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Review 417: Koke'e State Park Cottages, Cottage

Review by Jack from IN

rustic cottages inland, Kauia, Hawaii


Summer 1998


Koke'e Lodge, Box 819, Waimea, HI 96796 phone: 808-335-6061

Recommended - but they are very simple and rustic - more like camping.

To set the stage, on our trip to Kauai in the summer of 1998 we spent three nights at the magnificent Marriott near Lihue, two nights in Kokee State Park, and a week in a house on the North Shore. There was some logic to this hopscotching of accommodations. I had Marriott points and therefore a free rental at the hotel which we used as our base of operations for exploring the Southern part of Kauai, we wanted to see and hike in Kokee at the highest altitude on the west of the island, and we wanted to spend the bulk of our time on the North shore.

Kokee State Park rents two bedroom, fully equipped (a subjective term), cabins for less than $50 per night. I will say that after three nights in the Marriott and a long drive up to the cabins my wife was somewhat in shock. We alternated between laughter and horror as we decided whether we could tough it out for the two nights of our reservation. One son voted to leave immediately and the other son berated us for our lack of pioneering spirit and I, meanwhile, tried to judiciously allow them to fight it out! We stayed!

The whole secret to staying in Kokee Park is managing your expectations. The cabin had two bedrooms with double beds in each, bathroom with shower only, and a big room that had a fireplace, dining table, another double bed, and a kitchen area. The cabin was not clean by normal standards. The mattresses were scary but the park provided clean bedding. You had to make your own beds. The kitchen supplies were spartan but adequate, the floors were bare wood, and illumination was bare lightbulbs.

OK. Hereís the deal about managing your expectations. This place is for folks who want to see a totally different side of Kauai. You are really up in the air here. It gets cold at night and it would be 30-45 minutes to the beach. But if you are a nature lover, or a camper, and want to see the Na Pali coast from the high side or Waimea canyon up close and personal this might be for you. And of course, the price is phenomenal. I would not want to be here more than a few nights but the drive up to the park is fairly long and tedious and staying there for a night or two gives you the opportunity to do some dramatically different hikes. Itís a nice way to camp and hike on Kauai without having to haul all the gear with you.

This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.

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