For as long as I can remember, I have always wanted to experience the Fairmont Zimbali Resort and what it had to offer. After all, it is one of the most sought-after holiday destinations on the Kwa-Zulu Natal coastline. Fortunately for me, that desire was realised late last year when my husband booked us a surprise stay there for a few days.


Fairmont Zimabli Resort is situated in the luxurious Zimbali Coastal Estate, in Ballito, which is in the North Coast of Kwa-Zulu Natal. It is less than a half hour drive away from the uShaka International Airport.

Our Room

We were fortunate to have been allocated a room with a gorgeous view over the main pool (yes, there is more than one pool on the resort) as well as stunning views of the Indian Ocean. Dolphins and sharks are very common in the waters adjacent to the Fairmont Zimabli Resort, and we spotted them quite regularly.

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Pano view of the pool


The beach is easily accessible from the resort, you can take a short walk down to the beach or you can utilise the complimentary golf cart shuttle service. As this is a private beach there is security at the entrance to the beach.

Due to the abundance of sharks so close to the shoreline and the lack of shark nets, swimming is prohibited on the beach. This is, unfortunately, a major drawback. But if fishing or just relaxing on the beach with a good book, or in our case, enjoying the sights and sounds of a child playing on the sand, then a trip to the beach is a must.

Since swimming is not allowed and there is security available at the entrance, I think that some umbrellas or chairs to relax on the beach would be a great addition. But if are you planning to spend some time at the beach, you should consider carrying an umbrella and camping chairs – may be a good idea to check if this is allowed.

The Restaurants/Bars

There are a variety of dining options, including The Coral Tree restaurant renowned for its buffets, 31 Degrees, Ayoba and OSA. There are others, but these were the only ones opened during the off-peak season.  I did try the lamb bunny chow from The Coral Tree restaurant on one of the evenings, I can’t say it’s anything to rave about. Maybe we should have visited OSA for its Indian cuisine? The butter chicken at The Coral Tree restaurant is highly recommended and one of the best I have had so far.

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We tried both the food and drinks at most of the restaurants, and I fully indulged myself in the variety of cocktails on offer, from sitting on the balcony of 31 Degrees to the unique poolside settings of Ayoba at The Beach Club or the Bite Pool Bar and Grill at the main pool. What could be more relaxing than spending time quality time with family in such a picturesque setting?

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Activities for Kids

We deliberately chose to visit Fairmont Zimbali Resort during the off-peak season, so it was peaceful and quiet, just the way we like it.

Unfortunately, this meant that the family area at the Bushbuck Club was closed, and which is normally the main attraction for the little ones. Since Kayden loves the water so much, we managed to make full use of the beach and pools. Sadly, the weather didn’t fully cooperate with us, but that did give us the opportunity to explore some of the surrounding areas.

Flag Farm, which is about a 10-minute drive away from the resort, is one of the places we visited and is a must-see attraction for anyone with kids. I’ll share our experience with some photos soon, in a separate post.


The service received at 31 Degrees was excellent, professional and efficient. The menu is somewhat limited, but the food was delicious. You get the 5-star service for the 5-star prices you pay here.

The staff at the Ayoba Restaurant were very friendly and even though we went there very close to closing time on the one day, they remained hospitable and accommodating.

I do believe there is room for improvement, especially with regard to the availability of towels for the pool. There were no visible signs in the pool area, and some of the staff I spoke to was also not sure where to get them. After a lot of waiting and phone calls between different staff, we managed to locate the storeroom. Maybe during peak season or better weather, these are more readily available and accessible?

Final Thoughts

I think if you’re looking for a romantic getaway or some quality time with friends or family, with a then Fairmont Zimbali Resort is a must. From the spectacular views, an abundance of dining options, on-site facilities, you will definitely not be disappointed!

If you are travelling with children, it’s best to check if the facilities are open during your stay or not. If you are planning a romantic getaway, then off-season is the best time.
And if you do plan on staying at Fairmont Zimbali Resort, then make the most of it and check out the local attractions as well.

I have no idea why we didn’t use our camera to take any photos, all of the photos on this post were taken with my mobile device. So they don’t really do justice. Nevertheless, here are more photos in and around the Fairmont Zimbali Resort.

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Have you stayed at the Fairmont Zimbali Resort or plan to in the future?


In case you didn’t already know, if you use the Entertainer App to book, you can take advantage of the 2 for 1 special. If you’re an FNB client, download the app for free and start taking advantage of this and other amazing deals, from meals, to leisure activities, to travel and lots more.

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4 Replies to “Fairmont Zimbali Resort Review”

  1. Absolutely beautiful. Seems like it has a bit of everything for all age groups. I wild love to visit this resort sometime. Thanks for sharing your lovely experience Nicole.

  2. Looks like a lovely place. Will definitely try to go there during one of upcoming visits to South Africa!
    Thank you

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