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“Beautiful setting, interesting property”

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Waimea Plantation Cottages
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed April 7, 2014

This collection of former sugar plantation worker cottages has lovely grounds and is the perfect place to take long sunset walks along the beach. It's quiet and private, though within walking distance to Waimea, a small town that has true Hawaiian character, with great local markets and places to eat. (I personally much prefer this laid back and relatively untouristed part of the island to the heavily developed east, or the north, which has great scenery but is fast becoming a haven for wealthy mainlanders).

Our cottage itself was very spacious for a couple, and had a huge bathroom with both tub and shower. It was great having a full kitchen, and being able to do some cooking using fresh local ingredients. (This is not the part of Kauai where you go if you want to do lots of high end dining, but that's now what we went to Hawaii for).

In summary, the Waimea Plantation Cottages gave us exactly what we were looking for, a relaxed vacation in a beautiful tropical setting with real island feeling. It's not inexpensive, but this is Hawaii, and based on my comparison shopping we had an entire small house for about what you would pay for a basic room (without ocean view) at one of the large resort hotels.

Room Tip: If you are sensitive to noise you might want to ask for a cottage not right by the pool, in case the...
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  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank mbennett
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed April 7, 2014

Stay in a beachfront bungalow and plan on more than three nights. Spacious, clean, comfortable. The property is amazing, with a large lawn, gigantic banyan trees, long beach for strolling. The kitchen is well stocked, the showers are the largest I have ever seen. Great wifi and television if you get tired of Mother Nature. Sleep with the lullaby of the crashing waves nearby. Great location, near Waimea Canyon and don't miss Friday night art walk in Hanapepe. We enjoy getting take out and eating on our porch. Staff are friendly and helpful. Laundry facilities are included in the resort fee. You will never want to leave.

Room Tip: Any room ending with 9 is beachfront
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  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Steve S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 6, 2014 via mobile

We discovered the Cottages because we were looking for a convenient base for hiking in Waimea Canyon. The cottages themselves are adorable, a quaint throwback to a simpler time (but with cable, DVD and high speed internet). The manicured grounds and adjacent black sand beach were a pleasant place for a morning or evening stroll. Although we didn't have much opportunity to use it, it was handy having a full kitchen. The only thing we didn't like was that the on-site restaurant was a noisy sports bar which contrasted sharply with the otherwise serene setting (but that might have been more tolerable had there not been a private party on the porch the evening we were there). All in all, it's a very special place; I only wish we could have spent more time there.

Stayed: March 2014, traveled as a couple
1  Thank jescowa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 6, 2014

I stayed a couple days and then came back and stayed a week. It's old Hawaii and it is so very charming. They have done an exceptional job with restoring the 'cane homes' to MUCH MORE than their original splendor! They all have kitchens. The meandering sprawling grounds are accented with horticultural treats with many old banyan trees included. It's a historic property and you can feel it if you just sit and ponder all that surrounds you. I am a Hawaii history buff and this property fit well with my imagination. The beach is brown sand, very long and easy on the feet. The driftwood is spectacular and are native woods (unlike some Hawaiian islands that get the flotsam and jetsam from the mainland west coast. I especially LOVED the brew pub, live old kine Hawaiian music, mostly friendly wait help (the bartenders rock!). I've been to the brew pub many many times over the last 30 years on my many journeys to Kokee State Park and/or Polihale State Beach Park. This is one of the most unique properties in all of Hawaii (I've stayed at most all of them). It's peaceful, relaxing and a more than perfect retreat.

Room Tip: Opt in for an ocean view if you can. The deck on the bungalows is perfect for watching the waves
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  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled solo
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1  Thank MelissaMcCoy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 28, 2014

This is a very special place. Grounds were enormous and lovely, and our ocean front cottage # 69 was perfect for my husband, our new baby, and grandma. Expect atmosphere, period furnishings, and a basic but workable kitchen in a beautiful setting and you will not be disappointed. The ocean breeze and surf at night led to fantastic sleep, we did not have any issues with roosters so they have either been run off or perhaps congregate near other cabins? The town of Waimea was actually larger and more interesting than I expected, but other reviewers are correct about the limited dinner options. Thankfully we found the restaurant on site very friendly and more than adequate for several meals. I certainly preferred it to anything much pricier at the larger resorts.

It seems reviewers are unhappy based on variance between cabins, this seems easily addressed by requesting cabins recommended here on Tripadvisor or calling to describe preferences. Visitors who prefer all inclusive cookie cutter resorts will be happier elsewhere. It is true that some of the period furnishings are not in perfect condition, but we found everything very clean and perfectly usable.

  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled with family
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1  Thank Rebecca304
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 17, 2014

From what I've seen, these are the most beautiful accommodations on the island. I absolutely loved staying here and wish I'd stayed longer. The cottage we stayed in is beautiful and well appointed, and the grounds are spectacular. The ambiance is relaxed and majestic. The beach is beautiful and the pool lovely.

It would have been nice to have someone on staff to accompany us to our cottage the first time that we went there. It turned out we'd been given the wrong key, so at first we weren't sure if we had the correct cottage (why not identify each cottage with a sign stating it's name that matches it's name on the map?) We weren't sure we had the right cottage since our key didn't work, but then realized we had been given the wrong key, and went back to reception to correct the issue.

Also, we did not realize we could park in front of our cottage until someone from staff came by on a golf cart and told us. It required driving across the lawn, so we didn't just assume we could do so. It would be nice if we were told at reception when we picked up our key that we could drive across the lawn and park in front of our cottage.

The cottages are old so bugs get inside even if the screens are all closed. I suppose this is just part of the ambiance but if there were a way to prevent it that would be ideal.

Since there is a lack of healthy breakfast options in the area, it would be great if there was a breakfast option at the hotel. There was an advertisement for the Aston Wimea Plantation Cottages posted in the breezeway that pictured softboiled eggs, so I just assumed breakfast would be available, but then I discovered that it is not. The nearby breakfast restaurant recommended by the lovely gentleman at the front desk was convenient but greasy and of mediocre quality.

And finally, this hotel is not super centrally located. If you're planning to spend a lot of time in the east and/or the north, you may consider not spending your entire stay here. It'll be a 30 minute drive to PoiPu and a 1.5- 2 hour drive to the north. But there is still a lot to do using Aston Waimea as a jumping off point, including Waimea Canyon and Koke'e national park, catamaran/snorkel/whale watch tours on the Na Pali coast out of Port Allen (Ele'ele), visits to Polihale and other western beaches and Hanapepe art night on Friday nights.

Room Tip: Stayed in the kuwate cottage and loved it because it's more secluded than most. 2 bedrooms.
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  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank JessBeck
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 9, 2014

This may be the best slice of old Hawaii that is also a lovely hotel. The grounds are spacious, full of palms and flowering plants, and the cottages are just adorable. Most are fairly close together in a couple of rows down the middle of the resort, but there are also some outlying cottages, mostly larger, set out on large lawns. We had one of those, a two room cottage well away from others, with views of the ocean across the lawn beyond a row of trees. The beach is narrow, dark gray, and swimming is not recommended because the water is quite murky and sharks are common. It's a good beach for walking along.

There was a nice big porch on the ocean side of the cottage, perfect for reading or just kicking back. The furnishings were basic, nothing fancy, but very much in keeping with the beach cottage theme. The bed was just fine. If you can't deal with roosters crowing at odd times this is not the place for you. The grounds are inhabited by a colorful collection of birds, both chickens, many unusual looking crosses of colorful jungle fowl brought by the Hawaiians and other modern varieties. There are also plenty of lively mynahs.

The restaurant was basic, but handy for very good breakfasts and decent simple dinners. Waimea is a very small town so there aren't many nearby alternatives. Driving towards the big resorts at Poipu you'll find more choices. It's a lovely drive and not all that far.

The major disadvantage of staying in Waimea is how long it takes to get to the north side of the island, where the scenery is lusher, the beaches are prettier, and there are good spots for snorkeling. Some of that can be found in the Poipu area about half an hour from Waimea, but the north shore is still prettier
It takes at least a couple of slow hours of driving to get over there.

Right above Waimea is lovely Waimea Canyon, carved by the Waimea out of the distinctively bright red lava of the area. There is an excellent scenic highway to the top with good viewpoints. At the top you get more surprises. One is that you are on top of the rugged Na Pali Coast, falling away below you in narrow green ravines. There is a trail that takes you along the cliff tops and then into a shallow bowl atop the island that is a high altitude swamp. Boardwalks cross the wetter bits, but the rest of the trail, including along the cliff tops, is very slippery and sometimes quite steep. Only recommended for the sure-footed, but gorgeous even if all you do is drive up and back down.

This was one of the best vacations I've ever had, a perfect week in a resort that consistently exceeded my expectations. Not for people who want every possible activity right at their resort. This is for kicking back and enjoying a look at old Hawaii.

  • Stayed: December 2013
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2  Thank sfcueman
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

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 Restaurant Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Specialty Lodging in Waimea
Price Range: $236 - $634 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Waimea Plantation Cottages 3.5*
Number of rooms: 61
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
If you’re seeking more than a manufactured island vacation, where better than Kauai’s sunny, laid-back western shore? Nestled in the idyllic and friendly town of Waimea, our tropical oceanfront oasis offers you a Kauai from a gentler, more authentic time. One step onto our property and you’ll feel it. It’s in the air. The quiet seclusion, tranquil surroundings, soft welcoming smiles. It beckons to you with a simple invitation, “Unplug your mind, recharge your body and rejuvenate your spirit.” In our collection are 60 authentic plantation-era cottages, some dating to the late 1800’s, sharing a 27-acre tropical coconut grove along the ocean. Ranging from one to five bedrooms, no two cottages are alike and each has a personality of its own. Better yet, our oceanfront location gives you easy access to some of Nature’s most stunning landscapes, like Waimea Canyon (the Grand Canyon of the Pacific) and the Na Pali Coast. ... 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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