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“Relaxing”

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Fairmont Zimbali Lodge
Ranked #3 of 7 Hotels in Ballito
Reviewed December 20, 2012

The staff at Zimbali Lodge are very friendly and helpful. The rooms are spacious and the infinity pool is absolutely stunning. The negatives are that the beach is very far from the actual Lodge, so I missed falling asleep to the sound of the waves and the prices at the restaurants were a little high, which resulted in us driving into Balito every night for dinner. All in all though, the Lodge is very peaceful and enjoyable.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank AyeshaBD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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308 - 314 of 436 reviews

Reviewed December 19, 2012

My husband and I had a very nice holiday at the Zimbali Resort hotel. The staff was friendly, the rooms excellent and the food great. We will defintely return soon for another pleasant relaxing holiday.

  • Stayed: December 2012
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Thank SanetGunter
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 reviewResponded December 21, 2012

Dear Valued Guest

Thank you very much for your feedback on your stay with us. We are delighted that you enjoyed your experience and we hope to see you again soon!

Kind Regards,
The Fairmont Zimbali Lodge Team

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 18, 2012

Got back yesterday from our 5th trip to Zimbali Lodge. It's going to be the last visit for a long time. The once perfect experience has lost its sparkle.

The positives in the previous review are valid.
Here's my list of negatives:

Other than two shining exceptions in the form of Vanilla and Sizwe from Thandi Restaurant, the level of service has gone way down.

Staff are sullen and there's a feeling of "why do something now if it can be done tomorrow?". The most obvious example of this was the tray of food left outside our door for more than 24 hours. Our neighbours had ordered room service on the saturday night and the tray was lying outside the door when we got back from our movie. The next morning was pandemonium when a troop of monkeys helped themselves to the left-overs in their loud, chattering, unruly way. Credit to the monkeys though, they didn't break anything!
We were in and out the whole day and the tray moved from the door to a retaining wall nearby. Here the rain collected in the residual food and leaves fell into the dirty dishes. The huge ants found the food by late afternoon. When we came out for supper and I saw the tray STILL lying there I thought we'd better take care of it ourselves. We carried the tray and its ant infested contents all the way to reception and deposited it on their desk. There was an apology of sorts but apologies are useless. The damage had been done.

We had lunch on the terrace outside the bar at the pool one afternoon. Pleasant enough I guess and the food (if you disregard the sluggy lettuce) was very good. What irritated me no end was the fact that from outside we could hear the TV that was in the bar. Now if it had been broadcasting something appropriate it would have added to the ambience. But, no. We were subject to the endless drone and noise and shouting surrounding the ANC's electoral conference. Non South Africans might not understand what an assault on the senses this could be - MORE SO WHEN YOU'RE ON HOLIDAY! I got up and asked them to turn it down which they did. Once the bill arrived and we'd signed, the volume sky rocketed again and the sounds of our nation's president attempting to sing accompanied our departure.

I guess the place offers value for money but that's kind of what's leading to its demise. People are willing to pay a premium for exclusivity and quality - two things which Zimbali Lodge most definitely doesn't offer any more.

I think our next beach break will be at the Four Seasons Anahita in Mauritius.
Review imminent...

Room Tip: The 700 / 800 and 400 series rooms have the best views.
See more room tips
  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Marius71
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 16, 2012

Tonight is our last night of four at Zimbali lodge and our 5th visit in 8 years. We do love the peacefulness of this resort (as well as the great golf course), hence the reason for our regular pre Xmas unwinding excursion.

POSITIVES
1)The rooms are comfortable and spacious with most of the amenities you would require. Try and request rooms in the 700 and 800 series, as you will have an unobstructed view of the golf course, lake, forest and the ocean beyond. Lovely to wake up to the sounds of the fish eagles and cuckoos. Also great fun watching the golfers try to manage the interesting 13 th and 14th holes.
2)Breakfast offers a wide spread of foods, and overall very enjoyable ( we do have a suggestion though, see lower down).
3)The gardens are beautiful and really adds to the ambiance of secludedness while the infinity swimming pool has one of the most spectacular views you could wish for. For all the above reasons we will never contemplate to stay at the new, nearby, Fairmont Zimbali Resort, which is just too big, noisy and frankly somewhat of an unpleasant experience. The good thing though, this sister property is on the same property, so you can drive down there, enjoy their facilities and charge it to your Z. lodge room. Try the OSA steak restaurant, their food and service are excellent.
4) Value for money, for the price you pay.
NEGATIVES
Sadly, we believe the service levels at Zimbali Lodge have been slipping.
1)They do not pro-actively replenish bathroom utilities such as shampoos, we had to phone to get new ones.
2) The number of loungers around the pool has been reduced, to the extent you will be lucky if you get one.
3) Service at the pool a bit slow, while we also found a slug in our salad.
4) breakfast foods are presented in a courtyard without any aircon. Needless to say some small flying insects are found on the fruits while the worst is, salmon presented in this luke warm environment. I nearly puked on the taste of that, it was bloody disgusting! See what your Asian peers do around breakfast at chains such as the Shangri-la and Four Seasons.
5) The worst though is around room service. I do not lie if i say that our neighbouring guest in room 805, ordered Indian curry and champagne last night. It is now 24 HOURS later and his food tray is still standing outside. The monkeys finished the rest of food this morning when i went for my early morning run. It still stands there while typing the review. We alerted a male worker this afternoon, to which he replied, "they are probably on their way" in true african fashion. See pictures attached.

To conclude, still probably the best resort you will find on the east coast of south africa, but service standards are lagging global peers by MILES. It pains to say this, being a South African. We are not so sure if we will likely do this pilgrimage again any time soon. If no action is taken, this resort is fast heading towards its "sell-by" date.

Room Tip: Rooms in 700 and 800 series
See more room tips
  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Raponsel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 11, 2012

Sometimes places Mark our life and became future reference. This is one hotSpot for memories !
Great service . Great swimingpool. Fabolous Food. Friendly Team and explendid security. Gardens in perfect conditions... And lodges to all The family

  • Stayed: June 2012
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1  Thank Vitor M
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 reviewResponded December 13, 2012

Dear Valued Guest

Thank you very much for your review. We are extremely happy that we could live up to our mission of "turning moments into memories for our guests".

Please visit us again soon so that we can assist you in creating more memories.

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.
Reviewed December 7, 2012 via mobile

I stayed at this redort for 2 days. The beauty of the place is undeniable. The Lodge is quieter than the resort and we preferred this. The pools are a 15 min scenic walk and there is also a small infinity pool st the lodge. The tooms are very spacious and clean, msybe it could be updated a kittle, but i could not realy fault the decor. The lodge restaurant was very cozy, however the menu limited and very over priced. The food was good but not outstanding. Ordering from the room service menu was the besst option it had a great selection of food snd inckuded dome dishes from the restaurant at half of the price, delivery only £2.50. Not a bad option and we sat on our patio and enjoyed our meal, which was very good!! Rooms are rougly charged per room and about £130, not bad value for a 5 star resort. There us a golf course snd dpa, you get ferried around by golfcarts, which is very convenient. The trestments at the spa was rather overpriced and the standard mediocre. I have had trestments st other resorts at a more reasonable price. The staff were outstanding in their service and very helpfull and friendly, i could not fault their professionalism. I was dissapointed to hear that the old part if the lodge maybe turned into a time share, as not evreyone would enjoy such an experience, there is also too much building goig on snd ee felt too much development would detract from this besutifull place in the future. The redirt should rather improve in what they have! We had aniother great meal at the Beach club restaurant, however felt that the buffet breakfast served at the lodge was appaling with bees swimming in the jam and flies in some of the fiid, the fiod could be better presented and kept and covered more hygienicaly. The nature and scenery was outstanding and regardless of the few negatives, we will be back! This is a very relaxed place away from the rat race. The hotel slso do pick ups from airport and will help arrang excursions.

  • Stayed: November 2012
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1  Thank Jinxi
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 reviewResponded December 13, 2012

Dear Valued Guest

Thank you very much for your enthusiastic review. We really hope that you will return to visit us again soon!

Kind Regards,
The Fairmont Zimbali Lodge Team

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 25, 2012

The lodge has a 5 Star setting with 3 Star rooms and 2 Star Service. The rooms are way past their sell-by date in dire need for deep cleaning and maintenance begging for a complete make-over! Basic Hospitality Services leaves much to desire.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Andre B
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 reviewResponded December 13, 2012

Dear Valued Guest

Thank you for your feedback. We do apologise that your experience was not up to the standard that you expected.

Fairmont Zimbali Lodge is currently in the process of a staged refurbishment. Your comments have been escalated with the relevant departments and the necessary actions will be taken.

Kind Regards,
The Fairmont Zimbali Lodge 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 Lodge

Address: Zimbali Estate | 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 7 Hotels in Ballito
Price Range: $122 - $543 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Fairmont Zimbali Lodge 5*
Number of rooms: 76
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Also Known As:
Fairmont Zimbali Hotel Ballito
Zimbali Hotel
Zimbali Lodge

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