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“Rustic camping cabins in the mountains of Kauai” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Koke'e Lodge

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Koke'e Lodge
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Waimea
Kapaa, Hawaii, United States
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Rustic camping cabins in the mountains of Kauai”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 April 2013

I've read some of the reviews of the cabins in Kokee, and I wanted to just put in my two cents worth. I think folks' expectations must be skewed. I live on Kauai and have spent time in the cabins at least 20 times in the last 14 years. I spent 5 nights (the maximum) up there on my honeymoon and have celebrated many holidays and birthdays there, year around. Winter is one of the nicest times to be there, even though it's cold. Some of the cabins are fancier than the others, but all of them are simple and unpretentious. They have always been clean and the linen, while not fancy, has always been ample and clean. We have never lacked for hot water for showers or washing up. The staff has always been helpful and kind.

Yes, some of the cabins are a bit shabby. Some of the paint is cracked, some of the fridges are rusty. I've never seen mold up there. One of our favorite cabins has a bullet hole in one of the windows. Character! Yes, you need to bring your own food and especially your own potable water. The ovens on the cook stoves may not always work, so bring food that can be cooked on the stove top. We generally make up a big pot of chili or soup to bring with us, and don't make too big a deal out of expecting gourmet cuisine. If you don't want to cook for yourself, the Lodge serves good basic meals. It will be cold at night - as is appropriate at 4,000 feet elevation. Bring firewood or better yet, presto logs, which light immediately and give off warmth for at least 2 hours. The cabins warm up fast.

There aren't many "amenities" included - unless you value peace, quiet, the most beautiful place on earth. The small museum has some interesting exhibits and a really good small bookstore. No internet, phones, or TV. We bring games, art projects, the guitars, and an appreciation for the simple gifts of nature. We play, sing, and talk to each other. We've had so many lovely vacations up in Kokee at these cabins.

If you are looking for a resort environment, room service, daily housekeeping, a hermetically sealed room in a building and grounds that have been thoroughly sprayed with insecticides, air conditioning or instant heating, nightclub entertainment, or fine dining - these cabins are not for you. There are many fine resorts in the visitor destination areas in Poipu, Lihue, and Princeville that may be better suited for folks that want those things.

  • Stayed October 2012, travelled with family
    • 5 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
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
20 Thank Peggy K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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105 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    2.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (22)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Ohio
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 April 2013

As many others have said the condition of the cabins is poor; nothing has been repaired or replaced in decades it seems. Plan to eat simply, bring cereal, milk, canned goods, snacks, coffee, coffee filter and holder, and basically anything you might need in the kitchen, Assume it is not equipped. Bring salt and pepper, can opener, paper plates etc. If you're okay with this, you'll be okay. There is a restaurant that is open for breakfast and lunch and is quite good. We would save half our lunch there to eat later for dinner. It's too bad it closes so early as it would have been nice to stop in later for a glass of wine in front of their fire.
The lighting in the cabin was poor. We could not have both read if not for a kindle book reader. We did make ourselves at home pretty quickly and enjoyed our daily routine. Their wood is poor. Bring some from town. We rolled up newspaper smeared with peanut butter to get the fire started, It was always a challenge. You do need a fire. (We were there in December.)
I was nervous about the road up and down and we made a point of making sure we were back in the cabin before dark. This was not necessary, though. The road was beautifully maintained and the markers in the middle and on the sides lit it up like a runway at night (the one time we came back late) and there was very little traffic after dark, so that was okay. Great to be up there. Fantastic rain at night on the tin roof. We'd go back!

  • Stayed December 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Maureen M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Prague, Czech Republic
Level Contributor
30 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 March 2013

In the middle of Kokee State Park and the almost the only one reachable by car makes this camp clear winner. On top of that, there are cabins with hot shower. Yes, cabins are not the newest. (Some new ones are in construction, though) Yes, walls are thin. No wonder, that visitor must start fireplace, especially in winter season. Do not forget to buy warm socks and wood in Waimea. It could get really cold. But this is a part of its charm. Breakfast in the main house is great, really home – made and filling. Pity, they close at 4 p.m. so one cannot enjoy big fireplace in the bar area, sipping one whisky after exhausting track. And that is the reason why to come here - fantastic trails with even better views. Starting from easy to really demanding ones. Swamps or mountains – just pick the right one for you. Good map (available in local store) helps a lot. Make sure, you have good shoes with you; trails are rocky, slippery, muddy and so on. We were here happy and I will always recommend this. You can’t separate Kokee Lodge from its location. And if you are looking for four star accommodation with room service (why not), it’s definitely a wrong decision to book a cabin here.

Room Tip: Take some wood from Waimea and a bottle of red vine with you. Sipping hot vine after exhausting trai...
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  • Stayed March 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
Helpful?
4 Thank AdalbertMonticelli
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Portland, Oregon
Level Contributor
15 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 March 2013 via mobile

My wife and I just stayed at the Lodge at Kokee for the past two nights and wanted to dispel some of the harsh words written here by others. The place is great.

Much like what others have said, the cabins are rustic, but clean and well stocked with what you will need. It is obviously not luxury, but you're camping for crying out loud... The nights do get cold but the fireplace rocks the heat. (If you come in after 4, after the Lodge closes, be sure to buy wood in Waimea or you may get cold...)

The appliances worked great too, the showers were clean and hot (a necessity after a mud, rain 8 miler...)

You may want to bring earplugs because of the roosters.

Don't be dissuaded, the place is romantic and cozy. You will not need to write with complaints to The Ministry of Tourism...

Aloha

  • Stayed March 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?
2 Thank Bbebe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hope, Maine
Level Contributor
30 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 January 2013

We needed a budget place to spend a second night in Koke'e SP after camping the first night. Since it's impossible to book a second night's permit on the fly for camping we looked into this option. It worked but I sure wouldn't want to spend my whole vacation here. We heat soley with wood at home and know how to operate a woodstove. But my husband struggled that night & the next morning to keep a fire lit. We chose our cabin based on the fact we would be able to sleep next to the stove and since it was January at elevation it was 50* inside and out. Barely stayed warm after buying two buckets of their firewood. No idea what kind of wood it was or dry but no choices. It was definitely all about the location and being inside out of the rain.

  • Stayed January 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Sandie S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Athens, Georgia
Level Contributor
21 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 January 2013

No phone. No TV. No frills. No stress.
A fireplace. Amazing surroundings. The chickens. It's Kauai...at elevation.
Wake in the morning with the fog and head to the top of the Na'Pali canyon for amazing views with your coffee. Head out on incredible (some are taxing) hikes.
Great for families, I would think...the cabin's little kitchen makes it easy to self-cater. There is an amazing market before you come up into the Wimea Canyon area...great Poke on tuesdays!! Ishihara! Great grab-n-go and ready food...as well as groceries.
Man, I love this island!

  • Stayed December 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 5 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
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank SauteedGreens
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Australia
Level Contributor
17 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 December 2012

I stayed here a while ago with my family. I don't know if it's improved at all but this was the worst 'hotel' we've ever stayed in. My family couldn't even deal with it, we lasted one night then had to check into our next hotel early the next day. The shower didn't work, was rusty, the shower floor was dirty and gross. the bedding/towels were dirty. Webs everywhere. The kitchen taps barely worked. The scenery is really nice but not much to do. If you don't mind dirt and rust and you're there for the nature you should be fine, if your high maintenance you won't enjoy.

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank lululx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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Additional Information about Koke'e Lodge

Property: Koke'e Lodge
Address: Mile 15 of Waimea Canyon Road, Kanaloahuluhulu Meadow, Kōkeʻe State Park, Waimea, Kauai, HI 96796-0819
Region: United States > Hawaii > Kauai > Waimea
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Kitchenette Restaurant Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Waimea
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Koke'e Lodge 2.5*
Number of rooms: 12
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Also Known As:
Kokee Hotel Waimea
Kokee Lodge
Koke'e Lodge Waimea, Kauai

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