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“Beautiful hotel with a pool and a view of the falls :)” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Ilala Lodge

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Ilala Lodge
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   411 Livingstone Way, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe   |  
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20% Discount on Room Rate
Ranked #7 of 12 Hotels in Victoria Falls
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Northampton, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
87 reviews 87 reviews
43 hotel reviews
Reviews in 54 cities Reviews in 54 cities
112 helpful votes 112 helpful votes
“Beautiful hotel with a pool and a view of the falls :)”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 18, 2014

We had a really lovely stay at Ilala lodge. We had thought from the initial description that the lodge was more remote than it was.

When you stay here you are on the outskirts of the town (so, no noise, which is good) but you can easily walk there within 5mins. We didn't realise we would be this close to everything and we're hoping to be more 'immersed in nature'. However, saying this, it turned out to be ideal. We could walk to the falls in just under 10mins and the hotel itself overlooks the falls. Having dinner at the hotel overlooking the powerful buffeting water spraying high up into the sky is amazing :)

Having a ground floor room, although a bit dated, was lovely as we could walk straight out of our room onto the grounds. The great thing about this was the lovely family of wart-hogs that hung out just outside of our room everyday :)

The swimming pool was also lovely, and a welcomed relief from the heat. Definitely worth staying somewhere with a pool.

I would definitely recommend staying at this hotel, the rooms and grounds are lovely and the location ideal if you don't want long difficult hikes. For us it was the perfect start to our tour of Africa. We went through an amazing agency with a wonderful man called Simon Stobbs: simon@diverseafrica.co.za phone no: +27 (72) 2198205. Simon managed to get us amazing discounts on all safaris we did in both Botswana and Namibia. All of our reviews of these safari's were 5* as all of them were absolutely amazing both in experience and standard of accommodation.

Tips whilst staying at Ilala:
- Yes, the helicopter ride over the falls IS worth it :) Especially if you are interested in the history of the falls or the Geology behind it.
- Also, the sunset cruise is lovely, if a little uneventful. You float around up at the top of the falls, very slowly! However, you are given as much free wine & snacks as you wish. If you have not seen hippos or crocs then definitely do this as you will see them, in fact some come quite close. Very safe though, perfect way for families with small children to see the animals in a safe way. But, if you've ever been on safari, it's quite tame and although a lovely, relaxing, sociable evening, you could be forgiven for skipping it.
- It is definitely worth seeing the falls from both sides, take your passport :)

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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594 reviews from our community

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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 (108)
Date | Rating
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 16, 2014

This was the final location of our itinerary (organised by GoAfrica) before we headed home. We stayed here for 3 nights that enabled us to stroll to the falls (just 10 minutes away from this hotel), enjoy the sunset cruise, go on an elephant safari and walk with lions.

It was an incredible end to a fantatstic holiday.

The sunset Cruise on the Zambezi was a great start to our stay, we were on the Ra Ikene, it was a beautiful sunset and whilst on the river we saw many groups of Hippos and some Crocs. We also saw many species of bird - too many to list.

On the second day we went on the elephant safari where we were able to interact with the elephants and learn more about the programme and the reserve. Having seen game from a land rover this was quite a different experience and we still saw Buffalo, deer and a troop of c. 100 baboons.

On the 3rd day we walked with lions, we were introduced to the ALERT programme which is aiming to introduce lions to the wild - a very interesting approach. The two lions we were able to walk with were 15 months old and almost ready to move to the 2nd phase of the programme to allow them to raise cubs without human intervention and these will be introduced into the wild. If this happens it will be a great thing for Africa as a whole.

There isn't a great deal in Victoria but the falls are a must see.

Room Tip: All of the rooms are well appointed, some have doors that open onto the lawn whilst others are above...
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Surrey
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 14, 2014

Great location 10 min walk to falls. All the public areas (lobby, restaurant, pool, bar, lawns) are really nice. Good food (fantastic breakfasts). Service very good and the hotel had a nice atmosphere. The rooms we had (lower floor) are dated, but extremely clean and comfortable.
Enjoyed our stay

  • Stayed August 2014, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hong Kong Region, China
Top Contributor
56 reviews 56 reviews
28 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
55 helpful votes 55 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 12, 2014

VF is a small place and this hotel is right in the middle, can walk to main street, VF hotel, the Falls, mama africa etc. I stayed 3 nights (probably one night too many but blame my agent).
The rooms are fine although a bit old, particularly the bathrooms - I had one on the lower floor looking out over the gardens, where baboons come up to the window, and warthogs and various antelope wander around - always interesting to see what was there when you wake up / come in.
Breakfast was excellent, I passed on lunch (always out) and dinner (despite the hotel being mainly full it always seemed a rather sombre place, too quiet and no atmosphere. I would say that generally of the staff who were not particularly excited about the place - go instead for a walk to mama africa or better still the Victoria Falls hotel which always seemed to have great and welcoming staff, a fun bar and great atmosphere (I would stay there next time).
I struggled with my itinerary (blame the agent dmafrica, liberty/vayeni) but front desk was understanding and willing to help me out.
Overall a nice place, but overpriced by agent (actual rates were good).

  • Stayed August 2014, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Morristown, New Jersey
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2014

Our family of 10 stayed for 2 nights in Victoria Falls primarily to see the Falls and also to get the flavor of a Zimbabwean town. Ilala Lodge is conveniently located, nicely appointed, graciously staffed and offered delicious food. It was fun shopping and bargaining at the "flea market" next door, especially supporting the women crafters. We would recommend it to future visitors.

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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.
MartinVaughan, General Manager at Ilala Lodge, responded to this review, August 6, 2014
We appreciate your positive review of Ilala Lodge and thank you for chosing to stay with us.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Canton of Ticino, Switzerland
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 4, 2014

The location is excellent. Walking distance to the Victoria Falls entrance or into the city of Victoria Falls. Also at walking distance the border to Zambia and access to the Victoria Falls Bridge.

The hotel is clean , breakfast very good.

The menu offer should be improved with a special menu of the day for dinner for example.
For longer stays the menu being always the same is not ideal.

We got interleaving rooms 1 and 2, which have not been renewed as from 3 onwards. The accomodation standard for these two rooms is below expectation (room and bath room).
The only good thing is that you can enjoy the sunrise in the morning from your room/bed.

Room Tip: Choose room from 3 onwards. Rooms 1-10 have visibility on the road to the falls and could be a littl...
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
Stroud, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 4, 2014

Ilala Lodge is centered in the middle of Victoria Falls town and so you are in walking distance of all banks, numerous curio vendors and various shops, restaurants and tour operators offering various activities. The reception I received was warm and friendly and you get a good feel when entering the hotel. The well appointed reception area leads onto a large patio area which overlooks the gardens. The gardens lead into the national park and so wildlife wander onto the hotel lawns and whilst sitting outside we saw warthog and various buck. Whilst sitting outside enjoying a drink you can hear the roar of the mighty Falls which are well within walking distance of the lodge.

The Ilala Lodge is well known for the Palm restaurant and all three meals I enjoyed there were of a very high standard. It is so refreshing to order a steak and get it cooked the way you want it!. The wine selection was also very good.

This is not a large commercial hotel with just 32 rooms so there is a very relaxed feel about the place. The hotel is going through refurbishment at present and the room I stayed in was of the older offering but the bedroom and bathroom were of a good size and the beds were perfectly comfortable and there was plenty of hot water. I would have to say that the décor of the room was not exciting and lacked differentiation and an African feel about it.

The room rates and meals are well priced and I would not hesitate to stay there again.

Sean Kelly

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
MartinVaughan, General Manager at Ilala Lodge, responded to this review, August 5, 2014
Thank you for your comprehensive review of Ilala Lodge. Yes our hotel is receiving a make over and our rooms are being updated. We glad you enjoyed our Palm Restaurant which is quite a popular restaurant in the area. I hope you enjoyed the rest of your holiday and hope to one day see you back in the Victoria Falls area.
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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
Phone Number:
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:
#5 Business Hotel in Victoria Falls
#5 Family Hotel in Victoria Falls
#6 Romantic Hotel in Victoria Falls
#6 Luxury Hotel in Victoria Falls
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Ilala Lodge 4*
Number of rooms: 34
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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