The iconic Victoria Falls Hotel is set to undergo a multi-million dollar upgrade starting January next year as owners seek to fuse its 115-year old architecture with modern facilities.
Acting general manager, Farai Chima said the refurbishment would only be held during low peak periods between January and May next year and same period in 2021 to avoid closing the hotel.
The upgrade is targeting public areas, as well as all the over 160 bedrooms and suites.
“Work will be carried out in low-season periods between January 2020 and May 2020 and again between January 2021 and May 2021, removing any need to close the hotel for this substantial elevation of physical infrastructure and visual elements, and eliminating any impact on guests staying in the hotel,” Chima said.
Since its establishment in 1904, the hotel has undergone four major re-developments and refurbishments.
Chima said key features of the upgrade would be “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.”
“The aesthetic thrust will be achieved with use of new structural features and in the use of colour, furnishings, ornaments and basic décor. The enhancement will give greater flexibility for group bookings with increased inter-leading capabilities,” he said.
Victoria Falls Hotel is jointly operated by African Sun Zimbabwe (Private) Limited and Meikles Hospitality (Private) Limited on a 50/50 partnership.
But the hotel and its estate are owned by Emerged Railways Properties, which in turn is owned by the National Railways of Zimbabwe and Zambia Railways.
The hotel was opened in 1904, at the time of the arrival of the northbound railway development that stemmed from a vision to create a Cape-to-Cairo rail system, 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.