Accommodation Spotlight: Fairmont The Norfolk, Nairobi

An icon of Nairobi, Fairmont The Norfolk has welcomed guests for over 100 years since first opening its doors in 1904. Offering an escape from the bustle of the city, this historic retreat oozes luxury and grace. Set amongst lush tropical gardens, this 20th century colonial building is the perfect accommodation, regardless of whether you are travelling for business, beginning your safari or enjoying a weekend away.

Here is one family’s experience…

After the long journey from Australia and arriving at Nairobi airport, there’s nothing more comforting than seeing a sign with our family name that was being held by a beaming representative from African Travel Specialists. It made us feel extremely welcome and know that we were in safe hands.

This was reinforced when we were handed over to our tour guide for the next few days. We all clicked straight away and knew we were in for an awesome time. The look on our kid’s faces was priceless.

The transfer from the airport in our own personal vehicle added to the sense of exclusivity and provided a great opportunity to get to know each other and get an overview of what to expect from our guide.

We arrived at the hotel and entered the foyer, absorbing the luxurious and elegant surrounds, pinching ourselves that we were in the heart of Africa. Fairmont, The Norfolk dates back to 1904, and you can feel the history and old-world charm.

The kids were able to stretch their legs and explore the beautiful surrounds and lush tropical gardens. Being January, the weather was a perfect 26 degrees as we eased into holiday mode.

An additional benefit to this stylish hotel was the proximity to the wonderful, albeit slightly ‘touristy’ attractions of the Giraffe Centre and Elephant Orphanage. It’s a unique experience and well worth the visit, especially as we’d never have known that we would all get to feed a giraffe. In fact, it is an ideal precursor to what you can expect once you get to the savannah and see these and more creatures in the wild.

You know in your heart that the entry price to the refuges is going to a good cause, because you can see it from the way the staff interact with the animals. Gentle and caring, traits that we learned to expect in Africa.

That was never more obvious than when we returned to the Fairmont. Having stayed in for a delicious dinner, the service was outstanding, and we couldn’t wait to get our safari on the road.

Excerpt by Naomi, travelled with African Travel Specialists January 2023

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