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“A good starting point for your safari” 4 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 #12 of 110 Hotels in Nairobi
New Jersey
Top Contributor
87 reviews 87 reviews
87 hotel reviews
Reviews in 81 cities Reviews in 81 cities
145 helpful votes 145 helpful votes
“A good starting point for your safari”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 5, 2011

We stayed at the Fairmont Norfolk at the beginning and end of our safari to East Africa. We had a standard single room initially and were upgraded to a suite on our return to the hotel. The Norfolk has a great history and tradition which dates back to British colonial days. It is located across the road from the University of Nairobi and the National Cultural Center.
Our standard room was tastefully decorated and was furnished with a queen bed, night stands, sofa, coffee table, desk, chair and a mini bar upon which was a flat panel TV. There is satellite TV reception; however, CNN was hit or miss. There was a built-in armoire with personal safe in the vestibule. The tiled bath was small although nicely appointed with quality bath linens and a walk-in shower. Unfortunately, the shower was sans hot water. The bedroom of the suite had the exact same footprint. In addition, there was a sitting room with a large dining set, sofa, coffee table, two comfortable Queen Anne chairs, chest with a second flat panel TV and a second toilet. The bathroom had a dual vanity, small whirlpool tub and separate walk-in shower. This bathroom came with hot water! Both rooms had excellent internet connectivity which is complimentary if you are a member of Fairmont’s Presidents Club.
The common areas occupy the ground level of the hotel and all are tastefully decorated as one would expect of a Fairmont property. The hotel has a large bar area that faces and opens onto the inner courtyard and gardens. The exterior area of the bar is a brick covered terrace furnished with tables and chairs. It is a beautiful setting. There is a very nice, large salon in the space between the bar and reception. The legendary Lord Delamere Terrace is located at the front of the hotel along the street. It now serves as a dining venue for breakfast, lunch and causal dinners. The hotel’s formal dining room, Tatu, is off the main lobby. The hotel has a small gift shop and business center in the vicinity of the main lobby.
The original hotel structure surrounds a magnificent inner courtyard and gardens which provide a haven to sit and enjoy Nairobi’s beautiful climate. What appears to be a second addition of the hotel has been added at the rear of the courtyard. A second inner court resulted from this construction and it houses the swimming pool-health club-spa complex.
The hotel is happy to accommodate storage of your luggage while you are travelling out in the bush on safari. Upon our return to Nairobi we found our luggage awaiting our arrival in the suite. This service facilitates staying under the 15 kg weight limit for bush air travel and was most welcome. Laundry service at the Norfolk is outrageously expensive. For example, representative costs include: shirt/blouse $9.00, T-shirt $7.00, briefs/panties $4.00, socks $4.00, trousers/slacks $9.50, shorts $6.00, PJs/nightgown $8.00, sweater $8.00. If you are departing on safari, wait to have your laundry done at one of the lodges or camps. The work quality is on par and it will be done at a fraction of the cost.

  • Stayed September 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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501 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
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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NYC
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 4, 2011

My travel agent booked my family of five in three rooms at this hotel for one night with transportation to and from the nearby airport. When I arrived at the airport, I was met by a driver in a basic car with room for four passengers, who seemed to want all five of us to cram in until we insisted on an appropriate vehicle. His solution was to bring over a second driver, so we were transported in two cars. We asked the first driver if he was also scheduled to pick us up and return us to the airport in the morning, and he said we needed to set the time with the hotel. When we checked in, we told the desk what time we needed to leave.

The next morning when we went to check out, we were presented with $600 of charges for the airport transfers ($60 per person per direction). What?!

I am working this out with my travel agent, but in any event, this was clearly a scam. It is absurd to charge per person for a taxi service! It is not an airplane where each individual is taking up a seat. There was no reasoning with the clerk at the desk. $600 is more than what I'd expect to pay for car service for my family from NYC to Boston!

Aside from that, the room quality was fine except for the run down shower in the bathroom and the fact that there was no mosquito net and I woke up with numerous bites on my legs. However, I cannot recommend this hotel as I truly feel like they took advantage of my family upon check out.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
217 reviews 217 reviews
70 hotel reviews
Reviews in 77 cities Reviews in 77 cities
102 helpful votes 102 helpful votes
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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Ormond Beach
Top Contributor
83 reviews 83 reviews
69 hotel reviews
Reviews in 62 cities Reviews in 62 cities
125 helpful votes 125 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 via mobile

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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
23 helpful votes 23 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chatham, United Kingdom
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
2 helpful votes 2 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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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:
#8 Romantic Hotel in Nairobi
#8 Business 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):
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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