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“Top notch decor and comfort, beautiful setting, service sometimes slips” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Fairmont The Norfolk

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Fairmont The Norfolk
Ranked #6 of 161 Hotels in Nairobi
Certificate of Excellence
San Francisco
Level Contributor
58 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 120 helpful votes
“Top notch decor and comfort, beautiful setting, service sometimes slips”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 4, 2013

Like many guests, we stayed here twice - before and after a safari. Our rooms were impeccably decorated with many delightful touches you expect at a five star hotel. For instance, I loved the particularly cushy slippers. Also handy was the ability to charge North American appliances without an adaptor. Our first room was more spacious but quite noisy due to construction at Nairobi University next door. We asked for a new room, which was quite a bit smaller but had a lovely view of the courtyard which is truly beautiful. Beds and linens were quite comfy. The front desk made an error (forgot to send a wake up call? I can't remember). They were apologetic but rather overwhelmed with a large tour group. Individual travelers can get overlooked in the wake of large groups. Service at the restaurant for lunch was painfully slow. The breakfast buffet was superb. Service at the front desk varied from a lovely young woman who couldn't do enough to an indifferent guy with an attitude.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank PHguide
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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881 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (192)
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English first
Level Contributor
24 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 28, 2013

Stayed at the Norfolk for two nights on Business and I really enjoyed my stay
- I didn't get the feeling of worness and I was in one of the more dated rooms as all the mod cons were there in abundance
- The ambiance of the place in fantastic, the grounds beautiful, lush and well kept, it feels like colonial Africa (in a good way)
- The 'in hotel' dining and drinking options are excellent compared to other hotels I've stayed at the Cin Cin bar actually has a really pleasant atmosphere rather than a typical sterile hotel bar feel
- But the thing which really made my experience were the staff - who were excellent. From the porters to the check in staff to the waiters in the bar, all my colleague and I got was ear to ear smiles and genuine helpfulness

Overall I would really recommend, unless your main priority is a sense of 'the new' - If you are looking for that, look elsewhere as it isn't really what this hotel is about. I would say this is about understated elegance!

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Nc5980
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, December 2, 2013
Dear Nc5980,

Thank you for sharing your experience with us. It is great that you found our colleagues to be exceptional and helpful.

We also appreciate your compliments for our rooms, dining and our beverage offers.

We look forward to welcoming you back at Fairmont The Norfolk during your next visit to Nairobi.

Best regards,

Richard
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ramsbury Wiltshire
Level Contributor
18 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 18, 2013

I just hate going to well healed hotels where one feels it necessary to behave because the staff appear critical and stuffy. This is a well healed hotel where the staff are professional, respectful, courteous and efficient but appear to enjoy the presence of the guests and are friendly and helpful.Their time seems just for you and the welcome is of an old friend. The food and rooms are exemplary. A lovely stay

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank PeterPageGoldsmith
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, December 2, 2013
Dear PeterPageGolds,

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

We are pleased that you were impressed with our rooms, professionalism, courtesy, friendly and helpful colleagues.

We look forward to an opportunity to welcome you once again in the near future.

Best regards,

Richard
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
39 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 12, 2013

Whilst travelling to Nairobi on business, I had the luxury of staying at the Fairmont Norfolk hotel.

We had to apply a fair bit of negotiation to receive a fair rate as this is one of the most exclusive and historical hotels in the city. The stay was very comfortable, with great dining and shopping experiences which added much flavour to my stay.

They were rather quick to resolve any problems I encountered. I had some challenges with hot water in my shower that was resolved swiftly and with a smile.

I was particularly enamoured by their amazing courtyard's expansive greenery.

I am certainly returning to this hotel.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Arcan0m
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, December 2, 2013
Dear Arcan0m,

Thank you for your great feedback.

We are grateful for your compliments. We will keep up the spirit and momentum to ensure that our guests always feel at home when they are in Nairobi.

We hope to see you back soon.

Best regards,
Richard
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
31 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 11, 2013

I agree with some of the other reviewers that this hotel has seen better days. The decor is very 80s. The plumbing is very colonial....at least it's indoor. Also, the "colonial flavor' one person refers to is only relevant to part of the hotel; a large section of the hotel is actually from the 70s or 80s and not that special at all. However, the food was great and breakfast buffet was terrific. I probably wouldn't choose to stay there again, but it's perfectly fine if you adjust your expectations.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank lajavaguy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charlotte, North Carolina
Level Contributor
177 reviews
48 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 115 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 10, 2013

I have been to Africa several times and almost always end up in Nairobi. I have always stayed at The Norfolk but have not been there for several years. it still is an amazing place. Surrounded as it is by the hectic Nairobi traffic it is an oasis in the bedlam. The rooms are quiet and beds welcoming. The pool, work-out room and spa are world class. They are on par with any US hotel. The courtyard is much like a Zen garden and evokes images of British Kenya. The staff is always welcoming and always guest friendly and oriented. When in Nairobi this is the only hotel to stay at.

Room Tip: Rooms overlooking the first courtyard are my favorites.
See more room tips
  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Charles R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kenya
Level Contributor
99 reviews
64 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 8, 2013 via mobile

I just went in for a quick snack, I had to wait 10 minutes and then went to search for a waitress to be served, had coffee and a croissant for 991 Kenya Shillings = more than $10! And was told there was no change, problem with coins! Needless to say I didn't leave a tip but give them one now, you're in Nairobi not London, charge more reasonable prices!

Stayed November 2013, traveled on business
Helpful?
1 Thank Andy W
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 Luxury Hotel in Nairobi
#6 Family Hotel in Nairobi
#7 Business Hotel in Nairobi
#7 Romantic 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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