Fairmont The Norfolk

A historic Nairobi hideaway

Fairmont The Norfolk, one of Nairobi’s oldest hotels, hasn’t aged a day — at least not in terms of charm. Acquired and updated by Fairmont in 2004, the property retains its old-world character albeit with a few luxurious additions that add to its legacy rather than distract from its significance.

The historic hotel feels frozen in time with its white-columned lobby and vintage (but well-kept) furniture. At the same time, the memories of larger-than-life past guests such as Theodore Roosevelt or Winston Churchill are maintained through black-and-white framed photographs lining hotel walls.

Things feel intentionally slower here, thanks, in part, to a meandering layout centered around a lush tropical courtyard. Light-filled rooms evoke the feel of an English country house while the spacious Lord Delamere Terrace provides a quiet spot for Kenyan coffee or afternoon tea.

This Nairobi escape also easily puts you within striking distance of the region’s top attractions, though it may be hard to tear yourself away from its hallowed grounds.

Our Inspector's Highlights

  • Though it’s located in the center of the Kenyan capital, Fairmont The Norfolk feels a world away from the bustle thanks to an outer wall and verdant courtyard garden. Part of the joy of a stay here is soaking up the silence from your terrace or taking a stroll around the property.
  • If a walk through the gorgeous grounds doesn’t put your mind at ease, a treatment at the serene spa just might do the trick. Muscle-melting massages and restorative facials are all on offer here.
  • In keeping with the Nairobi hotel’s heritage theme, the 125 light-filled accommodations are outfitted with warm wood furnishings, wing-backed chairs and safari-themed artwork for a simple yet cozy feel. A neutral color palette lets the courtyard’s lush greenery (as seen through the sliding glass door to your private terrace) take center stage.
  • Vegetarians will enjoy the plethora of mindful options available at each of Fairmont The Norfolk’s dining venues. Even the high tea service can be enjoyed when meat-free finger foods like mini tofu bao buns and a grilled vegetable baguette are served.
  • After a long day of sightseeing, enjoy a dip in the luxury hotel’s heated outdoor pool. Tucked away in the verdant courtyard, this swimming hole provides a restful retreat from the outside world.

The Restaurants

  • Upscale Tatu serves Spanish- and Peruvian-inspired fare in a contemporary dining room that feels cozy rather than confined. The varied menu is divided into vegetarian, seafood and steakhouse sections to ensure nearly any dietary preference can be catered to.
  • Don’t skip Tatu’s bread service. Served with two infused butters (garlic and tomato), the freshly baked buns are worth the extra calories.
  • With its columned dining room and vintage-inspired wicker decor, Lord Delamere Terrace is a veritable time capsule of 19th-century Nairobi. The 120-year-old restaurant is a delightful spot for breakfast and is equally as enchanting come nightfall when it serves a daily changing menu of Kenyan cuisine.
  • Cin Cin Bar is a convivial gathering place for cocktails and African-influenced tapas with a side of live music. The stylish bar also serves a classic afternoon tea complete with delicate light bites and a glass of bubbles, if you so choose.

Getting There
PO Box 58581 00200, Nairobi, Kenya
NBO (24-55 min)   WIL (14-35 min)  
Check Availability