The first phase of a major refurbishment programme at The Victoria Falls Hotel has been completed. The programme was launched in 2021 and the first phase has involved extensive work in the bedrooms and suites of two of the hotel's wings, the south ‘hammerhead' and the central block.
The refurbishment focused on the hotel's unique historic heritage but introduced some of the most modern amenities and facilities expected by the top-end travellers of the 2020s.
The Victoria Falls Hotel was opened in 1904, coinciding with the northbound railway development and just ahead of the opening of the famous road and rail bridge that crosses the gorge below the Victoria Falls to link Zimbabwe with Zambia.
GM of the hotel, Farai Chimba, said: "We are thrilled and delighted that work on phase one has been completed and we are totally satisfied with the results. Feedback from guests already making use of the facilities has been highly favourable."
The Stanley's Terrace service area has also been upgraded and a new cocktail bar, Stanley's Bar, added adjacent to the main lounge. This was the site of one of the first cocktail bars in the country, known originally as the Rainbow Bar, which was open from the 1950s to the 1990s.
The refurbished areas include the hotel's historic premier suite, The Livingstone, as well as the Batoka Suite, which offers views into the gorge.
New room category
A new category of Premium bedrooms has been introduced and room layouts have been refined in all refurbished areas to reflect a rationalised selection of style options: Classic, Premium and Suites.
"Key features of the refurbishment include increasing inflow of light, granting greater access to views of the hotel grounds, creating walk-in showers in bathrooms, as well as upgrading lighting, air-conditioning and electrical features such as points for using and charging devices in all bedrooms and suites,” said Chimba.
The Classic bedrooms average 30 sqm and offer a dedicated entrance foyer, king-size bedroom with large mosquito-free enclosure, bathroom with large walk-in shower, full wardrobe with luggage storage, and a refreshment station.
The Premium bedrooms average 55 sqm, with dedicated entrance foyer, separate TV lounge, refreshment station, king-size bedroom with large mosquito-free enclosure, walk-through dressing area with large wardrobe and luggage storage and a bathroom featuring large walk-in shower.
The Suites average 72 sqm, with dedicated entrance foyer, separate living room including TV lounge, dining area, generous minibar, separate guest WC, luxury king-size bedroom with mosquito enclosure and in-room lounge area, writing desk and coffee station, walk-through dressing area with large wardrobe and luggage storage, bathroom featuring large walk-in shower and free-standing bath and double vanity feature.
The Presidential Suite (205 sqm) offers large living areas with separate lounge and dining room, kitchen and a master bathroom with double walk-in shower.