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“Great hotel, great location”

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AVANI Victoria Falls Resort
Ranked #3 of 18 Hotels in Livingstone
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed October 6, 2012

We stayed in this hotel in August 2011 and absolutely loved it!
The Zambezi Sun 4* has the same territory with 5* hotel of the same Sun International hotel chain. You can walk or use hotel transport to get to each of the hotels. I would recommend to walk at least once, because you'll have a chance to see giraffes and take photos almost next to them. Besides, there are zebras on the territory and gazelles, but you can see zebras on Zambezi Sun territory during day and even late evening.
The 4* hotel has direct access to the Victoria falls. This is the most exciting thing, because you shoukd visit the Falls at different time during a day, so that to see different picturesque views. If you go early in the morning before breakfast (7-8 am) you'll be able to see how unimaginable rainbow appears and becomes brighter with every minute. You'll be able to take great photos with the rainbow! During a daytime it is not so bright as in the morning. In the evening (5-6 pm) you'll see a very beauteful sunset on the Zambezi river. But you have to be back to the hotel by 6 pm. When you walk to the Falls at any time take an umbrella with with, because at some point of your route there will be rainy because of the waterfall!))
The hotel has ethnic, unusual design. Rooms are very clean, bathrooms are bright and have everything you need - shampoos, etc. Always close balcony doors when you're out, so that monkeys don't get inside your room. Breakfast is very good. There are several restaurants on the territory where you can have lunch and dinner. The food is cooked in a very good way. All dishes are delicious. Don't be afraid to taste crocodile's meat! It's like chicken's meat)).
There is free Internet cafe, and several shops, where you can buy essential you need. We forgot to buy repellent creme in advance, but easily bought a really good one here.
The personnel is so friendly and polite that you can feel a huge difference with the personnel of hotels in South African Republic! Zambian people have good sense of humour as well! People are excellent! Besides, I should mention an usual Zambezian style greeting you receive when arrive to the hotel. There is a national dance performed by artists and a welcome drink. Everything is just perfect!
If you visit Zambia in August-September, then you'll be able to to the most terrific excursion to the Livingstone island, which takes place from the territory of the 5* hotel. We loved the picturesque views and took photos right on the very edge of the Victoria falls, because during these months there is less water in Zambezi river, and you can visit the island. Besides, we had brunch onthe island, and it was very-very good! On your way to the island on a little boat you'll be able to see hipppos very close! And if you are not afraid, and if water level lets fo that, you can swim in a devil's pool - a place right next to the edge of the Falls, where water doesn't take you down with the falls. This is a great place!
I was inthe hotel with my Mum, but I saw many families with little children (3-4 years old), and they injoyed the hotel and the trip. I would definitely recommend to stay here for everyone! Also you should definitely go to safari in Botswana. It's a 1-day trip from Zambezi Sun. It's the best ever safari in Africa, which consists of 2 parts: on water and on land. We were able to see even how elephants swim over the dangerous river full of croocodiles to the island with green grass. This was terrific! Besides, we saw many hippos very close, crocodiles, different African birds, etc. Our tour guides in Zambia and Botswana were excellent!

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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3  Thank Natalya7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,330 - 1,336 of 1,815 reviews

Reviewed October 4, 2012

Stayed for 4 nights and could have stayed forever. The hotel is amazing, it looks like a lost Aztec Palace set in the heart of Africa. It takes 5 minutes to walk to Victoria Falls and Zebra, Vervet Monkeys, Baboons and Giraffes roam the area. The room was well appointed having a beautiful bathroom with separate shower and bath. Staff are friendly and anxious to please.
Great place to visit Chobe, take an elephant safari and engage in some hair raising activities.

Room Tip: Upper floors are more private.
See more room tips
  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with friends
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3  Thank Sheila K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 1, 2012

We stayed here for two nights, and really enjoyed the location right by the falls. We visited several times, and the location is really hard to beat, barely five minutes walk from the entrance to the park - hotel guests can come and go as many times as they like during their stay. You do get wet going the the falls, even in the dry season, but the hotel does provide oilskins free of charge.

The rooms (we had two adjacent rooms, each with two double beds) are on the small side, but perfectly adequate, with comfortable beds, TVs, and fresh, bright decor. Bathrooms are also bright and well-appointed. Our rooms were on the side of the hotel facing the river, and we could hear the falls and see the mist rising above them from our windows.

The centrally located pool is huge and cold, but beautiful and welcome. The pool bar does ok food for lunch, but inexplicably is not open for dinner. We did not want an expensive buffet dinner at the restaurant, so opted for room service, which was fine, if not spectacular. Breakfast is a huge buffet in the restaurant, and was amongst the best we had in Africa.

There is a business centre with free access to the internet via their pcs (you could get wifi for a fee), great for checking email.

Upon arrival, we were warmly greeted at reception, but then spent well over an hour sorting out our rooms (only one was ready, as the hotel thought we were all staying in one room, even though we had booked two). As it was the weekend, this took a while to clarify with our local agent, but the staff were unfailingly polite and friendly, and apologetic for the misunderstanding. It did rather take some of the gloss of our stay though.

This hotel is probably only just above average in terms of service and facilities, but its location is spectacular, and we would probably go back.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank TalbotTravellers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 29, 2012

We stayed here for one night in September 2012. The hotel is about 20 mins from the Livingstone airport and if you truly want to be close to the Victoria falls, this is the place to stay. The falls are barely 5 mins walk from the hotel and one can visit them as many times as wished. We could actually hear the falls from the hotel - it was so close.
There are many rooms, but the property is well laid out around the swimming pool and garden, each room with a view of the pool or the garden. Rooms are well sized with separate bath area and bath tub. The rooms are beautifully painted, have TV and airconditioning. They , however, do not have mosquito nets and you need to put on mosquito repellents before sleep.
Buffet breakfast is good and has a large spread. Dinner can either be buffet (has decent spread, but , slightly expensive) or room service.
Staff at the checkin counters are very polite and eager to help , with any information that's being requested for. The hotel also provides free shuttle services to the adjacent Royal Livingstone Hotel and watching the sunset on Zambezi river by the sundeck at Royal Livingstone is truly memorable.
Surely worth a stay.

Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
1  Thank Tanushree D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 27, 2012

This hotel is located very close to the falls. The grounds are beautifully maintained and the zebras do roam freely which adds a real African feel.

The hotel and the service are both very average which is such a shame because this hotel has huge potential to be a fantastic hotel.

Our room was very much in need of a paint and it appeared that general maintenance issues were not attended to.

The reception service was very slow but our major complaint was about the food. All of the food was very average. Whilst the breakfast buffet had heaps of choices, the quality of the food was extremely poor - in fact this was the worst breakfast we had in our 7 week African adventure.

Dinner options were very limited. You could have a buffet dinner (at approx $100 a couple) or eat at Squires. We looked at Squires restaurant and the food here looked quite unappetising. There was a grill by the pool which served delicious hamburgers etc but this was not open for dinner. There was a band playing in this area each evening so it is beyond my comprehension why they did not have the grill open. We even tried to order room service but there was no room service menu in the room and when we rang we were told that there was no room service menu. As the hotel is a reasonable drive from the town it was not really an option to go in there.

On checking out we were given a survey to fill in. We completed this and outlined the concerns we had. One of the questions on the survey asked whether you would like to be contacted by management about your concerns. We answered yes to this question however they did not contact us. We also received an on-line questionnaire which we completed and specifically addressed the issue of no contact following filling in the survey at check-out. The only response was what appeared to be an automated response saying our concerns would be passed on. This has left us with the feeling that management are not really interested in customer feedback.

This hotel does have the best location for the falls but if you stay there just be aware that management appear to be happy to trade on this fact and not address any issues raised.

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank MarggyCanberra
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 27, 2012

A herd of zebras by the pool, giraffes in the garden, baboons on the roof - this was a great introduction to Zambia. The hotel is very friendly and would be perfect for families as well as couples. There was a well resourced business centre for those needing to check into work and the magificent Victoria Falls were a short walk from the hotel. Comfortable rooms, but not luxurious, and good service, with a fantastic environmentally responsible approach and locally sourced produce in the restaurant.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank 99Lynne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 24, 2012

As the leader of a large tour group we spent two nights at this hotel, it is the perfect facility to view the close by magnificence of the mighty Victoria falls or Mosi-oa -Tunya, the smoke that Thunders and situated within walking distance of the falls. The Hotel itself is larger than life and wonderfully decorated in modern African motif, large well maintained grounds with bird hides, and a huge swimming pool for the hot summers and mild winter days. Zebras and other wildlife walk freely through the gardens
The rooms however were small without bar fridges and we were obliged to walk to the pool bar to buy much needed water. There are no shops from where to buy any supplies except through the hotel at really high prices. Pricy place with a captive market but well positioned

Room Tip: Try to get a room that faces to the outside these are more private with better views
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  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled on business
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Thank wildguide
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about AVANI Victoria Falls Resort

Address: Mosi-Oa-Tunya Road, Livingstone 20100, Zambia (Formerly Zambezi Sun)
Location: Zambia > Southern Province > Livingstone
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Family Hotel in Livingstone
#2 Spa Hotel in Livingstone
#4 Romantic Hotel in Livingstone
Price Range: $257 - $446 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2.5 star — AVANI Victoria Falls Resort 2.5*
Number of rooms: 212
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Get wild in the heart of Africa, with the iconic Victoria falls at your doorstep. We put you at the centre of the action, so you can explore, discover or just relax and let us take care of all the details that matter. Whether it's for family fun or taking care of your business, AVANI Victoria Falls offers contemporary comforts and uncontested convenience, all just five minutes’ walk from Victoria Falls. Work, rest, stay and play in AVANI signature style for dazzling days and enchanting nights ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Zambezi Sun Livingstone
Zambezi Sun Hotel Livingstone

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