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Fairmont The Norfolk - Nairobi, Kenya
Friday, August 3, 2012  
Fairmont The NorfolkFairmont The Norfolk Hotel has played a leading role in Kenya's colorful history, and continues to be Nairobi's finest and best-known hotel. The town, and later the modern city of Nairobi, grew up around Fairmont The Norfolk hotel, which still has its own private tropical gardens. The hotel is still the traditional starting point for safaris and the Lord Delamere Terrace is modern Nairobi's most famous meeting place, where drinks and light meals are served continuously from morning until midnight.

Fairmont The Norfolk was expanded in 1999 and subsequently renovated in time for its centennial, which it celebrated in 2004. The hotel now offers accommodations in 168 guest rooms and suites, has three conference rooms, the largest seating 175 delegates, a heated outdoor swimming pool, health club with gym, sauna and steam room, beauty salon, book shop and gift shops.

Fairmont The NorfolkWhen we arrived at The Norfolk it did not strike us as a "Fairmont" property from the outside. First, it was located on a very busy street and it looked a little, well...old. However, once we walked up the steps to the entrance, that perception disappeared. The first thing you notice as you approach the lobby is the Lord Delamare Terrace, an outdoor dining area that appears to be the most popular place in town. Once inside, the hotel reveals its charm and beauty. This property has obviously undergone major renovations. Everything here looks fresh and new. The front desk staff are extremely pleasant and engaging. Check-in was a breeze and within minutes we were escorted to our suite.

Fairmont The NorfolkThe main courtyard just behind the lobby area is like walking back in time to the early 1900's. Amazing foliage and period antiques are scattered about on the lawn. The Norfolk is proud of its history and heritage. When we arrive at our suite 727, we find a large two-room suite with separate living room and bedroom, and two bathrooms! The large flat-screen LCD television in the living room is the only modern piece in a room filled with georgeous antique furnishings.

The bedroom has a king-sized bed, large chair and a desk with chair. The large marble bathroom offers a dual vanity, large bathtub and walk-in shower. As you might expect, there is a very large closet with a private safe. There are large sliding glass windows that open onto the courtyard for an amazing view. The only complaint was the bed. It was in desparate need of replacement and certainly not up to Fairmont standards. We mentioned this to someone who informed us that the beds were being replaced throughout the property. Since we only stayed at The Norfolk one evening, it was not a problem.

The Norfolk is a quiet, peaceful rest stop in the middle of one of the most hectic cities in the world. It is the perfect place from which to launch a Kenya safari.
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