Hi All

Phil Scott Riddell was, until recently, a highly qualified commercial pilot with 30 years of airline and business corporate flying experience. He visited many different countries worldwide during his flying career, resulting in him overnighting in hotel accommodations boasting a large variance in standards. In 2016 Phil and his wife, Mornette relocated to Victoria Falls from Harare, and Phil continued corporate flying until COVID forced him to retire his flying wings. Fortunately, the property that they bought in the quiet residential suburb of Vic Falls had the potential to be converted into an up-market lodge, and their retirement plan was fast-forwarded. They spent the following 4 ½ years completely gutting and renovating the original building, slowly turning it into what is now Pamarah Lodge.

I had the privilege of spending a couple of nights there last week and I was able to experience, first-hand, just how successful they have been with their project. The first feeling one has when walking into the lodge grounds is “Wow”. Later in the day, having been shown around the property, one is aware of the all-round attention to detail. This must, surely, be an indirect result of those little things that must have frustrated Phil staying in places that might not have thought about the overall product they were offering to their customers. The light switch next to the bed, for instance, has an extra button so that you can switch off the light in the bathroom that you overlooked before jumping under the sheets. Then there are the extra milk sachets; actual soap tablets; No TVS; Biscuits next to the cold water dispenser in the main lounge; the fans in the rooms are all shaped like Propellors; and much more.

Mornette’s father, the late Mike McGeorge, was a leading photographer in Harare and a fellow aviation enthusiast. Mornette brought her father to Victoria Falls for the Crete to Cape Vintage Air Rally in December 2016, where he took many of the black and white aviation photos that you see on display around the lodge. Mornette also called in fellow aviation photographers and historians, including the late Bill Sykes, where together they collated a world-class range of photos with many including rare looks at old aircraft flying around the falls.

The level of security around this establishment is second to none – visitors cannot just walk into their property – the front gate is controlled from reception with cameras suitably placed around the property to view any unusual happenings. Each room has its own electronic key card which also allows guests personal entry at the front gate.

The overall design and placement of the different rooms mean that one “Cannot hear your neighbours”. Absolute quiet with the related feeling of calm that you experience throughout your stay – Far from the maddening crowd.

Definitely one of the best lodges I’ve stayed in – highly recommended for those who want “Better than all the rest”. Send us an email if you’d like to find out more. Ciao Mike G.

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