Fairmont Zimbali Lodge Review (in a nutshell, don’t go there)

I write this post with a heavy heart, because I spent most of our time at Zimbali complaining. Granted, we had just returned from quite possibly the best holiday ever in Seychelles, and I’m not sure if Zimbali ever had any hope of competing against that, but even without the Seychelles trip I would have been disappointed.
At just over R2k a night, I didn’t expect to find our room still being cleaned at 2:30pm (check in is at 2pm- no compensation offered). The room was dated, the furniture was run down , bedsheets were stained with lipstick, teacups had permanent coffee stains on them. It was like a bad version of Sun City, which is also desperately in need of a renovation. I didn’t even bother photographing our room ‘cos I was so annoyed about it. We spent 3 nights there, and although it was relaxing, we also ended up leaving and driving back to Durban to spend our time because there isn’t much going on at Zimbali. The pools are all packed with kids (in fact, I read a post from DJ Mark Pilgrim on his blog, saying that he actually saw a POO floating past him in the pool), and there aren’t any sunbeds or umbrellas on the beach so unless you want to get burnt to a crisp, you can’t spend your time there.
We booked for high tea and even though I could see our reservation in the restaurant’s book, the staff had no idea that they had to prepare a high tea. After sufficient complaining to the manager, we eventually got it.
The golf course on the resort is quite pretty, and we went on a fun nature trail down to the beach.
We also took a drive up to the resort (different to the lodge). That was alot more modern than the lodge, and we had yummy scones and tea overlooking the pool.
The lodge is also quite scenic at night, we enjoyed sitting by the pool and chilling.
I sent out a tweet asking my followers for recommendations on where to eat, and I got a whole host of options (thank you!!) We settled on Seabelle, a restaurant that’s been around for 40 years- famous for its legendary prawn curry. The restaurant reminds me of an old school disco- it’s kind of dodge, but the FOOD! All the curries were delicious, the roti was soft and fresh.. and that prawn curry! Totally worth the drive to the North Coast.

So I definitely wouldn’t go back to Zimbali, but maybe that’s just me. I think money could be much better spent at a smaller guest house or even a self catering flat in Ballito.