We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Pushy staff”

Best prices for -
Check In dd/mm/yyyy Check Out dd/mm/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 5 more sites!
Fairmont Zimbali Lodge
Ranked #2 of 7 Hotels in Ballito
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Pushy staff”
Reviewed 11 May 2012

This is supposed to be 5-star comfort. It is kinda, but the staff needs serious retraining. They don't knock on you door just wonce to make sure you're okay, but endless times. pillows, water, anything they can ask you. even with the do-no-disturb sign on they knock. I lost my temper, asking them to finally leave me alone after 5 times. sure the food is good, but the overbearing staff needs to just chill a bit.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Paul O
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, 14 May 2012
Dear Paul

Thank you for your very constructive feedback. We value all guest feedback, as it allows us an opportunity to grow as a brand and ensure that the needs of our guests are exceeded.

We look forward to welcoming you to Fairmont Zimbali Lodge in the near future.

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
Write a Review

380 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    145
    98
    82
    32
    23
See reviews for
70
191
13
33
Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (91)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Bray-on-Thames, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
173 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 100 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 April 2012

Heard so much about this place on recent visits to SA so had to give it a try........

First impressions were tainted by being asked for my driving licence at security who insisted on scanning it before allowing us through. When asked why...told that it was part of the new security procedure and IIRC, was asked to sign a form to agree to adhere to the site speed limit of 40 kph.....more on this later, even though I don't speed!

Reception and staff were first class, no complaint there. Beautiful view of the ocean, infinity pool and a nice bar. Then to the room.

Nice facilities although a little outdated. Lovely view from the balcony with trees and bird calls galore. We had a minor problem with outdoor smells but they didn't hesitate to change us so full marks for that.

Golf course. Beautifully manicured, some great holes and overall recommended BUT some caveats. EVERYWHERE you look, there are signs saying do this, don't do that etc. Way too many and in nearly all cases there was no PLEASE, just a blunt instruction. This extends to the golf carts........

The carts have satnav which is forever telling you (complete with annoying noises from the screen) to slow down on paths and enforcing speed limits by seemingly applying the brakes! Worse still.....as is common practice these days, all greens are roped off and you are told (again, no PLEASE) to revert to the cart path.

Eminently sensible as a whole but on one occasion, my wife drove (in the rough) just metres past the edge of the rope which was way more than 50 Metres from the green. The cart died.....

Without a phone with us, we were worried as there were few people playing and a long way from the clubhouse. Eventually, I cottoned on to the problem. The satnav had detected we were in an illegal area, despite being in the thick rough over 50 Metres from the green, switching off forward motion and only allowing reverse and with a terse message on the screen to confirm.

You VILL obey...

On one day we were driving to the new beach resort and to my amazement I spotted an evil looking security guard in the distance.....operating a radar speed gun on private roads. This IS a holiday resort, isn't it?

We looked for places to eat but were told that several advertised restaurants were closed due to low demand ( I wonder why??) so check in advance if you intend to visit. The ones that were open were great, no complaints there, but the beach restaurant has parking spaces outside so we thought we would drive there. Wrong. You are not ALLOWED unless you have a house, time share etc as there is yet another guard with a barrier. You have to get the hotel to take you in a car or golf buggy. That's fine if they bother to collect you but on one occasion we had to make 4 requests and wait 45 mins to be collected!!

In the Fairmont, there are no lifts and all the rooms seem to be a long way from the main reception / bar / restaurant area with steepish undulating paths so make sure you are fit before booking. To be fair, they will always send a buggy to transport you but then you feel obliged to be forever tipping.

Overall, the staff were excellent and very helpful but the downsides mentioned above somewhat spoilt the visit.

Room Tip: Check on walking distance from reception!
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank fotowizz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
24 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 March 2012

We stayed in one of the private villa's facing the beach for our friends wedding and thoroughly enjoyed our 5 days there.
Our villa was beautifully appointed with everything you required. Our maid was both friendly and nurturing - wishing us all to have 'lots of babies' in our future :-)
It was a culture shock having gated communities and security barriers everywhere but we now know that is the SA way of life. Make sure you have a golf cart or car to get around as everything is very spaced out
A nice break away with friends giving you time to chill out with them.

Room Tip: Choose a beach facing room
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank kelleequinn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
71 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 March 2012

A wonderful location with excellent facilities and relaxing ambience. The staff were superb, the breakfasts to die for and the accommodation a colonial style with an air of luxury. We felt pampered and indulged from start to finish of our 4 day stay.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank johnfurse
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, 14 March 2012
Dear Sir

We are truly delighted that you enjoyed your stay with us. Thank you for your wonderful feedback. We hope to you 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
Cape Town Central, South Africa
Level Contributor
34 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 March 2012

We just returned from a company conference at Zimbali. I was surprised by some of the negative reviews on this hotel. We were a large group of about 200 and the hotel managed very well. The rooms were well-appointed and spacious. There were buck, monkeys and birds around our garden room. The service was really very good although the food was not a great success. The barmen and waitesses were great. I think the waitress Fay has a successful career in ahead of her in the hospitality industry! There were a few technical glitches. There was a power failure the Internet service did not work consistently but help was always available. The beach just below the hotel was wonderful for walking but not for swimming. Excellent conference venue. Thanks to the management and staff.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Ronel9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Knysna, South Africa
Level Contributor
123 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 79 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 February 2012

Zimbali is a large luxury estate offering several types of accommodation. The lodge is a colonial-meets-Bali style hotel that stands in what appears to be a tropical rain forest setting. Stepping onto the patio of our room, we were enveloped by the massively impressive jungle-like gardens. A lovely way to enjoy a pre-dinner drink. Surprisingly this all exists on a vast beach-front property, offering the best of both worlds. Our room was beautifully appointed and luxurious, with only minor irritations like poor lighting for make-up and a shower door that opens the wrong way. Other than that we had a delightful experience and wished we could stay longer. We had dinner in the lovely dining room where I had the best chicken curry that I have ever had and where we received exellent service. We thoroughly enjoyed our experience and are planning our next beach holiday there rather than fly to an island. I have no hesitation in recommending this hotel.

  • Stayed February 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Nicci R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cape Town Central, South Africa
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 February 2012

We stayed at Fairmont Zimbali Lodge for 6 nights. An amazing experience! Beautiful hotel, great staff, complimentary shuttle to all areas in the lodge as well as the Fairmont Zimbali Resort which was also amazing. 4 swimming pools to choose from with great pool bars for cocktails and light lunches. 4 restaurants also to choose from, Ajoba was our favorite!! I hope that we will be able to go back soon. One of the best places we've stayed at in South Africa.

Room Tip: Stay at the Lodge but visit the resort everyday with shuttle. There is no shop to buy everyday thing...
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank liezeldj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Ballito
23.0 km away
The Oyster Box
The Oyster Box
#2 of 18 in Umhlanga Rocks
1,754 reviews
2.4 km away
Hampshire Hotel
Hampshire Hotel
#5 of 7 in Ballito
102 reviews
22.9 km away
Beverly Hills
Beverly Hills
#4 of 18 in Umhlanga Rocks
1,024 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
23.0 km away
Protea Hotel by Marriott Durban Umhlanga
Protea Hotel by Marriott Durban ...
#11 of 18 in Umhlanga Rocks
268 reviews
2.1 km away
Fairmont Zimbali Resort
1.1 km away
Zimbali View Eco Guesthouse
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Fairmont Zimbali Lodge? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Fairmont Zimbali Lodge

Property: Fairmont Zimbali Lodge
Address: Zimbali Estate | Umhlali, Ballito 4390, South Africa
Region: South Africa > KwaZulu-Natal > Ballito
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 7 Hotels in Ballito
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — Fairmont Zimbali Lodge 5*
Number of rooms: 76
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, TripOnline SA, Fairmont Hotels, Priceline, HotelQuickly and Cancelon so you can book your Fairmont Zimbali Lodge reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Fairmont Zimbali Hotel Ballito
Zimbali Hotel
Zimbali Lodge

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing