Reviews of Royal Livingstone Hotel
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Go ahead, be a tourist!
We definitely stayed one night more than we should have -- but since I got a cold and my wife a stomach bug on arrival in Africa, it was very good that we had an extra day to recover.
The ambiance is wonderful, but basically it was more touristy than we wanted. The chef is good, but wildly overreaches his level of competence.
Strongly recommended for those who want to chill out at the start or end of an Africa trip.
Relaxing start to trip at Royal Livingstone
The first evening the staff had left lights on immediately outside our room and a lamp inside. When we return after dinner the room was full of insects. We call for service and they sprayed because of the volume of insects then literally swept out the room. On future nights the lights were left out to avoid the problem.
The price of wine was extortionate, a modest South African red which we can buy in England for less than £5 was $58 a btle.
Excellent position. Best breakfast buffet I have seen for a long time. Lovely pool and deck for sunset drinks although when they had a big function on our second evening there was no bar at the deck. Lack of staff?
The client relations staff have obviously never walked to the Falls. As the water on thh Zambian side was low, we asked about going to Zimbabwe but they were not sure whether we would be able to get visas and then get back easily.
We walked across the bridge, checked with the Zambian authorities they would let us back in, paid $55 each for a Zimbabwean visa walked to the park. saw the Falls and walked back with no problems.
The boat trip to Livingstone Island ( in dry season) is unmissable. It was one of the highlights of my husband's trip that he swam in the pool at the top of the Falls and looked over the edge.
We recommend the museum in Livingstone and particularly the section on David Livingstone, the colonial and post colonial era and lots of information about Zambia up to the present day.
We went to an African restauarant in town - can't remember name but will let you know - which had good food, lovely waitresses in national dress and an entertaining floor show.
Activities at the hotel are really what you make of them. There is a footpath from the hotel to the Falls on the Zambian side and I don't think enough people knew of its existence.
Extremely good service, wonderful location if slightly isolated.
Beautifully designed rooms. Food over elaborate. We ate at the Zambezi Sun for the 2nd two nights of our stay and their buffet was excellent. On our last morning at the Royal they did a buffet for breakfast which was perfect as you could choose what you wanted rather than eleborate concoctions.
The hotel arranged a taxi for us into Livingstone and he waited for us whilst we visited the museum which was particularly good.
Sipping G and Ts by the Zambezi
The service standards were excellent. The experience was a bit pseudo colonial though and might not be to everyone's taste. The rather persistent monkeys that come to take what they can from your dining table were a bit of a nuisance and the stone throwing monkey guards not very effective.
It felt like the hotel was a bit of an intrusion into nature but its location close to the Falls meant convenient access both morning and at sundown.
The spa facilities which offer massages on the edge of the Zambezi were a real treat as was afternoon tea. Skip lunch if you are going to indulge though.
A huge contrast as formal hotel and staff after the informalty of the camps- lovely to have a bath!!
At times the staff were quite rigid about what could occur- eg meal time bookings in the restaurant. other service was impeccable
Great luxury hotel just steps from the Falls
Much more luxurious than we expected which was a great start to our holiday - though not sure really what we expected! Good that all rooms have river views.
Standard of food and service excellent. Breakfast especially. Clear that the staff are all well trained and an obvious management presence throughout was much appreciated.
We visited the Falls morning, noon and evening so it was vital we could walk there easily. A hotel requiring a bus ride at set times would have been very frustrating.
Wine list was ridiculous - a comment already fed back to the hotel. Very overpriced ordinary French wines. $100 for something we can buy in the shops for £5.
One problem with this trip was too little exercise so it was a shame the pool (not heated) was so uninviting. It was a good size with a lovely view but remained empty.
One admin note - we were not given any info on our departure until too late. We rang at 5pm the day before as the departure time could have affected our evening plans. We were told the time then but it was not confirmed until 9pm that evening in a letter. Better communication called for.
A wonderful setting and so near the falls
The Royal Livingston was in a wonderful setting and only a short walk the to fabulous falls. It was a lovely finish to our holiday although I missed the bush. The Hotel was beautifully done and the rooms very nice.
The lay out of the fruits, cereal and meats etc at breakfast was a feast to the eyes, an amazing display. We were disapointed with the quality of the evening meals after being so spoilt at the camps.