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“An exclusive hotel in the African bush” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Stanley and Livingstone at Victoria Falls

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The Stanley and Livingstone at Victoria Falls
5.0 of 5 Resort   |   Ursula Road, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #4 of 12 Hotels in Victoria Falls
London
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
“An exclusive hotel in the African bush”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 29, 2009

We chosen this hotel following the amazing reviews we found on this website and it has exceeded our expectations. We were not expecting to see wild animals at all as we were visiting the famous Falls there....but we were so lucky to see elephants, zebras, hyppos and crocodiles.
The hotel is unbelievably perfect, staff is always on call to help you, they clean your room as you go for breakfast, laundry is back in your room at the speed of light, food is sooooo delicious and rooms are just luxury suites so private and with all you can imagine.....it's a 5 stars hotel and it deserve even a sixth star.
Super clean, the garden is so well taken care of and Bernardo our guide from the hotel was incredibly friendly and showed us everything we had to see in a short time as we had only 1 day in Zimbabwe.

Stayed March 2009
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112 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (28)
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English first
Cairns, Australia
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 6, 2009

We wer greeted at the airport and transported to the lodge in a luxury a/c van. Upon arrival we were welcomed by a cool facecloth and a fruit cocktail and the extra special service began. Our personal tour was met with incredulousness. We were transported back in time wiht thatched roofed cottages, picture rails, antiques, timeber panelling, chesterfield lounges, fireplaces, a sunroom, patio overlooking a waterhole, cellar bar, beautiful gardens with ponds and seating throughout, swimming pool with its own bar and fresh towels, and a dining room fit for the gentry.

We walked down a pathway and came to our thatched-roof cottage. Our own patio with table and chairs, a separate lounge with plush sofas, writing desk and TV cabinet, and a huge bedroom with king size bed arm chairs and bay window. There was even a back door. Through the beroom was our bathroom with tessalated tile flooring, double basins, clawfoot bath, toilet and bidet, and separat shower. All accessories had S&L monograms. There were hinged flyscreens, thick drapes and a welcome letter. We could hardly believe we were staying in such a place.

When we walked up the path to the dining room we were met by the manager, waiter, chef and barman, all lined up to greet us. It was as if we had been invited to a formal old fashioned dinner. Our menu was written on a little scroll. Although the wine was expensive but a meal as good as this should be accompanied by an expensive wine.

Each afternoon, we enjoyed the sunset and a variety of animals by the waterhole - Kudu, Bushbuck, Water Buffalo, Birds, Baboons, Zebra. The driver escorted us to all our tours punctually, our every whim was catered to. We were treated like royalty by everyone - the gardeners, the room attendants, the waiters . . . .

We experienced the Lion Encounter, we visited the Falls, we took a Helicopter, we took an Elephant Safari, we went White Water Rafting. But we could have as easily spent all of our time at the Lodge, it was that wonderful.

We hope to meet all of the staff again one day. They so impressed us wiht their service, their hope, their spirit, their work ethic, their love of their country, their humour despite their situation, their awareness of their politics and their friendliness towards us-their tourists. They were all fantastic and this has to be the best place on the planet despite the turmoil going on around it. We were not affected by the political situation at all. The Stanley and Livingstone is a haven and the people of Zimbabwe are truly beautiful.

  • Stayed September 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
HAWORTH, YORKSHIRE
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
62 helpful votes 62 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 7, 2008

This hotel was outstanding. In fact one of the nicest we have stayed in in the 65 countries we have visited. It was nearly faultless - which given the political and economic situation in Zimabwe at this time is near miraculous. Beautiful hotel and grounds, lovely staff, nice food and excellent rooms.

Zimbabwe is well worth a visit and its people lovely. Victora Falls amazing and the town is very safe and we had no hassle. Take lots of US dollars with you, though, as you will need them. Local currency is worthless - in fact you will be lucky if you see any! It is an easy - but expensive crossing into Zambia - the Zambian visa is esp expensive for Brits at £75 (each time you enter Zambia). The best views of the falls are on Zimbabwe side.

  • Liked — Everything....esp staff and lovely rooms
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed November 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Atlanta
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 25, 2008

I recently spend 3 nights in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe at the Stanley and Livingstone Hotel. By far, this was the best accomodation I've ever had while on travel. The lodge is located on a private game reserve, so you can see a variety of animals right in your backyard as you eat your breakfast or lunch. It was simply amazing. While I haven't stayed in other hotels in Vic Falls, I'd speculate this is the best. It's a bit farther out from the falls than other accomodations, but well worth it. It's also a bit pricey, but as we all know, you get what you pay for. Loved it!

Felix and the rest of the staff are so pleasant and eager to ensure you have a good time. They scheduled any activities my boyfriend and I were interested in and took care of any problems we had immediately. The food was excellent, although it did lead to a bit of weight gain on my part =) I hope to get a chance to visit the Stanley and Livingstone again some day.

  • Liked — The game reserve in the backyard; friendly staff
  • Disliked — nothing
  • Stayed September 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 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.
Barcelona
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 11, 2008

It is the ideal place to stay while visiting the Falls area.
You can have a drink at sunset watching buffalos quite close to you, absolutely amazing.
Food is excellent and wine cellar is even better, with a wide selection of great French and South African wines and champagnes.
Personnel is extremely polite and willing to satisfy the guests requirements.

  • Stayed August 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Baltimore, MD USA
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 13, 2008

I really hope Mugabe doesn't put this wonderul spot, with it's outstanding staff, out of business. The only bad thing about our stay was noting how thinly the hotel was booked because of the tumultuous political condition of the country. In fact, we almost cancelled our stay there, out of fear and uncertainty.

Thank goodness we didn't. I am a very discriminating and well researched traveller. This fantastic boutique hotel, and all our experience in Zimbabwe, was one of the highlights of our entire African trip.

First off, don't let the actions of a crazy leader put you off the Victoria Falls region of Zim. While there you truly feel as if you are in a completely different country than the one in the news daily. It is completely safe. People are gentle, hospitable and very opposed to Mugabe and his views. We happened to be there on the actual day of the "re-election" and half of the people we talked to didn't even know if the election was on or off and didn't care - That in contrast to the lines and police intimidation on CNN that very night in Harare (850 km away.) There is never a sense of threat or impending harm. The hotel is surrounded by guards, but it is not because of robbers or ill wishers (as we initially thought) It's to protect guests from animals.

The hotel is smack in the middle of a private game park. As you approach it from the meandering dirt road, you can't imaging the luxury that awaits behind the miles of wire fence. Then you turn off, approach toney entrance gates, and arrive at this little gem. The staff was on hand to greet us with chilled towels and a welcome drink

Peaceful, extraodinarily well appointed and maintained, It's only flaw is that it might be a little too "decorated" feeling. The decor aims to recreate the "out of Africa", quasi-English/Victorian look of the guilded age, and does it very well. It's just that sInce most of the accessories are new, it's obviously not 100% authentic.

That said, is is beautifully done, elegant, immaculate and it still retains much local character, like beautiful thached roofs and gorgeously maintained and planted tropical grounds. The rooms are huge - they are kind of double or individual bungalos, so the whole complex is quite lovely. Our suite had it's own seperate sitting area, circular screened in porch, extremely large bathroom with a soaking tub, seperate shower and fabulous amenities. All first class.

The pool is a little oasis and you can often glimse wildabeast, impala, cape buffalo, etc. grazing in the plain within throwing distance from the pool, rooms and manicured grounds. There is a natural shelf of land separating the bush from the hotel, you feel safe, but up close to the wildlife

The General manager and his staff go overboard to accomodate you. They are incredibly dear. Our experience with everyone on staff was that they were all slightly relaxed, but kind, gentile and gracious. The food is not quite Michelin star quality, but given the location it is remarkably good and presented with top flight, European style service. All of the appointments and bells and whistles you'd expect from a 5 star hotel are present.

The people in Zimbabwe need your help more than ever right now, and if you are inclined to visit the region, this is definately THE best hotel on either side - BY FAR. We looked around at other options and we were so glad we decided to stay on the Zimbabwe side and did not move to Zambia because of our fear of political fallout. It isn't cheap, but you will be more than satisfied. While there, eat lunch at the Vic Falls hotel, which is a grand old dame, but stay in the completely updated, pampering, beautiful Stanely & Livingstone. The public areas of the Vic Falls are great - rooms and service - not so much.

The falls are only worth seeing from the ZImbabwe side. If viewed from Zambia you will only see the back of them, which doesn't even begin to show their glory. So make sure you go to Zimbabwe. As long as you are doing that - you might as well save the double visa fees and transportation costs of staying in Zambia and just stay there.

Do the sunset trip down the Zambizi on the best boat you can afford - fewer people and prettier appointments are worth the extra $10 per person or whatever it is - We also highly recommend the elephant back safari through Wild Horizons - I was a little leary, fearing a sheep-hearder type of exerience, but it was terrific - very small and well done. They have a pet Impala (Maa) and a couple of baby elephants, the youngest of whom will come to visit for a personal greeting at the end of the rides and breakfast. A great time!

Lastly - bring plenty of cash to do all of the tours, helicopter rides, etc - - - no one accepts credit cards there any more because the economy is zapped. Dollars, Rands and euros are acceped everywhere - Even as entrance fees to the govt park for viewing the falls!

Check out thier website - It doesn't even do it justice, but it gives a good picture of what to expect. Go - Enjoy - and tell your friends to do the same - They need it and you'll never regret it.

Julia from Baltimore

  • Liked — The wonderful staff and setting
  • Disliked — nothing
  • Stayed July 2008, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
colorado
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 12, 2007

On our way to our gorgeous room ( large sitting room, bedroom, and luxury bathroom, and covered porch,) we were greeted by a family of elephants! This place is fabulous!! The staff is friendly and attentive, the setting is wonderful, It is on a 6000 acre private reserve. The breakfasts were very good, (included in price of room). dinners and lunch were a bit above average, but not great, lunch was $20 for a chicken salad.
We booked through Lion World Tours and it was a wonderful experience. All 4 of us would highly recommend this place, we loved our stay.
I will send photos when I figure how to!

  • Liked — just ablut everthing
  • Disliked — the food
  • Stayed December 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 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 Stanley and Livingstone at Victoria Falls

Address: Ursula Road, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
Location: Zimbabwe > Matabeleland North Province > Victoria Falls
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#3 Romantic Hotel in Victoria Falls
#3 Luxury Hotel in Victoria Falls
#7 Business Hotel in Victoria Falls
#8 Family Hotel in Victoria Falls
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — The Stanley and Livingstone at Victoria Falls 5*
Number of rooms: 16
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
The Stanley And Livingstone At Victoria Falls Hotel Victoria Falls
Stanley Livingstone Hotel

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