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“Nice Gardens and Service.” 3 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 #13 of 106 Hotels in Nairobi
London
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
36 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
58 helpful votes 58 helpful votes
“Nice Gardens and Service.”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 1, 2010

I stayed here during a recent business trip as a cheaper hotel nearby was fully booked.

The check-in process was pleasant and staff were courteous. Unforunately, my room was not ready when I arrived, so I was asked to take a seat in the bar area while it was prepared.

The room itself was satisfactory but nothing that justified the cost. The bedroom was a reasonable size with lovely garden and fountain views. The TV in the room was very small and too small to view from the bed. The channel listing in the remote control wallet was incorrect. Small details like this make me suspect that the hotel needs better management.

The bathroom was really tired looking and the shower was in very poor condition. Water pressure was poor and the shower head was throwing water sideways rather than down towards the person. Water leaked outside making the bathroom floor wet. The selection of toiletries in the room was very poor.

The restaurant was good although service was a little slow. A 10% service charge is automatically added and then another area is provided to enable you to tip a little more if you choose to.

I would probably not stay here again as the price tag seems far too high for what is offered.

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled on business
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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480 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
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Chicago
Top Contributor
221 reviews 221 reviews
54 hotel reviews
Reviews in 72 cities Reviews in 72 cities
134 helpful votes 134 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 10, 2010

We arrived at The Norfolk after hours and hours of traveling. Chicago to Amsterdam to Nairobi with many weather related delays. This lovely hotel was just what we needed to relax for a day or so before setting out on our two week safari. The room was beautiful, the beds softly enveloping, the shower warm and invigorating, the staff welcoming and accommodating. Breakfast featured fresh squeezed juices and omelets made to order. The courtyard took us away from the city noises and offered many spots to relax and enjoy the lovely weather and do a bit of bird watching. Internet, though not free, was readily available allowing us to let our daughters know we had arrived safely. Unfortunately, the pool was unavailable as it was being updated but everything else was just right! We returned to The Norfolk before heading to Jomo Kenyatta for our trip home and were given a lovely day room to relax and freshen up in prior to our night flight.

Stayed February 2010, traveled as a couple
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Sydney, Australia
Top Contributor
90 reviews 90 reviews
40 hotel reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
110 helpful votes 110 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 1, 2010

Overall, the Fairmont Norfolk is a very nice hotel and would be happy to stay again. There are a lot of positive aspects of the hotel: very clean, helpful staff, nice bar & restaurant, great rooms, great sleep. However, hotels should realise that the smallest negatives can outweigh so many positives; which brings me to the point of internet access: the charge here is around USD$7 per hour. Yes - $7 per hour.
It seems to me that in the hotel business, the more you pay for room, the more likely you are to pay for internet access: of the four hotels that I visited during my visit to Africa, this was the most expensive and the only one that charged for internet access.
I guess my suggestion to travellers is that if you're not after the internet, then I would highly recommend staying here because everything else was wonderful.

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled on business
    • 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
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Eastbourne, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 19, 2010

We were a little concerned about our reservation at the Norfolk having read some suspect reviews of the hotel on trip advisor. However on arrival at the Norfolk at 10am our room was ready for us, for which we were grateful following a night flight from London.

We decided to make the most of our brief stay in Nairobi and got taxi from the Norfolk to the Karen Blixen museum. The drive to the museum gave us a good opportunity to see Nairobi and the house its self was in a beautiful location and well worth the visit for fans of Out of Africa. We also visited the Karen Blixen coffee gardens and had a lovely lunch.

The food at the hotel was reasonably priced and we enjoyed the Cin Cin bar, with a great selection of cocktails. The hotel is very relaxed and calm, which we appreciated when we returned a week later after our safari.

The service at this hotel was very good, the staff very friendly with an amazing breakfast to set you up for the day. The hotel retains its colonial charm, with beautiful prints of kenya in the early 1900s on display.

I was very pleased that I chose this hotel as it was the perfect start and end to our safari.

  • Stayed February 2010
    • 4 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 12, 2010

Friendly staff - very helpful and welcoming
Rooms: Comfortable, clean and nice size
Restaurant: Lovely food and knowledgeable staff.
Bars: Friendly bar staff and good range of drinks

Stayed February 2010, traveled on business
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Melbourne
Top Contributor
133 reviews 133 reviews
83 hotel reviews
Reviews in 67 cities Reviews in 67 cities
116 helpful votes 116 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 28, 2010

We booked 2 Deluxe rooms for ourselves and our two sons. Upon arrival we were given 2 rather dingy looking rooms on the ground floor which faced onto a brick wall. We asked to move rooms (couldn't help but wonder what the standard rooms were like if these were Deluxe). After an hour they found two adjacent rooms on the second floor which faced the courtyard. These rooms were so much better - lighter and a bit more space particularly in the twin room. We did have a problem with the noisy air conditioner which kept me awake until I switched it off and ended up trying to sleep in a very stuffy room. My husband is a Fairmont member but didn't have his card - they thought it would be too hard to locate his number in the system so didn't bother.

Breakfast was included and there was plenty of choice. Kids used the pool which they really enjoyed.

All in all just another hotel for me - nothing special at all. Just make sure you dont get a room facing the brick wall of the neighbouring property.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Kuwait City, Kuwait
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
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
Was this review helpful? Yes
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 > 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:
#8 Romantic Hotel in Nairobi
#9 Business Hotel in Nairobi
#10 Luxury Hotel in Nairobi
#14 Family 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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