Situated in the Vumba Mountains in the Eastern Highlands 33 kilometers south-east of Mutare
The Leopard Rock Hotel is without doubt one of Zimbabwe’s iconic hotels and its setting is simply breath taking. The Eastern Highlands of Zimbabwe has been hit very hard by the country’s economic woes, none less than the tourism industry. The hotel has been through changes of ownership in recent times and continues to offer a wonderful experience.
The management and staff at the Leopard Rock provide a typical warm Zimbabwe welcome and the various travel website reviews provide testament to the overall consistency of the hotels offering.
The rooms in the hotel are very spacious and all have bathrooms en suite. Fortunately there is no television. There is an olde world charm about them which has been preserved well. As you drive up to the hotel, the building presents a very imposing sight and the reception area is open and spacious with magnificent glass windows.
The views from the rooms of the hotel are sublime and the gardens and grounds are beautifully laid out and maintained. The hotel offers a table d’hôte and a la carte menu for dinner in its beautifully appointed La Roche Restaurant dining room. The food is prepared freshly and is plentiful and of a very high quality.
The Leopard Rock is the perfect place to simply relax but there are a number of activities on offer and things for guests to do such as visiting the Chapel and Castle and a walk around the golf course and also game viewing.
The Castle, which is adjacent to the hotel was where the Seymour-Smiths lived whilst the hotel was being built. The initial section of the Leopard Rock was built after WWll and opened in 1946. Mrs Seymour-Smiths, it is told, saw a leopard baking in the sun near the house and so it was decided to name the hotel Leopard Rock. In 1953, Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, stayed at the hotel with her daughter, Princess Margaret, and was so taken with the property and its spectacular surroundings that she was inspired to pen these words for posterity; “There is nowhere more beautiful in Africa”
Leopard Rock Hotel was then purchased by the Taberer family in the 1990s and a major expansion project was undertaken, which saw the construction of a new bedroom block –increasing the number of available rooms and suites to accommodate 120 guests. The hotel took on new ownership in 2014.
The Leopard Rock is famous for its golf course and people have travelled far and wide to play on what can only be described as one of Southern Africa’s most picturesque golf courses. The course was designed by the world renowned Zimbabwean Peter Matkovich. A lesser known fact is that Peter was a highly talented rugby player and represented his country at full back. He gave up rugby to become a professional golfer and ultimately turned his talents to golf course design for which he is world renowned.
In 2011 and 2012, the hotel was named Best Resort Hotel in Zimbabwe by the Association of Zimbabwean Travel Agents at their annual awards event. In 2013, CNN Travel named the Leopard Rock golf course one of Africa’s 10 best golf courses.
The Leopard Rock is situated 30 kms South East of Mutare in the Bvumba Mountains and on a clear day there is some great views to be had. It is in easy access of a number of local attractions.
“A weekend away to Leopard Rock Hotel is an absolutely magic experience, the staff are incredibly attentive and flexible to residents needs, the rooms are immaculate and the ambiance is one of a kind. I would happily recommend Leopard Rock to anyone looking for a place to stay in the eastern highlands”
“A wonderful setting for a charming hotel. The staff are very accommodating and helpful. Break fast was an amazing…The room tastefully furnished clean and fresh liked having my own balcony. An amazing location set against the Bunga Forest and the mountain. The pool set in a sunken garden just lends its self to a relaxing time. The Golf course and club house again in a prime position.Well placed even if you do not play golf to walk round the course is amazing experience just soaking up this part of Zimbabwe.”
“Leopard Rock is set in a beautiful part of Zimbabwe. We were very impressed by the rooms and the food was delicious! We played some golf, went for sundowners at the castle and managed to go for a walk in the forest. It was unfortunately raining when we were there, so we didn’t head to the viewing platform, but will definitely be back to do this soon! Thank you so much for the service!”
“My husband and I had a great romantic weekend get away at Leopard Rock for the weekend…The room was clean, bed comfortable and the meals were delicious. The staff was very attentive and always pleasant. The receptionist during our stay Claris was extremely pleasant and helpful, many thanks for all the assistance Claris! “