Stanley & Livingstone Hotel $5 mln refurbishment complete

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MASIMBA GOMO

VICTORIA FALLS – The More group, in partnership with the Aujan family, has completed a $5 million refurbishment at Stanley and Livingstone Boutique Hotel (SLBH) in Victoria Falls, as the group moves to match its property with international standards.

The renovations were conducted over a period of eleven months by Kiggen Construction.

SLBH Chief Executive Officer, Robert More said no extension was made to the hotel.

“We have maintained the sixteen rooms; no expansion was made. We have only given the rooms a new look,” More said.

“We spent $5 million on the refurbishment of the hotel’s rooms, the restaurant and the landscape.”

More said the expansion of the hotel was scheduled for 2020.

“We have plans to increase rooms at the hotel between 2020 and 2021. We want to increase the rooms to twenty six, plus a private villa,” he said.

“Victoria Falls needs more rooms as the number of tourist arrivals continue to increase.”

The hotel, More said, is currently over 50 percent occupied.

Hotels Association of Zimbabwe (HAZ) Victoria Falls chapter chairman, Farai Chimba, said it was a positive development to see tourism products being developed and updated to meet international standards.

“It is critical to highlight that Victoria Falls still has a deficit of rooms which all players should to continue invest in. All international companies are welcome to invest in Victoria Falls, we are open for business,” Chimba said.

“For Victoria Falls to be competitive as an international destination, we need over 2 500 rooms up from about 2 000 at the moment which include hotels and lodges.”

SLBH is the first ever five-star boutique hotel in Victoria Falls.

Victoria Falls has been declared a tourism Special Economic Zone (SEZ) with a number of capital projects lined up for implementation in the resort town.

Some of the projects include construction of a state of the art tourism hospital, upgrading of sporting facilities, civic center, shopping malls and convention center.

The projects will be implemented by both government and the private sector.