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“A trip down memory lane at the Norfolk Hotel, 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 111 Hotels in Nairobi
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“A trip down memory lane at the Norfolk Hotel, Nairobi”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 21, 2012

The Norfolk Hotel has so many ties to the history of Nairobi and Kenya that it was the only choice we could make when returning to Kenya after 41 years. The staff at the Norfolk epitomize the best of the generally excellent service we found at all the places we stayed in Kenya and Tanzania. The hotel still acknowledges its links to colonial times, but it has certainly moved on in no uncertain way. Nairobi is now a large and vibrant city and the Norfolk is a showcase of the best that Kenya has to offer the sophisticated tourist. We loved it!

The staff were genuinely interested in our desire to revisit the Kenya of our childhood and keen to see that we enjoyed our stay in any way they could help. I have rarely found this in the US and Europe, yet here in East Africa it is almost the norm.

The only small fault I might raise is the variability of the showers, but we had no trouble overlooking this besides the earnestness of every other aspect of the care and attention to detail.

The gardens are lovely, the bar intimate and relaxed ... which somehwat belies its history ... and the restaurant, Tatu, should not be missed. Breakfast on the verandah is an institution before your safari.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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503 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 (118)
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English first
Broadbeach, Australia
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 21, 2012

What a hotel. Very well presented, and fantastic pool with hot water running into it. Great location, one block away from city. The University and The Arts across the road. You walk around the hotel just looking at photos and reading about the history and all the famous people who have stayed. Staff are welcoming, and restaurant on the roadside over looking the passing parade of people. The food was very tasty. Lovely bar inside. The rooms are well appointed. The grounds inside was a picture book. I walked into the city, but returned before night. I must admit I have never been searched before going into a hotel with a guard holding an AK47 standing near by. The traffic jams are terrible, and the smell and maintance of the trucks need to be looked into by the government, but that is Nairobi.

Room Tip: Ask for the rooms on the ground floor that have the grass outside. You might be looking into an ele...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Springfield, Illinois
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 19, 2012

This the first and last stop on our Kenya/Tanzania tour. Very convenient, good rooms, friendly and helpful staff...but a little over priced. There is a choice of several restaurants but we only had an opportunity for a couple of breakfasts and a quick lunch.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ascot
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 18, 2012

The Norfolk still belongs up there. It is the standard to beat. yes, Nairobi's traffic is bad and yes the pricing is high (for Kenya ..........but hey cheap compared to Miami) the staff are genuine and they want you to have an exceptional time in E Africa. There are other hotels, but this is the benchmark, food has improved hugely, CinCin bar is a bit too dark, water takes a while to run hot, but it still has that charm and an air of something special, delivered well by caring staff.

Oh and the best tiger prawns with mango & chilli dip ......

If you are safari-ing and have a night or two to connect/transfer this is your choice, step up and bite the bullet, but please..... Why would you expect New York or London, your're in Afirca for god's sake.

Room Tip: There is a wing currently getting re-furbed but I didn't get any disturbance in 616, they are st...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
58 reviews 58 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 6, 2012

We stayed in this hotel many years ago when it was faultless but these days have gone and many aspects need an update . We stayed several times during our African trip and only got a decent room on the last occasion when we complained about the previous two stays. Although the other rooms were technically deluxe they did not meet this standard. The reception staff were not particularly helpful except on the last stay and this was in contrast to the door staff and particularly the staff in the Tatu restaurant who were excellent.
The room service menu may have contributed to my other half's stomach problem so I would not recommend this option. The bar staff were not especially friendly so when the anticipated re-fit of Acacia and other section is complete the ambience may improve but the service needs attention as well.

Room Tip: Check that you are in newer section or after re-fit in Acacia with garden view.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 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
    • 3 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, November 13, 2012
Dear Cultureseeker_11,

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

I have noted your comments on our Front Office/ bar colleagues and our room service menu, which I shall address with the team. It’s unfortunate that you were also accommodated in a room in the unrenovated section. However, I am pleased to inform you that we are continuously renovating all our rooms and Acacia wing will be complete by end of January next year.

Thank you for your constructive feedback as this enables us to address any flaws as we strive to continually review services and the experience that we deliver to our guests.

If you happen to travel to Nairobi again, I would be happy to revisit this issue and ensure your stay with us is great.

Kind regards,

Richard
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Johannesburg, South Africa
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2012

Sadly, my stay at the The Norfolk was not as anticipated. On the Up side:
- the service was excellent, especially from one of the reception ladies - she was an absolute gem and she even helped us get accommodation in Mombasa as well.
- the rooms were clean.
- nice pool and grounds.
on the down side:
- food was way overpriced.
- the decor was very old - the carpet was threadbare in my room and the shower didn't work properly.
- if you requested a taxi from the hotel, it was twice the price than calling a cab yourself.
- the room service menu was very limited.
i must say i was terribly disappointed with this hotel - especially if you consider the price you pay per night.

Room Tip: Choose a room that opens out onto the garden area for more privacy and less noise.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled on business
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2012

Moved to Kenya for a project in Feb 2012 and stayed at Norfolk for almost a month. Great service and facilities. Located very close to the city and have easy access to almost all the nearby locations. Bit expensive on the food but hey, you always have the option to dine out. Highly recommended for people who love Nature and wanted to feel at home while staying at a hotel.

  • Stayed February 2012, 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
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:
#8 Romantic Hotel in Nairobi
#8 Business Hotel in Nairobi
#9 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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