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“Gone by glory” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Great Zimbabwe Hotel

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Great Zimbabwe Hotel
3.5 of 5 Inn   |   Monuments Grounds, Masvingo, Zimbabwe   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 2 Masvingo B&B and Inns
Johannesburg
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
“Gone by glory”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 21, 2012

We stayed there a couple of nights on business and enjoyed the location about 700m to the Great Zimbabwe Ruins. This hotel has definitely seen better days. The rooms are very different and range from "nice" to shabby (for the same price). Fittings and the general infrastructure is average to poor. Some of the "nice" rooms do not have showers (you can see that they used to have them at one point). The food quality varies from night to night: While some of the dishes on the buffet are great, the a la carte menu is very poor. The staff is very friendly and helpful though.

Room Tip: Don't take rooms number 20 or 21. They are smaller and the infrastructure is poor.
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
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23 people have reviewed this hotel

Traveler rating
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    15
    5
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    2 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (9)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 25, 2011

I've recently returned from a trip to Zimbabwe where, among other things, we visited the Great Zimbabwe ruins. Since Masvingo, the nearest city, is a bit off the beaten track this involved an overnight stay and we picked this hotel, mainly on account of its location since it's the closest place to the site.

The hotel was nearly full, but mainly due to a couple of conferences rather than being full of tourists. It may pay to call ahead, but we had trouble getting hold of the hotel for whatever reason and the South African-based internet booking site was a waste of time - I'm still waiting for a reply three weeks after sending my request.

The hotel itself was a fairly typical Zimbabwean chain hotel (it's run by the African Sun group), which is to say it's nice without being flash and the staff do their best to help despite glitches with power and other system failings beyond their control.

We took a Deluxe room - 20 dollars dearer than the bog-standard room - and consider the extra money worth spending. The room was large and airy, although I wouldn't have minded a shower over the bath and a fridge would have been nice on a 40 degree day. The standard rooms were quite a bit smaller from what I could see.

The gardens are lovely and there are some nice evening views, while the food is, again, fairly typical of a standard Zimbabwean hotel; there's plenty of it and it's tasty enough even if there is not much variety and it may be a little uninspired. Still, you go hungry only because you choose to.

One really doesn't stay here for the hotel; the main attraction is just over the back fence (about 700m to the entrance to the Great Zimbabwe complex via a direct road). Perhaps the prices are a bit high, even by Western standards, for what you get, but again they fall in line with most similar places around the country.

A word of warning: although the hotel accepts credit cards, we had every kind of trouble getting the link to the processing site - no fault of the staff, who tried for hours to get things sorted - and in the end I used cash, so it would pay to have the necessary in your pocket just in case. For whatever reason, they didn't have the old paper slips and a zip-zap machine, which is a failing that should be rectified. The alternative may be a trip into Masvingo, 30-odd kilometres away, to the ATMs (which may or may not have money in them).

The bed was comfortable, the room pleasant, the staff helpful and the monkeys (of which there were many running around the grounds) only minor pests but you still have to lock the room up properly. Apart from the few (minor) irritations listed above, I have no complaints and must admit to having a pleasant night there - everything got sorted out in the end and we got away with no hassles in the morning.

Any recommendation for the hotel assumes I'm writing for a foreign visitor travelling to the Great Zimbabwe complex; this hotel seems to be the pick of what's available in the Masvingo area and you can't beat the location. There's probably no other reason a tourist would be in Masvingo for any protracted time, after all.

By the way - a side trip down to Lake Kyle and the dam is worth the extra couple of hours in the morning.

Room Tip: Spend the extra 20 bucks and get the bigger rooms - they're much bigger.
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  • Stayed November 2011, 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oslo, Norway
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 16, 2011

We had one night in the hotel, recommended by a friend who managed to get us a special rate. Even with the special rate, we were unimpressed by the hotel, and it definitely wasn't value for money. The service was slow, the employees remarkably unskilled (considering how highly skilled most Zimbabaweans are in the hospitality sector), and the decor was unchanged from the 1970's. The pool area was pleasant, but the view of the lake was obsucred. It felt like the hotel was being run by a government department.

Clean, adequate accommodation, but definitely not worth the money for a private tourist. Probably most of their business comes from corporate workshops & government seminars.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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Prague, Czech Republic
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 30, 2011

The hotel is clean in the vicinity of a great location. I stayed there for a night. A short drive from here takes you to the ruins. The staff were quite helpful and friendly. The food served was Ok, but not excellent. The best thing in this hotel is their pool area. From this place, you can get a nice view of the landscape nearby. The clean pool which was large and deep enough made our swimming experience a memorable one. It was refreshing too! The cozy room though a little conventional, was comfortable to sleep in for the night. Altogether, my stay at the Great Zimbabwe Hotel was a pleasant one.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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 1
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newtownards,n.ireland
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 29, 2010

this is a charming hotel,in a fantatstic setting,i liked the openess of the setting ,there is no central building as such you walk in the open to your room and the amenities.the rooms were clean but a bit basic,with great views.the staff were friendly and helpful.what lets it down is the food,i sent back a steak as i could not cut it,the staff to their commendation replaced it and the new steak was excellent.the evening meal was not enjoyable,we were the only guests,however the restaurant was packed with teachers from a football tournament,it was not exactly fine dining!great african setting,with a better restaurant an excellent hotel.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Travelers are raving about these Masvingo hotels

Amman, Jordan
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 10, 2010

We stayed at the Great Zimbabwe Hotel for one night. The location is superbe: The ruins are about 700 m away, so you can either walk or drive there. The Hotel has a cosy and quiet atmosphere, but everything looks a little old fashioned and needs touch-up. The best is the pool area/garden where you have a good view over the surrounding landscape. The pool is very deep and big, so swimming is very nice. Dinner was nothing special. The "Soup of the Day" which was mushroom soup was not eatable. It was definitely a powder from a Maggi or Knorr package which they mixed with water, but unfortunately not well enough so that there were still clots in the soup. Breakfast was ok.
We felt comfortable in the hotel, but what really made me angry was that I found it very expensive in relation to what they offer. We paid the Zimbabwean rate which - compared to the superbe Leopard Rock Hotel in Mutare where we stayed the nights before - was too high. We ordered 2 Fanta, 2 Coffees and four pieces of normal marble cake (which was dry) and paid about 24 USD (one piece of cake was 4 USD). That was really far too much and not justified. I know that things got expensive in Zim now with Rand and Dollar. But still it must be in relation to the quality. If this hotel (or the chain it belongs to) would reduce the prices it would be a good option for a one night stop to visit the ruins.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Additional Information about Great Zimbabwe Hotel

Address: Monuments Grounds, Masvingo, Zimbabwe
Location: Zimbabwe > Masvingo Province > Masvingo
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 B&Bs / Inns in Masvingo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Great Zimbabwe Hotel 3.5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Great Zimbabwe Hotel has a range of activities and facilities to cater for the whole family. From the modest restaurant to the comfortable bar this hotel carries the affectionate atmosphere of the countryside. For entertainment the hotel has a range of outdoor activities such as swimming and volleyball. The premises is also located only 700 meters from the Great Zimbabwe Monuments where guests can take part in informative guided tours. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Great Zimbabwe Hotel Masvingo

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