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“It's fine, but...” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Ilala Lodge

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Ilala Lodge
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   411 Livingstone Way, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #4 of 12 hotels in Victoria Falls
Hampshire
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
“It's fine, but...”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 29, 2012

For reasons not relevant to this review, we stayed at both Ilala Lodge and The Victoria Falls Hotel. The bookings were made through an agent and as there was no difference in price, we decided to try both.

If you find yourself in the same situation, choose The Victoria Falls Hotel.

Let's be clear, there's nothing wrong with Ilala Lodge - the staff are pleasant and the rooms are clean. They do, though, lack blackout blinds.

Whilst it's true this property is closer to the Falls, it does not mean the view is better. It's simply geographically closer than any other hotel in Victoria Falls.

If we hadn't first stayed at The Falls Hotel, we would have found the breakfast at Ilala acceptable, although Grilled Kipper on Potato Rosti topped with a Poached Egg was very disappointing, just about inedible. The rosti was the size of a beermat - flat and greasy, not at all crispy - the kipper fillet had been cut to fit on top of it, the egg was fine, but the whole thing was finished off with a dollop of hollandaise sauce - both unexpected and very unwelcome. The next morning's English breakfast featured sausages which had been flashed across a griddle and were clearly uncooked.

Interesting to note that since our stay earlier this year, this hotel has started to charge for internet access.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
IlalaVictoriaFalls, Guest Relations Manager at Ilala Lodge, responded to this review, December 3, 2012
Thank you very much on your comment on Ilala Lodge hotel. We greatly appreciate your comments. We however apologize for the discomforts you encountered during your stay with us and we would like to assure you that all your concerns raised have been rectified during the course of the year.
We therefore look forward to seeing you again and that you may enjoy your stay with us again.

Kind regards
Ilala team
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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452 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (79)
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Kent
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 19, 2012

After a lengthy wait at the airport for the visa it was good to get to this hotel. We were welcomed with an iced tea which was very refreshing and taken to our room which was a deluxe suite with a thatched roof.

The room was very spacious and comfortable with good bathroom. There was plenty of coffee/tea & hot chocolate on the supplied tray and complimentary mineral water waiting for us. Room contains a minibar & small fridge. Good sized balcony with coffee table and chairs, overlooking the grounds where we would watch the warthogs which wandered in. you can also see the spray of the 'Falls' from the room.

The breakfasts were lovely with a good choice of hot food from the menu. There was a plentiful supply of the cold buffet products.

We ate dinner on two occasions and were very pleased with the food. Yes - the food could be classed as a little expensive but this was part of our Victoria Falls experience and experience it was to be sat outside on the terrace, under candlelight, absorbing the sounds of a Zimbabwe evening.

There is a computer terminal in the lobby which provides free access to the internet but you need to time it right, as it is obviously popular.

I loved the quietness, the old world charm and it's proximity to the 'falls'. The staff were very friendly and we enjoyed our stay, very much.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
IlalaVictoriaFalls, Guest Relations Manager at Ilala Lodge, responded to this review, November 5, 2012
Thank you very much for recommending Ilala Lodge hotel. We appreciate your reviews and comments. We are happy you had wonderful stay with us and we hope to see you again in the future.

Kind regards
Ilala team
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Invercargill, New Zealand
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 11, 2012

Rooms are very comfortable. Restaurant food was excellent but you pay $7US for 1 spring roll, so it is a tad expensive. We went on a night sunset cruise which was very nice, good food all you could drink, but to cloudy to see sunset. This hotel has free access to computer, you can also buy internet time for $5. Money is US$ but will take Rand.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IlalaVictoriaFalls, Guest Relations Manager at Ilala Lodge, responded to this review, November 5, 2012
Thank you for taking time to review ilala lodge hotel. Its a pleasure to receive comments and recommendations from our guests. We are lad you enjoyed your stay with us.
We hope to see you return again in the near future

Kind regards
Ilala Team
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
joancollins69
Top Contributor
94 reviews 94 reviews
52 hotel reviews
Reviews in 52 cities Reviews in 52 cities
66 helpful votes 66 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 8, 2012

Greeted with a welcomed iced tea check in smooth. The rooms lovely spacious & very clean with your own patio. Water pressure constant & hot if you need it. Lovely products & tea coffe in room. All meals were lovely in a fantastic resteraunt be mindful of baboons! It's rather old worldy & quite (save for the buzz of helicopters) you can hear & see the falls. Does attract a more reserved clientele but for a break pop over to the kingdom casino. Everything's walking distance. Only gripe never had change at the bar so had to room charge it & wifi not free but reasonable $5usd got 80mgb.

  • Stayed October 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IlalaVictoriaFalls, Guest Relations Manager at Ilala Lodge, responded to this review, October 24, 2012
Thank you for your feedback on Ilala lodge hotel. We greatly appreciate your views and comments.
We are happy you had a pleasant stay with us. We hope to see you return again in the near future

Kind regards
Ilala Lodge team
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ghanzi, Ghanzi, Botswana
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 8, 2012

I thought Ilala although perfectly acceptable a bit tired and that other hotels such as Azambezi, Vic Falls safari Lodge better situated. As per other reviews it is central and within easy walking to the Falls but lacks the "wild african ambience" which i think I prefer when at a destination such as this.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IlalaVictoriaFalls, Guest Relations Manager at Ilala Lodge, responded to this review, October 24, 2012
Thank you very much for reviewing Ilala Lodge. We appreciate your views and comments.
We hope you had a warm stay with us.
We hope to see you return in the near future.

Kind regards
Ilala Lodge team
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
32 hotel reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
251 helpful votes 251 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 2, 2012

We were delighted with our choice of Ilala Lodge as a place to stay when we visited Victoria Falls. Their location is best, right at the edge of town at the beginning of the walk to the Falls national park. Our room was on the lower level and we were initally disappointed that we couldn't see the mist of the falls from our room, but honestly we were mostly in the room when it was dark, spending our days on the upper level where the view was lovely. The bed was very comfortable, the bathroom huge and well appointed (first time I've seen mosquito repellant as a bath amenity) although our air conditioner was noisy and the engineering staff weren't able to do much about it. We enjoyed watching the warthogs graze on the grass right outside our room. Breakfast was a hugely generous buffet, and we enjoyed cocktails (try the Blue Crocodile Tears) by the pool in the afternoon. (The pool was a welcome respite after a dusty day of walking.) One evening we ate at the Palm Restaurant and the food and service were outstanding. Another evening we signed up for the evening boat trip on the Zambezi on the Lodge's boat Ra-Ikane. Although expensive at $85 per person compared with $50 or so for the touristy faux paddlewheelers we saw, it was totally worth it for the small group, the comfortable chairs, and the lovely appetizers and unending beer and wine we were served. Why the lovely dessert tray remained untouched, not passed at all, was a mystery.

One thing to be aware of: we couldn't find any room prices on Ilala Lodge's website; you have to email them for availability. When the price was quoted, it was PER PERSON, which made it sound very reasonable, until we realized it was not per room. The quote was $157 per person, but you had to look carefully at the voucher to realized this. We believe the rate was very much worth it, but think they should quote prices on their website and be clearer that the rates are not per room, double occupancy, but are per person.

Oh, and there's no wifi in the rooms, but only one computer in the lobby. Don't buy a card for internet access for your computer; it only gets you about 5 minutes. We usually found the lobby computer available for a quick check of emails, which was adequate.

Finally, take advantage of the Tourist Police standing on the main road just outside the Ilala Lodge gate. They'll walk you to the gorge overlook, a fabulous view of the lower Zambezi, or to the Falls park entrance, thus sparing you the hassle of all the vendors selling curios. The Tourist Police are paid for by the hotels of Victoria Falls, so take advantage of their services; a small tip will be much appreciated and you'll enjoy their conversation if you wish.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 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 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IlalaVictoriaFalls, Guest Relations Manager at Ilala Lodge, responded to this review, October 24, 2012
Thank you very much for taking your time to review Ilala Lodge Hotel. It is a pleasure to receive comments from our guests. We apologize for any discomfort you felt during your stay with us and necessary measures have been taken to rectify your concerns raised.
We hope yo return again in the near future

Kind regards
Ilala team
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Adelaide, Australia
Top Contributor
61 reviews 61 reviews
34 hotel reviews
Reviews in 39 cities Reviews in 39 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 29, 2012

We spent two nights at Ilala lodge primarily to see Victoria Falls. The lodge is on the edge of town with good access to the Zambezi River Bridge. The staff were helpfull and welcoming and the bar area/swimmig pool deck were well situated and a nice place to relax. Our ground level room was well maintained and contained all the items to make our stay comfortable. The pictures/paintings scattered throughout display historical events relating to Victoria Falls and should be of interest. The restaurant served good fare and the drinks were reasonably priced. The service was all you could ask for. One of our group awoke to find a Hippo wandering the grassed area outside her room.
The town centre is just a short walk from the lodge and has some restaurants worthy of consideration. Seek out the artifacts market for some bargains if you are prepared to barter.
A good place to lay your head.

Room Tip: The pool level rooms have views of the mist over the falls.
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
IlalaVictoriaFalls, Guest Relations Manager at Ilala Lodge, responded to this review, October 13, 2012
Thank you for recommending Ilala Lodge Hotel. We appreciate your views and comments and we are glad that you had a pleasant stay with us here in Victoria Falls.
We hope to see you again in future.

Kind regards
Ilala Team
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Ilala Lodge

Address: 411 Livingstone Way, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
Location: Zimbabwe > Matabeleland North Province > Victoria Falls
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Luxury Hotel in Victoria Falls
#3 Business Hotel in Victoria Falls
#3 Romantic Hotel in Victoria Falls
#7 Family Hotel in Victoria Falls
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Ilala Lodge 4*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The perfect base for exploring all the Victoria Falls has to offer, Ilala Lodge provides distinguished yet affordable accommodation in a gracious and secluded ambiance. The hotel is ideally situated and is closest to the Victoria Falls as well as the town centre. Wild animals often graze on the hotel lawns with the spray of the falls in the background. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Ilala Hotel Victoria Falls

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