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Victoria Falls Hotel
Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe)

A natural wonder as grand and mighty as Victoria Falls deserves a grand and mighty hotel. So thought the hoteliers of the Edwardian era when they erected the now famous and revered Victoria Falls Hotels in 1904, originally to house passengers on the Cape-to-Cairo railway. And throughout Zimbabwe’s political turbulence, the Victoria Falls Hotel has somehow managed to stay relaxed and genteel, never faltering on its impeccable service, fine dining and regal interiors.

Steeped in stately colonial grandeur, it is a landmark in its own right, located a ten-minute walk through the hotel’s private footpath to Victoria Falls. It holds prime position for viewing, hearing and feeling the thunderous Falls from the hotel’s sprawling grounds. There is no better place to take High Tea than on the terrace where you can view the Second Gorge and Victoria Falls Bridge and see the vigorous spray rise up. A renovation in 2013 has updated the hotel’s 161 rooms and given the hotel a fresh and polished glow. Rooms and suites are situated in the grand main house as well as the Stables wing, with its private check-in area. There are numerous courtyards, lawns, tropical gardens and lily ponds for guest to enjoy, as well as two tennis courts, a library, reading rooms and even a chapel – but best of all is their magnificent large swimming pool.

There are several room categories to choose from here; we would recommend a suite as standard rooms are not terribly spacious. All rooms feature traditional Edwardian-style décor, fine wood period furnishings, en-suite bathrooms with a large Edwardian bathtub, and all-modern amenities. Those in suites can expect canopied four-poster beds, marble bathrooms and living rooms with the loveliest views over the river. 

The hotel has three restaurants; The Livingstone Room is widely considered to be the best fine dining experience in Africa, serving up an exquisite a la carte menu and tasting menu in an opulent Edwardian-styled dining room. Guests can also dine in the more relaxed garden restaurant, Jungle Junction, which serves an African buffet with evening entertainment. Last but certainly not least, Stanley’s Terrace serves daily high tea with views over the crisp lawns and down to the Falls. 

Once you’ve relaxed and indulged in the hotel’s superb facilities, the “adventure capital of Africa” awaits you. Water based activities include sunset cruises, canoeing, white water rafting, jet boat safaris, fishing and swimming in Devil’s Pool. On land activities include golf, 4x4 safaris, cultural tours and journeys aboard an authentic Steam Train. For extra adrenaline there is bungee jumping, abseiling, and helicopter and microlight flights over the gorge.

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