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“Credible option in downtown Nairobi” 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   |  
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Special Offer
3rd Night FREE
Ranked #14 of 125 Hotels in Nairobi
Certificate of Excellence
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
262 reviews
70 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 186 helpful votes
“Credible option in downtown Nairobi”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 29, 2013

I stayed at the hotel being a basic member of Fairmont President Club program (which still gives free internet access and free gym access to all members, therefore it is worth joining even if you never plan to stay at Fairmont property again).
I was traveling alone on a business trip

Hotel is located in central Nairobi in what I was told one of safest locations as central police is located within 200m from the hotel. The hotel selling point is that it creates an inclusive experience that you feel insulated from the outside world - if your windows face the courtyard you don't see anything or hear anything that goes on around the hotel. Hotel itself have several interconnected buildings (wings) the nicest being the ones around the courtyard. Hotel driver met us at the airport for the price of USD 30 per person one way. Trip took about 45 minutes but can be longer in rush hour traffic. Service is courteous but inconsistent - we were met with very old looking minibus which obviously was parked under the sun for quite long time as it took almost 15 minutes after engine start to bring temperature down to acceptable level. Transfer back to the airport was done by SUV.

Check-in and check-out formalities were handled relatively fast, although at times it appears as if reception people don't exactly know what they are doing. Check-in person was firstly insisting that I will have to pay for the internet, although after consulting with the colleagues he confirmed that it will be free (as a benefit of FPC). Check out was of similar duration with multiple iterations back and forth.

My room was on the ground floor of courtyard wing, therefore had the door outside with small patio. Windows were floor to ceiling, therefore for ground floor rooms little privacy exists and one have to keep curtains closed at all times. If privacy is something that is important for you, seek the room higher up. Room was of adequate size. The only annoyance was loudly ticking mechanical alarm clock which I had to lock in the bathroom each nigh

Bathroom was on the small size with no bath (only shower cubicle). Bathrobe and slippers were provided. Toiletries were of usual Fairmont kind (Miller Harris).

Staff mostly speaks English and was reasonably competent.

Internet access was free due to my President's club membership. It was fast and reliable.

Hotel has a restaurant and 2 bars (Lord Delamere Terrace and Cin Cin). Be prepared - due to captive audience, food is quite expensive. I did not go to the main restaurant but average dinner at either bars will set you back $70-80 per person. Breakfast was served at the Lord Delamere terrace and is also quite expensive at ~$30, but will have reasonable variety of cold items (although for the hotel of this category I would normally expect more), some fruits/vegetables and the egg station. There supposedly also is a tea room and the swimming pool bar, but I did not visit these.

Hotel has fitness facilities and outdoor swimming pool. It was the first time I've seen gym with windows open and air-conditioning off - which was quite hot at times (I don't know if they turned A/C off for winter). There is also business center with couple of computers.

Bottom line - there are not too many hotels from international chains in Nairobi - this one looked reasonably well although quite expensive to my liking.

If anyone has any questions related to this hotel I will be glad to answer (if I know the answer) - just ask.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
Richard K, General Manager at Fairmont The Norfolk, responded to this review, May 10, 2013
Dear AX9465,

On behalf of Fairmont The Norfolk team I wish to thank you for taking the time to provide your comments on TripAdvisor.

We are very pleased that your stay with us was satisfactory. All Guest feedback is valued and is shared with the team, good and not so good.

We have noted your concerns regarding our check-in and check-out formalities and our health club air-conditioning which I am very apologetic about and I shall address with the rest of the team.

I am also pleased to inform you that we revised our menu prices effective April 26, 2013.

Please be assured that a warm welcome awaits you should you find yourself visiting Nairobi again in the future.


Kind Regards,
Richard
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577 reviews from our community

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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
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (138)
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WORCESTER
Level Contributor
157 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 106 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 28, 2013

At the Norfolk, you do not get the "authentic" African experience, but it is an oasis for everything going on around you. The rooms are well-appointed, the restaurants excellent and the staff professional and anxious to please. You won't see wild animals, but the gardens are relaxing to sit and watch the birds or pet the gray cat who visits. Rooms overlooking the garden are obviously best (the outside views are not as picturesque.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
Wisconsin
Level Contributor
75 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 20, 2013

The title of my review is how the hotel describes itself. Opening in 1904, it is still very "sophisticated", spotless and very welcoming. We stayed for 2 nights prior to leaving on a safari. The rooms and grounds are beautiful and well kept. The location is great and only a short walk to the hectic city center. It has also been described as "a calm oasis in the heart of the city"! The service is 5 star, keeping with the reputation of The Fairmont Hotels.

Room Tip: Our room was over the court -yard and it got very loud one nite, as it seemed like the whole outside...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Canada
Level Contributor
168 reviews
68 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 106 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 2013

Beautiful rooms and grounds in the centre of the city. Meticulously maintained with the expected 5 star service one expects . Tasteful decor and furniture in the fashion you would expect from the countrys oldest hotel .Wish I could have stayed longer!

Room Tip: No bad rooms here
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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, April 17, 2013
Dear Fortq,

Thank you for your positive feedback.

We're glad you enjoyed your stay with us and we are definitely looking forward to hosting you at Fairmont The Norfolk and making your stay exceptional, once again.

Kind Regards,

Richard
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Abbotsford, BC
Level Contributor
44 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2013

We stayed at the Norfolk for one night, arriving at 2am to check in for a 1 night stay before catching our flight with Safari Link to the Masai Mara. The hotel is in a beautiful historic building that's been well maintained and updated and has the feel of a 5 star luxury hotel with all the amenities you would expect at a Fairmont. The rooms were beautiful and beds very comfortable. We had trouble with our air conditioning but the problem was quickly addressed. Service is excellent. We ordered room service for breakfast and it was expensive but very delicious. Grounds are well maintained and everything is spotless. The area was quiet and peaceful even though you are right in the middle of the city! Great 1 night stay and perfect place to rest before catching a flight.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
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, April 17, 2013
Dear Amber Abbotsford,


Thank you very much for sharing your memorable stay at Fairmont The Norfolk

We’re elated that you enjoyed the whole ambience, beautiful gardens, delicious food & excellent service.

We look forward to welcome you back again 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.
Mombasa
2 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 4, 2013

Fairmont The Norfolk combines it all: a central location, extremely well-trained staff who are cheerful, helpful and stylish at the same time and very pleasant and comfortable accommodation. All amenities one can wish for under the African and international sun are provided. Despite its renovations, the hotel has kept its colonial architecture and most of its characteristic charm. The well maintained garden is a romantic oasis, with a variety of palms and flowering shrubs. In front of the a la carte restaurant's verandah one can relax in a small herb garden, enjoying different fragrancies while watching small colourful birds hop about.
Whether on business or not, here, in the centre of the city, guests are able to enjoy Kenya's natural beauty and its upcountry crisp air.
I stayed at the Norfolk over the Easterweekend and over and over again have been surprised with home made delicacies brought to my room, all of them very elegantly presented, being not only delicious but also reflecting the exceptional creativity of the hotel's chef.
Last but not least: the heated15 metre long pool, located in a quiet corner of the compound, is a blessing for tired bones.

Room Tip: A deluxe room on the second (top) floor of the main building will provide you with a lovely view of...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled solo
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
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, April 17, 2013
Dear Arteve_Diani,


Thank you for taking time to share your feedback.

We highly appreciate your great comments about our Hotel and in particular on our amenities, staff, services, colonial architecture & central location.

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.
Lucerne, Switzerland
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 3, 2013

Just Excellent employees in this nice hotel . They are helping in any situation to make the stay for the quest as convenience as possible. Special mentioned the lady called Mary. But all the others are doing a wonderful job so nobody has a reason to complain as far as I realized.

Room Tip: The breakfast hours are too short. 1000 AM for people they have to work until late night for the com...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled on business
    • 4 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
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, April 17, 2013
Dear Kingler J,


Thank you for taking time to share your feedback on your recent stay at Fairmont The Norfolk.

It is always a great pleasure to read that we are able to meet and exceed our guest’s expectations.

We look forward to welcoming you back in the near future.



Kind Regards,

Richard
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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:
#7 Romantic Hotel in Nairobi
#8 Business Hotel in Nairobi
#11 Family Hotel in Nairobi
#13 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):
Located just minutes from Nairobi's best attractions, including the home of Karen Blixen, from the Academy Award winning film 'Out of Africa', Fairmont The Norfolk offers luxurious guestrooms and suites, set amidst tropical gardens. It features plush furniture, flat screen TV, minibar, rainfall showers, and tea and coffee maker. Built in 1904, the hotel has been completely refurbished with a heated outdoor swimming pool, health club, sauna and steam rooms with massage facilities, tropical landscaped grounds, and award winning restaurants and bars from steak and seafood at Tatu restaurant, afternoon tea to Lord Delamere Terrace for international cuisine. The hotel is walking distance from artisanal craft shops, modern shopping centres, Sheldrick's Elephant Sanctuary, National Museums of Kenya and is the launch point for 'bucket list' worthy safari tours, which can be organized at the 24 hour concierge desk. A free shuttle bus is available to and from Jomo Kenyatta International airport, located 11 miles away. Business Guests are also offered a complimentary return shuttle ride to their office with free WiFi on board. ... 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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