Radisson Blu Hotel

Radisson Blu Hotel: Our full report

Rooms
142 rooms
Traveller's rating
Good (84%) From 35 reviews
Children
Good for all ages.
Open
All year

The Radisson Blu Hotel in Lusaka opened in September 2012. Located about 5km from the city centre, it’s one of the closest hotels to Lusaka Airport, which is only about 20 minutes’ drive away. The hotel caters both to those on holiday, usually on an overnight stop, and to international business travellers. It is also a local conference and event venue.

Each of the Radisson Blu’s 142 rooms and suites is spacious (starting from 38m2) and has either twin beds or an enormous king-size bed.

  • In the standard rooms, recessed lighting, funky hanging lamps, monochrome floor tiles and furniture and a glass coffee table give the room a very modern feel. We particularly liked the splashes of red – in the throw on the bed and the comfy red sofa – which added a bit of warmth to our room when we stayed in September 2013. The rooms all have satellite television, air conditioning, tea- and coffee-making facilities, and a minibar as standard. The en-suite bathroom has equally modern monochrome décor and features a spa-bath, separate shower, flushing toilet and twin handbasins.

  • Decorated in a similar style to the standard rooms, the Radisson’s superior rooms are all on the ground floor at the back of the hotel, and have sliding doors leading out to the pool area.

  • If you upgrade to a business-class room, you can expect a Nespresso coffee machine rather than the standard tea and coffee facilities, as well as access to free movies, and there’s also a turndown service.

  • The one-bedroom suites offer the same amenities as the business-class rooms, but have more space, with the inclusion of a lounge that is separate from the bedroom.

In the large reception area you’ll find the usual check-in and concierge desks. We had a very warm welcome from the Radisson Blu team, and found them friendly and efficient. Marble walls, chrome pillars and several separate seating areas with black or red leather and fabric sofas are in keeping with the modern, contemporary décor of the hotel. On the first floor, reached via the lift or a wide staircase from the reception area, is a business centre providing services such as faxing and photocopying.

To the back of the Radisson is a pool – decidedly chilly but refreshing in the October heat – and a pool bar, where hotel guests and locals alike are able to enjoy a snack or drink. At weekends, particularly if the weather is good, do expect this to be a popular gathering place and thus service quite slow. Beside the pool is a well-equipped gym with cardio equipment and weights, and a small spa offering a range of massages and beauty treatments.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner are offered in the hotel’s Filini Restaurant and Bar, which features mostly Italian-themed dishes. The restaurant was quiet during dinner service, but it has a lovely ambience and our waiter was both charming and attentive. If you’d like to try something a bit more local, then the hotel is located just across the road from a large shopping mall with a variety of restaurants.

Our view

The Radisson Blu Hotel is a modern hotel within easy reach of Lusaka Airport. The facilities are good and the rooms spacious, with the amenities we’d expect in an international chain hotel. Of course, it’s likely to be a bit of a shock to the system if you’ve come straight from a remote safari camp in the bush! However, we found the welcome really warm and although the service was sometimes slow, we were pleasantly surprised by the friendliness of the staff from check-in to check-out.

Geographics

Location: Lusaka area, Zambia

Ideal length of stay: Most safari guests stay one night as a stopover in Lusaka at the start or end of a trip to Zambia.

Directions: The Radisson Blu is approximately 20 minutes by road from Lusaka Airport.

Accessible by: Fly-and-Transfer

Key personnel

Owner: Part of the Radisson Blu chain of hotels.

Food & drink

Usual board basis: B&B

Food quality: Open between 10.00am and 7.00pm, the pool bar offers drinks and light snacks for more informal dining during the day.

The Italian-themed Filini restaurant is open daily for:
Breakfast: 6.30–10.30am
Lunch: 12.00–3pm
Dinner: 6.00–10.00pm

For dinner in September 2013 we particularly enjoyed our excellent bruschetta and parma ham starter, which was, frankly, enough for two. Our main of penne arrabiata was a little more average and much spicier than we’d have liked. Sadly, we had no room for dessert!

Breakfast was an incredible spread, served buffet style. Choices included bacon and eggs and the usual cooked breakfast accompaniments, fresh fruit, cold meats, various cheeses, pastries, cereals and a selection of breads. Omelettes and waffles are made to order.

Dining style: Individual Tables

Dining locations: Indoor and Outdoor Dining

Cost of meal e.g. lunch: £10-15

Drinks included: Drinks are not included. In September 2013, a cider cost around Kw40 (approx US$6); a local beer Kw21 (US$3); and a glass of house red wine Kw35 (US$6). A soft drink from the minibar was around Kw14 (US$2).

Further dining info: Room service is available. Prices range from around Kw40 for soup to Kw90 for a hamburger and chips, or Kw120 for a sirloin steak.

Children

Attitude towards children: Children of all ages are welcome at the Radisson Blu.

Property’s age restrictions: The Radisson Blu has no minimum age restriction.

Special activities & services: The hotel offers babysitting, with prices available on request. It has not been made clear to Expert Africa if the babysitters are professionally qualified.

Equipment: Cots can be provided free of charge. These should ideally be requested in advance, but can be arranged at the hotel, subject to availability.

Notes: The hotel pool is unfenced. Children must be supervised by their parents at all times.

Infrastructure

Power supply: Mains Electricity

Communications: There are telephones in the rooms (calls chargeable) and the hotel has cellphone reception. WiFi is free of charge to guests staying at the hotel.

TV & radio: There are satellite televisions in the rooms with sports, movies, local and international news channels.

Water supply: Mains

Health & safety

Malarial protection recommended: Yes

Medical care: Appointments with a local doctor can be arranged by the concierge.

Dangerous animals: Low Risk

Security measures: The hotel property has a security gate and there are security guards on site 24 hours a day.

Fire safety: Fire hoses are strategically placed throughout the hotel. There is an evacuation plan and map on the back of each hotel room door in case of a fire.

Extras

Disabled access: On Request

Laundry facilities: Full Laundry Service – Extra Charge

Money: There is a safe in each room. The hotel has currency exchange facilities for currencies including kwacha (local currency), US dollars, pounds Sterling and euros. Exchange rates are updated daily and posted on a board at reception.

Accepted payment on location: Visa, MasterCard and American Express credit cards are accepted. Cash payments may be made only in Zambian kwacha.

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