I will be honest. The Stone Guest House was not our first choice for our five-day visit to Livingstone.
We booked a double room in the New Fairmount Hotel, only to be told a few days after our initial booking had been confirmed that there was no room for us on our first night.
“Okay,” we said. “We will spend our first night at the guest house you have recommended, then transfer to the hotel.”
Two days later another email dropped in our inbox. The New Fairmount Hotel now couldn’t offer us a room for the first two nights of our five-night stay – and didn’t seem to care that they were treating us shabbily.
So we said “thanks, but no thanks” and started our search all over again, only this time with some urgency as we only had a few days before our arrival in Livingstone.
We found the Stone Guest House on the internet and within ten minutes of emailing the owner Alex Mutali, we were booked into a double room with English breakfast and our airport transfer was in the diary.
Alex himself met us at the airport. He doesn’t do this for every guest he was quick to reassure us, but he had been saying goodbye to a friend, so decided hang around for our arrival. We were immediately struck by his friendliness and forthright manner and as soon as we walked through the entrance of his guesthouse, we knew we were going to enjoy our stay.
Stone Guest House is a very comfortable and welcoming base for the many delights Livingstone has to offer – from the incomparable Victoria Falls to the small, but perfectly formed game reserve.
Our room, which was behind the main building and next to the small pool would probably not win any awards for interior design, but the bed was comfortable, the linen very fresh and the shower the best we had enjoyed since arriving in Africa two months ago. There was also DSTV, so we could keep up to date with BBC World.
The kitchen offers a short, simple menu, but what the menu doesn’t tell you is that much of the produce is from Alex’s own farm, where he grows organic vegetables and tends free-range hens. The food is excellent and very good value for money.
The staff are all very friendly and helped us with everything from organising trips up the Zambezi River to making sure our satellite TV worked properly.
We were very lucky and spent an afternoon at Alex’s farm where he cooked us roast quail, served with salad and vegetables fresh from his garden. As we watched the sun set and listened to his tales of marauding elephants, we realised we had been very lucky that the New Fairmount had been so cavalier with our booking.
And we were not the only guests to get special treatment. A young Hungarian guest, who spoke no language other than Hungarian got into a real mix up with his return plane tickets. Alex managed to find him a fellow Hungarian to help interpret; no mean feat in Zambia.
If you are looking for a place where you will be treated with exemplary care, at a price that is affordable, then look no further than the Stone Guest House. The salads aren’t half bad either.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Stay with us at The Stone Guest House and experience local Zambian culture and friendliness. Our central location in town will let you enjoy easy access to all the important amenities, adventure tours and other activities on offer in the area. With our wide range of rooms and rates, you will be sure to find what suits you best. Relax in our garden and let us take care of tedious organization of safaris and other adventure trips. ... more less
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