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Fairmont Zimbali Resort
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Reviews (982)
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787 - 792 of 982 reviews
Reviewed 28 September 2013

This was our 3rd stay at Zimbali, and not we did not find the resort as pleasing as before.
Even though the hotel introduced some nice new items such as afternoon high tea with lovely piano music, some areas such as housekeeping made it really difficult to enjoy our stay.

On our first night we had 1 soap, 1 x bath crystals, 1 x shampoo, and we were a family of 4.
Then after that they only replaced the body lotion, I did not only pay for the first night, I expected to have a nice bath with bubble bath or crystals or something each of our 3 nights. We had to share the one small bottle of shampoo between 4 as shampoo and shower gel. And this was after we asked them each day not more but for any shampoo ( doubling as shower gel in this case). We really found this irritating, if we needed toilet paper we had to phone and ask " pleeeeaaase"

The bar at the main pool is closed, this in a South African school holiday period, so if you want a soft drink or sandwich while at the pool, you need to walk to the smaller pool which were so full since it is the only pool with service.

In short, some areas are 5 star, but if you expect services like housekeeping or serviettes at breakfast, may this is not the hotel for you!
or maybe remember to take your own soap and toilet paper

Room Tip: do not take room 2014, you have a partial sea view and rest road view, and when I asked about this they said they would look into it, but did not came back to us
  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled with family
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Thank mariettebarnard
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 September 2013

This was my least favourite of the 3 hotels we stayed in on our trip. A hulking great resort if just felt so american! The meals were so expensive compared to everything else we'd experienced in SA and you definitely feel you're money isn't benefitting local people. The service in the bars was TERRIBLE we waited 40 mins for our drinks at least 3 times. The beach is very uninviting due to the large fence, I think the hotel could do more to make people feel safe there. We went to the Lodge for dinner one night which I think I would have preferred as smaller and more intimate. All in all it was fine I've just stayed in much nicer places.

  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Tigerlily2009
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
FairmontZimbaliLodge, Public Relations Manager at Fairmont Zimbali Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 3 October 2013

Dear Valued Guest

Thank you very much for taking the time to provide us with feedback on your stay at Fairmont Zimbali Resort.

We are sorry to hear that your experience did not meet your expectations. Your comments have been noted and addressed at a management level.

We are located on an extremely secure gated estate, which is the reason for the large fence that surrounds the entire property. The fence is however largely obscured by all the beautiful natural foliage found in this eco estate.

We hope that you will visit us again soon.

Kind Regards,
The Fairmont Zimbali Resort Team

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 September 2013 via mobile

Stunning rooms and suites! We felt genuinely cared for (especially by Maya who checked us in). He made sure we had the best rooms available with amazing upgrades and views. We loved it so much we hardly left! Sweeping ocean views & I could still here the waves on the shore. Strong wifi. Delicious food. And we even had monkeys visit us each day in our balcony! So fun! If you are looking for top notch

  • Stayed: September 2013
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Thank Michele C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
FairmontZimbaliLodge, Public Relations Manager at Fairmont Zimbali Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 3 October 2013

Dear Valued Guest

Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback on your stay with us.

We're delighted that you enjoyed your time with us on your tour of South Africa. We hope that you will visit our beautiful country and hotel again soon.

Kind Regards,
The Fairmont Zimbali Resort Team

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 September 2013

We were due to Check-in to the resort on the 30/08 and checkout on the 01/09. We had requested an confirmed an early check in.on arrival we ended up waiting 2.5hrs before we could be put into a room and eventually checked in at the standard check in time. Further to that we paid for our stay in full on check in. We were told that the balance,being expenses during our stay, could be settled at check out. On check out the lady at the front desk insisted we pay the entire bill again!! We requested that she check for our payment docs to be found and were told they can't! We were advised to pay and when they reconciled they'd refund us if the money was actually paid out twice.I called the credit manager on the 10/09 to request a refund.. It is now the 13/09 and after many people promising to contact me I have had NO resolution to this!! Fairmont seems comfortable to have funds that don't rightfully belong to them?? What's 'FAIR' about that??? Our room for the stay was only cleaned after we requested it at 12pm the next day! It was finally 'cleaned' at 4pm!!! We could not go into our room for an entire day! Bearing in mind we were away from our room from 10am? The room was pathetically cleaned - literally a bed was made and towels changed. Floors and bathroom not cleaned!! We will surely not recommend or visit this resort again. What a poor mores soon of fairmont we know have and def not worth the exorbitant cost!!

Room Tip: Not worth the exorbitant prices!!!
  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Lea0072013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 September 2013

We had really been looking forward to our stay at Zimbali, and on arrival we were blown away by the scenery. The welcome on arrival was warm and efficient, as was check-in despite a slightly early arrival. We were mesmerized by the views of the Indian ocean as we sipped welcome drinks in the lobby. What a great start, and we were in anticipation of things to come, but sadly it was a rapid decline from here.

At about 3:45PM we decided to grab a late lunch and called guest services to enquire about our dining options. We were advised to go to Coral Tree All day dining restaurant, but surprisingly we were turned away when we arrived and told that they close at 3PM. We were then directed to the Beach Club where we were served an average meal of burgers and pizzas...however, the setting was brilliant and casual by the pool.

In the evening my wife and I went to 31 degrees bar for drinks and were left unattended for 10 minutes. When we raised our hands to gesture to the Bar manager, we were very rudely informed that she was working alone, attending to other customers and would get to us. I was livid, and by the time she got to us to take my order and lost all desire to be there and initially declined a drink. I later calmed down and enjoyed a pleasant evening overlooking the Indian ocean, but I was shocked by the total lack of customer service.

The next day we had a very nonchalant waitress at Coral Tree, despite the restaurant being virtually empty. We also witnessed another customer complain about not being attended to and, indeed, she actually had to walk to the front of the restaurant with her bill in hand to pay, because no one came back for a while after presenting her bill!! Incidentally, we were surprised to see guests being seated and served after 3:30PM when we had been turned away the day before. The food was average.

That evening we opted not to return to the bar for drinks and decided to order a bottle of Sauvingon Blanc in our room. The service received was unbelievable. The server brought a bottle of Chardonnay on a tray and put it down and walked out!! She did not open it let alone pour it or offer us to taste it. Nor was there an ice bucket or an opener. We called room service again, and were told that we were served by a trainee and someone came up to rectify the situation. Not what I would expect from an establishment of this calibre.

There was further frustration with the housekeeping/laundry team. My wife had sent some clothes (including one of her costly favourites) to the dry cleaners and 2 dresses were not delivered with the others. When she called to enquire, a member of staff came up and advised her that she was mistaken and that all the laundry had been delivered. Fortunately she had kept a copy of the slip and presented it. She advised that we were leaving the room and hoped the matter would be resolved. Upon our return the items were returned and hanging in the closet, but there was not even an apology note or explanation. My wife called and asked to speak to the Manager, who finally redeemed the hotel with an apology and the kind gesture of removing the laundry charge.

The catalogue of shocking service came to a terrible crescendo on our final morning as we went down for breakfast, before starting the 6 hour drive back home. There was a long queue and we informed Sindiwe that we required a table for 5. She asked us to wait a few minutes and she would advise once our table was ready. We watched in shock as several tables of 6 and 4 were seated despite the guests arriving after us. After watching this for 20 minutes my wife went to enquire and she was told that she had to put her name on the list. She advised that we had done so more than 20 minutes ago. It then became apparent that Sindiwe had not written our name down, and when my wife complained Sindiwe spoke to my wife in a rude tone in the local language. When my wife explained that we were not from South Africa, and therefore did not understand what she was saying the lady launched into the most shocking behaviour i have ever been subjected to anywhere in the world she unleashed a tirade in her language stormed off and through a pen down. This was the last straw, and we immediately left the restaurant area and resolved to immediately leave Zimbali, never to return.

As we checked out we asked to see the manager to register our displeasure. After a long chat, we left feeling slightly better, an once again Maye (Sp) had redeemed the reputation of Zimbali.
We were offered a complimentary breakfast at the Delicacy as a gesture of apology and good will.

For such a stunning property and location, the service falls very, very short of the expected norms, and definitely is not befitting the Fairmont brand. I sincerely hope they work on their service.

Not sure if we would return...despite the amazing location.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with family
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Thank Phantomreviewer280
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
FairmontZimbaliLodge, Public Relations Manager at Fairmont Zimbali Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 3 October 2013

Dear Valued Guest

Thank you very much for taking the time to provide us with feedback on your stay at Fairmont Zimbali Resort and the challenges which you experienced.

We do apologise that your stay with us did not meet your expectations. The challenges you experienced are not in keeping with the service levels which we strive to provide our guests with.

Please rest assured that all your challenges have been addressed with the relevant parties concerned and appropriate action has been taken.

We do hope that you will visit us again so that we can improve on your experience.

Kind Regards,
The Fairmont Zimbali Resort Team

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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