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“Eleven out of Ten!”
Review of Ilala Lodge

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Ilala Lodge
Ranked #7 of 16 Hotels in Victoria Falls
Certificate of Excellence
Bordon, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
202 reviews
51 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 116 helpful votes
“Eleven out of Ten!”
Reviewed 4 March 2014

We only booked at Ilala, as our first choice, 'The Victoria Falls' was full but were really happy that we had. The 'boutique' nature of the hotel means that the service is really personal and the Manager and staff on the front desk went far beyond the call of duty when our luggage did not appear for thirty six hours, having been off loaded by Comair on the flight down from Jo'burg. (This is apparently a not uncommon problem and at least two other couples were similarly affected during our stay.)
The hotel itself is a delight, - very conveniently located being actually in the town of Victoria Falls and only a fifteen minute walk to the falls themselves. It is also just a five minute stroll to The Victoria Falls Hotel where we ate on one evening and enjoyed drinks in the bar on several occasions. Whilst the latter hotel is iconic and well worth a visit we felt that as residents at The Ilala we had the best of both worlds. The Ilala's lounges are full of character, furnished with antiques, curios and fascinating prints and the terrace off the dining room is a magical place to eat. Unlike a previous reviewer we did not find the wine list to be overly expensive and whilst the food was not cheap the quality and presentation were excellent. The crocodile quenelles were particularly memorable. We stayed in a standard room which was more than adequate - pleasantly furnished and with copious supplies of tea and coffee. The bathrooms are perhaps a little tired and a little dark but the water was piping hot and there was a generous supply of toiletries.
Overall we thought the hotel was excellent and it would certainly be our choice should we return to the area in the future.

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
2 Thank Alison52
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Tortola
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 March 2014

The location of the hotel is incredible, five minutes walk from the Falls. The staff were very friendly. Food great and the restaurant setting was incredible. Room was lovely and clean. The staff who organise the day trips etc were very well informed and helpful.

Stayed February 2014, travelled with friends
Helpful?
1 Thank RUDL1974
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Perth, Western Australia
Level Contributor
50 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 March 2014

From the Ilala Lodge one can easily walk to the falls. Indeed from our room we could see the mist swirling high above the water.
Our room was fine and contained all we needed.
The food was good (if not cheap) and the staff friendly and attentive.
We did not use the small, unheated, pool.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
3 Thank Hasherd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manchester, Vermont
Level Contributor
37 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 February 2014

We spent two nights at Ilala Lodge in the middle of January just after summer school vacation in SA. Keep that in mid for timing your visit. We checked out the other main hotels when we were there and by far Ilala was the best atmosphere and an easy walk to the Falls. No need to hire a guide and you can go at your own pace. We enjoyed this boutique hotel, the attentive service and the delicious meals.

Room Tip: Asked to be placed in a room which has good game viewing possibilities.
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  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Kathryn C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London England
Level Contributor
20 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 28 February 2014

We stayed here for a short while earlier this month and loved it. The hotel is very well managed and is small enough to get individual attention. The staff were lovely - very friendly polite and good humoured.- Our room charming with a sheltered patio in front where one could sit and see the spray of the Vic Falls in the distance. Very easy to walk down to the Falls from here and the food was spectacularly good.
Yes it is expensive but then we were peak tourist location and we thought it was worth it.

Room Tip: This isn't a big hotel and so i think whichever room you choose would be good. We enjoyed sittin...
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Haworths63
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kerteh, Malaysia
Level Contributor
77 reviews
48 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 114 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 February 2014

My husband and I stayed here for 1 night in October.

It's a lovely hotel, but super expensive I don't know how much the hotel cost as it was booked as part of our trip by an agent but a bottle of wine was almost £50 and a glass was £10! We had a light lunch with 2 glasses of wine each and it cost almost £80.

The rooms are okay, quite small and nothing special and there are lots of mozzies.

The location is probably the best thing about the hotel as we walked to and from the falls which was great. It's $50 per person to enter the falls.

The food in the hotel was really nice... we had the warthog fillet and the crocodile risotto and the croc won hands down! This was one of the nicest dishes we had in Africa. I know lots of people are saying the service is excellent but we actually found it quite indifferent. We went to the bar after dinner, it was 10.05pm and asked for a drink not knowing the bar closes at 10pm and the barman rolled his eyes and sighed in annoyance so we told him not to bother and left.

We had booked a table in the restaurant for 8.30pm when we checked in, but when we went for dinner there was no booking so we had to wait for a table.... no problem, but what this meant was that it was after 9 before they sat us down and the restaurant shuts at 10pm so even though we were still eating they brought us our bill at 9.55 and asked if we could pay as they were closing. Not quite the customer service you would expect from a high end hotel.

I don't know if it's maybe because the night before we had stayed in Chobe Safari Lodge in Botswana which was a much nicer hotel and the service and rooms were far superior... and it was much cheaper but all in all this was an ok experience.

We would certainly go back... but just for the crocodile risotto!

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank LindyIrving121
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wokingham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
65 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 February 2014

While I admit that the travel company picked this hotel, I can only say that they made a good choice for a visitor to Victoria Falls.

The more well-known Victoria Falls hotel may or may not be marginally closer to the falls, but the Ilala Lodge wins out on motivated and helpful staff, and somehow also gives a homely old-worlde atmosphere, from the pleasant lobby to the outdoor dining tables looking out towards the falls over gardens sometimes invaded by a family of baboons or warthogs.

Most of the rooms are cleverly built below the public area of restaurant, bar and pool, but are at ground level, with french windows opening onto the 'wild' garden giving the impression of being in the bush.

evening meals by candlelight, inside or on the terrasse in comfy wicker chairs are a joy, though the menu is relatively short and does not change every night, so can become a bit restrictive after a few days. Kudu (look it up) and crocodile were excellent. Breakfasts were pretty good, especially fruit, nuts and seeds etc, though coffee might be better.

The pool was small and not perhaps a major feature, perhaps not too important with so many sights to visit: the falls, the gorges, markets, train and tram excursions, bungee jumping, zipwires, helicopter flights and river cruises etc.

we would go back again if chance allows.

Room Tip: rooms 1-9 closer to the lobby and restaurant, but rooms above 9 closer to the bar.
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank jeremyburtonReading
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Ilala Lodge

Property: Ilala Lodge
Address: 411 Livingstone Way, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
Phone Number:
Region: Zimbabwe > Matabeleland North Province > Victoria Falls
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#6 Luxury Hotel in Victoria Falls
#7 Romantic Hotel in Victoria Falls
#8 Family Hotel in Victoria Falls
#9 Business Hotel in Victoria Falls
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:4 star — Ilala Lodge 4*
Number of rooms: 56
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Ilala Lodge is ideally located only minutes away from the spectacular Victoria Falls. A family run hotel, Ilala Lodge has 56 stylish, well-equipped rooms, providing the ultimate in comfort. The top-rated Palm Restaurant at Ilala Lodge offers delicious al-fresco dining under the starry African skies, whilst listening to the roar of the falls. The staff are attentive and friendly, and ensure your bucket list trip is perfect for you. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Ilala Hotel Victoria Falls

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