THIS IS NOT THE MALDIVES. Welcome to the one and ONLY over the water villa in Kenya and one of the only three locations in Africa.

This is The Sands At Chale Island in Diani Beach, Kenya. Like most couples we always dreamed of the famous Maldives which is probably the most beautiful place on earth. But let's face it, going to the Maldives is very expensive especially after adding flights.

But a few weeks ago we discovered this true hidden gem in Kenya. A Maldives like feel and look right here in Diani Beach Kenya. This over the water villa was everything we expected and more. Located on the other side of Chale Island, isolated from the other cottages it offers more privacy than you can ever dream of.

The villa itself is very spacious with a bedroom, living room and bathroom, basically everything you need. But what makes this over the water villa really special is for sure the balcony; the view of the blue ocean water and your own access to the Indian Ocean.

Lastly the outdoor seating area of this over the water villa faces West giving anyone staying there the most beautiful sunset over the Ocean.

3 hours but a million miles away


If you want to escape the city to find an oasis of tranquility and beauty, Chale Island is a private island bliss. From Nairobi, Chale Island is just a short 3 hour hop away – including a one hour domestic flight from Nairobi to Ukunda, followed by a 30 – minute ride to Chale Island.

Also known as the ‘Eden of Kenya’, the island is nestled in nature, among colourful flora and fauna, including a teeming coral reef, resident colubus monkeys, rich bird life and a mangrove forest.

The resort boasts a private powder-white beach only accessible by the hotel guests.

In addition to all this natural beauty, Chale Island also offers a wide variety of activities to choose from:

  • try diving with Diving the Crab, the local dive center;
  • relax at the Spa, blended into the heart of the island and perfectly integrated with nature;
  • kayak or SUP through the mangrove forests.

With six different room types available, offering a spacious and comfortable stay, Chale Island is ‘3 hours but a million miles away’.

The Hotel

Specifically built with nature and the environment in mind, The Sands at Chale Island is one of the most low impact hotels in Kenya.

Spread out to offer the utmost in privacy and romance, even when at full capacity one has a tremendous feeling of peace, tranquility and seclusion.

The combination of white beach, tropical plants, laid back island flair and Kenyan hospitality is what dreams are made of.


There are three swimming pools on Chale Island.

Beside the reception is the main fresh water swimming pool, built with local stone and connected by a small waterfall to a sixteen seater Jacuzzi. Plentiful sun beds are scattered around the generous pool surround.

Located between the Standard Rooms is another swimming pool area with pool bar and sun beds. Enjoy the tranquility and relax with magnificent panorama views on the Indian Ocean.

On the other side of the Island by the SPA and fitness area is a salt-water swimming pool with steps leading directly into the sea at high tide offering a magical swim through the mangroves to the main jetty.


The Sands at Chale Island offers six categories of accommodation to suit all tastes and demands, while always fulfilling the philosophy of “the buildings should be elegant but not luxurious, blending into the natural environment and reflecting the traditional architecture with a minimum four star standard”

All rooms are fully air-conditioned.

In an effort to reduce our carbon footprint as much as possible the main generator is turned off from 10:00 until 17:00. During this time there is no power available in the rooms, however the central public area of the Hotel is powered by a smaller generator.

Standard Rooms


Carefully set into the natural environment, the main buildings with 28 spacious semi-circular en-suite rooms and Swahili day beds set on breezy verandas facing the ocean ensure all comforts are taken care of.



The Bandas (Swahili: small house) offer a unique and truly coastal holiday.

All Bandas have high, palm thatch roofs with views either out to sea, over the beach, or panoramas encompassing lagoon, channel, mangroves and the setting sun over the Shimba Hills. Sun beds set on private front lawns and large verandas with Swahili day beds give relaxing views.

Penthouse Suites

Set well above the swaying treetops these suites offer breathtaking views of both ocean and island.

Featuring a separate sitting room, a veranda with a stunning 270 degree view of the ocean and an upstairs grotto facing the sunset, the penthouse suites will give you the ultimate all round island view.

Overwater Suite

A first of their kind in Kenya, the Water Bandas are located on the northwest of the island with stunning views of Bird Island, Gazi Bay and, in the distant sunset, the Shimba Hills.

The suite has a large bedroom with an en-suite bathroom which looks out over the channel and a separate sitting room.

Suite on the Rocks


Not only a honeymooners dream, everyone’s dream!

Situated on a separate islet connected to the main Island by a stone bridge, a thatched roof soars high above the circular construction, then plunges down in the middle allowing rainwater to fall directly into a mini garden in the center of the room. A circular stairway leads one around an intricately crafted wall garden to an upstairs lounge, while the front veranda overlooks a private Jacuzzi on the cliff face and sunbathing deck.

Extravagant opulence at its peak!