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“Not 5 Star”

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Fairmont Zimbali Lodge
Ranked #2 of 7 Hotels in Ballito
Richterswil, Switzerland
Level 4 Contributor
45 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Not 5 Star”
Reviewed 11 June 2014

I know it was low season, but the lodge seemed remarkably empty. With it the atmosphere was a bit flat and the staff seemed slow/reluctant to serve the few guests who were there.

The rooms are a good size with great views, but ours seemed to be a little tired looking. All in all, it was great to spend a two very relaxed nights out of Durban, but it was just lacking the wow factor that you expect with it.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Mike J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
FairmontZimbali, General Manager at Fairmont Zimbali Lodge, responded to this review, 19 June 2014
Dear CMJohnsonn,

Thank you very much for taking the time to share your experience of staying at the Fairmont Zimbali Lodge.
We’re so pleased you enjoyed the tranquility of the Lodge and were able to enjoy a relaxing two days away from the hustle and bustle of Durban city. Furthermore, that overall you enjoyed the spacious rooms and breathtaking views.

We truly value your feedback with regards to your room. We’re happy to advise that all our rooms are undergoing a refurbishment to update the furnishings and facilities; however the same atmospheric ambiance will still remain present.

The Lodge is generally quieter and offers a far more intimate environment than the nearby Fairmont Zimbali Resort. This is particularly the case during the winter off-peak season. Perhaps you may prefer the larger, more modern feel and energetic vibe of the Resort.

We are extremely disheartened to read that you did not experience the engaging service our colleagues are known for, or the memorable moments we strive to provide all our guests. Please be assured that these issues have been looked into and addressed. This is not the standard which we wish for our guests and sincerely regret that this was part of your experience.

We sincerely hope that you will stay with us again so that we may have the opportunity to impress upon you a five-star experience with added wow factor.

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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400 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (91)
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English first
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 May 2014

We were here for a wedding in Zimbali. It's a very present hotel, set amongst some amazing scenery and has a lovely chilled vibe. The rooms are clean and have a real rustic feel to them. The food is ok, breakfast is very overpriced and average tasting, the curry dinner was very nice though but there were places off the resort that were also very good... and have a zero missing from the price. In general, the service was very slow, even when in the dining area there was only one other couple eating and the menus are definitely not vegetarian-friendly. We also weren't expecting a knock at the door for room service at 9am on Sunday morning.

We had some friends staying in apartments in the resort (a 10 minute walk). It was impossible to get to see them without being charged for a driver to take us due to barriers being everywhere and not being allowed a pass to open them ourselves without being liable to a fine. The security was way too stringent. When trying to drive out the wrong exit, leading to the same road a few 100 meters up from the correct exit (there are no signs explaining this) we were forced
to turn around.. just to get out. There were other security related issues. The staff
were pleasant and generally helpful (if a bit slow) when they could be but there seemed to be too many pointless rules. The stay wasn't bad, just not representative of the cost and it's 5 star rating.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Laurence A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
FairmontZimbali, Public Relations Manager at Fairmont Zimbali Lodge, responded to this review, 19 May 2014
Dear Lozza999

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

We’re very glad to hear that you enjoyed the breathtaking scenery and relaxed ambiance of our beautiful hotel. We will most definitely look into your recommendation on including a wider variety of vegetarian meals. Our chefs are also always on hand to prepare meals according to guest requests.

We’re sorry to hear that you found the rules of the Zimbali Coastal Estate to be restrictive. As an upmarket private residential estate they do take the security of all their residents and guests very seriously. As a hotel we do our best to minimize any inconvenience to our guests, and we do apologise for any challenges which you experienced.

Kind Regards,
The Fairmont Zimbali Lodge Team
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Cape Town Central, South Africa
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 May 2014

My partner and I spent the last weekend of our honeymoon at the lodge and could not have asked for a more relaxing experience!
Check was fast and efficient and we were taken to our rooms by a very friendly porter on the golf carts. Upon entering our room we were welcomed by a chilled bottle of sparkling wine, two champagne glasses and a tray of sweets including macaroons and chocolates!!! This truly made us feel special and we could appreciate it on the beautiful terrace over looking the resort.
The room is spacious and very clean!
Dinner was at Thandi's where we were also treated to incredible food!

Thank you Zimbali for an incredible experience...we will be back!!!

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank Stevie J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
FairmontZimbali, Public Relations Manager at Fairmont Zimbali Lodge, responded to this review, 11 May 2014
Dear Stevie,

Thank you for taking the time to share your recent experience of staying with us. We are truly humbled you choose Fairmont Zimbali Lodge for your honeymoon, and delighted it was so memorable.

Please accept our congratulations again on your most happy union. We wish you continued happiness together and we look forward to welcoming you both back to the Fairmont Zimbali Lodge.

Kind regards,
The Fairmont Zimbali Lodge Team
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 May 2014

Booked in for our 6th wedding anniversary. All was well until our anniversary supper was spoilt. I made a reservation at Thandi Restaurant. When we got there,we were given a table that seemed it was pulled out of a conference storage and not part of the rest of the lovely furniture. It made me feel very inferior to the other guest. All propped up on their comfy chairs and my indian family of 4 get to celebrate our special supper that we were so hyped up for,in a 5 star restaurant, feeling worse than indentured labourers. The waiter was not helpful, saying that I should have called very early. What has that got to do with the no of tables available? You should accept bookings based on the number of people you can accommodate, keep up to the so called 5 star lodge you claim to be. No alternatives were offered by the waiter. The very next morning there was no sign of their conference chairs. A spoilt evening

  • Stayed April 2014
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Prindha
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
FairmontZimbali, Public Relations Manager at Fairmont Zimbali Lodge, responded to this review, 8 May 2014
Dear Prindha,

Congratulations on the occasion of your 6th Wedding Anniversary. We are truly humbled that you chose to mark this momentous occasion at Fairmont Zimbali Lodge.

We are delighted you enjoyed your stay at the Lodge, however we were disappointed to learn that the challenges you encountered while dining at Thandi Restaurant marred the five-star experience for you.

Please be assured that these issues have been looked into and addressed. This is not the standard which we wish for our guests to experience and sincerely regret any inconvenience that this may have caused.

We do hope that you will return to Fairmont Zimbali Lodge in the future and allow us the opportunity to improve your view on the five-star dining experience.

Kind regards,
The Fairmont Zimbali Lodge
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
1 review
Reviewed 31 March 2014 via mobile

A wonderful holiday made infinatly better by the manager Ryan crow. Looking forward to returning as soon as we can. Perfect food, weather and golf. 2by2 were first class in delivering a service. Complementary 3 bottles of wine were much appriciated.

Stayed February 2014, travelled with family
Helpful?
Thank Jim M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
FairmontZimbali, Public Relations Manager at Fairmont Zimbali Lodge, responded to this review, 1 April 2014
Dear Valued Guest,

We are delighted that you had a wonderful holiday at the Fairmont Zimbali Lodge.

Thank you for taking the time to share your valuable feedback, and our thanks to you for recognising Ryan for his great service. Although we can’t take credit for the weather, we are pleased you enjoyed the meals and golf!

We sincerely hope you will visit again soon and we look forward to welcoming you back to the Fairmont Zimbali Lodge.

Kind Regards,
The Fairmont Zimbali Lodge Team
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Methuen
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 14 March 2014

We went for one week with Saga. The Lodge is excellent with large rooms overlooking the rain forest. The pool and surrounding area are beautiful and walking to the beach is easy and the beach itself is deserted and unspoiled. However as a Saga guest you are treated as second class citizens having to eat meals in corners of the restaurant far removed from other diners. The main problem concerns what you are given to eat. When we were there we were allowed to eat meals off the a la carte menus and there were 7 or 8 choices of starter and main. Friends of ours who visited 2 weeks later were given most retricted Saga menu of only 2 choices and not allowed to eat off same menu as other guests. This is wrong as all guests paying to stay should be treated the same. I asked Saga why guests were treated differently and their ridiculous response was that it was up to the hotel to decide what food to provide for Saga guests as their contract specified basic food whatever that meant. They accept Saga guests will be treated differently probably based on numbers.. Saga are totally indifferent to how their customers are treated and accept that everybody pays the same holiday costs but many will not get same treatment concerning what food they are given. The hotel is quite wrong to take money and then give guests either a la carte or a very restricted indifferent menu. Even worse is that Saga know this is happening and are happy to accept this. After all guests have paid them. Do not go to this hotel with Saga as you dont know how you will be treated which is a shame as it is a lovely hotel. We were going back but having discovered Saga attitude and that of Hotel we will not and are advising friends to avoid this hotel. If you pay hotel price to stay then every guest should eat from same menu and be seated with all other guests

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank David E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
FairmontZimbali, Public Relations Manager at Fairmont Zimbali Lodge, responded to this review, 18 March 2014
Dear Valued Guest

Thank you very much for taking the time to share feedback on your recent stay at Fairmont Zimbali Lodge. We appreciate your concern regarding the treatment of SAGA guests at Fairmont Zimbali Lodge and would like to reassure you that we value each and every guest who stays with us.

Our SAGA guests are most definitely not restricted to only dining in certain areas of the restaurant. Table placement will however depend on the size of the table and also the number of guests in the restaurant during a specific dining period. As mentioned in your review each hotel which forms part of the SAGA itinerary does have a contract with SAGA which outlines certain expectations. We are currently investigating the incident which you referred to and can assure you that this is not the standard which we wish for our SAGA guests to experience.

We hope that you and your friends will return to Fairmont Zimbali Lodge in the future so that we may have the opportunity to impress you once again.

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
Sheringham, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
27 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 March 2014

Zimbali Lodge is a very good venue for a golfing holiday or just a few days rest in the sun. We enjoyed our stay, and particularly were pleased that we were only 20mins from Durban's new airport and yet in the middle of tropical vegetation, ten minutes walk from the Indian Ocean.If you want a modern flashy hotel then Zimbali resort hotel is only a few minutes away in the same area,but we preferred the Lodge which had old world charm coupled with good service, friendly staff only too willing to help in any way..If you do not like curry then the menu is a little limited,but we had some nice steaks,fish,and there were pasta dishes as well. The curries were magnificent really living up to Durban;s reputation as the best in South Africa.The golf course was 5 mins on the free buggy service from the hotel. Pleasant clubhouse and quite a tough test of golf.Of course South Africa is excellent value for money at the moment.

Room Tip: Rooms on the upper floor of the 800 suites have a good ocean view and a good view of the tricky 14th...
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank 61John6261
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
FairmontZimbali, Public Relations Manager at Fairmont Zimbali Lodge, responded to this review, 17 March 2014
Dear Valued Guest,

Thank you very much for taking the time to share feedback on your stay at Fairmont Zimbali Lodge. We are delighted that you enjoyed all the aspects of your stay with us and that you included us on your South African itinerary.

We hope to welcome you back to Fairmont Zimbali Lodge in the future.

Kind Regards,
The Fairmont Zimbali Lodge Team
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 Lodge

Property: Fairmont Zimbali Lodge
Address: Zimbali Estate | Umhlali, Ballito 4390, South Africa
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 Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 7 Hotels in Ballito
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:5 star — Fairmont Zimbali Lodge 5*
Number of rooms: 76
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Fairmont Hotels, Booking.com, TripOnline SA, HotelQuickly, Cancelon and Evoline ltd so you can book your Fairmont Zimbali Lodge 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
Zimbali Hotel
Zimbali Lodge

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