I booked with the Sands based on previous reviews on TripAdvisor. I wonder if we just had a bad room. The decor and location were fine and the welcome drink and fruit were a nice touch, but the air conditioner was so noisy that I had to sleep with my head sandwiched between 2 pillows to get any sleep. I had not thought I would need ear plugs when we were paying over $200 per night for a partial seaview room. We have had far nicer rooms in other developing countries for that price.
The staff were lovely until the end of our stay when my husband's wallet went missing after he paid our bill. The only reason we discovered it was gone before arriving at our next destination was that we were called back to the reception just as we were about to get into the taxi to correct an error the hotel had made in our bill. There was a huge fuss and 3-4 staff members rifling through our bags, 3 of which had been put in the boot of the taxi while my husband was paying the bill. One of the staff members magically 'found' the wallet in a bag that had been put in the taxi while my husband was using his wallet to pay the bill.
Not everything about the Sands was bad. The customer service rep (sorry, I can't remember his name) was incredibly helpful and so were most of the staff. 1 of the staff, Adam, made the effort to teach me some Swahili. What a shame our experience had to end on such a sour note. The food was good and bar/restaurant location and decor excellent.
Beware if you go to Diani Beach that there is not much of a town there and that the only things within walking distance are other resorts, aggresive hawkers, and of course the beautiful beach. It can be challenging to snorkel directly from the beach due to a shallow reef with lots of sea urchins. You can pay for a boat ride to go further out, but check around for prices so you don't get overcharged. Taxi drivers will overcharge as well, so check with the hotel for recommended prices (even these seemed high to us - more expensive than similar distances in London). We do not like feeling stuck at a resort, so spent alot of money on taxi journeys.
Even though I had a bad experience, I'm not sure if there is any better accomodation on Diani Beach. If you go, be prepared for a rip-off mentality. There were few tourists when we went and some of the hotels had closed. Many people there are desparate for money and I do feel bad for them, but they could find better ways of interacting with tourists. I could not walk on the beach without having to fend loads of them off. They are very persistant and it was quite tiring. I tried being polite at first, but rudeness seemed to be the only way to get rid of them.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Hotel is set amid 25 acres of indigenous forest fronted by 225 meters of Kenyas most unspoilt stretches of white sand and aquamarine sea. All rooms with en-suite bathroom, hairdryer, individual air condition. Minibar, Safe, Satelite TV, Telephone and Internet access, 24 hour room service.The restaurant offers a wide selection of international cuisine, pastas, pizzas & Japanese dishes. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The Sands At Nomad Hotel Diani
- Sands At Nomad Diani
- Sands At Nomad Hotel Diani