Imagine waking up in the morning to the sounds of nature, stepping out of your room and seeing a bunch of giraffes having their breakfast just in front of your doorstep! Our stay at the Royal Livingstone by Anantara Hotels in Zambia has been one of my absolute favorite travel moments of the whole year! In this hotel review you’ll find out why you have to put this hotel to your bucket list!
Nestled within the breathtaking Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park at the Zambezi River, The Royal Livingstone by Anantara is a jewel just a quick 20-minute drive from the Livingstone Airport in Zambia where we got welcomed and picked up by one of the incredibly friendly staff members. The hotel is just steps away from the majestic Victoria Falls and close to the border to Zimbabwe.
The Concept: Where Luxury Meets the Wild
While staying at the Royal Livingstone, you will literally sleep in the heart of the national park alongside the Zambezi River, where zebras, giraffes, and monkeys freely roam the grounds. Each morning we woke up to up to another animal encounter just outside our room. Dinners by the Zambezi river will treat you to the sight of hippos while you’re fully immersed in the beauty of this unique nature. This perfect mix of relaxation and adventure creates an unforgettable stay which we never experienced anywhere else.
The animals living in the resort are truly wild and can not be touched or feed which makes it a truly unique experience to be so close to these gracious beings. Luckily there are no wild cats living in this park and hippos will kept put thanks to fences at the river bank. This is to keep the animals and visitors safe while you can still watch them in their natural habitat from a close but safe distance.
The hotel sparks a wonderful 1900’s style safari elegance which will make you feel like stepping back in time. You feel the special energy from the very moment you set foot in the open lobby to see the first glimpse of the lush garden with the pool and the Zambezi river behind it.
The resort’s beautiful pool, adorned with elegant sun beds, offers a spectacular panorama of the Zambezi River, which is especially breathtaking at sunset. Wild Zebras occasionally walk around the pool to eat the fresh green grass on the property, adding a touch of the wild to your leisurely poolside relaxation
The Royal Livingstone Spa
I absolutely loved the Royal Livingstone Spa, where all treatments take place in wooden cabanas, right by the Zambezi River. The soothing sounds of flowing water accompanied with a heavenly Zambian massage, let me dream away after our long travel day and I felt really connected to nature. I highly recommend to schedule an appointment during your visit – you will love it!
During your stay at the Royal Livingstone you can enjoy a daily dose of adventure if you’re in the mood for it, thanks to its unique location next to the Victoria Falls. With a private entrance to the falls, guests can explore the iconic landmark from sunrise to sunset, free of charge. Other thrilling options include a boat tour to the thrilling Devils Pool, a helicopter ride over the falls or crossing the border to Zimbabwe for an unparalleled views over the falls or a safari. That’s why I’d highly recommend to stay at least 5 nights at the Royal Livingstone in Zambia to have enough time to fully enjoy and experience this amazing part of Zambia.
Rooms & Suites at The Royal Livingstone Hotel
Premier Garden Balcony Room
We stayed in a Premier Garden Balcony Room on the first floor which is the entry level room category but still luxurious. The spacious bedroom features a cozy bed surrounded by mosquito nets, complemented by a safari-style interior. The bathroom has a rain shower and even a bathtub. From the balcony you overlook the Zambezi River and often you can even watch the playful monkeys.
While tap water in Zambia should generally not be consumed or even used to brush your teeth you can DRINK the water straight from the sink during your stay at the Royal Livingstone. This is thanks to a filtration & purification system the hotel uses for all their water outlets so yo never have to worry about upsetting your stomach.
Livingstone Junior Suite
Our final night was elevated with an upgrade to the Livingstone Junior Suite. Located on the ground floor with a terrace offering river views, this 52 sqm haven featured an open layout, a freestanding bathtub, and a living area. The open bathroom, discreetly tucked behind a wall, added an extra touch of elegance.
Breakfast & Restaurants
The Old Drift Restaurant
The main restaurant, Old Drift, offers a buffet breakfast and à la carte lunch and dinner, showcasing a blend of international and locally inspired cuisine. The breakfast buffet had a fresh cooking station for omelettes and Co as well as international choices. I loved to enjoy the breakfast outside on the terrace overlooking the green garden and Zambezi River.
Kubu, our personal favorite, stands on a dock by the river bank, offering unparalleled sunset views and glimpses of hippos in the water. The menu features local dishes, creating a culinary experience as mesmerizing as the surroundings. The number of tables is very limited and the service is exceptional for a truly luxurious feeling. Nevertheless the menu wasn’t overpriced but surprisingly affordable!
Dining by Design
For an intimate dining experience, the Royal Livingstone offers private dining at stunning spots such as a swimming pier in the Zambezi River or a private Zambian BBQ under the stars, which is the absolute dream definition of a romantic dinner. You can even enjoy your breakfast at the floating pier which is super peaceful!
The Royal Livingstone Lounge
In true 1920s style, The Royal Livingstone Lounge and Bar is an elegant space for evening drinks or light snacks during the day.
Résumé of our stay at The Royal Livingstone by Anantara
The Royal Livingstone by Anantara Hotels is not just a stay; it’s a captivating journey into the heart of Africa, where luxury seamlessly merges with wildlife and adventures, creating memories that are unforgettable. It is an extraordinary place for a romantic getaway for everyone who loves to enjoy the wilderness and natural beauty of Africa like nowhere else!