We utilised the Norfolk before and after commencement of our Kenyan/Tanzanian safari.
Check in for our first arrival went through without any drama's and it was a novelty receiving the warm washer and cool drink on arrival. However we were taken out to the verandah in the garden courtyard for our briefing on dusk and the area was rife with mosquito's.
We continued up to our rooms which comfortably accommodated 2 persons and would be of a 4 star standard. However, both our rooms were full of mosquitoes. I rang reception to have the room sprayed before dinner, which they organised, however when we returned from dinner there were even more mosquitoes in the room. Another phone call to housekeeping and they sent the gentleman to the room again. This time I stayed in the room whilst he sprayed and then realised why we had mosquitoes in the room. The staffs idea of spraying is totally different to us from the West. He gave the room 3 x 1 second squirts. The room needed a good burst of spray. Once the can was left with us, we alleviated the problem.
Breakfast was fine on the Verandah. Dinner choices on the verandah restaurant were ideally suited to families, however being an old-world colonial hotel, I was personally disappointed with menu choices. I don't like to eat what I cook at home every night, when I'm eating in a restaurant.
Our first visit we quite enjoyed. When we returned to the hotel, approximately nine days later, hotel checks in were appalling. Although the bookings had been placed with an agency 6 months prior, hotel reception managed to botch it up and it took over an hour to check in 9 people. When we got to our rooms we swapped the keys around so my brother got the triple room, my parents got the queen bed, and we got the two twins.
We organised dinner again on the restaurant on the verandah, as we thought we could get in and out quickly, travelling with 3 teenagers and a 10 yo. and a 4am departure the next morning. We'd had a big day of travelling, drinks, orders meals were extremely slow and plates remained uncleared.
Within hours, 6 out of 9 us ended up with varying extremes of gastro (from vomiting to being permanently attached to a toilet throughout the night). 6 of us had selected the same meal. This is not expected when booking a 5 star hotel and what is considered the best place to stay in Nairobi. In 4 weeks of travel, throughout 6 countries, this was the only place that this occurred.
When we arrived at our room for the second visit, on dusk, we were again given the same hotel room. The mosquito problem prevailed again, however on checking the window/sliding glass had not been closed and was open several cm's. Again we went through the spray routine.
The room did get very hot during the night, partly our fault as we hadn't utilised the air-conditioning. However, we required drinking water during the night and as you can't drink tap water and we had already utilised our 300ml water supply each, we selected a 500ml bottle of water out of the mini-bar at 3am as my daughters also did in their room.
When I've gone to check-out, I advised about the water and that we had to use water from the mini-bar as there wasn't sufficient water in the room.
I was told that I would have to pay for this. When I let the girl on reception know that I was not happy about this, I was advised I should have rung house keeping at 3am if I required more drinking water. As we waited for over an hour to have the room sprayed, we weren't about to do this in the middle of the night. Plus we were not well.
I'm not tight by any means, but object to paying 5 star prices in US $ for water when there should be sufficient in the room to clean teeth before bed and in the morning, and for a glass of water during the night, especially when one's not well.
The hotel really needs direction from management as it does have the potential to be quite an okay place to stay.
Also if using the hotel for safari commencement, once the airport hotel (I think Inter-Continental or western chain hotel) is complete at Kenyatta, I would consider. It took us 3 hours to drive from the airport to the Norfolk in peak hour traffic (normally a 30 minute drive) arriving in the evening. We didn't see any of Nairobi arriving at this time. The next morning we were collected at 8am, which was again peak hour and had to drive past the airport on our way to Amboseli. The same scenario when we returned from Tanzania. We had to be collected from the Norfolk at 4am to ensure we got to the airport in time for our flight. An airport hotel would have saved us probably 8-9 hours in travelling time.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.