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“BEST HOTEL IN TOWN” 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 #10 of 96 hotels in Nairobi
brussels
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“BEST HOTEL IN TOWN”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 13, 2010

an open welcoming hotel. good rooms aircondition. good gril restarant poor roomservice. poor setting for swimming pool.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled on business
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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434 people have reviewed this hotel

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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 (98)
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Vancouver, BC
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 9, 2010

The hotel is older but clean. The landscaping inside the courtyard was lovely.
The rooms have air conditioning but you have to turn it on when you arrive. There are flat screen tvs in rooms with BBC and CNN to find out what' going on in the outside world.
There is a Barclays bank with ATM at the end of the block for getting some Kenyan Shillings.
The breakfast buffet was good. It is served on the terrace. There were so many choices to choose from. I had a freshly made waffle one day.
The gift shop had an interesting array of items but quite pricey for the items available.
The internet was 500 shillings for one hour and was quite slow.

  • Stayed April 2010
    • 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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London
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 5, 2010

There is no doubt that it is special to stay in one of the earliest safari hotels, the home of the original Great White Hunters. However, you pay a serious price by anyone's standards.

Staff are generally very helpful and pleasant and appear to be genuinely happy to work there. However, a few things went wrong which they struggled to fix and I would expect more from such a pricey place.

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled on business
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Monarch Beach, California
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
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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London
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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Chicago
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.

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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:
#6 Luxury Hotel in Nairobi
#7 Romantic Hotel in Nairobi
#8 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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