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“Good but quite noisy”

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Olga's - The Italian Corner
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 26 June 2014 via mobile

This is a lovely guesthouse. The rooms and the bathrooms are clean and the staff are very friendly. There are tea/coffee making facilities and the breakfast was included. The English breakfast was nice. We also tried the pizzas one evening and they also were very nice. The only downside is there is a church very nearby and so when the bells ring you are definitely awake! Being a church this tended to happen early morning. There was also a trainline and other traffic nearby adding to the noise levels. That said, I would still recommend it as a good place to stay/eat.

Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
1  Thank 2014Em
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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65 - 71 of 109 reviews

Reviewed 22 May 2014

I searched high and low for reasonable priced accommodation in Livingstone centre. This place was a little gem in the centre. The rooms were very cool considering how warm it was outside. It had good wifi in the main part of the hotel The attached Italian restaurant was lovely, with good value food. The coffee was lovely. Downside-activities were expensive and the whole of Livingstone seems to run a cartel on these. Be aware of overcharging on exchange rates everywhere!

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with family
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Thank Anna P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 March 2014

I wish there was a rating in-between "very good" and "average." Olga's is not "average" by any means, but I could not rate it "very good" - although with a few improvements, I think it could be excellent.

First, the good. My room was spacious and spotless. There was a ceiling fan which kept it cool. The bathroom was clean, the shower was a built-in tiled shower with a seat. Towels were fluffy and big, bed was comfortable. There was a room safe. Staff was unfailingly pleasant, although at times less than helpful. Breakfast was included...choices were toast and jam, crepes or an "English" breakfast - no cereal, yogurt or fruit on the menu, although the juices were good. First time I ordered coffee, I got instant...seems that is the default unless you specifically request brewed coffee.

Now...on the more negative side. The place is VERY noisy. It is on the street and next to a church which rang bells at odd hours. And the row of rooms faces the restaurant, which plays music (quite loudly) well into the evening (at least 10:00pm) every night. The common room, which is where you can get WiFi, was dark and almost unbearably hot and stuffy. When I mentioned this to one of the staff and pointed to the ceiling fans, she indicated that they did not work. Even a couple of box fans to move the air around would have helped. As it was, it was not a nice place to sit and relax.

There seemed to be a shop as part of the common room, but it never seemed to be staffed and the place was so dark it was difficult to see the merchandise. The service in the restaurant was quite slow, especially for breakfast; which was inconvenient when I was being picked up for a tour. (I was there at 7:15am for breakfast and still did not even have my coffee at 7:40!)

There were no toiletries provided and no water glass...just a cup for tea, with an included hot water kettle. The shower head in my bathroom gave out only a trickle of water. It seemed like it might do better if the stream was adjusted, but the shower head was up so high that there was no way to reach it (even standing on a chair!)

There was an "activities desk" where there was supposed to be someone to help with bookings and suggestions about tours and excursions. However, the person who helped me, while very nice, was not able to provide much assistance and ended up telling me that "I should continue to try to contact the tour on my own." (Something about not being able to organize transport, which was strange, as all the tours provide transport!) I am not sure she understood what I wanted and she certainly offered no suggestions. I had expected that there would be some brochures or materials about tours or ideas of things to do in Livingstone and there was nothing.

The WiFi was a bit dodgy and faded in and out. There is no pool, but there is a garden with a picnic table to sit at, which is shady and cool - but borders the street.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled solo
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3  Thank SavvyFaire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 March 2014

Very affordable rates for exceptionally clean and neat rooms. Friendly, welcoming staff. Breakfasts were fantastic! Their restaurant offers great Italian food. Secure parking available. Staff were so helpful in suggesting activities and very willing to make arrangements on your behalf. I can highly recommend Olga's :-)

Room Tip: The rooms in the corner will be quieter as Olga's is located on a busy road.
  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with family
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Thank Esme v
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 February 2014

We came here after a couple of nights at Jollyboys and wished we'd come sooner. For about the same price as a double room with bathroom there, we got a spacious and pleasant room with a beautiful bathroom. The beds are big and comfy, rooms cool and quiet. The thatch roof makes it really nice. Showers are great, and you get samples of the handmade soaps sold on site. Free delicious breakfast, and the other foods at Olga's are amazing as well. The guesthouse, restaurant, and shop all benefit at-risk youth programs in the city, so your money is well spent. Great little gem!

Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
1  Thank mieldelsol
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 December 2013 via mobile

Superb rooms. Spotless. All new. Fabulous restaurant. Friendly staff.
Love it. So close to the falls and the parks. We moved here from waterfront which was the opposite kind of experience at 4 times the cost of Olga's. All the rooms are equally lovely and the coffee is the best coffee south of Cairo.

Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
Thank carlotortora
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 December 2013 via mobile

The rooms are very nice and clean, staff is very nice and the restaurant offers great food. I would recommend this place, also as you are supporting a charitable cause.

However, while we were staying there we had sleepless nights. 2 out of the 3 nights were loud and we couldn't sleep. There seemed to be a club or bar nearby. When we finally fell asleep either the church next door had the Sunday mess or the close-by school was starting the day :-). If you would like to have quiet nights I recommend to ask the staff about the noise issue before booking.

Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
1  Thank Stephanakis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Olga's - The Italian Corner

Address: 20 Mokambo Road, Livingstone, Zambia
Region: Zambia > Southern Province > Livingstone
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #13 of 86 Speciality Lodging in Livingstone
Price Range: £43 - £52 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Olga's - The Italian Corner 3*
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Olga's the Italian Corner is the final stage of an educational project for the most vulnerable youth of Livingstone. It opened in 2008 as a production unit in support of YCTC (Youth Community Training Centre), a certified school built by the Diocese of Livingstone and CELIM (an Italian NGO). All Olga's profits go to YCTC which provides training in catering, tailoring, plumbing, electrical, metal construction, computer studies and bricklaying to orphans and vulnerable youth. Most of Olga's employees come from the YCTC's catering course, which results in the project being self-sustainable. Olga's is located in the center of Livingstone and only 9 kilometres far from the famous Victoria Falls, easily reachable with minibus or cab. It is 15 minutes far from the airport and walking distance from the main attractions of Livingstone: bars, travel agencies, shops, museum, grocerystore, etc. ... more   less 
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