The last stop of our trip was at the River Club near Livingstone. It's about a 20 minute drive along the highway to the town and falls. Ending our trip here was a good idea -- by this point, we wanted to relax and sleep in a bit as the other lodges we stayed at had wake up calls prior to sunrise.
The property is organized as two or three main buildings plus nine standalone villas. The theme was somewhat colonial particularly with the furnishings and art work that reflected late 19th or early 20th century. There were ample sitting areas, a really nice outdoor pool that was well-maintained, a billiards table, an area to play croquet, a shop and a spa. The property also had a small walking or running trail -- essentially a dirt path through the woods; just keep an eye out on your footing!
The villas were spacious -- ours had a bedroom area, a raised sitting area, two bathrooms, two showers, and a deck with a plunge pool. All of the villas faced out onto the Zambezi River and the entire side of the villa facing the river had screening instead of windows. This provided an outdoorsy feeling without the bugs, but had the downside that the AC could not keep up with the sun that considerably heated up the room each afternoon. The addition of some sort of controllable wall covering, both to block the sun and to give the AC a chance to cool the room air would go a long way.
The food was excellent at the River Club. Of all the places we stayed (and we stayed in nice accommodations throughout), this was my favorite for dinners. Beyond providing fresh and tasty food, the chef also made an effort on the presentation. It was like being at a Michelin star restaurant, but with larger portions. A simple garden salad involved carefully sculpted vegetables assembled to form various towers with dollops of dressing to dip them in.
We purchased the full-inclusive rate which included all meals, drinks and activities not provided by third parties. The only additional cash needed was for entry fees to national parks. We did the evening sundowner cruise each night, the falls tour, the game drive (a compact version of a safari on asphalt roads), enjoyed the pool daily, and made use of the running trail and played some croquet. The people running the activities were friendly and accommodating.
This was a lovely way to end our trip and I highly recommend it.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A boutique, owner-run luxury lodge, The River Club is Livingstone’s premier destination on the Zambezi River. The River Club is defined by the value we attach to lasting memories, genuine hospitality, our peaceful location, the historical preservation of Livingstone and our commitment to the local community of which we form part. Just 18 kms/11 miles upstream from the renowned Victoria Falls and town of Livingstone, in a tranquil oasis, are our eleven spacious suites individually nestled within the tree line overlooking a sweeping bend of the mighty Zambezi River. From their elevated positions, the suites are perfectly situated to gaze across the river to the Zambezi National Park on the opposite bank, home to an array of wildlife and birds in an area of abundant natural beauty. For that perfect mix of idyllic relaxation and adventure travel, along with unbeatable sights, The River Club is the ultimate destination. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The River Club Hotel Livingstone