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“New Memories, Old Hawaii”

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Waimea Plantation Cottages
Portland, Oregon
Level Contributor
106 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 334 helpful votes
“New Memories, Old Hawaii”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 July 2013

The Plantation is one of those back-in-time experiences that delivers on the original nature of the property without any pretense. Welcoming, laid back, quaint, all these descriptors are true to the feeling of being part of how life slows down near the end of the road on the west end of Kauai. While maintaining a sense of the past, the staff and services are anchored in the present with great food, craft beer and a pristine environment, expertly maintained. The drive up to Wiamea Canyon or over to Barking Sands Beach are easy hops. While a bit out-of-the-way, that would be the point of picking the Plantation. Easy to stay, hard to leave, the Plantation goes beyond a room and a bed to give you a taste of the traditional Hawaiian way of life.

Room Tip: Closer to the ocean the better
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  • Stayed December 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank jay r
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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677 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
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English first
Charleston, Illinois
Level Contributor
101 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 July 2013

I loved it here. We stayed a few nights on this side of the island before heading up to the northeastern part of the island for the bulk of our trip--which was a good plan. It really depends on what you plan on doing with your trip as to how happy you will be here. I would probably give this place five stars because it was so unique, so quaint, and so quiet, but, the bed really was not comfortable (and that is kinda important) and the air conditioner was so loud blasting over the top of my head at night that it was difficult to sleep. I was grateful for the air conditioning, because I see that not all cottages have it, but it was really loud and consisted of a window unit over the bed (not able to curl up in bed with a book without banging your head on the air conditioner! LOL). And I really liked the chickens during the day, but people aren't kidding when they say those things seem to never sleep--and they would crow at 4 am directly under our bedroom window (it is really funny now, but not so much at the time). At first I was disappointed because we were given a cabin on the outer perimeter and without an ocean view, but, this turned out to be great because we had complete privacy--unless we ventured toward the center areas or the beach, we never saw anyone but the maintenance crew (who, by the way, do a wonderful job of daily keeping things natural looking without letting fruit rot, etc.). Yes, they could do a little more in the bathroom so that I would have had some place to set my hair stuff and toiletries (would be easy to find or make a simple three shelf stand), but we had plenty of space, hot water, and it was clean--well-used, but clean. I loved that things were a little worn around the edges. There were antiques mixed with not too terrible Hawaiian tacky (it felt vintage, not ugly!). The overall feel of the inside of the cottage was that someone modernized it in the forties, and has done very little since --other than put a microwave on a side table, and two air conditioning units in the windows. I would be afraid to make a lot of suggestions for improvements because I wouldn't want anyone coming in and modernizing away the quaintness. I do suggest requesting air conditioning if you will be there in the summer--by noon it is hot. But in the morning, we shut everything off and opened up all the doors...sat on the back porch in my pajamas--ate my fresh fruit on the steps--listened to the birds, and inspected whatever had blossomed since the night before--it was my favorite part of the day. I loved this place. I would go back. I would be a little more knowledgeable now about asking for exactly what I want, but I am not sure that exists since every cottage is unique. I should mention my husband would not want to return here--mostly because of the issues with the air conditioning and the roosters--he didn't sleep well. We did get out the box fan we had purchased in the Lihue Wal-Mart on our last night, turned the air conditioning off in the bedroom and slept that way (there was a ceiling fan, and the living room had a window unit as well--this is what we should have done all along). I imagine heating and cooling is quite difficult--we could see daylight between the pine floorboards in the kitchen, but I would not have had it any other way. If you are going to stay on this side, this is the place to stay. And I cannot emphasize enough that you will be in a seriously small place. I am from a small town (under twenty thousand)--and it is SMALL here. I was worried that there weren't enough decent restaurants in Waimea--I shouldn't have bothered. If you are only here for a few nights (or even a week), you will survive just fine eating at the Shrimp Station, Island Taco, CJ's Steakhouse, and whatever you fix for yourself. You have great shave ice at Jo-Jo's. Bring a good book, two swimsuits, a pair of flip-flops, several t-shirts and a couple pairs of shorts--what else do you need? I brought twice as many clothes and shoes as I needed--and that was even considering that I would need "resort wear"--what a joke--I like to dress up, but if you pack a sundress and flip flops, you will be as dressed up as you ever need to be. Oh, yes, and don't bother with your laptop--reception is bad almost everywhere on the island--this may bother you at first (it did me), but eventually you will get used to it--hey, you are on vacation! And for reference, we stayed in cottage number 33--it would be helpful to check a map and request a specific cottage that suits your needs.

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
8 Thank bobbi222
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 June 2013

This was our second trip to Kauai this year and have stayed in Princeville, Lihue, and Wiamea. We love the cottages being very laid back not the tourist trap or to snooty like up north can be. Right on the beach. Clean cabins open air can sleep with all the windows open and the Hawaiian breeze flowing through your cabin. Restaurant onsite serves great food one of the best on this side of the island. Overall highly recommend for the true Hawaiian experience and will come back on future trips.

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank Jgreen80
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
duncans mills
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 June 2013

We spent 4 days here recently and loved it so much we were seriously depressed about having to leave and shift to the other side of the island. We stayed in #51 and loved it. Yes, it's all very vintage, but it met all our basic needs and we really loved the calm feel of 'old Hawaii'. It's warm in the afternoons but the fans run all day and I actually found it very pleasant and would never expect AC in these conditions. The wide porches are fantastic - for bird watching, reading, looking out over the ocean. The grounds are lovely with a big hammock strung between two coconut palms and a nice pool.
The only thing we didn't like was the restaurant - it was pretty bad, and a shame because they have such a lovely setting. Just skip it and buy food in town; the kitchens are well supplied with whatever you need and there are grills, too.
It's such a great spot, not only a lovely space to be in just on it's own but also remarkably close to the dock for Napali Coast tours and the road to Waimea Canyon.

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank scdesil
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Spring Lake, Michigan
Level Contributor
22 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 June 2013

My partner and I stayed in #68, a two-bedroom, two-bath, ocean-front cottage for 5 nights in mid-May. We decided on Waimea Plantation because it offered all we were looking for within our price range: a laid-back part of the island (not Princeville of Poipu, away from the towns and traffic), the sunny side of the island, an oceanfront cottage or house (no condo or big resort hotel room), a pool, and full kitchen. We wanted a retreat from the typical resort, something unique to Kauai'i.

The cottage was perfect for us--mostly comfortable, quiet, charming, and unique to the Hawai'ian islands. The kitchen had adequate dishes, cookware, utensils, salt, pepper, coffee, and tea. The bathrooms had basic amenities (soap and shampoo), claw-foot tubs, a walk-in shower (master bathroom), and fluffy large towels. (Beach towels are supplied at the front desk.) The cottage was furnished with antiques and wicker furniture, a good mix for an "old Hawai'i" feel. The beds were too soft for us and the pillows lumpy--these were the not-so-comfortable parts of our stay, but this didn't matter when lulled to sleep with ocean waves and awakened with bird calls and the scent of plumeria. The cottage had three lanais, two with furniture, and a front yard with a grill, table and chairs. The front lanai was the best--a view of the lawn and ocean where on two mornings we watched dolphins and a turtle. Given some of the disparaging reviews I'd read before we arrived, I was anxious that we wasted our money, especially given that the cottages seem a bit pricey compared to other rentals on the island. But, I was very happy and relieved with the quality of the cottage, service (all very friendly and professional), cleanliness, and all-around experience. Yes, the chickens are loud, but they are everywhere on the island and part of what makes Kaua'i unique. (We also stayed several nights at friends' house in a quiet Kapa'a neighborhood and the chickens were loud there too.) The overall grounds of the resort were beautiful and clean with lovely landscaping and tiki torches lit at night. Overall, we would stay here again.

Why I gave it a "very good" rating and not "excellent": old/too soft mattresses and lumpy pillows, broken toaster and non-working DVD player--which we reported to the front desk but we were never given replacements.

I also think that Aston as a company doesn't seem to be as well run as it could be--the website appears dishonest because it only shows photos of very updated cottages rather than a range of what accommodations that they actually offer at the plantation.

We had lunch one day at the Grove Café, which wasn't a place I'd return to because of the service and just so-so food.

Room Tip: Ocean-front, 2-bedroom is spacious and quiet
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  • Stayed May 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank Kathryn R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
17 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 June 2013

I have spend 5 blissful weeks of my life at my favorite spot on my favorite Island. This is nothing like the tourist Hawaii vacations at resorts, rather a sense of living in a small town on Kauai. Quiet, peaceful, relaxing. It is not luxurious at all, but I would rather stay here than any of the chain resorts or condo's. Set on well tended, tropical grounds on the ocean, there are clusters of restored sugar cane plantation cottages to choose from. By the last time we went, we only went out to dinner once because we didn't want to get dressed up and leave our chill house. Looking forward to going back. It is also on our favorite part of the island, the sunny, dryer West side. Across the street from the don't miss Waimea Canyon, and the seriously hidden (pothole dirt road ride) to the most beautiful beach I have ever seen, Polihale Beach at the beginning of the Na Pali coast. My favorite spot on Earth. Not for everyone, but it is for us.

Room Tip: Splurge on an ocean front cottage. It is worth it!
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  • Stayed April 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank lovethissite90210
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Escondido, California
Level Contributor
21 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 June 2013

One of our stops on the islands to celebrate my son's graduation from college. Yes, the brochure shows palm trees, quaint little cottages, and the beach. Yes, this place is away from the crowds. Just be careful that you request a cottage in the main area of the complex. They put us in Cottage C, on the outer edges of the property, known heretofore as "The Bates Motel." Where shall I begin? The view is completely different from the Web site photos. The hand-crank windows in the C cottage bedrooms don't completely close. Not a problem if you enjoy be eaten by mosquitoes. My son made a choice to sleep on the couch in the living room to try to avoid the pests in the bedroom. No AC, either. To prevent the cottage from becoming completely stifling, he also volunteered to be the human sacrifice and sleep near the unlockable screen door. Needless to say, we got very little sleep that night. Forgot to mention the flurry of termite wings that rained down on us upon trying to crank the bedroom window open when we arrived - it was stifling inside. Oh, and if you go on vacation and want to clean up the filthy patio furniture, you just might like this place. The front porch furniture was a rusty mess. Forgot to mention the film of red dirt on all of the floorboards. BTW, this place charged over $400 per night.
On the positive side I must mention that the management refunded our money for the other two nights we were supposed to stay there. We high-tailed it out of there first thing in the morning and found a lovely place in Poipu Beach(Marriott).
So, if you are into paying over $400 per night for rustic, by all means, book the place. Remember to take a can of mosquito spray and something to protect yourself while sleeping in a far away, unlocked room. Or, request a room with AC near the center of the property. You might have better luck.
Nearest snorkeling and usable beach is half an hour away.

Room Tip: Stay near the center of the property. Better yet - DON'T BOOK A ROOM HERE!
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  • Stayed May 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank Kinikkii
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, 24 July 2013
Thank you for your comments and I apologize that the experience did not meet your expectations. We have taken your comments and have thoroughly reviewed the cottage that you stayed in with the maintenance and the housekeeping departments to correct any deficiencies and cleanliness issues. As many of our return guests know, the cottages are not replicas but are the actually cottages stayed in by plantation employees in the early 1900's. Each cottage was carefully restored when brought into the hotel's inventory, and many of the furnishings and fixtures that our guests experience are original or authentic fixtures from that era. For those looking to experience a stay in an authentic plantation home, the cottages offer a truly unique experience. As with many hotels, Waimea Plantation Cottages has an ongoing refurbishment and renovation plan to keep the cottages in optimal condition. Many of the cottages are going through a major "refreshing" right now and cottage C has now been refreshed as well. Although your first experience did not meet your expectations, we hope to have another opportunity in the near future to provide you with the true experience that Waimea Plantation Cottages has to offer.
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Additional Information about Waimea Plantation Cottages

Property: Waimea Plantation Cottages
Address: 9400 Kaumualii Highway, Waimea, Kauai, HI 96796
Phone Number:
Region: 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 Speciality 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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