This is a tough review to write as our experience with this property was mixed...
The good: Everything the previous reviewers described about the property are right on- the grounds are amazing! 40 well landscaped and manicured acres made up of threess ridges and valleys. We hiked down to Secret Beach everyday without difficulty. They have well-maintained stairs leading down to the beach from all locations on the property. Each stair is held up with a 2x4 piece of Trex type decking and two bars of rebar- very sturdy (there are a lot of stairs to climb so if you are not in the best of shape you will either have to take it really slow or not hike it at all). Our Hale Lani cottage had a great view and the hot tub in back felt great in the morning.
The Not So Good: We thought that for the price the appliances in the cottage were a bit tired- the BBQ ignition did not work, the refrigerator could not be adjusted and froze all our stuff, the plates & bowls were chipped and half the doors either did not lock or the handles were gone all together (you had to use a dowel to keep the dorr 'locked'). We are just being nit-picky but honest here as the beautiful grounds made up for all this.
The Bad: The Hale Lani cottage backs right up to the property line and on Sunday (our first full day) the neighbors behind us decided to start clearing out their land. We suffered the noise of chainsaws the whole week we were there. Not only the noise was bothersome but they cleared out all their trees giving us a clear view of their house (when sitting out on the lani we could see people on their deck- and they us). It absolutely eliminated any feel of privacy we had the day we arrived. If you are planning on staying at the Hale Lani somethime in the next few months you may experience the same lack of privacy until the border plants fill out (and make sure you lock your doors when you go out).
Overall: We have been traveling to Hawaii regularly for years and have never experienced a property as wonderful as this- it was too bad we had all the distractions during our stay.
I'm actually a little hesitant to write this review because Secret Beach Hideaway is incredible!!! I don't want it to get too popular so that the prices go up! Secret Beach Hideaway is composed of 3 or 4 cottages on 40 acres of gardens in the north shore of Kauai. My husband and I stayed at Hale Nanae for the last 3 nights of our honeymoon. Coming from 2 islands where we stayed in larger hotels, the quiet and privacy that Hale Nanae offered us was incredible. The cottage is small, but honestly, a perfect size. We had a small kitchen with tons of appliances and tableware, a chair and small couch, 2 tvs, dvd player, washer/dryer (this was critical after the muddy hiking we did!) and a super comfortable bed. I almost forgot to mention the hot tub, outdoor shower, and our waterfall and pond. The place is paradise. We were so comfortable and there was so much privacy. At night the only noise we heard were the crickets and the frogs. During the day when we came back from hiking, we spent hours walking through the gardens and greenery. I've stayed at very nice hotels before...some of the best in the world...but i've never seen such beautiful, cared for landscaping. There is also a fairly easy walk down to Secret Beach (which other reviews I've read in the past say that it's not so secret anymore). This beach is rugged and in my opinion, so quiet which is so nice after the hectic crowded nature of Maui and Big Island. The 2 times we visited, there averaged 4 people on the beach. I highly recommend Secret Beach Hideaway and I will definitely visit again!
What a honeymoon! If you want privacy and scenery, this place cannot be beat. We explored the island by day and enjoyed the intimacy of the accommodations by night. The hot tub was fantastic, and the walk to the beach unbelievable. The hiking nearby was phenomenal! Thank you for an unforgettable honeymoon!!
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We stayed in the Hale Lani cabin - and everything everyone says about the beauty, the privacy, the amentities...all true.
We were there for 5 nights of our honeymoon, after staying at a resort in Wailea (Maui) and two nights in Hana (Maui). It was a welcome change to be in a home, with a kitchen, laundry, etc. we were really pleased and would most likely recommend the place to any other honeymooning couples. a few things to note though:
- the trip down to Secret Beach is VERY long and VERY steep, although the website does not seem to suggest as such. It is not easily accessible and I highly recommend this only to people in good shape. There is a driveway that gets you closer - only when we did drive down there to avoid the climb, property management informed us that was 'not allowed' and made us move our car back to the cottage. This is completely contrary to the owner's early indication that we had full access to the 35 acre estate. Even after we told them that I had had two knee surgeries this past year and it was painful to get up and down the path, we were still told we had to move our car.
- the owners and property manager seem more interested in keeping their house damage and dirt free than in making sure their guests are informed and having a nice time. Even the instructions when we showed up seemed a bit harsh - telling us not to use our roller luggage on the floor or wear shoes in the house. The instructions did not let us know how to use the complicated appliances in the home or provide us with many suggestions for things to do in the area. The property manager was also not willing to help us book activities and sent us only a few suggestions before we came out there (one of which with an incorrect url). For $500/night, a bit more customer service would have been nice, especially since the website seems to suggest that there are all kinds of things to do at the cottage and with the help of the staff.
- the place is TINY. We were surprised at how unnecessarily small it was and it was as if the owners took great pains to ensure that it was as small as possible. I.e. you are unable to do some laundry and watch TV at the same time in this place, as a space saver.
I know this review sounds harsh, but there are some wonderful things to note.
- the animals around this place are amazing...we had birds, gheckos, toads all around us and it was wonderful
- i saw another review talk of an insect problem. we NEVER experienced that. Never saw a ghecko or ant in the place.
- the bed is the most comfortable we have ever slept on. Some of the best nights sleep in our lives were spent there...
- the jacuzzi is lovely and very private
- the appliances are top notch...although a bit complicated to use. Good luck trying to microwave or bake something!
But we really did have a lovely time, we just may have chosen differently if we had all of the information beforehand. This is clearly an expensive option for renting a cottage in Kauai so we had really high expectations - the house was lovely, but for that much money, there should have better customer service and closer proximity to the beach.
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After researching for something small, romantic and self contained on the island of Kauai for several weeks, I finally stumbled upon the Secret Beach Hideaway website. Wow! From the looks and the description it seemed to be perfect, however nothing could prepare us for the actual property!
We stayed for 5 nights in the Hale Lani villa and all I can say was that it is even more amazing in person then even this description or the one on their website can provide. If you are looking for total indulgence, peace and quiet, romance and basically to get away from everything. Hale Lani is the place to do it (this is coming from someone who doesn't relax very easily while on holiday!)
From the sound of the waves below waking us up in the morning, to the sunset cocktails on the front porch, everyday was fantastic. We leisurely explored the island (highly recommend a helicopter tour..we used Blue Hawaiian..fantastic), dined out, but mainly we took full advantage of the beautiful facilities and grounds of the Secret Beach Hideaway.
If you want the ultimate indulgence, be sure to book an 'onsite' massage with some of the providers listed in the in room guide. My wife had one with Ocean that was incredible.highly recommended.
Overall I would highly recommend this property for people looking to getaway from everything and spoil themselves. We left our young kids at home with their grandparents and totally recharged for 5 days. We will definitely be back when the bank balance returns to normal! :)
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This was fantastic. You expect places to be a little over advertised and hope that it lives up to its reputation. This place exceed all of our expectations. We have a very priviate, very quiet stay. Only sounds were from nature. We spent every evening on the lani watching the sunset. We bought the makings and cooked ourselves one night and did carry out a number of times. Breakfast was always fresh fruit and muffins. We did not want to go out to eat when we had such a wonderful place all of our own.
The outdoor shower got a lot of use. It really is outdoors on the side of house with a view of our lawn but very private.
There was a nicely maintained trail to Secret Beach. In fact they were working on it while we were there. It is a ways down and might take 10 or 15 minutes but not a problem if you are in reasonable shape. I'm 67 and my wife is also over 21.
The Hale Lani cottage is small but very much first class.
We stayed at the Hale Lani cottage for a week in October 2005 during our honeymoon. Upon our arrival at 10 PM, I was so excited when we drove through the property gates and toward the cottage. When we got out of the car I first noticed what I thought to be small lawn decorations that resembled frogs spread about the property surrounding the villa. I asked the manager who welcomed us if those were purchased from Smith and Hawkin and she said they were real toads. There must have been 50 of them. I was so disturbed by this, as most brides would have been. Every evening they would come out once it became dark and sit under the landscape lighting and beneath the villa porch door lighting. To enter and leave at these times, meant running out to make sure the toads would not jump inside. Often times the toads would jump at the glass sliding doors. On our first full day there, my husband went to remove the hot tub cover and there were about 20 frogs hiding underneath the cover around the perimeter of the tub itself. It was so disgusting to see. They could not be easily swayed to move either. As a result, I would not get into the tub that day or any days after that.
To add to this, there was a family of 3 geckos that lived in the villa. It was like clockwork - every night at 5:45 PM the 3 geckos would crawl out of the ledge located where the edge of ceiling meets the main villa wall in the living room (above the bedrm. door). For the next 12 hrs., the 3 of them would lurk about the villa. This really creeped me out. I asked one of the managers if she would have someone get rid of them, and she told us we were on an island and that it was normal. (In the letter we received from management, prior to arriving on the island, they indicated that we should keep doors closed so that geckos do not get into the villa. Little did I know that they already lived inside it.) When they were not resting on the slope of the cathedral ceiling they were hiding in the plant on the kitchen counter, running up and down the kitchen walls, or climbing along the bedroom ceiling. And of course, you have to watch out for gecko droppings that would appear on the floors. I was absolutely grossed out when one gecko decided to live behind my bath towel along the wall in the bathroom. It remained behind the towel for the last 3 days of our visit. As a result, I resorted to using a hand towel. That was the last straw for me, at least I thought.
We bought prepackaged food, like chips and crackers, for the week and put it in the drawers in the kitchen. I even went so far as to double wrap the items that we opened in plastic bags. That did not stop the ants. I had to throw away all of the food from the drawers since ants had infiltrated these areas. It looked like an entire colony had setup residence.
As for the beach, it was absolutely beautiful. However, do not expect to get there via a lush green pathway that they advertise on their website. Yes, there is a short stretch of greenway, but you will soon encounter a steep sloping hill with pieces of wood built into the landscape that are supposed to serve as steps. You have to walk sideways down this steep slope and need to take your time so as not to trip or lose balance on the uneven grounding. Once you have reached the bottom of the slop you will still need to cross a field of brush and branches and then proceed slightly uphill and over more land, and then down a very steep staircase to the beach. It was actually a workout getting to the beach. Also, beware of hissing creatures along the paths.
Aside from all that I have described, it is a beautiful property and the views are outstanding. Although, I wish I would have known about the downsides before I decided to book this property for my honeymoon.