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“Stunning Garden; Subpar Commentary”

Na Aina Kai Botanical Gardens
Ranked #6 of 28 things to do in Kilauea
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
NJ
Level Contributor
360 reviews
193 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 577 helpful votes
“Stunning Garden; Subpar Commentary”
Reviewed June 14, 2010

The one sentence review is that this is a stunning garden, but that the guides need better training. The owners clearly were willing to spend whatever it took to bring their vision into play, and it is evident that this has been a work of love. The care of these gardens is first rate. I've never before seen a 240 acre lot where each plant was carefully pruned---or not---by conscious decision. The downside is that on the 5 1/2 hour tour, the tour guide and the other party on the tour got into an ongoing discussion of a shared passion of theirs. The guide and other guest both blamed immigrants for their loss of prior union jobs that they say paid much higher rates than are now prevailing. Somehow they seemed to think it unfair that they not get paid well above market rates. I kept my mouth shut, I literally did not say a word, This subtracted mightily from my enjoyment of the tour---which I in fact paid for. I do think it would have been better if the guide kept his avid union politics to himself, particularly on a 5 1/2 hour engagement.

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2 Thank NJ-Eric
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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237 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Oregon
Level Contributor
280 reviews
116 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 163 helpful votes
“A new treasure found on Kauai...”
Reviewed March 10, 2010

Despite visiting Kauai since 1971, we had never visited until this year -- we've really been missing a treasure!

We took the 2 1/2 hr walking tour & enjoyed spectacular vistas of peaceful forest , babbling waterfalls, cool ponds, lagoons, a quiet and lovely beach, and of course the magnificent gardens containing a multitude of amazing botanical specimens -- all topped off by a delightful array of sculptures (thoughtfully placed among the acres & acres of peaceful beauty)... most delightful however was our guide, Lisa -- I believe these folks are volunteers and Lisa's passion, knowledge, warm personality and great sense of humor added even more value to what was already considered (in our minds) to be a great bargain.

The Dotys (who created this Eden on Kauai many years ago) and their love of this special place are evident in every turn. Lisa's stories about the creation of the gardens just makes you feel like to knew the garden's creators... don't miss the gift shop/gallery -- an excellent place to pick up a special gift to take back home... and because the gardens are educational & deemed a 501C3 not for profit, there is NO sales tax on your purchases -- a really nice array of tasteful items to suit all pocketbooks.

We will definately go back again ... and will request Lisa as our guide too!

Helpful?
1 Thank Ticolover
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
California
Level Contributor
222 reviews
61 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 124 helpful votes
“Stunning, and awe-inspiring”
Reviewed December 22, 2009

An unbelievably beautiful place, and a terrific testament to a happy marriage. The work carried out on this parcel of 240 plus acres has to be seen to be believed. My tour had Susan, an exceptionally knowledgeable volunteer guide, who was chatty, fun and extremely helpful. There is no way you could appreciate the magnitude of this undertaking without the motorized tour, at least as a starter! The formal gardens alone are worth the entrance fee. Absolutely jaw-dropping.

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1 Thank sjgiants
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
dayton, ohio
Level Contributor
132 reviews
51 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“Nice day - with baby albatrosses and wild boars!”
Reviewed September 11, 2009

We took the full day tour, and had two very knowledgeable and friendly guides. The box lunch was generous and tasty. The gardens are beautiful and varied, and cover a range of altitude. Up on the plateau, just after we got to see several baby albatrosses, we also saw a wild boar cross the path behind us, followed by 7 young ones. The walk down to the beach is quite scenic. We found the staff at the facility to be friendly and helpful as well.

Helpful?
Thank pactrip09
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newport Beach, California
Level Contributor
61 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
“Family Tour Worked Out Well For Us”
Reviewed July 25, 2009

We've been to Na Aina Kai several times on their tram and walking tours. This time we did something different. We booked our group of 8 adults and 6 preschool children on the two-hour Family Rainbow Tour. I called a week ahead to set up the tour and explain our needs so that when we arrived, they were ready for us. Our guide, Judy, was very pleasant in every way. The first hour she took us through the main garden, giving the kids treasure bags to collect seed pods, leaves, etc. Then she led us to a lagoon where we fed the Koi fish -- much to the kids' delight. After that, we enjoyed another hour in the children's garden, which has a splashing pool, wonderful play areas, bathrooms, and a shaded pavilion where we had snacks that we brought with us. The weather was hot, but our group all agreed it was a great time -- the little kids especially loved it.

Helpful?
Thank VistaDelSol
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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