What is it? There's no better place to soak up the legacy of Nairobi's colonial history than The Norfolk Hotel. When it opened, in 1904, Kenya was a destination for big-game hunters and the hotel was a favourite watering hole among the big shots. Wealthy Europeans and young members of the British gentry, seeking their fortunes in a new land, were also part of the hotel's upper-crust clientele. What about the decor? The distinctive Tudor architecture is a reminder of Kenya's past. The central garden is filled with palms and colourful tropical flowers, and decorated with a display of old carriages. In the common areas, furnishings are a blend of tropical chic, contemporary African and traditional English. And the rooms? The 165 rooms (above right) and suites are tastefully furnished and accessorised to five-star standards. What about food? The hotel has six restaurants. Take high tea in The Tea Room, sip a gin and tonic on the Lord Delamere Terrace or sink your teeth into a steak at Tatu. The Cin Cin wine bar serves wines from around the world and hors d'oeuvres. What's there to do? The hotel has a heated outdoor pool and a health club. But there's plenty to see in Nairobi. The hotel can arrange excursions, including tours of the leafy upmarket suburb of Karen, which is home to The Giraffe Centre. What's the bottom line? Rates begin at US$220, plus tax and service charge. Fairmont The Norfolk Hotel is in Nairobi, Kenya, tel: 254 20 2265000; www.fairmont.com/norfolkhotel .