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“My final resort!!” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Fairmont Zimbali Resort

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Fairmont Zimbali Resort
5.0 of 5 Resort   |   PO Box 17, Zimbali | 4420, Ballito, South Africa   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 9 Hotels in Ballito
Johannesburg, South Africa
1 review
“My final resort!!”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 13, 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!!!
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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327 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (90)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Johannesburg
Top Contributor
66 reviews 66 reviews
36 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 6, 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, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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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 review, October 3, 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.
Johannesburg, South Africa
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 6, 2013

Its huge beautiful lush green resort. Our room were pretty good size ,open plan bathroom & lovely sea view. The main draw back of this place is service. Staff are not at all trained properly.
We drove down from jo'burg as soon as we reached, there were no one to assist for valet we had to wait for 10min then finally i had to go inside and check with reception.
As soon we enter room it was huge but it has some kind of smell with stained bedsheets.
Our Mini Bar was locked after calling several times at room service i had to finally complain to Manger still it was open after 2 days ((
Lots of thing to do within property Spa,Fitness, Tennis courts, huge swimming pool, Soccer field, Bar,Music, Golf course(book in golf cart in advance),Beach walk, Restaurants ( though nothing gr8 about food). Its littel bit away from from busy city durban yet you can find all essentials at Ballitto and KIA is a stone's throw away.
It can be one of the finest property if they train there staff properly. Booking a 5 star property my expectation are also high & just b'coz of poor customer service my overall experience was not that great.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
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 review, October 3, 2013
Dear Valued Guest

Thank you for taking the time to provide us with feedback on your stay at Fairmont Zimbali Resort. All feedback is valued as it allows us to improve our service to you, our guest.

We do apologise for the inconvenience that you experienced with the lock on the mini bar, valet parking and sheets. These items were all highlighted as concerns and have been addressed by our management team.

We hope that you will return again soon and enjoy an outstanding stay at our beautiful property.

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.
Johannesburg, South Africa
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 5, 2013

I stayed at this hotel and resort over the August 2013 period for a week with my children (under 6 year olds). There is so much to do as well as the facilities for kids to be taken care of, while you the parent do something else or go shopping was a rare marvel in South Africa!

Being a well travelled person, I have yet to experience a better resort and hotel. They are very few if any. The staff was friendly from the time we checked in. In true 5 start style, our vehicle was always taken care of for us by being parked on our behalf. Courtesy from the staff is the order of the day.

The many restuarants, offering different variety and for different tastes is simply great.

I would definitely be returning to this place hopefully soon.

Room Tip: Ensure that your room is towards the middle of the building, for an unobstructed view of the beautif...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
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 review, October 3, 2013
Dear Valued Guest

Thank you very much for your feedback - we couldn't have summed it up better ourselves!

We are very glad that we could take care of your little ones for you while you enjoyed some more grown up time. Our Y-Univers team are on stand by for your next visit.

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.
Johannesburg, South Africa
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2013

We spent a great 4 days at the Zimbali Resort lodge in August - the deluxe rooms are a good size and well presented, the staff are warm and friendly and were accommodating to the noise made by our 2 year old grandson. There are lovely walks, 5 swimming pools and the Ayoba?? beach club was great for both the adults and kids.
The golf course is but a golf cart away and the ocean lies at the bottom of the property.
Would definitely recommend and p,an to visit again next year
Bev Chertkow

Room Tip: Room overlooked the main pool, but as it was not high season, the room was very quiet- so no problem
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
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 review, October 3, 2013
Dear Valued Guest

Thank you very much for your feedback.

We are delighted that you (and your grandson!) enjoyed your stay with us. We look forward to welcoming you back next year.

Kind Regards,
The Fairmont Zimbali Resort Team
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2013 via mobile

Myself and my husband have visited Zimbali several times (got engaged and married there!) and we absolutely love it.
It's like it's own little world! You wouldn't think you are a mere 15km from Umhlanga.

We have never had a bad time.
The staff are friendly and professional, the hotel itself spotless and beautifully decorated in a Balinese type style.

The rooms are large and spacious and extremely comfortable.
The bed on its own is a highlight!

The food and drinks, although a bit pricey, are remarkable!

There is lots to do at the resort and many different restaurants and bars available, as well as two pools.
The Beach club is a stunning restaurant overlooking a pool which has direct access to a very secluded beach.

A definite must for anyone looking for a night or two away in another world :)

  • Stayed May 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
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 review, October 3, 2013
Dear Valued Guest

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

It is always wonderful to hear from one of "our" wedding couples! We hope that you will be returning to celebrate your wedding anniversary with us as well.

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.
Vereeneging
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2013

Great property, well done to the IFA, what a great investment. This is a beautiful property, great hotel, we stayed at their villas, great attention to detail, lovely appointed bathrooms, very spacious rooms, luxury 5 star accommodation through the way, we were really treated like royalty. Close to the beach (private beach for holiday makers and owners only) and all the other amenities. The property and the resort, is really world class.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
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 review, October 3, 2013
Dear Valued Guest

Thank you very much for providing us with feedback on your stay at the Fairmont Zimbali Resort.

We hope that you will visit us again soon!

Kind Regards,
The Fairmont Zimbali Resort 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 Resort

Address: PO Box 17, Zimbali | 4420, Ballito, South Africa
Location: South Africa > KwaZulu-Natal > Ballito
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center 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 9 Hotels in Ballito
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Fairmont Zimbali Resort 5*
Number of rooms: 154
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Fairmont Zimbali Hotel Ballito

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