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“One Night in Zimbabwe”

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The Victoria Falls Hotel
Ranked #6 of 16 Hotels in Victoria Falls
Certificate of Excellence
Peoria, AZ
Level Contributor
28 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“One Night in Zimbabwe”
Reviewed 24 November 2008

We spent one night, June 6th, at the Vic Falls Hotel. It was an interesting drive from the airport, to say the least. We knew the country was in turmoil with the elections, but it was still sad to see people with their belongings hiking to the border, ATMs boarded up, and a military truck heading into the police headquarters (shocked our local driver too). The hotel is full of history and past grandeur. They do an amazing job of keeping the grounds lovely, but the interior is showing need of serious attention. We had a lovely tour of the falls with a local guide arranged by our travel agent. Dinner at Jungle Junction was fun with the food acceptable. Same for breakfast. We wisely kept receipts for drinks and a bottle of wine. At checkout we were prepared with US dollars but the bill was over the top as the currency was changing 5 times a day. We could prove that we only owed $52 (all else was prepaid) and that's what we paid. I wouldn't recommend a stay here until the country returns to some semblance of normalcy. The staff were friendly but all seemed to have a haunted look in their eyes. We were happy to be off to Botswana the next day.

  • Liked — The view of Victoria Falls, and close proximity to the falls; the history of the location
  • Disliked — Needs updating and overall turmoil in the country
  • Stayed June 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Connie M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Dinner Plain, Australia
Level Contributor
74 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 November 2008

A magnificent, elegant, comfortable hotel and a beautifully maintained historic site. The rooms and all public areas are immaculate, the service is impeccable, and the food in all restaurants is outstanding. My compliments, thanks and best wishes to every member of the staff.

Stayed November 2008
Helpful?
1 Thank Dododog
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
san jose,ca
Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 September 2008

Where do I start...? Check in seems to be a overall event no matter where we stayed in Africa but they weere just an unorganized mess at the hotel.
The rooms are old, dingy and just plain gross. We tried to have them change, upgrade our rooms and it turned out to be a tad better but not much. They need some major remodeling. The people in the hotel are generally nice but smelly! The food is just terrible. I have had much better food and game parks! I lived off the egg rolls at the buffett for two days!
Definitely not a four star hotel....!

  • Liked — Leaving....
  • Disliked — Rooms!
  • Stayed August 2008, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank michelleshirani
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Granite Bay, Calif.
Level Contributor
25 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 September 2008

We stayed at this hotel for three nights and had a wonderful. The setting of the hotel and the grounds overlooking the falls in the distance is spectacular. The food and service were excellent. This hotel is a must if you visit the falls their really isn't anything like it in all of Africa. Bob & Linda

Stayed April 2008
Helpful?
3 Thank granitebaynick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Antwerpen
Level Contributor
85 reviews
69 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 76 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 August 2008

We stayed at the Victoria Falls Hotel for two nights at the beginning of August and we truly had a great and lovely time.
The hotel is a grand old lady and breaths the atmosphere of the old colonial life in Africa. It is full of reminders of the grand old days and you truly feel part of it by merely walking around.
By just looking out of the window of your room one is amazed by the feeling that so many before you have probably looked through exactly the same window, seeing the exact and unchanged sight of the Victoria Falls Bridge, the Gorge and the spray.
Remarks that the building needs urgent attention and standards are not up-to-date are unjustified. The building is indeed old and perhaps a bit tired in the charming sense of the word but it is in no way neglected. Gardens are kept in pristine condition and rooms are simple but clean.
The service is excellent. The staff is so friendly and helpfull and makes you feel at home at any part of the day.
The food is definitely a problem in the hotel. One feels that they are struggling to get the right ingredients for the menu and also at breakfast things might certainly be improved. But with the country in the state it is in one just has to accept this.
We felt quite safe both in and outside the hotel. We had a guided tour to the falls and were hardly ever hassled along the way. The fact that people try to sell their products to earn a living are just not more than normal. However, this is done in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere.
If you have the chance stay at this lovely grand old leading lady !

  • Liked — the views and the old charm
  • Disliked — the food
  • Stayed August 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank Antwerpengl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chicago,Illinois
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 August 2008

We stayed at the hotel from the 19th to 21 July and what a great time we had! The hotels was surprisingly busy though we had been told that there were travel warnings to Zim. We had been told that the hotel badly needed attention and shrugged this off as just another review, how right we were! Although my husband had booked a standard room, we were upgraded into a deluxe room with a view of the Falls bridge. The section where we were accomodated had just been recarpeted witha tawny/burgundy strip which fitted in with the hotel walls. The lawns were lush green and beautifully manicured and a credit to the hotel. Breakfast at the Junction was generous with excellent coffee to go with it. Service was excellent and the staff generally friendly and go the extra mile. A young lady at guest services made sure of our comfort. The tall badges doorman was amazing and we had to give him one of our pins. However we felt that the wine is a bit sour probably from the importation in uninsulated container from SA.
We are planning to send our folks next year, i hope they would love the hospitality there. A fine hotel comparable with the very best we have been too.

  • Liked — The wonderful view and the impeccable service
  • Disliked — we had limited time
  • Stayed July 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
4 Thank Chicago_IllinoisDee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
hong kong
Level Contributor
16 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 July 2008

Great atmosphere - Bad morals. The first thing that caught our attention was its great ambience. The hotel is a living museum and it does take you back to the colonial days.

The second thing, however, was a note on the table of our room, "Thou Shalt Not Tempt" - that should have sent alarm bells ringing loudly and immediately. More on that later.

Anyway, my wife and I stayed there for 2 nights. Service was mixed - professional but tended to be always trying to sell you something. For a "leading hotel" and for the price, the quality of cuisine was somewhat disappointing (even after accepting the lack of produce available in such economic circumstances, the cuisine itself would not be what we considered "leading").

It offers a great view of the bridge. Having high tea on the terrace does bring you back to the colonial days.

Vic falls was amazing. You will not need a guided tour. Pay US$20 entrance fee and exploring it yourself will do just fine. Bring your own raincoat otherwise, you will be charged US$3 to hire one, and you will need it.

However, our experience quickly turned sour when we discovered that US$40 was stolen from our room. Here is how it happened:

We had our passports and money locked in the safe, which was working just fine on the first day. One the second day, after I opened it to get something out, I was not able to lock it again. Since we were just heading out to the terrace for dinner, I thought it would be ok to leave it opened for just a couple of hours.

Upon our return to the room, we found a nice hand written note saying that since the safe was unlocked, they were required by law to remove all the contents from the safe and keep them "safe" for us. They also left us a plate of nuts and chips that was not there the night before.

When we got our contents back, we found that two US$20 notes were missing from a stack of twenties (totalling $280). It was obvious that between reporting the unlocked safe and the money having being returned to us, someone had pocketed some money. We notified the management of the hotel. We were shocked by the manager's reaction. He showed no interest whatsoever to help us on the matter. He basically insisted that it was impossible that anyone could have taken the money. He pretty much told us that he trusted his staff more than he trusted us.

Yes. Thou Shalt Not Tempt. They mean business when they say it.

  • Liked — Heritage and location
  • Disliked — Getting money stolen
  • Stayed July 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
5 Thank yush_em
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
#5 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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