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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 November 18, 2015 via mobile

Zimbali Lodge in Ballito was a breath of fresh air. The old style furnished rooms were divine. The rooms are surrounded by trees meaning everything is fresh. The view from the balcony is second to none absolutely breathtaking. You can enjoy long walks around the property keeping you fit. The restaurant serves a good breakfast too. The hotel which is about a km or so from the lodge is pure heaven. The resort has a private beach too. When you join their vacation club you will be accommodated in stylish modern rooms in the lodge and given access to the entire resort.

Stayed: September 2015, travelled on business
Thank Brian M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed November 15, 2015

I have stayed at Zimbali before on both business and personal travel. My husband and I were booked in last Friday as I had a work function at a private residence on the estate. Our flight from JHB was delayed by an hour, so we were running very late for the function. On arrival at the lodge the lady who assisted us at reception was very helpful and seemed to understand we were rushing. When we checked into the room for a quick freshen up I found there was no hairdryer, which I asked the lady who had come to do a turndown service to arrange. This was done but added an extra 10 minutes to our delay. I had found a cockroach in the bathroom which I had asked her to dispose of, but this was not done and when we returned to the room it was still there. When we called reception for a golf cart to collect us, we were not told there was a delay and waited another 10 minutes for this to arrive, having to call reception a second time before being told about the delay.

The kitchenette did not have any glasses or cups/mugs for tea or coffee which I found strange as this was supposed to be a self-catering unit. There was also no shampoo, only body wash, which I would not have expected from a 5 star lodge. I raised these concerns with the gentleman at reception the next morning, only to be told he would look into it, but I have heard nothing back. Given that this is an exclusive luxury lodge, I was disappointed with the experience, especially since I have had great service and experience at Zimbali in the past.

  • Stayed: November 2015, travelled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank MichRocke
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 November 17, 2015

Dear MichRocke

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

We are sad to hear that your stay with us did not meet your expectations. We are sorry for the inconveniences that were caused due to the delays that you experienced. We apologise that you left feeling disappointed by your stay and hope to improve on the concerns raised going forward.

Thank you once again for taking the time to share 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 November 1, 2015

We stayed 3 nights at the Lodge.
The room (and this is probably true for the majority of rooms) does not see sunshine at all. The various villas which house the rooms are all situated in a wood which provides deep shadow. This situation together with the fact that the ocean is very close are the reasons why the buildngs have been quite a bit.
Because of the fact that there are quite some distances between the villas and the main building which houses the restaurant guests do rely on the transport provided which is beng done with typical golf electric cars. The drivers of these cars are the most friendly and helpful people in the hotel.
Breakfast s being offered in the Lodge's restaurant, If you want lunch, hightea or dinner you have to choose one of the locations offered bz the sister hotel the Zimbali Lodge. All in all you need a traveling time of 15-20 minutes from your room to the Resort.
Breakfast in the Lodge is not very pleasant. There is not a sufficient selection compared with hotels in the country which are on the same price- level.
Secondly the breakfast food is not really tasty.
Another negative experience was the staff close to the Lodge's pool. Most of the guys working there are defnitely in the wrong job.
All n all we would not recommend the Zimbaly Lodge to friends of ours. We felt like being locked in a prison, we paid a considerable amount of money and did not get value for it.

Room Tip: Whatever room you get, you have a good chance to look into the jungle which seems to cover everything.
  • Stayed: October 2015, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank EssenbachBayern
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 November 17, 2015

Dear EssenbachBayern

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

We are disappointed to hear that your stay did not live up to expectations and that you were unhappy with the experience and service received. We would like to apologise for the service and the quality of the food not being up to standard during your stay. We will certainly look into these concerns and hope to improve on these issues going forward.

Thank you once again for sharing your review with us.

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

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Reviewed October 12, 2015

My room was sea facing,it was clean.The service was fitting of a 5 start establishment.My daughter and wife had a lot of fun.Valet parking,the room service.The facilities.I want to go back.We are even considering buying timeshare so we can enjoy the beauty of the resort.

Room Tip: The views from 31 degrees are spectecular and their signature cocktails are to die for.Its quite a romantic place to make memories.
  • Stayed: September 2015, travelled with family
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Tebogo167
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 October 15, 2015

Dear Tebogo167

Thank you for your wonderful review of the Fairmont Zimbali Lodge and Resort.

We are so pleased that you had a lovely stay with us and that your entire family had a fun-filled getaway.

We look forward to welcoming you back to our beautiful property again soon.

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

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed October 7, 2015

Following our week on safari at the Lakeside Lodge at Entabeni we traveled to Durban from Johannesburg (45min flight) and transferred to the Fairmont Zimbali Lodge not to be confused with the Resort of the same name.
We were to stay at the lodge for one week .On first impressions a very grand hotel set within a forest some way back from the beach. Our room was in a block of 8 rooms,ours being on the first floor.We were completely surrounded by the forest which for some might have felt a bit claustrophobic especially on the ground floor .
The room itself was very comfortable and roomy with a separate dressing leading to a spacious bathroom. It had a separate shower toilet as well as a bath. The balcony overlooked the forest with the sea just visible.It was kept very clean. In order to get to the beach you had to walk through the forest around a golf course ,around some lakes.,passing two swimming pools onto the beach,watching some wonderful bird life along the way. The beach was a wide expanse of sand but the sea we were told was not safe to swim in due to currents and no shark nets. The swimming pools down at the beach,one at least was heated were very pleasant(only used once due to inclement weather.) The main pool at the hotel was not heated. Used once only.
Regarding meals only breakfast was served at the lodge. Which very good with a good choice of hot as well as cold food.They did provide some salads and sandwiches at lunchtime all in plastic boxes- Yuk. We tried once, never again. As we were on full board all other meals were taken at the Resort which you got to either by walking along the beach which is what we did for lunches or using the provided transport to transfer you to the Resort. Sometimes this took some time to arrive. The restaurants at the Resort were the Ayoba (mexican) or the Bite (Salads ,panini's etc.) The meals at the Ayoba were excellent. At dinner time the meals buffet style were taken at the Coral Tree restaurant . This provided a good range of salads and mains with curry's, Stir fry's and pasta as the norm but this become a bit monotonousness after a while. As we were on full board drinks were not included however we were allocated two glasses of wine at dinner time. Not sure if this was the hotel's or Saga's concession. At lunch time we bought our own drinks with wine & beer being very reasonable compared to UK prices.
When we booked this holiday all the meals would be taken at the Lodge but for some reason the restaurants at the lodge were closed in April this year .We were told of this change before traveling so we were a bit concerned. However it all worked out quite well although the transfer back and forth to the Resort was inconvenient and somewhat a waste of time.
Overall a great holiday with thanks going to all of the staff who were always very pleasant.

Room Tip: The rooms were either ground or first. Best on the first floor.
  • Stayed: September 2015, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank Brian9962
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 October 13, 2015

Dear Brian9962

Thank you for sharing your detailed review with the TripAdvisor community. We value your feedback.

We are happy to hear that you enjoyed your stay at the Fairmont Zimbali Lodge and that you were able to make use of all the facilities within the Zimbali Coastal Estate. Kindly note that your concerns are currently being reviewed regarding SAGA bookings. We hope to deliver more memorable experiences to guests going forward.

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
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