If you are considering staying at Secret Beach Hideaway, please be sure to ask the management how they have addressed the security of the property prior to booking.
On our 2nd to last night, someone entered the cottage while we were sleeping and stole the money from my husband's wallet. We were fortunate that the person did not take anything else and that we were not harmed.
We spent our last day of the vacation shaken and dealing with the police (who were very helpful) and the property management.
The issue with the property's security is this: There is only 1 window that opens in the cottage, and it's high up in the bedroom (not reachable and quite small). So, the only ventilation in the place comes from the screened doors. There are about 4 or 5 screened doors around the cottage, and none of them lock. It was explained to us after the burglary, that the property management was told by the police not to bother putting locks on the screened doors because someone could just slit open the screen and get in. So, there are no locks on the screens, and there is no way to get any air in the cottage and have it locked at the same time.
My husband and I of course noticed this when we arrived, but figured (it turns out, stupidly) that the property owner would have done this only if there was no real crime threat. This of course was not the case. In fact, the property manager told us that the place had been burgled more than once during the day previously. Apparently this was just the first time it had been burgled at night while guests were there.
The property manager tried to be helpful, though we were upset to learn that this had happened before and that the property owner had chosen not to address the problem.
We were also upset by the property owner's response to the incident. She offered to give us our money back for our last night on the island. That's it. Of course, we weren't going to stay at the cottage for our last night, given what happened. So, basically, she just let us out of the contract for that last night. This was a pitiful and inappropriate response, especially given that she and the property manager were well aware that crime was an issue.
So, again, please be sure to check with the property management re: how security has been addressed prior to booking this cottage. I do hope they fix this critical issue. It is a beautiful place. We really enjoyed our stay prior to the burglary. But there is no way we would stay there again (or recommend that anyone we know do so) unless the security were addressed. I don't know why anyone would.
After two years away from Hawaii, we returned for the holidays and stayed at Secret Beach Hideaway. This was our second stay in this amazing place. It is very hard to describe in a few words how absolutely breathtaking the experience at this cottage was for the two of us. The Pacific views were stunning, the gardens and grounds were perfection, and the cottage and everything about it was private, upscale, and luxurious. This vacation rental villa property is exactly like it appears on the Secret Beach Hideaway Web site.
The sunsets we experienced from the cottage over Na Pali and Bali Hai (of South Pacific fame) are amazing and spiritual. You can see whales jumping out in the ocean from the terrace. There were beautiful birds everywhere.
The owner, Michele Hughes, has put many years of thought and planning into this place and she is rightfully proud of it. She was very gracious and helpful. We felt really appreciated the whole time we were here.
The private estate in which the cottages are located is set on the cliffs overlooking the northern coastline of Kauai. The property is so large and well designed that you have complete privacy in your cottage, on the private terrace overlooking the Pacific, the private outside jacuzzi area, and the gardens and flowers that surround the cottage.
The design of the cottages is very modern Frank Lloyd Wright style and the furnishings are upscale and contemporary. The kitchen is luxurious with stone countertops, Thermador convection oven, Whirlpool Gold dishwasher, Sub-Zero refrigerator, etc. The kitchen is fully furnished with hand-painted, dishwasher safe dishes, glasses, and very nice cooking pots and pans. The kitchen is gourmet class.
The bath is luxurious with travertine stonework, Kohler faucets and toilet, two shower heads, and a separate outside entrance. (There are 7 total outside entrances with sliding full glass doors.) The bath and hot tub towels are very plush.
The bedroom has a king size sleigh bed that is very nice and comfortable. The bedroom is certainly one of the nicest we have ever experienced in a cottage or villa anywhere, but what was more amazing was that Ms. Hughes had designed the closets in the bedroom with thick sliding doors to hide the sound of a up/down washer/dryer and a fully operational HP multi-purpose business machine with wireless printer, copier, and fax where you can print out items from the internet, including boarding passes.
I guess that something had to give considering space even though the cottage is large, so there is not much room for lots of luggage. But with washer and dryer handy, you don't need lot of clothes in Kauai and you can keep most of your snorkeling gear, etc. stored in your car or SUV.
There is DSL high-speed wireless internet and an Ethernet cord for folks who don’t have wireless in their laptops.
The trek down to the beach is similar to every other property in this part of Hawaii. The properties are on the cliffs over-looking the Pacific. The owner has built steps and terraces down to the amazing Secret Beach which do require some effort and common sense. The trek down takes about 10-15 minutes and is definitely worth it. Secret Beach is so private and stunning that you will want to spend a lot of time there. But there are some people who just cannot make that trek for some justifiable reason. If so, there are many, many beautiful beaches within a short driving distance of Kilauea that guests can drive to.
The cottage rental is about $650 per night at this time during most of the year. This compares with a regular small hotel room down the road at the Westin for $585 and at the St. Regis for $805 or a small 2 bedroom condo at the Westin for $998. In my book, it is a no-brainer to stay at Secret Beach Hideaway.
The only other decent property nearby is the Aloho Sunrise and Sunset cottages, both of which are much less expensive, but you get what you pay for. They are very dated and have no view or beach access, not to mention the luxury of Secret Beach Hideaway.
I can imagine that someone might read my review and feel like I must be exaggerating. I assure you I am not.
I highly recommend this place for your stay in Kauai. You will dream about your stay here for a long time. We did...and are really glad we came back.
We just returned from 8 days at Secret Beach Hideaway. We had stayed at the
Hale Nanea Cottage several years ago and so knew the property. The 40+ acres are
perfectly manicured with beautiful green lawns, gardens, palm groves, gingers, and orchids with expansive views to the beach and the stunning tall sculpted green mountains. This time we splurged on The Villa with its amazing salt water pool. We kept saying "PINCH ME!" as this experience was so perfect, like a dream! We were fortunate
this time to meet the owner, Michele Hughes who has put many years of love and tons
of hard work into making this story book hideaway. Michele graciously invited us to hike
on the extensive trails which she just completed that run up and down the cliffs above
Secret Beach. Sadly for us the Villa is now up for sale so we won't be able to return
here but we will surely keep our eyes and ears open for any new projects Michele is
part of as they will certainly be something extraordinary!
We stayed here during the second half of a two-week honeymoon, and it was a welcome respite from the bustle of Honolulu. Michelle, the owner of the property, was welcoming and pleasure to get to know. We stayed at Hale Nanea, which was beautiful. The house looked exactly as it does on the website, and once we got there we almost didn't want to leave to do any activities - we actually spent a lot of time just lounging about on the patio or in the hot tub. The grounds of Secret Beach Hideaway are beautiful as well. Michelle has done a great job landscaping the 40+ acres with different tropical trees and plants. The walk down to the beach takes you along a landscaped path, although it can be steep in some areas and might be hard to go back up if your mobility isn't great. Secret Beach is perfect - you won't find many other people on the wide expanse of sand, and you can just lay out and listen to the waves, or swim, if the water conditions are safe enough. We visited the East, South and West sides of the island, and by far the North Shore, and Secret Beach Hideaway, were the best location!
We spent 4 nights in the beautiful Hale Ke Aloha Cottage at Secret Beach. When we booked the cottage, we were a little disappointed because we had wanted to spend 2 of our 4 nights in Kauai at the St. Regis, which was sold out. However; after we arrived, we could not have imagined staying anywhere else. Our cottage is the fourth cottage located within the Secret Beach Hideaway, and is not advertised on the owner's website. It is the closest to the beach, but still a nice hike. The cottage is absolutely beautiful, impeccably clean, and it contained everything you could ever need from beach towels/chairs to a large outside grill. If you like to cook, the kitchen was stocked with spices, All-Clad cookware, utensils and appliances galore. The washer/dryer was also a nice touch.
Having explored the whole island, we found Secret Beach to perfectly situated and very central to all sites.
What we loved most about the Secret Beach is that it felt like our home, and not at all like a hotel. It was utterly private and peaceful. And the brilliance of the star filled sky was breathtaking.
Hands down this is one of the coolest places I have ever stayed and I would highly recommend it!