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“Beautiful ground, old worl charm but need a refresher course on customer service”

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The Victoria Falls Hotel
Ranked #6 of 16 Hotels in Victoria Falls
Certificate of Excellence
Australia
Level Contributor
35 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Beautiful ground, old worl charm but need a refresher course on customer service”
Reviewed September 26, 2012

We stayed here as part of an anniversary trip to Africa.

The good:
Beautiful ground and view of the bridge
Resident warthogs
Welcome minty cold towel and lemon drink
Charles, porter
Alex, Jungle Junction Rest waiter
Historical building
Elegant lounge and the piano man.

Room for improvements:
We were initially given room no 230 which was dark, faced the driveway? and most importantly had twin beds. Our travel agent had specifically requested a double room. I had seen better rooms in 3 star hotels. We marched back to reception and requested a double room. We were told they were all fully booked. They should not have accepted our reservation which had a specific note double room please if they didn't have any available. After standing at the reception for a further 15 mins watching the trainee frantically typed on her computer, they managed to find us a double room but it would only be ready in 45 mins. Room no 59 was soooooooooo much better. It had the sun coming from the window facing the front ground, and the room was 3 times bigger than rm no 230.

Beware, aircon could be noisy, many mosquitoes in room, bathroom needs refurbishing. But overall we were happy with the much bigger, much sunnier double room.

Front desk and guest services staff in general are snobbish, particularly the short hair lady at guest services.

Service at Jungle Junction rest was a hit and miss, depending on who you got.

Room Tip: Room number 59 is good.
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank RoundDeWorld
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Hernando, Florida
Level Contributor
56 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed September 22, 2012

From the moment we arrived until the moment we left all our needs and expectations were met! The facility is like a time warp (a claw foot bathtub...plus a modern shower of course) and so are the manners and hospitality.

The staff answered every question and request with, "It's my pleasure." And you got the feeling they meant it. Every one was interested in the US and welcomed us with enthusiasm. There were no hands out for tipping.

The room we had was large and comfortable with netting over the four poster beds. The amenities in the bat included insect repellent and wonderful shampoo and conditioner product. A glass stoppered bottle of water was provided each day.

The view is magnificent. The food is varied and quite good both off the menu and on the buffet.

There is native entertainment in the evening.

I definitely glad we booked 3 nights. should have doubled that. So much to do and see and experience we went from activity to activity and didn't leave time for just relaxing by the gorgeous pool or staring off into the distance and the mist from Victoria Falls.

Room Tip: rooms with a view cost more so save your money for adventures (Things we did: Swam in Devi's Poo...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Dorothy S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dendermonde
Level Contributor
68 reviews
49 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed September 22, 2012

Such a beautiful hotel!Well maintained, they managed to keep the " out of africa" feeling and style of the hotel.Service is excellent from the moment you arrive until the moment you leave.High tea is not to be missed, excellent value at 15 usd per person.Rooms are big and have a nice view.Beautiful grounds with mature trees.Nice swimming pool.Do not miss the buffet style dinner with african dances!Nice lunch buffet at the pool.Breakfast in style

Room Tip: Any room will do
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Luc P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
22 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed September 21, 2012

This hotel has everything in place to make it a great hotel but they drop the ball at every turn. The public areas are indeed impressive but the rooms are something else. The refurbished rooms need to be refurbished again. The furniture is beautiful but fabric is filthy. The carpeting is worse. Plan to wear shoes in your room. Of three deluxe rooms we tried, two had doorknobs that didn't work, we had to wait half an hour for them to find a key that would work, two had mosquito nets but one didn't, none had a bar fridge despite their literature which says they would. The restaurants are variable. The breakfast buffet is average at best. The staff do not seem to know what needs to be done. Two mornings they had de-caff coffee readily available, two mornings they didn't have it. Some mornings there was butter on the table and some not. On the terrace, sometimes you got a coaster with your drinks, sometimes a napkin and sometimes nothing. Again no one really seemed to know what to do. In the Livingstone Room, we weren't sure they wanted us there. The welcome was very cold. The beef tenderloin was as tough as round steak. I have never had beef tenderloin that tough in my life. Overall, the staff in the entire hotel including the junior managers were very helpful and quick resond as best they could. The real problem seems to be that no one is properly trained. There is no consistency in any of the dining areas and throughout the hotel. While we did not actually use a standard room, they looked pretty grim. We were told they are scheduled for renovation but given the state of the already renovated rooms, it doesn't seem promising. Senior management at this hotel need to give their head a shake. Leading Hotels of The World should give these guys the boot. This just is not close to their standar

Room Tip: Choose a different hotel
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank B M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Durham, North Carolina
Level Contributor
91 reviews
49 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
Reviewed September 14, 2012

We spent two nights at the VF Hotels and overall, were delighted that we chose to stay there. Make sure you spend some time roaming the halls to look at all the old photographs, but take along a flashlight. The lighting is dim, to say the least. But the time is well spent - you can see photos of the Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret on their African tour in 1947 along with their parents.

Our room was lovely and comfortable; the staff were attentive and responsive to our needs. Breakfast on the terrace in the morning was particularly delightful as the food was excellent and the variety good and you could see the mist drifting up from the Falls. The only negative was the food (small portions, over priced, and not terribly good) and the service (slow) in the Terrace Restaurant where we had both lunch and dinner. In fact, that's where we encountered the one and only surly and incompetent wait staff in our three week trip through three different countries. At another meal there, the attitude was improved, but the orders got mixed up. There are other restaurants in town - and at the hotel so you might want to try one of them.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank mid214
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
166 reviews
56 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 148 helpful votes
Reviewed September 14, 2012

When you arrive at Victoria Falls Hotel a gentleman in a uniform of days gone bye decorated with pins from around the world will welcome you.Then you see beyond this gentleman and you begin to notice the decor of the hotel just as it was in the 1800s magnificant.
My room looked down the back lawn with a view of the bridge,gorg and spray from Vic falls.There is a sticker on the window to remind you to close the window else the monkeys will pay you a visit.

Of an evening warthogs and monkeys will be feeding on the lawn .To walk around the hotel is like entering a rabbit warren there is so much to see and take in.So many old paintings and drawings caritures of days gone bye.The decor is a blast from the past as if Livingston himself is to walk in and read a paper.

There is a path that leads to the falls but be prepared to be harrased by venders selling there wares.And I was even asked if I would need a guide so just be cautious .

It is amazing to watch the sun rise over the gorge with the spray from Vic falls in the foreground and then have breakfast on the green.

You will enjoy Victoria Falls Hotel

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank KeenTraveller12372
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, MA
Level Contributor
148 reviews
59 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 107 helpful votes
Reviewed September 13, 2012

This is a very special place and not to missed. Our room (55) was perfect., with a view of the brige, gorge and spray from the Falls. Also of the monkeys and baboons. Be sure to keep your windows locked. Do not miss high tea on Terrace. Just walking around the hotel is an experience as it is filled with artifacts and items you would expect to find only in a museum.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank shildon
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

Property: 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 Spa Hotel in Victoria Falls
#3 Romantic Hotel in Victoria Falls
#4 Business Hotel in Victoria Falls
#5 Luxury Hotel in Victoria Falls
#6 Family Hotel in Victoria Falls
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
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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