Not worth the pricing scheme.

Room Tip: Request the new wing, and see the room first if possible.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Sydney, Australia
Top Contributor
91 reviews 91 reviews
49 hotel reviews
Reviews in 52 cities Reviews in 52 cities
93 helpful votes 93 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2013

There is no doubt that once upon a time, this hotel would have been up there with the greats !

From the moment you arrive at the main entrance and commence your orientation of the guest areas, dining rooms, pool area and grounds, you realise what the place must have been like in the 19th century under British rule.

Sitting on The Terrace, looking down at the bridge and rising mist from the Falls is a relaxing experience. The wonderful high tea, with the mandatory scones with cream and strawberry jam just adds to the scene.

We stayed in some of the refurbished rooms and they were a good size, with comfortable beds and good size bathrooms. There is an in-room safe, tv and adequate hanging space. There is a spot for a mini bar - but no mini bar ! I did have a peek in some other of the non-refurbished rooms are they are tired and quite dark.

The staff are very pleasant and helpful and in a country with 70% unemployment and sanctions imposed on it from around the world, they try their hardest to impress the guests and are never without a "how are you?" as you walk pass.

Breakfast is wonderful with everything anyone could want. The dinner we had on The Terrace was the only negative experience - with a hour's wait for the food and when it finally did arrive, it was cold and tough.

There are markets nearby and you will find hawkers just outside the front gates. They will try and sell you a collection of some of Zimbabwe's old currency which actually had a 50 Billion Dollar Note !! The friendly guy I spoke to started off at $US20 and settled for $US5 by the time we were finished haggling.

There area very safe and you can walk down to the local shops without any hesitation. You will be spoken to by these entrepreneurs who do wood carvings, paintings and other goods. They are harmless and will take "no" for an answer eventually.....

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Brooklyn, New York
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2013

If you want to know what it was like to travel in Africa 50 years ago (or more) then The Victoria Falls Hotel will give you that experience. Just the covered entrance leading to a highly polished reception floor will indicate that you have arrived somewhere unique. The rooms are varied, so can be average size to vast, but it's chintz covered sofas and animal heads in the walls and the glory of the British Empire all the way and no one there will ever change it. The staff are always accommodating and have the biggest smiles and are genuinely happy to show off their piece of African history. The Hotel Manager was right there and more than happy to relate its history. Check out the 1940's Pont cartoons on the walls by the restaurant and also the great map of the Imperial Airways flying boat route at the entrance. Passengers used to stay here overnight between London and Johannesburg and it took the nick name of "Jungle Junction" which is now used for one of the restaurants. And at night be lulled to sleep by the sound of "The Smoke That Thunders" as the locals named the falls, long before Livingstone arrived. It's just a wonderful place to stay.

Room Tip: Ask for a room in the original building.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Chicago, Illinois
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 16, 2013

While the grounds are beautiful, this hotel by African, American, European or Asian standards is a solid 2 star. 2 stars because they actually give you a bed to sleep in and towels. That's it.
Customer service is weak, they nickel and dime you on everything and have the audacity to expect...yes, expect, you to tip them. Food was just ok. accomodations were weak, just awful. A facelift is being generous, they need a complete face transplant. Just thinking about this place makes me want to boo it. Boooooooo Victoria falls, you're selling a false dream. Frankly, i want my money back!
The Livingstone hotel looks like better accomodations. You should definitely visit the grounds and take pictures but otherwise, skip this place. High tea is a joke!
It's been almost 2 wks since my stay and i'm still so angry. Booooooooooo!!!!!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
somerset
Top Contributor
120 reviews 120 reviews
85 hotel reviews
Reviews in 86 cities Reviews in 86 cities
62 helpful votes 62 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 15, 2013

OK, let's deal with the negatives first. We stayed in one of the cheapest rooms and it could have done with a bit of TLC and the bathroom probably needed some modernisation. Did this affect our stay? No! The beds were comfortable, and the shower worked. The beauty of this hotel is the layout of the building and grounds and the staff. The communal areas were immaculate as were the extremely well maintained grounds and pool. Colonial artefacts adorn the walls and to us Brits were most interesting. The breakfast was extensive and good, not many hotels provide smoked salmon and bubbly as part of a buffet!. We found the menu at the terrace perfectly fine and had good service, we also enjoyed the tasting menu in the fine dining restaurant. This is a third world country that is still going through difficult times, so I think those who have criticised the food should bear this in mind!
So do visit here, keep an open mind, we really liked it and my husband thought it was wondeful - praise indeed!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
St Andrews
Top Contributor
158 reviews 158 reviews
60 hotel reviews
Reviews in 53 cities Reviews in 53 cities
78 helpful votes 78 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2013

We stayed two nights on our trip to see the spectacular Victoria Falls and could not have been more impressed. The staff here are an asset to the hotel, they are helpful, pleasant, engaging and dedicated to making sure the guests have a wonderful stay. The rooms are large, well laid out and very comfortable. No hesitation in recommending this hotel. All in all a great experience.

Room Tip: The courtyard rooms, whilst there is no view to speak of are cool and comfortable.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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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