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“Highly enjoyable”

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AVANI Victoria Falls Resort
Ranked #3 of 17 Hotels in Livingstone
Certificate of Excellence
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
107 reviews
46 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
“Highly enjoyable”
Reviewed 29 April 2014

In terms of location at Victoria Falls on the Zambian side, there is only really one choice to be made-The Royal Livingstone of the Zambezi Sun, both of which are managed by Sun International. The hotels are next to each other within about five minutes' walk from the Eastern Cataract of Vic Falls aka Mosi-oa-Tunye. The Royal Livingstone attracts guests who are prepared to spend a lot more than those at Zambezi Sun. This is the first differentiator, the second being that Royal Livingstone is on the Zambezi river itself, while the Zambezi Sun is not. Wild animals, such as baboon, monkey and zebra walk around the shared property, however. The question that arises is whether or not one is willing and/or able to pay the not insubstantial premium to stay at Royal Livingstone. We chose the cheaper option and must say were not disappointed. No sense of cognitive dissonance whatsoever. The checkin was effortless and friendly, the room was nice and cool, which was a welcome relief from the heat outside and the surroundings were lovely and tranquil. Staff were exceptionally friendly and helpful. Only one incident marred our visit to a limited extent; Eleven (yes11!) guests were in a connected two-room arrangement across the passageway and they insisted on shouting and screaming at all hours of the day and night. They also insisted on keeping the main door to the passageway open when making a noise. Needless to say this was very irritating but eventually the noise subsided. Breakfast was huge and very good, served on the large patio and inside. The poolside bar was lovely and Squires, just around the corner, served predictable but decent food. The activity centre was outstanding, organising river trips etc extremely efficiently. I genuinely struggle to fault this establishment and would definitely return as and when the opportunity presents itself.

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Chris G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
85 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 April 2014

Having read the reviews for this hotel we went their open-minded. Having stayed 3 nights I can say that we thoroughly enjoyed our stay and had no problems. Reception staff were efficient and friendly. Room, although small, had everything we needed for our stay and was comfortable. Buffet breakfast was good and had a good choice of hot and cold food. For two nights we ate at the Squires Steak House which was excellent. The added bonus, as mentioned by everyone, is the free admission to the Falls which is a short walk through the well kept hotel grounds. We found that the admission was unlimited.

Room Tip: Ask reception for the free loan of a traveller adapter for charging cameras etc
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank AFL63
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Paris, France
Level Contributor
102 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 April 2014

There are pluses and minuses. Of course the location allows you to visit the falls twice a day, and they deserve it! The staff at the reception does everything to help, they've found us 2 double bed rooms instead of 2 queen beds, great. But... the phone in the room is apalling, the reservation for the high-end restaurant does not work, the staff forgets to spray the room for big bugs. Most importantly the stay is overpriced, especially the Activity Center: poor staff, and 80 euros for 2 hours on a small boat on the Zambezi, and 120 euros for 15-min helicopter, per person of course. Same for the segways (30 euros). Overall a good resort for a short stay, but expect to be ripped off.

Room Tip: Quieter rooms on the other side than the pool side, and a good chance to see animals from your bed!
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank PhilPogg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
25 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 April 2014

The hotel rooms are dated and a little on the poor side, but a refurbishment has apparently already begun & is being staged across the room blocks. Rooms are comfortable & clean. Watch out for the monkeys that will try to steal any foodstuffs you may have (as well as the sugar in your room), the staff constantly remind you to close your balcony doors. The public areas are fairly good. Food is pretty good but starts getting a little monotonous after four days. The staff are WONDERFUL, cannot stress how attentive and helpful they are & always with a smile. Did the sunset cruise upriver, pleasant. Did a helicopter flight over the falls, awesome (if expensive). Did a tour to the falls on the Zimbabwe side, awesome. All activities organised by hotel, efficiently. The falls themselves are breathtaking. You will get SOAKED when you go see the falls unless the river is at a low point of the year. Laugh it off with all the other tourists in the same boat. Bye.

Room Tip: none are really better than others, some face pool, some face garden.
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Adam C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hong Kong, China
Level Contributor
204 reviews
157 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 208 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 April 2014

As others have noted, the check in and check out process needs to be materially improved. We spent 20mins checking in and 30mins checking out. The systems went down, they couldn't find our reservation, they don't respond to emails when you try to reach them in advance of your stay, etc, etc. The rooms are not great but they aren't bad. The set up is a bit claustrophic and you can hear noise from your neighbours in the dark and narrow hallways, The bed set up isn't ideal for couples. The hotel can get very busy and noisy around the pool with lots of kids.

The good is decent. Some items are great; others not so much. They also tend to run out of a number of things if they prove popular for guests but it is what it is... it's not a huge deal. Breakfast is a great spread.

The location is fabulous. Right near bungee jumping, can walk to Vic falls hotel in Zim for afternoon tea, can go see Vic falls any time you want, not far from the game park or the microflight. We also really liked the fact that they were connected to the Royal Livingstone. We went to the Royal Livingstone for drinks (24hr bar with a fabulous ambience; riverside veranda is brilliant for sunset drinks - whohoo!), for spa treatments, for horse back riding and for lunch and dinner.

Also, the staff is lovely. They were so kind and funny and friendly. I really can't say enough about how great they were. THANK YOU!

Overall, it was fine. We had a good holiday with our friends. It wouldn't be ideal for a couples getaway but it was good for our big group of friends.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Constantlyontheroad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Farnborough, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 April 2014 via mobile

We stayed from the 11th to the 17th of April in a family room for four which included two double beds and a single armchair. The room was comfortable although somewhat compact with little room to really relax - if you wanted to eat in the room then you had to sit and eat on your beds. Also cupboard and drawer space for a family of four was a little light and we left a lot of our clothes in our suitcases.
The bathroom included shower and a bath, and we had air conditioning in the room as well.
Everything worked well although note that most of the electrical sockets are the three round-pin South African type although you can get an adaptor from reception if you pay a refundable deposit.
The WiFi was free (up to the first 50MB per day) and generally worked well although signal was weak in the room and worked better around the reception and pool area.
The staff were always friendly and attentive. The breakfast buffet was always well stocked with plenty of choice. The pool area was also very nice and served good food although they stopped serving food at four. The main restaurant only served a buffet for dinner but there is another restaurant squires also on site which was decent although nothing special.
The main benefit of this hotel is its proximity to the falls.It's a short walk to the falls (with unlimited entry) and the Vic falls bridge. The hotel provides free rain coats if you want to cross the Knife Edge foot bridge but be prepared to get very wet!
The hotel is in the national park and we saw Girraffe , Zebra, Monkeys, Impala and a monitor lizard. I had read previously that Monkeys were a problem at the hotel but we never witnessed any problems so maybe they've sorted that now.
There is a shuttle bus to the Royal Livingstone in the same resort and I would recommend an evening sitting on the sun deck by the Zambezi with a gin & tonic and watching the sun go down.
The hotel does not run a shuttle into town so you have to get a taxi but Eugene and Charles were always friendly and timely and happy to help where they could.
Apparently they are refurbishing the rooms this year although we don't know what changes they are planing to make.
All in all we had a really enjoyable stay and would recommend the hotel to anyone else wishing to stay.

Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
Helpful?
2 Thank David A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lusaka, Zambia
Level Contributor
17 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 April 2014 via mobile

You pay a premium for the location as this hotel is on the Vic falls' doorstep. The accommodation is typical of the Sun International hotels in Africa. 40 years old which means that there are a lot of things that doesn't work properly anymore. The TV is snowy, the shower head throws one stream of water, the electrical outlets do not work properly and the WiFi is below average.

I paid $20 for a 5 minute International call which is just ridiculous. A bottle of water comes in at $3 and they have no complimentary water in the room. A room is $500 per night so you would think they can throw in a complimentary water. And you don't have a view of the river.

On the plus side. You are three minutes' walk from the Falls. The facilities are very nice - great big pool with loungers, some Zebra grazing freely on the property and you can always pop across to the Royal Livingstone to lounge on the river and watch the smoke that thunders.

Stayed April 2014, travelled on business
Helpful?
1 Thank AppelAmandel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about AVANI Victoria Falls Resort

Property: AVANI Victoria Falls Resort
Address: Mosi-Oa-Tunya Road, Livingstone 20100, Zambia (Formerly Zambezi Sun)
Region: Zambia > Southern Province > Livingstone
Amenities:
Business Centre with Internet Access Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#3 Family Hotel in Livingstone
#3 Luxury Hotel in Livingstone
#4 Romantic Hotel in Livingstone
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:4 star — AVANI Victoria Falls Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 212
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Zambezi Sun, located on the edge of the eastern cataract of the Victoria Falls, reflects the richness and diversity of the country’s heritage; capturing the very soul of Africa – unpretentious, fun and welcoming. With its warm, earthy architecture, inspired by an African walled village and simple finishes highlighted in bright mosaics and fabrics as well as intoxicating Zambian artworks and accessories, the Zambezi Sun is set to turn your stay into a memorable experience. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Zambezi Sun Livingstone
Zambezi Sun Hotel Livingstone

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