Ilala Lodge or Vic Falls Hotel?

Nov 17th, 2008, 06:55 AM
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Ilala Lodge or Vic Falls Hotel?

My husband and I will be in Victoria Falls in early December. We are not interested in staying in Zambia. Can anyone compare/contrast these two hotels? We are not fussy, but like the idea of staying in a landmark like Vic Falls Hotel. However, reviews stating that rooms are not clean and hotel is packed with US tour groups are worrisome. Any firsthand accounts would be appreciated. Thank you.
bella28 is offline  
Nov 17th, 2008, 07:33 AM
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I have stayed at both properties and prefer Ilala Lodge. It's more comfortable, cleaner and not so "stuffy" as the VF. The room at Ilala is smaller but more comfortable, and I liked the food better there also.
matnikstym is offline  
Nov 17th, 2008, 09:14 AM
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I've stayed at both and would also prefer the Ilala. It's closer to the Falls if you walk, but only by about a block. However, I felt more comfortable in my safari clothes there. The Kingdom Hotel across the street is a handy place to purchase sundries, a quick meal, etc. If you stay at Ilala, definitely stroll over to the Victoria Falls Hotel and take a look around. They don't mind.
ShayTay is offline  
Nov 17th, 2008, 09:18 AM
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I stayed at Ilala Lodge a year ago. It was nice, the room was clean and comfortable, but not 'luxury' accommodation, the staff were very friendly and helpful. It was about 5 minutes walk to the entrance to the Falls.

I had lunch one afternoon at Victoria Falls Hotel, and dinner one evening there also. It's a lovely hotel with beautiful grounds. I spoke with some people who were there on a coach tour, however, and they said their rooms were cramped and a little shabby.

Here are some photos. If you scroll down to the bottom of the page, you will find images from Ilala Lodge and Victoria Falls Hotel.
julia1 is offline  
Nov 17th, 2008, 09:47 AM
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Thanks for your responses. Was stuffiness the only reason you preferred Ilala? We aren't coming from safari, just stopping for a few days on our way back to Cape Town, so clothes shouldn't be a problem. I'm still not sure which to choose.
bella28 is offline  
Nov 17th, 2008, 04:09 PM
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Stuffiness isn't the only reason I prefer Ilala. The atmosphere, decor and animals on the grounds were more "African" in feel. (the VF does have baboons roaming the grounds, Ilala has baboons, vervets, warthogs and impala) The employees at Ilala were friendlier, the food was better and less expensive. The room at Ilala was cleaner (VF had mold in the bathroom)and the bed was more comfortable with thicker pillows. It's also right on the main street-good for people watching and right next to the market place, short walk to the Falls. The tour groups staying at the VF were annoying as well.
matnikstym is offline  
Nov 17th, 2008, 04:27 PM
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These threads discuss Ilala and Vic Falls Hotel and also stray into the Zim vs. Zam side as well.

atravelynn is offline  
Nov 18th, 2008, 05:35 AM
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I've only had lunch at the VF Hotel, so cannot compare the two. But I will say that the hotel has a wonderful swimming pool which might be welcome in December..

Food was very expensive. The very grand public rooms are a time capsule-- beautiful grounds as well.
ekscrunchy is offline  
Nov 27th, 2008, 01:28 PM
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the kingdom is empty and ilala is not as close to the falls as the VFH.

VFH is perfectly okay with safari outfits especially in the not so formal restaurant for dinner. and during day time it's perfect!

we stayed there on 11 nov and the hotel has a nice colonial flair. wonderful grounds which allow warthogs to room freely wihtout being chased by the staff.
the rooms - even the superior ones - are a bit small and run down. need major refurb.

the meals are outragously expensive under zim standards!

high tea is 30US$.

a dinner for 2:
one starter
2 kingklip which was awesome and sufficient
3 beer
almost 100US$
at the livingstone restaurant.
the breakfast menu is simply and selection limited.

it's a nice place especially as one has just to leave the hotel grounds and take a 10 min stroll to the falls.

there are some people who want to sell crafts. but if you say NO politely and keep going straight they will leave you alone.

if you wish you get accompanied by a security from the hotel which isn't really necessary!

divine54 is offline  
Nov 27th, 2008, 01:51 PM
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Actually, the Ilala IS closer to the entrance of Vic Falls park than the VF Hotel. You walk down the street from the VF Hotel, past the Kingdom Hotel and turn right on to the main road leading down the hill to the Falls' entrance. That turn is right by the Ilala. Either hotel is within walking distance, though. Here's a link to a map so that you can see what I'm talking about:
ShayTay is offline  
Nov 27th, 2008, 03:23 PM
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thx for the link which is interesting generally speaking.

honestly - we drobe by the ilala - opposite the VFH-entrance and our walk to the falls was just thru a bit of bush and we were at the entrance. really a matter of a couple of minutes.


i just wanted to add:
the VFH obviously has been discovered by the russian clientele who jeopardize a bit of the quietness and sophistication. at least when they tstay there in a bunch of 10+.
but that might be the same with germans, english, italian etc. despite the russians obviously can take more of high % alc without collapsing on site ;-)
but the noise was something....

divine54 is offline  
Nov 27th, 2008, 03:29 PM
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Technically, the Vic Falls Hotel is 100 metres closer to the entrance to the falls then Ilala. That is if you are walking and using the the path that has been there for decades.
luangwablondes is offline  
Nov 27th, 2008, 08:04 PM
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If you're talking about the path that runs behind the Kingdom Hotel, I don't know how safe that is these days. Personally, I'd stick to the main streets, if only to be visible to other people walking around.
ShayTay is offline  
Nov 28th, 2008, 04:20 AM
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as i pointed out earlier:
that path is very much okay.
there is a security at the gate who LOVES to accompany you to the entrance of the falls, waits there and escorts you back when done. it's hired by the VFH and appreciates some additional hard currency ;-)

there were around let's say 10 guys who wanted to sell their things. if you clearly but friendly state NO they leave you alone.
but you should not start bargaining if you are not really interested in buying!

safety and security was NEVER a topic in zim.
even visiting the craft's market behind barclays was pleasant! i was on my own looking for a certain XL basket. only one guy (of the approx 20 who were following me when i left the car) took over the negotiations, all others were flying around collecting/showing baskets. i decided on several, went back to the car, got the money and handed it over to that one guy.

no worries!

divine54 is offline  
Nov 28th, 2008, 07:29 AM
Join Date: Aug 2007
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We stayed at Ilala Lodge in April this year and loved everything about it, the staff, food (the prices were good as well), location and the rooms. We had seen Victoria Falls the year before (stayed at The Kingdom) so decided to walk across to the see the Falls from the Zambia side this time and it took us about 20 minutes incl. border control.
The only downside, it was US$8 per tot of whiskey and that wasn't even single malt.
redbush is offline  
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