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“Terribly Disappointed!” 2 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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3rd Night FREE
Ranked #13 of 129 Hotels in Nairobi
Certificate of Excellence
Moscow, Russia
Level Contributor
18 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Terribly Disappointed!”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 25, 2010

We had dined at the Norfolk twice during the summer of 2008, and when we knew we'd be back in Nairobi over New Year's, after staying five nights at the Fairmont Mara Safari Club (which was fabulous), we decided to stay at the Norfolk. I was able to get a very good rate through the President's Club and thankfully we hadn't paid the hotel's direct full rate online. We'd previously stayed at the Fairview and the Country Lodge, and after one night we so wished we had returned there again. Why on earth, on December 30, over a major holiday weekend, would both restaurants be closed for renovations? The Delamere porch restaurant and the inside newer restaurant. They kept saying that they'd both be open for New Year's Eve, but that didn't help us on our first night there. We had lunch in the bar, which was fine, but for dinner, we had to sit on the patio facing the courtyard and had the absolute worst meal and service we've ever experienced. My husband ordered red wine by the glass, as I chose to go with a white I'd enjoyed at lunch, and he had to not only send one back, but the second as well. They were both horrible. I mentioned to our male waiter, who could not have cared less, that we'd noticed an Argentenian Malbec on the menu in the bar, but the waiter said he could not go in there to get a glass for my husband. However, we noticed other drinks going back and forth! After dinner, we thought we'd enjoy a nice drink in the bar, but when we walked in, there was disco music playing and also a huge TV showing some sports event. The lack of ambience did it for us, so we called it a night! Right then, my husband said "We'll never stay in this hotel again, nor will we even come back for a meal!" I agreed! Our room was lovely, but when the hotel's generator kicked in during the middle of the night, our A/C went off and we woke to an extremely hot room at 5:30AM. We had to call three times before someone came to fix it. I have to commend the reception staff and the doormen, all of whom took excellent care of us. One of the girls at the front desk even sent a dozen roses to my room, for some unknown reason, which was a complete, and lovely surprise. Naiomi, who works in online reservations came out to greet us, as we'd had quite a bit of correspondence arranging the two Fairmont properties we stayed at in Kenya. She was a true delight and a huge asset to the Fairmont! Luckily, we had booked another restaurant for New Year's Eve, Alan Bobbe's, which was wonderful, but upon returning to the Norfolk just before midnight, the place was dead. Not one person in the bar and this was New Year's Eve. What has happened to this lovely, old hotel that once had so much atmosphere and charm? The new hotel has definitely lost it and it probably will never be the same! Sad! Won't ever stay there again and will return to the Fairview or the Country Lodge. But, do try Tribe Hotel/Restaurant if you don't mind being a bit further out of town, but definitely go for a meal!

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled on business
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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598 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
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uk
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2010

having stayed at the norfolk 4 or 5 x over he last 15 years, very disappointed by the changes. All the colonial charm gone - now just another faceless business hotel. Staff very friendly and service good, but rooms very dark. Chopping much of the trees down leaves the gardens open and uninviting. New terrace bar on street poorly finished with raw concrete finish to front wall.
Central Nairobi no longer a good place to overnight for connecting flights (is there any other good reason to go there other than business?) - city traffic ever worse, and the norfold v close to university - source of many disruptive events (during which the city centre comes to a standstill and lives often lost!!)
Karen a better place to be - less risk of traffic jams and demonstrations, and semi-rural atmosphere. If you need a good grustworthy taxidriver, try Stephen Mwangi [--] - used him for years with never a problem. Hotels? Karen Blixens, House of Wayne much nicer than Norfolk.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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bensville
Level Contributor
10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2010

Could not have been more impressed with this establishment.
We had an amazing time on safari and this was our place of respite before proceeding to Egypt.
To my surprise on arrival we had been upgraded to a suite which was roomy and quiet. We were well looked after and got a great price on the stay. I would recommend and we had a great albeit short stay that we could not fault. The steak we had from the grill was very good as well. Overall we found our stay here faultless and seemless which is how we like it when we travel. highly recommend.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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on the go
Level Contributor
116 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 28, 2009

We enjoyed our stay at the Fairmont Norfolk for 6 nights. It’s in the city center, about a 30 minute drive (in good traffic) from the airport. The Police station and a college is down the street. 2 minutes walking distance is a Barclays bank/ATM, and 10 minutes away is the city market.

We had a room in the Delemere wing and it was very clean, well arranged, and very comfortable. I'm not sure why but our room didn't get but a few mosquitos, while others in another wing had a lot! Our room had 2 comfortable twin beds, a flat screen TV, a minibar fridge, a desk & chair, supplies for tea or coffee, plenty of closet space, an easy to use safe, and air conditioning! 2 bottled waters were provided daily. The bathroom had a tub with shower (water pressure was ok), a hairdryer, robes if you wanted to use them, or towels. There was one luggage table/cabinet but our suitcase was hanging over; one day we came in to find an additional cabinet for us – very nice and attentive of the housekeeper!

The courtyard and grounds were well maintained and the staff was always helpful. Our keycard stopped working and after the attempted fix, they sent a colleague to accompany us to ensure it worked. It didn’t so we just made due. They charged for wifi, 500 Shillings for 1 hour (use within 24hrs). Speed seemed ok. Local calls were about $0.50/USD cents a minute. Buffet breakfast was included for us and there was a variety of offerings: omelets made on the spot, fruit, cereals, many juices, pastries, eggs, sausages, crepes, pancakes, potatoes, etc. There were 3 restaurants on site but there were many service charges for the convenience so if you have the time, pay a taxi to eat elsewhere. We went on safari and they held our luggage until our return.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Dubai
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 15, 2009

The Norfolk Fairmont remains one of Nairobi's most charming hotels. I arrived late evening and the welcome was warm and professional. After freshening up, we visited the bar which has a great ambience and overlooks the garden. After a few G&T's time disappeared and actually reversed to 1930's Africa!! Most rooms have a Victorian style decor but are comfortable and all the utilities, A/C, phones, hot water all work well. Breakfast on the terrace overlooking the street was nice. Not as extensive as I thought it should be for the price though. The location is OK. Not as central as The Stanley or Grand Regency but certainly accessible. All in all a comfortable stay and good for either business trip or as a overnight to or from safari.

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Michigan
Level Contributor
41 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 13, 2009

The staff at the norfolk were nice and accomidating. The taxi service through the hotel was superb, as they had the taxis wait for us when shopping and come back after dinner. They also negotiated rates so we didn't have to. There was no elevator though so you had to walk a litttle ways and up stairs to get to your rooms. The hotel itself was beautiful and clean and the rooms comfortable. The restaurants were VERY expensive but yummy!

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 8, 2009

The most beautiful hotel I never been in Africa. Classic but magical place, amazing people and better accommodation

Stayed September 2006, traveled as a couple
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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
#10 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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