Review: The Victoria Falls Hotel, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe


The Victoria Falls Hotel is one of Africa’s most famous hotels. Originally built to accompany the Cairo to Cape Town Railway, the hotel was initially the home to construction workers of the railway. The property has hosted guests since 1904 and has dazzled guests with its views, and proximity to Victoria Falls, providing a luxury experience to all guests who are fortunate enough to stay.

This post is one chapter on our trip to South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Mauritius and the United Arab Emirates. This trip was redeemed through American Airlines AAdvantage & Alaska Mileage Plan. For more information on how this trip was booked, please see our trip introduction here. For other parts of the trip, please see this index.

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Review: The Victoria Falls Hotel, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

“The Victoria Falls Hotel provides traditional and time tested luxury accommodations in palatial surroundings, a mere steps from the Victoria Falls; a must stay for any travellers seeking the traditional African holiday experience”

Booking The Victoria Falls Hotel:

I had last been to Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe almost 19 years ago. At the time, they were even using the old Zim Dollars, along with a side of US currency on that last visit. As some may know, the Zim dollar had a one hundred trillion dollar note before it was delisted. The town has changed quite a lot since then, as has our income level.

On our stay this time, and to celebrate MrsWT73’s first visit, we opted for the convenience and elegance of The Victoria Falls Hotel. This is the arguably the nicest property to stay at while in town and a substantial upgrade from the Cresta Sprayview Lodge where I had stayed last time. For this stay, I found a better rate on Expedia than I did on the hotel website (by about $150 USD over two nights) and just booked with Expedia.

In terms of getting to the hotel, a private or shared van transfer was offered. We ended up arranging a shared van transfer through the hotel. Being the only flight arriving at that time, we were pretty much assured of being the only passengers on the van after we got off our Air Namibia Windhoek – Victoria Falls flight. We had the short 20 kilometer drive into town.

Arriving to the Victoria Falls Hotel:

The Victoria Falls Hotel has been in operation since 1904 and is one of the grand old colonial railway hotels on the Cape Town to Cairo railway. The railway was partially built but never finished. On arrival to the hotel, we were given a refreshing towel and welcome drink at check in.

Arriving to the Victoria Falls Hotel
A Grand Entry: The Front Door to the Victoria Falls Hotel
Lobby of the Victoria Falls Hotel

On our arrival at noon, our room was not available, but they worked hard to get us a room by 2 PM. In the mean time, we walked the ground of the property. The grounds here are absolutely spectacular and the overall space is un-rivaled in Zimbabwe and Southern Africa.

Walking Out to the Waterfall Views
Beautifully Landscaped Grounds
British Styled Colonial Gardens
Looking Out Towards the Waterfall under the Zimbabwe Flag
Looking Back Towards the Main Hotel Building
The Famous Distance Marker for the Cairo to Cape Town Railway
Spacious and Elegant Grounds

The hotel offered peek a poo views of the railway bridge between Zimbabwe and Zambia. The bridge covered the Zambezi River, spanning both countries.

Overlooking the Zambezi River
Into the Gorge of the Zambezi River

Food and Beverage:

Stanley’s Terrace:

While we were waiting for our room to become available, we went out to pass the time by having lunch on the patio known as Stanley’s Terrace. A lovely and refreshing gin and tonic for me along with sandwiches and a small salad. A glass of South African white for MrsWT73 and a sandwich for her.

A View of Stanley’s Terrace
A Refreshing Lunch While Planning our Stay

Around the Hotel:

After lunch, we headed though the lobby to find out our room assignment. The indoor lobby bar was similar to that of a regal hunting lodge. It had décor that was unique, yet completely with the period and look and feel of the hotel.

Interesting Artifacts marked the Sitting Room
The Entry to the Bulawayo Room
The Entry to the Stanley Room
Assorted Animal Heads
Colonial Styled Grand Hallways

The formal dining room “The Livingstone Room”, also looked quite classy.

The Livingstone Room

The Room: A Standard Room

Our assigned room #68, was a small but well appointed room. It contained bottled water, a nice bathroom, in room safes, slippers, chocolates on the bed during turn down service, fly screens over the bed an all the elegance one would expect from a regal hotel.

A Standard King
A Standard Room King

The room featured a small desk, along with a small storage space or closet for shirts or other suitcase storage.

A Look Inwards to the Room
The Storage Room

There was a small bathroom, consistent with the era with a single vanity sink.

We enjoyed a solid two night stay in this room and had no complaints. While it was a smaller room, it wasn’t as small as I would have expected from a property that has been in existence since 1904.

Around the Property:

The property had a nice terrace, with a view of the Victoria Falls Bridge between Zimbabwe and Zambia.

The property also had a pleasant pool (by African standards). It was a little colonial styled, much like our past room at the Rambagh Palace in Jaipur. While it looked inviting, we ended up only enjoying some sun by the pool on occasion, and not actually a proper swimming dip. Still, it was among the nicest pools in Afrca that I’ve had the opportunity to spend time at.

A Nice Outdoor Pool
Shaded Lounge Chairs, Poolside

There was also an outdoor dining area, that we didn’t get the opportunity to enjoy for dinner.

There were also several monkeys and warthogs roaming around the property at odd times. This was a great way of getting exposure to African wildlife without actually being on a proper safari.

Food and Beverage:

Breakfast at Jungle Junction:

During our stay, we had a full breakfast courtesy of the hotel at the Jungle Junction restaurant. The Jungle Junction is a partially covered outdoor setting that is situated by the pool. There was sparking Cap Classique, omelette stations and every type of food imaginable. The staff had to keep the monkeys away from the food areas by using cap guns that made loud noises at times.

The Jungle Junction Seating
The Jungle Junction Covered Seating
Breakfast is On: Jungle Junction
Sparkling Cap Classique Wine
All sorts of Hot and Cold Breakfast Items were Available
…along with wildlife for entertainment
A Fabulous Feast for Breakfast

The breakfast offering was more than expected and certainly allowed me to fill up for the day.

The Bottom Line on The Victoria Falls Hotel:

The Victoria Falls Hotel was a very comfortable place to stay. With it’s large estate grounds, we were really happy to have a well situated and relaxing place to call home. The hotel is well featured and with its nice gin and tonics’ on the Stanley Terrace, we had easily found the British outpost of years past was replicated immaculately.

If you’ve stayed at the Victoria Falls Hotel, did it compliment your visit to Victoria Falls?

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