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Luxury & nature pure on a secluded island
After we went to Namibia last year and to South Africa in April, we finally got to visit Africa again – this time we went to Kenya. We have wanted to go there for a long time! The combination of beach and safari is really awesome!
And we are off to the coast. The flight to the Kenyan coast only takes 8 and a half hours. We flew non-stop over night with Condor from Frankfurt to Mombasa. You land very early and also depart early again, but actually that is good, because otherwise you would probably be stuck in traffic.
At the airport we were picked up punctually by a driver from D.M.Tours. Driving on your own in Kenya is not recommended. Sections of road are rather undeveloped and the Kenyans are not exactly considerate drivers. With your own driver you can sit back, relax and start your holiday.
After an approximately 2 hour drive we reached the pier to Chale Island (about 12 km south of Diani Beach).
At low tide you will be picked up here with the tractor and at high tide with the boat, of course.
After a short crossing (600 m) we were finally there – on the only island and one of the most environmentally friendly hotels in Kenya, the 4 star hotel resort, The Sands at Chale Island.
We were heartily welcomed with a warm “Karibu” – the Swahili word for welcome!
Interview with Richard Glaser
We met with Richard Glaser the manager of The Sands at Nomad & Chale Island! Richard has been living in this beautiful country with his wife Claudia and 2 sons for 10 years. He loves Kenya above all else. Let him tell you why.
“Once you are infected with the Africa virus, you have to come back here again and again” – Richard Glaser, GM The Sands
Right next to reception is the beautiful powdery white sandy beach, the Indian Ocean and one of the most beautiful beaches in Kenya. Depending on the tides you can snorkel, swim or relax on the sun beds with a delicious cocktail or “Tusker” beer (a well-known beer brand in Kenya).
The water temperature is at least 26° Celsius – that is almost bathtub warm!
There are no beach boys on this private beach, but wood carvers, who offer beautiful sculptures and carvings.
As you are in the east of Kenya, you can watch the beautiful sunrise from here. If you want to see the sunset, you should stay in one of the Overwater Suites on the other side of the island.
“Talking to each other means loving one another.” -from Kenya
What we particularly love about Africa are its friendly people! From the beginning to the end of our trip we met such lovely people. And the staff on Chale Island was sweet, friendly, open and very accommodating. We had a lot of fun with them!
The hotel has 3 swimming pools. The central pool has a large jacuzzi and is very warm. Unfortunately, it is only open until 19:00, but you can enjoy it until sunset.
Another pool with pool bar is located between the Towers, right at the ocean.
A third salt water pool with direct access to the ocean can be found on the other side of the island – at the spa and fitness center.
Rooms and Suites
The accommodation is environmentally friendly and buildings are constructed from natural Kenyan materials such as wood and bamboo. The accommodation facilities are spread out through the island and offer a lot of privacy! There are the standard and superior Bandas, the Towers with double rooms and penthouse suites, the Overwater Suites and the Suite on the Rocks. The suites are just perfect for honeymooners!
For the sake of the environment, electricity is only available in the rooms from 6pm until 10am with the exception of the Penthouse and Overwater Suites as well as the Suite on the Rocks. If you want to recharge something, you are welcome to do so at the front desk. The safe is also located there.
All rooms have sea views, air conditioning, fans, showers and a terrace or balcony. The interesting mix of Swahili style, Italian stucco, antique Lamu and mahogany furniture is very cozy.
The comfy Bandas have palm-thatched roofs, a private front garden, a veranda with sun beds, a Swahili day bed and great views of the ocean, the beach, the lagoon, the channel or the mangroves. The superior bandas also have large glass doors and outdoor showers.
There are 40 double rooms and 2 penthouse suites in the two towers. The standard semi-circular rooms have large balconies each with a Swahili day bed.
The penthouse suites are located above the tree tops at the top of the towers. They have a separate living room, a water dispenser, a minibar, a huge balcony, a lounge on the 2nd floor and a jacuzzi on the roof with a 270 degree sea view.
We stayed in one of these beautiful penthouse suites – in the North Tower.
The large balcony with its breathtaking view is a real dream!
The rooms and the bathroom are decorated in warm African colors with gorgeous materials. Very comfortable!
The highlight is the rooftop jacuzzi with its beautiful view!
The Overwater Suites are unique in Kenya. They are secluded and located on the northwest of the island and have beautiful views of the ocean, Bird Island, Gazi Bay and fantastic sunsets. They have large bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms and an additional living room. On the veranda they also have a jacuzzi, sun beds, a day bed and a ladder that leads directly into the sea. You really have peace and quiet here and can spend some wonderful romantic moments.
Suite on the Rocks
A very special suite is located directly on the beach on a small separate islet and is connected to the main island by a stone bridge.
Rainwater can flow through a hole in the roof directly into a miniature garden in the center of the suite and a circular staircase leads to the upper lounge. A special highlight is the jacuzzi on the reef with a sun terrace with sun beds and a Swahili day bed for relaxing.
The hotel offers meals on half board, full board and all inclusive basis. In the evening, delicious themed buffets are served with Oriental, Mediterranean and traditional Kenyan cuisine.
Highly recommended are the live grill stations with the catch of the day in the evening or eggs in the morning. The food is very delicious and diverse! Our tip: At the back of the restaurant, behind the live stations, there are more tables and couches.
Snacks, afternoon tea and of course, drinks are offered at the main bar “Chapateria” at reception. The “Galana” pool bar is located at the pool between the towers.
Maisha Poa Spa
The “Maisha Poa” (Swahili: good life) Spa is located in the middle of the island, surrounded by beautiful nature. The semi-open treatment houses are spread out over the tidal lake in the middle of the mangrove forest.
We enjoyed an excellent aromatherapy massage! Massages in Africa are very special indeed and definitely not to be missed!
Thanks to our therapists, Amon and Dorcas, we were able to relax completely. Spa Menu
Souvenirs, sun cream! And all things nice can be found in the two shops between the main pool and the two towers.
During the Forest Walk with Erick you can explore the sacred forest (Kaya) and visit another beach. When the inhabitants of the local communities are worried, they come into the forest to pray, for example, for rain. When their prayers have been answered, they come back and happily celebrate with a beach barbecue.
On our way, we met two boys who just grilled their freshly caught blowfish for lunch.
Honeymoon & Wedding
This island is the perfect place for a honeymoon or dream wedding right on the beach with the Indian Ocean in the background! If you like, you can also get married in complete privacy on the Suite on the Rocks’ veranda.
Document service, marriage certificate, wedding fees, wedding officer, decoration for the ceremony, room flowers, bridal bouquet and corsage, wedding cake, a bottle of champagne, manicure and pedicure for the bride, partner massage for the bride and groom (all for € 1900)
Special Honeymoon Package (view)
- Welcome drink on arrival
- Floral arrangement
- Bottle of wine and fruit platter
- Partner massage in the Spa
- Candlelight dinner on the beach
(Minimum stay requirements: 3 nights in Bandas or Suites, valid for up to 6 months after the wedding.
We were lucky enough to witness a beach wedding. For the celebration, tables were set up on the beach and lanterns and fairy lights enhanced the romantic atmosphere. Wonderful – by day and at night!
The ceremony on the beach, with the sounds of the ocean in the background, singers and floral decoration, incredibly beautiful and so romantic!
It was so sweet – the hotel staff was also curious and watched the whole ceremony hidden behind a tree!
Romantic dinner on the beach
With romantic lanterns and your toes in the sand, you can sit back and relax while being served a delicious 4-course menu.
Water sports & more
For the more energetic, the diving and water sports center “Diving the Crab” offers a variety of water sports such as snorkeling, glass bottom boat trips, kayaking, windsurfing, deep sea fishing, catamaran sailing and diving (PADI/SSI). With some luck between November and February, you can even watch whale sharks. Diving the Crab Price list
At reception, there is a notice board with a new list of activities every day, such as the Forest Walk with Erick, a snorkeling course in the pool, snorkeling tours, yoga and much more. You should also make sure you do not miss the Giriama dance group’s performance!
We found it incredibly magnificent on this dream island with its extremely beautiful natural surroundings, the great beach and the warm hearted staff. They made our stay here unforgettable.Due to the fact that the rooms/bandas are spread out, it never seems full and there are many romantic and hidden corners. I do not think we have even discovered everything in our 3 days. And then there is also the wonderful climate – the same as in the Seychelles! Fantastic and highly recommended!
Rooms: 60 rooms (Double rooms in the Towers, Bandas, Penthouse Suites, Overwater Suites, Suite on the Rocks)
Transfer: About 2 hours from Mombasa airport. Our tip: D.M.Tours
Check-in / Check-out: 12:00 / 10:00
Air Temperature: 20 – 32.5° Celsius
Water Temperature: 26 – 29° Celsius
Malaria: Malaria risk area. Ensure that you take the necessary malaria prophylaxis (Malarone)
Vaccinations: Polio, Tetanus, Diphtheria, Hepatitis A and B; Yellow fever when entering neighboring countries such as Tanzania more info
Best time to visit: Year round; High season is from June – September, October – February are the hottest, March – May are the rainiest months and there might still be some rain in November.
Flight duration: With Condor nonstop from Frankfurt to Mombasa in 8 and a half hours
Time difference: 2 hours (1 hour in summer)
Price: Double Rooms in The Towers: from € 134- /night incl. HB; Bandas: from € 218- /night incl. HB; Penthouse: from € 482-/night incl. HB; Overwater Suites: from € 534/night incl. HB; Suite on the Rocks: from € 666-/night incl. HB.
Special features: private island with private beach and lots of privacy, cozy rooms, great service, great food
Perfect for: couples, families, nature lovers, beach lovers, weddings and honeymoons
The Sands at Chale Island
Diani Beach Road
Diani Beach, Kenya
Telefon:+254 728 333310
Certificate of Excellence Winner 2014, 2016 – TripAdvisor
The 5-star sister hotel, The Sands at Nomad, is located just half an hour away – right on Diani Beach and not far from the Ukunda Airstrip. These two hotels can be combined perfectly during a round trip. (Our article to follow)
For us, however, the journey went on to the Ukunda Airstrip. A driver from DM Tours picked us up again on time for our flight to the Masai Mara. (Our article to follow)
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Note: During our stay we were supported by The Sands at Chale Island und D.M.Tours. Thank you so much! The opinions expressed in this article is nonetheless 100% our own! This journey was organized by Magical Kenya (Kenya Tourism Board). A heartfelt thank you!