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Bulawayo Rainbow Hotel
Ranked #5 of 8 Hotels in Bulawayo
Reviewed 2 August 2014

A grand lobby and reception area gives the impression of a hotel that is well-run and efficient. The attentive porters, well-polished floors, tasteful furniture, comfortable chairs, and nice flower arrangements wouldn't be out of place in a four or five star Johannesburg hotel. Unfortunately, taking the lift to the fourth floor destroys all of that. The lobby floor and lift floor are about two centimeters out of level, and almost everyone trips getting in. On the fourth floor, the carpets are grubby, and at my room door there was no striker plate in the door frame. The wiring of the lamps in the room is bizarre, and I suspect that some of the globes had actually failed, because no combination of the switches would turn them on. Notwithstanding that, the bed was comfortable, and the television is new, but the reception was shocking even on the satellite channels. The bathroom was clean and neat, even though I am not a fan of combination bath-shower installations. The hot water was a huge let down; at the flow rate that a shower is possible, there is essentially no hot water at all. The wifi was another huge let down; bandwidth in Zimbabwe isn't great anywhere, but it seemed particularly slow and the user interface and password system were clunky. After these disappointments, things just go downhill: the service at the bar is slow; the restaurant service is terrible; the checkout is slow; deposits and payments are properly tracked; and the parking area is overcrowded with almost non-existent security. All-in-all, this isn't a hotel I will go back to in a hurry, and it isn't one I would recommend to anyone else.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled on business
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1  Thank Andrew W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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56 - 62 of 72 reviews

Reviewed 16 April 2014

I am a frequent traveler and have been lucky enough to find myself at the Rainbow Hotel in Bulawayo. This is a wonderful hotel located near the heart of the city. The rooms are spacious and lovely and the beds very comfortable. The hotel space itself is quite beautiful, and there are many services available in the hotel or nearby. The food is also remarkable with some of the best steak I have ever eaten. But what really sets this hotel apart is the friendliness and kindness of the staff, who routinely go out of their way to make sure guests are happy and comfortable. One of the hoteliers--Mr. Shingi Bvunzawabaya--is the epitome of

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled on business
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1  Thank amardisney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 October 2013

If you’re looking for convenient accommodations in the heart of the city, the Bulawayo Rainbow Hotel is worth considering. An older hotel, it has been maintained well and was quite comfortable during our stay.
The king-sized bed was covered with six pillows and the mattress was pleasingly firm. I got a good night’s rest.
A 32” flat screen TV got good reception for the most part and had inputs for your DVD player or computer. A wide desk made working convenient.
A large built-in closet had ample number of hangers (lacking in most other African hotels) and a series of dresser drawers below a small safe.
The bathroom has a flex-hose shower over the tub and the tub was built into a ceramic tile enclosure.
A coffee/tea service awaited on the desk and I used up all the individual packets provided as I worked late into the night.
Staff is friendly and the restaurant is right off the elevator lobby – super convenient. Food was good and the chef makes eggs to order for breakfast, in addition to all the standard buffet fare.
Internet coverage was a little wierd. Sometime you needed a password and sometimes not???

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled with friends
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2  Thank TravelWriterDB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 January 2013

The area in which the Rainbow is situated belies the fact that the hotel is actually pretty ok. The rooms are of average size, with airconditioning, and very 80's feeling bathroom and a TV. On the positive they do have free wifi and pretty efficient porters. However, be warned that the building is old - the elevator has difficulty stopping in line with the floor, the AC sounds like a truck and the TV reception can be questionable. I would not recommend calling for room/bar service - you will die of hunger/thirst before you get help. The main reason for my poor rating on this hotel was the absolute lack of value for money - at $150 per night, I expected more. Try and avoid the underground parking at the hotel - the bays are from the era of Fiat 500 sized cars - and anything bigger is a nightmare to get out!

  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled with friends
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5  Thank Rdaya
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 January 2013

It's not a bad place, just not good either. Not sure why but the toilet is literally RIGHT NEXT to the tub, I can't imagine how anyone who is slightly overweight could manage to use the thing.....we were lucky that my husband and I are not very big. Weird configuration of the bathroom in general, and again, poor TV service. Took at least three calls to get anything delivered to the room. Could use improvement, but for the city it's probably your best option.

  • Stayed: November 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank Deiah V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 November 2012

As the guest of the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority invited to witness first hand their travel & tourism offering, this hotel was our two night stay over en route from Harare to Victoria Falls. Welcomed by an amazing youth choir who sang my national anthem ( South African ) with such gusto & passion that I had to dance along gave way to a full on tired and thoroughly uninspiring city centre trade mark long lost within her ignominity.

The hotel was obviously busy ( our group was taking 25/30 rooms ) and a singles get together attracting fully over sixty patrons gave our hotel a well lived in air. Dinner on night one was dull, poorly managed which should just not be the case with a buffet styled meal. Self service for all food with the exception of beverages should have the waiter fraternity a humming. No such luck ! Rooms: Mine was straight out of the eighties. Shower in bath that placed more water on the floor than on me, An in room safe that would not operate. air-conditioning that if on, no sleep & off far too hot and an overall room appeal closer to a respected morgue left me wanting to LEAVE IT alone in quiet respect.

Active sports bar on the ground floor where I witnessed the most incredible display of inept and ineffective management of staff. In house bickering, slow service and belligerent back chat all in direct view/hearing of their patrons. Management flitted in & out with not one iota of concern for this going on....

Would I recommend the Rainbow Bulawayo Hotel ? Quite simply no, although I did not visit any other properties during my time in Bulawayo there is Nesbit Castle, The Bulawayo Club and for those with the time and inclination Camp Amalinda within the Matobo Nature Reserve which is eruditely in private hands and some would say the only place to stay...

Room Tip: Good luck !
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  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled on business
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1  Thank Smoothafrica
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 October 2012

When you stay at Bulawayo Hotel remebmer you are in Zimbabwe! Staff is friendly but things don't happen first time try. Needs some patience to get organize (e. g. door card worked only after reset, WIFI key was wrong, early breakfast on a Sunday morning difficult). Lively neighbourhood with music that went on until midnight. Bring earplugs. Rooms are comfortable, fairly big size, new bedding and fresh feel.

  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Frogy007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Bulawayo Rainbow Hotel

Address: 10th Avenue Josiah Tongogara | Box 1876, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe
Region: Zimbabwe > Bulawayo Province > Bulawayo
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 8 Hotels in Bulawayo
Price Range: £66 - £77 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Bulawayo Rainbow Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 172
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