Those of you who followed my recent journey around Africa on Instagram @travelwithpedro and Facebook, may still remember my trip to the province of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa. One of the highlights of that trip was my stay at Fairmont Zimbali Resort, a beachside luxury hotel that was my first base during my 10-day trip around the province.

Fairmont Zimbali Hotel Luxury Hotel in Durban, South Africa

While Cape Town tends to overshadow the rest of the South African coast, Kwazulu-Natal can guarantee you urban or quieter beaches, waves that often attract professional surfers, as well as the chance to watch dolphins and whales. And Fairmont Zimbali Resort is right in the middle of it all. Located 10 miles from King Shaka Airport and 24 miles from Durban, the hotel attracts travellers who want luxury accommodation and first-class spa and leisure facilities, including three swimming pools and several restaurant options, making it also popular with locals looking for quality dining.

Fairmont Zimbali Resort Luxury Beachside Hotel KwaZulu-Natal

One of the many lounges in the lobby area

Arrival and Check-In

I was picked up in Durban by the hotel’s chauffeur in their Mercedes S-Class. The journey from Downtown Durban took approximately 25 minutes.

Upon arrival, the receptionist was very pleasant and told me about the hotel facilities and what I should expect during my stay. He also warned me the weather wasn’t going to be good from late afternoon, which came as a surprise to me, since it was nice and sunny at that point.

The receptionist then escorted me to my suite and explained about the facilities, where I could find everything I needed. Coming from a hotel background, I love it when they do a proper rooming – he would get a 10/10 if I were a hotel mystery shopper.

Stay at Fairmont Zimbali Resort Luxury Hotel

The Seaview Suite has a separate sitting room, bedroom, large balcony and bathroom

My Suite at Fairmont Zimbali Resort

Stay at Fairmont Zimbali Resort Luxury Hotel

My Seaview Suite on the fifth floor was everything I expected – and I bit more. At 88sqm, it was larger than most flats in London and decorated in light earthy tones that made it feel very soothing. So much so, that I was more than happy to just stay in when the weather turned.

The suite had a large sitting room with a few sofas, a small dining and a kitchenette area, fully equipped with an espresso machine, a kettle, fully stocked mini-bar and washing basin. Add to that a large balcony with spectacular sea views, which was the perfect place to have a late morning coffee and catch up on some work.

Fairmont Zimbali Resort Review

The comfortable sitting room

Fairmont Zimbali Resort Review

The kitchenette area in the Seaview Suite

Stay at Fairmont Zimbali Resort Luxury Hotel

The bedroom was also spacious with a large king-size bed, 50′ TV and a modern armchair. But my favourite part was the bathroom, with a double-basin sink, separate rain shower and a stylish stand-alone bath right in the middle. Fairmont offers Le Labo toiletries, which I very much like – yes, you were wrong if you thought guys didn’t pay attention to that! 🙂

Stay at Fairmont Zimbali Resort Luxury Hotel

Stay at Fairmont Zimbali Resort Luxury Hotel

The spacious bathroom and that killer bath

During My Stay

Fairmont Zimbali Resort Luxury Beachside Hotel KwaZulu-Natal

The stylish wine bar, Vinum

With a total of nine bars and restaurants, I was spoilt for choice at Fairmont Zimbali Resort, when it came to eating and drinking. My first dinner was at OSA, their fine-dining Indian restaurant. The place itself is an attraction, with a decor that seamlessly blends details of a traditional Indian house with some very modern touches.

Stay at Fairmont Zimbali Resort Luxury Hotel

Fried squid – OSA Restaurant

I started with a glass of South African sparkling wine and fried squid as a starter. For the main course, I ordered king prawns curry with rice, followed by vanilla ice cream with chocolate and strawberry for dessert. Service was absolutely perfect: the waiter was very pleasant, professional and unintrusive.

Stay at Fairmont Zimbali Resort Luxury Hotel

King prawns curry with rice

Stay at Fairmont Zimbali Resort Luxury Hotel

Vanilla ice cream with chocolate and strawberries

The following day, I went for a massage in the hotel spa, something I was really looking forward to. The receptionist at The Willow Stream Spa gave me a form to fill in and then I was escorted by the massage therapist. The treatment room was dimly lit and had a subtle citric fragrance – which I had noted as my preference on the form.

Fairmont Zimbali Resort Luxury Beachside Hotel KwaZulu-Natal

The Willow Stream Spa – Fairmont Zimbali Resort

I had the most relaxing back, neck and shoulder massage for one hour. The Willow Stream also has a fully equipped Fitness Centre with a free weight area, treadmills and a stretching area with sea views.

Fairmont Zimbali Resort Luxury Beachside Hotel KwaZulu-Natal

A treatment room at The Willow Stream Spa – Fairmont Zimbali Resort

Fairmont Zimbali Resort Luxury Beachside Hotel KwaZulu-Natal

The spacious Fitness Centre, overlooking the Indian Ocean

The Best Way To Start The Day

Fairmont Zimbali Hotel Luxury Hotel in Durban, South Africa

Coral Tree Restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner

Breakfast is served at the Coral Tree, a beautiful all-day restaurant with a large external area overlooking the Indian Ocean and a separate room with a vast buffet. And when I say vast, I really mean it. It was one of the biggest hotel buffets I have ever seen, with many options for hot food, two cooking stations, a large bread and pastries area, regular juice station and a separate healthy juice area.

Fairmont Zimbali Hotel Luxury Hotel in Durban, South Africa

The breakfast buffet is huge

Fairmont Zimbali Hotel Luxury Hotel in Durban, South Africa

Breakfast at the Fairmont Zimbali Resort

While one morning I had breakfast in the main restaurant area, on the second one I went to the semi-open area overlooking the main pool and the sea.

Dining and Leisure Facilities at Fairmont Zimbali Resort

As I mentioned, the hotel has nine restaurants and bars, so you don’t have to repeat a single place if you wish.

On the leisure side, there are a number of activities you can enjoy while staying there. If you want to keep physical, the hotel offers BMW mountain bikes to go around the nearby forest.

Fairmont Zimbali Resort Luxury Beachside Hotel KwaZulu-Natal

The hotel main pool

They also offer a number of tours, including dolphin-watching, scuba diving or deep-sea fishing. Keen golfers can also book to use one of the nearby golf courses, and you can also book a personal training session in Fitness Centre – these will incur a charge.

Fairmont Zimbali Resort Luxury Beachside Hotel KwaZulu-Natal

A glorious sunny day at the Fairmont Zimbali Resort

Final Thoughts

It was very hard to find any fault during my stay at Fairmont Zimbali Resort. All staff was very pleasant and helpful, from the driver who picked me up, to the restaurant team. Everyone seemed keen to help and had a very genuine smile when dealing with me and other guests – I’m one of those people who look if I’m being treated differently from other guests. The facilities are impeccable and the food is great – both presentation and taste.

Fairmont Zimbali Hotel Luxury Hotel in Durban, South Africa

The staff at Fairmont Zimbali Resort is very pleasant and professional

If there is one thing that I wasn’t expecting, is the fact the sea is quite rough around here, so it is good for professional surfers, but not for the casual beachgoer, like me.

FAIRMONT ZIMBALI RESORT

4422 Ballito – KZN▪ Tel +27 (0) 32 538 5000

Check Rates & Availability Here

 I was a guest of Fairmont Zimbali Resort, but as always, all opinions and words are my own.

 

 

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