I am pretty convinced I am a water baby – put me next to a pool or the ocean and I am in heaven! I had a friend visiting me from Canada (though he is Mexican, and I would prefer he maintain that!) and I needed to find a good beach holiday! I remembered having visited Chale Island when I was quite young, and at that time it was very run down. I checked up again, and was happy to see they had revived the amazing island getaway!
My friend wanted to see some Kenyan night life at the beach, and for me, Diani Beach is always a win! Clean beach, warm ocean and pearly white sands, and some great night-clubs and restaurants! What else would one possibly want!
I found out that the Sands at Nomad had some pretty awesome offers, and being a boutique hotel ,was nice and small, without the rush of mass tourist itineraries! I called them up, and was so pleasantly surprised by the friendliness of their staff. Throughout their planning process, Rosaria and Susan were meticulous, and even ensured we were upgraded to a superior beach-front room for free!!! Our room literally faced the ocean, and was also so close to the pool!
Upon arrival at the Ukunda airstrip, we were transferred by a hotel driver to the resort, where we were welcomed with frangipani garlands and cold, refreshing juice! Our rooms were ready, with the cutest little soapstone dolphin gifts with inspirational quotes on our beds, and we literally ran right into the ocean! We stayed at Nomad for two nights, which were very nice! The service at the hotel was excellent, and I loved the warm plun
While in Diani, we tried out all sorts of restaurants:
- Blue Marlin – looked dodgy and empty but definitely had some of the best seafood I have tried in a while!
- Bidi Badu – local hang out on the beach, owned by a Swahili-Arab family! Their prawn curry in coconut – orgasmic!
- Ali Barbours – Have to say, the ambience is stunning (the restaurant is in a cave!) but I was not impressed by their food
We also went to our favourite bar, Forty Thieves, always good for a night out!
For our last night, we decided to stay at The Sands At Chale Island , a magical island about half an hour out of Diani, also managed by the Sands at Nomad group. At the end of the mainland, depending on the tide, you have to take a tractor (low tide) or boat (high tide) across to Chale. Once there, you are welcomed into Paradise! Chale is all built on coral rock, with all Banda rooms facing the sea! Again here we were upgraded to Banda rooms for free! Both resorts used bathroom products from eco-friendly cinnabar green, my kinda people!
The island is surrounded by beautiful ocean views all round, and has an amazing white sand beach, with no beach boys to harass you, and very few people actually using it! Such bliss! There are three pools on the island, with the Galana pool going around the bar being our favourite!
At low tide, you can wade into the shallow corals to see beautiful marine-life! For a second I felt like Ariel , surrounded by beautiful fish! The water is literally crystal-clear, with so much to observe!
Fish eagles roam the island, which is also home to familes of vervet and colobus monkeys, as well as baboons! Kayaking is an amazing experience, and a trip down the mangrove lagoon makes you feel like you are in a world far,far away! For the sporty ones, you can play volleyball on the beach and make new friends!
The hotel still needs some improvements, but the food was excellent! They had vegetarian sushi and lettuce at all meals (including breakfast!) which made me oh so happy – I am ADDICTED to lettuce! There was an entire table dedicated to spice powders (Mistress of spices here we come!) and fresh fish was cooked any way you wanted!
At night, we sat on the beach without disturbance from anyone, and watched the stars and the moon.
Chale – there is nothing like it. Will I be back? For sure!