Pros

  • Beachfront plantation-style property with old Hawaiian feel
  • Individually decorated, freestanding cottages -- all with full kitchens
  • Mid-size pool
  • Within walking distance of downtown Waimea
  • Multiple wedding and event venues throughout the property
  • Sports bar and restaurant
  • Free parking and Wi-Fi
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Cons

  • Old Hawaiian style decor may not appeal to everyone
  • Most cottages only have one window-unit air conditioner
  • Hotel beach isn’t the most scenic in the area
  • Waimea is a sleepy, isolated town where there’s not much to do (a pro for some)
  • Wi-Fi can be spotty
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Bottom Line

Completely unlike any other hotel accommodation on Kauai, the upper-middle-range Waimea Plantation Cottages offers visitors a unique approach to the typical Hawaiian vacation. A former sugar cane plantation, the property looks much like it did at the turn of the century, when individual cottages dotted the giant green lawn leading to the ocean. Today, it has 61 cottages, a pool, and an on-site restaurant, and welcomes visitors to a little slice of old Hawaii, where roosters roam the grounds, children play beneath willow trees, and families gather on their lanais to celebrate special occasions. The experience at Waimea Plantation Cottages is certainly rustic -- you can expect a few bugs, spotty Wi-Fi, and iffy air conditioners -- but the hotel’s unsophisticated charm is part of its appeal. Travelers looking for a more modern hotel with a similar laid-back vibe should check out Kauai Shores, an Aqua Hotel, but it’s on the complete opposite side of the island.   

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Amenities

  • Cribs
  • Internet
  • Jacuzzi
  • Pool
  • Spa

Oyster Hotel Review

Waimea Plantation Cottages

Scene

A plantation-style property offering a feeling of old Hawaii 

Guests arrive via a a palm-lined driveway to the large plantation house that is Waimea Plantation Cottages’ lobby and reception area, and to most, it will be immediately apparent that there is something special about this property. The simple, homey decor of the place harkens back to a bygone era, and there’s something captivating about the atmosphere that’s difficult to describe. As one staff member put it, “Once you get here, there’s something about this place that makes you want to come back -- and you will.” 

The cream-colored house, with its dark wood front porch and white moldings, gives way to a simple lobby where fresh flowers sit atop a round wooden table in the center of the room. Old black and white photos of the plantation’s original owners serve as artwork, and antique desks and chairs are propped in the corner, looking much like they would have a hundred years ago. Another massive lanai awaits guests on the lobby’s western side, where white rockers offer the perfect vantage point of the grassy lawn that leads directly past the cottages to the ocean. 

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Location

In Waimea, on Kauai's isolated western coast 

Tell any Kauai native that you’re headed to Waimea and you’ll likely be met with stares of awe and curiosity. Located on Kauai’s western coast, the town of Waimea is one of the last points of civilization before Waimea Canyon and the uninhabited Na’Pali Coast -- and seemingly, hardly anyone ever goes there. On our drive to Waimea, our cab driver asked if she could bring family members along just so they could “see what Waimea was like.” Hardly as intriguing as the islanders make it out to be, Waimea is a scrappy, desolate town where there’s not much going on. A few mom and pop shops line the main drag, along with two grocery stores, a handful of eateries, the local high school, and a tiny movie theater that shows one new movie every week. Travelers looking for fine dining and touristy amenities won’t enjoy Waimea, but those in search of solitude and an authentic Hawaiian atmosphere will certainly find it here. It’s also an ideal spot for those interested in exploring Waimea Canyon for an extended period of time. Waimea Plantation Cottages is within walking distance of town, but anyone looking to explore more than just the local area will need to rent a car. The hotel is about a 50-minute drive from Lihue Airport.    

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Rooms

Sixty-one Hawaiian style cottages spread across 27 acres 

Waimea Plantation Cottages has 61 freestanding cottages spread across 27 acres of oceanfront property. Each Hawaiian-style cottage is equipped with a full kitchen, living room, and a private lanai, but varies in number of bedrooms and bathrooms. Some cottages are original to the plantation, while others have been transported from other parts of Hawaii and restored to their original grandeur. Some cottages are oceanfront and others have ocean views, but most look out onto gardens and large lawns. All offer a great sense of privacy. 

Decor varies a bit between cottages, but the overall style can be best described as simple Hawaiian. Wicker furniture sits atop dark wide-panel wood floors, billowy white curtains hang from the windows, and beds are covered by dark floral bedspreads. Kitchens have a simple country feel, with painted white wood cabinets, older appliances, and red-gingham trimmed valances. Kitchens are stocked with almost everything one might need -- including pots, pans, plates, cups, toasters, and microwaves -- but there’s no dishwasher. Every cottage has a least one window-unit air conditioner, usually in the bedroom. However, larger cottages may or may not have an air conditioner in each bedroom, which can make for some miserably hot nights. Although Kauai is known to have excellent trade winds that keep temperatures comfortable throughout the year, sometimes it can be incredibly hot, especially during the summer months.     

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Features

A small pool and a lackluster beach, along with an on-site restaurant and a few freebies 

Waimea Plantation Cottages has a mid-size L-shape pool that overlooks the beach. A few scattered lounge chairs surround the pool deck, but that’s about it. It’s not the most exciting aquatic playground we’ve ever seen, but most guests seem content to hang out here during the day -- probably because the ocean in front of the hotel isn’t quite swimmable. The beach, like the rest of the property, has a rustic feel to it, with dark sand, rough waters, and lots of natural debris along the shoreline. Thanks to the Waimea River, muddy brown clay from the canyon flows freely into the ocean, giving the water a grey-brown hue instead of a typical blue color. What the beach lacks in beauty, however, it makes up in seclusion -- since no one’s traveling from far and wide to see it, the beach is almost always empty. 

While the majority of guests choose to make use of their cottages’ full kitchens, there is an on-site restaurant for those who would prefer not to cook. Kalapaki Joe’s is a well-known sports bar with several locations across Kauai -- including one at Waimea Plantation Cottages. The restaurant offers indoor and outdoor seating and serves typical mediocre bar food, and the service is known to be slow. 

The hotel offers free parking and (spotty) Wi-Fi, and there’s a small gift shop and convenience store just off the lobby. There aren’t any big ticket amenities such as a spa or fitness center.  

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Weddings

A popular spot for weddings and special events 

Each cottage at Waimea Plantation Cottages is individually named, and the house known as Managers is primarily used for weddings and large events. A cream-colored mansion with forest green trim, Managers is a five-bedroom oceanfront stunner with enough room to accommodate entire wedding parties under one roof. Ceremonies and receptions are typically held on Managers‘ oceanfront lawn, in the shade of two massive banyan trees. Managers' kitchen is a fully functioning service kitchen, making the house better suited for guests who will be using the house as an event space. Groups looking for an equally large cottage without an event component should check out Kruse House instead.  

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Things You Should Know About Waimea Plantation Cottages

Also Known As

  • Aston Waimea Plantation Cottages

Address

9400 Kaumualii Highway, Waimea 96796, Kauai

Website

Oyster Hotel Review

Waimea Plantation Cottages

Scene

A plantation-style property offering a feeling of old Hawaii 

Guests arrive via a a palm-lined driveway to the large plantation house that is Waimea Plantation Cottages’ lobby and reception area, and to most, it will be immediately apparent that there is something special about this property. The simple, homey decor of the place harkens back to a bygone era, and there’s something captivating about the atmosphere that’s difficult to describe. As one staff member put it, “Once you get here, there’s something about this place that makes you want to come back -- and you will.” 

The cream-colored house, with its dark wood front porch and white moldings, gives way to a simple lobby where fresh flowers sit atop a round wooden table in the center of the room. Old black and white photos of the plantation’s original owners serve as artwork, and antique desks and chairs are propped in the corner, looking much like they would have a hundred years ago. Another massive lanai awaits guests on the lobby’s western side, where white rockers offer the perfect vantage point of the grassy lawn that leads directly past the cottages to the ocean. 

See More Scene

Location

In Waimea, on Kauai's isolated western coast 

Tell any Kauai native that you’re headed to Waimea and you’ll likely be met with stares of awe and curiosity. Located on Kauai’s western coast, the town of Waimea is one of the last points of civilization before Waimea Canyon and the uninhabited Na’Pali Coast -- and seemingly, hardly anyone ever goes there. On our drive to Waimea, our cab driver asked if she could bring family members along just so they could “see what Waimea was like.” Hardly as intriguing as the islanders make it out to be, Waimea is a scrappy, desolate town where there’s not much going on. A few mom and pop shops line the main drag, along with two grocery stores, a handful of eateries, the local high school, and a tiny movie theater that shows one new movie every week. Travelers looking for fine dining and touristy amenities won’t enjoy Waimea, but those in search of solitude and an authentic Hawaiian atmosphere will certainly find it here. It’s also an ideal spot for those interested in exploring Waimea Canyon for an extended period of time. Waimea Plantation Cottages is within walking distance of town, but anyone looking to explore more than just the local area will need to rent a car. The hotel is about a 50-minute drive from Lihue Airport.    

See More Location

Rooms

Sixty-one Hawaiian style cottages spread across 27 acres 

Waimea Plantation Cottages has 61 freestanding cottages spread across 27 acres of oceanfront property. Each Hawaiian-style cottage is equipped with a full kitchen, living room, and a private lanai, but varies in number of bedrooms and bathrooms. Some cottages are original to the plantation, while others have been transported from other parts of Hawaii and restored to their original grandeur. Some cottages are oceanfront and others have ocean views, but most look out onto gardens and large lawns. All offer a great sense of privacy. 

Decor varies a bit between cottages, but the overall style can be best described as simple Hawaiian. Wicker furniture sits atop dark wide-panel wood floors, billowy white curtains hang from the windows, and beds are covered by dark floral bedspreads. Kitchens have a simple country feel, with painted white wood cabinets, older appliances, and red-gingham trimmed valances. Kitchens are stocked with almost everything one might need -- including pots, pans, plates, cups, toasters, and microwaves -- but there’s no dishwasher. Every cottage has a least one window-unit air conditioner, usually in the bedroom. However, larger cottages may or may not have an air conditioner in each bedroom, which can make for some miserably hot nights. Although Kauai is known to have excellent trade winds that keep temperatures comfortable throughout the year, sometimes it can be incredibly hot, especially during the summer months.     

See More Rooms

Features

A small pool and a lackluster beach, along with an on-site restaurant and a few freebies 

Waimea Plantation Cottages has a mid-size L-shape pool that overlooks the beach. A few scattered lounge chairs surround the pool deck, but that’s about it. It’s not the most exciting aquatic playground we’ve ever seen, but most guests seem content to hang out here during the day -- probably because the ocean in front of the hotel isn’t quite swimmable. The beach, like the rest of the property, has a rustic feel to it, with dark sand, rough waters, and lots of natural debris along the shoreline. Thanks to the Waimea River, muddy brown clay from the canyon flows freely into the ocean, giving the water a grey-brown hue instead of a typical blue color. What the beach lacks in beauty, however, it makes up in seclusion -- since no one’s traveling from far and wide to see it, the beach is almost always empty. 

While the majority of guests choose to make use of their cottages’ full kitchens, there is an on-site restaurant for those who would prefer not to cook. Kalapaki Joe’s is a well-known sports bar with several locations across Kauai -- including one at Waimea Plantation Cottages. The restaurant offers indoor and outdoor seating and serves typical mediocre bar food, and the service is known to be slow. 

The hotel offers free parking and (spotty) Wi-Fi, and there’s a small gift shop and convenience store just off the lobby. There aren’t any big ticket amenities such as a spa or fitness center.  

See More Features

Weddings

A popular spot for weddings and special events 

Each cottage at Waimea Plantation Cottages is individually named, and the house known as Managers is primarily used for weddings and large events. A cream-colored mansion with forest green trim, Managers is a five-bedroom oceanfront stunner with enough room to accommodate entire wedding parties under one roof. Ceremonies and receptions are typically held on Managers‘ oceanfront lawn, in the shade of two massive banyan trees. Managers' kitchen is a fully functioning service kitchen, making the house better suited for guests who will be using the house as an event space. Groups looking for an equally large cottage without an event component should check out Kruse House instead.  

See More Weddings

Best Rates

Amenities

  • Air Conditioner

  • Balcony / Terrace / Patio

  • Basic Television

  • Beach

  • Beauty / Hair Salon

  • Cable

  • Children's Pool

  • Concierge

  • Cribs

  • Full Kitchen

  • Internet

  • Jacuzzi

  • Kids Allowed

  • Laundry

  • Meeting / Conference Rooms

  • Pool

  • Separate Bedroom / Living Room Space

  • Spa

  • Tennis Court

Disclaimer: This content was accurate at the time the hotel was reviewed. Please check our partner sites when booking to verify that details are still correct.