Victoria Falls Hotel
Situated in Victoria Falls over looking the Victoria Falls Bridge
The Victoria Falls Hotel is without doubt one of the world’s iconic five-star hotels. Built in 1904 this Edwardian-style hotel commands prime position overlooking the magnificent Victoria Falls.
The writer has stayed at the Victoria Falls Hotel on many occasions in the past and it has never failed to deliver. It is always such a pleasure to witness guests absolute delight and appreciation at what this ‘Queen of Hotels’ offers. Zimbabwe has been through some tough times but all through that period the Victoria Falls Hotel has maintained high standards and remained a shining star through the darkest years.
Staying at the Victoria Falls Hotel is an experience in itself and it is no wonder that it has featured in the ‘Leading Hotels of the World’ for so many years. In 2013 the hotel undertook a major refurbishment programme and in the same year the Livingstone Room restaurant achieved recognition as one of the world’s top 10 hotel restaurants.
The hotel is in easy reach of all the facilities on offer in the Victoria Falls area yet is set in its own quiet location away from all the hustle and bustle. The gardens of the hotel are magnificent but simple and the views of the Victoria Falls bridge and gorge are absolutely superb. People appreciate the Victoria Falls Hotel for different reasons but for me it’s the grandeur and history and a reminder of the vision and determination to succeed of the early settlers.
For over 112 years the Victoria Falls Hotel has exuded colonial Edwardian charm typified in it’s design and spaciousness. The hotel has always sought to maintain its uniqueness and historical links whilst at the same time offering guests modern facilities. The recent refurbishment has been very tastefully done and is in keeping with a property of this standing.
As can be seen from the accompanying photographs and videos the rooms and facilities at the Victoria Falls Hotel are excellent and are equally matched by the quality of the food and service. A dinner in the Livingstone Room is a must for discerning diners. The restaurant has its own very special ambience. There is no longer a requirement for jacket and tie and the dress code is now smart casual however many guests chose the former attire in keeping with the restaurant’s standing.
There are many things to do in and around Victoria Falls and the staff at the hotel are only too pleased to help and advise. In the hotel in the Palm Lounge is a display of Larry Norton’s paintings which is well worth a visit. Larry Norton is a world acclaimed artist and his paintings of animals and landscapes command hefty prices around the world. For those with more moderate budgets, prints have been beautifully reproduced on canvas and can be purchased from the gallery.
The hotel is full of wonderful history and it is recommended that you take the time to wander through the corridors and view the many old photographs and other wonderful artefacts and memorabilia . The hotel is also famous for its ‘high teas’ which are absolutely delicious.
Steeped in history and being one of the oldest hotels in Africa, The Victoria Falls Hotel serves is a reminder of the distinguished and elegant era into which it was born and has earned its status and reputation. The Victoria Falls Hotel remains the area’s and indeed Zimbabwe’s, landmark hotel accommodation.
The Victoria Falls Hotel was originally conceived as accommodation for workers on the Cape-to-Cairo railway, the dream of Cecil John Rhodes and it is inextricably linked to the Victoria Falls Bridge. Cecil Rhodes had tasked his friend and colleague Sir Charles Metcalfe with overseeing the development of the railway system and Metcalfe took heed of Rhodes’ dreams of the railway line stretching “from Cape to Cairo,” hence he started plans for the first bridge across the mighty Zambezi river.
Rhodes was insistent that the bridge should be built in a place that the spray from the falls would fall on the passing trains, which is why the site was chosen just a little below the Boiling Pot, at almost right angles and in very close proximity to the falls.
“Stayed here for 2 nights at the start of our South Africa trip and were not disappointed. The falls themselves are amazing and are easily accessible via a 10 minute walk from the hotel – we went twice to see them. The hotel is old colonial style and is superb in every sense. It retains the old character beautifully, the service is outstanding and the food was wonderful. A perfect start to our trip”
“We spent four days in the hotel. The setting takes you right back to Victorian times. While it has all the modern conveniences, it also has an ambiance that is unforgettable. I loved all the photos along the walls and descriptions of people and events that had taken place there…
“The perfect hotel for visiting Victoria Falls, taking you back in time for a historical experience. Comfortable rooms, wonderful service, beautiful grounds, terrific breakfast in an open pavilion and conveniently located for access to the Zimbabwe side of the Falls. Their lawns spread out for a nice view of the old bridge over the falls and the mist.”
“The hotel is a beautiful colonial style building with all the best facilities. Room, food & service were all excellent, but for me the history of the hotel paying homage to our Royal family was the highlight. Princess Elizabeth & Margret stayed here with the King & Queen… My family did all the white water rafting, zip wires & jumps. I did the Devils Pool on top of the falls, absolutely awesome.”