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All reviewsgolf courseinfinity poolthe main hoteldark woodgolf buggiesindian oceanhousekeeping staffprivate beachrooms are spaciouscurrieslonger staybeach resortgolf estateshort stayminute drivereception areaturn down service
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Reviewed September 28, 2015 via mobile

I visited Zimbali many years ago before it became an estate and was taken over by Fairmont so I kind of new what to expect. The rooms are still exactly the same and very well maintained. The forest sounds at night are really special! The pools which have been built by the beach are located in a lovely setting HOWEVER the last thing which you will receive for free is your fruit juice welcome drink. Meals are crazy expensive! The drinks are ridiculously expensive, we didn't enjoy the lovely pool area at the lodge as we had two drinks at the pool on the first day and I just decided that I am not going to settle for these crazy prices.

We have been to five star lodges before and it is not necessary to burn holes in your guests pockets in such a way! We found guests on numerous occasions who would walk into the lodge with Takeaways and Woolworths packets boycotting the lodge's refreshments and meals.

The room is lovely, the setting is beautiful but the prices put us off completely. I doubt we will return.

Stayed: September 2015, travelled as a couple
Thank Debrouwers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
FairmontZimbali, Guest Relations Manager at Zimbali Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded September 29, 2015

Dear Debrouwers

Thank you for taking the time to share your valuable feedback with following your recent stay at the Fairmont Zimbali Lodge.

We are pleased that you enjoyed the beautiful setting of the Lodge as well as its sounds at night. This is certainly part of this beautiful property's charm.

We are disappointed to learn that the rest of your stay did not live up to expectations. We are sorry for any inconveniences that our menu prices may have caused during your stay.

Thank you once again for your review.

Kind Regards,
Maye Khuluse
Director of Guest Services
Fairmont Zimbali Lodge

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed September 25, 2015

I have read about this hotel on many occasions but never had the chance or time to get there. Well, we finally booked in and it was exactly what i had expected. Service was brilliant, guest relations even better, the hotel is stunning and just so perfect to geatway from everything. This felt like it was on its own island, thank you for everything and making us feel very welcome

Room Tip: You will need more time
  • Stayed: July 2015, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank Tina N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
FairmontZimbali, Guest Relations Manager at Zimbali Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded September 27, 2015

Dear Tina N

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

We are so happy to hear that Fairmont Zimbali Lodge met all of your expectations and that you had a wonderful stay at our stunning property. Thank you for sharing your feedback about the brilliant service that you experienced as well as the Guest Services team that were able to turn your moment with us into a memorable one.

It was our pleasure having you stay with us and we look forward to welcoming you back again soon.

Kind Regards,
Maye Khuluse
Director of Guest Services
Fairmont Zimbali Lodge

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed September 24, 2015

Reservation

The reservation was made through the Fairmont website, which is where I should have foreseen the beginning of a poor experience. Having made a package booking which included breakfast one is given the opinion of adding breakfast as an additional – admittedly this page does note that you should not add extras that are included in your package but one would expect that the extra would then not be available for selection on this site. Further, having inserted my Credit Card details I then received an e-mail advising that I was required to pay a 50% deposit however no details of how this should be paid were included – seemingly it falls to the guest to phone the Lodge and request an invoice in order to pay.

Arrival

The staff were very welcoming and helpful upon arrival. Check-in was seamlessly managed.

Room

The room is very pleasantly laid out, and well kept.

Breakfast

The breakfast is poor, both in terms of range and quality. By way of example having sent back a croissant on the basis that it was “yesterday’s croissant” I was brought a fresh croissant from the kitchen – clearly a decision had been taken to rather ‘finish’ the previous days croissants.

Although friendly and eager to assist, the staff are clearly in need of basic training. For example, one would expect to get offered black pepper when given an omelette.

I enquired as to the possibility of rather having breakfast at the Resort (in the expectation that this may be better), and was advised that I would have to pay the full fee at the Resort.

Room Service

There isn’t any.

Restaurants

There aren’t any. The best option available was for us to shuttle to the Zimbali Resort.

Staff

The staff at the Lodge (and at the Resort) are friendly and helpful. They are (one of few) assets to the business.

Overall

It is quite apparent that attention has been shifted away from the Lodge to the Resort. One would expect that guests would be advised of this before making a booking – it is nothing short of dishonest to take reservations for the Lodge when it is in this state. The experience in anything but 5 Star and frankly I will neither return, nor recommend it to anyone.

  • Stayed: September 2015, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank BryceMatthewson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
FairmontZimbali, Guest Relations Manager at Zimbali Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded September 27, 2015

Dear BryceMatthewson

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

We would like to apologise for the challenges that you experienced during the booking stage of your reservation, as well as any miscommunication which you feel may have taken place prior to your arrival regarding the hotel facilities. We are sorry for any inconveniences this may have caused and we are disappointed that we did not live up to your expectations. We appreciate your feedback and will be sure to review the concerns raised.

Kind Regards,
Maye Khuluse
Director of Guest Services
Fairmont Zimbali Lodge

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed September 24, 2015 via mobile

After reading poor reviews before going for our holiday, we were nervous, but we loved it. The Fairmont Lodge is situated in a rain forest. The rooms are well equiped with a lovely bathroom and bath. The staff are very helpful and efficient. Lovely walks, lots of wildlife, even an eagle sitting on nest within a few yards from the restaurant. We would certainly book another holiday with them again.

Stayed: September 2015, travelled with friends
Thank ChoirboyMike
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed September 13, 2015

From R150/day for wifi, through R35 per room service delivery, and on to R100 cocktails and R350 for a bottle of R50 cheap plonk...at every step Fairmont finds a way to shaft you. It's silly; I can't believe they make much from this compared to their rather high rates, but it has a substantive impact on one's perception of the place. It must be tough to market these room prices, and then have to deal with the real impact of this nickel and dime strategy. Just stupid.

BUT, best breakfast I have ever had in SA, and wonderful staff at breakfast.

Room Tip: Avoid wifi - mobile data WAY cheaper in SA.
  • Stayed: September 2015, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank 11Chris1122
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
FairmontZimbali, Guest Relations Manager at Zimbali Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded September 25, 2015

Dear 11Chris1122

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

We are disappointed to hear that we did not meet your expectations and that you left feeling frustrated by your experience with us. This is certainly not something that we want guests to feel when staying at our beautiful property, and we are sorry for any inconveniences caused during your stay.

Kindly note that complimentary WIFI is made available to all guests that are part of the Fairmont Presidency Club, and sign up is completely free. This great rewards program allows our guests to benefit from a variety of additional services available at all Fairmont properties around the world, including Fairmont Zimbali Lodge and Resort. Please feel free to contact us should you wish to find out more about this service.

We hope that you will be back again soon.

Kind Regards,

Maye Khuluse
Director of Guest Services
Fairmont Zimbali Lodge

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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