10 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Not worth the money
"We read the the positive reviews on Tripadvisor and decided to stay for 7 nights. It was one of the worst hotels We have stayed in and is overpriced for what little it offers. The Hotel website boasts about all rooms being unique, however we were shown 3 and they were all exactly the same for the ocean view rooms that were expensive. The rooms are dull, with extremely poor lighting. The bathrooms are dated. The TV has only 4 channels, 3 of which are sport!! The clever photography on the web gives a feeling of warmth, far from the truth. The pool is small and far too deep at between 2.5 to 5 meters deep. The loungers around the pool area are so close to the pool edge that a child could easily fall in and drown. The internet room is a tiny room with 2 pc's that normally dont work and again its totally dark in the room so your eyes strain. The food was of poor quality - rice undercooked on one occasion and chicken chewey. The breakfast was not any better, little choice and a few fruits, a bit starnge as Kenya has plentiful fresh fruit. The only positive thing about this hotel is the staff who were all polite and helpful. We were so unhappy we decided to visit Leopard Beach hotel, about 4km from sands. This hotel was spectacular, with better facilities, great rooms and a was a 5 star hotel, unlike the Nomad which we would rate as a 3 star."
- Travel date: 29th October 2007
Paradise found at Sands at Nomad
"I booked the Mbuyu Grande Superior Cottage for our 20th wedding anniversary and it was everything and more than we could have expected. The hotel, the staff and the suite were perfect for the romantic break of a life time. Too many stories to tell but our anniversary day, all set up by the hotel, went from a champagne breakfast on our terrace to a private motor launch down the cost to a private lunch served at our own cove to a trip back up the coast to a dinner to die for on our terrace. Nothing was ever too much trouble for the manager and his staff. Difficult to describe the suite but points to note are the (very)secluded garden with jacuzzi and the open roof that lets it rain inside, into your own fish pond. Cannot recommend this highly enough - wish I was going back tomorrow, with my wonderful wife, of course! RSB. SCOTLAND"
- Travel date: 17th October 2007
A real little gem
"We have just returned from 5 nights at The Sands and I am so glad that I booked this hotel and not one of the others on this coast. It has a maximum of 37 rooms and is therefore very quiet and select unlike it's large neighbours. If you want live entertainment both day and night forget this hotel. If you want a guiet relaxing time then book the Sands. We had a beach bungalow which is very safe and fantastic. It had a large antique bed, lovely antique furniture and a large bathroom with a shower and a hair dryer. They also provide slippers. The bungalow had a thatched roof and was extremely private it was truly unique. Yes the air conditioning was noisy but I have stayed in 5 star deluxe hotels where this has been the case, infact I don't think air conditioning can be quite. We turned it off and just had the overhead fan going which was plenty, infact the noise of the sea sent you to sleep anyway. I am not so sure that I would book a standard room as they did not appear to have balconies and overlooked the gardens and swimming pool. Infact whilst we were there two couples asked to upgrade to different rooms. The service was superb, staff were very friendly and went out of their way to help you, each morning they would make me a special ginger tea which I thought was a lovely touch you were made to feel really special. The food was superb and reasonable price wise. The only fault I could find would be that whilst the swimming pool is a reasonable size and very deep there were not a lot of sun loungers around it but we were happy to lounge around outside our bungalow so it didn't really matter to us. The beach is lovely but there is a problem with the beach boys who did tend to hassle us quite a bit but no where near as bad as Egypt. I really loved this hotel it is a real gem, and would say please donot pay any attention to the previous negative reviews, I am extremely fussy with accomodation and would not be praising this hotel if I didn't think it was worthy of it, please try the Sands you'll love it."
- Travel date: 16th October 2007
"Diani Beach as a location is pleasant enough, despite the 5-10 hawkers that pounce on you as soon as you step off hotel property! The Sands at Nomad, however, was disappointing. Despite the location and the unique wood work in the hotel it did not live up to its own hype. The hotel places its self in a luxury price bracket without being able to reach the standard required. Some (but not all) examples are, no hot water (often), a leaky toilet, pathetic shower, average food, not quite clean enough room and a foreign body in the food one night (A bottle top no less). A complaint came with a sorry and no explanation and we still had to pay for the meal! The staff were friendly, but seemed a little disempowered, any request out side the hotels operations manual is not received well. And as guests we some times felt almost as if we unwelcome or simple requests were an anoyance. For example, on five minutes of arrival we were requested to settle our bill for the whole stay. (They already had a 50% deposit!) But at the same time reception could not provide an invoice for us to check before the credit card was swiped. Just as well we waited for a hand written break down as it took three times to come to the correct figure! I got the distinct impression from the manager that I should put up or shut up! Another example was being told not to touch a buffet of nicely presented food until another (more important than us I guess) group of visiting guests from a sister hotel had seen it! Then being told we would have to sit in the bar area to eat as the more important guests were occupying the restaurant. My advice is, spend a little more and go to the Palms on Zanzibar! The management are wonderful there and staff seem so much more happy. I will not be back to the Sands at Nomad and will not recommend it to my friends, colleagues or other travelers I happen to bump into."
- Travel date: 23rd July 2007
Once is enough
"Ok, I've stayed in worse hotels during my travels. However, before giving all the details I have to point out that the weather was not that thrilling throughout my stay which immediately had a negative impact on arrival given the fact that I had the images of the hotel's website in mind. We stayed at the "Sands at Nomad" for 10 days at the beginning of June and we had booked one of their cottages. Our flight from Nairobi had a 3 hour delay so we were glad to see that the hotel's driver had waited for us. It was late in afternoon by the time we arrived at the hotel and just wanted to freshen up and to get something to eat. The food was excellent and we savored every bite. The view unbeatable. As it grew darker, the animals in the jungle forest, right behind the cottages, were waking up. Whereas I did not mind the monkeys jumping around on top of our cottage, I did mind the huge insects. And I am not exaggerating. Plus all the blood stains on the mosquito net were not really motivating. I woke up in the middle of the night just to see a 5 inch moth clinging to the mosquito net. That pretty much did it for me and I couldn't get back to sleep. On the next day we decided to move to a room in the main building. The receptionist guaranteed an insect-free room without any bloodstains on the walls, etc. After we unpacked and sat down to have a drink, a cockroach made its way up the curtains. The beds were extremely uncomfortable. The staff was friendly and very helpful. Absolutely no negative point in that. The resort has potential, however, the management does not seem to be on top of this rather small operation which leads to problems with even the smallest requests. The restaurants are nice, the food is good. A huge plus side of the restaurants is the location and the view. You can sit there for hours just staring out to the Indian Ocean. Conclusion: If you are a nature-loving adventurer who enjoys going camping every now and then as well and you are not very demanding when it comes to comfort then this is the right place for you. If you are a stressed executive you is looking for a relaxing getaway with a certain level of luxury, go somewhere else."
- Travel date: 11th December 2006
Best hotel on the beach
"When we booked our break in Kenya we chose the Sands from our research on the Web as well as the description in the brochure. I'm glad we did! Of the handful of hotels that we saw along this stretch of beach from various pickups and dropoffs I have to say the Sands looked to me to be the best. The Sands is approached from the coast road via an unassuming track that winds through the forest - which is populated with Colobus monkeys! The small main building is built in a charming traditional rustic style, the welcome fruit cocktails and cold towels on arrival were just the ticket after a the hectic journey from Mombasa. We were shown to our room by a pair of porters who carried our cases down the path and across the lawn. We'd booked the "Mbuyu" grand suite - sounds extravagent but surprisingly it didn't cost a vast amount more than a standard room. I won't describe the room, other than to say ... wow - totally unique! Take a look at the photos. The beach is pure white coral sand and is, without a doubt, the finest beach I have ever walked on, and I've walked on a few. The only problem is, as other reviewers have pointed out, the incessant hassle from the Beach Boys makes a trip to the beach like a round of golf - a good walk spoiled. The best tactic I observed was to basically blank them. Sounds rude, but remember that they're only after your money and they soon leave you alone if you ignore them. The staff are all impeccably turned out, cheery, friendly and eager to serve. The various room service staff were only too happy to put plenty of stock of my favourite beer in the minibar (Tusker Malt, in case you're wondering) and make sure I had an ample supply at all times! If you're thinking of staying here I would recommend one of the beach cottages or suites as they have stunning views of the beach and ocean and come with private sun loungers."
- Travel date: 15th October 2006
"This was our first time at the Sands at Nomad and hopefully not the last! We've stayed at a hotel on the North Coast on numerous occasions (including this time) and have to say that this beats it hands down. Asante sana & tutaonana to everyone at Sands!"
- Travel date: 13th October 2006
"As an off-season (May) visitor, I expected the prices to be quite a bit lower, but I have to admit that this resort is worth a bit more than you might spend elsewhere. When I arrived as a single traveler, there was one other couple at the resort. After they left, the entire resort, staff, and often the adjoining restaurant were completely at my disposal. Maybe that's why the staff treated me like royalty, but I'd like to think they are that way with all their guests. Very attentive and friendly, without being intrusive or snarky. My private cottage was very cozy, and the view was stunning. Wide, sugar-white beaches, turquoise water, great pool, good food in the restaurant... Out of curiosity, I checked out some of the other hotels at Diani Beach, and I would definitely choose Nomad again over all the others, regardless of price. My only complaint would be about the bothersome beach boys, who can ruin a walk on the beach (especially when solitude is your goal), but the hotel's security keeps the boys off the grounds and provide at least the appearance of safety and exclusivity."
- Travel date: 26th May 2006
Great boutique beach hotel
"We just came back from a 5 night stay at the Sands. The hotel is very high quality with an intense view of the ocean. The 37 rooms share over 200 meters of beachfront and this shows. There is an abundance of staff per visitor and the quality tends to be very good. We had a sea-facing suite and felt that it was a bargain and a great match for the needs of a family with 2 kids, as was the pool that had a fun 5m deep deep end and shallower areas for the kids. The restaurant is adjacent to the hotel proper and is of great quality as well. The buffets are perhaps a better deal than the a la carte. The bruchettas are to die for and the pizzas have an authentic italian feel. This is the first beach-front hotel that we liked enough to plan to revisit the property and I felt that it had a lot of the same qualities as the Ian Schrager Boutique hotels we visited."
- Travel date: 13th February 2006
The Sands at Nomad - Great Hotel
"Stayed 7 nights in Dec 05 at The Sands in Diani Beach, Kenya. This boutique hotel had only been operational for 3 weeks or so, therefore there were still somethings to work out. However they have got the basic things spot on. The location has got to be one of the best on an already incredible beach. The hotel design is great and such a change from the other larger resorts along the coast. Being a boutique hotel the service is attentive giving a very personal feel to the hotel. A meal or two at Red Pepper,the Thai restaurant is a must. Overall a much needed addition to the Kenyan Coast."
- Travel date: 1st January 2006
The Sands at Nomad is also called
- sands nomad
- sands nomad diani beach
- sands at nomad diani