The Norfolk is certainly my favorite hotel in Nairobi and from my experience probably the best in town. I also believe that it competes well with similar class hotels elsewhere in the world. The hotel has a number of things going for it. Above all there is a wonderful fusion of the old British colonial style of the property and grounds with first class modern rooms and facilities. The hotel has undergone a recent renovation (almost completed when I was there) that refreshed and updated rooms and public spaces. I also greatly enjoyed the very polite, friendly and helpful service of each and every staff member with whom I had the pleasure of interaction. During this stay and in the past everyone was thoroughly professional, always greeted with a smile and made one truly feel welcome. The property and gardens are very well kept. The green inner courtyard and the well insulated rooms give one a feeling of calm and serenity. At the same time you are seconds away from the hustle and bustle of Nairobi just beyond the main entrance. Everything in the Central Business District of Nairobi is within reasonable walking distance if one is so inclined (not recommended at night).
The rooms are luxurious and the bathrooms well appointed. In my wing the rooms had both baths and walk-in showers with regular and rainfall type shower heads. My only quibble about the bathrooms was that it seemed to take an overly long time for hot water to reach the shower head. The bed was very comfortable, if a bit soft to my taste.
The public areas are all wonderfully decorated and whether it's an indoor lounge/bar area, an outdoor terrace or a bench on the lawn, they all suit their purposes perfectly.
There is a small business center (often empty) with a few internet terminals and a great little shop with tasteful souvenirs and knickknacks.
On a slight downside I would mention the whole wifi issue and breakfast.
The hotel charges for wifi, which is not unusual but stingy in this day and age. At the same time, if you sign up for the President's Club (free) you immediately get the free wifi perk. I thing it is somewhat of a disagreeable ploy to get people to join the club (I guess they get points from Fairmont for signing people up). I say dump the ploy and give everybody free wifi access, at least for a limited time. Those who want to sign up for the club and plan to access its benefits will do so with or without wifi.
Breakfast is fine and you won't go hungry. It's also great having it on the front terrace. Having said that, I would expect a hotel of this caliber to have a much wider and higher quality selection of offerings and in larger quantities. What there is, is offered in pretty small, seemingly penny pinching quantities. In this category the Serena outshines them clearly. Too bad.
The hotel is well served by the clean well kept taxis of the Kenatco company. Make sure the doorman gets you one of them (always standing by across the street). Don't be tempted by any other cab drivers gesticulating at you from the street - you could be sorry.
Yes the hotel is not cheap, but that is par for the course at hotels of this type and in Nairobi it certainly is worth the price.
- 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