The Norfolk Hotel has now been named the Fairmont Hotel and is a wonderful, old, colonial hotel, dating back to 1904.
Many famous people from Theodore Roosevellt to Karen Blixen stayed here, and a whole host of the early settlers. The moment you step over the threshold, and the beaming doorman welcomes you in, you enter not only a luxurious 5 star hotel, geared up with every modern convenience, but you also enter an era of romance and adventurers, chivalry and elegance.
Afternoon tea on the verandah is a lovely way to visit this old colonial hotel. Since it was taken over from the Fairmont chain, it could be viewed as just one more five star hotel in Nairobi, among many others, but to us we feel it still has something a little special to offer.
Altogether, the Fairmont has 165 guest rooms and suites, however, the rooms are spread out in several “wings” some in the older historical part of the hotel and others in the more modern part of the hotel dating from the hotels expansion in 1999. There are also several cottages with their own private verandas which are nice. The rooms are spacious and have stunning interiors, being individually furnished in keeping with the rest of the hotels plush decor.
Restaurants & Bars
Dining at the Fairmont can be a formal occasion with a strict dress code enforced, with a candlelit dinner and pianist tinkling the old ivories (probably real ones!) in the background. The style and quality of the food is superb and everything that you would expect from such a swish, elegant establishment. On the other hand, if all you want is a bar type snack there are several options of more informal dining, within the hotel. There are five restaurants in the hotel, plus an extensive room service menu in case a more private setting is preferred:
- Lord Delamere Terrace – The Terrace and Bar has been patronised by the first European pioneer settlers since 1904 and features in much of Kenya’s early colonial history. The Terrace continues to be a favourite watering hole but now accommodates up to 182 guests for meals and casual drinks. A children’s menu is also available. Open from 6.30pm-11.00pm
- Swimming Pool Restaurant – The Poolside Restaurant seats up to 5o peple and is an ideal site for cocktail parties, group luncheons and dinners. Light refreshments and drinks are served throughout the day. Open from: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
- Tatu Restaurant (Opening in May 2009) – a contemporary American steak house that also serves a variety of coastal seafood.
- Tatu Patio – This is a new addition to The Norfolk Hotel, Although it’s still a part of the Lord Delamere Restaurant, the Patio seats an additional 60 people, and is ideal for cocktail and private dinner parties. Open from: 7:00 a.m. until Midnight
- The Tea Room – A delightful teas & coffee house which serves a traditional high tea between 3pm and 5.30pm. Open from:10:00am – 5:30pm
As you would expect, The Fairmont has a fully equipped gym, health club, swimming pool, beauty salon and travel desk. Conference facilities are available.
The Hotel is in a central position but is found on a fairly quiet street several blocks away from “downtown” Nairobi”. It’s very convenient to get to most places from this area as long as the traffic is not too busy, In recent years, the whole of the city centre has become more and more congested, especially at peak traveling times.
Telephone: +254 20 2216 940 / +254 20 2216 796
Address: Nairobi City Centre