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Reviewed 28 August 2018

was very dissatisfied with my stay at The Fairmont Zimbali Lodge for a number of reasons. This hotel is obviously resting on its laurels. What may have once been a five star Hotel is now certainly lacking and would only possibly earn 3 stars. It looks big and grand and beautifully photographed online at the time of booking, but is actually very boring and common. There is nothing meticulous to rate it close to five stars.I am well travelled and well positioned to know quality and value for money.. but this property just doesn't cut it. I travelled half way around the globe from Australia to stay at this hotel/ resort. I booked the hotel online on the Accor website and "SEAVIEW SUITE KING" that I booked and paid for was not on the ground floor looking at the neighbouring roofs. I read the blurb again on the accor website for this property... and it wasn't this at all! I asked to be moved to a higher room and was moved to the rear of the Hotel. So I asked to be moved again. I am not a difficult Guest. But I felt we were racially prejudiced in our suite allocation. The suites were very boring and clinical. For a top end suite, there should have at least been some kind of botanical or floral arrangement. The Mini bar fridge (When replaced with a working model) was only stocked with 2x beers and soft drinks. There was no wine or spirits or snacks to be found... not even a biscuit to enjoy with a tea or coffee. Hot water took 4-5 minutes to come through to the shower, yet there were printed signs reminding guests of the water restrictions. After our second relocation to our Third "Ocean View Suite", The Assistant Manager, personally inspected the room and set us a bottle of lovely Shiraz before our luggage was moved. I tipped the porter, and then within five minutes noticed a mini fridge plugged into a spare wall socket in the lounge room. The cabinet under the bar where it should have gone was empty, because the staff were too lazy to put it in the mini bar cabinet. so after the maintenance guys came and installed it in the cabinet and left, I then noticed that the coffee pod espresso machine was missing. there was a selection of coffee and some ridiculous little milk pots that would need there or four to be fussed over for a few drops of frustration before a relaxing cuppa... so I then thought, before I unpack my bags, I should check to see what else was lacking. Sure enough, the hair dryer was missing too. I rang House Keeping to tell them and to alert t

Stayed: August 2018, travelled as a couple
Review collected in partnership with fairmont.com
2  Thank Explorer671060
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
FairmontZimbali, General Manager at Fairmont Zimbali Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 4 September 2018

Dear Valued Guest

Thank you for sharing your experience with us.

We are saddened to hear that you left our hotel dissatisfied with your stay. We are sorry that the general ambiance did not meet your expectations and for any discomfort you experienced as a result. We are also sorry to hear that you felt there was a miscommunication in the offering of the hotel room and the services provided. Please accept our apologies and rest assured that we are sharing your feedback with our team to ensure improvement moving forward.

We hope to have the opportunity to host you again in the future to provide you with a memorable experience 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 28 August 2018

My rating based on value for money, and this place is not.
We booked a suite at R8500 + per night. We were placed on the lowest level for this price not with ocean views but rooftops in front of us. This was sure racially motivated. We then complained only to move to another bedroom to be downgraded to the back of the hotel. We then asked the new assistant manager on duty to look into this. So we moved again! The room was “inspected” by the assistant manager. We moved in, no coffee machine, no hairdryer, no minibar, fridge on floor, a bathroom light not working and this for R8500+ per night. He said light would be fixed the next day. We moved out 4 days later, nothing was fixed. A 20% discount was offered but this was still way overpriced for what it was. Stale boring rooms. No living plants or color. Not even a biscuit to have with your coffee in the morning. The kitchenette area in one room the glass was broken as they just painted the wall black. Minibar options = 0! Not one thing stocked in minibar. The coffee and tea facilities were so Bogan and were dumbfounded at the lack of class and care in this place. You had to open 3 milk tiny milk capsules for 1 cup of coffee. He was so proud they are moving to paper straws because of the environment. Not the sharpest tool in the shed if you have to dispose of so many milk pods for 1 cup of coffee! I approached him (the assistant manager) at breakfast, as there were soupspoons on the breakfast tables and he answered me with a very condescending smile that he will sort it. He did nothing about it. The next day they were back on the tables. Yet I approached the manager in charged of this dining area (a Zimbabwean) and stated my case again that I don't eat breakfast with a soupspoon. The next day all the tables were laid with the correct spoons and tables looked immaculate and to precession. In my view this guy should get the top job, as it seems that all above him are quite useless. As images will show, breakfast presentation very poor. Cereal served in buckets, yogurt in plastic cups (yes that's at R8500+ per night I have to eat out of a plastic cup), cheese that is so processed, we ordered a omelet one morning and the ham was off. Needless to say we did not eat after that. In general this place is not what it cuts out to be. Prior to our arrival here we stayed at Intercontinental Johannesburg – Outstanding, The Palace (Sun City) – Outstanding, Tshukudu Bush Lodge (Pilanesberg National Park) – Outstanding, so it is not as if we are being ungrateful but all these places were far less than what we paid here, yet leaves Fairmont Zimbali Resort for dead. This place seems to be a hang out place for the “nouveau rich”. Compared to other experiences in South Africa I would not recommend this place. If you want to be seen, this is your place. If you want value for money (and the class you expect with that price tag) this place is not for you.
Your business is only as good as your management!

  • Stayed: August 2018, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Thank jaxsydney2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
FairmontZimbali, General Manager at Fairmont Zimbali Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 4 September 2018

Dear jaxsydney2015

Thank you for taking the time to tell us about your stay with us. I am sorry to hear that your experience did not meet your expectations.

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

We appreciate you sharing your feedback. We hope that you will visit us again in the future, allowing us another opportunity to provide you with a memorable stay at our hotel.

Kind Regards,
Nils Rothbarth
General Manager

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Reviewed 27 August 2018 via mobile

The setting and look of the hotel/resort suggest a luxurious stay but the service is very poor and the facilities limited and food below average.The quality of the room we had was pretty good but a bit limited. The staff on the front desk were hopeless.

Stayed: August 2018, travelled with family
Thank JasonMarkW
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
FairmontZimbali, General Manager at Fairmont Zimbali Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 27 August 2018

Dear JasonMarkW

Thank you for sharing your stay with us at the Fairmont Zimbali Resort. We are sorry to hear that your experience with us did not fully meet your expectations.

It is always a pleasure to receive feedback. I will share your ratings with our team and assure you that we will use your comments constructively to improve the quality of our services, and to target specific departments for further training.

Thank you again for sharing your experience, and we hope you will visit again allowing us the opportunity to provide you with a more memorable experience in 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 25 August 2018

Excellent. Exceeded my expectations . Staff was very welcoming and helpful. Accomodation was excellent, clean linen and regularly maintained. Proximity to the beach made it even better. Food was lovely.

Stayed: August 2018, travelled as a couple
Review collected in partnership with fairmont.com
Thank Tawanda M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
FairmontZimbali, General Manager at Fairmont Zimbali Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 27 August 2018

Dear Tawanda

Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback with us. We are so happy to know that you spent your Honeymoon with us - congratulations on your recent nuptials!

We are delighted to hear that your stay with us exceeded your expectations! We are happy to hear that you enjoyed the welcoming and helpful staff, and that the accommodation offering, cleanliness, proximity to the beach and dining experience all left a lasting impression on you.

We look forward to welcoming you back to stay with us in the near 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 22 August 2018 via mobile

My family and I stayed at FZR in 2017 and we weren’t impressed. But I booked this hotel again early this month from Sun, 5th Aug to Fri, 10th Aug because the location is great when traveling with my son. I won’t be making that mistake for the third time.
Staff are not efficient, cannot service customers, zero teamwork - a great example of people in the wrong career...from Coral Tree, housekeeping, room service, Ayoba, Bushbucks. If I call for service twice I expect to be called back, that didn’t happen. Had to even go shopping for mini bar goodies. No turndown on one night. No one wants a mediocre holiday, it’s really frustrating.
Hostesses at Coral Tree really do try especially at breakfast but the waitrons just disappoint. Only person who was consistent with service our entire trip was Lucky!

Stayed: August 2018, travelled with family
4  Thank TebelloMLP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
FairmontZimbali, General Manager at Fairmont Zimbali Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 27 August 2018

Dear TebelloMLP

Thank you for sharing your experience with us.

We are saddened to hear that you left our hotel dissatisfied with your stay. We are sorry that the service delivery did not meet your expectations and for any discomfort you experienced as a result. We are also sorry to hear that you felt that you did not receive the full Fairmont experience as this is not our way. Please accept our apologies and rest assured that we are sharing your feedback with our team to ensure improvement moving forward.

We hope to have the opportunity to host you again in the future to provide you with a memorable experience with us.

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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