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“Great, quiet, full holiday”

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Sand Island Beach Cottages
Ranked #1 of 5 Specialty Lodging in Tiwi
Certificate of Excellence
Toronto, Canada
Level 5 Contributor
64 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 98 helpful votes
“Great, quiet, full holiday”
Reviewed May 19, 2013

My wife and I stayed at Pweza cottage with another couple at the end of Feb 2013, left a couple days before elections!
Pweza cottage was the right choice - beautiful design and comfortable. Spacious enough for two couples to have privacy, and the front porch was ridiculously comfortable.
Cheryl was great with advice and just a positive and helpful attitude, as was Arty.
Almost every day we had Ali cook for us fresh lobster, mussels, fish, oysters, prawn and salads. In the morning we would go to the local fisherman who are so polite and ask for the day's request. By afternoon we had a feast.
We rented a car though Cheryl was extremely helpful finding out options.
The fridge full of beer and wine as well as needed spices etc in the main office was a lifesaver for sure!
Every question we had was answered and Cheryl and Arty assisted with arranging trips and everything.
I was concerned in the beginning that the accommodation was "bare but in fact everything is provided, hot water and cleaning and towels, and food options are easy, fresh and delicious.
We would come back here in a heartbeat and have already recommended Sand Island to a bunch of friends.

Room Tip: Pweza was perfect. Get a cook for fresh seafood. "Little" Ali was a great tour guide for...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank JayKayAndDana
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, June 21, 2013
Great review and thank you very much. Sand Island is not overly complicated and our aim is always to make you as comfortable here as you would be at home - hence the few basic essentials such as beer, wine and chocolates, readily available!! Thank you for the recommendation to your friends and we look forward to welcoming them here soon and hope that you will join them too.
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188 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (36)
Date | Rating
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English first
Guilford, Connecticut
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed May 12, 2013

At the last minute, I needed to attend a conference in Nairobi, Kenya and decided to spend a few days on the coast. Originally, I intended to stay on the north coast, but heard the south was more relaxing. I'm so glad I changed my plans! The hosts at the Sand Island Beach Cottages were absolutely delightful. They arranged everything from airport pick-up, car and driver for a safari and tour of Mombasa, recommendations for places to eat and shop, and cooks to make melt-in-your-mouth dishes of the fishes caught just 50 steps away from my cottage. The beach is beautiful. My cottage was cleaned everyday and all the staff were responsive to my needs. Even though it rained and we had quiet a storm, the internet was up and running and the staff took extra care to keep things dry. As a single traveler I felt very at home and safe. I actually did get a chance to see the north side with it's built-up beach resorts and was even more convinced that I made the right choice. If you're looking for a place to stay where there are no "beach boys," hawkers, and some peace and quiet, this is it.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled solo
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Helpful?
Thank NaomiMigliacci
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, June 21, 2013
It was so super to have you to stay at Sand Island and what an amazing person you are! Not only did you embrace everything that is available here, bad wet and stormy weather included, but you also explored the surrounds locally and in Mombasa and all with such enthusiasm and that wonderful smile on your face. We loved getting to know you and look forward to your next visit which hopefully is not too far away.
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Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed April 7, 2013

Stayed for three days in the Pweza cottage at Sand Island and it was an incredible experience. Cheryl, the manager, is incredibly friendly and accommodating and came by to our cottage several times to check in on us and help my friends and I plan our daily excursions. (She also makes herself quite available via email before your stay). She arranged our taxi to and from the airport and also to the cave restaurant in Diani Beach. The cottages are nice and come with many amenities that we thought we needed to bring on our own and ended up not needing which included fresh towels, potable water, dishwashing soap with a scrubber, some toilet paper. Through Cheryl we hired a cook, Bendit, to make our daily meals - she was incredible in the kitchen and very helpful with getting us fresh fish from the locals. The cottages are 100% open air so do not come expecting air conditioning, there is a fan provided in each room to keep it cool. The staff come and clean up/make beds daily which is nice as well. Our cottage had three fairly large rooms and perfect porch furniture for dining and relaxing on, the beds were comfortable, and the kitchen was just the right size for what we needed for our short stay. We absolutely loved the secluded feel of the area and the welcoming nature of all the locals. My friends and I all took morning jogs that were lovely and no one in the area seemed to mind. The local fishermen are helpful at getting you just the right catch of the day and will also do excursions to see a starfish colony and natural Africa shaped pool - they will also tell you the best way to walk out into the water to avoid any sea urchins. Their is a small spa/salon a 5 minute walk away which was a nice treat as well. The whole place is a very safe and family friendly environment (we didn't even need to lock up at night as there was no need). I am definitely coming back here on my next trip to Kenya and would highly recommend this place to anyone traveling in the area.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank Sara M
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
I hope you all had a good trip back to Kinsasha and wish you well with your teaching projects there - tough environment but now you know there is always Sand Island to come to! It was wonderful having you all to stay and even more so as we saw how much you were enjoying yourselves and really experiencing the magic of Sand Island. Safe early morning jogs, super meals prepared by Binti, a bit of indulgence for lunch and dinner and then some pampering at the salon next door - even a trip to Diani to Forty Thieves Beach Bar and then the Cave for a special birthday treat. Come back soon and hopefully next time for a bit longer.
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oxford
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
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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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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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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