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“Can't expect more!”

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The Victoria Falls Hotel
Ranked #7 of 16 Hotels in Victoria Falls
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed October 9, 2009

We stayed in the Vic Falls for 3 nights. Everything was done to please us. The staff is wonderful, and always reliable, a tremendous quality. The Five O'clock tea is an amazing experience. The gardens are perfectly maintained and the restaurants were by far above our expectations. The rooms are expensive but the restaurants are not. Chic and classy in the middle of Africa!. No ostentatious decoration: just right. And so deliciously different from all the standards 4 and 5 stars; hotels. We loved it.
PS: Zimbabwe is recovering from an awful crisis. Still almost everything must be paid cash in US $. This hotel accept all credit cards though: very useful to know!

  • Stayed: September 2009, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank msegard
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,860 - 1,866 of 2,487 reviews

Reviewed August 30, 2009

We enjoyed a half day here, staying for lunch, followed by high tea. The staff were exceptionally courteous and the food was good, in a traditional British way: cucumber and smoked salmon sandwiches, pretty cakes and scones. A lovely experience all round. Even if you can't afford to stay at this hotel, go there for a meal and enjoy a trip back in time to Edwardian colonialism.

  • Stayed: August 2009, traveled with family
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1  Thank MrsDollyMixtures
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 27, 2009

My friends and I took high tea at the Vic Falls Hotel in true colonial style and it was sheer heaven. We ummmed and ahhhed over how many stands to have and decided that two would be perfect which indeed it was. We bargained over who ate what and took in the sights and atmosphere of which there are plenty. In total it cost us 40 US dollars which seemed like a bargain for everything that we experienced. There was a man tinkling the ivories, another polishing the beautiful woodern flooring and the pen and ink sketches on the way to the power room provided much amusement. Everything was done with complete discretion and I felt very special even though we had only gone there for tea. Not strictly true as we stayed for a sundowner in Stanley's Bar........ oh and the fragrance of the plants in the garden as we left was something that will stay with me for a very long time. If you have never done this, you really should, it is a jewel in the midst of uncertainty.

  • Stayed: August 2009, traveled with friends
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Thank AnnieC89
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 23, 2009

The hotel is lovely. The atmosphere is peaceful.

The location is great. The Zimbabwean Falls are within an easy walking distance and the Zambian Falls are also within walkind distance (visiting the falls is very simple and no guides are needed). It is a must to visit both sides of the falls and a helicopter ride in order to fully appreciate the falls. Also, the village with post office, supermarket for soft drinks and snacks and the craft market are within a very easy walking distance.

The buildings are mostly very well kept and the gardens are immaculate. Many interesting pictures and objects can be seen in the very many beautiful lounges and corridors of the hotel.

We had a standard room at the end of a corridor so that the windows faced two directions (no view). We noticed that many other standard rooms only had windows to the corridor.

The room was very clean (room attendants came in the morning and evening so we always had clean towels etc). Four water bottles were delivered daily to the rooms.

Breakfast was very good on a lovely terrace with a nice view. It was a great start for a day to enjoy the terrace and a bit of sparkling wine (incl. in breakfast buffet).

Food was average. We tried all options for dinner (Terrace, Livingstone fine dining and buffet). The Livingstone was the best and was actually not more expensive than the other options.

The pool area is attractive with nice drinks and snacks. The pool is not large though, and the water not very warm. Room service is available.

Service was mostly very friendly.

Check-out time is already at 10 am and they are not very flexible even though the hotel is not at all full. We were given an hours extention, not 1 hour 15 minites that we asked for...

A note to the previous preview: credit cards cannot be used any more in Zimbabwe. Only foreign cash currency is accepted. There are no exceptions (USD and SA rands accepted everywhere). My travel agent told me of this before the trip and this was certainly the case. Activities are not cheap so a good amount of cash should be brought. We fels safe everywhere we went and used the room safe.

I would definitely stay here if I return to Victoria Falls.

  • Stayed: August 2009, traveled with friends
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1  Thank kauris
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 14, 2009

My wife and I just returned from a three week southern Africa vacation. We spent two nights in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. On Saturday, the 4th of July, 2009 with the intention of having lunch at the Victoria Falls Hotel, my wife and I walked over to the hotel from the Ilala Lodge nearby where we were staying. The Vic Hotel is very impressive looking with a wonderful view of the RR bridge over the Zambezi gorge. We had delicious BLT sandwiches with gin and tonics for lunch outside on the central terrace of the hotel. When it came time to pay the bill, I foolishly gave our waiter a credit card. He left our sight with it and returned after about ten minutes. This was the only time we used or that this particular credit card was out of my sight/possession the whole time we were in Zimbabwe. Four days ago (Saturday, 11th July 2009), we returned to the United States from our African vacation. Waiting for us in the mail (our telephone answering machine was disconnected for the duration of our vacation) was a letter from our credit card company notifying us that they had detected possible fraudulent use of our particular credit card. On the 4th of July, 2009, (the afternoon of the same day we had lunch at the Vic Hotel) someone in Zimbabwe had charged approx. $1,200.00 US worth of house building materials to our card! These charges to our card continued for the next five days or so until our maximum card charge limit was reached--about $10,000.00 (ten thousand in US dollars). Almost all these card charges were for house building materials from various hardware stores in the Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe vicinity. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that someone on staff at the Victoria Falls Hotel copied our card with a card copying machine in the time our card was out of our sight., Interestingly, the bank records show we were never card charged for our hotel lunch! Our lunch was a freebie--NOT. That lunch cost our card company TEN GRAND. Luckily, my wife and I will not lose any money as we were covered for fraudulent credit card use. Somewhere in the suburbs of Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, a staff member of the Victoria Falls Hotel is building one hell of a house! Other than this incident, we had a great time at Victoria Falls. Recommend not using credit cards if possible while visiting Zimbabwe. Pay with cash for everything.

  • Stayed: July 2009, traveled as a couple
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19  Thank StuartCoastalMaine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Zimbabwean, Product Manager at The Victoria Falls Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded August 7, 2009

We are very concerned about the above mentioned review as this has serious implications on the perception of The Victoria Falls Hotel and Zimbabwe as a country. The Hotel has at no stage been contacted by the bank or individual to make a complaint or advise us of the incident.

Although a system is being implemented by banks to charge international credit cards, Zimbabwe does not currently have this facility. The hotel, and a few other companies, can however accept international credit cards as the actual transaction is done by our Johannesburg office in South Africa and the card holder is charged by a South African bank, not a Zimbabwean. We find it difficult to understand how Hardware suppliers in Victoria Falls would be able to charge credit cards when there is no banking system supporting credit card transactions in the country. We have located the bill for the lunch on the 4th of July 2009 and the transaction of USD 43.00 was processed by our Johannesburg office on 15th of July 2009 but the transaction was declined.

We have sent a message through tripadvisor asking the reviewer to please urgently get in contact with us and provide the bank statement and details of the transactions in question. Should these transactions have been made in Zimbabwe or are in any way linked to the hotel we will investigate immediately.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 18, 2009

One has to review this hotel with a real sense of perspective. Yes, she is beginning to show her age in places and yes, perhaps a few things could be improved; however given the difficulties the country is finding itself in at the moment, the standards of food, service and finish at the Vic Falls Hotel are truly extraordinary and are a tribute to the resourcefulness of the staff and management.

Other reviewers have questioned whether the hotel meets the specific standards of the LHW group. My answer is perhaps, objectively, it may not in certain areas - the obvious one being the slightly tired accommodation we experienced. Does it deserve to be a member of such a prestigious group? Of course it does. The history, the location, the charming staff, the wonderful architecture, the adherence of old school standards in such difficult times; all admirable qualities.

Incidentally to all those thinking of visiting the Falls, I would highly recommend doing so from the Zimbabwe side. You see far more than the Zambia side, it is also perfectly safe and the Zimbabweans will greet you with open arms.

  • Stayed: May 2009, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Calthrop
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 17, 2009

This was our second trip to the Falls, Zimbabwean side. We stayed in a different hotel last time with our two sons and we had an amazing holiday and we vowed we would return to Vic Falls for a very special occasion in the future. My husband and I returned in May to celebrate my 50th birthday at this Hotel and it was an unforgettable experience. There really are few words that can possibly describe the feeling of grandeur, majesty and elegance of this hotel. We had heard that it was "feeling its age", that it was rundown and shabby, but were persuaded by our travel agent to give this grand old lady a shot. And how thrilled we were. Not so some of our fellow travellers who fell for this pressure and stayed at the hotel next door. They were furious with their travel agent when they took a stroll through the Victoria Falls Hotel and saw what they had missed out on! The setting is unrivalled by any hotel in that area. I was feted from the moment we arrived. We were met with a welcoming chilled fruit cocktail and refreshing face towels. The front desk staff all wished me a happy birthday as did the manager on duty and so did many other staff members - everyone seemed to know it was my birthday! and we were delighted to find a bottle of sparkling wine on ice for me in our room. We had dinner on the terrace under a moonlit sky with the roar and the cloud of spray from the Falls forming a perfect backdrop for us. You are THAT close to the Falls. There is a lot of attention to detail in your room - ice cold bottled water bottles are replaced twice a day for you as are all your towels. In the evenings your bed is turned down, a little chocolate is left on your pillow and the mosquito net is dropped for you. The bedrooms and bathrooms retain a bygone era beauty which is impressive. Marble baths and antique brass fittings while the rooms are furnished with beautiful antiques.

The reading rooms, the lounges, the passages, the dining rooms are redolent with history - every corner oozes a sense of what life was like during the latter part of the British Empire and it is all finely preserved in the photographs that line the walls, in the furniture and in the accessories.

The grounds and pool surrounds are beautifully maintained.

The food was average as someone pointed out - but we all know what the circumstances in Zimbabwe are. There were so many other compensations! The local people are so friendly and welcoming, we didn't feel threatened in the least. You are pestered a bit by locals trying to sell you curios, but if you're not interested you can simply walk on and they won't harass you further. In that part of the country they are totally dependent on tourism. It was very sad to see how empty the hotel was. Please support the people of Zimbabwe.

Take US dollars or SA rands - small denominations and a raincoat for the Falls - you get absolutely drenched at this time of the year. There is also a fee to get to get to view the Falls and they need to see some form of ID. So find out about that before you get there. You will not be allowed entry to the Falls.

  • Stayed: May 2009, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank EleonoraSouthAfrica
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
#5 Family Hotel in Victoria Falls
#6 Luxury Hotel in Victoria Falls
Price Range: $321 - $483 (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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