Palm River Hotel Victoria Falls Review: Where Luxury Meets Adventure

Nestled amongst thick trees on the banks of the Zambezi, the Palm River Hotel Victoria Falls offers an unrivalled experience that mixes effortlessly with its surroundings. From breathtaking views to amazing cuisine and easy access activities, there are plenty of highlights that make the Palm River Lodge Victoria Falls stand out.

Join us as we embark on a journey to uncover the hidden gems and unforgettable moments that await at the Palm River Lodge and find out why it’s my pick of where to stay in Victoria Falls.

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Palm River Hotel Location

Palm River Hotel Victoria Falls from above. Zambezi River in background

The Palm River Hotel Victoria Falls is quietly tucked away on the banks of the Zambezi River. It’s a short 10-minute drive from the centre of town, including the train station, and is about the same distance to the Victoria Falls National Park’s gate.

Victoria Falls International Airport is approximately 20 kilometres (12.4 miles) from the Palm River Hotel and typically takes around 20-30 minutes to get there by car.

Thanks to its riverside location, the Palm River Lodge is a fantastic spot to enjoy the local wildlife. On my visit, I listened to hippos come up for air while sipping on a coffee from my balcony in the morning which was just great.

Hippo eye out of the water near the banks of the Zambezi River

On my walk to and from my room, I watched monkeys playing and birds of all colours coming and going. Most awesome of all, while enjoying a fabulous meal at the hotel restaurant, two large hippos grazed on the grass in front of us. This certainly makes for the easiest safari ever.

Palm River Lodge Rooms

There are 73 guest rooms at the Palm River Hotel – all beautifully decorated with a tropical theme that blends well with the hotel surroundings. These are divided into several categories;

Deluxe Rooms

Guest room at the Palm River Hotel

I stayed in a Deluxe room that featured a large bathroom with an amazing rain shower, a small desk, and a seating area. There is plenty of luggage storage space at the entrance and more than enough room for two people to stretch out comfortably.

There’s a minibar stocked with local Zambezi beer, Nespresso coffee, and a selection of teas. The first filling of the fridge is complementary and was appreciated as I enjoyed a drink on the balcony in the evenings.

Aside from the balcony overlooking the Zambezi, my favourite highlight of our room was the green palm decor behind the bedframe and the wood highlights found throughout.

Palm River Hotel bed with wood trim and palm tree images on headboard

Deluxe Suites

If you are a family searching for where to stay in Victoria Falls, the Deluxe Suites at the Palm River hotel are a great option. They are made up of two separate Deluxe Rooms with a common living room space in between.

Executive Suites

The Executive Suites offer guests a little more privacy and space. Along with the same setup as the Deluxe Rooms, there’s a living room and a large balcony. The ceilings are also much higher giving the space that much more room.

Palm River Hotel bed with wood trim and palm tree images on headboard

Honeymoon Suites

If you are visiting Victoria Falls on your honeymoon or as part of a romantic getaway, this room is for you. On top of all the other great features listed above, the Honeymoon Suites at the Palm River Lodge Victoria Falls include a hanging day bed on the large balcony, a soaker tub, and an outdoor shower.

Presidential Suite

The largest room on the property, the Presidential Suite is situated in the centre of the hotel and offers the best views and most space. Room highlights include a separate mini-balcony, a super king-sized bed, and a massive bathroom with a double shower.

Palm River Lodge Private Villa

For those looking for a little more privacy and travelling with a large group, the Palm River Hotel Victoria Falls has a private villa for rent. This large home includes a Honeymoon Suite, Executive Suite, and twin Deluxe Rooms. There is a shared kitchen and dining room, patio, and pool.

We met a family on the Rovos Rail journey to Victoria Falls who booked this villa for their visit and it looked amazing.

Palm River Hotel Amenities

Palm River Hotel Exterior

Although the Palm River Hotel has a boutique feel to it, the grounds are quite large with much to explore. The main building is open-air and a hub of activity. There you will find the check-in counter, lounge, gift shop, and restaurant.

Moving towards the waterfront, there is a great outdoor bar an patio seating. We enjoyed cocktails and conversations here before our meals. Staff was very friendly and happy to chat which made everyone in our group feel at home.

Continuing on past the bar you will find the refreshing plunge pools that stretch along the property grounds.

Woman sitting on the edge of the plunge pool looking out at the Zambezi River from the Palm River Hotel

Last, before the waterfront, are a couple of swings hanging from a tree. 

Afternoon Tea at the Palm River Hotel

The Palm River Hotel serves up complimentary afternoon tea in the common area. I enjoyed taking a vantage of this as there’s no shortage of unique space on the grounds to enjoy a coffee or tea.

Activities at the Palm River Lodge

The Palm River Hotel has an activities coordinator on hand to help make the best of your stay.

We took advantage of the service and got help coordinating our visit to the falls along with coordinating a sunset cruise on the Zambezi.

The full list of activities is large and includes everything from guided tours of the falls to bungee jumping and helicopter rides. Those daring enough to visit when the water is low can take advantage of a dip in the Devil’s Pool, a spot of water at the edge of the falls.

Visiting Victoria Falls

Drone arial shot of Victoria Falls

Undoubtedly the reason for your visit, the Palm River Hotel makes visiting Victoria Falls very easy. They offer a complimentary shuttle bus to the centre of town and the Falls Gate.

We took advantage of this with a requested pick-up time two hours later. This gave us enough time to visit the 16 viewpoints at the falls and enjoy a soggy beer at the café at the end.

Those looking to stay dry should pack a poncho or rain jacket. You can purchase one at the gate entrance if you don’t have one, just ask your driver.

Palm River Hotel River Cruise

Boats lined up on the Zambezi River in front of the Palm River Lodge Victoria Falls.

Thanks to its riverfront location, the Palm River Hotel is a perfect jumping-off point to explore life on the Zambezi

There is a large dinner cruise option next-door however I opted to make use of the hotel’s own boat which is much smaller and more intimate.

The cruise departs at 4:30 and takes guests down the channels of the Zambezi River, exploring wildlife along the way. Cocktails and snacks are included and make for a relaxing way to cap off your day visiting the falls.

On my visit, we spotted several hippos including a couple getting out of the water, several different types of birds, antelope, and a couple of crocodiles.

The tour concludes at sunset, which is a spectacular show in itself.

Palm River Hotel Restaurant and Bar

After a sunset cruise, we hit the outdoor bar for a cocktail and the restaurant for dinner.

Dinner

The dinner menu is a mix of fusion cuisine and our group sampled much of it. I had the pappardelle house-made pasta which was especially good. Other menu highlights include pan-fried trout, ravioli, and pan-roasted Zambezi bream.

Aside from the incredible food, the night was highlighted by hippos grazing on the lawn while we drink South African wine and enjoyed our dessert. It truly was a unique experience, and worth the stay in itself.

Breakfast

The Palm River Hotel Vicotria Falls has a great breakfast spread and is included with your stay. This is highlighted by a self-serve buffet of fruits, cheeses, and pastries as well as a delicious hot menu.

Palm River Lodge Victoria Falls breakfast buffet with bowl of fruit in foreground and a selection of pastries behind it.

Although I wanted the banana bread French toast, I was still very full from the feast the night prior. Instead, I enjoyed the avocado toast and can recommend it. Someone from my group had the baked egg shakshuka and said it was incredible.

The Palm River Hotel Victoria Falls also features a lunch and snack menu. I didn’t try anything of them but, based on the meals I had, can only assume the food is great.

Wrapping up this Palm River Lodge Review

Although my time in Victoria Falls was short, I found the Palm Rivers Hotel to be the perfect place to maximize my time. Thanks to the courtesy shuttle, we were able to get to and from the falls with ease.

Similarly, with the boat cruises departing from the front lawn, we were able to cruise the Zambezi and see some incredible wildlife as well. Seeing hippos grazing on the lawn while we ate was the icing on the cake.

Drone shot of Palm River Hotel buildings connected by bridge walkway

Last and certainly not least, rooms are very comfortable and well-appointed with everything you need to enjoy a stay.

I hope to be back again, but until then, if you want to stay at the Palm River Hotel for your vacation in Victoria Falls, check out the latest rates below.

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Thoughts on this Palm River Hotel Victoria Falls Review?

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Palm River Hotel Victoria Falls Review: Where Luxury Meets AdventurePalm River Hotel Victoria Falls Review: Where Luxury Meets AdventurePalm River Hotel Victoria Falls Review: Where Luxury Meets AdventurePalm River Hotel Victoria Falls Review: Where Luxury Meets Adventure

So how does the Palm River Hotel Victoria Falls rank?

10 Character
10 Comfort
10 Location
8 Value
9.5
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