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“Big ticket prices with really small value”

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Fairmont Zimbali Resort
Ranked #1 of 7 Hotels in Ballito
Certificate of Excellence
Midrand
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Big ticket prices with really small value”
Reviewed September 28, 2010

Experienced late check-in (3 hours), room was not prepared, aircon not working. Cheap quality beds for a 5 star establishment. Terribly inconsistent service, lack attention to detail. Food quality don't match the pricing.

Though coming from an established stable such as the Fairmont Group, they don't have the right customer experience model.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
5 Thank BashirMidrand
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Durban
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed September 26, 2010

The Fairmont Zimbali Resort has the potential to be a great resort in South Africa. The grounds, rooms and pools are spectacular. The food and service still need work.
To be fair the resort has only recently opened and we came for a long weekend on a promotional special.

The resort is conveniently located 15 minutes from the Durban International Airport within the larger Zimbali estate north of Durban. The resort is ideal for families - there are several great swimming pools, a well stocked kids club and many activities in the estate or close by. This is one of the few true resorts in South Africa - a good alternative to Sun City/Lost Palace.

The staff appear to be trained but not yet experienced in ensuring a superior customer experience. The pool side service is minimal - nothing like the Mauritius service one would desire. You will find yourselves having to peel yourself from your lounger to go ask for a drink. When we arrived in the morning it had not yet been cleaned from previous day. The pizza's were average at the Beach Club pool, but the sandwichesand french fries at the Main Pool were yummy. It would be great if they could rethink the pool menu - Kiddies lunch boxes (copy St Geran in Mauritius), Sandwhich baskets. The food is almost like a golf club. But if you do need to escape the hotel food, we found a great italian spot 10 minutes drive away - Bel Punto (really exceptional). The breakfast buffet is good - great selection of eats.

There is access to the beach, but not really great for swimming - just for walking and collecting shells. Waves are wild. But quick drive to many other great beaches.

The rooms are perfect but could benefit from iPod docking stations and DVD players (no kiddie channels on their DSTV selection except for Disney and not really approproate for 4-6 years). I would ask Vodacom to improve the 3G coverage across the estate if it is to be marketed as a conference destination.

Will definitely be back for another great easy weekend away from Johannesburg.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Bil2711
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Johannesburg
Level 4 Contributor
29 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed September 3, 2010

Being part of a conference, and having my wife join me here has been a wonderful treat.
The Fairmont Zimbali is brand new and absolutely brilliant.
The suites, services, food and location was nothing short of spectacular.
Well done... I'll be back for more!

  • Stayed September 2010
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank William P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Johannesburg
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed August 8, 2010

When you walk in you get great views and expect the level of service to be the same BUT alas it was not. The rooms are great but you can see that the hotel was rushed in order to open in time for the world cup. The walls were dirty as was the floors. The restaurants looked shabby and the quality of food was very bad and EXPENSIVE as was the service. The TV was difficult to work and had bad channel selection.The outside areas are badly lit especially the entrance and car park where you have to walk up a steep hill to reception. They will have to step up their game if they are to compete against other hotels nearby that offer better value at a cheaper rate.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank JETLAG01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
LA
Level 6 Contributor
219 reviews
87 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 94 helpful votes
Reviewed January 2, 2010

We have stayed at the lodge hotel in previous years but used the self catering houses in the forest region of the resort this stay. This review is not for the Hotel Lodge but the self-catering properties also on offer for the Zimbali Coastal Resort lest readers get confused: http://www.zimbalichalets.co.za/

The booking process was painless and requires deposit then full prepayment before staying and a further deposit of ZAR3000 is required to cover breakages. Credit Cards were accepted.

The 3 bedroom chalet was well maintained and in good condition. They come with a golf cart so you can zip around the estate to golf or visit the pool area. Various sections of the estate are control access to vehicles by use of road booms so your key card is needed for the booms to open. Our chalet had no sea view but was on the periphery of a landscaped small pond of manicured wilderness. Bird song, duiker antelope and monkeys brightened our day directly outside our chalet. The children were enchanted with the animals but also enjoyed feeding the fish in the pond. The chalets cleaning and rubbish removal is periodic and service was unobtrusive. The patio and balcony were well used during our stay to relax. There were TVs in every room, a satellite TV decoder and a DVD player in the main lounge. A separate parking garage is available for your vehicle. We had access to 3G wireless internet through Vodacom service provider on an iphone but this is not part of the self-catering arrangements but purely acknowledgement that coverage existed and worked.

The access control aspect of this estate was impressive and we felt safe and secure. The beach is coarse sand and the sea has strong undercurrents making swimming not safe so should not be attempted. Access to the beach is also with your card key through gates. Our kids enjoyed the multiple swimming pools adjacent to the beach. The beach house snack bar serves food and beverages but we found the food quality mediocre, nevrtheless it was acceptable and convenient.

Overall we found it a relaxing place, no hassles, our small kids enjoyed it and convenient for other local attractions (although distances are relative depending upon what you are used to).

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank private1_90732
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

Property: 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 (Based on Average Rates): $$
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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