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“Pretty good hotel” 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 #11 of 111 Hotels in Nairobi
Whistler, Canada
Top Contributor
59 reviews 59 reviews
53 hotel reviews
Reviews in 39 cities Reviews in 39 cities
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
“Pretty good hotel”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 24, 2011

As a Fairmont this hotel is fairly average. Having said that, in the context of Nairobi, this is a very high end hotel.
Pool and spa services are good as well. Tatu restaurant is top notch as well.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled on business
    • 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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508 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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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 (119)
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Kampala, Uganda
Top Contributor
190 reviews 190 reviews
107 hotel reviews
Reviews in 53 cities Reviews in 53 cities
183 helpful votes 183 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 22, 2011

At the end of a safari into the Kenyan Rift Valley I made a wise choice to stay at the Norfolk, a guarantee for a successful conclusion of my trip.
Some of the older 'wazees' still recognized me and the reception was equally alert to my return, giving me the 'Abraham Block' suite, which instantly brought back many memories of the Block family and their ties to the hotel.
The room was perfect, including a terrace overlooking the inner courtyard, and while this particular suite has not bath tub, it has an oversized shower which more than made up for that.
And then the food outlets ... while I never did eat at their signature restaurant 'Tatu' I had two meals at the Cin Cin and was most pleasantly surprised over the various creations on the menu, the food presentation, the taste of it and the service which was a perfect match. A special surprise were the waitresses, dressed in body hugging red dresses, what a change from the days when the 'wazees' served at the Ibis Grill dressed up with dinner jackets and bow ties ... I sure liked the 'new look' better ...
Breakfast too was a revelation ... organic eggs and my Egg Benedict done to perfection as were the poached eggs the following morning. Also available are a cheese board and cold cuts, yogurts, ready made mueslis and a full range selection of yet more, pastries galore and fruits and juices of all varieties.
Staff seem to have giant memories as they appear to greet every guest by name, something which sure makes for brand loyalty.
My experience with The Norfolk goes back into the 70's and I have never been disappointed to this day and it is always a pleasure to be back there ...
Now the Fairmont The Norfolk, for me it will for ever remain just 'The Norfolk' and it does come highly recommended, hospitality at its best.
Thanks to all their phantastic staff who are true hospitality wizards in their own right - they made my stay very memorable, enjoyable and they will for sure see me soon again.

Room Tip: Ask for a duplex suite or else a suite in the main building above the main entrance with a view into...
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Los Angeles, California, United States
Top Contributor
81 reviews 81 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
71 helpful votes 71 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 18, 2011

This hotel is nice for Africa, but not up to the same standards as 4 or 5 star hotel in the U.S. It was a nice stay, but the room I got was very old and a bit outdated. The bed was a bit hard and not so comfortable and the linens were nothing to write home about. Also the view, mine looked at a wall of an adjoining building and was very dark.

I had a spa treatment and it was very nice, I got a special massage with tea leaves and it was great. I found the spa clean and tidy and very relaxing.

I also used the gym which was also quite nice, good equipment. The pool is great, it is huge and so warm it is like a bath, it was wonderful!

I ate at both restaurants and both were very good.

Room Tip: As for a view of the garden or interior courtyard. Many face the walls of the building next door.
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  • Stayed August 2011, traveled solo
    • 4 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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California Hot Springs, California
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 7, 2011

I had lots of massages throughout the entire world. I have been to dozens of Spas but there is one massage I will remember for the rest of my life because she came to sell me the service as we were relaxing by the pool with my wife.she gave me the best deep tissue massage ever. Even better than massages I had in Bangkok! I still remember how totally focused she was during the session. After the first treatment I felt like I was reborn-no jokes! she advised me to follow a series of 4-5 sessions but i could only come the day after again since i was traveling back. At the end of the 2sessions I was almost addicted! It is nice for all of us spa goers that therapists like Sally exist out there!I say this because me & my wife are frequent travelers and when we travel we really look for the best spa where we could relax and feel rejuvenated after. Of course, there are a lot of spas we've been that are nice places, nice ambiance, good massage...etc. But what we look for is something that will really touch our souls & heal our tired bodies. . For me it is really is the best massage I've ever had with Sally ...so healing.your spa was so cool,clean the soothing music plus all the staff were friendly and welcoming.....i look forward to coming back soon.thank you.Mr.wise

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
Isle of Man, United Kingdom
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed December 3, 2011

Kindly cancel the contract you have with the private investor whose currently running the health club because this cannot be part of a five star hotel And if it is then the Operations manager ;The chief housekeeper, The unit manager and the supervises if there are any should explain how this place got to be so dirty and there people working earning everyday of the week and we the guests have come instead of relaxing enjoying our workouts steam sauna massages are to point out such filthiness. It was on a Monday when came to the health club and was in total shock how filthy the place is.The Gym machines are very dusty,ans so is the floor the window panels from the inside is another story all together.The Spa which is also the therapists changing area to prove me wrong kindly have them report to work as usual then have the through inspection of the cabinets in each room tell me if you wont find personal belongings of the therapists. The beds the arm resting section that's uncovered near the hole is oily and the sides were last clean l think when you bought the beds have you seen the bedsheets underneath the seemingly white towel spread neatly on the bed? cant tell what color it originally was full of the massage oil and dirt from people who come for treatments there and not see because the lights are ever deemed.The window blinds have collected dust would think its for sell so is the window pane area, the sink area taps the cabinets and product display shelves,The Ipod is oily as well the music is pathetic not at all soothing the therapists are not welcoming not at all friendly not passionate about there jobs etc the place is a mess! checkout the towel bin cover it is dirty as well.The water dispenser is also dusty the glass table the coaches there as well.
The changing rooms had a problem with the water flow of the first left shower to the point that had to change bathroom.the bathrooms were slimy like had not been clean for days.i had been accompanied by my male friend who had the same sentiments about the gents changing room the window blinders are extremely dirsty.
the pool restaurant service is the slowest l have ever seen there just inside chatting not waiting on the guests outside.the food is cool by the time it gets to you in fact Carnivore has better&quicker services.
Was there for treatment with two of my friends sometime l think in September or late August and the place was good had the best massage ever by very petite lady cant remember her name but cant her broad smile.Came hoping to get the same but she was no more and was disgusted and disappointed by everything you had to offer.my suggestion is a complete shurt down of the place for though cleaning and recruit of stuff that are ready to do what they were hired for and not abuse of office and privileges

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled solo
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 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.
Richard K, General Manager at Fairmont The Norfolk, responded to this review, December 5, 2011
Thank you for your constructive comments with regards to our health club. We assure you that necessary action is being taken to address this.

Regards,
Richard
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
South Africa
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 29, 2011

I have stayed in this hotel many times for extended periods, part business part pleasure stay. I really like the colonial style of the hotel and te beautiful gardens. The staff is really well trained and the service is very personalised. I never been in a hotel where the staff do remember you by name, except at the Mara Safari Lodge which is also part of Fairmont. But there are a few issues that being a 5 stars hotel I think they should resolve:
1 - Spraying of unsafe insecticides: We complained many times about the insecticide they spray throughout the hotel, including the hallways. It's called ACTELLIC and it is not safe to be inhaled or used indoors. You can search for it online. We complained about it several times, the duty manager said he would take care about it but nothing was done. This is nasty stuff, I immediately had trouble breathing, sore throat, itchy eyes, etc and the hotel manager did not care. For this reason we will not stay here again, unless they stop this practice.
2 - No service in the pool area: this are is not serviced, there are no waiters or pool staff to tidy up or bring clean towels to guests. I complained several times, nothing was done.
3 - Some rooms not up to 5 stars level: avoid rooms in the numbers 600 are really old with many problems. (500's and 700's are really nice).
4 - There has been some road works by the hotel, changing the traffic circulation so now access to the hotel can be a bit difficult due to traffic jams, but there is nothing that the hotel can do to improve this, just takes extra time to get in and out.
So, in summary, I would only stay here again if they sort out the insecticide spraying. Still the rest of the issues should be attended to as well.

Room Tip: Avoid rooms with numbers 600 even if they offer you free upgrade - even the junior suites are not ni...
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
New Delhi
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
29 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 26, 2011

The environment in the hotel is good and reminds one of the bygone imperial era. The hotel property is spread over vast area. I stayed in the room opposite to the swimming pool and it was fairly far from reception

The room was fairly big, quiet and cozy. My room had both shower and a bath tub and shower had some problem that only hot water was coming. I explained to the management and they responded that some minor maintenance work would be carried out shortly.

The restaurant serves good food and offered discounts if you dine early. In the menu vegetarian and non vegetarian item are clearly highlighted, however in buffets these were not mentioned and I used to take assistance from restaurant staff to figure out vegetarian dishes. On the last day I shared this concern with the management and to my surprise they were proactive and offered me the option of choosing any thing from the menu card. As it was my last day there so I could only thank them for this offer. I liked their proactive approach.

Over all I would recommend the hotel to others.

Room Tip: The rooms closer to reception are new construction while the ones behind the swimming pool are bigge...
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled on business
    • 4 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
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 Business Hotel in Nairobi
#8 Romantic Hotel in Nairobi
#9 Luxury Hotel in Nairobi
#13 Family 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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