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“A 5 star hotel in the heart of Nairobi” 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   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #11 of 122 Hotels in Nairobi
Certificate of Excellence 2014
London, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
218 reviews 218 reviews
70 hotel reviews
Reviews in 78 cities Reviews in 78 cities
108 helpful votes 108 helpful votes
“A 5 star hotel in the heart of Nairobi”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 2, 2011

This certainly was a high quality hotel. The room I stayed in was tastefully decorated, spacious, clean and comfortable. I never heard any noise from neighbouring rooms (usually an issue in most other hotels).

The food in the restaurants was of the highest quality. The lobster and squid pizza was devine. The size of portions was generous. The bread basket was complementary and filled with at least 6 different types of freshly baked rolls. In the bar your first round of drinks is served with a generous tray of nibbles.

The hotel gym had a very good selection of equipment. The swimming pool is heated, and probably too much so (nice to relax in, but less good if you actually want to exercise).

If I had a criticism it would be with the waitresses in the Cin Cin bar. The waitresses appeared to have been hired for their beauty rather than their ability to serve customers. The waitresses wandered around doing their best to look glamorous, and deliberately avoided eye contact.

Generally the staff were friendly and helpful. There was one security guard who was a pleasure to see every morning; cheerful, huge smile and always welcoming.

The hotel is centrally located; opposite the National Theatre, the University, and the Kenyan Broadcasting company. The area is perfectly safe to walk around during the day, and only takes 10 minutes to get into the central business district. The downside of the central location is that if you are doing excusions, then you inevitably have to drive through the city rush hour traffic (crazy driving, slow moving traffic, and often heavy diesel pollution).

The hotel is expensive, but overall you get the feeling that it is worth the price.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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547 reviews from our community

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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
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (128)
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Ormond Beach
Top Contributor
89 reviews 89 reviews
75 hotel reviews
Reviews in 65 cities Reviews in 65 cities
147 helpful votes 147 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 25, 2011

We had the benefit of staying in both hotels in Nairobi during our trip so we were able to compare and contrast them. The Fairmont Norfolk had a lovely setting with gardens and courtyard. We were upgraded to a nice, spacious suite in the courtyard. Bed and Bathroom well appointed. Only glitch, asked about getting a massage about 3PM and told by the spa staff that they were 'fully booked' the rest of the day and how about tomorrow... really??? There was literally NOBODY at the spa. Breakfast was especially good with lots of fresh choices. We have stayed in nicer Fairmont properties, but it was still pleasant and nicer than the Serena by far, despite having a garden suite room, there also.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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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Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 24, 2011

I was there with a group of people who were spread over the entire hotel. If you are lucky enough to be in the remodeled rooms you will have a nice stay. I unfortunately was in the older rooms, 400 section. Bathroom and room very dated. Stains on carpet and shower very dirty.

Food at the property very good, especially the pizzas. Fitness center and pool area nice as well.

If going try to request a newer room, the room numbers are double digits, I.e. 14.

  • Stayed September 2011
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 20, 2011

Several mosquitos in room. Windows tightly closed. Still these pesticides keep appearing and flying around for second night. Dirty bathroom, stains on floors and bedlinen and a sticky carpet. Not quite what to expect from a "Fairmont". Not so fun time spraying around repellent to keep mosquitos away.

Nairobi is nice but in some other place.

Room Tip: Go elsewhere, do not get mosquito bitten in you room.
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  • Stayed September 2011, traveled on business
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
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Chatham, United Kingdom
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 18, 2011

Stayed for one night in August on room and breakfast basis. Told the receptionist we had to leave very early the next morning. There was no offer of an early or packed breakfast although she vaguely mentioned there might be tea and coffee in the reception area (there wasn't). Room was lovely although no tea! My meal in the Terrace Restaurant was fine but my mother's was inedible as it was sitting in 5mm of oil. Staff were apologetic but this wasn't much consolation when my mother was ill. Overall a bit disappointing.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Wilmington, North Carolina
Top Contributor
64 reviews 64 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 16, 2011

My husband had an abscessed tooth when we arrived in Nairobi at 5:30 AM. After retrieving our luggage and a frightful drive to the Fairmont Norfolk Hotel, we checked in at the President's Club desk with the assistance of George Keli, who immediately took charge, calling the doctor on-call, and arranging an appointment with a dental professor at Nairobi Hospital. Less than 3 hours later my husband had 2 prescriptions and we were able to enjoy lunch on the Norfolk Terrace. The hotel is obviously one of the most beautiful in Nairobi, as we saw 3 different bridal parties coming in to have their pictures taken in the gardens. The room was warm and comfortable, and the service excellent. We could not recommend the Norfolk more highly.

Room Tip: As for a view of the gardens
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  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, Washington
Top Contributor
113 reviews 113 reviews
74 hotel reviews
Reviews in 76 cities Reviews in 76 cities
91 helpful votes 91 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 14, 2011

Service seems well intentioned, but slow and often incorrect (green tea, please, not black tea). Bathrooms are dated, decor is tired. Spa is NOT up to Fairmont standards (broken sauna controls, many treatments unavailable, terrible massage, no attendants in sight). Tatu restaurant is good, not great - and extremely expensive. Breakfast buffet is forgettable, open air to dirty Nairobi streets. Scanty fruit was not replenished, coffee barely warm. Front desk did not ask me for ID or even my name when I needed a new room key - how's that for security?? I can't believe this is part of the Fairmont chain. Location is bad, but Nairobi is a sketchy place to be anyway.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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
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:
#7 Romantic Hotel in Nairobi
#7 Business Hotel in Nairobi
#10 Family Hotel in Nairobi
#10 Luxury Hotel in Nairobi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — Fairmont The Norfolk 5*
Number of rooms: 170
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located just minutes from Nairobi's best attractions, including the home of Karen Blixen, from the Academy Award winning film 'Out of Africa', Fairmont The Norfolk offers luxurious guestrooms and suites, set amidst tropical gardens. It features plush furniture, flat screen TV, minibar, rainfall showers, and tea and coffee maker. Built in 1904, the hotel has been completely refurbished with a heated outdoor swimming pool, health club, sauna and steam rooms with massage facilities, tropical landscaped grounds, and award winning restaurants and bars from steak and seafood at Tatu restaurant, afternoon tea to Lord Delamere Terrace for international cuisine. The hotel is walking distance from artisanal craft shops, modern shopping centres, Sheldrick's Elephant Sanctuary, National Museums of Kenya and is the launch point for 'bucket list' worthy safari tours, which can be organized at the 24 hour concierge desk. A free shuttle bus is available to and from Jomo Kenyatta International airport, located 11 miles away. Business Guests are also offered a complimentary return shuttle ride to their office with free WiFi on board. ... 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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