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“Beautiful stay turning into nightmare” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of Ilala Lodge

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Ilala Lodge
Ranked #8 of 16 Hotels in Victoria Falls
Certificate of Excellence
Nanoose Bay, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Beautiful stay turning into nightmare”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 4, 2012

The logde was lovely. We stayed for 2 nights in May 2012. The hotel accomodation was pre-booked and paid for, but when we checked out I paid for the meals, etc with my Visa card. The bill was $497 US. The bill did not go through my Visa until July, but Ilala lodge has now put this bill through on my Visa 2 more times, once in Sept and again in October!!!!! SO BEWARE, i hate tio think this is fraudulent. I have contacted Visa to dsipute the charge, so still waiting to see what happens. Until this is sorted out I urge everyone to avoid this hotel.

Stayed May 2012, traveled with friends
Helpful?
7 Thank Heather H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MartinVaughan, Manager at Ilala Lodge, responded to this review, November 15, 2012
Dear Heather

We thank you for your review and your positive feedback on your stay and that you enjoyed your time with us.

Unfortunately you have raised a huge concern. As per our personal contact with each other we are assisting you with the re-occurring charges on your credit card. As we mentioned the credit card process is fully automated and Ilala Lodge plays no role with any transactions. We have ascertained so far that the bank is at fault here and is addressing the matter as we speak with VISA.

Thank you once again and we will endeavor to ensure that this is addressed swiftly.


Kind regards

Ilala Lodge Team
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,056 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (208)
Date | Rating
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  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
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English first
Hampshire
Level Contributor
43 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 29, 2012

For reasons not relevant to this review, we stayed at both Ilala Lodge and The Victoria Falls Hotel. The bookings were made through an agent and as there was no difference in price, we decided to try both.

If you find yourself in the same situation, choose The Victoria Falls Hotel.

Let's be clear, there's nothing wrong with Ilala Lodge - the staff are pleasant and the rooms are clean. They do, though, lack blackout blinds.

Whilst it's true this property is closer to the Falls, it does not mean the view is better. It's simply geographically closer than any other hotel in Victoria Falls.

If we hadn't first stayed at The Falls Hotel, we would have found the breakfast at Ilala acceptable, although Grilled Kipper on Potato Rosti topped with a Poached Egg was very disappointing, just about inedible. The rosti was the size of a beermat - flat and greasy, not at all crispy - the kipper fillet had been cut to fit on top of it, the egg was fine, but the whole thing was finished off with a dollop of hollandaise sauce - both unexpected and very unwelcome. The next morning's English breakfast featured sausages which had been flashed across a griddle and were clearly uncooked.

Interesting to note that since our stay earlier this year, this hotel has started to charge for internet access.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank RoundtheHorne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IlalaVictoriaFalls, Guest Relations Manager at Ilala Lodge, responded to this review, December 3, 2012
Thank you very much on your comment on Ilala Lodge hotel. We greatly appreciate your comments. We however apologize for the discomforts you encountered during your stay with us and we would like to assure you that all your concerns raised have been rectified during the course of the year.
We therefore look forward to seeing you again and that you may enjoy your stay with us again.

Kind regards
Ilala team
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kent
Level Contributor
15 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 19, 2012

After a lengthy wait at the airport for the visa it was good to get to this hotel. We were welcomed with an iced tea which was very refreshing and taken to our room which was a deluxe suite with a thatched roof.

The room was very spacious and comfortable with good bathroom. There was plenty of coffee/tea & hot chocolate on the supplied tray and complimentary mineral water waiting for us. Room contains a minibar & small fridge. Good sized balcony with coffee table and chairs, overlooking the grounds where we would watch the warthogs which wandered in. you can also see the spray of the 'Falls' from the room.

The breakfasts were lovely with a good choice of hot food from the menu. There was a plentiful supply of the cold buffet products.

We ate dinner on two occasions and were very pleased with the food. Yes - the food could be classed as a little expensive but this was part of our Victoria Falls experience and experience it was to be sat outside on the terrace, under candlelight, absorbing the sounds of a Zimbabwe evening.

There is a computer terminal in the lobby which provides free access to the internet but you need to time it right, as it is obviously popular.

I loved the quietness, the old world charm and it's proximity to the 'falls'. The staff were very friendly and we enjoyed our stay, very much.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Sparky78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IlalaVictoriaFalls, Guest Relations Manager at Ilala Lodge, responded to this review, November 5, 2012
Thank you very much for recommending Ilala Lodge hotel. We appreciate your reviews and comments. We are happy you had wonderful stay with us and we hope to see you again in the future.

Kind regards
Ilala team
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Invercargill, New Zealand
Level Contributor
42 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 11, 2012

Rooms are very comfortable. Restaurant food was excellent but you pay $7US for 1 spring roll, so it is a tad expensive. We went on a night sunset cruise which was very nice, good food all you could drink, but to cloudy to see sunset. This hotel has free access to computer, you can also buy internet time for $5. Money is US$ but will take Rand.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Lorraine M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IlalaVictoriaFalls, Guest Relations Manager at Ilala Lodge, responded to this review, November 5, 2012
Thank you for taking time to review ilala lodge hotel. Its a pleasure to receive comments and recommendations from our guests. We are lad you enjoyed your stay with us.
We hope to see you return again in the near future

Kind regards
Ilala Team
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
joancollins69
Level Contributor
158 reviews
81 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 111 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 8, 2012 via mobile

Greeted with a welcomed iced tea check in smooth. The rooms lovely spacious & very clean with your own patio. Water pressure constant & hot if you need it. Lovely products & tea coffe in room. All meals were lovely in a fantastic resteraunt be mindful of baboons! It's rather old worldy & quite (save for the buzz of helicopters) you can hear & see the falls. Does attract a more reserved clientele but for a break pop over to the kingdom casino. Everything's walking distance. Only gripe never had change at the bar so had to room charge it & wifi not free but reasonable $5usd got 80mgb.

  • Stayed October 2012
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
Helpful?
2 Thank joancollins69
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IlalaVictoriaFalls, Guest Relations Manager at Ilala Lodge, responded to this review, October 24, 2012
Thank you for your feedback on Ilala lodge hotel. We greatly appreciate your views and comments.
We are happy you had a pleasant stay with us. We hope to see you return again in the near future

Kind regards
Ilala Lodge team
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ghanzi, Ghanzi, Botswana
Level Contributor
85 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 8, 2012

I thought Ilala although perfectly acceptable a bit tired and that other hotels such as Azambezi, Vic Falls safari Lodge better situated. As per other reviews it is central and within easy walking to the Falls but lacks the "wild african ambience" which i think I prefer when at a destination such as this.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Gavin R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IlalaVictoriaFalls, Guest Relations Manager at Ilala Lodge, responded to this review, October 24, 2012
Thank you very much for reviewing Ilala Lodge. We appreciate your views and comments.
We hope you had a warm stay with us.
We hope to see you return in the near future.

Kind regards
Ilala Lodge team
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
65 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 254 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 2, 2012

We were delighted with our choice of Ilala Lodge as a place to stay when we visited Victoria Falls. Their location is best, right at the edge of town at the beginning of the walk to the Falls national park. Our room was on the lower level and we were initally disappointed that we couldn't see the mist of the falls from our room, but honestly we were mostly in the room when it was dark, spending our days on the upper level where the view was lovely. The bed was very comfortable, the bathroom huge and well appointed (first time I've seen mosquito repellant as a bath amenity) although our air conditioner was noisy and the engineering staff weren't able to do much about it. We enjoyed watching the warthogs graze on the grass right outside our room. Breakfast was a hugely generous buffet, and we enjoyed cocktails (try the Blue Crocodile Tears) by the pool in the afternoon. (The pool was a welcome respite after a dusty day of walking.) One evening we ate at the Palm Restaurant and the food and service were outstanding. Another evening we signed up for the evening boat trip on the Zambezi on the Lodge's boat Ra-Ikane. Although expensive at $85 per person compared with $50 or so for the touristy faux paddlewheelers we saw, it was totally worth it for the small group, the comfortable chairs, and the lovely appetizers and unending beer and wine we were served. Why the lovely dessert tray remained untouched, not passed at all, was a mystery.

One thing to be aware of: we couldn't find any room prices on Ilala Lodge's website; you have to email them for availability. When the price was quoted, it was PER PERSON, which made it sound very reasonable, until we realized it was not per room. The quote was $157 per person, but you had to look carefully at the voucher to realized this. We believe the rate was very much worth it, but think they should quote prices on their website and be clearer that the rates are not per room, double occupancy, but are per person.

Oh, and there's no wifi in the rooms, but only one computer in the lobby. Don't buy a card for internet access for your computer; it only gets you about 5 minutes. We usually found the lobby computer available for a quick check of emails, which was adequate.

Finally, take advantage of the Tourist Police standing on the main road just outside the Ilala Lodge gate. They'll walk you to the gorge overlook, a fabulous view of the lower Zambezi, or to the Falls park entrance, thus sparing you the hassle of all the vendors selling curios. The Tourist Police are paid for by the hotels of Victoria Falls, so take advantage of their services; a small tip will be much appreciated and you'll enjoy their conversation if you wish.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank berwind
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IlalaVictoriaFalls, Guest Relations Manager at Ilala Lodge, responded to this review, October 24, 2012
Thank you very much for taking your time to review Ilala Lodge Hotel. It is a pleasure to receive comments from our guests. We apologize for any discomfort you felt during your stay with us and necessary measures have been taken to rectify your concerns raised.
We hope yo return again in the near future

Kind regards
Ilala team
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Ilala Lodge

Property: Ilala Lodge
Address: 411 Livingstone Way, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
Phone Number:
Location: Zimbabwe > Matabeleland North Province > Victoria Falls
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#7 Romantic Hotel in Victoria Falls
#8 Luxury Hotel in Victoria Falls
#8 Family Hotel in Victoria Falls
#9 Business Hotel in Victoria Falls
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Ilala Lodge 4*
Number of rooms: 56
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The perfect base for exploring all the Victoria Falls has to offer, Ilala Lodge provides distinguished yet affordable accommodation in a gracious and secluded ambiance. The hotel is ideally situated and is closest to the Victoria Falls as well as the town centre. Wild animals often graze on the hotel lawns with the spray of the falls in the background. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Ilala Hotel Victoria Falls

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