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“I loved returning to The Norfolk” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Fairmont The Norfolk

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Fairmont The Norfolk
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Harry Thuku Rd, Nairobi 00200, Kenya (Nairobi Central Business District)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #10 of 96 hotels in Nairobi
South Carolina
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
“I loved returning to The Norfolk”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 31, 2011

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!

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (98)
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Helsinki, Finland
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 28, 2011

We had a 2+1 nights' stay at the Norfolk while touring two weeks in Kenya. The hotel kept well its "luxury" promise with nice rooms, excellent breakfast buffet, cosy bar, wonderful garden & friendly staff.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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NH
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2011

This was just my second stay at Norfolk in 28+ years of coming to Kenya. Clearly the historical significance can not be replicated and therefore a stay for at least one night. I far preferred the pre-renovation where it was the bar lounge overlooking the street. A must for a Cold Tusker. The high end restaurant made me feel like I was in New York not East Afica- which is not a good thing. Rooms were nice and clean. Service friendly and good for Kenya. I far prefer the Fairview for more relaxing environment with still a sense of historical Kenya.

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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London
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 8, 2011

The Norfolk has been our hotel of choice in Nairobi for the past 15 years on our way to the Masai Mara (see review of Governors Camp). Since our last stay a few years ago the common areas have been refurbished and are great. The Lord Delamere restaurant at the front of the hotel is great for watching the world go by, service and food is very good. Our room was ok, nothing wrong with it, had everything we needed and was comfortable but I wouldn't say it was luxurious. Over the years we have stayed in some very poor rooms at the hotel but don't know if they have been done up now.

In summary, if you are only staying a couple of nights, the hotel is great and we will continue to stay at it.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Ireland
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 3, 2011

We stayed here for a couple of nights before and after safari. The public areas of the hotel are very nice and the grounds are lovely. Both rooms we stayed in were spacious, clean and modern although the bathroom of the first room was a lillte grubbier than the second.

The food in the hotel while by no means cheap, was excellent. We ate a few times in Lord Delamere Terrace.

We enquired about arranging a tour of Nairobi and the hotel provided a driver/guide with comfortable car. This worked well as it meant we could build our own itinerary.

As we were celebrating a wedding anniversary, we were given a bunch of roses and a cake. Nice touch.

Overall, we were very pleased we our choice of hotel in Nairobi.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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England
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
32 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 7, 2011

From the staff to the Gardens this place was fantastic. Rooms were well air conditioned no mosquitoes, comfortable beds, great pool (although they could do with a few more sun loungers), excellent bar (drinks fairly pricey for Kenya, buts that's a 5* hotel for you).
All in all a great place and would definitely return.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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�G|ϗϨ�
Top Contributor
214 reviews 214 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 72 cities Reviews in 72 cities
72 helpful votes 72 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 20, 2010

Stayed there for two nights awaiting our Safari , Old colonial elegance and simplicity.
Very nice. Left luggage ,and gifts we had purchased in our first stop. Returned 10 days later after safari and used a 5 hour day room with friends and retrived our packages . They were very helpful

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Fairmont The Norfolk

Address: Harry Thuku Rd, Nairobi 00200, Kenya
Location: Kenya > Nairobi > Nairobi Central Business District
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#6 Luxury Hotel in Nairobi
#7 Romantic Hotel in Nairobi
#7 Business Hotel in Nairobi
#12 Family Hotel in Nairobi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Fairmont The Norfolk 5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Fairmont The Norfolk Hotel has played a leading role in Kenya's colorful history, and continues to be the best-known luxury hotel in Nairobi. The town and later the modern city of Nairobi grew up around Fairmont The Norfolk hotel, which still has its own private tropical gardens. The hotel is still the traditional starting point for safaris and the Lord Delamere Terrace is modern Nairobi's popular meeting place, where drinks and light meals are served continuously from morning till late evening.Fairmont The Norfolk was expanded in 1999 and subsequently renovated in time for its centennial celebrations in 2004. The Delamere & Acacia Wing were refurbished in 2012 to give the rooms a modern touch, whilst preserving their charm and unique personality. The Nairobi hotel now offers accommodations in 170 guest rooms and suites, has eight conference rooms, the largest seating 175 delegates, a heated outdoor swimming pool, health club with gym, sauna and steam room and gift shops. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Fairmont The Norfolk Hotel Nairobi
Fairmont Hotel Norfolk
Norfolk Hotel Nairobi
Fairmont Hotel Nairobi
Norfolk Nairobi

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