Zimbali Lodge used to be one of our favourite hotels but unfortunately standards have slipped a lot. The venue has all the ingredients to be awesome but it's just become average.
-The location in the forest is fantastic and it's just a short drive into town (Ballito).
-Service is generally very good and most staff were helpful and friendly.
-The room is a nice size with great views (certain rooms only), has a very comfy, big bed and quality linen.
-Nice pool but unfortunately loud renovations going on while we were there. There is also a very nice pool down at beach but it's for both Zimbali Estate residents and hotel guests, so was very packed and we couldn't get loungers.
-The room has a nice size balcony but it has little privacy (you can see right into neighbours' rooms) and the local monkeys are frequent visitors so can be hair raising sitting outside (and sometimes inside, dont leave doors open!)
-Room was mostly clean but needs a deep clean - dirty carpets, filthy air vents in bathroom, grubby shower (shower also very small and water pressure is low).
-Nice to have an unlocked fridge in room but ours had two settings: off and below freezing :)
-Maintenance at the resort seems to be a problem - as can see from the pics, lots of mould and dirty patches, loose wires next to pool (?!), broken cupboard in room (this was fixed immediatley though).
-Attention to detail is lacking - a basic thing like a bill holder (see pic) was completely worn and disgusting to touch; a tray of food sat outside our neighbour's room for 3 days until removed; our room keycards didnt work for 3 of the 5 days, which is very frustrating when your room is a long uphill walk from reception.
-Breakfast is pricey and was disappointing - the buffet offers very basic food (like cheap store bought bread), not many food choices (compared to other 5 star buffets) and the salmon was off! Service was very good though but we didn't go back after first day and rather went into town for brunch.
- Hotel only serves breakfast so you have to drive to main Zimbali Resort for other meals. There were sandwiches in the bar but they looked like the ones you buy at a garage shop and twice the price. All unacceptable for a 5 star hotel.
-Some of the rooms are far from the reception/car park so the hotel provides golf cart rides. The drivers are very friendly, especially Ricky, but we had two terrifying
rides with another driver (in the rain) who thought he was a Formula One racer. Reckless and dangerous, especially with an elderly guest of ours sitting upfront!
-Wifi costs extra, we used our local SIM cards instead but the signal is very weak, barely able to download emails.
We got a very good deal for two rooms for this stay so it was almost worth it, but at full rates it's over priced and definitley not a 5 star experience.
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- Also Known As:
- Fairmont Zimbali Hotel Ballito
- Zimbali Hotel