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“My perfect place.”

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Sand Island Beach Cottages
Ranked #1 of 5 Specialty Lodging in Tiwi
Certificate of Excellence
oxford
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“My perfect place.”
Reviewed April 5, 2013

For the first time I am reluctant to write a review because I don't want anyone else to go here but I owe it to Cheryl and Arty to describe the best place on the Kenya Coast to stay EVER. Every cottage overlooks the Indian Ocean and every one of them seems to be in the right place. They are all well equipped but ours, Papa, had a massive verandah and if we weren't in the ocean then we spent our time there. We read books, played cards, swam, snorkelled, ate, drank and were very merry for 10 days and that wasn't long enough. This was a no hassle, no shoes, no news holiday. Back in the hustle and bustle of Nairobi I long for the peace and serenity that is Sand Island.
We bought fresh fish every day from the local fishermen and having been informed by Arty that they will charge 400 Ksh per kilo of fish and 500 Ksh per kilo of prawns, we knew what to expect and we never felt ripped off. We bought samosas and mandazis very morning for 50 Ksh each and having stocked up at the Nakumatt in Likoni with basics including gin, tonic, tuskers and vodka we were well prepared for our stay. There is the option to hire your own cook who will prepare and clear up for you but we decided not to although we did get the samosa lady to cook a curry for us one night, highly recommended.
We took a trip with Amos to the Star Fish Gardens ( book at the office) and had a lovely time collecting, photographing and returning starfish. They were beautiful. We then snorkelled back to shore with Amos who was really informative about the sea life that we saw. I didn't expect to enjoy this as much as I did but it was really special.
We ate out a few times and restocked our supplies at Diani Nakumatt ( taxi 1,000 Ksh each way ) but we were always so pleased and even relieved to return to Sand Island.
Cheryl and Arty were so helpful and professional from the first day that we made contact. Nothing was too much trouble. We even loved their dogs who often kept us company in the evenings. We are all planning a return visit.
Thank you Arty and Cheryl.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank ParishOxford
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, April 10, 2013
It was so our pleasure to meet the whole family and have you to stay at Sand Island and share and enjoy this wonderful bit of 'Old Kenya' style holiday on a beach-boy free beach and thank you very much for taking the time to write the review for us. We love being and working here and even more so when we know our guests have had a truly good holiday and we look forward to your next visit with hopefully another round of Dawas and Mojitos!
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189 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (36)
Date | Rating
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English first
London
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed April 3, 2013

We arrived very early without prior notice and were generously welcomed to have a cup of tea at Cheryl and Arty's house while our luggage was offloaded. This hospitality set the tone for our stay. The location is perfect. You can tumble out of your cottage into the turquoise waters and hear the lull of the waves as you sleep. All the cottages are facing the magnificent view and have shaded porches for unlimited relaxation time. Inside they are spacious, clean and well equipped. The interior is homely and there's even drinking water on tap - a very rare luxury on the Kenyan coast. The kitchen area is great for cooking and all amenities are there for you in case you decide to purchase fresh seafood from the local fishermen (a must!). The typical nuisance of beachboy activity is basically non-existent and privacy is highly respected. Cheryl and Arty have managed to establishe a good relationship with the local community, who can provide excursions but without the usual pressure or pestering. The staff are always available when you need them and the management take a very human, caring approach to their work. We met a lot of returning customers, which is always a good sign. We hope to be returning ourselves soon enough.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank MargaritaD294
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, April 10, 2013
It was wonderful to have you back so soon and so glad that you and your girlfriends had such a super time even though the 'special' man was back at the grindstone and again many congratulations to you both. Your review really captures the ethos of Sand Island - sea, sun, sand, beach, food, drink, relax, chill, hassle free! We love it here and even more so when we know that the guests have enjoyed it just as much and we really look forward to your next visit - the honeymoon cottage is available any time!
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Mombasa
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed March 28, 2013

if ur the "regular at your service hotel" type of person then this is the place that I would never recommend to you......if however you are the type of person who enjoys doing things at your own pace savouring each moment ...then place this simply divine resort on your bucket list....
My impression of the management with Sand island began on the most pertinent points of every hospitality industry - an immediate and comprehensive response to an email that I sent.....the live-in managers of this resort were most accomodating in every aspect...right from prompt and personal replies down to all round hospitality and helpful tips......in fact some of the larger chains should take a couple of tips from Cheryl and Arty on how to grab a customer with the first contact....
the resort accomodation is rustic.....self contained rooms with all amenities....wifi is seamless and a huge plus point for anyone who needs to be connected to work.....facilities are more than adequate completely equipped and clean..- however I personally do think a microwave would be handy in all rooms - fresh seafood is available off the shores from the community of local fishermen who are available in the mornings with their catch....aside from that if seafood is not your scene ..you may bring along your own food with the raw ingredients and either cook yourself or hire a local cook for a nominal amount.......
words cannot describe how sublime the beach is .....Arty and Dennis take pains to ensure the area in front of the little cottages are free from the sea urchins that infest the entire south beach leading to an unforgettable beach experience....little touches like pathways to sandbanks where you can lounge and get a tan, tide timings in all rooms and beach security go a long long way in ensuring you feel absolutely rejuvenated ......btw...there are no beach boys per se which in itself is a huge plus point....
Hospitality soares to unprecedented levels one you get to know Arty and Cheryl.....mind you demands get you nowhere....a polite request and you will experience unparalleled service......
this is a must visit place ...the locals are ever helpful to show you the "sights"....take with a pinch of salt as what they may lack in creativity they make up in friendliness.......
i could write a novel expounding the beauty and uniqueness of the place along with the pleasure of having the managers as company...however its better experienced than described in mere words especially if ur visiting or in Mombasa.....I certainly intend to be a regular.....as they say.....you can never get enough of a good thing......!!!!!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Bevill J B
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, April 2, 2013
Thank you for such an enthusiastic review. We realised you were enjoying being here when you kept asking to stay another night and then another and then another! We enjoyed meeting you both and having you to stay and we look forward to your next visit. The chef in me does not completely approve of the Microwave, but you know, at the end of the day it is what you want that counts. Our objective is to make you feel as welcome and as comfortable as you are in your own home so a possibility for the future. As you say at the beginning of your review, Sand Island is for those people who want to chill and do what they want, when they want, with who they want! See you soon.
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London, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed March 19, 2013

It has everything you would be hoping! We've stayed in a couple of the cottages there and they were both excellent, clean and very comfortable. The staff are efficient and very friendly, similarly welcoming are the fishermen that will catch whatever you want (if they haven't already caught it that morning). Other freshly made foods can be bought from locals and you'll even be able to get the daily papers. In short, you don't need to leave and probably won't want to!
If it wasn't good enough already you have the owners Cherly & Arti who will make you feel completely at home and will bend over backwards to make it perfect. We had a lovely time there and they were a massive part of that. We will definitely go back one day, if not just to see them. Thanks so much Damian & Liz XXX

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank DamianandLiz
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, April 2, 2013
Thank you for the review, we loved having you to stay and really look forward to you coming back. I hope all went well with Amboseli and the PHD. The snooker sharks in Diani are missing you, so you need to come back and clean up again, BUT this time I’m your partner. Thanks for the kind words and all the best.
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Castelfiorentino, Italy
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed March 14, 2013

If you are reading here now, I really reccomend you to stop your serach for accomodation and go to Sand Island Beach! I cannot immagine any better place on the Kenyan coast to relax and enjoy the coast-life! It was definitely the highligt of our trip to Kenya.
We stayed for 6 nights in this absolutely wonderful place. It was just what we needed in order to relax after a year of working... all bungalows are first-row beach front, private beach with NO BEACH BOYS, really allows you to relax. Spectacular beach and coast area, where the high and low tides gives you many different experiences without having to go to other places... in the morning at low tide you can enjoy the relaxing atmosphere of the natural pools with lovely warm water that forms in front of the beach or walk (!!!) to the barrier where you can see loats of star fish go snorkeling or just for a nice walk with spectacular views... in the afternoon with high tide everything is different, and it is like being in a different place without having to move... one can go swimming … or relax on the beach and enjoy the company of all the sand crabs ;-)
We enjoyed it so much there, that we did not leave tha place at all during our 6 days there, but if one wishes to do some excursions, there is a vast choice! We just enjoyed it so much at Sand Island that we did not want to spend our limited time there in any other places than there!
The bungalows have anything you need, and the managers (Cheryl and Arty) and their staff are really always ready to help you with anything!!! WiFi connection in the bungalow was also a great plus to us...
Cheryl arranged pick-up for us at the airport of Mombasa with stop-over at the big Nakumat supermarket in Mombasa, which was great, so we got the chance to buy everything we needed... we ran out of pasta and wine, but the managers have a little shop in their office, so we didn't have to go out and loose precious time to get these few things.
Another thing we really enjoyed was the fact that you could buy fresh fish every day there directly from the fishermen! We also went snorkelig and fishing with one of the fishermen, Samy! It was great! -and very inexpensive! So definitely reccommended!
We always cooked ourselves, because we really enjoyed barbequing the fresh fish, but if you do not fancy cooking, you can even rent a private cook (and it is not expensive at all)!
HIGHLY RECCOMMENDED

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank charthom
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, April 2, 2013
Thank you so much for your wonderful review. It is always great that people take the time to write about us like this and especially when it is from people who work and run their own business in hospitality. You have said so many wonderful things about us but we equally enjoyed having you to stay and share this wonderful place with us for a few days. We wish you a successful and busy summer season in Italy and then very much hope you will take a well deserved rest with us again at Sand Island in the Autumn.
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Vienna, Austria
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed March 9, 2013

we spent 5 nights in february at this delightful place. there are about 8 cottages and all of them are new or newly renovated, nicely decorated, very clean and have everything you need. kitchens are very well equipped, bedrooms have mosquito-nets and fan and bathrooms have hot water. every cottage has a private terrace with comfortable daybeds or sitting areas with a gorgeous seaview.
the site has a private beach (just 20 metres from the cottages away) where no beachboys or other harassment will spoil your vacation. only a few fishermen wait for you at the edge of the property to sell fresh fish or seafood and a nice lady sells once a day delicous samosas. there is a small shop where you can buy cold tusker or milk or other daily products too.
staff is super nice - but the very best of all are the two managers!! they go out of their way to suit you, are super relaxed and try to oblige every request you have. we got a free upgrade to the best and biggest cottage without any additional costs because other clients didn't want to have stairs in their cottage - and even when we decided to stay 2 nights more we didn't have to pay one cent more, although we still stayed in a bigger cottage than agreed. i really loved this place, there is no better way to relax - it feels like paradise and i will definitely go back whenever i will return to kenya!!

Room Tip: we stayed at pweza and papa, both were great!
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank duende24
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 14, 2013
A lovely review and thank you very much for taking the time to write it for us. We always try to ensure that our guests have a good time at our 'little paradise' and thank you for helping us by changing cottages for other guests to also enjoy their stay as much. The peace and tranquility and 'harrassment' free environment of Sand Island does wonders for one's soul and sanity and allows one to 'stop running' and rest the body for a while, especially from the hectic lives we lead. Do come back to visit again soon.
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Southampton, New York
Level 2 Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
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
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Helpful?
3 Thank bonjovirules
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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Additional Information about Sand Island Beach Cottages

Property: 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 5 Specialty Lodging in Tiwi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Sand Island Beach is comprised of ten fully self contained cottages - which sleep between 2 and eight depending on which one you take - 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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