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“Luxury in the Natal Forests” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Fairmont Zimbali Lodge

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Fairmont Zimbali Lodge
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Zimbali Estate, PO Box 404 | Umhlali, Ballito 4390, South Africa   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #3 of 9 Hotels in Ballito
Johannesburg, South Africa
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Luxury in the Natal Forests”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 24, 2011

Nice hotel north of Durban in the wealth-enclave of Zimbali (or property bubble if you wish!). Grand old colonial touches, combined with great views, a golf course, and a rainforest! Rooms large, comfy beds. Decor perhaps a bit tired. Restaurant, Thandi, provided interesting local fare, including the obligatory curry options, Alas, chef must have been having an off-night, as both our meals were tough and a bit bland, definitely not 5* fare. Otherwise a great experience, and worth the money (if you get a discounted rate that is).

Room Tip: Ask for rooms facing East.
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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223 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    90
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    50
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 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 (53)
Date | Rating
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  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
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English first
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 5, 2011 via mobile

Just stayed at the
Lodge (1 night) and the Forest Suites (2 nights). The rooms appear nice enough but are poorly maintained (sink blocked, lights not working, door lock faulty). Disappointing. We were there as part of a corporate conference but I found the service slow and generally the staff were pretty disinterested. Don't order an irish coffee in the bar of the Resort hotel -I got a stirred up latte with some watery cream on top and that was after sending the first one back! All prices are premium, pity the experience doesn't match.

  • Stayed October 2011
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FairmontZimbaliLodge, Public Relations Manager at Fairmont Zimbali Lodge, responded to this review, October 10, 2011
Dear Valued Guest

Thank you for taking the time to write to us regarding your experience at Fairmont Zimbali Lodge. Guest feedback is extremely valuable to us as it affords us the opportunity to focus on the challenges highlighted by our guests. Please be assured that your comments will be addressed with the department heads concerned to ensure that the matters you have raised are dealt with efficiently.

We hope that you will return to our wonderful property in the near future, and allow us the opportunity to show that this is not the standard of the guest experience which we strive to deliver.

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.
London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
32 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 2, 2011

My partner and I stayed here for two nights in September 2011. The staff were very attentive, very helpful and incredibly accommodating. Wish we'd stayed longer, but time was short. The pool area was a very welcome oasis at the end of the day, and we spent many hours relaxing around in and out of the water. Only one concur: They served wine and water around the pool (water's edge) in glass. Was a bit worrying if any glass had broken. Favourite part of our stay? Two eagles perched outside our room every morning and evening! So beautiful.....

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
jhb
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 18, 2011

We stayed at Zimbali lodge in March for 2 nights, and wish we had stayed for a week!
our room was very comfortable with a huge bathroom and lovely toiletries.The staff were very helpful and friendly, and nothing was too much for them.The whole resort is very well maintained.Loved the pool area ...the view is great from there.A shuttle takes you down to the beach area which is absolutely beautiful.Two huge swimming pools, a lovely restaurant, lake etc etc.If you are looking for a place to" get away", but not compromising on luxury and comfort, then Zimbali is THE place...

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Johannesburg
Top Contributor
65 reviews 65 reviews
45 hotel reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
115 helpful votes 115 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 4, 2011

One can never beat a location and this is one of them. If you have work to do in Durban then Balito is far out especially if you have to drive back late at night. The newer Fairmont lives up to its standard of other Fairmont Hotels world wide for location and good food. Staff are attentive but we found the rooms were not cleaned well and the lightning not up to satisfactions. We had some issues that were dealt with like a block sink and a roach skittering about which should not happen at such a high rated hotel. The sea view rooms are best. We felt for a family the "open room" concept was not tastily done.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Frankfurt, Mannheim
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
31 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
54 helpful votes 54 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 26, 2011

Zimbali lodge is suuited either for Durban residents who seek for some relaxation or for travellers flighing via Durban airport who need a hotel close to Durban airport. It is not suited for holiday travelers planning to stay more than one night.

Pros:
- Location: Only 20 Minutes Drive from the airport
- Architecture and interieur design
- Service: Always kind an professional.

Cons:
- We have ordered simple food to our room. The food was decent, but not good. Same for breakfast. The buffet und the menu a la card are only average.
- Wireless LAN was not working in our room.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 21, 2011

I am in Southa Africa on an extended business trip and came to Durban for the weekend. Needed some chillout time so found Fairmont Zimabali after Googling around.

Absolutely perfect location and setting. Its out of season now so petty quiet which was just what I wanted. Rooms give the feeling of a bygone era and open onto wide balconies. Bar and restraunt follow the same theme which is lovely. Staff are attentive and pleasant.

Cant find anything negative to say. Price was great too! Wish my wife was here.

Room Tip: ASk for one close to the Central Area
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  • Stayed May 2011, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 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.
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Additional Information about Fairmont Zimbali Lodge

Address: Zimbali Estate, PO Box 404 | Umhlali, Ballito 4390, 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 Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 9 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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