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“Wow!!”
Review of Zimbali Lodge

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Zimbali Lodge
Ranked #4 of 7 Hotels in Ballito
Reviewed 30 September 2015 via mobile

If you want to spoil yourselve, go here! The rooms are huge and very clean and luxurious! The kingsize bed is really big and comfortable. There are a bath tub, seperate shower and seperate toilet in the bath room. The balcony offers a great view over the surroundings. And the infinity pool is spectaculair.

Staff is extremely attentive and helpful. They do everything to make you feel at home.

Breakfast is served at the lodge and for dinner, they drive you to the resort, 3 kms from the lodge.
You can choose between 2 restaurants and we picked the buffet restaurant. They offer not just a buffet. You don't know what to choose, because everything looks and smells so nice, you want to eat it all! There are different cuisines e.g. Italian, South African, Indian on the menu and they prepare the best cakes and desserts.

Stayed: October 2015, travelled as a couple
1  Thank AvW12345
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 2 October 2015

Dear AvW12345

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

We are so pleased that you had a wonderful stay at the Fairmont Zimbali Lodge and that your every need was taken care of. We are happy to hear that you found the staff to be attentive and helpful during your stay and that our delicious eats at the Fairmont Zimbali Resort had you spoiled for choice.

We look forward to welcoming you back again soon.

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

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150 - 156 of 440 reviews

Reviewed 28 September 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 29 September 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 25 September 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
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  • 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 27 September 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 24 September 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 27 September 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 13 September 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.
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  • 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 25 September 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
Reviewed 11 September 2015

Lovely setting , large , clean room though a little tired. Reception staff very helpful. Now for the downside.
Had to eat in a restaurant 2.5 km away and wait up to 25 minutes for a shuttle to take us there. Staff in restaurant were disinterested almost to the point of rudeness. Stir fry items put in wok with fingers ( no gloves) items missing from the tables and often had to get them ourselves from another table.
Pool staff only showed their faces on the last day of our holiday!
No room service. Definitely not a five star experience.

Room Tip: Ask for a higher room or you will be in amongst the lush green jungle. Very dark!
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  • Stayed: August 2015, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Medwarecat
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 25 September 2015

Dear Medwarecat

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

We are pleased that you enjoyed the lovely setting of our beautiful property, and that you found the Reception staff to be very helpful during your stay,

It is unfortunate that we were not able to meet your expectations and that you felt disappointed by the experience. We would like to sincerely apologise for the cleanliness concerns that you have raised, and we will be sure to address this matter going forward. We are sorry for any inconveniences that you may have endured during this time.

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 6 September 2015

Venue great. Service sketchy and usually poor. Rooms great and the setting is fantastic. Hotel staff not providing a 5 star service though. Lack of onsite restaurant huge negative. Reception staff particularly poor. Service around pool non existent. Room staff great.

Stayed: August 2015
Thank Michael F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
FairmontZimbali, General Manager at Zimbali Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 8 September 2015

Dear Michael F

Thank you for sharing your valuable feedback with us regarding your most recent stay at the Fairmont Zimbali Lodge.

We are glad that you found the Lodge to be a great venue located in a fantastic setting. We are disheartened to hear that the standard of service did not live up to expectations and that you felt that this was lacking. Five star service is certainly something that we strive to deliver, and we are sorry that this was not experienced during your stay. We will certainly review this and look to improve on our service delivery going forward.

We hope that you will return to our beautiful property again and allow us the opportunity to offer a more memorable experience in the future.

Kind Regards,
The Fairmont Zimbali Team

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about 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 #4 of 7 Hotels in Ballito
Price Range: $289 - $393 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Zimbali Lodge 5*
Number of rooms: 76
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Fairmont Zimbali Hotel Ballito
Zimbali Hotel

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