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“Great room” 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 #12 of 102 Hotels in Nairobi
Epsom, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Great room”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 24, 2013

We stayed at the Norfolk for one night before heading off on our safari trip - the hotel was booked through Emirates holidays as part of our honeymoon, and on arrival we were pleasantly surprised to find that we had been upgraded to a suite in the newer part of the hotel. The hotel has the feel of a traditional colonial residence, and our room had a lovely view over the gardens. The room itself was very clean, although there was a problem with the sink plug not opening properly - hardly a deal-breaker though! The bed was nice and comfy, and there were no problems at all with insects during the night - breakfast in the morning was incredible, with a full selection of cereals, cooked breakfast options, as well as omelettes made to order! We left our larger bags at the hotel when we visited the Masai Mara, and despite having a luggage ticket, telling the porters when we were returning and that we were in a hurry for the airport, they still took an age to find our bags. Considering the number of porters milling around the entrance, it was slightly disappointing that there didn't seem to be anyone taking charge - a minor blemish on what was otherwise a lovely stay.

  • Stayed September 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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462 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 (105)
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Brussels, Belgium
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
93 reviews 93 reviews
87 hotel reviews
Reviews in 79 cities Reviews in 79 cities
138 helpful votes 138 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
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
82 helpful votes 82 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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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
american living in paris
Top Contributor
65 reviews 65 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
27 helpful votes 27 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
23 reviews 23 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
35 helpful votes 35 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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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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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 > 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:
#5 Business Hotel in Nairobi
#8 Romantic Hotel in Nairobi
#9 Luxury 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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