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“A paradise on earth” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Sand Island Beach Cottages

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Sand Island Beach Cottages
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Tiwi Beach, Tiwi, Kenya   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 3 Specialty Lodging in Tiwi
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Southampton, New York
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“A paradise on earth”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2013

What can I say that hasn't already been said by oyther guests?

Sand Island Beach, the cottages and the owners Cheryl and Arti are a perfect combination. It is a true paradise on earth. We were so relaxed as soon as we arrived.
The cottages are rustic and beautifully presented and the view - Wow. Step off the veranda and you're on the beach. We had our first cup of tea in the morning standing in the sea, a lovely way to start the day. what a wonderfull memory.
Thank you for a perfect end to a super holiday, 10 days in Iten and 5 at Sand Island Beach with my sons and daughter in law whom I hadn't seen in ages.We were able to spend some quality time together. The photos on this web site show just how beautiful Sand Island Beach really is.
We hired Mohamad our cook, he was so obliging and made wonderful meals every day. He even catered for me as a vegetarian, sometimes cooking 3 variations of one meal.
Cheryl and Arti are lovely people, always had time to chat and help with any queries, ordering taxi's and they do a fantastic job making you feel 'at home" They even printed out our boarding passes for us, thank you so much. Hope we didn't make you late for golf!
It was hard to leave such a beautiful place and think of someone else moving into "our cottage" but we have many photos and happy memories to keep us going til next time.

If we get the opportunity to come to Kenya again we will definetely return to chill out at Sand Island Beach.

Room Tip: For a family of mixed ages Tewa cottage was perfect, very large living area and two bathrooms, 3 bed...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SandIsland, General Manager at Sand Island Beach Cottages, responded to this review, March 7, 2013
Thank you for your great review. Brilliant that you had a good time here as it really is the greatest place to simply relax and spend time with special people and we are delighted that the tranquility of Sand Island allowed you to spend special time with your son and daughter in law. We made our golf game and for once I think I played quite well.

We look forward to you next visit and in the meantime we will look after “your cottage” and hopefully make it even nicer for your next visit.
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140 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (30)
Date | Rating
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  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
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English first
Kampala, Uganda
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2013

We just came back from 5 days stay at Sand Island and i can't remember when i was so stress free and relaxed after a vacation.

We stayed in the smallest Kasa cottage. I was very surprised when we arrived at the cottage, because i dind't expect it to be so big. It is kind of a studio cottage. With a huge bed with crisp clean bedsheets and blankets, an excellent Mosquito net, a kitchenette and a 2 person dining set. The Kasa cottage has a very big roof that is not constructed directly on the cottage, but kind of floats on top of it. This gives the cottage a very spacious feel. Together with the fact that there are big windows everywhere, it constantly gives you the feeling of beeing outside which i really loved! But for beeing really outside the Kasa cottage offers you a huge veranda where we kind of lived all day. The badroom is clean and has a great shower with warm water almost every day.
Two man visit your cottage allmost every day to clean a bit and to make your bed and if you like to change your towels.

The cottages are a bit rustic here and there, but very charming. They are still working on the cottages to improve them, so sometimes there can be something missing from the kitchen that you might need, but you can always ask the owners and they will be happy to help you out. But overall the kitchenette has everything you need. Oven, fridge and kitchen utilities are all there. We did not spend to much tme in our kitchen, because we rented a cook (700 Ksh a day) for 3 days that prepared some lovely food for us. They can start at 0900 by making your breakfast, but we still wanted or privacy so we had him come in at 1200 to start with the lunch and later dinner. We bought fresh fish fom the fisherman in the morning and Philip made some wonderfull things such as fishcurry and fried calamari, coconut rice, chapatis, pasta, you name it....

We spend our days, swimming, snorkeling, visiting the starfish island (the local fisherman arrange these trips) sleeping, eating, reading books and relaxing. Everything is so well taken care of, Mama Samosa who visits in the morning with fresh samosas, the newspaper man and the small fruit and vegetables stand on the beach. The owners have made very good agreements with the local community, so you will never be bothered by salesman and especially no beachboys.

The owners are really lovely and passionate about wat they do, they make you feel so welcome and at home. They will arange for a taxi that will pick you up in Mombassa(3000/3500ksh) a fruit and vegetable basket ready at your cottage for the first days(800ksh) and even order some fish for you, so that the cook can prepare your food for you the day that you arrive. They are always helpfull and almost always in the office, where you can buy some small groceries for very fair prices.

I cannot reccomand this place enough!! If you are used to 5 star resorts in tourist places where there is constant entertainment, then this is not for you. But if you are looking for a small piece of paradise to unwind, relax and really have a fantastic time, then this is made for you.
The only negative thing about Sand Island is that we had to leave, but we will be back for shure!

Room Tip: If you are a couple that want to spend a romantic time, be sure to choose the Kasa cottage. This cot...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SandIsland, General Manager at Sand Island Beach Cottages, responded to this review, March 7, 2013
Super review and thank you so much. What really makes us happy is knowing you had such a good time here that you felt compelled to share it with other people. You are so right when you say this is not a place for people looking for a busy resort holiday. Sand Island is all about doing it the way you want, when you want and how you want. The cooks give you the freedom of choosing what you eat and when, but without the hard work. Our fishermen are very accommodating and will arrange the trips to suit you and not the other way around. In fact the most taxing thing you have to do at Sand Island is planning things for tomorrow, because today you will just enjoy being here and then again tomorrow…

We look forward to seeing you again soon and wish you best of luck with your new "Kenya" venture.
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Richmond, Indiana
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 20, 2013

We have stayed at Sand Island many times, both as a family, and with groups of college students, since 1994. Our visit for a week last October was a delight once again. Wonderful location, right on the beach, small and uncrowded, and no beach boys. The cottages are simple, comfortable and well maintained. The new managers, Cheryl and Artie, are friendly, helpful, interesting people, and responded very quickly to any request. Truly paradise, and I can't wait to go again.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SandIsland, General Manager at Sand Island Beach Cottages, responded to this review, February 21, 2013
How wonderful to see your review this morning and thank you very much for taking the time to do this for us. We so enjoyed having you and the students to stay and do hope that you went on to have more good experiences with the rest of your travels with them. Truly a delightful group who not only embraced all the wonderful opportunities Sand Island has on offer, but also embraced themselves as a group and conscientously went about their projects which must have been very tough in such a beautiful environment. We very much look forward to your next visit and hope that it will not be too far away.
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Bremen, Bremen, Germany
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 17, 2013

We spent 3 nights with 6 people in the lovely new cottage Pweza at tiwi beach and were all more then satisfied! everthing was clean, well equiped and it was nice to see how this community workes together for the best for their guests. although its very calm out there also for groups of young people there are still things to do like snorkelling and there also is a bar and a restaurant next door. The beach was quiet and best thing about it: no annoying beach boys! it was really hard to leave this paradise, its adorable hosts and the cute dogs, we'll be back, thank you!

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SandIsland, General Manager at Sand Island Beach Cottages, responded to this review, February 20, 2013
Many thanks for your review and we are so glad you enjoyed Pweza as it is the newest of our cottages and the first double story, so a bit different from the others. Your group were all very charming and very special - we have a number of different nationalities come and stay with us at Sand Island but it is seldom we have them all stay under one roof. We wish you all well when you each get back to your various homelands and hope that the African bug has bitten you and especially that you have been touched by the Sand Island Magic which will bring you back.
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Eldoret, Kenya
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 14, 2013

I had such a brilliant stay here. It was the most relaxed I have felt in ages.

The cottages are beautiful with a real African feel about them and they are so close to the coast it is like have your own private beach.

The Sand Island was great to explore with the fascinating rock pools that you can discover when the tide is out.

We hired a cook for our stay and the food was delicious – the cook wasn’t intrusive and even did the washing up and tided our cottage! It’s also nice to have someone cook who knows what to do with sea food.

The atmosphere is fantastic and all the staff were very helpful and add to the laid back feel. We felt very safe staying there.

Because there are so few people on the beach you are not bothered by tradesman and there is a lot of wildlife to see. Although we didn’t travel with children it would be the perfect trip to take them on as the bay is very safe and only other guests staying at the Sand Island Cottages are there.

Will defiantly be making a return trip!

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SandIsland, General Manager at Sand Island Beach Cottages, responded to this review, February 20, 2013
It is always great to get good feedback and you must have written this as soon as you got home so thank you so much. We appreciate each and every review we get. It was lovely to meet you and your family and we wish your husband all the best for the National Championships - after Iten he will - an inspiration to all but sadly the bug still has not bitten. When you next need to get away from it all and unwind, give us a call now you know where we are.
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Seattle, Washington
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 8, 2013

In a word, Sand Island is paradise. My husband and I spent a week there in December 2012 and we never wanted to leave. Our cottage was about 50 yards from the Indian Ocean, along one of the most beautiful stretches of beach I’ve ever seen. The place is called Sand Island Beach because when the tide goes out, it exposes an island of sand around the size of a soccer field, about 100 yards out from the beach. At low tide, you can wade all the way out to it through crystal clear turquoise water, and at high tide you can swim out there and stand on the island in water up to your waist. Surrounding the beach in a giant crescent a few hundred yards out is a coral reef, where the waves break, leaving the water between there and the beach calm. Every day was sunny and hot!

In contrast to the more tourist-y Diani Beach hotels, Sand Island had a much more local, private feel. Every morning the local fishermen walked out to the reef and brought back catch of the day, which we purchased from them and cooked up for dinner (Our cottage had its own little kitchen, fully stocked with cooking utensils). A local lady called Mama Samosa usually swung by mid-morning to sell us homemade samosas, chapati, mandazi, coconut rice, and pilau for next to nothing. Other than Mama Samosa and the fishermen, there was no one walking the beach hawking tourist trinkets or trying to sell us a tour. We did go on trips to the nearby starfish garden and natural Africa-shaped pool, guided by the local fisherman who were absolutely wonderful.

The surroundings are breathtaking, but Sand Island’s managers are what really make the place special. Artie and Cheryl stopped by our cottage every day to make sure we were happy and had everything we needed. They run a little grocery in the main office selling fresh veggies, drinks, and snacks at cost (they’re not looking to make a profit, just trying to help out the guests since town is a 20-minute taxi ride away). They really went above and beyond – for example, right after we arrived we realized we had forgotten our computer charger back where we had been staying in Tanzania, leaving us unable to keep up our blog and get in touch with family. They called around to several stores in Mombasa until we found exactly what we needed, and he had their driver pick it up and bring it to Sand Island for us since he was already in town. They even had us over to the main house for fresh lobster, drinks, and great conversation on their patio!

Don’t miss Sand Island for anything. My husband and I will never come back to Kenya without staying here!!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SandIsland, General Manager at Sand Island Beach Cottages, responded to this review, February 20, 2013
We feel we still have so much to do here at Sand Island so it is lovely to get your review and know we are going in the right direction. It really encourages us and the staff to keep getting better. Whilst so many people enjoy being guests here, we too enjoy having such super guests who enjoy and experience all that Sand Island has to offer, so please come back soon and hopefully next time with the rest of the family. However you must not spoil the dogs so much next time! You were so busted when you posted a picture of your husband and Bella lying together on the verandah furniture. I hope you have settled back home now and that we will meet again soon.
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Nanyuki, Kenya
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 29, 2013

After a hard hike up Mt Kenya, and a long drive on the dreaded Mombassa Rd, Sand Island Beach needed to be a fabulous reward, and it certainly was. Beautiful cottages, Cheryl and Arty with a warm welcome and local knowledge, fabulous fresh seafood daily, and absolutely no touts or harassment of any sort. Cant recommend this highly enough. We will be back!

Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SandIsland, General Manager at Sand Island Beach Cottages, responded to this review, February 8, 2013
It was wonderful to have you and your friends, all from different corners of the globe, visiting us after your successful climb up the mountain - well done! Sand Island certainly worked its magic as even on the second day most of the aching muscles had relaxed, the big smiles were back and the next adventure was being planned. Snorkeling, diving, crab lunches, more snorkeling, relaxation and wonderful food prepared by the cook - all that Sand Island has to offer and more. We look forward to your next visit and thank you for taking the time to review us - always very much appreciated by Management and staff alike.
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Additional Information about Sand Island Beach Cottages

Address: Tiwi Beach, Tiwi, Kenya
Location: Kenya > Coast Province > Tiwi
Amenities:
Beach Beverage Selection Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Shuttle Bus service Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Specialty Lodging in Tiwi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Sand Island Beach is comprised of eight fully self contained cottages on a pristine piece of Kenya's south coast. It's geography offers guests something unique: a private beach within easy proximity of shops and restaurants. Set in acres of orchard and indigenous coastal forest and just meters from the beach, there is a real sense of space and peace. We will arrange airport transfers, assist with shopping and offer advice on local attractions and adventures. We pride ourselves on our hosting and our extraordinary location. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Sand Island Beach Cottages Hotel Mombasa

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