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Reviewed July 24, 2008

I really enjoyed the Waimea Plantation Cottages and I believe they were a wonderful value an oceanfront resort in Hawaii. This is out of the tourist area completely, the grounds are expansive but have a homey feel rather than a manicured golf course feel. We had a 1 bedroom cabin #65 which is not one of the original cabins, but a replica built 20 years ago. Some cabins are vintage and are "funky". Its best to call the desk ahead of time to talk over the particular layouts of the cabins.

The cabins are not air-conditioned, but ours had an air-conditioner in the bedroom window. The cabin had so many wonderful windows that the winds kept it pleasant and we turned on the air about an hour before we wanted to go to bed. Closing the bedroom door and running the air, really helped with the rooster noise. Feral fowl (aka wild chickens) are EVERYWHERE on Kauai, very amusing. Most of them are offspring of those that were set free by Hurricane Iniki in 1992. Good news is that chickens eat mosquito larvae. I'll take the chickens over mosquitoes.

Take the walking tour with Chris Faye. Chris is the great granddaughter of the founder of the Waimea sugar plantation. The tour is $10. We gave her a little extra and she was thrilled as it will buy a gallon of paint for ta cottage they are restoring.

  • Stayed: July 2008, traveled as a couple
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Thank portlandbeth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 30, 2008

The Waimea Plantation Cottages are unique and full of character, but in my opinion are overpriced, and service was disappointing for simple requests. It may be worth staying here if you value character above all else. However there are *big* tradeoffs staying here which you should be aware of.

My wife and I stayed in Cottage G June 2008. We stayed in Poipu the previous 4 nights and moved over to this side of the island to be closer to Waimea where we were attending a wedding. Since we were there for only two nights and the purpose of our stay was primarily to be close to the wedding, we were glad we stayed there. However, if we had stayed there longer or just for general vacation enjoyment I think we would have been VERY disappointed. Below I've outlined are important factors I think you should consider if you are thinking about staying here:

Ocean/beach: The water is brown on this side of the island due to the nearby river and the beach is muddy black. You cannot go in the water as it is unappealing and dangerous, so if you're seeking Hawaiian beach paradise, you'll be disappointed here. If you're seeking character above all else, you may love this place.

Service: The staff seemed unresponsive to simple requests. When we checked in, I asked the hostess if the room had a hair dryer for my wife. She said yes, and that if for some reason there wasn't, to call and housekeeping would send one over. We looked in our room and there was no hair dryer, so I called and was told that one would be right over. After about 5 minutes, the hostess called back and said that she could not locate one, so they would bring one tomorrow. I told her that we needed it immediately because we were going to a wedding in 30 minutes and that was the reason I asked for it at the desk upon checking in. She said she'd locate one and would call back. After 25-30 minutes and no follow up I called the desk again. The hostess said she said she was sorry that she could not locate one and that they were "overcapacitated" [sic] that day. For $270/night I would expect better service and a little initiative; perhaps a call to another cottage to ask if one could be borrowed or even driving down to the Big Save to buy one. So I walked over to a neighboring cottage and borrowed one. Problem solved. This could have been done by staff. Did this ruin our stay? Absolutely not. Were we upset, even angry? Definitely. I realize things are lower-key in Hawaii, as they should be, but again for nearly $300/night, guests are going to expect a little bit of service.

Overall price/quality:
My wife and I are not they kind of people who stay in four-star hotels and need everything to be aseptic and pristine. However, I did find that the cottages could have been in better shape in ways which would make people feel like they are really getting their money's worth and that the hotel had pride in its offering. Besides the dryer issue, which I previously mentioned, the iron in the room was cracked badly and was clearly very old and demonstrated that the hotel didn't seem to care about details and I thought it reflected poorly upon it. The shower too just felt old and cheap. Preserving the character of the cottage means that things are not going to be fancy and modern in some cases. I get that and actually cherish it. But in areas like the shower which are clearly utilitarian and not part of the character, I'd recommend they put in a nice modern shower.

So, overall we really did have a good stay, but expected more for the price and felt there were strong tradeoffs in staying here. It's not for everybody.

  • Stayed: June 2008, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank senorjames
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stephanie367, Manager at Waimea Plantation Cottages, responded to this reviewResponded October 24, 2008

Thank you for your response to the service levels of our resort as it pertained to your visit during a wedding celebration in early summer. That evening I personally received a call from our frantic front desk clerk who shared with me your need for a hair dryer. Not knowing behind the scenes what we were trying to do to get you a hair dryer I can understand your disappointment. We had just purchased over 20 new hair dryers for the property, and with the amount of requests for extra dryers in the units because we were full that particular weekend with wedding parties, we had none left on the shelves. I was on my way to my residence to give you my personal dryer, when the clerk called that you had borrowed one from a friend. Trust me I would have gone to Big Save immediately,but none of the stores in Waimea have that type of item. They are only available in the stores in Lihue (35 miles away). Your comments about the shower and improvements to the cottage have been addressed, and we will be redoing the entire cottage in November. My apologies for the condition of the iron. Needless to say that is NOT part of our standards, and another training for our Customer Service attendants took place.
Thank you for sharing your concerns. Its the way we can be up to par in servicing our guests. I hope you had a nice time at the celebration that night at Managers. The couple was simply delightful, and left very happy with their magical moment.
I'm sure you were so happy to be apart of this night for them.
Again our apologies for any inconvenience you experienced, and I hope one day you will give us another "chance" to make it up to you.
Aloha and Mahalo nui loa...

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 16, 2008

My husband and I just returned from our first trip to Kauai and spent all 7 nights at the Waimea Plantation Cottages. We loved it. We stayed in a one bedroom ocean front. Every morning we drank coffee on the front porch looking out over the ocean. It was so peaceful. Yes the cottages are old, we knew that and it is part of the charm. Our cottage was clean, and my only complaint would be that the mattress was very hard... as for the brewing company, I ordered a sample platter of their beers and could not drink any of them. They might want to rethink the beer thing and concentrate on food and service, either that or learn to make good beer.. The plantation is beautiful, I have many postcard pictures. Listening to the ocean at night and feeling the breeze through the windows. I know I smiled the entire week... If you like the feel of a big resort, dont go.

  • Stayed: June 2008, traveled as a couple
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Thank mermaid820
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 7, 2008

We had previously visited the Waimea Plantation property, so at booking time, we requested a cottage in the lawn area.

We were booked for 7 nights - May 25 - May 31, 2008. Upon arrival on Sunday afternoon, the front desk people put us in cabin 84, the 3 bedroom closest to the Reception/Lobby building. (They supposedly upgraded us from a 2 to a 3 bedroom.) We knew the cottages were old and somewhat funky. What we did not know was that they turn on high-powered floodlights- affixed to the Reception/Lobbly building - all night long that lit up all 3 bedrooms of our cottage like a gas station! Since the cottages do not have air conditioning, we had to keep the windows open, and the floodlights kept us awake throughout the nights. The window coverings were very lightweight cotton partial window curtains. We tried hanging towels from the curtain rods, but couldn't cover the open window part or would have suffocated.

Our complaints to the front desk staff about the floodlights brought comments of "oh, that is always a problem." They said we could email the management about it when we got home. There were many other vacant cottages during our 7 nights there, and we wonder why they chose to insist that we be put in 84.

In addition, when we checked into our cottage, the garbage can and recycling bin at our cottage was full of previous guests' garbage and recycling. Finally, after our being there for 2 days, we had to call housekeeping and ask that it be emptied.

The charm of the beautiful grounds, the pleasant swimming pool, and the laid-back, non-touristy atmosphere of the Waimea Plantation property was greatly diminshed by the intrusive floodlights into the bedrooms.

  • Stayed: May 2008, traveled with family
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2  Thank mellowcouple
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stephanie367, Manager at Waimea Plantation Cottages, responded to this reviewResponded October 24, 2008

Aloha from the Cottages. In reviewing comments about the flood lights that unfortunately caused you an inconvenience during your visit, I humbly apologize. The property has the lights on to allow our guests who walk the grounds at night to have some type of lighting in this area. After seeing your comment, I have removed these lights and relocated them to the side of the building facing the road.
The comments of the staff were clearly unacceptable and this is not the response they should have shared. Recently our organization provided another "refresher" course in "making things right" for our valued clients and continued reminders and classes are offered to get our philosophy part of our lifestyle. Thank you for your compliments of our grounds and atmosphere, and we know that if you didn't care...you wouldn't share your concerns on how to get us better !
Aloha, and we look forward to the next time we can make it up to you. Have a wonderful Waimea Day !

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 5, 2008

We booked 5 nights in the cottages, after staring at the awesome pictures they have in the web site. It looked like colonial style cottage, with a spectacular blue ocean in the front and a paradise beach.

The fact is that what we found was something different:
- Our cottage (we were upgraded to a 3 bedroom) looked old, and just as if no maintenance had been done in the last years: key lockers and courtains were broken, and some moquito nets had holes.
- The cleaning was horrible. I even asked reception if we were suposed to wash the kitchen stuff. Some cutlery had rests of meals from previous guests.
- The beach was full of debris. You could not step on the sand.
- The ocean water (the first 200feet, at least) is brown. Note that the pictures only show ocean in the horizon, where it is blue. But the Waimea River (a.k.a the Red River) is next to that beach, and all the brown water mixes right there.
- There was an army of mosquitoes. Don't know if it is their fault, but the fact is that we didn't see so many of them anywhere else in the island.
- The area is not the best in the island. If you are looking for nice beaches, and nice restaurants, you'd better move to the south (Poipu) or north side (Hanalei Bay).

Apart from that, the place is quiet, the garden is very nice (with palm trees) and we enjoyed the barbeque for dinners.

  • Stayed: April 2008, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank CatalanSF
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stephanie367, Manager at Waimea Plantation Cottages, responded to this reviewResponded October 24, 2008

Aloha from The Cottages.
Thank you for your comments regarding your visit to our Cottages. Our apologies for your experience. We have worked very hard to upgrade most of our cottages on property. The historical nature of our cottages make the upgrading process challenging, but I know the unit you stayed in has been redone this September. As for our beach front, having the Waimea Canyon at the mouth of our town causes the run off into our ocean certain times throughout the year. We share with our guests to enjoy a run, or stroll on the shore, but to utilize our pool for swimming purposes. We also encourage our guests to take a short drive only 5 minutes away to a beautiful white sand beach with lifeguard attendant. Waimea has some of the most beautiful beach parks surrounding our property that surfers and swimmers alike come from all over the island to enjoy.
Our Cottages also has a beautiful beach estate in Hanalei right on the Bay with a large house for 12 and a cottage for 3.
Again, we apologize for not fulfilling your expectations but appreciate your comments as it will continually keep us "on our toes".
Happy that you enjoyed our peace and quiet.
Much Aloha...for coming to Sunny Waimea...and not if, but when you return to Kauai in the future...please give us another chance to make it up to you and your loved ones... if not in Waimea...then Hanalei on the Bay !

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