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“Like being in the Tropics!”
Review of Zimbali Lodge

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Zimbali Lodge
Ranked #3 of 7 Hotels in Ballito
Reviewed 20 November 2017

We arrived here in the semi dark and so it was difficult to understand how it all worked - certainly our room seemed a long way from reception (we were transferred by buggy).
The room was spacious and very nicely furnished with a large and very comfy bed, a large balcony and stunning views over the tops of the foliage/trees down to the Indian ocean in the distance (seen in the morning!). We were on the first floor, I think if you were on the ground floor the view would not be that good and the room could well be dark.
As we had arrived in darkness we had difficulty understanding the layout and we ended up going to the Mexican restaurant, which is part of the resort nearer to the sea, for dinner. We called the buggy which drove us to the Lodge reception and from there we took a small minibus to the restaurant. As we were tired after a long flight this struck us at the time as a pit of a palava. However, I think you would easily get used to it for a longer stay.
Tip: watch out for cheeky monkeys popping into your room - we had the french windows open and I saw a monkey sitting on the desk stealing a packet of crisps - luckily that is all it was - which he ran off with!
We made our way to breakfast by a newly discovered short cut which just took a few minutes. Lovely colonial style restaurant, good food, plenty of choice.
There is a beautiful infinity swimming pool at the Lodge which we could not use due to lack of time but it looked very inviting, with lovely sunbeds/deep cushions.
To understand this hotel, there is the Lodge, where we were, which has a pool and a restaurant for breakfast only; then there is the Resort where the main restaurants are, as well as another pool and I guess close to the sea. We were not able to explore this area though, other than in the evening, so could not get a real feel for it.
Nice and helpful staff.
It is only about 15 mins drive from Durban airport so a great stopover after a long flight, but to really enjoy it, and if you have the time, I think it would be best to stay 2 or 3 nights in order to better benefit from what it has to offer (or longer if you want a beach/sunbathing holiday). There are apparently also restaurants in the nearby town of Ballito. (We did drive through here at a later date and it was not at all what I expected, it is a very large town indeed - I had just been expecting a beach resort).
On arrival there is a security barrier and everything seems very secure.

Room Tip: In the Lodge, I would make sure to get a first floor room for the best views/light.
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  • Stayed: October 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank annej18
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 6 December 2017

Dear annej18

We appreciate your comments regarding your stay at the Fairmont Zimbali Lodge.

It is always a pleasure to receive positive feedback and we are delighted that you enjoyed so many various aspects of our hotel. I will ensure that your comments are shared with our team. I am sure that this feedback will serve as an encouragement to all of our staff as we strive to continuously improve the quality of our services.

Thank you again for sharing your experience, and we hope your next visit will be as memorable as this one.

Kind Regards,
Nils Rothbarth
General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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10 - 16 of 440 reviews

Reviewed 19 November 2017

Very disappointing from what it was a few years ago..... big let down.... feels like it's just put on the wayside and the Resort takes priority... never had such a rude reception with no greeting, welcome drink or communication.... everything seems to be an effort and extra charges... the rooms are 'tired' and in need of maintenance, the toilet runs, the basin doesn't empty, the coffee cups and kettle unappetizing etc... Would much rather stay at a guest house in Ballito with friendly service and an establishment that actually appreciates having guests...

  • Stayed: November 2017, travelled on business
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank kasandra1
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 6 December 2017

Dear kasandra1

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

We are disheartened to hear that your experience at the hotel did not meet your expectations set from your previous stay. We are sorry that you did not feel that the Lodge was properly attended to and that you felt that our staff seemed uninterested. We apologize for any discomfort you experienced and we would like to assure you that we will certainly take your comments into consideration and discuss them with our team. This is not the Fairmont standard, and we are sorry for any inconvenience experienced.

We hope that you will see these instances as once-off occurrences and that you will visit us again in the future allowing us another opportunity to provide you with an all-rounded memorable stay with us.

Kind Regards,
Nils Rothbarth
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 November 2017

There was no working tv for the weekend( no complementary service to replace the discomfort) what really made things worse is there was no communication from the hotel to notify paying customers of their situation. Zimbali prices are not cheap so they should provide the best service.
The air conditioner only blew cold no warm temp!

Stayed: November 2017, travelled as a couple
Review collected in partnership with fairmont.com
Thank lesegos361
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 4 December 2017

Dear lesegos361

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

We are disheartened to hear that your stay at our hotel did not meet your expectations. We are sorry for the challenges you faced and for the miscommunication regarding the television upgrade. We apologize for any inconvenience you may have experienced.

We hope that you will consider this as a one-time occurrence and not the usual standard of service with which we strive to provide our guests.

We look forward to welcoming you again in the future.

Kind Regards,
Nils Rothbarth
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 November 2017

4 night stay. Lovely amenities. Very quick collection via the golf cart system but only a short walk to the pool/restaurant area anyway if we decided to walk. Wifi needs updating.
Service was world class in our experience.
TV system being updated so no tv in the rooms at the moment.
Disappointingly no sea views from the rooms. The main hotel covers that though.
Loads of restaurants and other pools across the resort you have access to.
We'd certainly return in the future.

Stayed: November 2017, travelled as a couple
Review collected in partnership with fairmont.com
Thank cbbuk
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 4 December 2017

Dear cbbuk

We appreciate your comments regarding your stay at the Fairmont Zimbali Lodge.

We are delighted to hear that you enjoyed your stay with us. We are happy that our amenities and service experience left a lasting impression on you. We are sorry that you faced challenges with our WiFi and that the TVs are currently being updated.

Thank you again for sharing your experience. We hope your next visit will be even more memorable than this one.

Kind Regards,
Nils Rothbarth
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 November 2017

I stayed here for two nights at the end of a business trip. It's very hard to fault anything about the lodge, staff, room, public areas and the location are first class. I put he staff to the test on two occasions and they assisted me superbly each time. Tipping - it's not expected, but it's a nice thing to do. 20 or maybe 50 rand is well received. There is a shuttle that runs to the main hotel and beech on demand. The staff are also happy to transport guests around in golf carts. The resort is very spaced out and that adds to its beauty and tranquility, but be prepared to wait a few minutes for your transport around. Well done to the team at Zimbali Lodge!

Room Tip: Try to get a top floor room as you will get a sea view in some cases. Whichever room you chose the...
See more room tips
Stayed: November 2017, travelled solo
Thank KentishSailor
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 27 November 2017

Dear KentishSailor

We appreciate your comments regarding your stay at the Fairmont Zimbali Lodge.

It is always a pleasure to receive positive feedback. I will ensure that your comments are shared with our team. I am sure that this feedback will serve as an encouragement to all of our staff as we strive to continuously improve the quality of our services.

We look forward to welcoming you back to stay with us in the near future.

Kind Regards,
Nils Rothbarth
General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 November 2017

I'm very disappointed with my 3night stay at the Zimbali Lodge.

I don't even know where to start..
Cancelled my breakfast for the duration of the stay after the poor quality served the first morning. No room service, no minibar, no television channels or cable tv. Wifi is supplied with a voucher and the service is extremely slow and intermittent making browsing frustrating and downloading impossible. This is a problem if it guests have bad weather like I did for the entire stay. I also didn't have a vehicle and two restaurants were closed on the Sunday and Monday with renovation on the bar and restaurant at the Lodge. The glasses supplied in the rooms were dirty, waited 45min for a shuttle and staff would take personal calls while you would ask then a question.
Would definitely not recommend this hotel to anyone or be back anytime soon.

Stayed: November 2017, travelled solo
Thank Petria B
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 4 December 2017

Dear Petria B

Thank you for taking the time to share your experience at the Fairmont Zimbali Lodge. I am sorry that your experience did not meet your expectations; please allow me to express my sincerest apologies.

At Fairmont, we strive to provide a superior service experience for every customer; therefore your feedback is very important to us. Please rest assured that we are taking the appropriate measures to address your concerns and prevent future occurrence.

We appreciate your comments, and we hope that you will give us the opportunity to better serve you in the near future.

Kind Regards,
Nils Rothbarth
General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 November 2017

We were visited Ballitoville for our Anniversary and we decided to take a day and visit Zimbali for lunch and to see the resort for future holidays (Thanks God we did not booked a stay there). We arrived at Fairmont hotel lunch restaurant. We ordered salad and drinks , to our surprise the salad was stale and the lettuce leaves looks tired and yellow.

We were halfway through the lunch when we were approached by a lady from a vacation club kiosk inside the reception area and told us about a presentation that was going to take place in an hour time and asked us to fill in the form to attend. We accept that because we wanted to look around the resort so that we when we made a booking have a clear picture of what it looks like.

After lunch a gentleman from Zimbali Vacation Club ride us around the resort with a car. It took us more than 30 minutes to finish the tour. The worse place i saw on the tour was Ayoba one of the resort wings. The pool was crowded with noise and the water were dirty that you notice them at a 1 meter distance.

After the tour this gentlemen explain to us about the benefits of this Vacation Club they offer. He was forcing us to sign a contract and put a down deposit of R40 000 at that moment. We refused the offer and told him we are not interested and were not there to join clubs but to look at the resort. To our surprise when he ride us back to the hotel he was not even talking to us. He was literally sulking because we did not accept the offer.
In overall we were not impressed by Zimbali and their aggressive marketing style promoting and forcing the resort to us. We will never come to Zimbali. Ballito was good for us

  • Stayed: October 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank Bongiswa M
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 7 November 2017

Dear Bongiswa M

Thank you for sharing your review with us.

We are sorry to hear that your time at the resort did not meet your expectations. We are saddened to hear that the staff of the Zimbali Vacation Club left you feeling dissatisfied and affected your visit with us. We hope that you will consider coming back to visit our hotels in the future.

Kind Regards,
Nils Rothbarth
General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
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 #3 of 7 Hotels in Ballito
Price Range: $271 - $337 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Zimbali Lodge 5*
Number of rooms: 76
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, Hotels.com, Booking.com and TripOnline SA so you can book your 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

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