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
Parking on site
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Sprawling Indian Ocean resort on South Africa’s northwest coast, with five pools, nine restaurants and a spa
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.