Fairmont Zimbali Resort
What We Love
- Mix of beach time and nature activities on the Ballito coast, just 30 minutes north of Durban
- Choice of five outdoor swimming pools
- Popular with families thanks to the kids club, multiroom villas and varied dining options
What To Know
- The beach is a short walk or buggy ride away
- Expect to see some wildlife in and around the resort, and the occasional opportunistic monkey at your table
- Bathrooms have double vanities and stand-alone deep soaking tubs
- Golf Course
- Handicap Accessible
- Kids Club
- Parking On Site
A one-hour flight from Johannesburg or a 30-minute drive from Durban, the Fairmont Zimbali Resort is a destination for beach time, water sports in the warm Indian Ocean and nature-focused adventures in the surrounding coastal forest. The nine restaurants cover the culinary spectrum, from Mexican lunch fare at Ayoba and seafood favorites at OSA to cocktails and snacks at beachside Ma Khaza and themed buffets at Coral Tree. Common throughout are the use of fresh seasonal ingredients and knockout Indian Ocean views, where possible. The 154 guestrooms take inspiration from the surrounding beach, ocean and jungle landscape, with pale stone flooring, hardwood furniture and earth tones, from the throw pillows to curtains. The large open-plan bathrooms have a contemporary look, with double vanities and stand-alone deep soaking tubs. All are stocked with posh Le Labo Rose 31 products. Each room comes with a work desk and walk-in wardrobe, and many are available as adjoining rooms for families. Days here are spent by the pools or on the beach, or there’s the Willow Stream Spa for pampering treatments using local ingredients (marula, rooibos, aloe and more) and the nearby 18-hole Zimbali Country Club for a round of golf.
In the Area
Beyond the golf and spa time, the Zimbali Coastal Estate is a destination for nature lovers. Explore the surrounding subtropical coastal forest on guided walks, go bird and butterfly watching on the hotel grounds, or master your serve on the property’s two tennis courts. Farther afield, the concierge can organize deep sea fishing and scuba diving excursions in the Indian Ocean, or a chance to see dolphins on a special boat tour. History buffs should make a stop at the Drakensberg Park World Heritage Site to see the ancient cave paintings, the largest collection of cave paintings in southern Africa.
How to Get There
A very delightful stay. The staff is very friendly and helpful. Room is amazing and you can change the open plan into a closed off space, with a few sliding doors.
The little build in couch, at the window, overlooking the ocean, is a special touch.
Food was good and tasty, just small portions... or maybe I was just too hungry!!
Had a blonde moment, looking for reception, as it is on the 5th floor!!
Service delivery was excellent and on point and super friendly staff. I really enjoyed my stay. we didn't want to leave, this is definitely the place to be in Zimbali, absolutely breath taking. Will recommend it any day.
Having read the reviews I was slightly worried after booking 2 nights at the Fairmont but I can honestly say we all loved this hotel. The staff at the security gate, pool, reception, concierge and at breakfast were excellent, very helpful and friendly. We ate out in the evening so I cannot comment on the restaurants but food and drink by the pool was served quickly and was good. The pools were amazing and the rooms beautiful and very large, as a family we will definitely be returning. Maybe the corridors and rooms need a lick of paint but this certainly didn’t spoil our stay.
The staff does not go the extra mile to ensure their guest are happy. Reception phones are continuously ignored knowingly that you needed them to look into resolving room issues.Very unfriendly reception staff.
Spending the second half of a 10 day birthday trip at the Fairmont Hotel in the Zimbali Resort near Durban. Location and hotel are fabulous, very opulent,lush flora, grand hotel lobby, spacious and well equipped room. The service quality, however does not match the splendour of the hotel and grounds. Took 45 minutes for lunch to be served poolside yesterday, with only 10 or so families around the pool - goodness knows how long it takes when it’s packed! Made the mistake of eating dinner in the main restaurant last night - buffet only, which should have set the alarm bells ringing. Food quality was poor - vegetables over cooked, tasteless main dishes and expensive, by ZA hotel standards, to boot. Room service breakfast this morning was equally unimpressive - porridge arrived without the (menu described) sugar and raisins and the requested milk. The latter was duly supplied but the sugar and raisins never appeared, whilst the fruit compote on the yoghurt comprised a single grape cut in half!
We also had 2 hours hi-jacked yesterday for a timeshare sales pitch! We were invited for a tour of the facility - nice touch we thought, it’s a huge resort, but were then subject to 90 minutes of high pressure selling.....very disappointing.
We will not be returning.......