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“Lovely grounds and public areas - rooms more basic but pleasant” 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
Coventry, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
54 reviews 54 reviews
47 hotel reviews
Reviews in 42 cities Reviews in 42 cities
162 helpful votes 162 helpful votes
“Lovely grounds and public areas - rooms more basic but pleasant”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 22, 2010

The public areas of this property have a lovely colonial feel. The architecture is delightful - the sweeping colonnade in particular. The grounds similarly are very pleasant. Sitting by the pool in the open air bar area was a lovely experience.

Bedrooms are pleasant but not as sumptuous as the public areas and the difference is noticeable. That said, the rooms are more than adequate, spacious and with very good quality bed linen. We appreciated the in room safe.

Service in the hotel is friendly but not sharp or confident.

Breakfast was a really pleasant surprise and quite a highlight. The selection and quality of food was really excellent and exceeded my expectations. We had lunch and desserts sitting outside - wonderful ambience and environment. Food quality was varied - some excellent, other elements less so. I think this reflects in part the difficulties in getting fresh ingredients in Zimbabwe at the moment.

The location of the hotel is excellent - you can see the spray of the falls from the outside areas and you can hear them roar - at least when we were there and the waters were high.

We visited the Kingdom Hotel and the Victoria Falls Hotel. The Kingdom felt artificial and was weirdly empty. The Victoria Falls Hotel was grand, impressive and an authentic experience. The Ilala is , by contrast, intimate and comfortable. Take your pick!

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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593 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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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)
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English first
New York, NY
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 17, 2010

You cannot beat the location if your main interest is to visit Vic Falls. The hotel was very quaint. We had a slight issue with our room at check in; we reserved and paid for a king bed room, but were put into a room with 2 twin beds (not together). When we raised the issue with reception, they upgraded us to a suite which was absolutely lovely. The bathrooms are outdated but the room itself was great and of course we appreciated their willingness to accommodate us, which included dinner on the house.

The hotel is a few minutes walk to Vic Falls national park. Though we did not visit from the Zambia side, the Zim side is much larger and in the helicopter ride (definitely worth the money) you can tell there is simply more viewing from the Zim side. What I wish someone had told me: don't wear clothes or bring anything with you - just wear a bathing suit and flip flops!

We also did a sunset cruise on the Zambezi arranged through the hotel - this was incredibly beautiful and relaxing, and full of hippo sightings.

All in all, it was hard to get to Vic Falls but well worth the effort. Truly a wonder of the world, Ilala Lodge is a good base camp for your trip.

  • Stayed April 2010, 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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IlalaVictoriaFalls, Guest Relations Manager at Ilala Lodge, responded to this review, May 23, 2010
Thank you for taking the time review Ilala Lodge Hotel, your feedback is much appreciated. I am really glad that you enjoyed your stay and experience of our spectacular wonder - the Victoria Falls. I hope you will stay with us again on your next trip to Africa!!
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San Francisco, California
Top Contributor
134 reviews 134 reviews
61 hotel reviews
Reviews in 56 cities Reviews in 56 cities
84 helpful votes 84 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 16, 2010

Everything went smoothly at this conveniently located hotel, located just a 10 minute walk from Victoria Falls, and just a few minutes from the town's main street. The rate included a full breakfast that included made-to-order eggs and/or pancakes, more than enough food to keep you full until dinnertime. The staff was very helpful and made calls as needed for tours and transportation. I walked over to take a look at the famous (and much more expensive) Victoria Falls Hotel, which seemingly catered to a different type of traveler. It has a impressive history, and you can always go over there to eat or look around, but I would still choose to stay at the Ilala Lodge.

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled solo
    • 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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IlalaVictoriaFalls, Guest Relations Manager at Ilala Lodge, responded to this review, May 19, 2010
Dear Ashryn

Thank you for taking the time to write a reviem on Ilala Lodge Hotel; I am very pleased that you enjoyed your stay and sincerely hpe you will drop in again on your next visit to this neck of the woods. Please do not hesitate to contact me on guestrelations@ilalalodge.co.zw should you require any info on the Hotel or the destination.
Warmest regards
Chenai
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Australia
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 14, 2010

We stayed at this lovely hotel in April this year and had a wonderful time. We ended up with a suite which was lovely and spacious and we could see the spray from the Falls from our bed which was wonderful. The breakfasts were great and we had dinner in the hotel one night and the food was very good. We walked to the Victoria Falls Hotel and had afternoon tea which was a lovely experience. Do the helicopter ride if you get a chance as it gave a fantastic view of the Falls. We then walked to the Falls via the Victoria Falls Hotel and were fortunate enough to have a security guard walk with us to the entrance, I am sure we didn't need him but there were men selling carvings along the path and I would have been a bit nervous on our own initially (we did actually buy a carving on the way back). We had dinner at the boma one night which was also a bit of fun.
I would recommend Ilala Lodge as a very comfortable, convenient place to stay while at Victoria Falls.

  • Stayed April 2010, 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
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IlalaVictoriaFalls, Guest Relations Manager at Ilala Lodge, responded to this review, May 27, 2010
Your review and feedback on Ilala Lode Hotel is greatly appreciated and I am pleased that you enjoyed your stay with us.
Please drop in again on your next trip to our fabulous little destination of Victoria Falls.
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San Francisco, California
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 12, 2010

This is a lovely, well maintained historic hotel, centrally located within walking distance of the entrance to Victoria Falls, and to shops in the town. Our room was simple but attractive, and spacious enough, with a door to the lawn area. The restaurant has lovely outdoor seating and serves a large buffet breakfast (included in our room price.) We enjoyed looked at the historic prints throughout the hotel of David Livingston and the local area. The travel office was helpful in arranging excursions. We felt safe in the town, even walking at night some distance to a restaurant.

  • Stayed May 2010, 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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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, May 27, 2010
Thank you for taking the time to review Ilala Lodge Hotel, I am glad you enjoyed your stay with us and we look forward to having you again hopefully in the not so distant future.
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London
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 6, 2010

lovely boutique hotel. 30 rooms only so doesn't feel to frantic. Nice rooms with lovely view, relaxing terraces, lovely staff (who gave us lunch boxes for our long drive at the end of the stay). Expensive but have seasonal deals - it may be cheaper than you think. Didn't try the restaurant although food looked good. Recommended!!

  • Stayed March 2010, 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
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IlalaVictoriaFalls, Guest Relations Manager at Ilala Lodge, responded to this review, May 6, 2010
Thank you very much for your fanatastic review and we certainly aim to continue to maintain our standards. We look forward to your calling again on your next visit to Victoria Falls.
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Washington DC, District of Columbia
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 4, 2010

We spent 2 nights at the Ilala Lodge at the end of our trip to South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe. The rooms showed a little age, but the rest of the hotel was very nice - and we really didn't spend much time in the room, anyway. The glass doors leading out from the rooms ARE a potential problem - but there are guards and fences. All the recommendations to avoid bringing un-needed valuables and to keep money and passports secure are certainly valid. The Ilala is one of the closest hotels to the Falls entrance. The pool was nice and my kids had a great time swimming while I did some paperwork and enjoyed a drink at the outdoor bar - only 30 feet away. I could see the spray coming up from Victoria Falls and keep an eye on the kids and enjoy great service...all at once! The one computer in the lobby is a bit slow - but was adequate for checking e-mails after 6 days away from internet in Botswana. My husband particularly enjoyed the pictures and sketches on the walls, and the whole family liked the classy decor. The best part about the hotel was the restaurant and our waiter - Dickson. He did an exceptional job and made us feel very welcome at the hotel and at his table for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
We chose the Ilala because we wanted a place where our kids could feel welcome and enjoy the pool and grounds without bothering anyone. It was a good choice! They got a big kick out of seeing baboons and warthogs on the lawn - and an elephant pushed through the fence gate the first night we were there (taking part of the fence down as it went!)

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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, May 6, 2010
Thank you for taking the time to post such detailed feedback, it is much appreciated and is definitley going to help us improve. I really hope you will visit again and please rest assured that there is an alarm system set up around the perimeter of the property and certainly hope this puts your mind at ease should you call on us again.
Many thanks again for your valuable feedback.
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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 Family Hotel in Victoria Falls
#5 Business 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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