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“Great location, nice hotel” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Zambezi Sun

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Zambezi Sun
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Mosi-oa-Tunya Road, Livingstone, Zambia   |  
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Essential River Package
Ranked #5 of 13 Hotels in Livingstone
Cullercoats
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
“Great location, nice hotel”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2014

This was our second visit to Zambia and the Zambezi Sun. Both stays were enjoyable. You can't beat the location with its easy pedestrian access to the Victoria Falls just outside the gate.

No complaints about the rooms. Beds comfortable. Linen soft. As in nearly every African hotel, plugs and sinks seem to be in constant battle with each other.

The breakfast buffet is well presented and covers all tastes and preferences. The waiting staff were super friendly and did a good job. The coffee and juice were topped up constantly without needing to ask.

We aren't fans of evening buffets, so we used the Squires steak house round the corner. Still, when passing the hotel restaurant in the evenings, people tended to be generally smiling as they shovelled it in. And many of your fellow guests will be really good at shovelling it in :-)

It's lovely seeing the local zebra and giraffe sneaking into the hotel gardens to graze. Monkeys can be a nuisance if you want your sliding window/door open, but the security staff do their best with chasing them off.

We rented a car which allowed us to drive round the small but animal-rich Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park game reserve.

Overall, this hotel is a very pleasant and relaxing place. It's not a luxury hotel by any means and if you're considering it, be honest with yourself in accepting that you're basing your decision on your budget, or that you're a non-independent traveller staying where your agent sent you. We chose it both times purely on location, and used the leftover budget on helicopter & micro light flights. We've developed a soft spot for this hotel.

Special thanks to Selina Phiri on the customer service desk who helped me most courteously with an enquiry, and to Matson the porter. The reception staff were gracious and efficient.

Room Tip: We prefer the rooms facing outwards
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
NishaMacD, Manager at Zambezi Sun, responded to this review, February 27, 2014
I would like to thank you for taking the time to write a review. Guest satisfaction is very important to us and we try hard to make sure all of our guests have a rewarding stay. I will make sure to forward your comments to our staff, especially to Selina and Matson.

We look forward to welcoming you back to Zambezi Sun in the near future.

Kind Regards

Nisha

Nisha MacDougall
Hotel Manager Zambezi Sun
nisha.macdougall@suninternational.com
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934 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (211)
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English first
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 24, 2014

We stayed for about 4 days this time. We love the location, breakfast and above all the friendly staff. We have always come and stayed at the Zambezi sun, my last visit was about 4 years ago. The hotel is still the same, however it needs some cleanliness touch ups in the showers. There was mold in the grout lines and the water from the shower gathers outside onto the bathroom floor. I think the price is a little high for the quality we get.

Stayed February 2014
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NishaMacD, Manager at Zambezi Sun, responded to this review, February 27, 2014
Thank you very much for taking the time to write a review about your recent experience with us. Thank you very much for the kind word and commendations, it is wonderful to receive such positive feedback.

At the same time I would like to sincerely apologise for not living up to all your expectations. We do appreciate your feedback to assist us in our ongoing drive for quality and enabling us to improve the hospitality offered to our guests.

We look forward to welcoming you back to Zambezi Sun in the near future.

Kind Regards

Nisha

Nisha MacDougall
Hotel Manager Zambezi Sun
nisha.macdougall@suninternational.com
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wokingham, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
124 reviews 124 reviews
47 hotel reviews
Reviews in 76 cities Reviews in 76 cities
77 helpful votes 77 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 24, 2014

I was reading the previous reviews of this hotel and I note the Manager has started to respond to them now. I was reflecting on how they mirrored my views of the hotel but the criticisms do not seem to have been rectified at the time of my visit despite the placatory comments of the manager. Pity, this hotel could be great.

The location is superb and its close proximity to the Victoria Falls makes it ideal being about a five minute walk away. There are animals roaming the grounds and much bird life. It is a really nice complex.There are many activities in the area including boat and helicopter trips but the star is the walk to the falls. Do cross the bridge and get wet, it is worth it. Don’t do the walk across the railway bridge (about one Km or so) where you will be harassed, bullied and insulted by local traders.

The Hotel is intentionally African in style and rooms are spotless, well serviced with good AC and the beds comfortable. Wifi is available in the reception area. The hotel has a choice of restaurants and a shopping area and a coffee bar. The latter a bit out of the way and not frequented much by guests I noted. Mainly expensive tourist junk, imported I suspect. There is a pool bar which offers a limited snack menu and variable entertainment. You can go the sister hotel, The Royal Livingstone Hotel, via a courtesy bus which is part of the wider hotel complex which has a completely different feel of old colonial.

I like this hotel a lot but the waiter service and food preparation have to improve. The staff are friendly and polite but oh so inefficient! There is no sense of urgency or professionalism in the staff. It’s a shame, they are very nice people. Slow to respond, slow to serve and ironically too quick to take away your plate, sometimes before you have finished. This annoying habit completely contradicts the initial lack of service. The food preparation is very poor. We had a snack at the pool bar and it is basically poorly prepared pub food. We went to Squires, one of the alternative restaurants and found the service slow, food poorly presented and chaotic ordering. Pub food again. This is great if you are happy with greasy chips thrown on a plate but not for the prices they are charging here and the poor presentation and service. So on the final night to The Royal Livingston Hotel in desperation. Great surroundings and better, but not great, service. A very limited overpriced menu and not well prepared. It is OK but not for a top hotel and not at these prices! They need better training Mr. Manager. This is a great hotel in a great location, don’t waste it!

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NishaMacD, Manager at Zambezi Sun, responded to this review, February 27, 2014
Thank you for taking the time to share your experience from your recent stay with us at Zambezi Sun. My team and I sincerely apologize for the inconvenience that you experienced and please be assured that this is not a true reflection of our operating standards and objectives.

Your valuable feedback will make us aware on the actual guests’ experience, which will allow us to improve the quality of our services and ensure total guest satisfaction. I have addressed your concerns to the various departments to ensure the problem you encountered does not happen again. Please be assured that we do have continuous training and your feedback will assist us in the right direction.

I would like to thank you again for your comments. I hope you will give Zambezi Sun another chance in the future.

Kind Regards

Nisha MacDougall
Hotel Manager Zambezi Sun
nisha.macdougall@suninternational.com
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
LEICESTER
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2014

WE stayed for four nights at this hotel and had a fabulous stay . The hotel lives up to its reputation in almost everyway and the most complimentary aspect about this hotel is its unique setting in the middle of the MOSI TUNYA NATIONAL PARK with wildlife coming into the hotel surroundings on a daily basis. I have never seen anything like this before . Also the Victoria Falls is literally in the back yard of the hotel and takes less than five minutes to get to with free entrance to the hotel guests . The staff are very polite and genuinely take their time to get to know you . The Breakfast buffet was very extensive but the evening meals were limited to just 2 restaurants unless you were prepared to taxi into Livingstone costing around 10 US dollars one way .

Room Tip: all rooms face the front garden and have great views of the central bar area and pools
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2014, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NishaMacD, Manager at Zambezi Sun, responded to this review, February 24, 2014
Thank you for your positive review on Trip Advisor. Your opinion is valuable to our staff and future guests to the area. We look forward to welcoming you back to Zambezi Sun in the near future.

Kind Regards

Nisha MacDougall
Hotel Manager Zambezi Sun
nisha.macdougall@suninternational.com
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Adelaide, Australia
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 19, 2014

Zambesi Sun has a distinctly `African feel', has excellent staff, comfortable rooms, again with a very African decor and atmosphere (you either get it or your don't.....we did!). Sister property Royal Livingston Resort next door also a beautiful property has a far more `colonial' feel, offering a more elegant 5 star product whereas the Zambesi Sun has a less formal, more energetic `party' feel, e.g. poolside band every night and perhaps a slightly younger clientelle . We also chose the Zambesi Sun for its very close proxility to the falls. Thoroughly recommended.

Room Tip: If you fly into Livingston and are thinking of doing day trips across the border to Zimbabwe and/or...
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
NishaMacD, Manager at Zambezi Sun, responded to this review, February 24, 2014
I would like to thank you for taking the time to write a review. Guest satisfaction is very important to us and we try hard to make sure all of our guests have a rewarding stay. I am so glad you enjoyed your stay with us.

We look forward to welcoming you back to Zambezi Sun in the near future.

Kind Regards

Nisha MacDougall
Hotel Manager Zambezi Sun
nisha.macdougall@suninternational.com
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Milton Keynes, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
82 reviews 82 reviews
26 hotel reviews
Reviews in 50 cities Reviews in 50 cities
120 helpful votes 120 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 16, 2014

The Zambesi is close to the Livingstone Falls and we stayed for two nights after arriving on the Rovos Rail train in Livingstone. A note here for travellers, you need to pay to cross the border from Zimbabwe into Zambia and it costs $110 for two. If you don’t have American dollars (we didn’t have enough) you have to use the dubious services of a money changer.

The hotel is set in the grounds of a wildlife reserve and there are plenty of opportunities to see wild game. Zebras are frequent visitors to the manicured lawns of the hotel along with less welcome baboons. Beautiful yellow birds nest in the trees near to the edge of the grounds and it is a beautiful setting. A young guide took us into the park where we saw giraffe and kudu, a very helpful and charming guy he was too.

The hotel has a bright open air reception but staff can be a bit off hand and disconnected from guests. A request to change some money for tipping was met with a blank refusal.

Rooms in the hotel are comfortable if a little tired with large tv, large bed, bathroom etc. There are tea and coffee making facilities but no fridge. Air conditioning in our room worked for a while but then just blew out ordinary temperature air. We asked for the air conditioning to be checked and it worked for a few hours but thereafter was ineffective. We don’t recommend rooms on the back of the hotel as the view is very limited.

There is a large bar area alongside the swimming pool with occasional live music but we were put off using the pool because it did not look clean. In fact we did not see anyone in the pool all the time we were there. On our last day they were making efforts to clean it, but too late for us.
The restaurant food is OK but tends to be the same buffet offering each day. There was beef, kudu, lamb, chicken and crocodile stew on offer each evening and these were quite tasty but not exceptional. We did not discover until it was too late that there was another restaurant called Squires we could have visited and they serve steaks.

So to sum up, this hotel is a very good base from which to visit the nearby Livingstone Falls and it has some charming wildlife visitors in the grounds. For that alone it is a great place stay.

Room Tip: Ask for a room on the front.
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 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
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NishaMacD, Manager at Zambezi Sun, responded to this review, February 19, 2014
Thank you for taking the time to share your experience from your recent stay with us at Zambezi Sun. My team and I sincerely apologize for the inconvenience that you experienced and please be assured that this is not a true reflection of our operating standards and objectives.

Your valuable feedback will make us aware on the actual guests’ experience, which will allow us to improve the quality of our services and ensure total guest satisfaction. I have addressed your concerns to the various departments to ensure the problem you encountered does not happen again.

I would like to thank you again for your comments. I hope you will give Zambezi Sun another chance in the future.

Kind Regards

Nisha MacDougall
Hotel Manager Zambezi Sun
nisha.macdougall@suninternational.com
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston, Texas
Top Contributor
166 reviews 166 reviews
73 hotel reviews
Reviews in 61 cities Reviews in 61 cities
113 helpful votes 113 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 16, 2014

Short 5 minute walk from falls (but far from town), beautiful large pool, african décor, conference rooms. A notch below its sister property the Royal Livingstone next door, but a much more African feel.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
NishaMacD, Manager at Zambezi Sun, responded to this review, February 19, 2014
Thank you for taking the time to complete review on Trip Advisor, we appreciate the feedback you have given us. We look forward to welcoming you back to Sun International Zambia in the near future.

Kind Regards

Nisha MacDougall
Hotel Manager Zambezi Sun
nisha.macdougall@suninternational.com
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 Zambezi Sun

Address: Mosi-oa-Tunya Road, Livingstone, Zambia
Phone Number:
Location: Zambia > Southern Province > Livingstone
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#3 Luxury Hotel in Livingstone
#4 Romantic Hotel in Livingstone
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Zambezi Sun 4*
Number of rooms: 212
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Zambezi Sun, located on the edge of the eastern cataract of the Victoria Falls, reflects the richness and diversity of the country’s heritage; capturing the very soul of Africa – unpretentious, fun and welcoming. With its warm, earthy architecture, inspired by an African walled village and simple finishes highlighted in bright mosaics and fabrics as well as intoxicating Zambian artworks and accessories, the Zambezi Sun is set to turn your stay into a memorable experience. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Zambezi Sun Livingstone
Zambezi Sun Hotel Livingstone

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