Late last year I traveled to Mombasa for a friend’s wedding and decided to stay on after the wedding to explore the coast. One of the places I got to go to was Diani in the South Coast and got to stay at the lovely Sands at Nomad hotel.

The check in process was very fast, they already had the check in forms printed out with my name so all I had to do was fill in a few missing details.

Sands at Nomad Hotel_Reception


I was warmly welcomed with a garland of frangipani flowers,a glass of juice, and a cold towel. Given the heat at the coast this was the perfect welcome. I was then led to my cottage.

Sands at Nomad Hotel_Beach Cottages


Sands at Nomad Hotel_Cottage at night


The Sands at Nomad is a boutique hotel with 18 comfortable rooms, 7 exclusive beach cottages and 12 luxurious suites. I stayed in one of the beach cottages.

The first thing I noticed in the room was the huge Swahili style bed with a white mosquito net that drapes over the sides. The décor is superb

Sands at Nomad Hotel_Welcome


Sands at Nomad Hotel_Bed

 I loved the welcome message left for me atop the bed


The next thing I noticed was the fruit platter which had been laid out for me. I’d skipped breakfast that day so I was pleasantly surprised to find it in my room.

Sands at Nomad Hotel_Fruit Platter


Sands at Nomad Hotel_Juice


The cottage is very well lit thanks to the three large windows, one of which offers a lovely view of the beach.  You would think that this would mean less privacy but the cottage is secluded and a bit of a distance from the main path. Only the front window can be opened, however, you do not have to worry about staying cool as the room is equipped with an AC unit and a fan.

Sands at Nomad Hotel_Mirror


Sands at Nomad Hotel_View of beach

View of beach from front window


Onto the bathroom- there is a curtain at the doorway for privacy. The complimentary toiletries are full-sized bottles of shampoo, shower gel, body lotion and hair conditioner.

Sands at Nomad Hotel_Bathroom sink


From the labels I discovered that the products are mostly organic and are sourced locally. I’m a big supporter of buy Kenyan build Kenya so this was definitely a nice touch.

Sands at Nomad Hotel_Shampoo


Sands at Nomad Hotel_Shower


Overall I was quite pleased with the cottage; it was comfortable in every way imaginable. The one thing that was lacking was available electrical outlets. Every time I needed to charge anything I would have to unplug one of the bedside lamps. The other thing I they’ve overlooked was the TV channels: no local channels are available.

Sands at Nomad Hotel_TV


There is a small safe in the room where you can store your valuables.

Sands at Nomad Hotel_Safe


Once you go outside the cottage there is a small veranda. There is also a couch right outside the door which makes the perfect reading spot.

Sands at Nomad Hotel_Beach cottage


Sands at Nomad Hotel_ View from cottage


Sands at Nomad Hotel_Path

The path to the restaurant


There are also lounge chairs you can  enjoy the sun and at the edge of the veranda there is a little pool of water at the  to clean sand from your feet before you get into the room.

Sands at Nomad Hotel_Lounge chair


The hotel is not what you would call large. There is one main restaurant (that is also open to the public), a beach bar and another bar by the pool.(I will do a comprehensive review of the restaurant in another post, so look out for that).


The beach is amazing, little wonder Diani beach was voted Africa’s leading beach destination in 2014. The sand is so white that it can be blinding sometimes. The ocean has honestly never looked more inviting.

Sands at Nomad Hotel_Beach1


Sands at Nomad Hotel_Beach2


Sands at Nomad Hotel_Beach3




Sands at Nomad Hotel_BeachThe beach at dusk


Sands at Nomad Hotel_SunriseSunrise at the beach


You can either take a dip in the ocean or go to the swimming pool.

Sands at Nomad Hotel_Pool


Sands at Nomad Hotel_Gazebo


Sands at Nomad Hotel_Gazebo1


If lounging in the sun and walks by the beach are not enough for you, why not take part in a host of other activities offered by the hotel?

Sands at Nomad Hotel_Swing


Sands at Nomad Hotel_Poolside


Sands at Nomad Hotel_ Poolside2


The activities include:diving lessons from certified instructors, boat excursions to the marine park, kite surfing , wind surfing or you can choose to have a spa treatment at the Forest Breeze center. The hotel also has a cozy little library, however all the titles are in German.

Sands at Nomad Hotel_Ocean


Sands at Nomad Hotel_Cameles on beach


Sands at Nomad Hotel_Footprints

The sand is so fine that it sinks when you walk on it


If you need to  pick up some beach essentials or buy some gifts for family and friends there is a shop right next to the restaurant.

Sands at Nomad Hotel_Gift shop


Sands at Nomad Hotel_Gift shop1


The staff were VERY friendly. Every time I ran into one of them they would say hi and ask how my day was going or if I was enjoying my stay. The service was overall was very good, I have zero complaints about it. All my concerns were attended to promptly. The reception desk is open 24 hrs.

Sands at Nomad Hotel_Bed with net drawn

Every day at about 6pm one of the staff would come to my room to draw the curtains and take down the mosquito net

There is free wi-fi available throughout the hotel. I would describe the speeds as adequate. The only place I had an issue accessing the wi-fi was at the restaurant. If you would like to get work done during your stay, bring your own computer. The one at the hotel is old and slow.

Getting there:

From Nairobi you can get a flight to the airstrip at Ukunda then get a taxi from there. The hotel can also arrange transport for you.

If already at the Coast it is relatively easy to get there via public transport. Travelling from North Coast I took a matatu heading to Ukunda after I got off the ferry . From Ukunda and I got another matatu (vans used for public transport) heading towards Neptune and asked them to let me know when we got to Nomad.

I hope the review was helpful especially if you are considering a stay there. To find out more about the hotel, here’s a link to their website.

Disclosure: The management at Sands at Nomad were gracious enough to host me; however all opinions are mine


ION, I am excited to be part of the #wkendtravelinspiration community; To join the link up;



1. Link one of your inspirational travel photos or stories to this post by adding your info.

2. Copy and paste our badge and a link to this page.

3.  Visit some of the other wonderful travel bloggers, read their posts, and leave a comment.  It would be great if you could comment on 2-3 posts.

4.  Tweet it and include this hashtag. #wkendtravelinspiration .

5. Follow all the hosts of Weekend Travel Inspiration:

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who are working hard to spread the word on what wonderful work travel bloggers are doing.

[inlinkz_linkup id=484738 mode=1]     Jan. 17th

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  1. January 18, 2015 at 7:47 pm — Reply

    What a beach cottage view! The blue of the water reminds me so much of Fiji. So blue! So gorgeous. So pristine. I also dig the amazing breakfast. You just can’t go wrong with passion fruit, never ever, and the bananas looked so plump and tasty.

    Awesome tasty pictures!


    • January 19, 2015 at 12:00 pm — Reply

      Thank you Ryan. if the baches in Fiji match up to the ones in Diani then I would love to go there.

  2. January 18, 2015 at 8:50 pm — Reply

    What a lovely hotel – looks so magical and that lovely sand and beach! It seems like such a paradise and must have been a wonderful place for you to be staying 🙂

    • January 20, 2015 at 8:58 pm — Reply

      It was paradise. I’m longing to go back.

  3. January 18, 2015 at 10:33 pm — Reply

    Visiting from Weekend Travel Inspiration. I thoroughly enjoyed your photos!

  4. January 19, 2015 at 1:40 am — Reply

    Glad to be hosting the linkup together! The hotel looks amazing… but the beach does too! I don’t know what I would choose. I’ll be following your blog closely, I’d love to visit Kenya!

    • January 20, 2015 at 9:20 pm — Reply

      Come visit! You’ll get to enjoy both the hotel and the beach.

  5. January 19, 2015 at 4:07 am — Reply

    Stunning photography that I would like to be there. #wkendtravelinspiration

  6. January 19, 2015 at 8:24 am — Reply

    wow, just wow. This is paradise. The interior was amazing, but it is those white sand beaches that are calling to me. I am excited to be partnering with you and the other on Weekend Travel Inspiration.

  7. Hakquim
    January 19, 2015 at 3:42 pm — Reply

    That beach is WOW! and no crowds too. South Coast is truly magical.

    • January 20, 2015 at 5:43 pm — Reply

      I can’t believe I had taken so long without going to the South Coast. Now that I have had a taste I am longing for more.

  8. January 19, 2015 at 10:25 pm — Reply

    You’re killing me with these pictures! They are stunning. I so regret never visiting Kenya when my uncle was stationed there :-(. You are so making me want to visit. I was thinking of South Africa, but maybe this needs to come first..

    • January 20, 2015 at 5:42 pm — Reply

      Of course Kenya needs to come first. We’ll be glad to have you.

  9. January 20, 2015 at 5:45 am — Reply

    Your photos look like something out of a magazine! I can’t imagine ever going there myself but I do appreciate you sharing your adventure.

  10. Wendy
    January 20, 2015 at 9:30 am — Reply

    “If you’re in the office wishing you were somewhere else…” Accurate. So blue. SO beautiful!

    • January 20, 2015 at 5:40 pm — Reply

      He he he. Come back

  11. keniamoja
    January 20, 2015 at 11:55 am — Reply

    Surely, Diani has some of the best beaches in the world !

    • January 20, 2015 at 5:41 pm — Reply

      For sure. I am looking forward to going back.

  12. January 20, 2015 at 2:36 pm — Reply

    Wow – what a beautiful place!

  13. January 20, 2015 at 5:39 pm — Reply

    Aah…this place looks like it would make for such a refreshing getaway. I could definitely see myself on one of those outdoor daybeds reading all day with views of the ocean. Paradise! 🙂

    • January 20, 2015 at 5:45 pm — Reply

      I actually forgot to carry my books with me, I only found out when I had gotten to the hotel. That is definitely a plan the next time I go there.

  14. January 21, 2015 at 9:37 am — Reply

    The contrast between the white sand and the blue sky is so striking. The cottage itself looks looks so inviting and relaxing. I can just picture myself curled up with a good book on that outside couch under the canopy. Sands at Nomad looks like a lovely hotel indeed.

  15. January 22, 2015 at 3:20 pm — Reply

    Hi Rachael,
    All I can say is that The Sands at Nomad Hotel is a perfect place for getaway and free from stress. The beach and the hotel also have the same ambiance at Bali.

  16. January 22, 2015 at 3:51 pm — Reply

    It looks like a perfect place for a honeymoon. Added to my bucket list! Absolutely stunning!

  17. January 23, 2015 at 11:03 pm — Reply

    What an amazing place! Would love to stay in one of the beach huts here, must be so lovely to wake up to that view! Good staff can make such a difference to a hotel stay, and would love to try some of their spa treatments too!

  18. January 25, 2015 at 8:22 pm — Reply

    Hi Rachel, I would love to stay at this hotel; just my kind of place. I like that its very intimate with the design that has very local vibe. It’s also looks romantic. I also like places that use local sustainable products. The beach and those lounges are calling for me. I hope that someday I will visit Mombasa and stay at this place. Very nice review, Rachel, and, very beautiful photos, too.

  19. January 26, 2015 at 6:49 am — Reply

    What a great review! This hotel looks so beautiful and how I would have pictured a comfortable stay in this area. I feel so comfortable just looking at this. Love those stunning beach photos. This looks like the perfect getaway whether on a honeymoon or a family vacation. I seriously need to make my way to your part of the world soon.

  20. Michael
    January 26, 2015 at 12:34 pm — Reply

    Just Awesome…. Sky Blue Waters….

  21. Mike
    February 3, 2015 at 7:58 am — Reply

    Rachael, this property looks absolutely AMAZING!! That 4 poster bed is a place of heaven. I was loving all of your pictures and reading along then all of sudden – camel?! LOL. I would love to teleport myself there right now 🙂

  22. February 7, 2015 at 6:31 pm — Reply

    […] As promised, here is my review of the restaurant at Sands at Nomad. If you missed my review of the hotel you can check it out here. […]

  23. February 19, 2015 at 1:39 am — Reply

    That looks like an amazing place. Your photos are so stunning, wow real paradise.

  24. February 20, 2015 at 2:42 pm — Reply

    This is breathtaking. The outdoor, the interiors and the furnishings make for such an amazing site to behold.I particularly like how the place looks like at night

  25. […] can’t help but compare The Sands at Nomad to The Sands at Chale; I personally preferred the The Sands at Nomad to the Sands at Chale. The […]

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