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“Restful Finale to our Southern African Odyssey”
Review of The River Club

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The River Club
Ranked #4 of 18 Hotels in Livingstone
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 9 October 2017

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.

  • Stayed: September 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank SuperDave666
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Peter J, Owner at The River Club, responded to this reviewResponded 13 October 2017

Dear SuperDave666
Thank you very much indeed for your detailed review on TA. This will be most useful to people planning a trip out here to be with us. It was a delight to have had you to stay and thank you for choosing to stay at the lodge. We hope to have the new curtains in the rooms which should then deal with the problem of the warm afternoons which you pointed out.
Thank you also for your kind comments on the food. Our chefs and kitchen staff work extremely hard and I am always amazed by what they produce.
Looking forward to your next visit.
Kind regards
Peter

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3 - 7 of 197 reviews

Reviewed 29 September 2017

We really enjoyed our short time in Livingstone staying at the River Club. The staff was super professional and helpful. They include a tour of the falls, a sunset cruise every night, and one game drive if you want with your stay. Which is really nice. Our room had an amazing view but I will warn you the bugs are insane in this part of the world. So, we were sleeping with bugs every night (they provide a net). So, if you can't handle bugs at all I wouldn't stay here. Besides the bugs my only other complaint was that they didn't tell you if some tours or yoga classes were an additional charge. So, definitely asked so you are not surprised when you check out.

  • Stayed: September 2017, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank Camela
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Peter J, Owner at The River Club, responded to this reviewResponded 4 October 2017

Dear Camela,
Thank you for your review on TA and a special thanks for mentioning the staff so positively. They all greatly appreciate the write up acknowledging all their work.
Sadly this year has been an unusual one for bugs but the staff rotate through the rooms tirelessly keeping things clean. I cannot explain why they have been more than usual this season - it is not normal.
I apologise if things were not clear concerning some of the activities but all third party activities are most certainly extras to be paid for as are yoga classes, massages and other wellness treatments. Thank you for bring this up so that we can mention it here on TA.
There are of course different types of stay at the lodge: bed and breakfast, dinner bed and breakfast, Full Board and Fully Inclusive. Each type has different inclusions and as you say it is best to understand what each entails.
Thank you again for coming to stay and we all hope that you will return on your next trip to Africa.
Best wishes
Peter

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Reviewed 26 September 2017 via mobile

Rustic lodge in a setting that is idyllic. Individual cabins that have character and meet all your needs. The food quality and drink service are outstanding. Grounds are well maintained with a summerhouse for lounging and internet use and you are free to roam. Amenities include a pool, tennis courts, gym, yoga, spa service upon request and a gift shop. Club offers up activities for a fee that were well done. Transportation is provided. Daily sundowner floats are fun and refreshments are served. Staff are all outstanding and you have the feel of pride in what they are doing and a pride in their history. They are all knowledgable, articulate, and professional and have a can do attitude. We came as guests but left feeling more like family. Organization supports a local community as part of its corporate philosophy.

Stayed: September 2017, travelled with friends
Thank Joanne379
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Peter J, Owner at The River Club, responded to this reviewResponded 4 October 2017

Dear Joanne379
I great appreciate your wonderful review and I cannot thank you enough for mentioning the staff with your kind words. Without them the lodge simply would not function with the warmth that is does. They will be especially pleased to read your words of praise. I am grateful also that you mentioned the work we do in the nearby village. They are our next door neighbours and we will always try to do what we can for them.
The lodge having been my home for a number of years makes it easier to greet everyone as personal friends and I am simply delighted that you felt this way and I do hope you will come back to see us again.
Very best regards
Peter and everyone at the lodge

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Reviewed 10 September 2017 via mobile

My husband, then fiance, took me here for a birthday treat. We only stayed for one night and did the sunset cruise, romantic dinner, and breakfast the next day. Yes, it is pricy compared to your average town or riverside hotel, but worth every penny because this is not your average hotel! The views are spectacular, there are hardly any manmade noises (helicopters, microlights, aeroplanes) like at some other hotels, rooms are luxurious, and the service from all members of staff was friendly and very personal. I would recommend this to any person looking for a lush, relaxing, and natural retreat. Best perk is falling asleep to the sounds of the river and wildlife in a four poster bed. Thank you to Peter and his team for treating us like VIPs, serving tasty food, and providing such great service.

Stayed: September 2017, travelled as a couple
Thank Reshma P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Peter J, Owner at The River Club, responded to this reviewResponded 4 October 2017

Dear Reshma P
CONGRATULATIONS!!! We all hope that you had a wonderful wedding and everyone joins me is wishing you all the very best in the next part of your lives together. Do let us know if you would like to seek back on your first anniversary! e will be ready.
Thank you for coming to stay and thank you for your wonderful review. It was a great pleasure to have had to stay and it is always so easy to look after guests who are enjoying themselves.
Please remember to bring photos of your wedding when you come back.
Warmest wishes from everyone
Peter

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Reviewed 8 September 2017 via mobile

Three nights and two full days to soak in the fabulous surroundings of the River Club, as a perfect birthday weekend treat.
The location and views are spectacular, especially for lunch, afternoon tea or dinner by the full moon.
The rooms are spacious and luxurious, each with its own river view and what a view - wow.
We took walks, river trips at sun set, played croquet, sipped cocktails on the veranda, read books from the library and tried to view all the entertaining art work.
We were looked after marvelously and would recommend to other travelers who want a little pamper time or time to stop and watch the sun set.

Stayed: September 2017, travelled as a couple
1  Thank Dawn N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Peter J, Owner at The River Club, responded to this reviewResponded 4 October 2017

Dear Dawn N
Thank you for choosing to spend your birthday with us and I am so pleased that it was a perfect weekend for you. The staff are all delighted that they were able to assisting in delivering the atmosphere that made it so enjoyable for you.
Down time in life is important and I am glad the lodge provided the best setting for you. Hope to see you back here again.
Very best regards from all of us.
Peter

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Additional Information about The River Club

Address: Farm 1519A, Nakatindi Road | Simonga, Livingstone 60469, Zambia
Region: Zambia > Southern Province > Livingstone
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Romantic Hotel in Livingstone
#3 Luxury Hotel in Livingstone
#3 Spa Hotel in Livingstone
#4 Family Hotel in Livingstone
Price Range: HK$4,515 - HK$8,155 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — The River Club 4*
Number of rooms: 11
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The River Club is the only boutique hotel in the area and run by its owner. This former residence is a tranquil oasis on Zambia's mighty Zambezi River and is the perfect location for a visit to the renowned Victoria Falls - a World Heritage Site and one of 2 places in the world to have remained on the list the 7 Natural Wonders of the World (the other being the Grand Canyon). Located a mere 26kms/16 miles upstream from the Falls and 18kms/ 11miles from the historical town of Livingstone, The River Club forms a perfect end to a safari circuit in Southern or East Africa. The 11 private and spacious suites are individually set within magnificent trees on the edge of the Zambezi River, overlooking pods of hippo into the Zambezi National Park. A host of activities await young and old, on property as well as around the Victoria Falls. The lodge is set on a 50 acre secure property with manicured gardens, where one can completely relax away from all the noise of helicopters over hotels closer to the Falls. A magnificent rim flow swimming pool, pool loungers, private deck and hammocks complete the setting. An all-weather hard tennis court, a central croquet lawn and a 2km nature trail that can also be used as a running track for those who need to keep fitness levels topped up. Daily sunset cruises on the Zambezi River are offered at sunset. Activities in the area include a visit to the mighty Victoria Falls, game drives in the nearby Mosi-Oa-Tunga National Park, white water rafting, helicopter flights over the Falls, canoeing safaris, historical tours including places of Jewish interest and more. Dining under the stars is a highlight and a kosher kitchen ensures we are able to cater for those who require it. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The River Club Hotel Livingstone

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