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“Different from most hotels...not every travellers cup of tea.”

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Fairmont Zimbali Lodge
Ranked #2 of 7 Hotels in Ballito
Richards Bay, South Africa
Level Contributor
74 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“Different from most hotels...not every travellers cup of tea.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 July 2014

It's a great hotel.Very luxurious.Definitely not budget friendly. It has a bit of a rustic feel to it. Our room was surrounded by trees and I didn't really ike that. From the parking area to the room we had to travel on a golf cart.It was kind of inconvenient for me.However, this would be great for couples wanting a romantic weekend away or anyone needing a break from a hectic life. You could get lost in the natural beauty of this place.There's stunning views,trees and birdlife. You could feel immersed in nature even though you're barely out of town. Feels like living in the middle of a jungle almost. Great facilities onsite.The restaurant has a very romantic atmosphere but the food wasn't too great. Plating and presentation was perfect though. This hotel is a great choice if you need a romantic weekend away or a quick break from reality without going too far.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank SAtraveller2013
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, 28 July 2014
Dear SAtraveller2013,

Thank you for taking the time to share your positive experience of staying at Fairmont Zimbali Lodge. We are delighted you embraced the colonial charm of the Lodge and enjoyed the stunning vistas and facilities.

We sincerely appreciate your recommendation and greatly value your feedback. The Lodge is indeed an ideal place to stay for a romantic weekend or as a relaxing getaway.

We do hope to welcome you and your partner back to Fairmont Zimbali Lodge again soon.

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
Write a Review

373 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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    81
    32
    22
See reviews for
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (88)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
29 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 July 2014

Beautiful place
Excellent service
Fantastic food

I was only disappointed by the lack of the romantic turn-down which was part of the package.

I still say that the package is absolute value and the Lodge is romantic for a couple. This was our first night as a married couple and I was pleased overall.

Room Tip: I was in room 404 and had sea view.
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Tamish B
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, 7 July 2014
Dear Tamish,

Congratulations on your recent nuptials. We are truly honored that you chose the Fairmont Zimbali Lodge for your honeymoon and delighted that you experienced the charm and ambiance that gives the Lodge its romantic appeal.

Thank you very much for taking the time to share your feedback with regards to the romantic turn-down. We sincerely apologise that you missed out, as it is indeed part of our popular romance package. Our Executive Housekeeper advised that our records show that the privacy sign was displayed and that the team did not wish to disturb you.

We are thrilled you had a wonderful dining experience with us, and experienced the engaging service that our colleagues are known for. We certainly hope that you and your partner shared many memorable moments during your stay and that you will return again in the near future.

We look forward to welcoming you both back to the Fairmont Zimbali Lodge.

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
Johannesburg
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 July 2014

We stayed at the lodge for a week and LOVED it. Amazing views from the balconies, beautiful rooms and superb service all round made this a holiday to remember. The staff are excellent and we could not have had a better time.

  • Stayed June 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Tascha1
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, 4 July 2014
Dear Tascha1,

Our sincere thanks to you for your five-star rating, we are truly honoured and humbled by it. We could not be more thrilled that you found in Fairmont Zimbali Lodge a little slice of heaven.

Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback with us. We are so pleased you enjoyed the views, accommodation and experienced the engaging service our colleagues are known for.

We are delighted that you had such an enjoyable and memorable stay with us and we do hope that you will return to the Fairmont Zimbali Lodge again soon.

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
Durban, South Africa
Level Contributor
33 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 July 2014

The public spaces of this hotel are outstanding, but the rooms do not live up to the same quality. The views and the comfort of the public areas are amazing, and the staff are really helpful and mostly seem to be proactive. This is not a city hotel so don't expect the same speed of response, but do expect helpfulness and friendliness at all times.

However the rooms are a bit of a letdown, after you have been in the restaurant and by the pool. Yes they are more spacious than the average hotel, but they don't seem to offer much more in terms of luxury - for example, there is a filter coffee plunger by the kettle, but no filter coffee in the tray. The verandah gives a view of dense trees so you can't sit and admire the view.

If you want utter relaxation this place would be for you - you can play golf or laze by the pool or use the spa. Other than that, there isn't much to do.

Overall, it was a refreshing break but I wouldn't go back, too soon.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank KathyN575
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, 2 July 2014
Dear Kathy,

Thank you very much for taking the time to share your valuable feedback. We are so pleased that you had a great experience at Lodge. It is indeed ideally located amid the natural beauty of Zimbali’s forest canopy, complete with stunning views, golf, swimming, spa and host of other things to experience. We are delighted that you got to experience the engaging service our colleagues are known for and found them to be helpful and friendly, always.

We are very sorry to hear that the spacious accommodation fell short of your expectations. 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 we constantly improve upon the guest experience.

When next you are in need of a relaxing and refreshing break we sincerely hope that you will return to the Fairmont Zimbali Lodge. We look forward to welcoming you back.

Kind regards,

Leon Meyer
General Meyer
Fairmont Zimbali Lodge & Resort
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
29 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 June 2014

This is a beautiful luxurious property located in the most magnificent and evergreen jungle of the north coast of Durban, Ballito. Spacious chalets (most of them with no sea views), each surrounded by tropical high trees. If you are lucky, you may hear and see the crowned eagles that live in this coastal piece of land. Delicious breakfasts and pleasant ambience. The common areas are delightful with the most breath taking ocean and subtropical jungle views, the ideal place to relax and enjoy the serenity of a real natural paradise in KZN. The downside is the service, slow and inconsistent. Room service can be frustrating, especially when you have to wait more than an hour for simple evening meals. The beauty of this property may compensate the slow service, but it doesn't stop the frustration of those who expect good service in exchange for 5* rates.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank LoveThePlanetFamily
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, 2 July 2014
Dear LoveThePlanetFamily,

Thank you for taking the time to share feedback on your recent stay at Fairmont Zimbali Lodge.

We are delighted that you and your family had a pleasant stay with us and enjoyed the luxury, ambiance, location and facilities that the Lodge has to offer.

We are however very disheartened to hear that you did not experience the engaging service that the Lodge is known for. We do apologise for the challenges you mentioned and deeply regret that this was a part of your experience.

Although it is never easy for us to receive this kind of feedback from our guests, we are truly grateful that you bought this to our attention giving us the opportunity to improve the guest experience. Providing engaging service to all our guest is of utmost importance to us.

We sincerely hope that the elegance and unspoiled natural beauty will see you and your family return to the Fairmont Zimbali Lodge and we look forward to welcoming you back.

Kind regards,

Leon Meyer
General Meyer
Fairmont Zimbali Lodge & Resort
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Glasgow Scotland
Level Contributor
108 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 June 2014

We wanted to stay somehwere out of Durban near the airport for the start of our fly drive holiday and Zimbali Lodge was ideal. We had 3 nights at the start and one at the end and had a very enjoyable stay.
The Lodge is in an eco forest so the rooms are dark and sitting on the balcony you do feel you are in a jungle rather than a coastal resort.
The bedroom was very spacious with a seperate dressing area large bathroom and seperate shower and loo.
Everything you would expect from a 5 star rating was there - tea, coffee, ironing board, bathrobes.
My only observation was that I felt the walls needed freshing up as they were marked in areas.
The outdoor areas are lovely and the view of the infinity pool then on to the beach in the distance is beautiful.
We saw a small wedding when we were there and that added to our enjoyment as we were able to enjoy the music while relaxing with a drink.
We ate in the restaurant every night and while it was not a large menu the food was good and if you are a fan of Indian food then there is loads to choose from.
We found the staff to be very helpful particularly Vanilla who took excellent care of us at breakfast even setting up a special table for us outside which was great.
As the lodge is in a resort it is difficult to access certain areas however if you just want to relax for a couple of days by the pool in nice surroundings then this is ideal.
Having stayed in other 5 star hotels I do agree with other reviews that this is not quite up there however I would have no hesitation in returning.

Room Tip: All the rooms are in a forest setting so be prepared for quite dark rooms.
See more room tips
  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank BellaGlasgowScotland
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, 17 June 2014
Dear Bella,

Thank you very much for taking the time to share feedback on your recent stay at Fairmont Zimbali Lodge. We’re delighted you had a pleasant experience with us, and humbled that you and your partner choose to begin and end your holiday at the Lodge.

We couldn't agree with you more. Nestled within a coastal forest reserve, the Lodge provides sanctuary from the hustle and bustle of Durban city and yet rather surprisingly, is still conveniently located near to the airport and other main attractions.

We are so pleased you found the rooms to be spacious and well appointed. Thank you for your valuable feedback regarding the accommodations. We are glad to advise that all of our rooms are undergoing a refurbishment; however the same atmospheric ambiance will be preserved.

It is nice to read that you enjoyed the facilities, views and had a pleasant dining experience at Thandi Restaurant. We are thrilled you got the opportunity to witness a wedding at the Lodge and that this was an enjoyable and memorable experience for you.

Our colleagues are known for their engaging service, so it is wonderful that this was your experience too. Thank you for recognising Vanilla, we will be certain to share your kind feedback with her and know that she will be grateful to receive the acknowledgment.

Thanks again for your review. We are so pleased that you will stay with us again, and we look forward to welcoming you back to the Fairmont Zimbali Lodge.

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
Richterswil, Switzerland
Level Contributor
47 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles 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
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:
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Also Known As:
Fairmont Zimbali Hotel Ballito
Zimbali Hotel
Zimbali Lodge

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