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“Disappointing and Overpriced”
1 of 5 bubbles Review of The Sands at Nomad

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The Sands at Nomad
Ranked #7 of 29 Hotels in Diani Beach
Certificate of Excellence
Dorset, England
Level Contributor
21 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“Disappointing and Overpriced”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 December 2008

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.

  • Liked — Adam
  • Disliked — Noisy airconditioner, Dishonest staff at departure
  • Stayed November 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank Fortunately
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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403 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (66)
Date | Rating
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  • English first
  • French first
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English first
Tanzania
Level Contributor
8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 November 2008

This was our second stay at the Sands and as expected it was fantastic!! The rooms, the beach, the service- everything was just perfect!! The location is absolutely divine and we wish we could have stayed for a longer period of time!! We cant wait for our next visit there!

  • Liked — The beach!! Sand was like powder- so white and soft!! Also rooms are lovely!!
  • Disliked — Everything was great!
  • Stayed September 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank USD1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
brimingham
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 October 2008

We have just returned from a wonderful stay at the sands. Not only did we enjoy a fantastic holiday we had the most perfect, beautiful wedding day we could have imagined. The hotel was amazing set right on the beach front with wonderful food and service.

Claudia and Richard supported and helped us with any requests we had to make our wedding day perfect. No task was too much, with them looking after our every need and wish. Our wedding day itself was brill, all the hotel staff helped in some way to prepare. The gardeners made a fab decorated area full of flowers for the ceremony place and for our cottage. We hired a brilliant band for the evening called the fandangos who played us with wonderful music which provided the prefect back drop to our party.

We stayed in the beach cottage which overlooked the beach and sea. We had private sun-loungers outside and could request room service at any time. The half board was excellent value. As the guest numbers were few there was no buffet, therefore we could pick what we wanted from the a'la cart menu which included lobster!! we enjoyed 3 course meals every evening accompanied by a range of cocktails or wine or any spirit.

We would love to return and would recommended the hotel to all it really is as good as the photos!

  • Liked — over looking the beach
  • Disliked — nothing
  • Stayed September 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank winboar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NYC
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 September 2008

The Sands was the perfect compliment to our Safari trip. Our only complaint was that we couldn't stay longer. The beach, rooms and restaurant were 1st rate without being generic corporate fare. We were able to do anything we wanted, from a fine seafood dinner, to a snorkeling trip to the reef and shopping for top notch African collectibles, including jewelry and 2 fine masks we bought at the hotel boutique. We didn't go to any local bars, but the owners seemed to know the local scene, if we had wanted to go out.

The place had a great vibe, with upbeat hospitality and a sense that everyone was happy to be there. Breakfast was great and the dinner selection was wonderful too. The pool area was lavishly constructed and a massage parlor and a handy internet cafe were available.The owners and staff were readily accessible to help us take care of any problems or questions we had. Since this is not a huge mega-hotel, we had personal attention from the staff and uncrowded facilities.

The beach was great for swimming and we bought a bunch of jewelry from the wandering Masai by the water. We didn't take advantage of scuba diving or all of the other watersports, since we were only there 3 days, but it was good to know they were available in case of a longer stay. Our rooms were decorated in a fun, distinctive way and the bed was quite nice.

Our stay was a pleasant surprise, because I'm not used to this level of attention and luxury in a relaxed environment. I'd highly recommend making a visit here a part of a Kenyan trip--the beaches are among the best in Kenya and the facilities lack for nothing, without the impersonal feel of a larger hotel.

  • Liked — The food and service
  • Disliked — No nighlife at bar--too lazy to head out on the town
  • Stayed August 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank JBNYNY
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
waipawa
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 September 2008

Has to be seen to be believed. If you are looking for a place to relax and enjoy your holiday in a safe environment with friendly staff then this is it. Beautiful white beaches, great diving and snorkelling in and around coral reefs and lots of activities available.

  • Liked — Friendly and accomodating staff
  • Disliked — Beach boys trying to sell their goods
  • Stayed August 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank mumbles08
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 September 2008

For starters ignore any negative reviews about Nomads. Best feature of Nomads would be the staff, so friendly and helpful. If you needed something they were there, if you wanted to some peace they weren't! The beach is beautiful, rooms excellent and have everything you need and Richard and Claudia the perfect hosts. We could have stayed for months however reality was looming. We are now trying to convince friends to make the long trip over and have their wedding at Nomads!

  • Liked — The pool and the view to the beach.
  • Disliked — That we had to come home!
  • Stayed August 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank NorBar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Darwin, Australia
Level Contributor
100 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 September 2008

a truely exceptional place to stay on the south coast.

hard to actually give a review of such a well run establishment in kenya!

a warm welcome by the management was very nice upon arrival.

the rooms were tastefully furnished with african / local art - coloured walls..clean toilets and water is soft! a real treat for the coast!

pool was divine and diving class was much appreciated!

restaurant food was very tasty and service friendly....

beautiful gardens!amazingly huge baobab trees !

....and the beach has white silvery sand!

Stayed August 2008
Helpful?
1 Thank sweetwaters
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Sands at Nomad

Property: The Sands at Nomad
Address: Diani Beach, Diani Beach, Ukunda, Kenya
Region: Kenya > Coast Province > Ukunda > Diani Beach
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Centre with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#3 Spa Hotel in Diani Beach
#3 Romantic Hotel in Diani Beach
#5 Family Hotel in Diani Beach
#7 On the Beach Hotel in Diani Beach
#7 Luxury Hotel in Diani Beach
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:5 star — The Sands at Nomad 5*
Number of rooms: 37
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

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