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“If only I could live there!”

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Waimea Plantation Cottages
Certificate of Excellence
Chicago, Illinois
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“If only I could live there!”
Reviewed June 6, 2013

I have spend 5 blissful weeks of my life at my favorite spot on my favorite Island. This is nothing like the tourist Hawaii vacations at resorts, rather a sense of living in a small town on Kauai. Quiet, peaceful, relaxing. It is not luxurious at all, but I would rather stay here than any of the chain resorts or condo's. Set on well tended, tropical grounds on the ocean, there are clusters of restored sugar cane plantation cottages to choose from. By the last time we went, we only went out to dinner once because we didn't want to get dressed up and leave our chill house. Looking forward to going back. It is also on our favorite part of the island, the sunny, dryer West side. Across the street from the don't miss Waimea Canyon, and the seriously hidden (pothole dirt road ride) to the most beautiful beach I have ever seen, Polihale Beach at the beginning of the Na Pali coast. My favorite spot on Earth. Not for everyone, but it is for us.

Room Tip: Splurge on an ocean front cottage. It is worth it!
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank lovethissite90210
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Escondido, California
Level 4 Contributor
24 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed June 1, 2013

One of our stops on the islands to celebrate my son's graduation from college. Yes, the brochure shows palm trees, quaint little cottages, and the beach. Yes, this place is away from the crowds. Just be careful that you request a cottage in the main area of the complex. They put us in Cottage C, on the outer edges of the property, known heretofore as "The Bates Motel." Where shall I begin? The view is completely different from the Web site photos. The hand-crank windows in the C cottage bedrooms don't completely close. Not a problem if you enjoy be eaten by mosquitoes. My son made a choice to sleep on the couch in the living room to try to avoid the pests in the bedroom. No AC, either. To prevent the cottage from becoming completely stifling, he also volunteered to be the human sacrifice and sleep near the unlockable screen door. Needless to say, we got very little sleep that night. Forgot to mention the flurry of termite wings that rained down on us upon trying to crank the bedroom window open when we arrived - it was stifling inside. Oh, and if you go on vacation and want to clean up the filthy patio furniture, you just might like this place. The front porch furniture was a rusty mess. Forgot to mention the film of red dirt on all of the floorboards. BTW, this place charged over $400 per night.
On the positive side I must mention that the management refunded our money for the other two nights we were supposed to stay there. We high-tailed it out of there first thing in the morning and found a lovely place in Poipu Beach(Marriott).
So, if you are into paying over $400 per night for rustic, by all means, book the place. Remember to take a can of mosquito spray and something to protect yourself while sleeping in a far away, unlocked room. Or, request a room with AC near the center of the property. You might have better luck.
Nearest snorkeling and usable beach is half an hour away.

Room Tip: Stay near the center of the property. Better yet - DON'T BOOK A ROOM HERE!
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank Kinikkii
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Randall Y, General Manager at Waimea Plantation Cottages, responded to this review, July 23, 2013
Thank you for your comments and I apologize that the experience did not meet your expectations. We have taken your comments and have thoroughly reviewed the cottage that you stayed in with the maintenance and the housekeeping departments to correct any deficiencies and cleanliness issues. As many of our return guests know, the cottages are not replicas but are the actually cottages stayed in by plantation employees in the early 1900's. Each cottage was carefully restored when brought into the hotel's inventory, and many of the furnishings and fixtures that our guests experience are original or authentic fixtures from that era. For those looking to experience a stay in an authentic plantation home, the cottages offer a truly unique experience. As with many hotels, Waimea Plantation Cottages has an ongoing refurbishment and renovation plan to keep the cottages in optimal condition. Many of the cottages are going through a major "refreshing" right now and cottage C has now been refreshed as well. Although your first experience did not meet your expectations, we hope to have another opportunity in the near future to provide you with the true experience that Waimea Plantation Cottages has to offer.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Beaverton, Oregon, United States
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed May 7, 2013

Fantastic way to spend time in Hawaii away from crowds. On the dry side of The island in the quiet town of Waimea these cottages are beautifully kept and a pleasant break from hotel rooms. Be sure to wander the streets of Waimea and Nanapepe, amazing what you might find.

Room Tip: Seaside cottage C can sleep 4 with large kitchen
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank Marga B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Level 4 Contributor
39 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed May 3, 2013

This is a beautiful, rustic property that allows you to be close to the action on the westside (boat tours, Waimea canyon, Polihale). Each cottage is unique and very charming. Even one bedrooms come complete with a full kitchen, living room, patio and dining area. The kitchens have all the utensils you need, though no condiments (not even salt/pepper) so be prepared to bring your own if you want to use them.

There is a pool on the grounds and while this property is on the beach, you can't swim in the ocean out front. I know that sounds like a major drawback, but unfortunately unswimmable beaches are the norm on the island (you usually have to drive to most of the beaches regardless of where you stay on the island).

I'd highly recommend upgrading to one of the beachfront cottages. You really feel like you're on vacation and off the beaten path when you sit on your porch and see the ocean steps away and not much else and fall asleep listening to the surf. Super relaxing.

One last tip: bring eye-shades! The curtains in the bedroom are very gauzy and do little to keep out the light in the morning.

Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
3 Thank SGS310
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Berkeley
Level 5 Contributor
56 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 96 helpful votes
Reviewed April 28, 2013

This is a gorgeous property with mature trees and vegetation, darling cottages and a beautiful "Main House". When you arrive and look from the back deck of the Main House to the sea, your heart leaps. Just glorious. Unfortunately, the quality of the rooms, service and food don't match the setting. It would take very little to bring things up to par, but unfortunately this has not occurred.
We arrived early, around 11 am. We were not greeted at all. The front office staff seemed annoyed. We were not allowed to check in and told to come back later. We were not invited onto the property. I had to ask if it would be OK to have lunch at the hotel while we waited, and whether we could walk on the grounds. We were told a grudging "yes" and not given any towels for the pool, not invited to the facilities in any way whatsoever.
We were told our room would be ready around 2. At 2 pm we came back and were told the room would not be ready until 3. We came back again. At 3 pm they put us in a cabin with no running water, a huge tractor/backhoe in the yard, and three men working 20 feet from our porch. We were not offered any beverages or told how we should bathe, use the bathroom, hydrate or cook. The workers who were very close to our cabin - all very nice - removed any possibility of privacy as they were adjacent to and looking at our porch and cabin. They also were going back and forth from the cabin, both inside and out. To use the bathroom we had to walk to the main building and use the public restrooms.
At 5:30 pm I went to the front desk and complained about the lack of drinking water and suggested it might be nice to offer us some water bottles – it was over 80 degrees out. The front desk person, again somewhat grudgingly, said she "guessed" the hotel could "buy us" some waters - emphasizing that this was some kind of expensive gift. We were told the water in the cabin would be on at 6 pm. Our dinner was at 6:30 and we wanted to shower (five of us) after a long hot day. No water came on so we all went to dinner without the opportunity to bathe. When we returned the water was "on" but sputtering as is typical after pipes have been open. We were not sure about potability and had to run all the faucets to clear the pipes. Carefully used bottled water to brush our teeth. Not much of a vacation so far!
The following morning we got up early to hike in Waimea canyon. Upon returning, sweaty and ready for our showers, we were told by the workers, who were out front again, that the water was off! Apparently the "fix" had actually sprung a leak again, and the work was being repeated. I learned later that the original work was done with plastic pipe and the next morning with copper. It seems this was likely already planned and we should have been informed. The hole was not closed the evening that the work was supposedly "done." So, it seems that the hotel misrepresented to us that the work was "done" when in fact there clearly was a plan to continue the following morning.
Now we have (1) a cabin with no water, toilets, kitchen or bathing facilities and (2) no privacy and (3) no reliable information from hotel staff. At the same time we have (1) no apology and (2) not even a bottle of water until asked for, and no offers of remediation whatsoever.
At that point I went and vociferously complained to management. Only after dressing down the manager did we get (1) compensation and (2) a cabin with running water. TERRIBLE.
This is the service aspect. The cabins themselves are meant to be “historic” and we appreciate that they included many rustic, original touches. However, that is not an excuse for shabby, worn out and sparse furnishings. Our first/original cabin was very bare bones. The bedspreads and blankets were worn and dank. I removed the blankets and used towels to provide some weight/warmth at night. Only the sheets and towels were clean. The pillows were old and lumpy, and each one was different. The mattresses were terrible – old, hard, with a hard edge and soggy middle. If nothing else, a hotel can provide fresh beds and bedding in an “antique” setting. This was not done.
The second cabin we were placed in was better appointed than the first, with more chairs, décor, floor coverings, etc. But still very worn out, especially the bedding. The first had not one rug or floor covering (how about a woven mat?), no chair or small table in the bedroom, no place to set toiletries by the sink except on the floor, nothing warm or inviting. Curtains in both cabins were made from old sheets, where rattan roller shades (so inexpensive) would have been 1000 times better. This is all so easy to fix . .. why hasn’t it been done?
We sought out this property for its authenticity, not wanting a corporate/generic location. The setting is spectacular, and the cabins adorable. There is no reason the cabin interiors can’t retain their original character but still be well furnished, kept up, clean and inviting- with fresh beds and pillows and clean bedding at a minimum. And, while we certainly understand that things like a broken water pipe happen in an older property, there is no excuse for such terrible response – ZERO apologies, not even a bottle of water, no compensation for failure to provide accommodations contracted for (we expected running water, bathrooms and a kitchen, as advertized!), and outright lying about the status of the “fix,” which we were told was done the first evening but clearly was planned to last two days.
The water issue was clearly an unusual situation. My concern is that the administration isn’t equipped to deal with unforeseen problems in a professional manner. Other things come up . . . staff has to be properly trained to take responsibility and bend over backwards to make up for whatever has gone wrong. And, the cabins need to be upgraded and better maintained.
The restaurant also had the potential to be just amazing. The staff and service at the restaurant were excellent. All our servers were friendly, quick and obliging. The setting, exceptional again. Problems: Menu is standard pub fare. Nothing imaginative. Fish was overcooked every time! Other menu items were not very good either. Gloppy bottled barbeque sauce for the BBQ pork, a tiny portion and poor presentation for the Chinese rice bowl. The prime rib was the best, but every dish was presented with overcooked, soggy “vegetables” and even the “roasted potatoes” were soggy and tasteless. I would be surprised if these items were not carried over from day to day. Not fresh at all. There are organic farms in the area and the fish would be excellent if not overcooked. Sauces for fish were gloppy and commercial as well. So easy to make them fresh! Wrap around terrace for dinner was magical until the mosquitoes came out. Need to manage this as well.
We might give this property another chance, because it is so uniquely charming in its setting and concept. Hopefully the hotel will have upgraded its rooms and service protocols by then, and hired a more “modern” and artful chef.

Room Tip: Each cabin seems to be different. Perhaps ask to see pictures of the exact cabin being offered? An...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Berkeley_CA_USA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mukilteo, Washington
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed April 25, 2013

Just got back from a week in Kauai. We stayed in Poipu for the first few nights and then came to the Waimea Plantation Cottages. We had 7 girls in our group and so we stayed in large "cottage" #58, What a beautiful setting. It is a large house with an open family, dining and living space opening up onto a large front porch with soft furniture. You look our onto an expanse of grass and then the ocean. The pool is a quick walk across the grass too. Close enough to walk in 30 seconds, but far enough away to not be bothered if the pool gets noisy....which it never did while we were there. Very quiet!
My only complaint and why I gave the "sleep quality" 3 stars is that I slept in the room where the twin beds are. I slept in one the first night which was very firm and uncomfortable and then moved to the lower bunk for the second night, which was also cramped and uncomfortable...I would just put kids in these beds.
The house has 3 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms. Very nice and very clean, although definately vintage. This is not the Hilton, this is experiencing staying in a Hawaiian plantation cottage...if you are looking for a viking range, granite counters, memory foam everything...just stay in Poipu. If you want to experience comfort in a historial atmosphere, this is your best bet. Wonderful! It rained while we were here, but we just sat on the large veranda and enjoyed each other's company and the mama hen and her 9 chicks that became our friends...along with the crowing rooster not far behind! Quaint!

Room Tip: We didn't use room service...if they have it, but I'm sure it would be good. Also, didn'...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank LAGMUK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rancho Santa Margarita, California
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed April 19, 2013

Our family just returned from vacationing on the island of Kauai. We stayed at the Waimea Plantation Cottages and words cannot describe the feeling you get visiting. I had read a lot of the reviews on the Cottages prior to going and kept an open mind. For all those that complained about the wear and tear of the cottages, your not staying in the Grand Hyatt in Poipu! These cottages all date back to the 1930's and are restored to stay in their vintage state. I loved the vintage feel of them. The cottages are fully equipped with all the amenities of home, making it easy to prepare and cook meals. They were very nostalgic. The grounds were beautiful and so relaxing. The staff was absolutely amazing!!!! They were kind and helpful and always met our needs. The Grove Cafe served very delicious food and the staff again was amazingly friendly. There is a market close by so you could stock up on snacks or groceries if your on a budget and want eat in.
All in all this place is amazing and hasn't left my heart and mind since we left. You really get a sense of island life staying here. We will be returning very quickly.
Mahalo to all the staff at Waimea Plantation Cottages.

Room Tip: Any room is excellent.
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Rooms
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    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank yedmonds5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Waimea Plantation Cottages

Property: Waimea Plantation Cottages
Address: 9400 Kaumualii Highway, Waimea, Kauai, HI 96796
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Hawaii > Kauai > Waimea
Amenities:
Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Specialty Lodging in Waimea
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Waimea Plantation Cottages 3.5*
Number of rooms: 48
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Private, individual plantation cottages set on a historic 27-acre coconut plantation in a beachside setting close to Kauai's famous Napali Coast and Waimea Canyon. Each self-contained cottage has been fully restored with modern appliances, full kitchens, and amenities. The simple, comfortable charm, genuine history and beautiful grounds allow guests to enjoy a unique experience unlike any other in the islands. Waimea Plantation Cottages offers beautiful settings for Wedding Celebrations, Anniversaries, Family Reunions, and Corporate Business meetings. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Aston Waimea Plantation Cottages Hotel Waimea
Resortquest Waimea Plantation Cottages
Waimea Plantation Cottages Kauai

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