On the occasion of my husband’s landmark birthday we pulled out the stops and booked the presidential suite here hoping for the ultimate in luxury to highlight the celebration. Because for me Royal Livingstone always seemed to denote luxury personified. Sadly... nearly.... I’m going to be quite verbose and may seem nitpicky but I am a tad disappointed so..... if you want to avoid all the jibber jabber scroll down for the summary... Upon driving in we definitely felt that we had got it right. We had made the correct choice. The welcome by the bell desk and the check in process felt indulgent. Whilst enroute to the room our butler (perk with room) greeted us and walked us over warmly. Showed us the room, got our luggage placed and asked when we’d want our champagne (freebie) put on ice. He had even placed a cute towel display on our bed with a personal hand written note. And this is from whence it all started unravelling. Dramatic much? Well grant me this one indulgence as I got none other. To stay afloat in these tough times is saying a lot and I must hand it to the management that they are trying their best but come on!!! They have 1 PS and I’m sorry but if I’m paying for it I kind of expected to be given the VIP treatment. There was no offer for unpacking, no enquiry on what our preferences would be vis-a-vis in room dining or such. We had just driven straight from Lusaka and arrived late afternoon. Would’ve been nice to have been offered some sandwiches or the like. No asking if we’d like a nice Bath drawn for us or if we’d like to have some sundowner drinks on the patio. The contact info for our butler was through the AYS desk where they didn’t seem to even know the butler by name. I had to keep going through them to get to him. I did mention that we consume a lot of drinking water and this was definitely taken care of throughout our stay. The room size is definitely smaller than what you’d expect from a PS but it’s well appointed and the timeless colonial charm that wafts through the entire property does it proud here to. The mini bars were all empty. Apart from a fruit basket and a sad petits four platter the room had nothing. The in room kitchenette had no crockery/cutlery. The amenities were lacking in their entirety. As an interior designer I would like to point out that the balcony/patio sitting needs a helping hand as the turgidity of the back cushions make sitting on the chairs quite difficult. They did provide the room with an overload of towels which felt luxurious. My husband has some dietary concerns and since they have an Indian chef on board I obviously expected to be vowed. To be asked my room number seemed disappointing. Would’ve been nice if the restaurant staff were updated on their PS guests (I’m beginning to sound like a broken record here and maybe I would’ve let all these things minor go if I wasn’t quite upset with how unimportant they made us and especially my husband feel and if this stay hadn’t followed on the heels of our Uber experience at the Sarovar in Lusaka) Apart from the dessert the entire vegetarian meal was lack lustre and tasteless (my daughters had ordered off the limited menu so those they should’ve gotten right). I understand covid times and it must be incredibly difficult but even if you offer 2 dishes ensure they are lip smackingly delicious. Turn down service was bereft of the bed drapes drawn, no bedroom slippers any where in the room and since our preferred room temperatures weren’t enquired into the room was cold (btw it is winter time in Zambia). Next day breakfast. Good layout. Had everything one could want. How delectable? That’s another matter. We were early at the buffet and the only ones there. I do own up that I should’ve had my mask on whilst browsing the fares (stupid of me) but I did not appreciate being told off rudely by some lady who marched right over to me to rebuke me about the same. It could’ve been handled tactfully. However I do apologise for the same. My bad. Note to chef: I had asked for some cookies. They was amazing. My daughter had hurt her foot and I called in for a buggy to take us over to their sister hotel (avani) for lunch. We waited for 15-20 mins and decided to leg it to our car and drive it ourselves. At the reception I stopped to inform them that I didn’t need one after all and was told that they had just one buggy which was shuttling some other guests to avani at the moment. Broken record time. Chef: Kindly note whilst cooking Indian flavours please do not add turmeric as an afterthought. It needs to be cooked out and cannot be used heave handedly. My husband was booked for their Anatara package spa experience which he enjoyed so kudos to the spa team. Good job. Again if our butler had known it would’ve been nice if he was around to draw a post spa experience bath. I’m drawing hairs but it’s small things like this that make or break an experience: in my opinion. Dinner was offered to be set up at our patio. We sort of ended on a high note. The set up felt good. Albeit it was cold and despite asking for some heating device we were provided with none. Food was delicious (chef kindly note that the ‘indulgent chocolate’ dessert does not feel indulgent at all. Kindly up the chocolate ante). Our last day. The chef did offer to pack some sandwiches for us for our drive back home. I appreciated the offer and note to chef: they were delicious. Check out was diametrically opposite check in. Although the buggy for the luggage came post haste this time.. ;) Pay and leave. No see off, no goodbye. Albeit I must note that the lady checking us out was awfully sweet. To sum up: Positives: the staff at the hotel over all are friendly, extremely sweet, courteous and polite. The decor is delicious. The spa is awesome. The gym has more freebies than the rooms. Desserts are good. Negatives: lower your expectations and you won’t be disappointed.…
Great location, really pleasant and clean rooms, but the thing that makes this such a good place to stay are the staff. All of the people are incredibly helpful and generous with their time and advice.
As one who has travelled a bit, the Royal never ceases to amaze with its top notch offering and service. It could as well be in a different part of the world known for exclusive tourism. It certainly ranks among the best in the world.
My son was served chips without a plate. The Indian dish also came without a plate and without a spoon. Surely that can be expected at a price of ZMW 400 a dish! After asking whether they have a shortage of plates, they were provided.
thoroughly enjoyed the two nights, will recommend to all our clients. Loved it, will be back. we had been to another lodge before coming to royal livingstone and this was the best part of the trip.service was excellent , rooms very comfortable and the best view on the planet. the spa experience was fantastic.