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“If you have to stay in 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 #14 of 106 Hotels in Nairobi
Austin, TX
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
“If you have to stay in Nairobi ....”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 18, 2013

Stayed here three times in June while cris-crossing East Africa. Getting into the hotel can be an adventure. The driveway has not been updated to meet the growing demands of Nairobi traffic, and so it's usually a tight squeeze. Then you have to go through a security screening on the veranda, and that can create quite a logjam. Same with reception, especially if you get stuck behind a big group. That sort of thing should just be a minor distraction though. Keep in mind, you're in Nairobi, not Omaha, and a small degree of chaos shouldn't just be expected, but accepted. Maybe even enjoyed. Besides, the extraordinary service more than makes up for any delays. Everyone at the hotel makes you feel welcome, and it comes off as sincere and gracious, not fawning. That's particularly true when you're a return visitor.

The Fairmont seems to mostly cater to either the business crowd or people spending the night before heading off on safari. That means either expense accounts or package deals, which could explain why the hotel is a bit pricey, especially the bar and restaurants ($30+ each for breakfast). Unfortunately, there aren't any alternative options for dining nearby, but there's always a Java House on the way to wherever you're going next.

Rooms are spacious, well appointed and very clean. The hotel has an old feel, befitting it's colonial roots, but rooms and public areas are very up-to-date and stylish. A nice combination, in my opinion. For being in the city center, there's quite a bit of green space at the hotel, notably the beautiful courtyard area. Get a room overlooking that if you can.

Room Tip: Ask for a room overlooking the courtyard.
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 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
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, September 24, 2013
Dear Ewebber,

Thank you for having chosen to stay with us and for the great feedback. We are glad our facilities and staff made your stay relaxing and enjoyable.

We look forward to hosting you on your next visit to Nairobi.

Best regards,
Richard
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493 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
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (116)
Date | Rating
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English first
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 17, 2013

Stayed here on the night of 6th August 2013 then went for 2 nights to Fairmont Mount Kenya (see separate review) before returning to Nairobi for 9th and 10th August. Nairobi is a city that appears to be moving forward, none the less to stay in such a luxurious environment in an African city was an odd if pleasant experience. The rooms were superb, the overall feeling of the hotel was as good as you could expect anywhere in the world and the staff understood the meaning of service. The only poor experience I had (which was nothing to do with the Hotel) was trying to rent a serviceable car with adequate insurance without paying the "extras" the rental company was trying to charge, I gave up in the end and used the Hotel transport - which was also very good.

Room Tip: Rooms on upper floors with a view into the inner garden are excellent.
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  • Stayed August 2013, 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
    • 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.
Richard K, General Manager at Fairmont The Norfolk, responded to this review, September 24, 2013
Dear Paulpm57,

Thank you for staying with us before and after your Safari, we are glad you had a wonderful time on both stays.

We appreciate and are grateful for the encouraging feedback as we look forward to hosting you again in the future.

Best regards,
Richard
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San Carlos, Panama
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 17, 2013

Probably one of the best hotels to stay at while visiting or passing through Nairobi.

Had the chance to stay there on 3 separate occasions in the past month and the service was great at all times, including the last day we were there and the president of Kenya was there to give a speech.

Although the street was blocked because of security reasons, we were able to check in at the hotel without any problems or delays.

Restaurant has a good assorted choice of food and the various meals we had were all very good.

We would return to this hotel without hesitation

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
Fort Worth, Texas
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 16, 2013

I stayed at the Norfolk in March of 2012 and frankly I cannot wait to return. It is rare to find a hotel that captures a sense of history with modern comfort but this is such a hotel. I arrived late at night and there had been a mess with booking my room, though in no way was this the fault of the hotel but rather the internet service I used to book it, and after a 12 hour journey from the States that could have spelled disaster. But no, the staff could not have been more polite or more helpful and all was more than resolved. The food I enjoyed was first rate, I particularly recall a split pea soup that transported me back to my grandmothers in England, and the bar is cozy and friendly. The rooms were very comfortable and the grounds are enchanting.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, Canada
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
30 hotel reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 13, 2013

Nairobi is all go. Wild traffic, wild pedestrians, energy everywhere, the airport is tented receptions since the fire, but handling was super efficient, appauling slums, but wonderful wonderful people, and this hotel brings out the very best of them.
We were brought here by a car driver who like many in Africa is a grandparent looking after gradchildren. You never know, but probably HIV took his children. He was happy, positive and super friendly.
The hotel is delightful, built in 1902 of course fully modernised and absolutely charming. Great front entrance security, (lets face it, if security worries you ina city where they have had major terrorism incidents, you're not thinking clealry) and then into a sea of tranquility.
The front desk and bell staff were all friendly and helpful, checking tomorrows flights and car times for us.
Three floors high built around a central courtyard with several different tropical trees, the hotel oozes friendliness, charm, tranquility, harmony and style. Although only here for one night we thought this was about as good as it gets.
The rooms are extremely comfortable, great bathrooms with rain showers, every comfort.
Everything was simply wonderful.
We had a couple of glasses of wine and some delicious samosas and egg rolls in the bar. Joy, the ever smiling waitress, is a Joy.

Room Tip: This may not help get a great room, but remember, in Kenya, average wages are between $5 and $10 dai...
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  • Stayed September 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.
Richard K, General Manager at Fairmont The Norfolk, responded to this review, September 17, 2013
Dear Michael Broadhurst,

Thank you for sharing your feedback on TripAdvisor.
It is always a great pleasure to read that you had a memorable stay at Fairmont The Norfolk.
I have shared your comments with my team and we are all delighted that you enjoyed the comfortable rooms, delicious meals, security and service from our colleagues.

We look forward to another opportunity to welcome you back to Fairmont The Norfolk.

Thank you & Regards,
Richard
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Solon, Ohio
Top Contributor
66 reviews 66 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 12, 2013

Classic older hotel that seems to have been renovated recently. Nice courtyard, attentive friendly staff, and clean rooms. Bar lounge as well as a the front restaurant provide nice dining options, but with the same menu. Excellent oasis in Nairobi, Would definitely stay here again for business or with my family or friends.

NOTE: Had given my friend's room away on a prior visit, so they upgraded us both to suites this time. Nice gesture, but I noticed that this did happen to someone else when we arrived this time as well(He was at the bar with a free drink waiting to find an available hotel) so just be aware.

  • Stayed August 2013, 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.
Richard K, General Manager at Fairmont The Norfolk, responded to this review, September 17, 2013
Dear OnAPLANE,

Thank you for sharing your experience with us on TripAdvisor,
I am delighted to hear that you enjoyed your stay to the up-most.

We are looking forward to welcoming you to the Fairmont The Norfolk again!

Thank you & 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
44 reviews 44 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 12, 2013

This is by far the best hotel ' experience' I have had in Nairobi. The hotel has a colonial style & was originally opened in 1904. The passage walls have many photos from yesteryear. The rooms are large & well equipped. (with a very large flatscreen TV - if you need it!). The bathroom has a separate shower. The gels & shampoos etc. are of good quality. The best thing about the hotel is the service. Everyone is friendly & efficient. Prices are also good compared to other similar hotels in Nairobi. There were many guests who were going on safari with a tour operated by the Hotel it seems. The breakfasts are very good - a great start to the day.The Gym looks good (did not use). They have a spa in the hotel as well. It is really a great hotel & I will be staying here on my future business trips. One thing that could be improved is to offer free WiFi to guests. WiFi is available at about $20 for 24 hours.

Room Tip: Try & get a ground floor room as they have a patio.
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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, September 17, 2013
Dear Rainer S,

I would like to thank you for sharing your experience with us.
I am pleased to hear that you enjoyed your overall stay; from our well equipped rooms, breakfast and exceptional service.
Please note that there is complimentary internet provided for all Fairmont Presidents Club Members and we invite you to join so you can receive all of the advantages the club has to offer.

We look forward to welcoming you back to the Fairmont The Norfolk in the future.

Thank you & 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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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 Business Hotel in Nairobi
#9 Romantic Hotel in Nairobi
#11 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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