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“Step into colonial times”

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The Victoria Falls Hotel
Ranked #6 of 16 Hotels in Victoria Falls
Certificate of Excellence
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
27 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“Step into colonial times”
Reviewed 1 October 2012

I'd rate the stay at the Victoria Falls Hotel as slightly above average. It's listed as one of the luxury hotels of the world, and for the history and character alone, I'd say that it meets that characterization. Take notice of the old photographs, ads and cartoons lining the hallways; the area has such a storied history. I could not stop myself from quoting, "Dr. Livingstone I presume" throughout the stay. The traditional attire of the staff definitely helped that image. Plus, the views are really great. You can't quite make out the falls but you can see the mist rising from it in the distance and a terrific view of the gorge below. The rooms were clean, wifi was available though somewhat spotty, and we had a bit of trouble with our air conditioner that they were thankfully able to address. The hotel is centrally located with shuttle service to/from surrounding hotels. I enjoyed a morning at the pool and was happy with the space and the pool itself. The breakfast buffet was good with a solid number of options. However, if you're looking for truly modern amenities or speedy service (especially on the terrace for drinks and/or meals), this is not the place for you.

  • Stayed September 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank sta617
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Durban, South Africa
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 September 2012

We spent the Heritage Day weekend at Victoria Falls - a very much appreciated 80th birthday present for my husband from our family.

While we were there we had a delicious HighTea at the Victoria Falls Hotel which
we had last visited 53 years ago just before returning to South Africa after a 3 year stay in "Rhodesia" and the hotel is still as gracious as ever.

The views from the terrace are outstanding

  • Stayed September 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank GranDurban
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Del Mar
Level Contributor
88 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 September 2012

The hotel is old, but well maintained. A very nice breakfast was included in our price plan. It is walking distance to the falls so you don't need a hotel shuttle or taxi which is very nice. We stayed in Victoria Falls after 3 different camps and right before our last camp. It was a great way to break up the safaris. Our room was on the courtyard and at night the frogs were very loud so if you don't want to hear them, I would suggest a room on the other side. The frogs were actually very funny to hear and we didn't hear them once we went to sleep.

I would suggest going to the falls in the morning when it isn't as crowded and it is also cooler if the weather is hot. The view of the falls is best on the Zimbabwe side which is where Victoria Falls is located. It may vary though depending on the month you visit, so you might check first.

We met Cringa, who worked at the hotel and he was very helpful. He walked over to the market place in town with us. The people at the marketplace sell stone carvings, wooden items, jewelry, etc. all made by them. The can be very pushy because they all want your business. One of them wanted to trade something for my husband's socks and someone wanted my shoes. The trading was fun and we had heard about it before we left so we brought some old clothes to trade.

The dinner buffet was very good and one night they had African entertainment. We took a sunset cruise booked through the hotel and the cruise was very relaxing and we met some nice people.

Room Tip: Choose a room away from the frog noise........We have never heard frogs that loud. Really kind of...
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  • Stayed September 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank LMODelMar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Zurich, Switzerland
Level Contributor
106 reviews
71 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 September 2012

In general our stay was OK. I do not think this is exactly 5star hotel, but considering its history, we may live with it (although seeing ants on the wall at the reception was not exactly pleasant experience). Rooms are OK, all is old, food is also OK (some of the personnel get annoyed really fast if you ask more than 1 question about the food, drinks or how the dinner buffet is organized with drinks,"program" etc. The hotel is located close to the falls which is convenient. You can also book your extra trips in the hotel as long as the staff can manage to work with the credit card terminal.
The OK part about the hotel finishes here.
Transfer from the airport... In our case, no one showed up. We checked with our travel agent who advised to take a taxi and we'll be reimbursed. So we did. Arrived at the hotel, told the reception that the transfer was not there and we were automatically told, that's not us but your agent. Well, the agent called back that he spoke with guest house manager and the hotel should reimburse us. Surprise, surprise, it' hotel fault. The manager came and apologized and then even sent a bottle of wine and we thought, ok it' solved the money will be on our account. We were too fast and too hopeful. Next day, a call from another person asking about it (This is the hotel where I got the most phone calls - it was like crazy!).. again lengthy explanations and we were told that he'll speak with the manager and make sure it is solved and the $30 are credited. We stayed 4 nights (if you ask me way too long), on check-out again the issue came, no one knew what to do, the money were not credited, another manager came and started explaining about their issues and relations with taxi companies, we were even asked if we prolonged our stay by a day cause they did not have correct information in their files, but we provided our voucher and we spend another 15-20min discussing for at least 3rd time the transfer.. Yes, 30$ are not a fortune but when I pay for a service I expect to get it and not be accused that the provider which had received the payment and says that it's a 5star hotel, one of the world greatest, is not exactly responsible and tries to get out with those 30$.

Another point is that you have to ask for information about restaurants, map of the hotel etc. The information about all that we were given was chaotic, and apparently not complete.
Long story short, from landing to take off, an average mark.

  • Stayed September 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank LoraTraveling
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Australia
Level Contributor
35 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 September 2012

We stayed here as part of an anniversary trip to Africa.

The good:
Beautiful ground and view of the bridge
Resident warthogs
Welcome minty cold towel and lemon drink
Charles, porter
Alex, Jungle Junction Rest waiter
Historical building
Elegant lounge and the piano man.

Room for improvements:
We were initially given room no 230 which was dark, faced the driveway? and most importantly had twin beds. Our travel agent had specifically requested a double room. I had seen better rooms in 3 star hotels. We marched back to reception and requested a double room. We were told they were all fully booked. They should not have accepted our reservation which had a specific note double room please if they didn't have any available. After standing at the reception for a further 15 mins watching the trainee frantically typed on her computer, they managed to find us a double room but it would only be ready in 45 mins. Room no 59 was soooooooooo much better. It had the sun coming from the window facing the front ground, and the room was 3 times bigger than rm no 230.

Beware, aircon could be noisy, many mosquitoes in room, bathroom needs refurbishing. But overall we were happy with the much bigger, much sunnier double room.

Front desk and guest services staff in general are snobbish, particularly the short hair lady at guest services.

Service at Jungle Junction rest was a hit and miss, depending on who you got.

Room Tip: Room number 59 is good.
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  • Stayed September 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank RoundDeWorld
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hernando, Florida
Level Contributor
56 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 September 2012

From the moment we arrived until the moment we left all our needs and expectations were met! The facility is like a time warp (a claw foot bathtub...plus a modern shower of course) and so are the manners and hospitality.

The staff answered every question and request with, "It's my pleasure." And you got the feeling they meant it. Every one was interested in the US and welcomed us with enthusiasm. There were no hands out for tipping.

The room we had was large and comfortable with netting over the four poster beds. The amenities in the bat included insect repellent and wonderful shampoo and conditioner product. A glass stoppered bottle of water was provided each day.

The view is magnificent. The food is varied and quite good both off the menu and on the buffet.

There is native entertainment in the evening.

I definitely glad we booked 3 nights. should have doubled that. So much to do and see and experience we went from activity to activity and didn't leave time for just relaxing by the gorgeous pool or staring off into the distance and the mist from Victoria Falls.

Room Tip: rooms with a view cost more so save your money for adventures (Things we did: Swam in Devi's Poo...
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  • Stayed September 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Dorothy S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dendermonde
Level Contributor
68 reviews
49 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 September 2012

Such a beautiful hotel!Well maintained, they managed to keep the " out of africa" feeling and style of the hotel.Service is excellent from the moment you arrive until the moment you leave.High tea is not to be missed, excellent value at 15 usd per person.Rooms are big and have a nice view.Beautiful grounds with mature trees.Nice swimming pool.Do not miss the buffet style dinner with african dances!Nice lunch buffet at the pool.Breakfast in style

Room Tip: Any room will do
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  • Stayed September 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Luc P
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

Property: The Victoria Falls Hotel
Address: 1 Mallet Drive, Victoria Falls PO Box 10, Zimbabwe
Phone Number:
Region: Zimbabwe > Matabeleland North Province > Victoria Falls
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre 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 Spa Hotel in Victoria Falls
#3 Romantic Hotel in Victoria Falls
#4 Business Hotel in Victoria Falls
#6 Luxury Hotel in Victoria Falls
#6 Family Hotel in Victoria Falls
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
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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