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Reviewed April 2, 2018 via mobile



I refer to my visit to Fairmont Zimbali on 2 April 2018.

My family and I arrived at about 14h15 hoping to have a light meal. We went to 31 degrees. Once seated we were not attended to for at least 10 to 15 minutes until we went to the bar and requested menus. Our order was taken shortly thereafter.

An Appletiser, orange juice and a plate chips (part of the order),arrived at about 15h10. Now a good 30 minutes since ordering.

The rest of our order did not arrive at all. At around 15h30 we complained to the manager. She apologized but no urgency appeared to be prompted by our complaint. In other words she did not seem bothered or phased by our apparent dissatisfaction.

At 15h40 we decided to put an end to this miserable experience and chose to pay for items consumed (Appletiser and chips). The ordered tea platter and sushi arrived at this moment and we justifiably refused it and left. Again, the manageress did not seem phased in any way - a ‘take it or leave it ‘ attitude.

Aside from the unreasonable delay in attending to us, taking the order and ensuring that we got our meal, the general attitude of the staff was certainly unpleasant. Not a single waiter or bar-keep smiled, greeted or indeed acknowledged our presence. The restaurant manageress was not forthcoming with any reasonable explanation or indeed any suggestion of making amends when we initially complained.

I have visited Fairmont on several occasions one of which was as early as 2010 when the resort first opened. One accepted teething problems then. 8 years later this is not acceptable.

I also lay this complaint as a concerned citizen of KZN. If this is what guests are subjected to then how do we expect to even be on the same playing field as Cape Town or international destinations and resorts.

A written complaint has been laid with management.

Stayed: April 2018, travelled with family
Thank dsm33
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
FairmontZimbali, General Manager at Fairmont Zimbali Resort, responded to this reviewResponded May 10, 2018

Dear dsm33

Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback.

Constructive feedback such as yours is most valued as it allows us the opportunity to learn from our mistakes and improve upon our offering to our guests.

We work hard to deliver an exceptional guest experience, and it is apparent that in this case that we fell short. We hope that you will give us another chance to earn back your trust. I can assure you that we will do our best to give you the great hotel experience that so many of our guests have grown so fond of.

Kind Regards,
Nils Rothbarth
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed April 2, 2018 via mobile

We spent four nights here with two young kids, although the hotel has great outdoor facilities on the two days it rained it was apparent they have no indoor facilities for kids.
The pools were both very cold and generally we didn’t find the staff Overly knowledgeable or helpful. We ordered a pizza for our daughter at 4.25 at the pool bar which the waiter came back to tell us the kitchen closes at 4.30 and the chef is not cooking any further. Seems it was too much trouble to make one small pizza.
Generally although setting and facilities have great potential we didn’t find it on par with other Fairmonts we have frequented. Disappointing

Stayed: April 2018, travelled with family
Thank Niceone1983
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
FairmontZimbali, General Manager at Fairmont Zimbali Resort, responded to this reviewResponded April 5, 2018

Dear Niceone1983

Thank you for taking the time to share your valuable feedback regarding your recent stay with us.

We are pleased that you enjoyed the setting and facilities of our property. However, it is unfortunate to hear that we were not able to meet your overall expectations and that you felt disappointed by your experience. We would like to sincerely apologize for the concerns you have raised, and we will be sure to address these matters going forward. We are sorry for any inconvenience that you may have endured during this time.

Thank you once again for your review. We hope that you will give us another opportunity to provide you with a memorable stay.

Kind Regards,
Nils Rothbarth
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed March 29, 2018

Check in was pleasant. When we entered the room the floor was wet. We thought it was because it had just been cleaned. After lunch I went back to the room and the floor was still wet. I opened the sliding door for it to dry. Much later in the afternoon we realized that there was an oil based residue on the floor that would not dry. We requested for an in-room menu at it took three calls and 45 mins before it arrived. The next day I happened to walk into the room while it was being cleaned and enquired the cleaner about the floor. She said that it may be because of the air conditioner..... I have travelled all over the world and extensively in South Africa and that is just BS. She told me she just uses hot water to mop the floor (no detergent or tile cleaner). I was shocked...This is a five star hotel. She used the room kettle to boil water and poured it into the bucket that she was using to mop the floor..... yes I have footage on my phone. Thereafter I told her that she needs to use a try cloth wipe the wet floor. She used the guest bath towel.....need I say more?

During checkout I was asked if I enjoyed my stay. I related the above and now it is four days later and no response.

  • Stayed: March 2018, travelled with family
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank Priya1942
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
FairmontZimbali, General Manager at Fairmont Zimbali Resort, responded to this reviewResponded April 12, 2018

Dear Priya1942

Thank you for taking the time to share your experience with us.

We are saddened to hear that certain aspects of your stay affected the entirety of your time with us. We appreciate you sharing your comments and we are sorry for the challenges that you faced.

The room cleaning protocol that we have incorporated is based on our local climate and the hotel's proximity to the ocean; when a room attendant has finished cleaning the room, the air-conditioner unit is set to cool the room allowing the air to circulate and prevent sultriness. As a result, condensation can occur when entering the room or when the sliding door or windows are open. The change in temperature causes condensation resulting in the floor appearing wet.

Your interaction with the housekeeping attendant in your room was most definitely not in keeping with hotel protocols. We hope that you will take this as an unusual once-off occurrence, irregular to our normal service delivery standards, and accept our humble apology. We would like to assure you that we follow industry standards with regards to cleaning supplies and most definitely do not clean our floors with only hot water.

Constructive feedback such as yours is most valued as it allows us the opportunity to learn from our mistakes and improve upon our offering to our guests. We work hard to deliver an exceptional guest experience, and it is apparent that in this case that we fell short.

We hope that you will give us another chance to earn back your trust. I can assure you that we will do our best to give you the great hotel experience that so many of our guests have grown so fond of.

Kind Regards,
Nils Rothbarth
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed March 25, 2018

Zimbali has become an annual March getaway for us as a family. The entire estate and its facilities are world class. One would never say that you are actually just in Durban :-) Although I cannot grade it down overall, I would like to just point out to management that some of the pool areas i.e. the top hotel pool and the pool at the beach club are in need of a proper clean up and possible upgrade. We saw that the heated pool at the VOP was being upgraded so look forward to that next time. Otherwise also a pleasure to have stayed here!

  • Stayed: March 2018, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank Tash_Momto2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
FairmontZimbali, General Manager at Fairmont Zimbali Resort, responded to this reviewResponded March 29, 2018

Dear Tash_Momto2

We appreciate your comments regarding your stay at the Fairmont Zimbali Resort.

It is always a pleasure to receive positive feedback! We are thrilled to hear that we have become your annual family getaway destination and we look forward to hosting you each and every year for special memories for you and your family. Thank you for sharing your review with us. I will ensure that your comments are shared with our team. I am sure that this feedback will serve as an encouragement to all of our staff as we strive to continuously improve the quality of our services.

Thank you again for sharing your experience, and we hope your next visit will be as memorable as this one.

Kind Regards,
Nils Rothbarth
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed March 25, 2018

A good property in the heart of Zimbali. We had a good stay at the hotel. The service as abit poor but overall we had a good time. The breakfast had a good variety and the hotel was prepared to cater for my vegan diet requirements, they organised soya as part of the breakfast which was certainly a good gesture. A special thank you to, Reece Pillay, Khaya and Lingi Naidoo, who certainly went the extra mile and were always helpful.

Room Tip: Make sure you understand the room you getting, we landed up getting 2 queen beds for a couple which made no sense.
  • Stayed: March 2018, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank Pranisha108
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
FairmontZimbali, General Manager at Fairmont Zimbali Resort, responded to this reviewResponded March 29, 2018

Dear Pranisha108

Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback with us.

We are delighted to hear that you had a memorable stay with us. Thank you for your kind mentions of our valuable employees; we will certainly be escalating your compliments to the Team. We are happy to hear that you enjoyed the breakfast variety and that you felt accommodated for in terms of your vegan diet requirements. It is important to us that our guests feel validated and we are pleased that you did.

We look forward to welcoming you back to stay with us in the near future.

Kind Regards,
Nils Rothbarth
General Manager

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