October 16-20 2008
We stayed at North Country Farms for 4 nights, instead of our planned and payed for 8. Unfortunately we did not have a satisfactory stay.
Firstly, we had a problem with the garbage collection, or lack of. What to do with the garbage is not covered in the welcome binder. For a 2 or 3 day stay the privacy is appreciated, overall on an 8 night stay the garbage needs to be taken care of, and with the abundance of bugs it needs to be dealt with often. We had to ask Skye and Bay where to take the garbage and how to acquire fresh towels, but Bay seemed rather unsure of what to do with things. He said he had to ask his Mom. Unfortunately Lee was in New York so we feel that this may have contributed to our poor experience. People do need to feel that they are staying in a hygienic and clean atmosphere.
Secondly there was not an abundance of fruit and vegetables as advertised. There was almost nothing to pick from in the orchards and little available in the garden. A few types of lettuce is really all that was available.
There were ALOT of bugs, which we could handle. We even learned to tolerate the geckos, however one evening while sitting on the bed outside we saw a rat climb the tree directly over the outdoor shower and head up onto the roof of the cottage. That was too much for me, and I've spent a month in Brazil!
The morning of our fourth day we decided to return to Oahu, we told Skye we were going to leave and would like some of our money refunded. Again he had to contact his Mom. Lee told us over the phone that no one has ever left early and would not refund our money. She said she would try and post the room on craigslist and get back to us by email and maybe refund us the difference, but we never heard anything from them again. Maybe we should have been more open about why we were leaving, but overall we were just glad to be leaving and ultimately it was worth taking the loss to improve our accommodations.
On a positive note northern Kauai is beautiful place to stay.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
December 12, 2008
Below is an email I sent to the guests who wrote this review. . .
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I have just read your review on TripAdvisor. I am always sorry when people's expectations are not met. We have been in this business for over 20 years and have had only a handle of people who were not satisfied with their stay with us. I suspect that the wonderful notion of staying in a green, low-keyed environment is appealing to folks, while the reality of a tropical place that does not use insecticides is not.
Many of your "issues" were addressed in my reply to the only other negative review we have on TripAdvisor, so I do wish you had read that response before posting your comments. However, I am happy to answer your specific complaints both in this email and on the site.
Not only did I post the cottage on Craigslist for a discount on a possible last-minute booking after you left, but I emailed you to say that I did not get any inquiries.
Also, contrary to what you said, in the welcome booklet in the cottage the following is stated "Trash and recycling go into the wastebaskets in your cottage and then into the bins by our shed up at the main house which are clearly marked." Our goal is to not disturb our guests as much as possible and assume they are capable of doing a bit of light housekeeping while they are with us. In an attempt to keep our prices reasonable, it is also notable that we have no cleaning fee, knowing that most people are respectful of keeping the cottage clean and fine with taking out their own garbage and recycling while here.
Rats?! Ugh. Like any farm,they are around and one of the reasons we have our farm cats. Sorry you came "face to face" with one. That is most unpleasant, certainly.
Obviously, I cannot control what is in season in the orchard at any given time and perhaps only our staple crop of bananas was happening while you were here. Fruit is seasonal here, just as on the mainland. If you were our guests right now, you would be overwhelmed with the oranges, grapefruits and tangerines growing. We joked with our current guests this morning that they had to eat more to help us out! But, I know without a doubt, because I planted them, that there were several varieties of lettuce, swiss chard, kale, arugula, beets, cilantro, basil, parsley, cabbage, pac choi, eggplant, tat sai and radishes in the garden when you were here. Maybe you expected other vegetables, but we cannot grow several things organically here on Kauai (like tomatoes, peppers, squash) due to the presence of fruit fly, which needs the deadly pesticide malathion to control.
Lastly, in response to your publicly posted remark about Bay not providing you with fresh towels, I understand that shortly after you asked Bay, who usually does not handle the guests, he told Sky of your request and the towels were brought to you promptly.
When I am home, I am the hostess and, yet, always people comment on the kindness and helpfulness of my kids and the wonderful folks who live on the farm. Mostly I guess I am so sorry you were not more honest with Sky when he asked about your early departure, nor with me when we spoke on the phone. You told us the weather was not very nice. Hardly anything we could attempt to do anything about! We always try to tweak our response to anything guests are concerned about or need, of course. I am sure you read our guest book in the cottage and saw that people are amazingly content and pleased with our farm and cottages. And perhaps you are not aware of the impact of your words on a public forum like Trip Advisor. In either case, I am sorry that you had a less-than-perfect stay with us, and hope the remainder of your time in the Hawaiian Islands was pleasant.
In aloha, Lee
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.