Victoria Falls Hotel

Victoria Falls Hotel: Our full report

Rooms
161 rooms 64 standard rooms, 79 deluxe rooms, 7 s
Traveller's rating
Excellent (94%) From 32 reviews
Open
All year

The elegant Victoria Falls Hotel is located within walking distance of the Victoria Falls with views over the famous Victoria Falls Bridge spanning the Batoka Gorge. The hotel (originally built in 1904 to house engineers and associates working on the construction of the railway) is decorated in a style reminiscent of Edwardian times, and is only a ten-minute walk into Victoria Falls town.

The hotel is set in lush, well cared for gardens and has a few calm and tranquil courtyards. In the entrance courtyard, along with a lily pond and slender palm trees is the carriage of an old tram that used to carry visitors from the hotel to the Falls. In another courtyard, in the Stable Block, the hotel management is trialing a new scheme whereby, instead of pretty flowers and ponds, they are planting vegetables and herbs to be used in the hotel kitchen, using compost made from kitchen waste. Scented shrubs make this a very pretty and peaceful area.

The Victoria Falls Hotel has 161 rooms, ranging from standard rooms and deluxe rooms to executive suites. There are a range of facilities on offer dependant on bedroom type. All rooms have en-suite bathrooms, satellite TV, room safes, hairdryer, air-conditioning and telephone. All rooms, except the standard rooms have a minibar and some of the more luxurious rooms have a balcony. Whichever room you choose, the standard is high.

An extensive range of facilities are on offer at The Victoria Falls Hotel, including a selection of restaurants to choose from. The Livingstone Room is a classic Edwardian dining room which opens nightly for dinner and dancing to a live band. It has an à la carte menu with a varied (international and local) wine list, and service which can't have changed much in the last 100 years.

The much more relaxed Jungle Junction offers breakfast and dinner buffets indoors or outdoors overlooking Victoria Falls Bridge. Stanley's Terrace and Stanley's Bar offer light meals, cocktails and it's here where you'll be served the hotel's famous high tea. High tea at the Victoria Falls Hotel is an institution and guests and none residents alike come from far and wide to relax and admire the famous old bridge accompanied by a pot of tea and an neatly presented three storey tower of scones, sandwiches and cakes.

As well as relaxing on the terrace you can pamper yourself in the spa too which offers manicures, facials and a range of body treatments It is also possible to have a poolside massage beside the Edwardian-style swimming pool. It's a great place in its own-right to relax on one of the deck-chairs while maybe ordering something from the poolside bar and lunch time barbeque.

The hotel even offers a chapel which is available for weddings, an activities desk, two all weather tennis courts (although these weren't in great shape on our last visit) and a curio shop.

The Hotel has an 'activity centre' where you can organise a huge range of activities offered including horse riding, parasailing, golf, and canoeing. For the more adventurous white water rafting, jet boating, abseiling, bungee jumping and gorge swinging are also on offer. Flights over Victoria Falls by microlight and helicopter are also possible.

Our view

The Victoria Falls Hotel is a very relaxed and civilised place to stay at the start or end of a safari. It has its own private path and entrance to the Falls and has been hosting guests for over 100 years. There is a variety of accommodation and for a hotel of its size it's got a very friendly atmosphere with something always going on. It's a great place to spend 2 or 3 nights on any trip.

Geographics

Location: Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

Ideal length of stay: We'd recommend a stay of about 2-3 nights at the Victoria Falls Hotel.

Directions: Guests will either arrive into Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe) or Livingstone (Zambia) by air and then transfer to the hotel by road. They may also arrive at the hotel by road from one of the other major tourist destinations in the west of Zimbabwe Such as Hwange or the Matobo Hills National Park.

Accessible by: Fly-and-Transfer

Key personnel

Owner: 50% owned by Meikles Hotels and 50% owned by African Sun Hotels

Staff: Karl Snater – GM Roddy Meiring – Sales and Marketing Manager (also Front of House)

Food & drink

Usual board basis: B&B

Food quality: Most meals are served in the Jungle Junction restaurant which is a short walk through the hotel gardens. Tables are inside or outside with lovely views out towards the Victoria Falls bridge and the spray of the falls.

Breakfast is also served at Jungle Junction and is buffet style with a vast array of cereals, homemade breads and pastries with a hot English breakfast cooked to order.

Another venue for meals is Stanley's Terrace where a light a la carte lunch or dinner are served. The famous traditional English High Tea is also served every afternoon out on the Terrace. On our last visit to the Victoria Falls Hotel we enjoyed a very nice ostrich stir fry salad.

The Livingstone Room has to be the most elegant (and expensive) dining experience in Victoria Falls. This is a fine dining dinner experience with an a la carte menu serving 7 courses and a resident band to entertain diners.

Stanley's Bar is open every evening and is exclusively for residents and diners.

The Bulawayo Room is a beautifully decorated lounge filled with old furniture and antiques where guests can enjoy champagne and after dinner ports.

Dining style: Individual Tables

Dining locations: Indoor and Outdoor Dining

Drinks included: No. The average cost of a soft drink is U$3 with wine varying from U$25 upwards.

Further dining info: Room service available 24 hours

Children

Property’s age restrictions: The Victoria Falls Hotel accepts children of any age.

Special activities & services: A babysitting service is available – note that babysitters might not be trained up to UK standards.

Equipment: Cots are available on request.

Notes: This is an old hotel filled with beautiful furniture and antiques and it is the parents responsibility to look after their children.

Infrastructure

Power supply: Mains Electricity

Communications: There is a telephone in each room and the lodge has internet facilities for guest use near reception. There is WiFi throughout the hotel too.

TV & radio: Each room has a television.

Health & safety

Malarial protection recommended: Yes

Medical care: There is a doctor on call 24 hours a day.

Dangerous animals: Low Risk

Security measures: 24 hour security patrols the premises.

Extras

Disabled access: On Request

Laundry facilities: Full Laundry Service - Extra Charge

Accepted payment on location: The Victoria Falls Hotel accepts credit cards.