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The Victoria Falls Hotel
Ranked #7 of 16 Hotels in Victoria Falls
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 3 August 2007

This is a lovely, but ageing, hotel from the colonial era. It is reminiscent of another age, which may or may not be the experience you are looking for in Africa.

We were in an interior courtyard room, so we did not have a view of the Falls, or anything else of note - the only window opened into some bushes.

The room was small but well appointed and clean. The shower was large with an awesome waterfall shower head and there was a separate soaking tub.

The service on the whole was outstanding. Employees seem to be everywhere, and are unfailingly pleasant.

We had breakfast, lunch, dinner and tea at least once in the hotel and our experience was usually, but not always, excellent.

Breakfast is an outside buffet which is very pleasant. Nothing out of the ordinary, but plentiful and varied food. On one day we were longer with our walk to the Falls than we expected and got back after the buffet closed. Although they were closing down, the staff went out of their way to make us plates from food that was available and brew us a fresh pot of coffee! Very much appreciated!

On the other hand, one day at lunch, we told the waiter we only had half an hour and he said no problem, but after half an hour no food had appeared. When we told him we had to leave, he delayed us further by going off to create a bill for our two cokes. I would have expected an apology and no bill.

We also had one dinner at the outside buffet and it was very, very nice. The food was very good, and the traditional entertainment was just wonderful. It was a perfect evening under the stars and our friends who went to the BOMA for the same experience were very jealous of our lucky choice.

I had a manicure at the hotel which was not cheap and not acceptable. I think the nail polish had been thinned because it never dried/hardened. I went back once to have a nail redone and she just painted over it. I had to remove all the polish that night.

There were usually security people available to walk with us when we left the hotel grounds. We were half way to the Falls when our escort noticed we did not have unbrellas and ran back to get them for us - we would have been soaked!

Our experience was not the advertised "one of the best hotels in the world", but overall, nice, very nice.

  • Stayed: July 2007, travelled with friends
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4  Thank hcry
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,851 - 1,857 of 2,415 reviews

Reviewed 14 July 2007

I arrived here by plane from Botswana and I wished I had allowed for more time. Of course, the Falls are spectacular and this hotel was a totally lovely experience. I had a "standard" room which had a view of the entrance to their private path to the Falls and I could often see elephants, baboons and other creatures from the window. The room was very comfortable and well-appointed. I could hear the Falls from there too.The hotel is beautiful. I particularly liked the wonderful old bird and animal prints on the walls in some of the hallways. The staff could not have been nicer or more helpful. I had several meals outdoors in the terrace restaurant with a view of the bridge over the Falls. The food was just fine and the service attentive. I am considering a return visit when I return to southern Africa.

  • Stayed: June 2007, travelled solo
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5  Thank linhelen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 July 2007

Stayed at the Vic Falls Hotel in early June 2007. Sadly, the hotel is affected by the overall economic calamity that is Zimbabwe. It is a lovely property in a stunning setting and the staff is working hard to maintain the hotel. Food was at best mediocre. Perhaps the hotel is having some of the same problems with their food supplies as the general population. Rooms were large and well cared for. Bedding was in need of attention. The amount of security was a bit overwhelming although there was a clear effort to minimize the impact on guests. All payments must be in foreign currency and cash is by far preferable to credit or debit cards in this economic environment.

  • Stayed: June 2007, travelled with family
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3  Thank AnEastBayResident
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 May 2007

We recently returned from Vic Falls Hotel (mid May 2007) and can guarantee you that anyone that says it's not awesome is not telling the truth. The place was fantastic. Service was great. Staff was fabulous catering to our every wish. Of course Zimbabwe is in a total
state of ruins but the hotel still shines. Of course it's nice to understand and perhaps tip when it's obvious you're of some kind of elite status. All in all it was one of our favorite lifetime experiences and that includes alot of traveling! We loved it. The falls were beyond words and the walk to the falls involved passing through sellers (but the hotel provides accompanienment) and there were many wild animals along the short walk which can be scary but also magnificent and exciting. Anyone who doesn't cherish every moment spent at this hotel simply should not be traveling! Go, go, go. We made a promise to do it again in 5 years at a very special time.

Stayed: May 2007
4  Thank shorty56150
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 May 2007

Victoria Falls Hotel is a beautiful old hotel with service handled in a fine classical manner long lost at many hotels. The views of the Zambezi River and the mist from the falls are beautiful. The lawns are carefully maintained and the service at the restaurants is very good. The hallways have wonderful old photographs and interesting sitting areas everywhere.

Our room was in good condition, very comfortable and overlooked a yard with baboons, mongoose and warthogs.

We had read a number of negative reports including slow service, poor upkeep and fear of the political situation in Zambabwe. However, we were pleasantly surprised on all accounts. We were in a "luxury" room in the Stables wing, a section that was the most recently renovated and that may account for the good condition of our room. If I have one complaint, it's the hotel's style of cooking meats that are well done, but the graveys make the meat decent and the rest of the meals were very good. The staff ranges from decent to very friendly and accomodating.

We also heard that there is nothing else to do but see the falls, but we went on a sunset cruise that was very nice, had a walking safari, watched people on the flying fox, hiked a short way up the Zambezi and saw elephants at the hotels back gate.

Overall, it was a very pleasant experience.

  • Stayed: May 2007, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank barely alive
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 May 2007

We spent the first 3 days of our honeymoon in the Victoria falls hotel. The week before we left we read some reviews on trip advisor giving really bad reviews of the hotel and the country. We were so worried about going to the Vic Falls hotel and Zimbabwe that we tried to change our honeymoon to go to the Zambia side of the falls. But after assurances from the tour operator that everything was safe etc we decided to go to the hotel. So gald we did. The hotel itself is gorgeous. We stayed in the Bokota suite (a complimentary upgrade mainly due to the fact that we had sent the bad reviews we'd read along with our concerns to the tour operator who in turn forwarded them to the hotel) which was fantastic. There some obvious problems with the country at the moment but that didn't stop everyone we dealt with being friendly and helpful. I would definetely recommend the Vic falls hotel and it was one of the highlights of our honeymoon. True, you aren't advised to go out walking round the town at night but at no time in Vic falls did I ever feel unsafe.
The hotel itself is expensive for most stuff but the casino complex next door offers a wide variety of resturants and are much more reasonable.
Also the view of the falls from the Zimbabwe side I think is more impressive.

Stayed: April 2007
5  Thank Frankicarbone
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 May 2007

The appearance of this hotel is stunning. On the outside the grounds have been maintained impeccabley. The flowers are stunning, the landscaping, the main foyer, the lobby, they all give an impression of luxury and old colonialism.
However that is where the good review stops.
On our arrival, the bell boy dropped my luggage cointaining glass. You could hear it break. He then picked it up and set it in the same unstable place that it fell from. Not a good start. We waited a hour to check in. When it came time to get to our room, the bell boy had disappeared with our key and the staff had to search for him. Half an hour later we finally got into our room. I had asked for a double and got twin beds. The look of the room was nice. The bathroom was the same as any four star, it did not fit in with the hotel and it was a little shabby. The room safe was broken. It took them half a day to decide they could not replace it. However they did find another solution. There is a flyer on the desk saying not to "tempt the staff" into stealing and lock away your valuables. It is a shame that the first impression of the people there is of thieves.
Overall we found the front desk staff very unhelpful. We had problems communicating with North America. Their answer was a shrug and a reply of "what do you want us to do about it." The food was merely adequate. The same as any family restaurant at home.
A sever warning!!!! Bring plenty of US cash. They will accept nothing else, not even their own currency, and this hotel overcharges on everything. It cost $2,00 a sheet of paper to print up an email. (When their internet was working, and it's slow). We asked the rate for a taxi from the hotel to the airport, we were told thirty dollars. We went out on our own into town and managed to get it for $20.00. We heard another couple bargain for $5.00, and the driver took the amount.
GIven it is a world class hotel in an impoverished country, some of the difficutlies can be forgiven, i.e. communications with home. However the attitude was apathetic at best. Most of the time nobody made eye contact because then they would have to help.
My advice, find another hotel. You'll pay less and have a better experience.

  • Stayed: April 2007, travelled as a couple
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9  Thank cookiedox
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

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 Romantic Hotel in Victoria Falls
#3 Spa Hotel in Victoria Falls
#4 Business Hotel in Victoria Falls
#6 Family Hotel in Victoria Falls
#7 Luxury Hotel in Victoria Falls
Price Range: £313 - £456 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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