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“I loved returning to The Norfolk”

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Fairmont The Norfolk
Ranked #11 of 164 Hotels in Nairobi
Certificate of Excellence
South Carolina
Level 4 Contributor
24 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“I loved returning to The Norfolk”
Reviewed March 31, 2011

I have stayed at the Norfolk for portions of each of my seven or eight visits to Kenya. I was initially attracted to that hotel because of its amazing history, both as a centerpiece of historic Nairobi (and, therefore, Kenya) and as the famous host through the years of the likes of Ernest Hemingway, Robert Ruark, Teddy Roosevelt, various royalty, and the list goes on and on. When I sit on Lord Delamere's Terrace and realize that I am in the same spot as so many great writers, leaders, white hunters, rogues and rascals have previously sat, I am inspired.

After all these years, I return to the Norfolk because of the amazingly friendly welcome I receive and the genuiney manner in which the staff seeks to take care of me. Through the years, I have been able to get to know a number of the people there and the manner in which they remember me, even when I've been away for a long time, is exciting and humbling. I hesitate to mention names because I will have to omit too many. But, people like Naomi Njau (in management), Winnie and Susan (front desk), Alex, Jacson, Charles and others on the bellman staff, Daniel (security) and others truly make the Norfolk feel like my home away from home when I am in East Africa. I am deeply grateful to them for the great experience they allow me when I visit the Norfolk.

The hotel is well run. The rooms are of good size, modern and luxurious, comfortable, etc. The extra facilities, such as the pool and gym, are quite nice. Try to get a room facing the main courtyard and ask for one of the slightly larger rooms that has both a shower and a tub in the bathroom. The prices at the hotel, including the restaurants, have definitely increased since this became a Fairmont property. However, the breakfast buffet is still fantastic with a little of everything, whether you prefer fresh omelettes, English breakfasts, Indian dishes, truly fresh fruit and fresh-squeezed fruit juices, or a sampling of Kenyan food items. A leisurely breakfast on Lord Delamere's Terrace is, for me, pure pleasure.

Other than increasing prices, the only concern I have about the Norfolk had to do with our last night there (after returning from safari), when my traveling companion was given a very nice room that was back in an older section of the hotel facility. He had problems with mosquitoes and then, in the morning, had no hot water for his shower.

Otherwise, I highly recommend the Norfolk and truly look forward to returning.

One tip: If you become a member of the Fairmont frequent guest program, you can get free wireless internet access for your laptop (or other device) while staying at the Norfolk. If you forget to sign up before you go, ask at the front desk and they'll be glad to help you.

Second tip: Simply take a little time to speak with and get to know the staff. You will be glad you did!

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled on business
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Helpful?
2 Thank GlobalNomadTCK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Helsinki, Finland
Level 5 Contributor
49 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed March 28, 2011

We had a 2+1 nights' stay at the Norfolk while touring two weeks in Kenya. The hotel kept well its "luxury" promise with nice rooms, excellent breakfast buffet, cosy bar, wonderful garden & friendly staff.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank Matias66
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NH
Level 5 Contributor
71 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
Reviewed March 24, 2011

This was just my second stay at Norfolk in 28+ years of coming to Kenya. Clearly the historical significance can not be replicated and therefore a stay for at least one night. I far preferred the pre-renovation where it was the bar lounge overlooking the street. A must for a Cold Tusker. The high end restaurant made me feel like I was in New York not East Afica- which is not a good thing. Rooms were nice and clean. Service friendly and good for Kenya. I far prefer the Fairview for more relaxing environment with still a sense of historical Kenya.

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank exBostonian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level 3 Contributor
20 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed February 8, 2011

The Norfolk has been our hotel of choice in Nairobi for the past 15 years on our way to the Masai Mara (see review of Governors Camp). Since our last stay a few years ago the common areas have been refurbished and are great. The Lord Delamere restaurant at the front of the hotel is great for watching the world go by, service and food is very good. Our room was ok, nothing wrong with it, had everything we needed and was comfortable but I wouldn't say it was luxurious. Over the years we have stayed in some very poor rooms at the hotel but don't know if they have been done up now.

In summary, if you are only staying a couple of nights, the hotel is great and we will continue to stay at it.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank LostScouser
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ireland
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
Reviewed February 3, 2011

We stayed here for a couple of nights before and after safari. The public areas of the hotel are very nice and the grounds are lovely. Both rooms we stayed in were spacious, clean and modern although the bathroom of the first room was a lillte grubbier than the second.

The food in the hotel while by no means cheap, was excellent. We ate a few times in Lord Delamere Terrace.

We enquired about arranging a tour of Nairobi and the hotel provided a driver/guide with comfortable car. This worked well as it meant we could build our own itinerary.

As we were celebrating a wedding anniversary, we were given a bunch of roses and a cake. Nice touch.

Overall, we were very pleased we our choice of hotel in Nairobi.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Peig_Sayers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
86 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
Reviewed January 6, 2011

From the staff to the Gardens this place was fantastic. Rooms were well air conditioned no mosquitoes, comfortable beds, great pool (although they could do with a few more sun loungers), excellent bar (drinks fairly pricey for Kenya, buts that's a 5* hotel for you).
All in all a great place and would definitely return.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank JaseUK1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
�G|ϗϨ�
Level 6 Contributor
759 reviews
45 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 162 helpful votes
Reviewed December 20, 2010

Stayed there for two nights awaiting our Safari , Old colonial elegance and simplicity.
Very nice. Left luggage ,and gifts we had purchased in our first stop. Returned 10 days later after safari and used a 5 hour day room with friends and retrived our packages . They were very helpful

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank steverA8718SU
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

Property: Fairmont The Norfolk
Address: Harry Thuku Rd, Nairobi 00200, Kenya
Phone Number:
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:
#6 Family Hotel in Nairobi
#7 Romantic Hotel in Nairobi
#7 Business Hotel in Nairobi
#11 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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