It was a poor Chardonnay experience that catapulted Geoffrey Kariuki into the extraordinary world of wine!

It was not a path typically laid out for a young boy growing up in a small village in Dagoretti on what was once the troubled outskirts of Nairobi, in a class of 66 students competing for the attention of a single teacher. However, Geoffrey’s own story is a striking tale of hope, hard work, talent and the right elements aligning at the right time.


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When Geoffrey began working as a waiter at the trendy Artcaffe in 2009, the wine list presented a minefield of confusion and mispronunciations. Geoffrey did not know what a chardonnay was and was found on one particular day in a situation where he could not help his customer. So, in the style of a man driven to learn, Geoffrey went on a journey of discovery, studying the intricacies of wine.

When the manager of the upcoming Sankara Hotel dined at Artcaffe he was impressed by Geoffrey’s level of service, and offered him a job in the hotel’s new wine cellar. From 2010 to 2013, Geoffrey immersed himself in the world of wine, which soon emerged as a defining, life-altering passion.

He travelled to Stellenbosch, South Africa, to sit his wine master exams with the Wines and Spirit Education Trust and visited over 200 vineyards from the Cape to KwaZulu Natal.

In 2016, Geoffrey was a finalist in the Wines of South Africa International Cup awards, representing both Kenya and the African continent and forming part of an elite group of sommeliers from 8 countries around the world.

Within the space of a few short years, Geoffrey had risen through the ranks of the burgeoning wine industry in Kenya to become the country’s youngest, most renowned sommelier and to win internationally recognised plaudits and approval. He also began training other up-and-coming sommeliers.

A yearlong stint as a sommelier and restaurant manager at a top hotel in Kigali, Rwanda, in 2017, gave Geoffrey additional opportunities to develop his skills for international clients. But Kenya needed him more. He returned to his beloved home country to consult for Nairobi’s prestigious Fairmont Hotel and developed the wine list and a training programme for Five Senses Restaurant , at Yaya Centre.

With a firm belief in expanding his experiences and passing his knowledge and skills onto others, so that they may benefit from his success and go onto charter their own, Geoffrey welcomed the chance to join The Sands at Nomad as our resident sommelier.

We are proud and excited to have Geoffrey as part of our great team. Geoffrey can be found in his element in our stylish wine cellar, training team members, hosting private tastings and helping our diners explore the depth and variety of fine wine.

Diani Beach has once again been crowned Africa’s Leading Beach Destination at the World Travel Awards. It marks the fifth year in a row that our beautiful Diani Beach has won this prestigious award.

Come and see, or even revisit, the secret delights of Kenya’s stunning south coast.

Kenana Knitters at Nomad Boutique

Looking for an ideal gift for the little ones in your life? Pop into our beachside boutique and browse through our gorgeous selection of hand-knitted toys from Kenana Knitters.

Founded in 1998 in the agricultural area of Njoro, on the western rim of Kenya’s stunning Rift Valley, Kenana Knitters was designed to empower Kenyan women living in rural farming villages by helping them to derive a much needed source of income using their spinning and knitting skills. Kenana Knitters was founded on the premise of ‘changing lives stitch by stitch.’

Today, Kenana Knitters employs 500 Kenyan women to knit and spin and make a brighter future for themselves and their families. Knitting is ideal for women who are juggling multiple roles and responsibilities within the home, out in the fields and in the community – often for little or no pay – as it requires minimal equipment and can be done in small chunks of time whilst carrying out other daily activities.

We are proud to support the work of the Kenana Knitters and the company’s commitment to paying fair wages and creating high quality, organic products using AZO free dyes and natural plant dyes from locally grown plants for vibrancy and colour. Each unique design is a handcrafted creation, telling the individual stories of rural Kenyan women and bearing the name of the woman who made it.

Thinking Green Nomad Beach Bar

The five-acre Nomad farm, also known as The Sands Shamba, uses the guiding principles of permaculture farming, combined with waste recycling and up-cycling, to produce fresh, organic fruit and vegetables for the restaurant.

Permaculture farming is the development of sustainable and self-sufficient ecosystems, which uses rather than harms the natural environment so that crops continue to grow over time.

Raised growing beds resting on shallow soil and coral have been created using homemade organic compost from restaurant waste and other organic material. Highly nutritious vegetable waste is also used to feed the farm’s 100 free-range chickens, thus lowering our impact on the environment. It is one of the chickens’ primary functions other than laying eggs.

The farm has so far produced tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, carrots, yellow guavas, passion fruits, herbs, spices, mangoes and lettuces – and more!

Step into the cool and temperate climate of our temperature-controlled, modern wine cellar where you can dine in style and sample the delights of our superb selection of Old and New World wines.

Our experienced sommelier is on hand to recommend a wine to complement your palette and choice of fine dining cuisine. Specially crafted menus can be arranged for private functions including family occasions, a party of friends and ladies who lunch.

Wine connoisseurs will also enjoy our delectable tasting menu featuring chocolate, cheese, Swahili and seafood options. Premier wines from around the world sit in glass cabinets while a beautifully crafted oak table provides the centrepiece of the cellar’s stunning ambience.

Make your reservation now! 0709 538 888