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“This was expensive, but beautiful.”

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The Victoria Falls Hotel
Ranked #7 of 16 Hotels in Victoria Falls
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 12, 2014

I was expecting the Victoria Falls Hotel to be another worn, run down old colonial hotel that was over-priced. While its price is very high (in my opinion), it is beautifully maintained and a lovely place. Breakfast is included and is extensive. The staff is wonderful. The bed linens are some of the finest I have ever slept on. All in all, a beautiful splurge.

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled solo
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1  Thank TR45
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed January 12, 2014

... if you want to eat in the Livingstone restaurant. It's closed then. I had carried my little black dress and proper shoes all over Zimbabwe for this occasion, and found myself creeping, overdressed, under cover of darkness onto the far more casual terrace restaurant to eat. The hotel generally though lived up to its reputation for old-style graciousness and grandeur, and its position is superb, being so close to the Falls. We especially enjoyed the look-out position close by, which overlooks a bend in the river from a great height - we spent ages watch tiny ant-like figures negotiating the rapids in their rafts and canoes amidst the most awe-inspiring scenery.

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Catherine L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 5, 2014

We stayed for two nights in September. Upon checking in they told we hadn't paid yet. We disagreed and presented proof of payment both from their website and from our credit card statement. They said they needed approval from the home office in South Africa to confirm we had paid. We waited around for two days and they still said we hadn't paid- but I think it was more because they couldn't get a hold of the South African office. We were nervous the entire time that we would be double charged and it brought down the entire stay. In the end, we still refused to pay (twice). They made us leave an email and phone number. They said they'd let us know what happened- we requested they email us when it was all cleared up. Big surprise, we never heard from them again. The hotel is old. its expensive for what it is. I'd recommend just coming for tea or dinner. We did like the breakfast- so much good food. And the pool was a great way to cool down after a warm day at the falls. You probably can't get a better location- although we still did get touts on the paths (you'll get that anywhere, so get used to it in Victoria Falls).

If it wasn't for the bill snafu, I'd probably give them a four- since the ambiance was there. But if you can't even keep straight the billing and accounting... I can't recommend it. Really a shame because I think that the staff works hard to make up for the other short comings.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Sonya G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 3, 2014

We arrived at the Vic Falls Hotel following two different safaris at absolutely first-class lodges, one in Zimbabwe, the other in Botswana. My impressions were as follows:

1. service at the Terrace Bar/Restaurant was painfully slow for all 3 meals we ate there. The crowd at the time seemed reasonable, but not overbooked, so I would blame an inefficient kitchen.
2. if you're not aware, you can't actually see the falls from the hotel. Beautiful view of the gorge and bridge over the Zambezi, but to actually see the show, you'll have to pay the US$30/person or US$140+ for the helicopter flight.
3. In spite of having booked our 3 rooms nearly a year in advance, and having asked for 2 double bed rooms and 1 with a single bed, we got all 3 rooms with 2 beds and were told nothing could be done. Fortunately, we were able to get the situation rectified for our second night, but the arrival was disappointing.
4. The hotel is doing the best they can given that they're working in a country as disfunctional as Zimbabwe, but you don't forget entirely where you are - the lights in the room are very dim, the air conditioner in one of our rooms simply couldn't cool it down enough and it's just about unbelievable that the hotel billed as the best in the country doesn't even have a fitness studio at all.
5. On the positive side, the staff were very friendly and assisted promptly with every request
6. The buffet for breakfast and dinner at Jungle Junction was superb - both for setting, choices and quality of food.

Bottom line: Victoria Falls is worth seeing and this is the hotel worth staying at when you go. It's just not close to perfect.

Stayed: December 2013, traveled with family
4  Thank Chip R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 29, 2013

A very comfortable hotel with charm. Room was very comfortable with air-con. The Jungle Junction Buffet at night is really good value. Full breakfast available. Only criticism would be that it is need of some TLC now to the rooms. Main areas are very good. Believe that upgrades are in place. Not cheap but worth a visit. Great views from the Terrace

Room Tip: Wide range of views from different parts of hotel
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  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank MikeGrahamHermanus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 28, 2013

This place is like being transported back to Victorian times, when the rich of England would come & see the magnificent Victoria falls.
This place has real Colonial Charm, with immaculately dressed staff taking care of your every whim.
The location is perfect, with a view to the Zambezi Bridge & the spray from the falls beyond. Warthogs & Baboons help themselves to the mango's that drop from the trees, while you enjoy lunch on the terrace. Breakfast was great too.
Only complaint was very noisy air con in the room, which didn't aid a good nights sleep. In 2013, something's do need updating!
I am so glad I decided to stay here though, a great hotel.

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Leedsaway67
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 28, 2013

I stayed at The Victoria Falls Hotel in mid-December for three nights. At this place, you feel transported to colonial times where royals stayed. The only thing is you also feel like nothing has been changed since the property was built, down to the keys used to access your room. Some might find that appealing, while others might appreciate a few modern updates here and there. Old travel posters and animal skins adorn the hallways and meeting places, while Livingstone's, the main restaurant, looked like an old ballroom. Again, to many, this might be charming. For me, it was a practical place to stay, given the closest proximity to the falls and the stunning views of the bridge above of the falls and the mist emanating from below. There are not many other things to do in town other than the many high-adrenaline activities around the Falls (although I strongly recommend the Lion Encounter excursion).

The customer service is top-notch. People remembered my name and were always ready to help with bags or an umbrella. The private pathway directly leads to the entrance of the National Park and the lovely sprawling grounds make this an ideal location. Many strategically placed benches and chairs make for welcome stops to take in the surroundings. Breakfast, served outside in a terraced restaurant by the pool, was outstanding. I dined at various other locations on property, but the restaurants are very expensive. ($18 for a hamburger that was just ok). An expanded gift shop with a nice selection of beverages and snacks would come in handy, rather than having to go to the bar to buy a $3 bottle of water.

Like many of the other places in the town of Victoria Falls, the hotel is somewhat off the beaten path, but you can walk to the main drag in 5-10 minutes. There are some nice restaurant alternatives and shops, but you have to endure an army of peddlers, some trying to sell 50 billion Zimbabwean dollar notes or small carved animals. These peddlers do not take no for an answer, so do not give anyone eye contact.

The hotel, for its upscale price point, would do well with some modern updates, such as offering Do Not Disturb signs, a spa, and internet connection that doesn't make you log back in every 10 minutes (skip the 'spa' that offers massage treatments).Truthfully, this hotel might be a better place to visit for a meal than staying for more than a night.

Room Tip: I had Room 71 - perfect corner location with views of the bridge of mist from the falls.
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  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled solo
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1  Thank aircal72
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
#3 Spa Hotel in Victoria Falls
#4 Business Hotel in Victoria Falls
#6 Luxury Hotel in Victoria Falls
#6 Family Hotel in Victoria Falls
Price Range: $322 - $481 (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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