We stayed at Secret Beach Hideaway in Hale Lani for 4 nights of a 9 night vacation in Kauai. Four nights were not enough. This was our first visit to Kauai and we wanted to stay a few nights on both the southern and northern parts of the island. It is very hard to describe in a few words how absolutely breathtaking the experience at this cottage was for the two of us. The Pacific views were stunning, the gardens and grounds were perfection, and the cottage and everything about it was private, upscale, and luxurious. This vacation rental villa property was exactly like it appeared on the Secret Beach Hideaway Web site.
The sunsets we experienced from the cottage over Na Pali and Bali Hai (of South Pacific fame) are amazing and spiritual. You can see whales jumping out in the ocean. There were beautiful birds everywhere.
The owner, Michele Hughes, has put many years of thought and planning into this place and she is rightfully proud of it. She and Ms. Kusaka, the property representative, were both very gracious and really delightful and helpful. We felt really appreciated the whole time we were here.
The private estate in which the cottages are located is set on the cliffs overlooking the northern coastline of Kauai. There are three cottages and a large villa on the property, all designed by Ms. Hughes, a well known California and Hawaii designer. The property is so large and well designed that you have complete privacy in the cottage, on the private terrace overlooking the Pacific, the private outside jacuzzi area, and the gardens and flowers that surround the cottage.
The design of the cottages is very modern Frank Lloyd Wright style and the furnishings are upscale and contemporary. The kitchen is luxurious with stone countertops, Thermador convection oven, Whirlpool Gold dishwasher, Sub-Zero refrigerator, etc. They all work just fine (including the freezer drawers where one Tripadvisor member put his groceries and then complained that they were frozen.) The kitchen is fully furnished with hand-painted, dishwasher safe dishes, glasses, and very nice cooking pots and pans. The kitchen is gourmet class.
The bath is luxurious with travertine stonework, Kohler faucets and toilet, two shower heads, and a separate outside entrance. (There are 7 total outside entrances with sliding full glass doors.) The bath and hot tub towels are very plush.
The bedroom has a king size sleigh bed that is very nice and comfortable. The bedroom is certainly one of the nicest we have ever experienced in a cottage or villa anywhere, but what was more amazing was that Ms. Hughes had designed the closets in the bedroom with thick sliding doors to hide the sound of a up/down washer/dryer and a fully operational HP multi-purpose business machine with wireless printer, copier, and fax where you can print out items from the internet, including boarding passes.
I guess that something had to give considering space even though the cottage is large, so there is not much room for lots of luggage. But with washer and dryer handy, you don't need lot of clothes in Kauai and you can keep most of your snorkeling gear, etc. stored in your car or SUV.
There is DSL high-speed wireless internet and an Ethernet cord for folks who don’t have wireless in their laptops.
The trek down to the beach is similar to every other property in this part of Hawaii. The properties are on the cliffs over-looking the Pacific. The owner has built steps and terraces down to the amazing Secret Beach which do require some effort and common sense. The trek down takes about 10-15 minutes and is definitely worth it. Secret Beach is so private and stunning that you will want to spend a lot of time there. But there are some people who just cannot make that trek for some justifiable reason. If so, there are many, many beautiful beaches within a short driving distance of Kilauea that guests can drive to.
The cottage rental is about $650 per night at this time during most of the year. This compares with a regular hotel room down the road at the Westin for $585 and at the St. Regis for $705 or a small 2 bedroom condo at the Westin for $798. In my book, it is a no-brainer to stay at Secret Beach Hideaway.
The only other decent property nearby is the Aloho Sunrise and Sunset cottages, both of which are much less expensive, but you get what you pay for. They are very dated and have no view or beach access, not to mention the luxury of Secret Beach Hideaway.
I highly recommend this place for your stay in Kauai. You will dream about your stay here for a long time.
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This was the absolute best of the 3 places we visited in Hawaii on our honeymoon. It is pricey, but worth every cent. I wish that we had spent the entire time there, instead of just 1 week. The staff is very helpful & friendly, the location is gorgeous, and the town of Kilauea was charming.
The walk to the beach is long, but we are very fit, so we didn't have a problem. Plus, we had our very own beautifully landscaped hiking trails to enjoy, complete with waterfalls, fruit trees and wildlife.
The only bad thing about the place was the wild chickens... and the roosters who loved to crow at night. We didn't complain, but the caretakers did mention they were trying to take care of the problem. This was a minor problem, and would not prevent me from going back... but my bank account might!
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My husband and I recently stayed at the Secret Beach Hideaway for our 10-year anniversary. What can I say- it was absolutely wonderful! We stayed at Hale Nanea cottage and were more then impressed. The photos on the website are great, but being there in person was even better. The cottage was a perfect size, with great accommodations, and beautiful views. I honestly can’t find anything wrong with the place. The cottage was full of everything you need from kitchen utensils, laundry detergent, Kauai guidebooks, internet, beach supplies, and more. Everything in the cottage was high quality (appliances, linens, etc.). The bed was more than comfortable. The view from every window or door was breathtaking. We really enjoyed the jacuzzi and both showers. The grounds were more then beautiful. We found ourselves walking around just to look at all the unique plants and fishpond. Responding to another post, we only saw a few small geckos and some harmless cute frogs. None were in the cottage. The cottage is placed up high on a mountainside, so it gives a panoramic view. We enjoyed several meals on the deck and relaxed on the lounge chairs. The hike down to the beach is not as long as it looks, and is steep in areas, but it is more then worth it! Just take your time and take in the views along the way. The beach itself is like looking at a postcard. We were in awe when we stepped into the sand. When we visited Secret Beach there were only 1 or 2 people in the distance. It was unbelievable! We had no idea that the only people that have access to the beach are the owners along that beach. People pay to go to the lighthouse to see this beach along with its view. The contact personal were wonderful: Reservation-Maryanne was quick and accommodating. Housekeeping-Gloria was sweet and helpful. Her little personal touches around the cottage were very nice: fresh flowers, chocolates, etc. The owner Michele Hughes even visited us on our last day to introduce herself and make sure we had an excellent stay. Let me tell you- we did! We definitely plan on return to Kauai and when we do we will stay at the Secret Beach Hideaway!
Things we did and places we recommend: Snorkeling on Tunnels Reef- a must (get there early, limited parking), then have lunch at the Tropical Taco! Driving to the Waimea Canyon- it is the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific.” Wailua and Opaeka Falls- beautiful! When we were at the Wailua Falls a local Hawaiian was selling handmade coconut palm baskets. Kayaking the Hanalei River- peaceful, not busy. Pack a lunch and park your kayak right before the Princeville Hotel beach. Local eats: Kilauea Bakery- great pastries, bagels, and pizza! Lighthouse Bistro- great meal, nice atmosphere. The fish market across from the Kong Lung shops had great fish that we cooked on the grill. Definitely buy your groceries at the Foodland in Kapa’a- much cheaper than near Princeville. You can also buy a real flower lei at a local house right past the Kong Lung Center, just look for the sign in their front yard.
This was our first Hawaiian vacation and we were more than happy with the island and Secret Beach Hideaway.
We hope this review is helpful to people visiting Kauai and Secret Beach Hideaway!
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We stayed at the Hale Nanea cottage at Secret Beach Hideaway in mid-May. It was, quite simply, amazing. Here are some thoughts...
If you like to explore and create your own adventure, you can't come to a better island than Kauai, and more importantly, you can't find a better home base than Secret Beach Hideaway. Within 30 minutes or less of driving, you have restaurants, kayaking, snorkeling, surfing, hiking, shopping, groceries, a farmers market and more. Or, take a 5 minute hike down your front lawn and settle on Secret Beach, a sensational mellow beach.
Upon your return, you can settle into your cozy cottage, complete with a spa, an outdoor shower with hot and cold water, a full kitchen with Wustoff knives and All-Clad cookware (and enough accessories to satisfy an eager chef), an outdoor gas grill, an amazing bed and linens, internet, TV, beach accessories and more.
In fact, if you like to cook, hit the Farmer's Market on Tuesday for fresh local produce, and hit the Kilauea fish market near the Hideaway for some fresh Ahi steaks. We ate out once in Hanalei but found our cottage so much more cooler.
In response to some of the more negative reviews, it is true. There are bugs, lizards and frogs in Hawaii, and some of them might make their presence known during your stay at Secret Beach Hideaway. If you don't like bugs, lizards or frogs, you might prefer a big resort.
It is also true that there is no "management" to give you tips and advice. If you want a concierge to tell you where to eat or kayak, you might prefer a big resort.
The walk to the beach is in fact not a simple stroll. The descent is steep though never dangerous; there are stairs where necessary. If you've had knee surgery or injury, it's true..you probably won't want to walk down to the beach. But that said, the grounds can be explored with ease and there are other more accessible beaches to enjoy via your car.
Also important to know, the north shore of Kauai, like Oahu, sees big surf and swells during the winter months, even into late May. There are many beaches, Secret Beach being one of them, where you simply cannot swim because of high surf and dangerous currents. There are plenty of beaches on the North Shore where, because they are protected via bays or reefs, you can safely swim when seas are high.
If you're looking for a luxury vacation, for honeymoon or otherwise, but do not want the resort/hotel scene, this is the place.
Just another perspective...hope it helps.
When you see a property reviewed in a top ten list of most romantic getaways on Fine Living - Pay Attention, there is a reason it was ranked so highly. This place is spectacular. The picture online cannot do the place justice. Unlike so many place we've all been to, reality is far better than the pictures.
We stayed at Hale Nanea. Very clean, comfortable and everything we needed. Everything. Including no people. It is very private - which is nice, because it has an outdoor shower you can take advantage of. (Nice!) Beach umbrellas, bach towels, beach mats etc are all there and ready for you to grab for a day down at the beach.
The size of the Hale is not huge, but it is plenty roomy. There is a Limestone Lanai out side on two sides. Our back is a Hotub and sitting area, and beyond that are two small ponds and a waterfall next to another sitting area. Out on the front side (Ocean side), the Lanai has a table with four comfy chairs and then two lounge chairs. Lanscaping is specatular and maniured from the entrance all the way down ot the beach.
The beach is very secluded and will have few, if anyone on it. Our first day we counted 8 (inclusing us) - over the entire mile and a half stretch. The weekend had more - perhaps 10...
Want to go whale watching? Get up early and pour yourself a cup of coffee. Go sit on the Lanai and wait. You'll see them just fine. Jumping up, tail slapping, the whole enchilada! Wonderful.
Where to go. You are on the North Shore - which is undoubtedly the best part of the island. Snorkeling is great on Tunnels beach. Take a Helicopter ride - awesome. Dinner at hte Beach House or Gaylords - or better yet, both! They are 30 to 45 minutes away, but worth it.
if you are *real* hikers, the Island is loaded with nice hikes. Beware - many are strenuous! Make sure you spend a day or two on the Secret beach. Don't come here without soaking in the privacy and beauty of the place.
The Villa next door is glorious. We already have contacted some friends about booking it next year.
Negatives: Hard to find any in my book. The stroll to the beach is downhill - coming back can be a real challenge for those with bad joints. Just be aware of that, it is not horrible, but you may need to go slow. It is not long, just up hill. There are steps cut in nicely which will help if oyu need it.
A great place. Awesome in every respect. One of hte best seafood restuarants is a few mile down the road - Kiluea Fish Market. Plenty of hippies eat there, and the food is awesome at a low price.
Enjoy your slice of paradise. If you can afford this place, please go. It is outstanding.
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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!