Victoria Falls Hotel

Victoria Falls Hotel

Victoria Falls

The original Victoria Falls Hotel was intended only as temporary quarters for the railway employees, and was to be removed after construction of the bridge. However once established, it was quickly expanded and proved impossible to close, despite the objections of the Administrator of North Western Rhodesia, Robert Coryndon and the residents and traders of the newly established town of Livingstone.

The first Victoria Falls Hotel was built in early 1904 and opened for business on 8 June. By the beginning of 1905, tourist traffic to the Victoria Falls had increased considerably and it was necessary to enlarge the accommodation at the Falls Hotel.

The first designs for the next reconstruction of the hotel were supplied by Sir Charles Metcalfe, but the actual building erected in 1914-7 was designed by Frank Scott. Efforts to encourage tourism included the running of two special trains, in 1926, carrying 350 American tourists from a world-cruise liner and including visits to Bulawayo and Victoria Falls, with the parties staying at the Victoria Falls Hotel for a couple of nights. The success of this tour, to be the forerunner of any more, led to the enlarging of the hotel in 1927.

In 1968, management of the hotel was taken over by Zimbabwe Sun Limited. In the early 1970’s it was leased to the then Southern Sun hotel group, forerunner of today’s African Sun Limited.

A significant development in the late 1990s was the involvement in the hotel of another leading Zimbabwean hospitality operation, Meikles Africa Hotels. Today the property itself still belongs to the National Railways of Zimbabwe and there is a shared 50/50 partnership operation between African Sun and Meikles Africa.

The Victoria Falls Hotel continues to trade today and is now a member of The Leading Hotels Of The World .

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