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Fairmont Zimbali Resort
Ranked #1 of 7 Hotels in Ballito
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 31 July 2014

We recently spent 4 nights in the hotel.
The hotel had a very impressive initial appearance the view from the lobby is breathtaking.- the best bit!
Our room was described as sea facing which it was however I expected more for the price, situated on the corner of what appears to be the main building it viewed none of the features of the hotel so well pictured in the advertisements. Averagely equipped, however I have received better for a lesser price.
The amenities were mostly closed due to it being winter, which again is disappointing if you are the paying client. To be informed mid afternoon that kitchens are closed therefore room service is the main alternative is, in my opinion woeful especially when a delivery charge is automatically applied to anything brought to your room.
The staff in general were pleasant when spoken to however unlike other hotels in the area there was a distinct lack of management checking on our thoughts and concerns which created a general feeling that we were "off season" guests.
The location is spectacular, great walks, great beach and great views the second best bit!
What was expected to be the highlight of our stay became the our 5th place out of 6 only just beating a very cheap, last minute, one night stay in Pinetown.
Summary: Very Average for its price.

Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
1  Thank 0300carr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
FairmontZimbali, General Manager at Fairmont Zimbali Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 1 August 2014

Dear V0300carr,

Thank you very much for taking the time to share your experience with us. We are pleased that overall your stay at the Fairmont Zimbali Resort was positive and that you enjoyed the spectacular location, nature walks, beach and the unrivaled scenery.

We are however disheartened to read that your stay did not meet you expectations on all fronts. Although it is never easy for us to hear, we sincerely thank you for providing your feedback as it allows us the opportunity to grow and continually improve our service to our valued guests.

We do apologise for the challenges which you experienced during your stay with us. Please rest assured that this is not the standard of service that we pride ourselves on providing to our guests. All of your challenges have been dealt with at a management level to ensure that the learning is not lost. It is extremely important to us that our guests always feel valued and experience the same level of service and amenities throughout the seasons.

Once again, please accept our sincere apologies. We hope that you will visit us again in the future and allow us the opportunity to improve on your recent experience.

Kind regards,

Leon Meyer
General Manager
Fairmont Zimbali Lodge & Resort

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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606 - 612 of 897 reviews

Reviewed 30 July 2014

I had mentioned my allergy to dust at time of reservation. When I arrived there, I learnt that the room was being made as dust-free as possible, even the curtains were washed. The room was spacious, the staff very friendly and safety was an important aspect. My room has an iron and ironing board and a nice balcony with a great view on the ocean. Just wow!

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with Fairmont Hotels & Resorts
Thank Stephanie H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
FairmontZimbali, General Manager at Fairmont Zimbali Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 31 July 2014

Dear Stephanie,

Thank you very much for taking the time to share your positive experience of staying at the Fairmont Zimbali Resort. Our wonderful colleagues strive to accommodate the individual needs of our guests and we are delighted to read that this is in keeping with your experience.

We are so pleased you had a fantastic experience at the Fairmont Zimbali Resort and we do hope you will stay with us again soon.

Kind regards,

Leon Meyer
General Manager
Fairmont Zimbali Lodge & Resort

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 July 2014

We spent 3 nights here at the end of a week-long break in Ballito. We moved from a self-catering apartment (Santorini) (R1000 pn) for a resort 'treat' at Zimbali (R2500pn) at the end of our break. It was a mistake. Of course being winter, and unnaturally cold snap for Natal in addition, we could not benefit from the many pools and the beach club. However, the room was small, dark and depressing with peeling wallpaper and there was a complete lack of energy at the hotel. I had to ask the concierge for activities for our family and everything seemed to be in hibernation, but for those of us there it wasn't much fun. We ended up heading back into Ballito each day so we may as well have stayed in our much more roomy apartment and spent the extra cash on other activities.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Review collected in partnership with Fairmont Hotels & Resorts
Thank Vanessa H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
FairmontZimbali, General Manager at Fairmont Zimbali Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 30 July 2014

Dear Vanessa,

Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback regarding your stay at the Fairmont Zimbali Resort. We are distressed to hear that your experience with us was not as you had anticipated.

Please be assured that the points you have brought to our attention have been addressed with our management team. The challenges that occurred during your visit are absolutely not in keeping with the level of service or luxury 5-star experience we strive to provide to our guests, and we sincerely regret this was your experience.

It is disheartening to read that you did not enjoy your room as most guests find them modern, spacious with the open-plan design and lovely ocean views. For families we also offer larger, self-catering suites which may have been more to your liking.

Once again we do apologise for the inconvenience that this caused during your stay. We hope that you will visit us again in the future and allow us the opportunity to improve on your recent experience.

Kind regards,

Leon Meyer
General Manager
Fairmont Zimbali Lodge & Resort

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 July 2014

A beautiful venue. Hidden in dense tropical forests with beautiful sea views this surely must have1 of the top rated swimming pools in the world. Rooms range from magnificent to merely luxurious. Staff are well spoken, courteous and helpful. Food is fantastic The sea food curry is amazing

Room Tip: Ask for a room / apartment with view.
See more room tips
  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled on business
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Josephine H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
FairmontZimbali, General Manager at Fairmont Zimbali Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 30 July 2014

Dear Josephine,

Thank you very much taking the time to share your positive experience of staying at the Fairmont Zimbali Resort. The resort is indeed picturesque with stunning ocean views and azure pools – we are so pleased you enjoyed your stay with us.

It is wonderful to read that you enjoyed the luxurious accommodation, experienced the engaging service our colleagues are known for and enjoyed your dining experience with us. Thank you for including a Room Tip in your review as we know from experience that guests find these extremely helpful.

Whether for business again or for pleasure, we certainly hope you will stay with us again and we look forward to welcoming you back to the Fairmont Zimbali Resort.

Kind regards,

Leon Meyer
General Manager
Fairmont Zimbali Lodge & Resort

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 July 2014

The hotel at Fairmont Zimbali Resort is outstanding and truly breathtaking! This was our first stay at the hotel and will hopefully not be our last.The hotel has a number of magnificent swimming pools and is located on a beach that stretches for miles in both directions. Our room was surprisingly large and absolutely beautiful with a balcony overlooking the pool, gardens and ocean. More words will not adequately describe the Fairmont Zimbali Resort hotel so go and see it for yourself - especially out of peak season when the weather is still good and the resort is quiet.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank Dean M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
FairmontZimbali, General Manager at Fairmont Zimbali Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 28 July 2014

Dear Dean,

Our sincere thanks to you for your positive review and recommendation, we are truly honoured and humbled by it.

We are delighted you had an enjoyable and memorable experience at Fairmont Zimbali Resort and we certainly hope you do stay with us again soon. It would be our pleasure to welcome you and your partner back.

Kind regards,

Leon Meyer
General Manager
Fairmont Zimbali Lodge & Resort

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 July 2014

The location was amazing walk down to the beach. Food was great. The concierge was very helpful. Bad- check in took over 40 min. Walked into a smelly room with a missing curtain and broken shower. All these problems in a luxury room in a 5 star property. Room was changed after a little bickering which was much better. The spa was very nice visually. But the massage was terrible felt robbed cause it was quite expensive. Me and my wife both felt that the spa was a big let down. The pool side restro/bar did not serve us food at 4.15 when the time told to us was till 5. Even if the kitchen shuts 30 min before i was still on time. No courtesy to offer anything with drinks.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with Fairmont Hotels & Resorts
Thank Vinamra C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
FairmontZimbali, General Manager at Fairmont Zimbali Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 28 July 2014

Dear Vinamra,

Thank you very much for taking the time to share your experience of staying at the Fairmont Zimbali Resort.

We are delighted that you found the hotel ideally located, enjoyed the beach, cuisine and experienced engaging service by our Concierge team.

We are very sorry to hear that your expectations were not met on all fronts. We would like to both apologise to you and thank you for bringing this to our attention. We do not like to hear that our guests have experienced these types of challenges and assure you that we genuinely value your feedback and will act upon it to ensure the experience is not repeated for you or any of our guests.

We do hope that you will visit us again in the future and allow us the opportunity to impress upon you the complete five-star luxury experience.

Kind regards,

Leon Meyer
General Manager
Fairmont Zimbali Lodge & Resort

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 July 2014

The hotel, grounds and pool are beautiful.

The beach is within walking distance once you know how to get there--the signage as you make your way through the pool area is inadequate and confusing. The sand is quite rough so you might want to bring water shoes but the beach is clean and pretty. The waves are usually too high for swimming at the beach but there are two pools at the resort to satisfy that need.

The room was comfortable, clean and luxurious and we had a striking ocean view. The closet was probably bigger than what I have at home!

The safe in the room didn't work and we didn't bother to ask to have it fixed because of our poor experience trying to have the voicemail on our phone fixed. We had booked a 6:30 am boat tour in Durban where you go out on a small boat and watch the Shark Board boats as they examine the shark nets to see if they have captured any sharks in them. Due to the distance of the hotel from Durban, a few months prior I had booked a 5:30 am hotel transfer into Durban so we could go on that tour. The Shark tour doesn't go if there are less than 6 people booked so they told me to call the day before to make sure it was still going. When I phoned, I got a voicemail so I asked them to leave me a voicemail if it was canceled and left the hotel's phone and my room number because I didn't bring a mobile phone on the trip.

As soon as we got to our room, I noticed that when you lifted the phone receiver, it said there were voicemails, told you to press 43 to get them, and then when you pressed 43, said that was invalid. Due to the fact that we were waiting for a voice mail from the shark tour and I didn't want to be leaving the hotel at 5:30 am to go to a nonexistent tour, I called the front desk and asked to have the voicemail fixed, then we left the room to go to the beach for a few hours. When we came back, it wasn't fixed to I called again and this time they told me to stay in the room for the IT person. We waited an hour and called back and this time they said we didn't have to stay so we went to dinner. When we came back it wasn't fixed so I called again. This time the woman
said the IT people said it couldn't be fixed until the next day. I explained AGAIN the issue with the shark tour. She said she would check to see if anything could be done and call me back. She never did. The voicemail never did get fixed during our stay.

On the other hand, the concierge man was great. We told him where we planned to go after our shark tour, assuming we got to go on it, and asked if it was safe for us to walk to a certain area after that. He recommended another area instead and suggested we take a taxi from the pier. Likewise, our driver the next morning was great and told us he wouldn't leave us on the pier until he made sure the tour was going.

On the other hand, the person who'd confirmed via email that we would have the 5:30 am transfer hadn't put it in the books so fortunately I confirmed it with the concierge, who found my email of those months ago, or the driver wouldn't have been there at all.

We were given a photocopy when we checked in of the restaurant opening hours. Many of them were wrong. There was another document in the room that had (sometimes different) opening hours for the restaurants. We are early diners so we checked the opening time for the restaurant we wanted to go to. The photocopy said one thing and the in-room guide said something else so went went with the later of the two and when we got there it wasn't open--we called guest services and it opened a half hour later than either of the other two pieces of information. I understand not being able to keep the in-room guide accurate because in winter there might be shorter hours. No excuse for the photocopy not being updated.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank BeenTo7Continents
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
FairmontZimbali, General Manager at Fairmont Zimbali Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 28 July 2014

Dear BeenTo7Continents,

Thank you very much for this considered and constructive review. We really appreciate you taking the time to share your experience with us and truly value your feedback.

We are delighted that overall you enjoyed your stay at Fairmont Zimbali Resort and that the spacious accommodations, views and pools were to your liking. It is indeed a beautiful resort. We are also pleased to read that you experienced friendly and helpful service from our Concierge and Transportation team.

Please accept our sincere apologies for the challenges experienced during your stay. We would like to assure you that this is not in keeping with the high standard of service that we strive to deliver to our guests. Thank you for bringing these matters to our attention. We have shared your comments with the concerned departments and will make sure the points you raised are addressed. We deeply regret any inconvenience this caused you and your partner.

Once again, we thank you for your review. We do hope that you will stay with us again and we look forward to welcoming you both back to the Fairmont Zimbali Resort.

Kind regards,

Leon Meyer
General Manager
Fairmont Zimbali Resort

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Fairmont Zimbali Resort

Address: PO Box 17, Zimbali | 4420, Ballito 4422, South Africa
Phone Number:
Region: South Africa > KwaZulu-Natal > Ballito
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 7 Hotels in Ballito
Price Range: £148 - £315 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Fairmont Zimbali Resort 5*
Number of rooms: 154
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Fairmont Hotels, Expedia, Booking.com, TripOnline SA, Hotels.com, Ebookers and Cancelon so you can book your Fairmont Zimbali Resort reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Fairmont Zimbali Hotel Ballito

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