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“A premium resort on the Kwa Zulu Natal northcoast - breathtaking”

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Fairmont Zimbali Resort
Ranked #1 of 7 Hotels in Ballito
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed August 19, 2011

This is a well appointed resort situated at Zimbali, Ballito on the Kwa Zulu Natal north coast - along the warm and tropical Indian Ocean, within close proximity to King Shaka International airport. All the facilities are of a very high standard, with the resort, hotel, rooms, bedding and surrounds, landscape and the adjoining golf course adding to make this a really unique and special venue for both leaisure and business.
Staff are also very polite and professional
The adjoining resort Zimbali Lodge which was the initial development in the resort also offers great facilities in a tropical setting with stunning veiws of the sea and lush vegetation

  • Stayed: November 2010, traveled on business
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Thank RoySingh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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815 - 821 of 887 reviews

Reviewed August 4, 2011

Brillant location on the beach. Great food and hotel rooms.

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled with family
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Thank edwinwijnen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 27, 2011

If you're looking for a nice hotel for a beach holiday, this is the hotel for you. The hotel is Part of a bigger Zimbali property which is also a kind of reserve. So don't be surprised if a deer passes by while you're driving up to the hotel. Hotel location, layout and rooms are all fantastic. The service is one of the best I've experienced in South Africa. The poolside is beautiful with a day bar on the beach side. There are couple of restaurants to choose from but the menu is reasonably limited. The view from the rooms or the restaurants or lobby is worth million bucks. The hotel has a gym and a spa. And there are activities like BMW bycycles, skating, golf, etc. I was there on a business trip but intend to go back with family.

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled on business
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Thank Sundeep1211
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 25, 2011

This is an amazing vacation or conferencing spot. The Fairmont lodge has more of a spirit, while the hotel has a most amazing view, but standard higher end rooms. The lodge looks like it's in the middle of the jungle, though you don't get bugs etc. in your room. All very beautiful and unique looking. Breakfast and all the food provided at the lodge is really nice. I had a light food poisoning, quite possibly from something I ate at the hotel (not lodge), but nobody else had the symptoms, so I'm not ready to blame anyone. The surroundings are really pretty, incl. all the villages - perfect for a morning jog. Gym is in the hotel, the lodge doesn't have one - it's a couple of miles run each way. Everything seems very expensive and the price mirrors that, so if this is within your budget - it's a great choice.

Room Tip: All are unique and different - check how much sun you'll get when being booked in.
  • Stayed: June 2011, traveled on business
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Thank BorisDivjak
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 8, 2011

This is a funny one... This property is gorgeous, the room was totally stunning, the pools were lovely and the situation great. HOWEVER, it is just not used to it's potential.

We stayed for 4 nights over the Easter period, and frankly having read the TA reviews, I went their with my eyes wide open and as such my expectations were not mismanaged.

The problem here is twofold... the BIG things and the little things. The maor thing wrong is the staff. They lack professionalism and attentiveness. There were far too few of them and everything took sssoooo long. On every single interaction with any of the food and beverage outlets, without eception there was a problem. They either took forever and we were chasing, and chasing for food particularly annoying when you have a hungry 5 year old to feed. Or the order came up wrong, or the quality was just not up to scratch, or in the case of the steak restaurant some of the most overbearing, patronising service I have ever coe across.

The little things were just as annoying... scales in the bathroom that didn't work, no toilet roll in any of the disabled loos next to reception, nowhere to shower/freshen up after checking out and having a late in the day flght, tables in the bar that were totally unsuitable for serving food, not enough umbrellas around the pool, a freezing pool (!), overpriced food, intermittent wireless internet... and really unacceptable things like being left at a pool far away from the hotel for which we waited, and waited... and waited for the shuttle, along with lots of other people, then it turns up and only takes the staff from the pool bar! There was almost a riot.

All of these things need sorting out, and it is so far from my Fairmont experience in Europe and the US, that it's impossible that they're all part of the same chain.

We wouldn't go back here until there are some major improvments to the way in which the hotel operates. It just shows that a 5 star hotel is not just a beautiful building, and great location - it's the sum of it's parts and the service and attention to detail are just as vital, if not, the most vital ingredients in the recipe.

  • Stayed: April 2011, traveled with family
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2  Thank thegamebird
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 reviewResponded June 20, 2011

Dear Sir

Thank you for the wonderful compliments on the setting of our property. We are disappointed to learn that your experience did not live up to your expectations. As a Fairmont Hotels & Resorts Property we pride ourselves on delivering service levels of the highest quality to all our guests. We sincerely regret that you were inconvenienced by service levels that are absolutely not in keeping with the level of service that we strive to provide.

It is critical to ensure that we listen to the needs of our guests to ensure that we continue to grow as an individual hotel and as a brand. We therefore thank you again for contacting us.

We apologize that our service delivery was not what you have come to expect from our brand. We hope you will consider these events as isolated incidents, and give us the opportunity to show that this is not the standard we continuously deliver to our guests.

Kind Regards
Fairmont Zimbali Resort Team

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 2, 2011

i spent a lovely weekend at the Fairmont Zimbali Coastal resort in March . Situated on Kwazulu Natals finest stretch of coast this resort is sure to become the Jewel in the Crown along this famed Province that lies along the Indian Ocean.
With temperatures much warmer than the rest of South Africa , the area is very popular all year round. As the resort is part of the huge Fairmont Zimbali Estate, it it tucked awAy in a beautiful forrest/ golf estate setting with the bonus of the sea on one side. Very private and luxurious, both the Lodge and Coastal resorts are unique in their own way. As we stAyed at the Fairmont Resort it had magnificent seaviews. The hotel is luxurious as one would expect from a Fairmont Hotel. The main building is set high overlooking the main pool area and gardens which also house many garden suites and larger villas. Everything about this hotel is suierb, from service, to facilitues, recreation, views , beach location and room quality.
We were fortunate to have been uograded to a garden suite close to the pool , which also had a great view of the beach. Although the beach is non bathing it is still beautiful to walk along, private and water clean . If u lucky you can even see Dolphins frolicking in the near distance.
The hotel has the grand appearance and layout very similar to the Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai .
Breakfast was on a terrace overlooking the pool and ocean. Food at this resort was of great quality and the poolside bar served lovely sandwiches and light meals too.
There are other pools within the estate and Resort which can also be used. These are more private, smaller but also very pleasant.
There are many lovely attractions close to the resort , with the holiday town of Balito minutes away as well as Umhlanga for nightlife, and shopping etc. Durban central is approximately 35 mins drive from the resort. With the new Durban international airport having been relocated 15 minutes away from the resort, whAt more could one ask for
I would certainly visit again for 5 star luxury.

  • Stayed: March 2011
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Thank zabo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 11, 2011

We are a family of four (2 adults and 2 teenagers) that travelled throughout South Africa over a two week period, with this hotel being our first stop. The resort location was fairly isolated, with no commercial enterprises (restaurants, shops) nearby, beyond what was available at the resort, although proximity to the new Durban airport made it very convenient. This was not an issue for us as we were simply looking for a location to relax and enjoy the sun. Check-in process was smooth. We had booked two rooms, and the adjoining room layout was excellent with a small foyer serving the two rooms, although only one of the two rooms had a balcony. Ocean views from the room were stunning. There were no crowds during our stay, although the hotel seemed to fill up at the end of our visit, likely for the Easter weekend. The beach at the resort was beautiful, although it was not for swimming and had no hotel services. There were a number of swimming pool options, and becaue of the lack of crowds, there were never any problems finding lounge chairs (and based on the number of them, I suspect that even if the resort were more crowded, we wouldn’t have had any problems). Limited meal options on were available on Mon-Tues evenings, however daytime options were plentiful. Meal prices were reasonable for a Fairmont hotel (although a bit on the high side compared to the rest of our South Africa experience). In-room dining options and service was good. The coffee shop was excellent, although a bit difficult to find, offering not just coffee but some groceries (including wine and beer) at very reasonable prices. Checkout was smooth, as were transfers from/to airport which we had arranged through the hotel when planning our stay.

Unlike some of the other guests who have written reviews, we experienced no issues with service throughout the stay. We did receive one call during our stay inviting us to a meeting with one of the time-share sales reps, but we certainly were not harassed or pressured in any way. While the resort offered “for a fee” internet access, free internet was available for Fairmont Presidents Club members (which we joined on the spot, also for free). One final comment is about monkeys. There was a group of monkeys that visited the resort several times during our visit. While we had no problems with them (and in fact found them quite entertaining), they had the potential to be a bit annoying. For our family, based on the room rate we received, the resort was good value for money and met all of our expectations.

  • Stayed: April 2011, traveled with family
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Thank famille_enroute
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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:
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 7 Hotels in Ballito
Price Range: $189 - $424 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Fairmont Zimbali Resort 5*
Number of rooms: 154
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Also Known As:
Fairmont Zimbali Hotel Ballito

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