A NEW 4-star hospitality facility, Palm River Hotel, will be officially opened in Victoria Falls today.
It is located on the shores of Zambezi River, more than 6km away from the city centre and has 73 rooms. The construction of the magnificent new-look facility began in January 2019 and doors for the first clients will be opened on December 1.
The hotel has seven blocks, each with three floors and compete with towering riverside trees, and a river frontage. It is owned by Spencer's Creek Group, which was founded in 1970, and also owns Ilala Lodge Hotel with the same number of rooms.
The designer is a local architect, Engineer Bruce Rowland while the furniture was made by Mr Nigel Joselyn and Home Improvements, floors by Pride of Africa, all from Harare.
Construction was done by Kiggen Construction of Victoria Falls. A wall paper in the presidential suite was painted by a local artist Ms Nicole Sanderson while doors are also made of local wood.
The only import is a wallpaper at the reception, which was bought from Cape Town in South Africa.
The seven blocks are named after some indigenous trees, Block A being Acacia, Block B (Baobab), Block C (Combretum), Block D (Duiker-berry), Block E (Ebony), Block F (Fig) and The Palm River Villa. General manager, Mr Martijn van Leent, said all about the four-star hotel is local.
"Only three shrubs were cut down during construction, as we kept all the others with the aim of keeping the Victoria Falls touch. There is the Victoria Falls Bridge and pathways resemble the paths in the Rainforest to keep the Victoria Falls theme," he said.
"About 180 native trees will be planted on the premises to enhance natural environment," said Mr van Leent.
While all the rooms are ready, the hotel plans to start letting out 30 rooms on December 1, and 40 percent of them are already booked for December and fully booked over the Christmas Holidays. The other rooms will be opened in April next year.
The hotel becomes one of the few that have gone green through use of alternative energy sources in line with the green tourism concept, also adopted by its sister hotel Ilala Lodge.
Mr van Leent said the hotel will next month bring an expert who is going to name all indigenous trees within the property. Clients will also have an opportunity to go on river cruise as the hotel has three boats each carrying between 12 and 14 people on site.
Spencer Creek group spokesperson, Ms Pia Theisen, said the vision of the Palm River Hotel is to be a unique hotel offering unparalleled luxury without compromising a sense of home comfort and the convenience of a central location preserved within a tranquil bubble of peace and quietness inspired by the architectural style of the Queenslander.
Victoria Falls is a popular world tourism destination and home to the World Seventh Natural Wonder, and together with modern state-of-the-art facilities, the destination exudes unparalleled beauty making it an attraction and experience not to be missed.