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“Don't stay here!!!”

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Hale Makai Cottages
New Braunfels, Texas
Level Contributor
45 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
“Don't stay here!!!”
Reviewed 22 June 2013

We stayed at the Hale Makai cottages for 3 nights after we got married on Kauai. We chose the cottages based on excellent reviews on tripadvisor. What a mistake.

From the moment we checked in, it was very awkward. Our cottage was not ready until 4pm (check-in time is advertised as 3pm), so we sat outside the cottage for an hour while the cleaning crew finished. Once we got in the cottage, the owner asked us to leave the cottage for 5 minutes so she could do something inside. Again, we sat outside awkwardly waiting. The whole stay was uncomfortable- twice we saw the owner peering through our windows (once while my wife was in the shower), and we did not have the privacy that we were hoping for on our honeymoon. Once we came home and the front door of our cottage was unlocked and sitting halfway open- with all our valuables and belongings inside. It turns out the owners come in and out of your cottage without telling you while you’re gone. Creepy. There was also a period of several hours in which the owner and a repair man were sitting on our private beach lanai fixing something- not quite what we had planned for our honeymoon.

Then there was the straw that broke the camel’s back…3 days after leaving, we got a rather rude email from the owner saying that we had broken a glass table and he would charge us $500 for the damages. We called the owner to dispute (one would remember breaking a glass table, would they not?) but he was very rude and accusatory, and basically blamed us for the damages and would not accept anything else. So much for customer service.

We absolutely would never stay here again, and highly recommend that you don’t either.

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
16 Thank MooseJackMeg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HaleMakai, Owner at Hale Makai Cottages, responded to this review, 27 August 2013
This review is essentially based on a misunderstanding. I believe the great anger of the reviewer about what he believed to be a made-up claim colored his views. Until we wrote him that we had to replace a large glass table top, his wife and he seemed to be quite happy and content at the cottages. There was, indeed, a damaged table top, but I misinterpreted the pictures sent by the Cleaning Service of the damage and identified another table to the guest. So, the guest was absolutely correct in rejecting that claim and we released the hold as soon as we found out (we were so embarrassed that we did not even follow up on the damage to the much smaller table). He was also partially correct about the late check-in (although it was only 20 minutes, because they had arrived 30 minutes early). On the other hand, his opinion on supervised workers accessing the cottage for repairs in the guests’ absence is in our view unwarranted: Most guests – as did the reviewer - expect the cottage to be clean and well-maintained, but they also do not wish to be disturbed while they are in the cottage. So when to do the necessary work? Things break unexpectedly, and although we try to be pro-active and fix broken items immediately, we cannot always complete repairs between the bookings. Before we “intrude” for repairs, however, we do and did verify the absence of the guests (the ‘peeping tom’ innuendo was certainly “below the belt” and uncalled-for).
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80 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (13)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Los Angeles, California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 June 2013

My wife and I stayed at Hale Makai Cottages after reading all the wonderful reviews. The experience did not meet our expectations, and we would not return. The mattress was uncomfortable, and worse, the sheets and towels smelled musty and unclean.

Privacy and noise were also an issue, as guests walking by could easily see into our cottage.

Overall we felt that the price was not justified by the sub-par cleanliness and condition. (Ants, broken remote, etc, etc. )

  • Stayed April 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
8 Thank dasherDelrey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HaleMakai, Owner at Hale Makai Cottages, responded to this review, 4 March 2014
The L.A. reviewer (dasherDelrey) has not stayed at our cottages in April 2013, as claimed, or at any other time (our records go back to 2000, when we acquired the property). He appears to parrot what his friend/SoCal neighbor Sherri K told him to write. Particularly undeserved is his false claim of sub-standard cleanliness, because the cleaning service, an independent local family business, has done an excellent job for our guests in a very difficult tropical, coastal environment (our cottages are so close to the ocean that they require as much maintenance & cleaning as a yacht). Had they not cleaned the cottage well, we would certainly have heard about it, not in form of a review but rather immediately per email or call, but we did not receive any complaint whatsoever. We asked dasherDelrey per TripAdvisor to contact us and provide us with details of his alleged stay and experience at the cottages, but – not surprisingly – he failed to respond. Perhaps, you would get a response if you contacted him, although I doubt that very much.
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Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
29 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 June 2013

This property is beautiful and so peaceful! My husband and I came here after a corporate function on Lanai and loved the fact that we didn't have to interact with anyone for our entire stay. If you're looking for peace and quiet, then this is definitely the place for you. The backyard has sweeping views of the mountains, while the front yard leads to the beach (what more could you ask for in Kauai?). As for the house itself (cottage #5), it was clean, modern, and offered everything you could possibly need for a stay at the beach.

  • Stayed May 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank LauraLady84
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TexasFNP
Level Contributor
70 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 June 2013

On this trip to Hawaii we were celebrating our 35th wedding anniversary. We have always been "resort" people. NEVER again will we stay in a resort after staying here!!!! We stayed in cottage #2, the Hibiscus cottage, and it was simply amazing!! Kauai is our favorite island and now we have a favorite place to stay! There is no air conditioning, which wasn't really an issue at all, the trade winds blew constantly and were refreshing. Our cottage was literally steps from the beach and the sunrises each morning were stunning!!! We did hear some helicopters and I was a little worried about that after reading some reviews but it didn't bother us at all. It was really nice having the sun awaken us each morning and leisurely getting up and having that first cup of coffee on the beach!! The cottages are secluded which is what we wanted and very private, however, if you wanted to visit with a neighbor you could. The beach isn't fine sand, which someone else mentioned as well, bit it was still wonderful and lots of coral to pick up. We didn't snorkel but saw plenty of people who did. We hired the most amazing photographer, Sara Wall, who came and took fabulous pics right there on our beach. We had the ocean, the mountains and the landscaping all right there for perfect pictures!!! It was truly an amazing time and SO happy we chose to stay here! We highly recommend it!!! It is a bit pricey, but what isn't in Hawaii??

  • Stayed May 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank TexasFNP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Santa Monica, California
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 May 2013

Stayed here once and would NEVER recommend or stay again! Not private, towels smelled moldy, kitchen towels smelled like vomit. Where there is beach access, the ocean is too rough to swim. Ants ants ants ..




Mahalo.

  • Stayed March 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
12 Thank noniesherri
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HaleMakai, Owner at Hale Makai Cottages, responded to this review, 4 March 2014
Sherri K.’s third review concerns the cancellation fee which her partner Nonie agreed to before and after their cancellation, but which Sherri simply does not want to pay – although that fee is very clearly spelled out on our invoices, on our website, and in the rental terms included in my offer emails. We believe that our cancellation procedure is actually quite fair and balanced. In essence, we allow our guests to reschedule their stay within 1 year after their cancellation with a full credit (indeed, before this all blew up I strongly suggested to Sherri that they use this credit option because they wanted to come back in the spring). If a guest prefers a money refund, however, he has to reimburse us for the incurred credit card processing fees (we charged Sherri the 6% we were charged, i.e., 3% each for the original charge plus 3% for the refund). We also charge a cancellation fee of 10% of the invoice amount, which is to compensate us for the guest’s option to cancel, the potential lost business, and - most of all - for the substantial time we have to spend on the booking, its cancellation, the credit card processing, the costs & time of any charge-back processes, review issues like these, etc. How the agreed and properly followed cancellation process could result in any 1-star review, let alone for any of the categories she criticizes, escapes me.
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Plainfield, Vermont
Level Contributor
11 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 May 2013

We stayed in Cottage 3, the Orchid, which was well appointed and clean. We were literally 20 yards from the beach, with a lovely view. The beach isn't fine sand, but bits of coral from the reef there. We snorkeled right there, and saw lots of fish (but the Trade Winds were blowing, and the waves were pretty rough).
On the down side, the communal storage area for snorkel gear, beach gear, etc was just below the bedroom window, which, ahem, was a bit annoying. Also, gaining access to the beach for all the other cottages was done by walking right by our deck, which spoiled our sense of seclusion. One HUGE drawback for me was the constant drone of the sightseeing helicopters between 9am and about 4pm, and I mean CONSTANT, 7 days a week. After flying up the Napali coast, they cruise by Hale Makai's beach, then turn inland. Some flew much lower than the 500ft limit. It was very obtrusive and annoying to me, and would keep me from going back there. If I lived in Haena, I would be very bummed out by that. I also thought the $140 fee for housekeeping was a bit excessive, considering the high cost of staying there, and paying extra for using the laundry was tacky. A nicer BBQ would be nice, too, not the beat up, rusty thing there.
That being said, Hanalei itself was splendid, the views on the drive were crazy beautiful, the people nice, and the vegetation, beaches, and birds beautiful. Kauai is gorgeous.

  • Stayed February 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank Cam99753
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Berkeley, California
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 March 2013

We are newly returned from two idyllic weeks in cottage 4. We have been to Hawaii many times, always staying in excellent hotels. We found Hale Makai preferable to any of those experiences. As the website says, "Live like a local." We feel into a rhythm of a long, languid morning walk along the water to Tunnels Beach, the short trip to Hanalei for a late morning snack, and then home, usually after a stop a the Dolphin Fish Market to pick up poke or other exquisitely fresh fish that comprised our evening meal. The privacy and openness of our cottage make our afternoons truly idyllic. We were never aware of noise from another cottage or never aware of any sound from a sightseeing helicopter, rather only the sounds of birds, waves and an occasional brief shower. Our cottage was spotless, comfortable, and appointed with every appliance an amenity one could need. We will most certainly return.

  • Stayed February 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Jim B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hale Makai Cottages

Property: Hale Makai Cottages
Address: 4400 OneOne Road, Haena, Kauai, HI 96714
Region: United States > Hawaii > Kauai > Haena
Amenities:
Beach Free Parking Kitchenette
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Speciality Lodging in Haena
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Hale Makai Cottages are an exclusive Private Beach Front Estate, on approximately 2 acres with about 250 feet of actual beachfront at Kepuhi Point at the end of OneOne Road in Haena, North Shore Kauai. The Hale Makai Beachfront cottages are unique in their setting, location and privacy in comparison to most other Kauai Vacation Rentals. All five cottages have unobstructed ocean and garden views and direct access to the beach. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Hale Makai Cottages Hotel Haena
Hale Makai Cottages Haena, HI - Kauai

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