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“Except for the roosters….” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Waimea Plantation Cottages

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Waimea Plantation Cottages
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
32 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Except for the roosters….”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 9, 2014

If you’ve never been to Kauai before, the first thing you’ll notice when you arrive is that there are chickens everywhere! We were told that hurricane Iniki destroyed the chicken coops and released the birds, and without any natural predators, their population on the island has exploded. Whatever the reason for all the chickens, the Waimea Plantation Cottages with their vast expanses of lawns and plantings, make for an attractive habitat for the chickens and they run amok throughout the property. And unfortunately, about half the chicken population on the island are roosters. And if you think that rooster’s only crow in the mornings at sunrise, think again…these roosters crow 24 hours a day, 7 days a week! It really was frustrating to think you would be hearing birds singing while listening to the wave’s crash against the shore, only to have those sounds interrupted every few minutes by roosters crowing.

My only other complaint was the laundry facilities. The laundry room, and its single washer and dryer, is located in a dilapidated, run-down building behind the cottages. It was filthy dirty and we opted to take our laundry into town to a laundry mat.

However, if you can get past the roosters crowing and not needing to do laundry, the Plantation Cottages are a great throw-back to a simpler time on the islands. Even with my two complaints, we thoroughly enjoyed our time there. The cottages and their furnishings all feel like you’ve just stepped back into the 1930’s to a less hectic time and place. While the cottages and their rooms are very basic, they are also comfortable and clean. We were looking for a place to just sit back and relax and Waimea Plantation Cottages fit that bill perfectly. Would I go back? Probably, but this time I’d take ear plugs and enough laundry to last a week…

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
Helpful?
2 Thank expat_ord
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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666 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (190)
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English first
Montreal, Canada
Level Contributor
32 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 8, 2014

This review is based on our stay in cottage 62 in January 2014. Note that all the cottages are different, and this review is based on our experiences during a one-week stay.

Unit 62 is a three-bedroom unit with a full kitchen, about 250 yards from the sea. This cottage consists of a large entryway with small television and seating for five; master bedroom king bed with an ensuite bathroom; two bedrooms with queen beds that share a bathroom with tub/shower, a full kitchen (with no dishwasher but all other appliances) and an eating area with seating for six, and a balcony with some outdoor chairs. We were a family of five and we didn’t feel crowded. Beds are not new but are comfortable. There was a large AC unit in the entryway, but we didn’t turn it on, as it was January and nights were cool with marvelous crosswinds going through the unit. A local we spoke to expressed an opinion that these cottages would be ‘brutally hot’ during the summer months, but we cannot comment on that. There is one coin activated washer and dryer ($1 for wash, $1 for dry) for the entire complex that was quite busy at night, so we did our wash early in the morning.

Based on our experience at the Weimea Plantation Cottages, if you:
• desire daily maid service (as opposed to every third day);
• want robust (rather than somewhat cranky and erratic) internet access in exchange for the mandatory $17 a day resort fee; or
• don’t like noisy roosters in the morning and are averse to sharing your living space with a few moths and other small non-biting insects (as these old cottages are not well sealed like modern buildings);
then you are probably better to stay somewhere else.

But we loved our stay here, mainly because we:
• enjoyed staying in rustic cottages, built in the first half of the 1900s to house plantation workers, but since updated with modern basics;
• liked seeing our children experience something other than antiseptic modern hotel rooms;
• didn’t want to pay top resort prices when we spent most of our time out seeing the wonders of Kauai; and
• enjoyed having access to a full kitchen.

A word about the roosters. They crow almost endlessly in the early hours, starting around 4am, often right outside your window. And they are everywhere on the island as they are a native protected species. I suspect that you will hear them in any low-level building you stay in on Kauai. To avoid them, either stay in a high-rise resort, where they are kept at bay, or go to another island. For these birds are a native species, here before Captain Cook, that have been eradicated on all other Hawaiian islands by the ill-fated introduction of mongooses. Once we learned how special these birds are to Kauai, we grew to appreciate them. Even my light-sleeping daughter learned to ignore them and go back to sleep. However, be warned: they are very noisy!!!

While the beach is not swimmable, it does lend itself nicely to walking. There’s an adult pool, kiddie pool, shuffleboard and a beach volleyball court near the beach. But that’s not where we spent our time here. For Waimea is so close to so many great beaches and to hiking in the canyon. We didn’t really consider this property a “resort”, where we would spend our time, but more a place to rest and recharge before heading back out to the playground that is Kauai.

The staff are friendly and helpful. Aaron at the Front Desk is a treasure, a true raconteur with a deep knowledge of the Island. Every time my son went to exchange towels or borrow a DVD he was gone for at least 30 minutes, coming back with more insight on Kauai and how people really live here.

We particularly liked unit 62’s full kitchen, which allowed us to stay out of the restaurants for most of our stay. We found the nearby Big Save supermarket (a two-minute drive away) well-stocked and offers reasonable prices (given it is a resort island). There were a few minor problems with the unit (noisy fridge) but we reported the problems to maintenance and learned to live with them.

So my sense is that staying at the Waimea Plantation Cottages is a question of attitude. Yes, they’re old. So there will be a few more ‘issues’. But they are conveniently located, have character, and can make your vacation all the more memorable if you embrace these differences. If you go with the right attitude and expectations, you will love your stay.

Room Tip: As each cottage is different - and offers different views -- my advice is to call the resort directl...
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank VT_Canadian
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, January 10, 2014
Very well said! Travel experiences are very much about expectations. Aston Waimea Plantation Cottages is truly a unique experience and very different from staying at a modern hotel or condominium resort. Many of our guests love the cottages and return year after year for the experience and some of our guests are disappointed as their expectations were different. If you are prepared for a unique stay in an authentic Hawaiian Plantation cottage in a beautiful, serene setting along the ocean, you could create memories that will last a lifetime.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Spokane, Washington, United States
Level Contributor
30 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 4, 2014

We stayed here for the second half of our trip, after spending the first half on the other side of the island at a more upscale resort. To begin with, we felt like it was a bit of a let down after the first resort, which was very luxurious, but after we settled in, we really loved this place. It felt like a real home experience, to come back to our own little cottage, our own well stocked kitchen, even our own little garden. The cottage we stayed in was designated as a disabled accessible unit, with a ramp and an oversized bath, however, I'm not sure somebody in a wheelchair could actually use it, because there is no way that a wheelchair could actually get into the main part of the cottage without negotiating at least one step or door sill! This was not an issue for us, so we just enjoyed the extra space in the bath!

Our cottage was off to the side of the property, adjacent to the little graveyard behind the Catholic Church, so not in the really scenic part of the property. There are some other fairly dilapidated buildings nearby, so we did have to walk into the main part of the property to really enjoy how pretty the resort is. I would love to stay there again, but I would request a unit in a different part of the resort next time!

The kitchen was basic, but had everything we needed. We were supplied with an abundance of very nice towels in our two bathrooms. The furniture was simple, but comfortable. The only thing that was not great was our internet access, until our last morning, when a router was finally installed in our unit. The next guest will benefit from that.

We did have some issues with mosquitoes, and the roosters woke us up early every morning, but that is just how it is when you visit Kauai. All in all, it was a great experience!

Room Tip: Cottages on the inner loops of the resorts have the nicest ambiance.
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Wilma F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 14, 2013 via mobile

When we first arrived it was raining and I was concerned about the warm very humid air and the one little air conditioner in the bedroom. By the next morning I realized what a quant and serene place this was.

After a few days we wished we could live here. This i cottage housing for employees of the former sugar cain plantation. It is an assortment of individual cottages at surrounded by grass and chickens.

Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
3 Thank Gary N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, Washington, United States
Level Contributor
27 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 7, 2013 via mobile

We had a large family vacation and all decided to go to the cottages for a bit more of a rustic style vacation, instead of staying in a resort hotel. We were absolutely blown away by the best experience of our life!
The cottages are beautiful! When you step into them for the first time, you instantly feel that you're at home. Every cottage (we rented two) has all the amenities you should need. Large living room, with a comfy couch and chairs, a dining room table and lovely overhead light, a large kitchen, with stove, dishwasher and refrigerator. Two bathrooms (some cottages vary) and an amazingly soft bed.
The staff was hands down what sold us on the place though. I'm from Seattle and I sunburn easily, so naturally I got cooked on the 3rd day. The staff was kind enough to bring me aloe stalks every morning and give me all the aspirin I could want, to help me with a speedy recovery.
The grounds are meticulously groomed, they have a bar and grill on site (karaoke in the evenings), swimming pool and volleyball court next to the beach. All you would ever need to be entertained. Also super close to Waimea Canyon.
The only complaint that I could possibly think of, was on our first day entering the cabin, some dirty dishes were put away, so we had to clean them all as a result. Other than that, rave reviews all around.

  • Stayed April 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Robert Z
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Perkasie, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
14 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 30, 2013

We loved this place for its oceanfront location, uniqueness, and laid back vibe. We loved our cottage, which I think was in better shape than some. It has gorgeous refinished wood floors in all areas except the kitchens and baths. Screens have some holes, and the tiled tub in one of the bathrooms needs repair. Some of the walls had red dust on them, maybe from having windows/ doors open when it was windy - should give these some attention at least a couple of times a year! I will say that the cottage was otherwise very clean. The kitchen was well equipped - I had no problem making Thanksgiving dinner with the utensils, pots, etc. that were provided. Wifi was fast and reliable. Temperature inside the cottage was good as long as we managed the windows and ceiling fans. The grounds are beautifully maintained. Grove Cafe was closed and was supposed to open 'some time in the fall'. Still not open Thanksgiving week, was told December 1...don't think so based on the state I saw it in on November 28th! There is a Big Save supermarket right in town, so not sure why there are complaints on this site about availability..it's big, right on the main drag and hard to miss. Laundry room - only one washer and dryer, could use a couple more of each. Desk staff could have been a little more engaged, but were helpful. All said, I would stay here again if I could have the same cottage.

Room Tip: Get an ocean front cottage. Good breezes from the ocean to keep comfortable.
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Pammo18
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NY
Level Contributor
16 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 25, 2013

Three of us stayed here for 2 nights in November. We absolutely loved it. To be fair, we prefer unusual and casual places, and we really do not like all-inclusive resorts. This is not a typical Hilton type resort, so if that is what you are looking for, do not stay here.
Yes, the restaurants are limited in this area of the island, and some close early, especially on Sundays, but we actually got the Hawaiian BBQ (fast food) and loved the fact we could bring it back to eat on our lanai. The second night we went the Wrangler, and I wished we had gotten take out just to enjoy the cottage more. The grounds are beautiful and we had no problem with bugs inside. The chickens... ok, they are noisy, but you get used to it. And they are all over the island, - no natural predators and they are protected, so unless you like to travel all the way to Kauai to pretend you are staying in a Florida air-conditioned resort, you're going to hear chickens crowing.
The beach is lovely, actually long enough to take a decent walk on, unlike a lot of other beaches, and the sunsets are gorgeous. You'll have to ask my husband about the sunrises...
It is very tranquil and the cottages are spaced apart. I would have stayed longer, but there is so much to see in Hawaii that we had to continue onward.

Room Tip: If you're lucky and travel in the off season, you might get an upgrade to a bigger cottage.
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank neatplaces
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
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. Note: The restaurant will be closed temporarily as we remodel and transition the restaurant to a new restaurant operator and will re-open in mid-to-late fall of 2013. We apologize for this temporary inconvenience. During this transition, we suggest trying some of the other dining options in Waimea Town such as Wrangler's Steak House. But do come and try our new restaurant once it reopens! ... 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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