Accommodations on Kaua‘i’s west side are somewhat limited, as the area is perhaps the least-busy locale on the island. The west side does offer some of the best places to camp though, both along the ocean and up in the mountains.

Sprawling on 30 acres of oceanfront land adorned with coconut trees, Waimea Plantation Cottages & Spa (9400 Kaumuali‘i Hwy., 808/338-1625, $176-892) is a combination of contrasting elements and styles. A collection of quite a few original sugar plantation cottages from the 1900s, the homes exude a unique blend of history and elegance, island style, and luxurious comforts. The homes still have their original layout, style, and wood but have been refurbished and are very clean. Set along a black-sand beach and swimming pool where hammocks stretch from one original plantation coconut tree to another, cottages range in size from one to five bedrooms, providing guests with the space and privacy of their own home and fully equipped kitchen, with the comforts and ease of being guests. Live in the lap of luxury lounging at the pool, napping in a oceanside hammock, indulging at the spa, and exploring the hotel’s museum. Or you can go low-key and local style here with a backyard barbecue in a yard with an old mango tree, watch the sunset over Ni‘ihau from your porch while sipping a locally brewed beer from the on-site Waimea Brewery, or make dinner in a classic plantation kitchen in your own home. Cottages range from a one-bedroom to a five-bedroom home.

Waimea Plantation Cottages & Spa is a collection of original sugar plantation cottages from the 1900s..

Waimea Plantation Cottages & Spa is a collection of original sugar plantation cottages from the 1900s. Photo © Andy Price, licensed Creative Commons Attribution & ShareAlike.

Nestled in the small town of Waimea, Inn Waimea (4469 Halepule Rd., 808/338-1814, $110-120) offers four quaint suites near the ocean. The home-turned-inn was once the residence of the pastor of the Waimea Japanese Christian Church and was renovated in 2001 as a four-suite inn. A lanai allows guests to take in the breeze, and it’s a very short walk to the ocean, although the beach here isn’t ideal for swimming. The Banana Suite holds one king bed, a Jacuzzi tub, and a living room and rents for $120 a night. The ocean-view Bamboo Suite ($110) has one queen bed, a living room, and a normal shower. In the Hibiscus Suite, you’ll find one queen bed, a mountain view, a shower, and a living room. The Taro Room has a king bed, living room, and renovated bathroom. All rates are for two or more nights. All rooms have Internet access, coffeemaker, and small refrigerator. The Hibiscus Suite and Taro Room have TVs.

The West Inn Kaua‘i (9690 Kaumuali‘i Hwy., 808/338-1107, $199-249) is directly across from the historic Waimea Theater. It has a two-night minimum (it will take guests for one-night reservations but only on short notice the day before). Rooms are available with a king bed or two double beds ranges. One- and two-bedroom suites have a seven-night minimum.


Excerpted from the First Edition of Moon Hawaiian Islands.