We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The Tripadvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
Contact accommodation for availability.
There are similar hotels available.
View all
SafariKZN-Mark
Northampton, United Kingdom

A Sub Tropical Paradise Dream

4.0 of 5 bubblesReviewed 20 Feb 2024
The warm Agulhas Current flows southward down the eastern coast of South Africa creating sub-tropical paradises. Just back from the Indian Ocean, which can feel like bath water to some of us northern hemisphere travellers, beyond the beach, tucked into the coastal forest, you will find one such paradise.

There are very few, if any resort style hotels in KwaZulu Natal, like those found in Europe where the grounds run to the beach. Well, here at Zimbali Lodge the hotel grounds do run to the beach and on the beach, you will find sun loungers, tables & chairs complete with parasols to offer shade from the heat of the sun. And if you do not want to feel the warm sand between your toes or the ocean waves splashing against you, then just stop at the bar. Yes, there is even a bar with restaurant, café, and swimming pool. And yes, here too there are plenty of sun loungers and places to sit and just take it easy.

On arrival at the lodge, after checking in, we were chauffeured to our room in a golf cart. There was always a cart and driver available if you needed a lift or wanted to be dropped off at the beach ensuring complete relaxation. Our room was stylish, luxurious, well-appointed and big, like the bed it contained, with ensuite bathroom including both a bath & shower. The patio doors led to the balcony where you really feel engulfed by greenery, bird song, and the occasional call of a vervet monkey. Zimbali, in Zulu, translates to “Valley of flowers”. And dotted among the various shades of green there are flowers, flashes of colour, providing nectar to a huge variety of butterflies.

The main lodge is a grand building spanning two floors with views over the greenery down to the warm Indian Ocean. The focal point is the palm tree lined infinity pool surrounded by walkways and patio. There is a main restaurant, dining area, where we ate a great buffet breakfast, and a smaller bar and restaurant where we dined in the evening. The quality of food was exceptional. The spicy chicken livers and lamb chops and seafood linguine we would highly recommend. There is also something very special about dining here outside on the patio in the warm night air complete with all the sub-tropical sounds that accompany it. I must also add that the service was exceptional and in true KwaZulu Natal style, everything came with a beaming smile from those that looked after us.

For complete relaxation take advantage of the spa and book yourself some pampering on the spa deck. For those more energetic you can follow a forest trail, you might be lucky like us and spot a bushbuck (antelope) or walk the beach. There are tennis courts and an excellent golf course where clubs can be hired.

The lodge is ideally located only twenty minutes from King Shaka International Airport and just over thirty minutes from the city of Durban. The town of Ballito is a few minutes’ drive from the lodge entrance gates. Ballito is a busy seaside town with great facilities and plenty going on. This is truly a resort in all senses of the word where you can spend some quality time. It is far from a stop off point between other places. You have everything here you need for a great holiday. And if you get the urge to explore then you have the option to, knowing that your base with all its amenities and comfort awaits you on your return.
Date of stay: January 2024
Room Tip: Spend a few nights here...
Trip type: Travelled with friends
4.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
Problem with this review?
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Nearby Hotels
  • eDreams
  • Vio.com
    R 1 795
  • Agoda.com
1.1 km from Zimbali Lodge By Dream Resorts
Free Wifi
Free parking
  • Priceline
    R 2 900
  • eDreams
  • Agoda.com
1.4 km from Zimbali Lodge By Dream Resorts
Free parking
Pool
  • Priceline
    R 2 530
  • Agoda.com
1.2 km from Zimbali Lodge By Dream Resorts
Free Wifi
Free parking
  • Priceline
    R 2 650
  • eDreams
  • Agoda.com
1.9 km from Zimbali Lodge By Dream Resorts
Free Wifi
Free parking
  • eDreams
  • Vio.com
    R 2 096
  • Agoda.com
1.5 km from Zimbali Lodge By Dream Resorts
Free Wifi
Free parking
Braai area
Get rewarded with One Key
  • Hotels.com
  • Priceline
    R 495
  • Booking.com
1.3 km from Zimbali Lodge By Dream Resorts
Free parking
Beachfront
Get rewarded with One Key
  • Hotels.com
  • Vio.com
    R 1 176
  • Booking.com
2.4 km from Zimbali Lodge By Dream Resorts
Free Wifi
Free parking
  • Priceline
    R 1 260
  • Agoda.com
2.2 km from Zimbali Lodge By Dream Resorts
Free Wifi
Free parking
Get rewarded with One Key
  • Booking.com
  • Priceline
    R 1 233
  • Hotels.com
2.6 km from Zimbali Lodge By Dream Resorts
Free parking
Pool
Regal Inn Ballito Exterior
  • eDreams
  • Vio.com
    R 686
  • Priceline
    R 945
2.4 km from Zimbali Lodge By Dream Resorts
Free parking
Restaurant
View more hotels in Ballito
Reviews (531)
Filter reviews
531 results
Traveller rating
180
141
105
54
51
Traveller type
Time of year
LanguageAll languages
More languages
Traveller rating
180
141
105
54
51
Show reviews that mention
All reviews golf course infinity pool private beach tropical forest dressing area estate slippers units
Selected filters
Filter
Updating list...
8 - 13 of 531 reviews
Reviewed 18 February 2024 via mobile

We love Zimbali it’s so relaxing with beautiful views, friendly staff and incredible spa/ beauty room.
We managed to navigate the entrance and exit security eventually!
It’s an outstanding resort in a wonderful location.
However……….few points to consider
The wooden steps from the Spa to the pool are precarious and need upgrading before someone has a nasty fall on first two steps.
The pool loungers need replacing as tatty and stained
I feel ball games and kiddies pool parties should be avoided in fairness to everyone trying to enjoy the pool amenities .
I think a bus drop off from hotel to the Balito lifestyle centre would be an added bonus to guests.
The above points are constructive criticism and not meant to be negative. It’s a wonderful spot and cannot commend staff poolside and girls in the spa enough, very professional .

Date of stay: January 2024
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Thank anne l
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 23 March 2023

When I got to this place the same apartment was rented out to someone else, after I have paid for it I was left stranded with my friends worst experience ever, I did not know that booking.com scams people.

Date of stay: March 2023
  • Trip type: Travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
1  Thank Nomad38661006194
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 2 March 2023

This hotel may have been 5 star 30 years ago but, not in this day and age. It looks tired and has seen better days. Lots of wooden interior beams styled not unlike a hotel you may see inThailand. Externally the brown wood is in dire need of repair and cleaning anf a few coats of varnish. Public areas need new carpets and the breakfast was just a badly presented low quality buffet. We had to change rooms because ours was dark and set low in the jungle foliage. We were movef to a top floor with see view which was much better.
The room was spacious but again old style and tired. Floors were grey painted concrete showing damage and scrapes. The use of carpets was very limited. I guess the hotel only retains its 5 star status because of where it is and the facilities it has eg. Spa, pool etc. I would not go back again unless the hotel was totally reformed and upgraded.

Date of stay: March 2023
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
2  Thank 505colinn
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 21 February 2023 via mobile

Probably once a good hotel and some of the rooms were considerably smarter than others even in the same block,
Ours was dark and rather cluttered, everything you needed but lacking in style or thought, just a jumble.
Next door had been given a make over and was much nicer and less gloomy but none have a view except of close up tree trunks.
The actual center of the hotel was understaffed except at breakfast which was good, lunch at the pool bar took over an hour and half - only salads or sandwiches. Very empty with no atmosphere. Getting in or out was a nightmare, I forgot my personalised piece of paper and they just refused to do anything but just stood there, until I borrowed one from the car behind - friends - wrong name , wrong car - not bothered and let us out! So why they couldn’t have accepted my car licence and checked with reception!
Minutes after we had paid on our arrival we noticed a mistake in the number of nights we were staying but they couldn’t refund us as we had to see a manager who never appeared during out stay.
Could have been lovely but sadly missed on every level, with the exception of some of the staff who tried hard to make it less dreary.

Room tip: Don’t ever forget your paperwork to get in/out and be nice to the staff, they really try: find the manager.
Date of stay: February 2023
Trip type: Travelled with friends
Thank T3572TZjamest
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 14 February 2023

I didn't stay specifically at the lodge as I lived in the estate, I did however spend many a day around the pool in summer. The vibe is chilled and food is great. The team that work there are super amazing and always happy to accommodate anything you may need. The pool is clean and warm in summer with great views across the estate to the VOP. If in the estate and you want something less commercial (like the Capital) then head here for good service, quality engagements and a relaxing time

Date of stay: December 2022
  • Trip type: Travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Thank AnthonyMLeeds
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
View more reviews