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“Fabulous Stay at this Beautiful Hotel” 5 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 #10 of 96 hotels in Nairobi
Monarch Beach, California
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
“Fabulous Stay at this Beautiful Hotel”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 14, 2010

My husband and I stay at the Norfolk in October of last year. Sorry for the delay in writing this review as we have been "on the road" much of the past six months.

This was one beautiful hotel. It has a grand and interesting history. I must say we are partial and very fond of Fairmont properties. While a chain they NEVER seem like a chain as each property is unique in so many ways. We arrived at this hotel early evening after being in flight close to 30 hours, I think. So we were pretty tired. It was raining lightly. The Norfolk was our welcome to the next 5 plus weeks in Africa. It was our best accommodation on our trip.

Our room was a junior garden suite and though a bit on the spendy side it was perfect. The bed was luxurious. The bath had a walk-in shower (with no tub which is fine for us) and the bathroom was quite large. The sheets, towels and amenities were wonderful and plentiful. The view of the garden was lovely. We ate all breakfasts on the Terrace and they were buffets and excellent. We had dinner at the Tatu and is was very excellent, probably the best meal we had in five weeks in Africa.

We arrange to stay here for three nights before heading out to the Massai Mara and on to the rest of our tours just to rest a bit from the long trip and to adjust to the time change. We were feeling so fit after a wonderful night's sleep that we engaged our tour company, Pollman's Tours for two days of touring around Nairobi. Anderson from Pollman's Tours was the best. The rest of our Kenya tours were preplanned but we left Nairobi open to see how we felt. So that morning he arranged for us to get to Mass at Holy Family Basilica (a wonderful experience) see Karen Blixen's home, have lunch at Karen Blixen Garden Cafe, the Giraffe Center, and the Boma's of Kenya. A great day. The next day we visited The Daphne Sheldrick Animal Orphanage, did a city tour, the Village Market, a Catholic Shrine, and KADET an NGO we support, and the Kenya Museum. What a wonderful two days in Nairobi.

Our entire experience in Nairobi was wonderful. And especially the hotel. The best part of the hotel was the service. Every staff member went out of his or her way to make our stay enjoyable. The offered assistance at every turn and even gave us business cards to contact them while in Africa is we got into any difficulties. Need I say we have nothing negative on positive things to say about this hotel. If you can afford a little splurge this is the place to do it.

one small note of information - the first night we were quite cool in our room but used the huge towel for extra bedding. I don't think there is heating in the rooms as I am sure it isn't need most of the year. When we mentioned this the next day we were promptly supplied with a room heater that was just great. So if you are there when it is a bit cool don't hesitate to ask for a room heater.

another note - our upstair garden suite required stairs so if you can't manage a single flight of stairs you should make that known when you are making a reservation.

one last note - our experience here perhaps set too high a bar as we found ourselves holding the Forfolk up as the standard while we were in Africa and nothing quite as good. The Royal Livingston in Zambia was the close second but the only real conteneder.

  • Stayed October 2009, 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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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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English first
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
36 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
56 helpful votes 56 helpful votes
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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Top Contributor
185 reviews 185 reviews
51 hotel reviews
Reviews in 65 cities Reviews in 65 cities
113 helpful votes 113 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
91 reviews 91 reviews
41 hotel reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
112 helpful votes 112 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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Top Contributor
132 reviews 132 reviews
82 hotel reviews
Reviews in 67 cities Reviews in 67 cities
115 helpful votes 115 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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Additional Information about Fairmont The Norfolk

Address: Harry Thuku Rd, Nairobi 00200, Kenya
Location: Kenya > Nairobi > Nairobi Central Business District
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:
#6 Luxury Hotel in Nairobi
#7 Romantic Hotel in Nairobi
#9 Business Hotel in Nairobi
#12 Family 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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