Rotate phone to view
full screen images
The Sands at Chale Island
is located in the Kinondo and Gazi
area of the South Coast
Travelling south from the busy Diani Beach area, the level of tourist development falls away sharply and the beaches of the Kinondo Peninsular feel blissfully remote by comparison, just a gorgeous stretch of white sand, backed by dirt tracks through pleasant traditional villages. The plots along the back of the beach are mostly empty, with a few containing the holiday homes of up-country Kenyans and just a couple with small and upmarket beach lodges.
Of all the lodges on the whole 50km stretch of the coast south from Mombasa, The Sands at Chale Island has the most spectacular location, on a private island just offshore from a remote peninsular. Centred around a beautiful private beach, the main reception, lounge and dining areas are set in a cluster of open-sided thatched buildings, leading out to a decent swimming pool area. Further facilities include a spa, gym and watersports centre. Guest accommodation is in around 50 rooms, some of which are simple but pleasant detached bungalows, the remainder being in unusual five storey towers.
Activities in the area include walking around the forests, remote beaches and mangrove forests of the island, plus snorkelling, paddle-boarding, body boarding, sailing and kayaking offshore. Day trips further afield are available for excellent diving, snorkelling and swimming with dolphins in the Kisite Marine Reserve to the south, plus golf. kite-surfing, wind-surfing, sky-diving and other such facilities back in the Diani Beach area to the north.
The main potential downside is that the lodge so clearly does not live up to the billing of its superb location. It is over-large for the space available, surprisingly simple and the tower block rooms seem particularly inappropriate. Furthermore lodge is heavily dominated by a single Italian package holiday operator.Prices