No visit to Zimbabwe would be complete without even a brief history lesson, but surely some hours of total immersion in the ancestry of modern-day Zimbabweans would be guaranteed to put visitors off, rather than attract them? African Sun disagrees.
Equidistant from Beitbridge, on the border with South Africa and Zimbabwe’s capital city, Harare, is the town of Masvingo and a short drive from Masvingo is the Great Zimbabwe Monument, capital of the ancient realm of King Munhumutapa.
Fashioned, it is believed between 1250 and 1450 AD, from regular rectangular granite blocks skilfully placed one upon the other gives without the use of tools, gives you an idea of stone masonry few if any could emulate today. This World Heritage Site is a unique historical, cultural and archaeological landmark with many unusual artefacts including the Zimbabwe bird (a national emblem and the subject of its own myths and legends) to be found there.
Straddling its own grounds and the World Heritage Site is the Great Zimbabwe Hotel
and Lodges, with the lodges within the site and, therefore, the subject of preservation orders.
Only a short walk away from the Monument itself, the hotel has its own tradition – the African Sun tradition of a warm welcome and top quality products and service.
The swimming pool, tennis court and beach volleyball pitch are only a 2 minute walk from the majority of the rooms. The Sunset Bar is a favourite with locals and guests.
But it is the all-pervasive sense of history, of being in a different time frame, most noticeable in the grounds of the monument but still felt in the luxury of the hotel, that strikes guests as unique. And the mystery surrounding the now-deserted site, its total quiet and stillness, adds to the feeling of being part of an old but long gone civilisation. What happened to the people who built it? Was it for protection or was it a place of worship?
There are many theories and all will be heard in the cocktail bar of the Great Zimbabwe Hotel
No stay in Zimbabwe is complete without a visit to the Great Zimbabwe Monument. African Sun is virtually on site, to make it all the more enjoyable, and all the more memorable.
Activities at Great Zimbabwe Hotel:
• Great Zimbabwe Monument (guided tours)
• Lake Mutirikwi
• Sunset cruises
• Kyle Game park
• Traditional dancers on request
The Great Zimbabwe Hotel
has a range of activities and facilities to cater for the whole family. From the modest restaurant to the comfortable bar this hotel carries the affectionate atmosphere of the countryside.
For entertainment the hotel has a range of outdoor activities such as swimming and volleyball. The premises is also located only 800 meters from the Great Zimbabwe Monuments where guests can take part in informative guided tours.
Conferencing facilities are available for groups of up to 100 people. In addition, the hotel is a historically popular wedding venue with one of the most calming atmospheres in which to exchange vows.
The other facilities at the Great Zimbabwe Hotel include:
• Conferencing facilities
• 2 Curio shops
• Laundry service
• Room service (from 07H00 - 21H30)
• Packed breakfast & lunch
• Swimming pool
• Open and secure parking
• Assistance with entertainment events
Accommodation at Great Zimbabwe Hotel:
The Great Zimbabwe Hotel is made up of 38 neat rooms all with wall to wall carpeting. One significant feature of all the rooms at Great Zimbabwe Hotel is their spacious and roomy layout.
All rooms are decorated with quaint conservative furniture that gives them a modest and homely feel. There are a range of different room setups from single rooms designed for one person, double rooms with either twin beds or a double bed.
The standard rooms and single rooms overlook a lush garden courtyard with bright country flower beds, shrubs and creepers. These rooms are conveniently laid out in a half moon shape encasing the courtyard, giving the hotel the feel of an intimate family unit similar to the layout of the nearby Great Zimbabwe Monuments.
The deluxe suite, family suite and standard suites are located in separate nearby satellite buildings giving them an added sense of privacy. From selected rooms in the hotel guests have views of the grandeur age old Great Zimbabwe Monuments.
Each room is complimented with the following facilities:
• Digital Satellite Television
• Tea and coffee facilities
• Hairdryer (provided on request)
• Bathroom (shaving socket, toilet and bathtub)
Conferencing at Great Zimbabwe Hotel:
The Great Zimbabwe Hotel has one conference room with a maximum capacity of 100 people. This conference room is conveniently located close to the restaurant, with a private entrance to the dining room. The room is large and spacious with ample space for tea and coffee breaks.
Standard equipment is available including flip charts and overheads projectors. Banqueting staff are well trained and are available to assist with all the finer details of organising a flawless function.
An additional conference room is currently in the final stages of construction, this conference room will have a larger capacity of up to 250 people.
The following standard equipment and services are available on request:
• Flip charts
• Overhead projectors
• White boards and markers
• Television and VCR/DVD
• Tea/coffee and lunch packages
Dining at Great Zimbabwe Hotel:
The Great Zimbabwe Hotel has one bar and one restaurant and both carry the homely and welcoming feel that resonates throughout the hotel. Staff at both outlets are genuinely passionate about their service and because of the small size of the hotel, can afford to give you a truly personalised service offering.
Great Enclosure Restaurant
The Great Enclosure restaurant is a cosy restaurant that has the distinctive feel and interior décor of the stonework of the Great Zimbabwe Monuments. The restaurant is relatively small but guests are guaranteed truly memorable service and warm hospitality at every meal. The Great Enclosure Restaurant offers a la carte and buffet menus and has a maximum capacity of 200 pax.
This bar is a casual and non-intrusive bar, offering a full blend of beverage offerings from chilled white wines to non alcoholic cocktail drinks. A must have for all first time visitors is the signature Great Zimbabwe rocks drink. The Cocktail Bar offers a Full snack menu and has a maximum capacity of 90 pax.
The Great Zimbabwe Hotel has a wonderful ethos. The rooms are comfortable (although still in 70s style), the bathrooms immaculate and the gardens are stunning. The service and meals were outstanding. We always stay at this hotel on trips up to Zim.