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“Nice hotel but extremely overpriced food” 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 (Nairobi Central Business District)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #13 of 92 hotels in Nairobi
Vancouver, Canada
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Nice hotel but extremely overpriced food”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 28, 2012

The Norfolk is situated next to a University in a nice quiet part of central Nairobi. The setting is beautiful and the rooms are clean and elegant. There is excellent internet connection and the grounds are beautiful. There is a beautiful garden.

The location may not be convenient for some business travelers as it is a 20-25 minute walk to most government buildings but over an hour by taxi because of Nairobi's crippling traffic problem.

There are no other service near the hotel and you must cross a busy road to get to anything interesting.

Now to the main problem with this hotel. The price they charge for food and other services is insane.

Food: a simple Cesar salad cost +USD 30. It was not the best one I had ever had and frankly was actually sub-par.

Internet access is over USD 20 per day. Again this is not acceptable.

Laundry service: USD 10 for one shirt.

It should be noted that all prices are presented a much less than the ones I quoted but if you read the fine-print, they add VAT, service charge and a flat fee for everything. I find this misleading as other hotels don't do that.

I'm traveling for business and these costs are covered by my employer but if you are here using your own money, this is a rip-off.

Finally, in general service is good, but for the price, small things are not addressed. After cleaning my room I found that it was lacking tissue and garbage cans are not emptied. Small details but the price you expect perfection.

Although this hotel is beautiful and the quality of the facilities is excellent, I cannot recommend this hotel since other equally good options exist in the city center or on Upper Hill.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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 2
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, November 1, 2012
Dear Michael B,

Thank you for taking the time to share the experience of your recent stay at Fairmont The Norfolk.

I am very pleased to learn that you enjoyed our excellent internet connection, clean rooms & beautiful garden.

We have however noted your comments about our food & laundry pricing which I will address with the rest of the team and also do comparisons with other major hotels in Nairobi to ensure we are not over priced.

Thank you for your feedback and we look forward to welcoming you back in the near future.


Kind Regards,

Richard
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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400 people have reviewed this hotel

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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 (93)
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English first
Topeka, Kansas
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 27, 2012

The Norfolk is a wondeful place. I stayed back in 2001 with my family on the first few nights of our trip, and I loved it! The rooms are very homey, the staff is very helpful and kind, the grounds are spacious and pretty, and the hotel itself is quite beautiful. It is a cozy place amid the hustle and bustle of Nairobi.

Stayed November 2011, traveled with family
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tyler, Texas
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 25, 2012

My husband and I stayed in the Norfolk pre-safari, and LOVED the hotel! (I guess we were in the renovated portion because the room was lovely!) We were only there for 2 nights and I would definitely stay there again. We are looking forward to another safari and will start our trip with a few nights at the Norfolk...a beautiful oasis in the middle of busy Nairobi.

  • Stayed October 2012, 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.
New York City, New York
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 21, 2012

Wonderful grounds amdist very busy, traffic jammed city.
Rooms are badly in need of a refurb. Smelt of mold and smoke.
Carpets were filthy.
However food was excellent, gym was fabulous for a hotel gym and staff couldnt have been nicer despite the many complaints I am sure they get from international travelers in regards to the room conditions.

Room Tip: Ask for another room if you are disappointed with the first one you are given
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Richard K, General Manager at Fairmont The Norfolk, responded to this review, November 1, 2012
Dear Carmel 22,

Thank you for taking the time to share the experience of your recent stay at Fairmont The Norfolk.

I am very pleased to learn that you enjoyed several aspects of the hotel especially the excellent food, our gym & staff services.

We have however noted your comments about our rooms which I am pleased to inform you that we are renovating in stages.

Thank you for your feedback and we welcome you back to our hotel during your next visit to Nairobi.


Kind Regards,

Richard
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Frankfurt, Germany
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 20, 2012

I love this hotel. It gives the feeling of an enchanted garden, leaving the hustle and bustle of Nairobi's city center outside its walls. There are ample restaurants, good workout facilities, and plenty for the tourist.

Room Tip: Join the Fairmont's president club for free wifi and upgrades.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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.
Edmonton, Canada
Top Contributor
54 reviews 54 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 18, 2012

We stayed in this historical Fairmont property in Nairobi on our way to the Masai Mara National Reserve and again on our way back to London. We had a late night arrival from London and the Visa/Immigration process took longer than expected. We had arranged for airport transfer with the Fairmont - and was concerned about the long wait - but Joseph, was waiting, all smiles, with our name on his professionally- made card. We were immediately whisked to his van, offered hot towels and drinks. The security check at the hotel itself raised concern for its necessity but shrugged it off as one of those things that should be reassuring us. (We found out later this is standard procedure; we noted meetings of high profile corporations). Much to our pleasure, we were upgraded to the Theodore Roosevelt suite - overlooking the gardens. We had room service as it was late. We had breakfast at the open air Lord Delamere Terrace - the choices were overwhelming and everything was good and again, the service was very attentive. We were taken to the Wilson airport for our short flight to the Masai by David in one of the hotel's luxury SUV's. Eight days later we were back, again met on time at the airport by Joseph with his hot towels and cold drinks. We had drinks at the elegant Cin Cin wine bar, and later a memorable dinner at the hotel's Tatu steakhouse. We had on recommendation by the server, fish caught in Lake Victoria and some Kenyan vegetable dish. Excellent food and service - although I should comment that the the dining area was quite dark and noted some servers shining a flashlight on the menu for some diners. This should not be necessary if lighting was adequate for reading a menu. We were departing for London late that night so we opted for a day tour of Nairobi with David, who was an excellent driver/guide, well spoken and knowledgable of the history and culture (both human and animal) of Nairobi. As we have already checked out for the day, the hotel staff stored our luggage until we came back from the day tour. Because of this easy accommodation, we managed spa time and another dinner before heading to the airport, again with Joseph who made sure we were alright at departures area. Our stay at this Fairmont property was rather short - but the hospitality and care we experienced from the staff and Management will be long in our treasured memories.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • 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.
Richard K, General Manager at Fairmont The Norfolk, responded to this review, October 23, 2012
Dear JC,

I am very pleased to learn that you enjoyed your recent stay at Fairmont The Norfolk. Thank you for taking the time to share your experience.

I am very pleased to learn that you enjoyed several aspects of the hotel especially the great service, very pleasant and helpful staff, great breakfast and excellent dinner.

I will certainly pass on the encouraging feedback to our management team as well as the transport team.

Thank you for your feedback and we welcome you back to our hotel during your next visit to Nairobi.

Kind Regards,

Richard
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wichita
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 15, 2012

This is a lovely property in the heart of Nairobi. It has a lovely open courtyard. The hotel bar sits on the edge of it and it's a great place to sit back and have a drink and relax. The room was spacious, clean and comfortable. Breakfast was included with our room stay and was a great value. It had a wide selection, including being able to order an omlette and pancakes. The wait staff was always very attentive.

I'd definitely stay there again and would recommend it to others.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled on business
    • 4 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
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

Also Known As:
Fairmont The Norfolk Hotel Nairobi
Fairmont The Norfolk Hotel
Fairmont Hotel Norfolk
Norfolk Hotel Nairobi
Fairmont Hotel Nairobi
Norfolk Nairobi
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:
#9 Luxury Hotel in Nairobi
#9 Business Hotel in Nairobi
#10 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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