Cozy and Comfortable
We loved our stay at the Waimea Plantation Cottages. The fun began when we checked in with Lizzy at the front desk. She was so cheerful and happy, we knew were going to have a great time. There were always coolers of POG and water at the front desk which my children appreciated. Each morning, on the beautiful lanai, coffee was served. There were quaint rocking chairs to sit in while you enjoyed your coffee and the beautiful view spread before you.
The cottage we stayed in was delightful. It was older but had everything we needed. The floor was a beautiful hardwood. The kitchen had utensils and dishes, everything you might need to cook a small meal if you wanted to. The beds were comfortable and the water in the showers was nice and hot. The small window AC unit worked hard during the day but at night we were thrilled to be able to open up the windows and enjoy the cool air. Even in July we woke up slightly chilly in the morning, thanks to the breeze from the windows.
The grounds of the Waimea Plantation Cottages was beautiful. Palm trees, plumeria trees, and lush green grass. Throughout the grounds you could find hammocks tied between palm trees for the ultimate relaxation experience.
The pool on the property was great for the kids to splash in. It was right near the ocean which also made for beautiful views. The beach was not kid/swimmer friendly while we were there. It was definitely not a white sand beach you see on a tourism brochure. The sand was dark and the waves were pretty big. However, that made for the perfect soundtrack for laying in the hammocks!
On site was an amazing restaurant called Chicken in a Barrel. Their food was delicious and their staff was kind and helpful. The prices were great, too!
If you’re looking for a beautiful, cozy, relaxing place to enjoy a vacation on Kauai, we couldn’t recommend Waimea Plantation Cottages enough. We hope to come back again someday!
Unique Place With a Few Issues
Let me start by saying that I really wanted to love this place. In fact there is a lot to love about it and it is a really unique place to stay. There were just a few issues that prevent me from rating it higher.
Before booking, I thoroughly researched this place, so I went in with eyes open that this would be a different kind of experience. We were sold on the idea of a unique old Hawaiian plantation experience that would be quite a bit different than the usual resort experience. Based on the high marks from many people on this site and the proximity to Waimea Canyon and Port Allen (Na Pali Coast Catamaran Tour is a must do), my wife and I decided to give this place a try.
We stayed two nights the first week of July in one of the two bedroom cottages. Check in was fine and the front desk staff was polite. For some reason the front desk isn’t staffed 24 hours a day and there is nobody there after 9pm. They do have on site security apparently, but you may have difficulty if you plan on arriving late. They provided 2 complimentary DVD rentals from the kiosk near the front desk during our stay, which was a nice perk.
The main plantation building is really cool, well kept, and kept true to the time period of a late 19th early 20th century Hawaiian plantation. The grounds also exceeded my expectations as the cottages are spread out over a large area with a lot of large old trees and green belts. The beach in front of the property is small, the water is brownish from the nearby river flow and is not good for swimming. The pool area is adequate but the pool isn’t more than a few feet deep. When we were there the pool was filled with kids that were loud and jumping into the pool near us, so we decided just to leave. It would have been nice if there was a bit more parental supervision or if the staff made it a point to enforce the posted rules. There is an on-site BBQ restaurant, which is a Chicken in a Barrel location that you can find at a few other spots on the island. We ate there one night and the BBQ was pretty good.
The two-bedroom cottage we were given was an ocean view cottage, not oceanfront, so it was set back about 200 yards from the beach. The cottage itself was constructed in 1915. The décor in the cottage was fine. It was a mix of period furniture and décor and what frankly felt like the furniture and appliances I had in my first apartment in college. The bed was comfortable. There was a nice rocking chair on the porch and the view from the cottage with the shaded trees, green belt and ocean backdrop was picturesque. The shower in the bathroom was a little grimy and looked like it had been redone in the 1950s and never updated.
The biggest problem with the cottage was the lack of weather stripping and insect proofing of the doors and windows. There was also only one window box AC unit in one of the bedrooms and a couple standing fans to cool the entire approximately 900 square foot cottage. However, all of the windows appeared to be original and even when closed had big gaps between the panes. The doors also were original and didn’t appear to be weather sealed. This made the cottage impossibly difficult to cool, which during July, was quite uncomfortable. Even more of a problem, was the absolute invasion of bug life that could travel freely between the exterior and interior of the premises through the cracks and gaps. During our two nights there, I estimate that my wife and I killed upwards of 40 bugs, including mosquitoes and other small brown looking things. Before sleeping we had to fully spray ourselves down with bug spray just to keep from being eaten alive. We were only partially successful. Rather than complain and ask for a room change, we decided just to deal with it. I was also deterred by another review that I unfortunately did not read until we got there, where the reviewer had the same problem, asked to be moved, and got moved to a cottage that had no air conditioning unit.
I know that management wants to maintain an authentic feel, but weather/bug proofing and providing another AC window box can be done without compromising the historic character of the property and would greatly enhance the experience. Frankly, I expect that for the price we paid (close to $350/night after the resort fee) this shouldn’t have been an issue. All other things being the same, had there been a more effective way to cool the cottage and only a few bugs, I’d be giving a rating of 5 stars.
The last thing I will note is that for some reason the property charges a separate fee for turndown service. We didn’t have a problem because we only stayed for 2 nights, but the fee was not cheap (I think about $60 for a 2br for full service). I wouldn’t have a problem with turndown service less frequently that every day, but I take issue with having to pay an additional $60 for something I feel should be included in the cost for the room or the resort fee. To me, it crosses the line between being a vacation rental versus something more. In my opinion, if you are going to call yourself a resort and charge a resort fee, amenities like turndown service should be included.
Best place we stayed on island
This place is a hidden gem and an amazing price point. It is quiet and the grounds are stunning. It is also an amazing location if you are planning on exploring the Waimea Canyon in some way. It has a small town feel and not a resort feel which is what we were after. My only criticism is the restaurant on the grounds. It was a franchised themed restaurant and didn’t fit the vibe at all and food was mediocre. Other than that – perfection! I can’t wait to come back!
Waimea Cottages Re-visited...again and again and again
From the first time I spotted these beauties from the back of a rented Harley I was smitten. It took 3 more trips to Kauai to convince my golf loving husband to relent and stay there knowing that his daily golf games would now take more time to get to. We were all in for a one bedroom ocean front cottage. We were lucky enough to get # 49. The closest to a one bedroom you’ll get. It’s actually more of a studio but the charm of it goes beyond words. We stayed in #49 for 6 days then had to move to a 2 bedroom cottage B. While it was absolutely lovely and spacious we definitely liked the charming little 49 better. This place had us completely immersed in the feeling of old Hawaii. Don’t bother me I’m watching the chickens with our 2 cats that come to visit everyday. Is it perfectly clean and updated…no and we honestly just didn’t mind. All we ask is that everything is in good working order and when it wasn’t, it was quickly addressed. We fell so in love that within 10 days of checking out last November we were booked again to arrive in April. Gifting a trip to a friend that means the world to us. We were lucky enough to get Cottage # 59 this time. A 2 bedroom oceanfront that fit perfectly for us. She had her own “wing” while we had ours. The pool is the best one we’ve had in all of the Hawaiian Islands. The loungers are super comfortable. Now before we arrived in April we were already booked to arrive in October. I absolutely love Waimea Plantation. If you are looking for a frilly, room service, status type hotel…this is not the place for you. If you aren’t afraid of lowering your blood pressure, hanging with a few lizards, bugs, chickens and cats while you watch the ocean from your lanai then this is the place for you. This next trip we’re bringing more friends with us…October can’t come soon enough.
Waimea cottages - Stunning!
We loved Waimea plantation cottages. Lovely setting, large generous clean cottages with great appliances and ambience. Gorgeous decor and a real relaxed feel. Loved free laundry, board games and dvds.