I have stayed at the Norfolk for portions of each of my seven or eight visits to Kenya. I was initially attracted to that hotel because of its amazing history, both as a centerpiece of historic Nairobi (and, therefore, Kenya) and as the famous host through the years of the likes of Ernest Hemingway, Robert Ruark, Teddy Roosevelt, various royalty, and the list goes on and on. When I sit on Lord Delamere's Terrace and realize that I am in the same spot as so many great writers, leaders, white hunters, rogues and rascals have previously sat, I am inspired.
After all these years, I return to the Norfolk because of the amazingly friendly welcome I receive and the genuiney manner in which the staff seeks to take care of me. Through the years, I have been able to get to know a number of the people there and the manner in which they remember me, even when I've been away for a long time, is exciting and humbling. I hesitate to mention names because I will have to omit too many. But, people like Naomi Njau (in management), Winnie and Susan (front desk), Alex, Jacson, Charles and others on the bellman staff, Daniel (security) and others truly make the Norfolk feel like my home away from home when I am in East Africa. I am deeply grateful to them for the great experience they allow me when I visit the Norfolk.
The hotel is well run. The rooms are of good size, modern and luxurious, comfortable, etc. The extra facilities, such as the pool and gym, are quite nice. Try to get a room facing the main courtyard and ask for one of the slightly larger rooms that has both a shower and a tub in the bathroom. The prices at the hotel, including the restaurants, have definitely increased since this became a Fairmont property. However, the breakfast buffet is still fantastic with a little of everything, whether you prefer fresh omelettes, English breakfasts, Indian dishes, truly fresh fruit and fresh-squeezed fruit juices, or a sampling of Kenyan food items. A leisurely breakfast on Lord Delamere's Terrace is, for me, pure pleasure.
Other than increasing prices, the only concern I have about the Norfolk had to do with our last night there (after returning from safari), when my traveling companion was given a very nice room that was back in an older section of the hotel facility. He had problems with mosquitoes and then, in the morning, had no hot water for his shower.
Otherwise, I highly recommend the Norfolk and truly look forward to returning.
One tip: If you become a member of the Fairmont frequent guest program, you can get free wireless internet access for your laptop (or other device) while staying at the Norfolk. If you forget to sign up before you go, ask at the front desk and they'll be glad to help you.
Second tip: Simply take a little time to speak with and get to know the staff. You will be glad you did!