Leopard Rock Hotel was built and opened by the Seymour-Smiths, a well-known local family who decided after the Second World War that a need existed for a holiday hotel at the top of the Bvumba Mountains.
The hotel was opened in 1946 and offered accommodation for up to 40 guests, reached by travelling up a gravel road which climbed hundreds of metres from Mutare and wound through the mountainsides. A simple but amusing nine-hole golf course was built on the hotel’s estate and the hotel promoted itself as a venue for people who enjoyed the invigorating climate and communing with nature. In 1953, Britain’s Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, famously stayed at the hotel with her daughter, Princess Margaret, and was so taken with the hotel and its spectacular surroundings that she was inspired to pen these words for posterity; “There is nowhere more beautiful in Africa”
Leopard Rock Hotel was then purchased by the Taberer family in the 1990s and a major expansion project was undertaken, which saw the construction of a new bedroom block –increasing the number of available rooms and suites to accommodate 120 guests. And so was born the Leopard Rock hotel we know today; boasting one of the continent’s best golf courses, a casino, a conference venue and a game sanctuary. The hotel is now owned and operated by Cambria Africa plc previously Lonzim.
Over the years the hotel has hosted royalty, statesmen, sporting and film personalities, business leaders and various other celebrities from across the world. It has also won many accolades, including awards for accommodation, cuisine, wine lists and service. In 2011 and 2012, the hotel was named Best Resort Hotel in Zimbabwe by the Association of Zimbabwean Travel Agents in their respected annual awards event. In 2013, CNN Travel named the Leopard Rock golf course one of Africa’s 10 best golf courses.
The original Leopard Rock Hotel
The famous Queen Mother visit.