Kuwait-based IFA Hotels & Resorts opened an exclusive and elegant 157-room property in Zimbali on 4 June 2010, a few days ahead of the FIFA Football World Cup 2010. Located on the eastern coast of South Africa, 9km from Durban, Zimbali resort is 15 minutes drive from the King Shaka International Airport.
Fairmont Zimbali resort joins the existing 76-room property at the Fairmont Zimbali lodge near the beach.
‘Zimbali’, a zulu word for ‘valley of flowers’, is located in a 700ha forest reserve and KwaZulu-Natal province on the coast of the Indian Ocean. The Zulu region boasts 1,000-year-old battlefields and re-owned eco-parks. The five-star Zimbali resort features an international willow stream spa, five outdoor swimming pools, a fitness centre and an 18-hole golf course with club house, driving range and golf academy.
R345m of an estimated R1.1bn investment has already been spent on the construction of phase 1 of the 154 room property. The remaining sum will be spent on the development of phase 2-Signature golf courses. Nedbank financed R150m for the construction of 154-room resort, which began construction in 2009.
G. Livierooo & Sons Building (Liviero) and Stefcon Projects (Stefcon) were the contractors appointed for the development of the resort. Contracts for the construction of hotel, garden suites and condos were awarded to Liviero and beach club, while those of fractional units and certain residential sections were given to Stefcon.
Construction had come to a halt in August 2009 due to payment disputes of R18m with Liviero, which led to the termination of the contract. The work was shortly resumed by appointing new contractors.
Fairmont Zimbali Resort provides 154 room and suites, fully furnished and equipped. It has 14 Fairmont rooms, 73 deluxe rooms, 26 junior suites, four one-bedroom suites, ten ocean view suites, 20 garden suites, one royal suite and one presidential suite.
Each suite has a generous layout and offers over-sized verandas with décor of stone, wood and earth tones inspired by the natural surroundings.
The guest room offers a view of the Indian Ocean and features high-speed internet access, large and luxurious bathtubs, video on demand system to access movies, games and videos, air conditioning with digital climate control, mini-bar and refreshment centre, Tea and coffee making facilities, hair dryer, iron and ironing board with international AC adaptor. Multilingual publications and complementary newspapers are available on request.
Fairmont Zimbali facilities
The resort has amenities for games such as soccer, rugby, cricket, polo and rally races. Golf forms an integral part of the Fairmont Zimbali Hotels and is already a home for one of the South Africa’s finest golf courses designed by Tom Weiskopf.
The resort also has a separate golf facility. It is an 18-hole par 72 golf course designed by the famous golf player Gary Player. It features a modern club house and a Gary Player Golf Academy with state-of -art driving range. It is still under construction and is scheduled to be complete by 2011.
The resort also offers outdoor activities including safari outings, hiking and mountain biking, dolphin tours, a historical visit to Zulu battlefields, a trip to UNESCO World Heritage sites iSimangaliso Wetland Park and Drakensberg Park.
Conference and meeting facilities
Fairmont Zimbali Resort has a 280m² Marula ball room to accommodate 180 guests for full sit-down banquets and 220 delegates in cinema style.
About 150m² of pre-function space facilitates pre-registration and cocktail events. The Sanderling meeting room accommodates 12 delegates in a board-room style. It also offers work stations with high-speed internet, phone and fax lines in addition to photocopying services and a range of audiovisual equipment.
The resort offers a range of appetizing dining options from light to full-course meals, local delicacies and themed dishes.
The coral tree serves an extensive breakfast and lunch buffet followed by a la carte bristo menu for diners.
Dalchini, the lobby lounge, serves speciality teas and coffees including the African roasts and Fairmont teas.
31 Degrees is lobby bar where signature cocktails are offered. Delicacy is where a high-end coffee or a deli sandwich or a salad can be fetched. Bite is the burger bar to the poolside.
OSA is the sophisticated steakhouse that promises South African grain-fed beef complimented with a collection of South African wines. Vinum bar offers a wide selection of South African wines and tapas-style bar food.
Ayoba has a beach-club setting showcasing a wood-fired pizza oven and barbecue cooking. Makhaza is the beachclub bar.
Spa and fitness
The willow stream spa at the Zimbali resort has eight treatment and steam rooms. The resort has five outdoor swimming pools and fitness equipment.
Fairmont Zimbali history
Fairmont hotel was first opened in San Francisco on the Nob Hill in 1907. In October 1999, it was acquired by Canadian Pacific Hotels & Resorts.
Fairmont now has hotels and resorts in 56 destinations. It plans to make its presence in Middle East and Asian countries in the future.