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“What a difference a renovated room makes!” 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 #10 of 100 hotels in Nairobi
London, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
71 reviews 71 reviews
44 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
60 helpful votes 60 helpful votes
“What a difference a renovated room makes!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 18, 2012

Stayed here on two separate occasions, once in an older room and another time in a renovated room. What a difference it makes! the older rooms, while much more spacious, are incredibly dilapidated and frankly not worth the inflated price tag. The renovated rooms are more compact but much nicer and more in line with what is expected from a Fairmont hotel of this class. I would return, but only if guaranteed this room type. Location good. Service average. Breakfast serviceable. Common areas nice but nothing particularly special. Rooms tastefully redecorated and bathrooms impressively redone with top-of-the-line fittings, power shower, etc. Restaurants rather pricey for quality of food. All ratings below based on renovated room type. Regular rooms would be getting a 2 from me.

Room Tip: Only accept a renovated room at this hotel, even if it is smaller than the more dated option.
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 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
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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441 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 (102)
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English first
Sydney, Australia
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 9, 2012

This was my first visit to Nairobi, prior to heading out to the Masai Mara and I was a bit nervous about Nairobi after hearing and reading a lot of horror stories however I can say that I felt totally secure and safe in this hotel. We organised an airport transfer and the driver was there to meet us on arrival ( with a cold towel and drinks!) which was a great relief after seeing the chaos of the carpark at the airport!! The hotel is opposite Nairobi University which is located on a relatively quiet street & once inside the hotel you do not hear the traffic or chaos of the outside city. The staff are all pleasant and well trained. We ate purely at the hotel - cocktails, dinner and breakfast - and all were exemplary. I think we may have been in an old room and I would say that for the cost we paid I have stayed in better hotels but it should be noted that from the research all the top level Nairobi hotels are on the pricey side. The bathroom was shower only (no bath) however the amenities provided were good quality (Miller Harris). Internet is not complimentary - so if you don't belong to the Fairmont Presidents club - join before you go otherwise you will have to pay. I felt considering the rates they charge that internet should have been complimentary - at least the 1st hour or 2 at least. The buffet breakfast served on the terrace is amazing!

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Richard K, General Manager at Fairmont The Norfolk, responded to this review, January 21, 2013
Dear Milkythemouse,

On behalf of Fairmont The Norfolk team I wish to thank you for taking the time to provide your comments on our hotel. We are very pleased that your stay with us was satisfactory, we will certainly strive to maintain the high standards.

The team and I are grateful for your comments which are invaluable in helping us maintain and improve our services to all our valued guests.

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.
Vancouver, Canada
Top Contributor
77 reviews 77 reviews
29 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 6, 2012 via mobile

The Fairmont Norfolk is a historic hotel, centrally located with clean and well-appointed rooms. The service is good and the staff are friendly and helpful. The gym, however, needs a little updating. Overall, a fun and comfortable place to stay.

  • Stayed December 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Cairo, Egypt
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Helsinki
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
29 helpful votes 29 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
55 helpful votes 55 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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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:
#7 Luxury Hotel in Nairobi
#7 Romantic Hotel in Nairobi
#8 Business Hotel in Nairobi
#13 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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