Victoria Falls Reporter
THE construction of the Palm River Hotel, a new luxurious hotel situated in Victoria Falls, is almost complete with the facility expected to commence operations in July.
Spencers Creek Pvt Ltd in partnership with Old Mutual Zimbabwe invested approximately US$24,6 million in land and construction of the 71-room four-star hotel.
The new business venture targets travellers from across the globe looking to experience Africa's natural world wonder, the Victoria Falls, the mighty Zambezi River, abundant wildlife and the rich history of the resort town environs. President Mnangagwa toured the site in August last year when he launched the US$5 billion National Tourism Recovery and Growth Strategy here, and construction of the hotel was still underway. The idyllic location of The Palm River Hotel under a canopy of indigenous trees is expected to offer an unmatched panoramic view of Zambezi and Game Park, 4km away from town.
The construction of the facility is a significant expansion of Ilala Hotel Group, which is expected to boost tourism not only in Victoria Falls but in the country.
Responding to emailed questions, Ilala Lodge Hotel general manager, Miss Heather Kay, said The Palm River Hotel will welcome guests on 1 July.
She said construction of Block A (Acacia) and Block B(Baobab) made up of predominantly Deluxe rooms and presidential suite along with a refreshing 20 metre infinity pool are now complete and await the arrival of the first guests.
Block C (Combretum) and the main area including the reception, dining hall, bar and fresco restaurant are currently receiving the last of their final touches in preparation for the opening.
The construction of Block D (Duikerberry), Block E (Ebony) Block F (Fig) is also underway with completion scheduled for November 2021.
The hotel will have a total of 71 rooms comprising 60 deluxe rooms including two wheelchair accessible rooms, two deluxe suites, two honeymoon suites, two family suites, three executive suites, one presidential suite and one Palm River Villa inclusive of three bedrooms. Management says the hotel seeks to offer unmatched elegance.
"Elegantly appointed with comfort and space in mind, the interior design of the rooms is focused on bringing the outside in, with the stylish use of natural tones, locally sourced materials and artwork reflective of the area," said Miss Kay.
"The tastefully modern style of the Queenslander is reflected in the inside as well as the outside, and introduces a new dimension of luxury, providing guests with every modern convenience to make their stay as comfortable as possible while maintaining the old-world charm that is the essence of Victoria Falls."
The well-placed rooms offer expansive and tranquil riverside garden from the bedroom balcony experience with unsolicited view of wildlife allowing guests to feel up-close and personal with the Mighty Zambezi River.
There is also river deck on the edge of Zambezi River and a large alfresco dining area under a canopy of trees to offer an à la carte restaurant, an outdoor bar, conferencing and events facilities, a pool that transforms into a star lit wonder-lit with the use of cleverly illuminated rocks and lighting.
Miss Kay said once the business is operational there will be a complimentary shuttle bus from the city centre connecting key landmarks well sought by tourists.
Since the Covid-19 lockdowns restrictions in March last year, the destination suffered loss of business due to travel restrictions and subsequent closure of tourism facilities.