Sankara is in Westlands, a new suburb of Nairobi about 15 minutes drive from the busy city center and very close to the diplomatic enclave so most of the area is secure, well maintained with lovely gardens and modern architecture. The room we had was not huge but adequately spacious. The bed was very comfortable and the bathrooms clean and well designed with a separate shower closet and a tub. Sankara is a newer hotel while Fairmont Norfolk is an old style colonial building. We chose Sankara because we wanted a newer hotel with updated rooms and we were not disappointed. The gym is a good size with treadmills and weights and other basic equipment. I didn't have time to use the spa but a couple of people said it was great. 20% off for residents. The roof top terrace has events everyday like movie night, a live concert so its fun to go and hang out after a long Safari. The concierge was very helpful. Africab a cab company is just outside the door and reasonably priced. They charge $10 per hour if you need them to wait.
I've never stayed at a Sankara hotel but it is a great business and holiday hotel with a super club lounge that serves excellent canapés and a wonderful breakfast suited to those on the run, parents with kids or just someone on a leisurely holiday. Try their breakfast pound cake and their eggs benedict. The chefs were all very friendly and very kindly accommodated our tastes- vegetarian, no red meat etc.
What is really nice is that the service is not over bearing. You have your privacy and alone time. They also do a half day room rate and you can call the cleaning service pretty much all day. Several local restaurants will deliver to the hotel as well The business center in the lounge allows you to print without a fee.