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Protea Livingstone Hotel near Victoria Falls, Zambia [Master Thread]

Protea Livingstone Hotel near Victoria Falls, Zambia [Master Thread]

Old Dec 17, 16, 8:49 pm
  #1  
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Protea Livingstone Hotel near Victoria Falls, Zambia [Master Thread]

Protea Hotel Livingstone

Map| 1 Review | 100% Recommended

Protea Hotel Livingstone

Plot 2110 Mosi-o-Tunya Road Livingstone, Zambia ZM

Solid option near Victoria Falls - Protea Livingstone (Zambia) (0 Photo)

Protea Hotel Livingstone

Check In

Service was excellent, with a special welcome from the manager due to my being a Marriott Rewards Gold member. 

Room

The room had all amenities one would hope for, including mosquito nets and insect repellent due to the climate in the area. There was a fruit basket as a welcome gift. 

Service

Service was extremely personal and friendly. We were left wanting for nothing. Given that it was low season for visiting Victoria Falls and during the week, I think there were nearly as many people working as guests. Nevertheless, I was particularly impressed by the service.

Dining

Food was great and reasonably priced. We had lunch and dinner each once at the restaurant, as well as drinks at the bar by the pool and breakfast both days. The breakfast was included free with our room booking. Enjoyed the food options. The Halloumi cheese was a favorite!

Location

Convenient for visiting Victoria Falls.

Overall

Excellent hotel and a particular bargain for anyone with some Marriott points. I used just 15,000 points for 2 nights stay including free breakfast and internet. Considering the rate was around $190/night (in line with other similar hotels in the area), that was a steal. Very comfortable. I would definitely return. We also booked travel activities on-site - a visit to the Devil's Pool, a helicopter ride and a sunset cruise on the Zambezi River. A recommended area restaurant is the Zambezi Cafe, and there is a cool market in the town of Livingstone for souvenirs.

Solid option near Victoria Falls - Protea Livingstone (Zambia)

Would you like to write a review on the Protea Hotel Livingstone?

No, thank you.
Yes
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Old Dec 18, 16, 9:06 am
  #2  
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Thanks for the trip report! Much appreciated.

Property is a Category 1, so not many points required.

Cheers.
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Old Dec 18, 16, 9:09 am
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+1 ^

I can only agree with the review. I stayed at this hotel for one night in July and can fully recommend it.

Svantevit
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Old Jan 3, 18, 11:52 am
  #4  
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I am really happy to find a positive review about the hotel. I have a number of questions.

- how did you get to the hotel from the airport?
- how did you get to the falls from the hotel?
- how was the food in the hotel? You mention the Zambezi Cafe. Where is it?
- do you happen to remember how much the helicopter ride cost? The river cruise?
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Old Jan 3, 18, 12:26 pm
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Originally Posted by spainlover View Post
The room had all amenities one would hope for, including mosquito nets and insect repellent due to the climate in the area.
Did you mean "true" mosquito nets, or did you mean window screens?

I stayed at other Protea hotels in South Africa which claimed to have "mosquito nets" in the rooms, but I found that they only meant that they had window screens (as we call them in the USA).
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Old Jan 8, 18, 10:35 am
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@SanDiego1K
I took a taxi from the airport to the hotel, and also to the falls and back (we used the ones called by the hotel or already waiting outside). I also did a safari in Botswana, which included transport.
The food in the hotel was very good, as was the service. You can get swim-up service during the day at the pool too. The people in Zambia were so friendly! Both at the hotel and outside the hotel. I've been to 40+ countries, and people there stood out as among the most friendly in all the countries I've been to. One food I liked was the nshima, which is very simple, like a porridge made of maize (similar to corn). At the Cafe Zambezi, I did a sampler platter, so got to try many different things (although it was way too much food for me!). It's about 1 mile down the same road that the hotel is on, closer to the central part of Livingstone. I looked it up just now on Google Maps and it says 1.6 kilometers.
I think the flight was about $150-175. We did the shorter one, there was also a longer option. The river cruise was maybe around $75? I can't remember exactly, but less than $100.
@sdsearch, I meant true mosquito nets. They had them at the hotel. Nets that go around your bed.
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Old Jul 4, 18, 2:08 pm
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Can anyone provide any recent reviews of their stay at this hotel? I'm seeing mixed reviews particularly in regards to problems with mosquitoes. Any information would be appreciated.
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Old Jul 22, 18, 6:27 pm
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Does anyone have a contact email for the hotel? I can't find one on their website.
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Old Jul 23, 18, 5:04 am
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Originally Posted by SanDiego1K View Post
Does anyone have a contact email for the hotel? I can't find one on their website.
Does [email protected] still work? It's from a few years ago when I stayed.
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Old Jul 23, 18, 9:44 am
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[email protected] worked for us about one month ago.

We had a four night stay 30 April to 4 May 2018. It was an award redemption. Two rooms. Both platinum. The elite night credits have still not posted although we've been on the phone with Marriott Rewards twice now.

We stayed 34 nights at 13 Protea hotels in South Africa and Zambia. The Protea Hotel Livingstone was amongst the best in terms of service. We quite enjoyed our stay and recommend the hotel. Overall, we have 11 Protea brand elite nights missing still. Or 22 across our two accounts. All award stays. Someone is working on it apparently.

I don't think there are any suites at this hotel. We were given a premium location. I think it was really as good as we could have had. Quiet area overlooking the water feature and garden, top floor. Breakfast is included in all rates, including our award redemption. All the Protea hotels (when they remember) seem to offer the same Platinum Welcome amenity card. The quality and genrosity of the your selection varies by hotel. Livingstone's was quite nice. Two glasses of wine for one card. Two beer for the other. Many hotels just gave one beverage per card.

The breakfast was excellent. Awesome service. The restaurant (same as breakfast venue) was well priced and had great food. They even opened the restaurant for us outside the posted hours. Meals and drinks for five (probably no dessert) no more than 500 kwacha each time.

Front desk staff very friendly. They were almost tripping over each other to assist us. Not too invasive. It was quite charming.

There are several restaurants within a fifteen minute walk. A couple of grocery stores (ShopRite) as well. You can stock up on beer at the gas station adjacent to the hotel. Same prices as the grocery store. Or you can head out of the hotel across the street to the left and enjoy a litre bottle for 7 kwacha at the Car Wash, Tire and restaurant business. These are all over. Interesting business plan. We enjoyed the experience. The hotel restaurant wine was 30 kwacha, 25 for beer. Gas station beer was 15 kwacha. Though I can't recall the size and didn't write it down. Certainly the car wash bar was the cheapest, probably because you don't have to pay the deposit. And really the neatest. We only went once though.

Like many places, the airport taxis have a monopoly on fares from the airport. We paid 200 kwacha for our family of five to get to the hotel. This was after starting to walk off the airport property to find a cheaper option. Due to time constraints we took the hotel shuttle back to the airport for 200 kwacha as well. Spacious van. Though you have to request a 'taxi' - not the shuttle - to get this price. Although it's the same vehicle, the shuttle is way more expensive. Per person I think. Taxis from the road are less expensive. The hotel shuttle was 100 kwacha to the park entrance. The driver will return at a set pick up time for another 100 kwacha back to the hotel. Or he'll give you a tour for a fee. A local taxi was easily 50 kwacha if you don't accept the first offer. They are easy to catch. I don't know how low we could have got it. But this seemed not unreasonable. Same upon return from the park back to the hotel. I think the drivers try to get what the hotels charge because their first prices were always similar. We usually just had to politely refuse and start to walk away. I know we still overpaid, but...

We bought the Kaza Uni Visa upon entering Zambia. We flew from Johannesburg using Avios points. The Kaza Uni visa got us into Zimbabwe and Botswana for the same price as just a Zambia only Visa. We're Canadian. Upon entrance, the two kids under 16 were no charge. Even though we asked for Kaza Uni Visas for everyone, the two kids were free. No problem for Botswana. But upon entering Zimbabwe, we had to buy a Kaza Uni Visa for the two that were Visa free into Zambia. It just delayed us a bit. The Zimbabwe border official was super helpful.

Three of us booked a day trip to Botswana through the hotel. It was $555 USD total. It was DH and our two older teens. So I don't think there was a discount in there. Shoddy notes. We booked it the night before. The price seemed comparable to booking an online tour without a recommendation. Though we didn't have a lot of leisure to shop around and we had time contraints.

Victoria Falls from the Zambia side was a complete and incredible whiteout. The water levels were high. Visiblity was nil. There was so much mist/monsoon like gushes of water hitting us. Tons of fun. But we really didn't see a thing. Certainly at this time of year a visit to both sides is a must. Entrance to the Zambia side of the park was $20 USD per non resident adult. Kids 15 and under were $10 USD. The 80 USD were converted to 800 kwacha. Cash only. Zimbabwe park entrance was $30 US each for four of us and $15 for the ten year old. Credit card accepted. We took a taxi to the Zambia side of the bridge (just past the park so same price) and walked across the bridge and down the road not 50 metres to the Zimbabwe park entrance. Walking from the hotel to the bridge is not really an option. We prefer to walk when we can but this is a rural highway with no sidewalks and nothing to see. And it's a long walk.

There is a 39 kwacha per room per night tourism levy that we paid upon check out.

This is not a fancy or grand hotel. It was lovely though. Super clean. Well laid out. Excellent staff. I'd stay here again. And Zambia really deserved some extra time. Certainly more than just a vist to Livingstone. And more than four nights.

Oh, with regards to mosquitos - which I think was the question I'd intended to answer when I logged in - we did not encounter any. The restaurant is open air. Dining at night, nothing. Early morning breakfast, nothing. We even have a kid who mosquitos enjoy. We were there April/May. They certainly must have troubles with it at some point as there is mosquito spray - 'Doom' - in each room. The first night, I found a room attendant about to launch a 'mosquito bomb' in my room. Apparently they do this each night regardless. I'm sensitive to scents so put a stop to that for the rest of the stay. No problems with mosquitos. There was no mosquito net over the bed. And darnn, I can't recall about the window screens. No patios. We prefer fresh air so must have opened the window during our stay. That's why I should write reviews right away I guess.
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Last edited by NotJustDreaming; Jul 23, 18 at 9:50 am
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Old Jul 23, 18, 9:54 am
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Thank you, NotJustDreaming. Superb information. I've printed it out to add to my trip file. We will be there in two weeks.

I've now booked a person for the airport transfer who has been recommended over and over on TripAdvisor. I had a quote from the hotel for $14 per person for our party of three. Dennis has quoted me $20 total. His email is [email protected]
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Old Jul 23, 18, 10:15 am
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Originally Posted by SanDiego1K View Post
Thank you, NotJustDreaming. Superb information. I've printed it out to add to my trip file. We will be there in two weeks.

I've now booked a person for the airport transfer who has been recommended over and over on TripAdvisor. I had a quote from the hotel for $14 per person for our party of three. Dennis has quoted me $20 total. His email is [email protected]
Good to know.
At the time, 200 kwacha converted to $20 US. So knowing that you're stuck with those taxi rates having Dennis waiting for you for the same price is great.
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Old Jul 23, 18, 1:53 pm
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Super helpful, thanks.

Heading to Victoria Falls in Feb, via the Rovos train. Not staying at the Protea in Livingstone, but I do have some points I'd like to use in Joburg. Any recommendations?
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Old Jul 23, 18, 2:16 pm
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Originally Posted by LF72 View Post
Super helpful, thanks.

Heading to Victoria Falls in Feb, via the Rovos train. Not staying at the Protea in Livingstone, but I do have some points I'd like to use in Joburg. Any recommendations?
Sorry, none for JNB. We stayed at the Holiday Inn for the IHG Accelerate promotion.
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Old Aug 6, 18, 7:38 am
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We have now stayed for 2 nights at the hotel (2 rooms/night). I agree with the very positive reviews given above. This hotel is superb value at the very low points that Marriott charges for redemption. It took roughly 20 minutes to get here from the airport. The hotel is set alongside the main road outside of town but the landscaping makes it seem very quiet. The lobby is open to the air and has an understated colonial ambiance. Staff is excellent, very warm, very helpful. In addition to the other benefits already listed, we were given ponchos for the falls. What a nice amenity.

King rooms are all on the second floor. There are no elevators in the hotel. The room is comfortable though I would prefer a better padded chair. Also, the mattress lacks. You can feel the coils. Still, these are small things.

The falls are still very high in August. From Knife's Edge Bridge to the tiny island beyond, the mist drenches one including shoes. We stayed dry up to the bridge and had superb views of the falling water. It was a beautiful time to see the falls and should continue to be lovely well into the northern fall. We were told that the waters are very low from November thru January.

I recommend Zambezi Cafe in town. It has an extensive menu of African and Caribbean food. We passed on the worms - but there were plenty of more familiar choices.

We hired Dennis (email given above) for pick up and drop off at the airport ($20 per transfer) as well as half day driving in Livingstone. This included taking us to the falls, walking us inside and orienting us, taking us to Livingstone Museum, the most important museum in the country, and lunch at Zambezi Cafe. We paid $30 for roughly 4 hours.
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