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“Best Balcony Beers in the World” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Royal Livingstone

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Royal Livingstone
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Mosi-Oa-Tunya Road, Livingstone, Zambia   |  
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Royal African Experience
Ranked #3 of 13 Hotels in Livingstone
Melbourne
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
34 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
“Best Balcony Beers in the World”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 21, 2013

Third time Ive been here but 10 years between visits and the place has not changed an inch. It still however is in pristine condition and one of the more unique properties in the world. Lets face it its the destination you are going to see and if you have the inclination you may as well stay in the best property on the Zambian side of the Falls.
Must dos:
Walk to the Falls and dont wear a rain coat - get wet and feel alive but take a waterproof bag for your camera.
Arrive at the hotel by water taxi not road taxi or coach
Sunset cruise (African Queen is the best) on the Zambezi
Train dinner on the old steam train
Heli flips over the Falls and thru the gorges
Day trip to Chobe
Golf at Elephant Hills across the river in Zimbabwe.
Massage by the river
And the ultimate balcony beers on the sun deck on the river LOL!!!
And watch out for monkeys knocking off your food etc from your room if you leave it open - same applies if lying by the pool or on the sun deck. I also think they are attracted to colorful bags etc.

Room Tip: Rooms to the right of reception ( away from Vic Falls ) have the better view. Apart from that I thin...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled on business
    • 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
    • 3 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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1,002 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 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (226)
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Centurion, South Africa
Top Contributor
63 reviews 63 reviews
36 hotel reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 21, 2013

The Royal Livingstone hotel is located along the banks of the Great Zambezi river, at the point where it disappears from sight as it drops into the gorge, forming the Victoria Falls, locally named Mosi-Oa-Tunya, translated into "the smoke that thunders". The sound of this event is spectacular and leads one to thoughts of the greatness of God's creation and nature...

The Resort is very well constructed and well appointed, great for relaxing. A walkway to the falls takes just a few minutes to the first viewpoint of several around the falls area. Curios and memorabilia are available for purchase as one reaches the falls along the walkway. The spray in the area is perpetual so be aware that some level of getting wet is possible, but this can be minimised with light rain-wear which is available from the vendors at the falls.

The hotel atmosphere is wonderful and ,being on the banks of the river, one is able to watch wild river animals from the raised viewing deck over the water. This deck position provides excellent sunset views as evening descends.

Game safaris to the nearby game park are available as are helicopter flips over the falls and the gorge which is very spectacular indeed...

The rooms are excellently appointed with very relaxing beds.

Room Tip: All the rooms would appear to be equally good with river views...
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled on business
    • 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Knysna, South Africa
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2013

What a stunning hotel and its lay-out is prefect, as it runs all along the banks of the Zambezi River. The Deck Bar on the very edge of the river is ideal for sundowners, with a view to the spray from the Falls to the left and the sunset to the right. Our room was superb, and ideally situated for me (arthritic knees and hips) as it was close to the central building and all the amenities, and its covered veranda ideal for watching the afternoon rain, wine glass in hand! The staff are colourfully garbed in old colonial costumes, and nothing is too much for them to do for you, and the food in all areas is excellent. As for the activites....We packed into one day: a 30 minute helicopter ride (FANTASTIC), a personal guided tour of the walkway on the ridge opposite the Falls, (raincoats and brollies provided, but expect to get extremely wet!) and finished off with a 3 hour Sunset Cruise up the Zambezi.
All in all it was well worth the expense and we would recommend the RL to anyone going to view the Falls. (We also had an unexpected 40 minute stop-over in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, on the flight in from Jo'burg, courtesy of BA, as they amalgamated their 2 flights for the day. So be aware of that if using BA for your trip.)

Room Tip: If you have any problem walking, then ask for a room in a block close to the central building. The t...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled solo
    • 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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Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 13, 2013

We spent the first part of our honeymoon here. It was stunning. We had such a fantastic time. It is ideal for a honeymoon, and a relaxing holiday. It is very quiet. There are lots of activities near by, so we were kept very busy.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cambridge, Massachusetts
Top Contributor
91 reviews 91 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2013

Our reason for being in Livingstone, like everyone else, is the Falls. A MUST SEE. FANTASTIC.
The hotel is perfectly situated and it even has raincoats for those who go on their own. (Guides working for any of the touring companies bring their own --2 per person. That's how wet it is.
Sunset is amazing. ANd the grounds are peaceful and if you take the time there are some lovely walks and A LOT of nature.

Food good. Staff very helpful.

I probably am in the minority but I wish they'd get away from trying to give the colonial experience by having a lot of staff dressed in bizarre "colonial" costumes --- what the servants might have worn. Recreating a difficult, exploitative system doesn't feel education. It feels phony and weird and (am I projecting?) demeaning.

If you go, go to the village up the road to see how the people live and bring somethings to distribute to the school or kids directly. YOu won't be sorry.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bloemfontein, South Africa
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2013

We just spend a weekend at the Royal Livingstone Hotel. The service was excellent and the food outstanding. I had a full body massage at the spa in one of the gazebos. What a view.
Our room was right at the far end of the hotel but there is a gholf cart available at all times.
The Victoria Falls are within walking distance of the hotel.
This hotel must have one of the most beautiful views in the world especially when the sun sets.
Treat yourself and go there.

  • Stayed March 2013
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hamilton, Canada
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 2, 2013

You should know that we came to this hotel after having stayed in some very spectacular places. When we saw the hotel grounds, we assumed we were in for a treat. However, the rooms are very small. Our deluxe room did have an extended screened in porch, thank goodness. The beds were comfortable; but the shower did spray out at us much like the Victoria Falls itself during flood season! Internet was a problem. The hotel only allows 250MB free per day; but even then we had to fight with the front desk every day to get that. We couldn't both be on at the same time; not told how much we had used, and cut off after five minutes, when we obviously hadn't used 250MB! This is frustrating if you need to stay in touch with business and family. Other than that, we did enjoy the fabulous breakfasts and the deck on the brink of the falls facing the sunset every evening.

Room Tip: All the rooms face the Zambezi river; but, if you like a little more space and to sit outdoors witho...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
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Additional Information about Royal Livingstone

Address: Mosi-Oa-Tunya Road, Livingstone, Zambia
Phone Number:
Location: Zambia > Southern Province > Livingstone
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Family Hotel in Livingstone
#2 Luxury Hotel in Livingstone
#3 Romantic Hotel in Livingstone
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Royal Livingstone 5*
Number of rooms: 173
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Royal Livingstone Hotel in Zambia will appeal to the traveller in search of luxury, extravagance and sheer indulgence. It is set in the lush riverine belt on the banks of the Zambezi River with the dramatic torrent of the Victoria Falls a 10 minute walk away. In the cool lounges and shaded verandas of the Royal Livingstone Hotel, you will encounter the elegance and luxury of an earlier time. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Royal Livingstone Hotel Livingstone
Royal Hotel Livingstone
Livingstone Royal Hotel
Royal Livingstone Zambia
Royal Livingstone Hotel Zambia

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