I stayed at the hotel being a basic member of Fairmont President Club program (which still gives free internet access and free gym access to all members, therefore it is worth joining even if you never plan to stay at Fairmont property again).
I was traveling alone on a business trip
Hotel is located in central Nairobi in what I was told one of safest locations as central police is located within 200m from the hotel. The hotel selling point is that it creates an inclusive experience that you feel insulated from the outside world - if your windows face the courtyard you don't see anything or hear anything that goes on around the hotel. Hotel itself have several interconnected buildings (wings) the nicest being the ones around the courtyard. Hotel driver met us at the airport for the price of USD 30 per person one way. Trip took about 45 minutes but can be longer in rush hour traffic. Service is courteous but inconsistent - we were met with very old looking minibus which obviously was parked under the sun for quite long time as it took almost 15 minutes after engine start to bring temperature down to acceptable level. Transfer back to the airport was done by SUV.
Check-in and check-out formalities were handled relatively fast, although at times it appears as if reception people don't exactly know what they are doing. Check-in person was firstly insisting that I will have to pay for the internet, although after consulting with the colleagues he confirmed that it will be free (as a benefit of FPC). Check out was of similar duration with multiple iterations back and forth.
My room was on the ground floor of courtyard wing, therefore had the door outside with small patio. Windows were floor to ceiling, therefore for ground floor rooms little privacy exists and one have to keep curtains closed at all times. If privacy is something that is important for you, seek the room higher up. Room was of adequate size. The only annoyance was loudly ticking mechanical alarm clock which I had to lock in the bathroom each nigh
Bathroom was on the small size with no bath (only shower cubicle). Bathrobe and slippers were provided. Toiletries were of usual Fairmont kind (Miller Harris).
Staff mostly speaks English and was reasonably competent.
Internet access was free due to my President's club membership. It was fast and reliable.
Hotel has a restaurant and 2 bars (Lord Delamere Terrace and Cin Cin). Be prepared - due to captive audience, food is quite expensive. I did not go to the main restaurant but average dinner at either bars will set you back $70-80 per person. Breakfast was served at the Lord Delamere terrace and is also quite expensive at ~$30, but will have reasonable variety of cold items (although for the hotel of this category I would normally expect more), some fruits/vegetables and the egg station. There supposedly also is a tea room and the swimming pool bar, but I did not visit these.
Hotel has fitness facilities and outdoor swimming pool. It was the first time I've seen gym with windows open and air-conditioning off - which was quite hot at times (I don't know if they turned A/C off for winter). There is also business center with couple of computers.
Bottom line - there are not too many hotels from international chains in Nairobi - this one looked reasonably well although quite expensive to my liking.
If anyone has any questions related to this hotel I will be glad to answer (if I know the answer) - just ask.
- 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