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“Consistently sloppy service and serious security concerns”

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Fairmont The Norfolk
Ranked #11 of 167 Hotels in Nairobi
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed December 29, 2013

In the past few months I and my work colleagues have stayed several times at the Norfolk and I consider myself as knowing the property pretty well. The Front Desk staff has consistently delivered a rather sloppy service, the quality of the service would totally depend on who checked you in and who the duty manager was at the time of your arrival. Most of the time the duty manager is nowhere to be seen so if you face an issue the front desk staff member is not able to deal with, it will take a long time to escalate to a supervisor. The worst experience I had was last week during Christmas: the lady who checked me in insisted in allocating a room I was absolutely not happy with (again, I know the property pretty well). The Duty Manager, Mr. Mututi (I think) came after she called him and instead of helping, he was downright rude. His tone of voice and overall demeanor was bossy and almost aggressive. Totally inappropriate behaviour. I felt really appalled and decided not to argue.

Another major issue is the security at the hotel. After the WEsgate attacks one would think the security has stepped up. Beware that this is not the case. After business hours, say late at night or early in the morning, virtually anyone can enter the hotel. I usually check out very early from the hotel (at around 5am) and the front desk stay can be seem sleeping around the lobby couches or behind the counter. The security checks at the door are spartan. The terrace restaurant opens to the street, no one on watch.

In a nutshell, rude service and questionable security at the Norfolk. Fairmont's senior management has much work to do!

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled on business
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3  Thank Lemantraveller
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 reviewResponded January 10, 2014

Dear Lemantraveller,

Thanks for sharing your feedback.

Kindly accept our sincere apologies for the inconveniences caused to you.
Kindly note that management’s objective continues to be consistent delivery of professional
service by ensuring that guests’ expectations are exceeded and giving value for money.

Please note that we have taken action on the matter you raised on security. We have also responded to you directly via e-mail.

We hope that this incident will not deter you from staying with us 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.
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614 - 620 of 1,037 reviews

Reviewed December 29, 2013

We stayed at this gorgeous hotel pre and post Safari. It was heaven with luxury linens, elegant baths, and excellent service. Porters and room service were fast and friendly. Breakfast buffet was exceptional for Kenya and dinner at Tatu was probably the best meal we had throughout our safari. I loved the fact that you can plug in your devices directly in the room without an adaptor.
Infinity edge pool was a delight and the central courtyard was lush. Location is not great for walking around but our Tour company always had a car available for us to go anywhere so that was not an issue for us. I highly recommend the Norfolk.

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with friends
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2  Thank Joyce V
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 reviewResponded January 10, 2014

Dear itchyfootDallas,

Thank you for your review regarding your recent stay with us.

We are happy to learn that our quality of rooms, breakfast and courteousness of our personnel met your expectation, thus your memorable experience with our hotel.

We look forward to another opportunity to host you 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.
Reviewed December 29, 2013

i stayed at this hotel from jul 10 2013 to jul 12 2013. The rooms were really great, with excellent pool, and great room service. I liked the stay very much. Still, wasn't the best hotel during our safari trip.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank Janek_Dobiesz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 25, 2013

Make sure to see the different types of rooms as some are the size of a coat closet and some are like suites. Very comfortable beds, clean, great amenities. The internet is annoying that you have to keep logging on over and over during your stay. The service in the Delamere restaurant leaves something to be desired. While the choices of food are awesome, the wait staff needs to better trained to follow up. Service is slow and inattentive in this restaurant. Grounds are beautiful. Great pool and spa--good massage service--very well trained therapist for deep tissue massage.

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled on business
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3  Thank lsfcmh
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 reviewResponded January 10, 2014

Dear isfcmh,

Thank you for posting your review. We are always happy to receive feedback.

We are grateful that you found our rooms nice and comfortable and the health club services excellent.

We apologize for the internet inconveniences and the slow service in the Lord Delamere Restaurant which has since been addressed with the respective colleagues.

We look forward to welcoming you back in the near future.

Best regards,
Richard

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Reviewed December 19, 2013

I stayed at the Norfolk for two nights on business. It's twenty years since I had been to Africa and there is no doubt that the standards of comfort, cleanliness and general efficiency have improved to Euro- American standards. Even so in the process something of the soul of the place has, I suspect, been lost.
Before Fairmont took it over, it was a Hotel that for many years had been run as a long standing family business and the centre of colonial social life, as evidenced by the many faded photos of past times that hang around the hotel walls.Locals I spoke with say it's lost something; perhaps they would say that. It used to have a view of fields and parks but its been swamped by Narobi City and its very lovely Verandha bar and restaurant looks out on a scruffy road and the unlovely back gates of some kind of university.
Still the courtyard garden is very pretty and well tended and you can eat and drink by the side of that too. It's a fine hotel if you aren't intending stepping out to sample the city but a bit of a walk away from the central business and shopping district if you would like to.

If you are kind of anxious about being in Africa unattended then this, if you have $300-$400 dollars a night, may be for you. If you want to have a less cosetted experience then chose something downtown.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled on business
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1  Thank kevin M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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1  Thank PHguide
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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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 reviewResponded 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.
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Additional Information about 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 Business Hotel in Nairobi
#7 Romantic Hotel in Nairobi
#11 Luxury Hotel in Nairobi
Price Range: $198 - $307 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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