As Zimbabwe’s capital city, Harare has accommodation for a variety of needs. There are luxurious hotels, rustic “city safari” lodges, boutique guest houses, homely B&Bs, and a small number of no-frills backpacking hostels. I still think of Harare as my home city, so I want you to have the best possible stay. Here’s my list of the best hotels in Harare. In this article, I’ve grouped the lodges, B&Bs and guest houses under the banner of “hotels” for simplicity’s sake.
Remember that Harare is small in size compared with other capital cities. Although there’s some traffic during rush hour, it usually clears quickly. I encourage you to stay in Harare’s suburbs rather than the city centre because you’ll be closer to many of Harare’s best activities and restaurants, and you’ll see a much more picturesque side of Harare. In this article I’ve only included accommodation located within 25 km (15 miles) of Harare city centre, so they are all central. Most accommodation will be happy to provide a shuttle transport service from Harare International Airport upon request. If you’re looking for accommodation slightly further out of town, see the article Day trips from Harare.
Best hotels in Harare: My top ten list
Here are ten hotels and lodges in Harare that I would recommend to my own friends. I’ve tried to include a range of budgets in this “top ten” list, and you can see even more suggestions at the bottom of the page.
Price guide: Budget ($0-60), Affordable ($60-120), Mid range ($120-180), High end ($180-240), and Top end ($240+). Priced in USD based on a standard double room for two people per night including breakfast.
1. Amanzi Lodge
The Zanzibar Suite at Amanzi Lodge. Photo source: Amanzi Lodge
I’m in love with this 16-room boutique hotel because it has an abundance of character and style, and it’s located in one of the most stunning areas of Harare. Each room is decorated in the style of a different African country, overlooking fern-covered, landscaped gardens. If I were looking for accommodation in Harare (and had the budget) I would stay at Amanzi, because it combines luxury, quirkiness and intimacy, culminating in a really special experience.
Price: Top end | Location: Kambanji/Glen Lorne| Website | Keyword: Intimate
2. Meikles Hotel
Photo source: Meikles Hotel
Meikles Hotel has been one of the leading hotels in Harare (and in Africa) since 1915 and I would be crazy not to put it on this list. Think of it as Harare’s equivalent of The Plaza. In addition to its long history and central location, it boasts five-star accommodation, gourmet restaurants and sumptuous decor.
Price: Top end | Location: City Centre | Website | Keyword: Classy
3. Wild Geese Lodge
Photo source: Wild Geese Lodge
Surrounded by 30 acres of private wildlife sanctuary, surprisingly close to Harare’s sights and shopping areas, this nine-roomed lodge provides a wonderful blend of African bush and comfort. It is very popular with locals and visitors alike, which means it’s a bustling, vibrant venue that is always a pleasure to visit.
Price: Mid range| Location: Teviotdale/Borrowdale| Website | Keyword: Natural
4. Bowood Lodge
Photo source: Bowood Lodge
A family-run lodge located in a peaceful suburb of Harare. It consists of five rooms overlooking a verdant garden and a swimming pool. With home-cooked breakfasts served daily, clean facilities and very professional hosts, I have no doubt that anyone would feel at home here, given the very reasonable prices.
Price: Affordable | Location: Mout Pleasant | Website | Keyword: Bargain
5. Sunbird Guest House
Photo source: Sunbird Guest House
Simple, clean, affordable accommodation run by a hospitable and attentive team. The six rooms are well maintained and comfortable, located in a small residential complex close to the city centre. The lodge is run in conjunction with a self-drive car rental, camping and catering company for visitors to Mana Pools, which makes this guest house an ideal stopover for those heading to Mana.
Price: Affordable | Location: Greendale | Website | Keyword: Hospitable
6. Ballantynes Lodge
Photo source: Ballantynes Lodge
This lodge is so beautiful and refined that it looks like it’s been lifted straight out of the wine regions near Cape Town. As a family run, 12-roomed luxury lodge, it is for guests who are looking for perfection. The lodge also offers car rental and chauffer services on request.
Price: Top end | Location: Ballantyne Park/Borrowdale | Website | Keyword: Stylish
7. Ridgeway Guest House
Photo source: Ridgeway Guest House
With five tastefully decorated rooms in this establishment, you’ll be well looked-after and made to feel like one of the family. Surrounded by large trees and a beautiful garden, this is a peaceful place to recharge the batteries after a long journey.
Price: High end | Location: Highlands | Website | Keyword: Peaceful
8. York Lodge
Photo source: York Lodge
Once the home of the District Commissioner of Newlands, this house has retained its original colonial style. In a pretty suburb close to the city centre, it offers a solution for those who want to stay in a central location and still experience the more beautiful side of Harare.
Price: High end | Location: Highlands | Website | Keyword: Historic
9. Guinea Fowl’s Rest B&B
Photo source: Guinea Fowl’s Rest B&B
For those on a budget looking for a relaxed home-from-home, Guinea Fowl’s Rest is a great find. The hosts are extremely considerate; the property is well-maintained; the rooms are spacious: “rest” is an accurate description indeed.
Price: Affordable | Location: Mt Pleasant | Website | Keyword: Homely
10. Monomotapa Hotel
Photo source: Monomotapa Hotel
A large hotel with reliable facilities, food and service. Relations of mine have stayed here on business without any complaints. It is close to the National Gallery of Zimbabwe in the centre of town and it has a lovely terraced area to enjoy your breakfast in Harare’s ubiquitous sunshine.
Price: Mid range| Location: City Centre | Website | Keyword: Reliable
More hotels in Harare, Zimbabwe
Here is a longer list of accommodation in Harare, some of which were close to getting into the Top Ten list.
- Guinea Fowl’s Rest B&B | Affordable | Mt Pleasant
- Casa Kadiki Guest House | Mid range | Chisipite
- Highlands House | Affordable | Highlands
- Willow Lodge | High end | Colne Valley/Borrowdale
- Wavell House | Mid range | Highlands
- Cresta Lodge | High end | Location: Eastlea/Hillside
- Daisy’s Guest House | Affordable | Greendale
- Malcolm Lodge | Mid range | Borrowdale
- Flame Tree Lodge | Mid range | Greendale
- Jacana Gardens Guest Lodge | Mid range | Borrowdale
- Villa Franca B&B | Affordable | Avondale
- Chelmsford Manor B&B | High end| Belgravia/Avondale **
- Woodlands Guest Lodge | High end | Borrowdale
- Kingsmead Guest House | High end | Borrowdale
- Armadale Lodge | High end | Borrowdale
- Blue Strawberry B&B | Affordable | Alexandra Park/Central
- Bronte Hotel | High end | City Centre
- Holiday Inn Harare | Affordable | City Centre
- 12 Fleetwood Guest House (official website not found; AirBnB listing here)| Affordable | Alexandra Park/Mt Pleasant
- Sandalwood Lodge | Affordable | Mount Pleasant
- Ridglee Roost | Affordable | Avondale
- Kutandara Lodges| Affordable | Greendale
- Powys Place (official website not found, SleepOut listing here) | Mid range | Mt Pleasant
- Mbizi Game Park | High end | Close to Harare Airport | Read about my visit to Mbizi
- Kia Ora Lodge | High end | Highlands
- Rushando Guest Lodge (official website not found; AirBnB listing here) | Mid range | Glen Lorne
- Coghlan Villa Guest House | Affordable | Greendale
- Sunshine Guest House | Affordable | Highlands
- Simba Lodge | Budget | Westgate
- It’s a Small World Backpackers Avondale| Budget | Stay at the one located in Avondale, not the city centre.
- N1 Hotel Harare | Budget | City Centre
- Rainbow Towers Hotel | Top end | City Centre
- Queensgate & Baines | Affordable | City Centre
- Honeybear Guest House (Official website not available)| Mid range | Greystone Park
- Imba Matombo (official website not available) | Top end | Glen Lorne
- Pangolin Lodge (official website and prices not available) | Glen Lorne/Borrowdale
- Thorntree Riverside Lodge (official website not available)| Mid range| Colne Valley/Glen Lorne
- Gecko Gardens (official website and prices not available) | Glen Lorne
- Highlands Park (official website and prices not available) | Highlands
In this article I haven’t included self-catering accommodation in Harare, but many of the above lodges offer self-catering options on request.