Clinton Moodley spent a night at Fairmont Zimbali Resort. He shares his views on the resort:
Fairmont Zimbali Resort is situated inside the Zimbali Coastal Estate, just five minutes from the town of Ballito, 20 minutes from Umhlanga and 30 minutes from Durban. It is a short drive to King Shaka International Airport and other major attractions.
I will admit, I was skeptical about spending a night at Fairmont Zimbali. A few friends had been there recently and called it overrated. Most of their dismay came from the lack of attention by staff. So, I did not have high expectations.
Upon arrival, the porter gave me a tag to fill out to put on my bags but did not offer to take it in. When I checked in, there was no one to help with my bags, which was strange considering its 5-star status. It was quite hard to find my room, but thankfully a housekeeping staff member steered me in the right direction.
Who visits here:
International tourists, those on business and family members.
Check-in was effortless and done within minutes.
Staff could be more helpful to local guests, but that is just my opinion.
The hotel has 154 guest rooms and suites, and 18 Fairmont Heritage Place villas. I stayed in the Deluxe Garden Room, which featured a king-size bed, work desk, bathroom wrapped in part-frosted glass sliding doors with a shower and bath, tea and coffee making facilities and wi-fi. There was a sofa where you could escape with a good book and a patio with lush views of the garden.
The room was spacious and felt like a little retreat. The soft colours offered warmth, while the modern and chic design gave the room character.
It is no wonder the hotel labels itself as a “retreat offering the utmost in stylish comfort and unrivalled service”.
Food and drink:
There is something for everyone. OSA, an Indian Fusion restaurant, takes you back to India with some of their curries and desserts. The Bite Pool Bar or the Beach Café and Bar are for those who enjoy a more laid back beach style dining, while Coral Tree offers fine dining. Dalchini or 31 Degrees offers some of the best views.
Fairmont Zimbali Resort has a Willow Stream Spa, fitness centre and the Valley of Pools with a few swimming pools. I enjoyed the hour-long full body massage. The spa team made sure my experience was nothing less than perfect.
Despite a disappointing start to my trip, every other aspect ticked all the right boxes.
Rates starts from R3 710 per night (off-peak) with breakfast.
Located at Fairmont Estate Port Zimbali, Dolphin Coast. Call 032 538 5000
* Clinton Moodley was a guest of Tourism KwaZulu-Natal.