Back in the game

WAIMEA — Shuffleboard, long walks on the dark sand beach, and laid-back settings are what you’ll find at Waimea Plantation Cottages on the Westside of Kauai — but right now the resort is most proud of its cabins.

That’s because they’re about $700,000 into a $1.1 million renovation of the entire property and they’ve completed a good chunk of their cottage remodels.

They’ve also redone their lobby and have turned what used to be an empty museum-type room into retail space. The store “Overboard,” is the first to occupy the space, and it’s been there for about two months.

On Wednesday, Rick Harding and a crew of two were mid-way through construction of new cabanas for the pool area.

“They keep us really busy,” Harding said as he studied the posts that will eventually hold up the cabana’s roof. “We’ve been painting and doing all sorts of little projects around here.”

Harding said the roof to the cabana would be installed Wednesday and construction on the building was going smoothly.

“We’ll probably never be done working on the property because we want to make it the best it can be,” said sales manager Tim Alex, “but we’re always going to keep the ambiance the same.”

The resort is owned by the Faye family. It is one of those endangered species in the world of hospitality, Alex said – the kind of place where you go to unplug from technology and kick back on the lanai with a book or a game of checkers.

Each of the resort’s 61 cottages was original to plantations on the island, and was transported from its original location to create the resort. The cottages range from one bedroom to five bedrooms and each one is named after the family that had the most impact on the island while living there. Relics from their lives decorate many of the buildings.

Aston Hotel & Resorts managed the 27-acre resort for 18 years before Coast Hotels, USA took over management in July 2014. That’s when the renovations of Waimea Plantation Cottages really got rolling.

“The company that managed it before us, they grew and expanded and The Cottages fell to the bottom of their priority list. They didn’t take care of it, so our reputation sank, too,” Alex said. “Our goal here is to get it back on the map.”

The newly renovated cottages are perfect for those looking for a down-to-earth getaway, according to general manager Gregg Enright.

“It’s laid-back around here, but we all make sure to treat it like we would our own home,” Enright said. “We want people to be able to come here and unplug, unwind, and embrace the experience.”

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