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“Just OK, tired property”

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The Victoria Falls Hotel
Ranked #8 of 16 Hotels in Victoria Falls
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 12, 2008

Stayed for two nights in early Jan. Expensive. Definitely at one time a grand hotel, but has seen better days. I'm sure is a victim of the country's economic issues and challenges, which is sad.

Common areas OK, but rooms, bedding, carpet, were tired, all in dire need of good cleaning and TLC. Service was fine and polite, plenty of labor on property. Food average.

The Falls are spectacular and are the best to see from this side, however, probably would stay on Zambia side next time and travel to the Zim side to see Falls. Zambia side has most attractions as well.

Helicopter ride and River Cruise a must.

Recommend walking around or crossing border to Zambia with guide.

  • Stayed: January 2008, traveled as a couple
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Thank RochTravelers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,953 - 1,959 of 2,553 reviews

Reviewed January 1, 2008

The grand dame of Victoria Falls hotels seems to be resting on her laurels. It's a very lovely property with amazing views and a short walk to the Falls. However, the maintenance and service are lacking. It seems that they are exerting the minimum effort required to keep this hotel as the destination of choice. For example, a breakfast the buffet was totally set up for an omelette station, complete with all ingredients, except there were no eggs. The staff told us there was an egg shortage, but we went into town and were able to get eggs and saw eggs in the market. At the prices they charge, they should have been able to go buy eggs even if their vendor was out.

  • Stayed: December 2007, traveled with friends
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7  Thank LJWT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 24, 2007

This is the worst hotel where I spend a day of my life.
The room are very small and situated in the corner of the hotel, the staff is not professional and so slow.
In the room there isn't a mosquito net, in the bathroom the shower is very old with many spot.
The people at the reception are very rude.

  • Stayed: August 2007, traveled on business
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3  Thank drdevious
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 12, 2007

The Victoria Falls Hotel retains its status of being a gracious, beautiful, classic hotel. The staff knocked themselves out to help tourists -- and they are desperate for tourists with the current economy. The rooms were opulent. Short walk to the top of Victoria Falls. The hotel itself was safe and secure. (Indeed, contrary to rumors, I found Zimbabwe around Victoria Falls to be a very safe place for a white female traveling on her own.) The spa was small, but the staff gracious and skilled. Internet was slow, but affordable.

But, really, I can't say enough about the staff and the historical building. They truly made the experience complete. I would definitely stay at the hotel again. (Shop around a bit for prices, we found different deals on different websites.)

  • Stayed: November 2007, traveled with friends
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3  Thank WashingtonType
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 28, 2007

Though not of its former glory, the Vic Falls hotel still holds its charm of yesteryear. Unfortunately due to economic conditions which are out of the control of the hotel they have had to make some compromises. Our room was lovely. In fact it took a page out of the 1920's with the ball and claw bathtub, and a mosaic tiled floor and shower in the bath. Of course VFH has all the amenities of a fine establishment. The beds are comfortable and the furniture turn of the century (last century that is). Quite lovely. Our room was off a wing that had a atrium of fountains and lush green landscape. The staff is top notch, despite the difficulties they face in the current economic situation. Always helpful, and always mindful of the guests. Be generous and tip generously things are tough for these people and they work very hard. The grounds are impeccable even with the warthogs and baboons running around, with a view of the Falls bridge where you can enjoy high tea (for $40 US per person). Breakfasts were generous and delicious, however due to the inablility to get foods such as "beef" during our stay, they had to compromise, instead of hamburgers you get kudu and so forth. But they always made a great presentation. Once again the staff was always top notch. We did not eat in the Stanley room due to dress codes and the fact that this was our first stop for a 22 day safari that limited our luggage to 22 lbs per person, so no formal wear was brought with us. However the buffet in the Jungle room was fine. The staff put on a show every night, with music and traditional dancing. Quite enjoyable. Overall we enjoyed our stay, I do not know if we will return to VFH or cross over to Zambia to stay at Tongabezi for our next trip, but if things improve in Zimbabwe we would like to return. I would still recommend the hotel, just be cautious due to the changing economic climate in the country.

We still felt safe for the most part walking from the hotel to the national park and into town. We took several side trips and even did a few adventurous things while there. Highly recommend the :"Walk with the Pride" and "Elephant Safari". Don't leave without taking the "Flight of Angels" at the least or even better add the helicopter safari like we did, we had a blast. Also if you are in good shape - and I do mean physically fit, try the "Day of Adrenaline" it includes a "flying fox", "Zip Line" Abseil or "repel" down the side of the gorge and the "Gorge Swing"... that will be a day to remember I guarantee it! The repel was the best part 300+ feet to the bottom (130 meters) then you take a boat and have to "hike/rock climb" back out of the gorge, this is where endurance comes in as it is without a doubt THE most dangerous of all the things, and they don't mention it til you reach the bottom of the gorge! But try it, it is exhilerating, I am 45 and I had a blast!

  • Stayed: September 2007, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Cindy-Milford
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 14, 2007

We upgraded our stay from the Safari lodge to Vic falls hotel purely to get away from thatch roof bugs which most thatches attract (dinner in the Boma showed no problems with their thatch after all). It proved to be a good choice. My wife and I stayed 4 nights in the begining of october.

The hotel is perfectly situated a short walk from the falls and away from the main road. Our room was on the ground floor, furthest from the breakfast area (outside). The aircon was noisy and kept waking us up when it clunked on and off throughout the night. It would have helped if it was bolted down properly... ants occupied the bathroom via a drainage pipe leading straight into the garden... the poor guys were desperately looking for water to survive but they left us alone. Despite the dry season, we had 3 or 4 mosquitoes try their luck but thanks to the nets we never worried about them.

Breakfast was usual compared to average buffet standards. Staff friendliness made the stay much more enjoyable. We really enjoyed the romantic dinner for two in the ballroom, complete with live piano music and portable chef trolley where they cook your dinner at the table. We felt like royalty!

Activities at the hotel were limited - we only discovered the spa/massage services after checking out while waiting for the airport taxi. I would not recommend the hotel to people travelling with teenage kids. Next door at the kingdom hotel, we found dinners to suit at both panarottis and the spur although replacing ham with chicken on an hawaiian pizza due to stock shortages doesn't always taste like it should - the pizza fed two and was not overpriced.

Unfortunately when outside the hotel, hawkers never fail to harass and attempt to buy your shoes, hat or shirt in exchange for some useless trinket. We nearly sold the broken umbrella we borrowed from the hotel for a set of salad spoons... Only the coinscience said no. Take second hand clothes to make a killing!!

We had an incident with the bill where someone had enjoyed lunch and drinks on our room number the same day we checked in - only we arrived at 6pm and the signatures never matched. It was sorted out with no fuss within 15 minutes.

Overall the hotel was very professionally run and well oiled.

ps. Mush is zim slang for lekker which is SA slang for cool which is american slang for nice...

  • Stayed: October 2007
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3  Thank gt101
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 15, 2007

Given the current political situation in Zimbabwe and some of the comments on this board, I thought twice about staying here.

I'm glad I didn't. Zimbabwe is still a far cheaper place to enter than Zambia ($60/person entry fees vs. $130/person for Zambia). The hotel, while dated, is still beautiful. The grounds are well kept. Our room was huge with a great balcony. Our 5 course dinner at the hotel restaurant (not the buffet) was better than average and cost only about $100, for two, with wine.


The political situation is fine in Vic Falls. We saw no evidence of any unrest. It's now that people in Vic Falls need the most help from tourism. Don't abandon them.

  • Stayed: October 2007
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5  Thank colosipm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Victoria Falls Hotel

Address: 1 Mallet Drive, Victoria Falls PO Box 10, Zimbabwe
Phone Number:
Location: Zimbabwe > Matabeleland North Province > Victoria Falls
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#3 Romantic Hotel in Victoria Falls
#4 Business Hotel in Victoria Falls
#4 Spa Hotel in Victoria Falls
#5 Family Hotel in Victoria Falls
#8 Luxury Hotel in Victoria Falls
Price Range: $314 - $1,007 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — The Victoria Falls Hotel 5*
Number of rooms: 161
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
For more than a century, The Victoria Falls Hotel has been the address of choice for Royal Families, statesmen, celebrities and discerning travellers as it occupies a fine location from which to explore the magical wonders of untamed Africa. From the thundering Victoria Falls at its threshold, to the big 5 that roam freely less than 5kms away, the “Grande Dame” provides an experience like no other. Less than a ten minute walk away from the Victoria Falls Rainforest, this is one hotel that can truly claim to be unique.The Victoria Falls Hotel’s grand Edwardian architecture evokes the spirit of a bygone era. The courtyard and entrance completed in 1915, with flowering shrubs, palms and stately mango trees picturesquely reflected in the water lily ponds. The chic elegance of the marble floored reception area sets the tone for the style and sophistication synonymous with The Victoria Falls Hotel. Many a guest has marveled at the magnificent views seen from The Victoria Falls Hotel and the experience begins with the sun rising beneath the mist of one of the seven natural wonders of the world. Combining old-fashioned, traditional elegance with warm and welcoming decor, the main lounge provides a perfect backdrop for relaxing with friends, whilst the Bulawayo Room offers serenity and seclusion in surroundings of exceptional comfort and luxury. There’s a well-appointed curio shop specializing in colonial memorabilia. The Palm Lounge, bright and cool, is a quiet and secluded corner in which to relax, read or write. Throughout its many corridors and alcoves, the hotel’s long and fascinating history is depicted through photographs, posters and artistic impressions, reflecting the past glories of the empire. The quaint Chapel, built in 1929, has been the venue of many weddings and The Victoria Falls Hotel remains a favourite destination for honeymooners from around the world. Echoing its glorious past, The Victoria Falls Hotel’s traditional rooms and suites are truly a 5 star experience. Style and sophistication are trademarks of the hotel’s executive suites, which are luxuriously appointed with decor being warm, inviting and rich with tradition. Deluxe guest rooms are spacious, well-appointed and furnished in traditional Edwardian style with an "out of Africa" feel. All rooms are air-conditioned with every modern amenity including digital satellite television, direct dial telephone and a personal safe. Cast-iron, roll-top bath tubs in the stables wing rooms and suites turn the bathroom into a haven of sumptuous relaxation. All three restaurants have ideal locations, making dining around the hotel a memorable experience. Lavish buffets at the casual Jungle Junction restaurant are but one of the many choices for breakfast and dinner. Stanley’s Terrace is an excellent option for light meals throughout the day and is an absolute must for the infamous High Tea served every afternoon, with spectacular views of The Victoria Falls Bridge and the Falls themselves. Later, enjoy the hotel’s legendary cocktails or a gin and tonic in Stanley’s Bar while listening to the roar of the mighty Falls. Evening dining at the open-air jungle Junction restaurant offers an unforgettable experience with a fusion of flavours of Africa. Entertainment from ethnic groups epitomises the spirit of Africa; Jungle Junction is the ideal venue for incentive groups. Enjoy dinner and dancing in the elegant, Edwardian Livingstone Room, with classic a la carte and table d’hote menus. Whilst the Livingstone Room reflects the century old hotel’s style of grandeur and opulence, the dress code has been slightly relaxed for the convenience of the guest and it is no longer essential for gentlemen to wear jacket and tie for dinner. A fine selection of wines and liqueurs are available to complement the chef’s wonderfully innovative creations. Cool off and enjoy the splendour of the glorious colonial swimming pool set amongst the beautiful landscaped gardens, overlooking the famous Victoria Falls Bridge with the Batoka Gorge below. Massage treatments are available in the airy gazebos located around the poolside or in the tranquility of the hotel’s gardens. The Pullman Suite and the Centenary Room are well-appointed with exquisite antique furnishing, adding a new dimension of sophistication to conferencing. Suitable for meetings of between 8 and 40 people, conference packages (including spouses’ programs) are available. The Victoria Falls are approximately 1,690 metres wide with an estimated 550 million litres of water per minute cascading over a 111 metre chasm. It must be highlighted that Zimbabwe has 16 out of the 19 prime viewing spots and is where you will find the "untamed" Victoria Falls Rainforest with its many winding pathways and trails. In 1855 David Livingstone, arguably the first European to see the awesome Falls, remarked "scenes so lovely must have been gazed upon by angels in their flight." The Victoria Falls have been declared a World Heritage Site and enjoy special conservation status. ... more   less 
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