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“The best thing about Nairobi is Fairmont” 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 (Nairobi Central Business District)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #10 of 96 hotels in Nairobi
Cairo, Egypt
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“The best thing about Nairobi is Fairmont”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 2, 2012

I frequently stay at this hotel, The hotel is architecturally beautiful! The newly renovated rooms are convenient and comfortable, the older rooms a bit less quality. Service is the best I have seen in all of the hotels I've ever been to. I have never asked for anything and not got it ( I even asked for a VGA cable to connect my laptop to the TV screen and they got me one). The receptionists are very pleasant and helpful. A tip here you will probably have someone knocking on your door every couple of hours checking on you or coming to do some kind of service, If you prefer not to be disturbed that often like myself always keep the do not disturb sign on your door because they do knock a lot on your door. The restaurants are quite nice , Room service always gets me a complimentary fruit basket every day. The only thing that could be improved is to include more variety in the TV channels. A big thank you to everyone @ the Fairmont Norfolk, I do love coming there.

Room Tip: Always ask for one of the recently renovated rooms, the ones on the bottom floor of the lord Delmar...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled on business
    • 3 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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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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Helsinki
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 30, 2012

The Norfolk is a high end hotel in downtown Nairobi, and it has always been one of the top spots. I have stayed here 2-3 times before and had high expectations as usual.
Reading other reviews before ending up in the hotel gave me some doubts, but to be honest.... it was a good and comfortable stay. I did not get a room with a balcony which was booked (Im a smoker), that was the only drawback for me, and the price was very high. And yes, another small detail. In the bathroom, some interios decors and surfaces was not so clean and they seem to be oldish.... like leaking shower walls making the floor totally wet.
With this kind of price nothing should be wrong.... which is of course difficult as people always have different expectations and some people always have to complain about something.
With this price it should also be things that exceed your expectations....
....so did I find that this time? Yes. The service = staff, was very good, and very helpful.... better than expected.... and then the highlight. The evening meal in the fine dining restaurant. Not too big choice on the menu, but enough. Very good side dishes and good proportions. The mushroom sauce and the pepper sauce was very good, and the quality and preparation of the bull eye cut was absolutely perfect. Rare to find so good piece of meat down here I must say. The best meal for quite some time.... ok, I had good dinner company as well. Finaly another drawback. The interior in the dining area.... it did not fit the heratge of the house.... too fancy light... too posh and too little remains from the good old times...
But of course these are small details, and yes I will be back.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Haarlem, Netherlands
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
26 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
50 helpful votes 50 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 21, 2012

I was here on business for two nights. Reception was good and friendly.
I guess I had a newer room, one wing was under renovation. My room was quite big, good amenities, good bed.
Breakfast was super! You are really spoilt for choice: European, American, African, fresh fruit juices (and I don't mean a bit of real fruit juice with lots of water and sugar), breads, jams, eggs.
Safety in the restaurant might be an issue for some people: it is directly on the street. With the recent unrest and hand granade attacks in Nairobi, safety crossed my mind more than once.

I found the rooms, food and drinks quite expensive.

At the time of reservation I got a rate in US$. At check out you only get an amount in KSH with a lot of zeros. It might be an idea to show the guest what this amount means in terms of US$. Be transparent about it.

In spite of an environmental programme, the hotel has still a long way to go on environmental issues:
1. Water: taps were sometimes difficult to open and close, the shower leaked. The taps nor the shower head have no water saving thing on it.
2. Electicity: why isn't there a main switch at the entrance door? Now you have to make a trip trough the room in order to switch off all the lights.
3. Heated pool. It didn't look like the hotel used solar energy to heat the pool. Why is that with so much sun on many days?
4. Cleaning of the bed sheets. There is a card that you can lay on the bed which means that you don't mind using the bed linen another day. Why is the default not the other way around? Put the card on the bed if you want your bed linen to be changed.

  • Stayed November 2012, 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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Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
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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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
33 reviews 33 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
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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
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 > 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:
#6 Luxury Hotel in Nairobi
#7 Romantic Hotel in Nairobi
#9 Business Hotel in Nairobi
#11 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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Also Known As:
Fairmont The Norfolk Hotel Nairobi
Fairmont Hotel Norfolk
Norfolk Hotel Nairobi
Fairmont Hotel Nairobi
Norfolk Nairobi

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