Have you ever been somewhere you desperately didn’t want to leave? Us, too. That place is the Waimea Plantation Cottages. Everything about it was beautiful, romantic, and sweet. It’s the perfect combination of hotel and vacation rental, and I can’t wait to go back to stay here again.
*Note: This is not a sponsored post. We did not receive free accommodations or other perks in exchange for this post. Our experience is the same that you would have!
The Waimea Plantation Cottages started as homes for plantation workers on Kauai. They were built between 1880 and 1930, and range from one- to five-bedrooms. Every cottage has a story, and each one was relocated here after sugar productions stopped on Kaua’i. They were all sold for $1,000 a piece, as is, regardless of size or state. They were remodeled and given new life with a view of the ocean here in Waimea Town, and people have been enjoying them as vacation rentals ever since. We fell absolutely in love with our cottage, our view, the beach, and the cats!
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The Waimea Plantation Cottages are located just west of downtown Waimea, and they’re the perfect jumping off point for all things on the southern and eastern sides of Kaua’i. Staying here, you’re just a quarter mile from Waimea Canyon Drive (the only access to Waimea Canyon and Koke’e State Parks), walking distance to shops and restaurants in Waimea Town, 15 minutes from Kaua’i Coffee Plantation, and 40 minutes from Lihue Airport.
You’re also steps away from their semi-private black sand beach, the ocean, and hammocks!
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This was our first “big” trip since the Pandemic started, so we decided to splurge a little bit on a two bedroom, oceanfront cottage. It was like a little piece of Heaven! The 1930s-style cottage was so adorable, both inside and out. I loved the sliding panel doors that separated the bedrooms from the living space, which matched the sliding panel doors that fully opened between the bedrooms and lanai (Hawaiian for porch). We could make the entire house as open or as private as we wanted.
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The Living Area
The open floor plan of the cottage made the living area seem quite large. We could open the panel doors that separated the bedrooms and have a gigantic living space! It was also open to the full kitchen, so neither of us ever felt separated from the other. I also loved the wicker furniture with comfy cushions for added coziness.
The real wood floors (likely original!) didn’t squeak at all, and they added to the classic, well-made feel of the cottage as well. Again, we could open the sliding doors all the way across to have that tropical, indoor-outdoor living feel. It all felt very Hawaiian–not like something generic that could have been just anywhere in the world.
While the applicances were largely on the dated side, they all worked well, and having a full kitchen at our disposal was helpful when we couldn’t find an open restaurant at suppertime! There were plenty of dishes for the two of us, as well as a full-size refrigerator-freezer, microwave, stove, oven, blender, toaster, coffee maker, sink, and plenty of cabinet space as well.
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Both bedrooms were quite large, had plenty of closet and dresser storage, and came with bathrooms attached! The bed in the master was very comfortable, and I loved the side tables and lamps!
The second bedroom was at least as large as the master, but it was laid out a little differently. Both rooms offered lots of natural light, but also heavy curtains to ensure the ability to sleep!
Both rooms came with a full bath attached. Each had a shower, toilet, and sink (sorry, no bathtub for those who prefer it!). The toiletries left a bit to be desired, but that is my only criticism here. I usually prefer a larger sink with counterspace, but the need for that was eliminated with the shelf under the mirror in each bathroom as well.
I can’t say enough about this gorgeous, spacious, well-appointed lanai, or porch. It ran the length of the house, and it was perfect for early morning workouts, to-go meals with a view, sipping morning coffee, or simply holding hands and looking at the ocean. There were two sets of tables and chairs, as well as two rocking chairs and a small table between them. Overall, our needs were certainly met and exceeded. We were fans.
You may notice the canvas screen at the end of the porch, which gave us a little extra privacy, as our cottage was located next to the pool. We didn’t get a lot of pool noise, but we appreciated it all the same!
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The Waimea Plantation Cottages is home to two restaurants: Chicken in a Barrel, and Da Pizza Place. We didn’t try Chicken in a Barrel this go-around, but we did fall in love with Da Pizza Place’s Hawaiian Pizza! The magic is the sweet crust, but you’ll have to experience it to believe just how out-of-this-world it really is.
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While the Pandemic has taken away many a fun and exceptional amenity, some accommodations have done their best to give you what delights they can! I love that the Waimea Plantation Cottages have gone above and beyond in the time of COVID.
There is no daily housekeeping for now, but you will receive fresh sheets, towels, and coffee (with fixin’s!) after three days if you want or need a refresh. In the meantime, Here are the amenities you’ll find for your stay.
The Welcome Gift
Who doesn’t like presents?! We each received a shell lei, two different kinds of locally made cookies, and a tote for us to share. And let me tell you, that one comes in handy. You have to pay for bags in Hawaiian stores, so it’s always a good idea to bring your own.
More about hospitable Kaua’ians here: Staying at the Hanalei Colony Resort
The Black Sand Beach
This is the only beach I’ve visitied on any of the Hawaiian islands that was soft enough to walk on with no shoes, comfortably. Most of the beaches in Hawaii, while beautiful, are covered with broken shells, rocks, pieces of coral, etc. These can cut your feet, so I always recommend water shoes. And though I still recommend them here, this soft, black sand is a treat for the tootsies!
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As previously mentioned, the pool was right next to our cottage. It’s beautifully kept, with a large swimming pool as well as a smaller kiddy pool, too. The lounge chairs were quite comfortable, and though it was never crowded when we looked, there was always someone there. It was very pleasant.
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I don’t think anyone gets as excited for laundry as I do! While I am not a fan of cooking, cleaning, or making my own bed on travel (it’s not a vacation if I have to make my own bed!), I can get onboard with laundry. Having access to laundry means I can pack lighter, and I don’t have to tote stinky clothes around the world with me! Hooray!
Waimea Plantation Cottages offers complimentary laundry facilities, as well as complimentary detergent at the front desk. Just ask. There are two washers and two dryers, so you can do separate loads if needed.
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Okay, this was pretty fun! I assume the cats are around to keep mice and other varmints at bay (their cat food is located near the check-in area, so they definitely belong here), but we sure had fun thinking of them as pets. Our first morning there, we met a pretty gray cat who was exceptionally friendly. The next day, a different gray cat came over and decided to adopt us. She hung out on our lanai for the rest of our trip (and sometimes in the house–we couldn’t resist). An orange cat came around a couple of times, but this particular gray cat made sure he didn’t stick around!
Need more? Check out my dedicated Hawaiian Islands Page!
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