Hotels in Zimbabwe's capital need to be seen in the context of a country that has faced tough times, and continues to do so. Economic mismanagement, hyperinflation and low visitor numbers have undermined the profitability or viability of many hotels, and undermined their owners' ability to invest and upgrade their facilities.
Rainbow Towers is no exception. The hotel lobby is pretty smart and presentable, but the rooms are very dated. The bathrooms feel like they are from the 80s - water pressure poor and jerkey, bath towels have also been around the block. The TVs must be 20 years old, and only 4 channels had clear reception (CNN, a chinese TV station and 2 soccer channels). Not even the local TV station could be seen.
My biggest gripe about the room is the very very soft matrass - in plain english - it is totally shot. These are guaranteed to keep you safe in an earthquake as you lie in a deep hollow. 2 days later and my back is still in a spasm.
A minor gripe was the fact that room service did not replace the 1 bottle of water nor the coffee satchets - and since it's not advisable to drink tap water, one needs bottled water for brushing teeth, drinking and even making coffee.
On checking in, there was no trace of my pre-paid reservation which I'd made 2 days previously via the South African Airways website. I was able to forward my confirmation mail to management and they reverted later that evening that all was good- was a problem on the hotel's side. I was not prepared to pay double and fight with SAA later. The hotel reception were however fantastically friendly and courteous.
The buffet was acceptable but is fairly pricey at $25. The oriental restaurant next door actually offers better value for money.
The shuttle to the airport in the hotel's fairly new minibus was $10 and I was alone. The trip is 20 minutes long, but nevertheless this was a very FAIR price indeed, and we left exactly on time. The fair pricing left a final GOOD impression of the hotel, quite the converse with hotels that rip you off on their shuttle service. So in that regard, a big thumbs-up and one of the reasons that I'll return.
Lastly, a few websites offered the hotel rate at nearly $100 less than the (only) rate on the hotel's own website. Beware of this!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The 5-Star Rainbow Towers Hotel and Conference Centre is the premier choice in Harare, Zimbabwe's sunshine capital city, for major business and social events. It is located on the fringe of the vibrant city centre and regally set in spacious landscaped gardens.The 304-room Hotel, formerly Sheraton Harare, opened in 1985 and regularly hosts Heads-of-State and many other VIPs of distinction. The main auditorium holds 4,500 people for a state-of-the-art conference or live show and the whole complex has a plethora of ancillary conference, exhibition and other multi-purpose function rooms. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, Agoda, Hotels.com, Booking.com, Travelocity, Orbitz, Hotwire, TripOnline SA, Cancelon and Evoline ltd so you can book your Rainbow Towers Hotel reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Rainbow Towers Hotel Harare
- Rainbow Hotel Harare