Thursday, February 9, 2017

Kaui, Waimea Plantation Cottages

 Every place we've stayed in on this trip has been unique, and this is quite the gem!

Waimea Plantation - main building
During his online search, Rob found Waimea Plantation Cottages available for rental at what was once a sugar plantation. Hurricanes and changing economies have led to a shift in the business model, away from sugar mill to resort. In addition to the original cottages on the property, other buildings have been acquired from plantations across Hawaii. Now there are more than 60 cottages here, and each room comes with a list of their origins.

It is fun to take the inventory along on a stroll to read about the history of the buildings. Vintages are 1904 - 1930, but the insides have been renovated for modern amenities. Cottages range in size from 'iki' (small) to larger 2-3 bedrooms.

We are staying in one of the original property buildings. Here's how it's described:
Waimea Sugar Mill Company House #30 - Fermin Ilar 
Ilar was listed as a general labourer in 1954 employee list. Originally this was a one bedroom house with a small step-down kitchen. 
Other descriptions are a bit more lengthy:
Cottage #9 - Dugold Campbell
Dugold Campbell was born at Lamlash, isle of Arran, Scotland, and the seventh of eight children of the Rev. Colin Campbell... Arriving in Honolulu January 9, 1885 aboard the S.S, Mariposa, Dr. Campbell came to accept a position with the Board of Health as a government physician for the Kileau district of Kaui. In July 1887 Dr. Campbell applied for and received the position of government physician for the Waimea district. His salary was $1,500 a year and he was also responsible for caring for the inhabitants of Nihau... As early as 1893, Dr. Campbell was asking the Board of Health for funds to establish a hospital in Waimea, but there was no money for such a project... he led a drive to raise money by public subscription. Two years later the hospital had been constructed... with the proviso that... indigent Hawaiians be treated free of charge.

I think I would've liked hanging out with this guy:
House #51 - Charlie Kaneyama
Career at Kekaha Sugar in Industrial Relations in which he spent a great deal of time working on the plantation newspaper "Kekahamana," including photographing plantation events from 1940s - 1970s. Charlie was a musician, playing a large number of them, and big band leader well into his 80's. In the late 60s through 70s he taught ukulele to school age kids. When he retired from Kekaha Sugar he took up painting, adding that to his creative life.

Other inhabitants are identified from Germany, Scotland, Japan, and Portugal and positions range from general labourer to dairy herdsman, ditchman, seaside superintendent, manager, and director.

The cottages are fairly close to each other but there are lots of plantings that make for green privacy and cool shade. The beach here is more walkable than swimmable, with two miles of shoreline from the pier to resort.

It's also the perfect place to watch the sunset over the private island of Ni‘ihau.

National Geographic named it to The Staylist of 150 Hotels You'll Love in 2008 and it continues to get stellar reviews.

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