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“Exceptional in every way.”
Review of The River Club

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The River Club
Ranked #4 of 17 Hotels in Livingstone
Certificate of Excellence
London
Level Contributor
80 reviews
47 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
“Exceptional in every way.”
Reviewed 17 September 2013

In a breathtaking location overlooking the Zambezi, a stay at this fabulous colonial era property feels like a house party with friends. Great food, varied (included) activities, but most importantly, wonderful staff and management. Peter is a most gracious host and charming raconteur and all his team and warm, friendly and efficient. Top marks and thanks to all.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank SirCLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PeterROJones, Owner at The River Club, responded to this review, 24 September 2013
Dear SirC of London,
I would just like to thank you very much indeed for your review. I am delighted that the lodge was able to provide you with everything to make your stay a good one. Each evening is like a private dinner party and having converted my house to be the lodge I do very much feel as though I am still "at home" with very special guests such as yourself each time I have dinner. I am glad you felt the same way. A win win scenario!
I hope that you are planning a return visit again at some stage. Best wishes from all of us at The River Club.
Aye,
Peter
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181 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (49)
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English first
Texas
Level Contributor
225 reviews
75 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 September 2013

River Club is top notch in every category. Rooms are outstanding with everything you need and a great view of the River. Staff is beyond outstanding as is the owner. Activities are abundant and overall a tremendous place to visit. Meals were outstanding.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank TXtraveler67_71
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PeterROJones, Owner at The River Club, responded to this review, 24 September 2013
Dear TXTraveler,
Thank you so much for your outstanding review. We all really do appreciate your comments and the staff were very excited to read about them as was I. Thank you again and hope to see you back at the lodge soon.
Warmest regards
Peter
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New Hyde Park, New York
Level Contributor
216 reviews
48 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 September 2013

Wonderful location, wonderful staff and accommodations. Cabin are duplex with bathroom/shower on both levels. Common areas were comfortable inviting and roomy. Internet availability. Friendly staff, food excellent. Short drive to Victoria Falls. Boat rides along the River allowed for viewing of a multitude of birds and other animals

Room Tip: All rooms I saw were overlooking the river with excellent views
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  • Stayed June 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank PGIT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PeterROJones, Manager at The River Club, responded to this review, 24 September 2013
Dear PGIT,
Many thanks for your kind review and for taking the time to put it on to TripAdvisor. We all hope that you had a safe flight home and look forward to seeing you out here again.
Kindest regards
Peter
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Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 August 2013

Words like enchanting and sublime come to mind, as I try to capture the wonderful place that The River Club is and the most enjoyable time that I had there. Peter Jones has created a fantastic experience for those travelers fortunate enough to find themselves in the most beautiful location in southern Africa. Eugene, Christelle,and the entire staff were welcoming and attentive. The meals were spectacular. There is no better place to enjoy a sunset in Africa than with a cold drink alongside the infinity pool. When next in Zambia, I can only hope there will be availability at The River Club. Anywhere else is second best. Derek West, U.S.A.

  • Stayed August 2013
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Derek W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PeterROJones, Owner at The River Club, responded to this review, 30 August 2013
Dear Derek, I apologise for not being around when you came to stay but thank you for choosing us again and thank you for your kind words on your review. I very much look forward to seeing you again when you are next in Zambia. Please remember that there is always a room available for you. Best regards, Peter
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Tiburon
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 August 2013

Following many hours of travel and a spectacular boat ride up the Zambezi River spotting elephants, hippos, crocodiles and baboons we arrived at the River Club which was heaven. We had to pinch ourselves to prove we were really in Africa. We received a genuinely warm reception and a completely thorough and organized itinerary. Our open aired room could not have been more comfortable and well appointed. July is winter in Zambia, but we were wonderfully cozy under our warm blankets and the view from bed was breathtaking. I must mention, although it did not deter us from enjoying our stay, there were many tiny ants in the bathroom. Nothing a little bug spray, which is available in the room, couldn't take care of. Adjacent the warm fire, an intimate dinner (and all meals) was set at a lovely long dining table lit by tall candelabra. It was, as another reviewer suggested, like a step back in time. The food was wonderful and the company even better. A helicopter tour of the falls was planned for us and I cannot recommend that experience more highly - a must! Visiting Somonga Village was a highlight for all of us, especially our 16 and 18 year olds. Thank you Eugene, Christelle, Trudy, Mack, Peter and those whose names escape me! It was an amazing stay!

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank ianpaigemac
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PeterROJones, Owner at The River Club, responded to this review, 30 August 2013
Dear IanPageMac
Thank you for your review on the lodge and it was a real pleasure to have had you all to stay. The Simonga village experience is indeed a moving one. Like you I think it is a must for everyone to go and see, especially the younger generations. Thank you for your feed back on the ants. We have instituted a programme to combat the problem.
We hope that the rest of your trip went well and we all look forward to see you again.
Best regards
Peter
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New York City, New York
Level Contributor
53 reviews
45 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 102 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 August 2013

Of all the camps we stayed at on our African Safari this had the BEST common area…a snooker room, indoor/outdoor library and various other exposed lounge type rooms all in horseshoe shape exposed to a beautiful outdoor courtyard with croquet. The manager Eugene and his lovely wife Crystal welcomed us very warmly. We left another hotel quickly and unexpectedly due to horrible service and Eugene and Crystal could not have been more gracious and friendly. They showed us a soon to be completed villa large enough for a family as we expressed interest in returning in the future. They set up our delicious dinner each evening at the pool, away from the other guests, as they knew we were looking for some private time. The villa was cozy and warm, up high on the hill giving the vibe of a treehouse. The sunset cruise was delightful. Just a few other couples joined us on the small powerboat and we cruised for 90 mins with a guide to point out the wildlife along the way whle we enjoyed cocktailes and small bites. Just 30 mins by hotel shuttle to the Falls and away from the Disney like atmosphere of hotels too close to the Falls (helicopters, parachuting, etc...). The River Club is a real gem of a camp with an old colonial era feel!!!

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Dalocopa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PeterROJones, Owner at The River Club, responded to this review, 26 August 2013
Dear Dalocopa,
Many thanks for your review and for your kind words. I am sorry that I was not here during your stay but am delighted that Eugene and Christelle looked after you so well whilst you were here at the lodge. I look forward to meeting you next time.
Regards from all of us
Peter
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Tanunda
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 July 2013

This property has a lovely main area and there are some great included activities. They have a great chef who cooks good basic meals and they are included in the package. Wines are included but quality average. There is no mini bar which I have not seen in a hotel that charges over $Us1,000 a night and amenities very basis. Rooms are poorly constructed and designed. Others issues are the rooms are open to the elements so it is cold in winter and not in the summer. At $US580 a person ($US1,160) these issue are not acceptable. On top of this it is 30km from Victoria Falls and there is a 5 star hotel at the falls for half the price.

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
5 Thank Jimmy1968
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PeterROJones, Owner at The River Club, responded to this review, 18 July 2013
We would like to thank the reviewer for their feedback on TripAdvisor. Our response to the cost difference between the two properties is what one would expect between a private fully inclusive 22 bedded lodge with activities as opposed to a public 400 bedded hotel on a bed and breakfast rate.

On arrival the reviewer and his group indicated that their rooms had the “wow” factor and expressed their complete satisfaction with the evening cruise on the river on their own private boat. Although the author has now indicated his dissatisfaction with the house wines this was not done during the time of their stay and they did not change to one from the cellar available for purchase. I personally hosted the family on their first night and the compliments about the food were far better than is suggested in the posted letter on TripAdvisor. During the meal we discussed the comparisons between The River Club and the family’s own lodge which they had recently started. The following morning during breakfast, there were no complaints about the accommodation or any negative comments about the lodge at all. The group was given their own private vehicle with driver/guide for the duration of their stay and it was only after they returned at 1900 hours from an all day activity during which they went to compare rates at a bigger hotel that comments about costs were talked about. On departure from the lodge the reviewer indicated to me verbally was that their only issue was the difference in costs between the hotel they went to and ourselves. It was never suggested that our rooms were unclean for example.

To ensure that other readers might know what is included in the daily rate which this reviewer paid at our lodge:
• Accommodation with aircon / heater (all their rooms had two bathrooms). The third room had a plunge pool.
• Breakfast, lunch, dinner, high tea
• All drinks (excluding premium wines and spirits) including 4 house wines (A good South African brand (Douglas Green) Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot), a range of teas and Zambian coffee
• 5 activities: Private guided tour of the Victoria Falls, evening cruise on the Zambezi River, tour of the local village including projects supported by the lodge, game drive in the Mosi-oa-Tunya game park and fishing (the last two activities were not undertaken by the reviewer).
• Private vehicle for their sole use during their stay
• Use of the facilities within the lodge: tennis court, croquet court, gymnasium, running track nature trail, swimming pool
• WIFI and use of computer
• Laundry
• Staff service charge
• Agent/booking fees

It should be remembered that the rate of the hotel they went to only included bed and breakfast.

Our evening cruises take place on a quiet section of the river with a maximum of 10 people on each boat. Further downstream the cruises are conducted on craft with up to 250 people on board with many other boats in the area. Our location, 18 kms from the Falls, ensures that we are able to provide a quiet respite from the air activities which take place all day over the alternative accommodation the family went to visit at the Falls. The River Club is private and very personal lodge hosting a maximum of 22 guests, who not only do we get to know all on a first name basis, but get to know personally. This is simply not the case with the other property.

The author did complain to their agent and had asked for a refund on the difference between the lodge and the hotel prior to posting this review.

Peter Jones
Co-owner
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Additional Information about The River Club

Property: The River Club
Address: Farm 1519A, Nakatindi Road | Simonga, Livingstone 60469, Zambia
Region: Zambia > Southern Province > Livingstone
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection 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 Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Spa Hotel in Livingstone
#2 Romantic Hotel in Livingstone
#4 Family Hotel in Livingstone
#4 Luxury Hotel in Livingstone
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:4 star — The River Club 4*
Number of rooms: 11
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The River Club is the only boutique hotel in the area and run by its owner. This former residence is a tranquil oasis on Zambia's mighty Zambezi River and is the perfect location for a visit to the renowned Victoria Falls - a World Heritage Site and one of 2 places in the world to have remained on the list the 7 Natural Wonders of the World (the other being the Grand Canyon). Located a mere 26kms/16 miles upstream from the Falls and 18kms/ 11miles from the historical town of Livingstone, The River Club forms a perfect end to a safari circuit in Southern or East Africa. The 11 private and spacious suites are individually set within magnificent trees on the edge of the Zambezi River, overlooking pods of hippo into the Zambezi National Park. A host of activities await young and old, on property as well as around the Victoria Falls. The lodge is set on a 50 acre secure property with manicured gardens, where one can completely relax away from all the noise of helicopters over hotels closer to the Falls. A magnificent rim flow swimming pool, pool loungers, private deck and hammocks complete the setting. An all-weather hard tennis court, a central croquet lawn and a 2km nature trail that can also be used as a running track for those who need to keep fitness levels topped up. Daily sunset cruises on the Zambezi River are offered at sunset. Activities in the area include a visit to the mighty Victoria Falls, game drives in the nearby Mosi-Oa-Tunga National Park, white water rafting, helicopter flights over the Falls, canoeing safaris, historical tours including places of Jewish interest and more. Dining under the stars is a highlight and a kosher kitchen ensures we are able to cater for those who require it. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The River Club Hotel Livingstone

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