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“Historic, lovely colonial hotel” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Fairmont The Norfolk

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Fairmont The Norfolk
Ranked #4 of 156 Hotels in Nairobi
Certificate of Excellence
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
85 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
“Historic, lovely colonial hotel”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 22, 2013

It's in a quiet location, which matters in Nairobi. There is a lovely shaded courtyard. Restaurants under broad porches are charming.
The pool is not exceptional, but for how badly you may need peace and tranquility while in Nairobi!

They have an EXCELLENT burger at the pool (try it.)

The desk staff is friendly and professional.

The reason I don't give it a higher rating: I arrived at 2:30am from a long trip (Abuja to Addis Ababa to Nairobi), and desperately wanted a hot shower. Turned on the shower, only cold water... Called the front dest (really didn't want to repackage and move, but would have... But it wasn't an option); they sent a maintenance guy who gave it some puzzling looks and said "fixed!"... I ran it, said "this feels warm to you?"... Pause... "No, in think the hot water pipe is clogged, I'll fix it tomorrow."

Very good is being charitable.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank 1k_by_June
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Richard K, General Manager at Fairmont The Norfolk, responded to this review, May 28, 2013
Dear 1k_by_June,

Thank you for taking time to share your very impressive feedback following your recent visit to Nairobi.

We are humbled by your comments and happy that our product accompanied by our dedicated team ensured that your stay is exceptional.

Please accept our apologies for the hot water inconvenience which I have addressed with the Chief engineer to ensure seamless service delivery.

We look forward to have the opportunity to welcome you back to our hotel.

Best regards,

Richard
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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837 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (180)
Date | Rating
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English first
Perth, Western Australia, Australia
Level Contributor
84 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 21, 2013

We started our African Safari here. The Location is OK (for Nairobi) the Lobby/Bar is great. The décor is classical. The grounds and gardens are great & well maintained. The rooms are very comfortable with all the facilities you would expect in a 5 star hotel.

The food & service is very good, the staff are courteous, and are willing to help in an way. We got in late, so didn't appreciate the dinner, a few beers & a quick meal before bed, but the breakfast was fantastic!

The Australian Hospitality Industry could learn a lot from their Kenyan colleagues.

Room Tip: Look for the garden view
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 3 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
Helpful?
Thank Graham B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Richard K, General Manager at Fairmont The Norfolk, responded to this review, May 28, 2013
Dear Graham B,

Thank you for your valuable review. We are delighted to learn you enjoyed your overall stay at Fairmont The Norfolk.

We are delighted to learn that you also liked our rooms, lobby/bar, gardens, food and quality of service.

We look forward to welcoming you back in the future!

Best regards,

Richard
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cape town
Level Contributor
14 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 17, 2013

My second time at this hotel. The perfect place to relax in Nairobi. Very good service, extremely attentive and very professional. The meals are great, and the rooms are extremely comfortable. Also a nice gym, and garden setting. After long days in Nairobi, the Norfolk is the perfect.
Good wireless and internet access, plus all mod cons. Not an ideal hotel for a stay with kids, but for business and or a stay over on the way through to another destination, it is perfect. Highly recommended.

Room Tip: Any of the rooms, looking onto the centre garden.
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled on business
    • 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
Helpful?
Thank SimonCY
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Richard K, General Manager at Fairmont The Norfolk, responded to this review, May 21, 2013
Dear SimonCY,

Thank you for choosing Fairmont The Norfolk as your preferred hotel and for writing such a complimentary review on TripAdvisor.

We strive to give exceptional service to all our guests and it is great to hear such positive feedback. I will certainly share the review with my Team.

We look forward to welcoming you to our hotel in the near future.

Best regards,
Richard
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 11, 2013

I stayed here on a work trip 8 nights in Nairobi, it was a perfect location and hotel to return to in the evenings after being out all day for work. The hotel restaurants are alright if you are staying in for the evening.

The room was lovely and spacious with a view on the inside courtyard.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank hayatb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Richard K, General Manager at Fairmont The Norfolk, responded to this review, May 21, 2013
Dear Hayatb,

Thank you for taking the time to share you feedback on your recent stay with us.

We are glad to hear our location was convenient for your needs in the city and appreciate that you found our rooms to be lovely and spacious.

Once again, many thanks and we hope to welcome you back again in the future.

Best regards,

Richard
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 7, 2013

I keep on coming back to this place. tried the other`luxury` ones , the new ones in Nairobi , but is is for me how a hotel has to be. Welcoming , clean , good food , the bar is perfect , the Tatu a little overpriced , the breakfast terrace is so nice and so much food you can spend a morning , the rooms big , clean , bathrooms updated , soaps perfect , what can i say more ? Location , perfect close to city center , walk don't take a cab , but quit enough . nice mix between old style and what guests need now . not the much ado about nothing from the newer luxury temples .
stay here you will not regret . a little minus maybe , they should include breakfast in the room price , i hate to sign bills when still a little sleepy :)

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled on business
    • 4 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
Helpful?
Thank STONNE
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Richard K, General Manager at Fairmont The Norfolk, responded to this review, May 21, 2013
Dear Stonne,

Thank you for choosing to stay at Fairmont The Norfolk.

We are happy that we did measure up to your expectations and that you found the hotel welcoming, clean and the rooms big as well as the food great. I am also pleased to inform you that we revised all our menu prices and should you visit us again, you will enjoy pocket friendly prices.

We look forward to have the opportunity to welcome you back to our hotel.

Best regards,

Richard
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Londoner
Level Contributor
29 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 7, 2013

I stayed for three nights at The Norfolk and had a fantastic time. The room itself was very nice and quiet, overlooking the main courtyard, the room service, bar and restaurants were all of a very high standard and the hotel gym was also great. I had a very peaceful and relaxing stay which I didn't necessarily expect because it was so close to the centre of town. Sitting outside on the breakfast balcony you can watch the world go by and yet you are just a couple of minutes away from the hustle and bustle (and traffic) of Nairobi. I must also add that the concierge helped me to organise a car to take me to the elephant orphanage, despite being very busy with a large business group which was greatly appreciated.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled solo
    • 4 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
Helpful?
Thank sevendialsgirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Israel
Level Contributor
150 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 197 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 6, 2013

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.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled on business
    • 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
Helpful?
1 Thank wolfman50
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Richard K, General Manager at Fairmont The Norfolk, responded to this review, May 10, 2013
Dear Wolfman50,

On behalf of the team here at Fairmont The Norfolk, I want to thank you for taking the time to provide such detailed feedback on your recent stay with us.

We are very delighted that you found our service and facilities to be satisfactory and certainly your observations make us strive harder to maintain and improve our offering.

Thank you also for your comments in regards to our Wi-Fi charges and breakfast quantities & quality selection which I shall appraise with the rest of the team.

We certainly look forward to welcoming you back again should you visit Kenya in the future.

Kind Regards,

Richard
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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:
#4 Luxury Hotel in Nairobi
#6 Family Hotel in Nairobi
#7 Romantic Hotel in Nairobi
#7 Business 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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