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“THE place to be in 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   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #13 of 125 Hotels in Nairobi
Certificate of Excellence
Brussels, Belgium
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
“THE place to be in Nairobi”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 24, 2013

Many of the travel guides and travellers' reviews mentions the Norfolk as THE hotel in Nairobi. This is possibly true because of its past history as well as its current state after its renovation.
The perfect place for a soft landing into Africa at the beginning of a safari (as it was our case) or a good place for a last night stay after a sucessful trip. It is at a - safe - walking distance from the National Musem.

Pros: The relaxed, secure and elegant atmosphere in the middle of Nairobi, the rooms, the terrace and - above all - the breakfast. It would tick all the boxes you look for in a 5-stars hotel.
The warmed swimming pool is also very nice if one arrives from an int. flight

Cons: Nairobi seem to be incredibly expensive and the Norfolk is not an exception. If you can secure a good rate it would automatically deserve a 5-points rating.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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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565 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 (134)
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Singapore, Singapore
Top Contributor
111 reviews 111 reviews
104 hotel reviews
Reviews in 92 cities Reviews in 92 cities
149 helpful votes 149 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 22, 2013

When I arrived at the Norfolk, I was very pleased to see that it wasn't the typical business hotel, but had a lot of colonial charm. The lobby is beautifully refurbished, with a great bar. The terrace restaurant in front of the hotel is were the breakfast is served. And it has a beautiful atmosphere. I was told that the British did shoot game from the this very terrace in the 'old days'. Now, there is only a busy street though.

Once go through the lobby towards the rooms, a very nicely planted garden opens up which is surrounded by the rooms, that situated in this low build hotel. I was certainly happy to be on the first floor which felt safer. The rooms weren't as nicely refurbished as the common areas, and bordered on shabby. But the bathroom was nice and clean. Wifi only worked in the common area and not in the room, which was a let down.

We had a business dinner in the hotel, which was very good and the service was very friendly and attentive, but a little slow.

Overall, the hotel is well run and feels positively different. Security could be beefed up though. The security guard in front of the hotel seemed to fall asleep over his machine gun.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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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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 KarinGlobal,

Thank you for taking the time to write such positive feedback on our hotel and its facilities.
We have however noted your comments on our Wi-Fi and security guard which we shall address to resolve.

Best regards,
Richard
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
86 helpful votes 86 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 21, 2013

I consider The Norfolk Hotel to be a very good choice in Nairobi. We recently spent three nights there and generally enjoyed our time in the hotel.

We found the Norfolk to be comfortable, pleasant and secure. The hotels grounds are rather sprawling but I never felt at all uncomfortable; there is security starting the moment you arrive at the porch, where you and your bags are given a quick once over. Our room was decent size but certainly could not be described as large (unless maybe you're from Rome). Our friends' room was slightly smaller than ours, at least the interior space was. Their room had a small balcony but this was space that was subtracted from the interior of their room.

The food served in the main dining area is good to very good. There is a breakfast buffet that is extensive (it was included in our package price); there is also a buffet at lunch though you can also order from the menu. This dining area is open to the street in front of the hotel. This means that the area can be chilly though the staff are good about lighting the gas heaters and adjusting them to keep you warm.

This hotel caters to both tourists who are passing through on their way to a safari camp and to business groups. Expect to see business functions set up in the courtyards from time to time. This in no way interfered with our enjoyment of the hotel.

We also ate at the hotel's more expensive dining room, Tatu. The food was good but tended to be expensive.

We generally found the staff to be very pleasant and helpful. There is wifi. If you go online and join The Fairmont President's Club (it's free to join) then the wifi is free.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
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 travelman 1370,

Thank you for choosing Fairmont The Norfolk and for the great feedback.

It was a pleasure hosting you and we look forward to welcoming you on your next stay.

Best regards,

Richard
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Samoens, France
Top Contributor
103 reviews 103 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 47 cities Reviews in 47 cities
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 19, 2013

I've been here for 9 days now and the service has been impeccable, the food excellent, the beds comfortable and the wifi excellent. All in the middle of Nairobi. I do have to agree with the guest that said getting in and out can be difficult but that is true of everywhere one wants to go in Nairobi. The hotel did their best to move small groups of us around when taxis were stuck in traffic. I truly felt like a member of an exclusive club rather than a hotel guest.

Room Tip: Because I was here so long, they put me in a ground floor room overlooking the garden. Quiet and wi...
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled on business
    • 4 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 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 Chats2092,

Thank you for staying with us and we are glad you had a memorable stay.

We look forward to welcoming you back on your next visit to Nairobi.

Best regards,
Richard
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Austin, TX
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
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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Hong Kong, China
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
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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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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.
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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 Best Value Hotel in Nairobi
#7 Business Hotel in Nairobi
#7 Romantic Hotel in Nairobi
#11 Family Hotel in Nairobi
#12 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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