The site on which Ilala Lodge stands was originally occupied by Mrs Green who owned and ran the original Sprayview Restaurant.
In 1970 it was demolished by Gardini and Sons who drew up plans for a restaurant and casino. During 1984 the site was offered to the Brown family for Ilala Lodge Victoria Falls. Their offer coincided with the Minister of Finance’s offer of a tax incentive for hotel construction. Richard Beattie of Hope Clark and Associates was commissioned to produce plans for a small hotel. The hotel had to have at least 12 rooms. Eventually 16 rooms were agreed to.
Thelma Newmarch recommended the name Ilala Lodge and played a major role in the overall look and feel of the hotel. At that time tourism was in the doldrums, the Elephant Hills had been burnt down and other hotels in Victoria Falls were very run down. Strath and his son Keith were responsible for erecting the roof and Beryl Brown and Angela Campbell did all the landscaping and supervision of the gardens.
The highlight of the opening ceremony was the local Chief and the Spiritual elders who accompanied him and blessed the Lodge in their traditional way.
Ten years later, when Laura Brown was General Manager of Ilala Lodge Victoria Falls, she added 16 more rooms to the Lodge and an additional 2 rooms downstairs, bringing it to the 34 rooms.
Another major set of renovations began in 2015 with the construction of a new wing for the hotel. Officially opened in October 2015, the wing featured an additional 22 rooms: 20 Deluxe Rooms, and two luxurious Executive Suites. The Executive Suites, in particular, are a standout amongst Vic Falls lodges and hotels, with tasteful furnishings, stunning artwork, a spacious living area, and floor-to-ceiling windows with views of the spray from Victoria Falls.
Speaking about the new wing, Ilala's General Manager said: "The lodge's growth and expansion is directly proportionate to the demand we are experiencing." And furthermore, he went on, "With a New Year approaching, a new dawn looks imminent in the Zimbabwean tourism industry." The renovations had brilliant results, greatly boosting occupancy at the hotel.
Read more about the Victoria Falls history, scroll through the different rooms and suites available to choose from, and find out more about the broad range of Victoria Falls activities on offer at Ilala Lodge.