We stayed at the Hale Lani cottage for a week in October 2005 during our honeymoon. Upon our arrival at 10 PM, I was so excited when we drove through the property gates and toward the cottage. When we got out of the car I first noticed what I thought to be small lawn decorations that resembled frogs spread about the property surrounding the villa. I asked the manager who welcomed us if those were purchased from Smith and Hawkin and she said they were real toads. There must have been 50 of them. I was so disturbed by this, as most brides would have been. Every evening they would come out once it became dark and sit under the landscape lighting and beneath the villa porch door lighting. To enter and leave at these times, meant running out to make sure the toads would not jump inside. Often times the toads would jump at the glass sliding doors. On our first full day there, my husband went to remove the hot tub cover and there were about 20 frogs hiding underneath the cover around the perimeter of the tub itself. It was so disgusting to see. They could not be easily swayed to move either. As a result, I would not get into the tub that day or any days after that.
To add to this, there was a family of 3 geckos that lived in the villa. It was like clockwork - every night at 5:45 PM the 3 geckos would crawl out of the ledge located where the edge of ceiling meets the main villa wall in the living room (above the bedrm. door). For the next 12 hrs., the 3 of them would lurk about the villa. This really creeped me out. I asked one of the managers if she would have someone get rid of them, and she told us we were on an island and that it was normal. (In the letter we received from management, prior to arriving on the island, they indicated that we should keep doors closed so that geckos do not get into the villa. Little did I know that they already lived inside it.) When they were not resting on the slope of the cathedral ceiling they were hiding in the plant on the kitchen counter, running up and down the kitchen walls, or climbing along the bedroom ceiling. And of course, you have to watch out for gecko droppings that would appear on the floors. I was absolutely grossed out when one gecko decided to live behind my bath towel along the wall in the bathroom. It remained behind the towel for the last 3 days of our visit. As a result, I resorted to using a hand towel. That was the last straw for me, at least I thought.
We bought prepackaged food, like chips and crackers, for the week and put it in the drawers in the kitchen. I even went so far as to double wrap the items that we opened in plastic bags. That did not stop the ants. I had to throw away all of the food from the drawers since ants had infiltrated these areas. It looked like an entire colony had setup residence.
As for the beach, it was absolutely beautiful. However, do not expect to get there via a lush green pathway that they advertise on their website. Yes, there is a short stretch of greenway, but you will soon encounter a steep sloping hill with pieces of wood built into the landscape that are supposed to serve as steps. You have to walk sideways down this steep slope and need to take your time so as not to trip or lose balance on the uneven grounding. Once you have reached the bottom of the slop you will still need to cross a field of brush and branches and then proceed slightly uphill and over more land, and then down a very steep staircase to the beach. It was actually a workout getting to the beach. Also, beware of hissing creatures along the paths.
Aside from all that I have described, it is a beautiful property and the views are outstanding. Although, I wish I would have known about the downsides before I decided to book this property for my honeymoon.
My wife and I spent the last 5 days of our 10-ten Kauai vacation in Hale Nanea at Secret Beach Hideaway. In short, we were blown away. From the cottage, to the tropical garden and pathways that led to the beach, to Secret Beach itself, to the majestic views of Bali Hai, this enchanting place was truly a heaven on Earth.
The cottage, Hale Nanea, was incredible, and included a gourmet kitchen, a great double-headed shower, top-shelf appointments and decorations, and the most comfortable bed we've ever slept in. The beautiful lanai (with a great hot tub) overlooking a long bluff to the ocean was a great place to relax and take in the great scenery.
We were amazed when we took our first walk through the tropical garden to Secret Beach. The landscaping and the flora itself were beautiful and having our own pathway to the beach was great.
On our first arrival to Secret Beach the surf was relatively calm, but by our last two days the ocean was raging with 20-foot waves. It was an inspiring and humbling sight as we watched the pounding surf for hours. Pounding surf or not, Secret Beach was one of the most beautiful beaches we have ever visited.
Secret Beach Hideaway is truly an amazing place and well worth the steep prices. You really do feel as if you are alone in the paradise of Kauai's magical north shore. However, it seemed like a lot of building was ocurring in the area and we saw a real estate magazine that showed some of the parcels around Secret Beach's property to be for sale. Hopefully, it won't change the private atmosphere of Secret Beach Hideaways. This paradise should not be tampered with.
Secret Beach hideaway is the place to go when money is no object, you dont want to stay in a cheesy hotel/condo, don't want to hear/see kids. This place is isolated and gorgeous. We stayed for our honeymoon back in Sept 03 and it was fantastic. Fresh fruit waiting for us when we got there - private outdoor shower and jacuzzi. And a path to Secret Beach that only you and the other people staying there get to use. By the way its only 3 small cottages on 10+ acres of land, so you dont see/hear/know anyone else around. The minor downside is that cottages are very small - its basically a small room with a mini couch, kitchen, table and bed. There isn't much room to manuever around the bed so you have to be careful getting in and out of bed. Hearing the rain at night and seeing the sun at sunrise are things Ill never forget. This is not your ordinary accommodations!
Secret Beach Hideaway - This gets a 10 and not just because we were married on the bluff right on the property. I cannot say enough about how beautiful this location is and how wonderful this little Hale Lani cottage was. We could not have chosen a better place for our private little wedding and the start of ourhoneymoon. You could actually have a pretty large wedding here if they'd allow it. All the furnishings, bedding, towels, kitchen utensils and appliances and amenities are high-end.
It was a 15 minute drive to Princeville so it wasn't right in the center of the action, but it was just what we wanted and the place was upscale and spotless.
The views are spectacular and the sunsets awesome, just sitting right on your lanai. I would buy this place and live here (if I could afford it!!!)
My husband and I stayed at the "Hale Lani" cottage for our honeymoon almost three years ago, and I still think about it almost daily. It is one of three luxury cottages in the Michele Hughes Secret Beach Hideaway development on the North Shore of Kauai, within easy driving distance to all the fun things to do on the North Shore (some of our favorites were snorkeling at Tunnels Beach, eating lunch at Tropical Taco, sea kayaking in Hanalei bay) but far enough away from civilization that it felt like our own little private, tropical paradise. It was the embodiment of romance - incredible beauty, incredible comfort, incredible peace - the perfect way to enjoy our new marriage. We never saw another person on the cottage property or the private beach during our 4-day stay.
When we arrived, there was a big basket of fresh pineapple, papayas and mangos waiting for us on the marble countertop in the top-of-the-line kitchen. We grilled fresh fish on the gourmet stainless gas barbecue every night, and ate it on the patio overlooking the valley full of acres of tropical flowers and trees with the sun setting over the ocean in the distance. We were awoken in our luxurious & comfortable bed every morning by the beautiful sound of literally hundreds of birds singing, with a fresh breeze blowing through the double patio doors on both sides of the bedroom. We walked down the beautifully landscaped, private path to the beach and spent long afternoons on the golden-sand beach relaxing under a beach umbrella and drinking mai tais from our cooler. The indoor/outdoor shower was fun and the in-ground jacuzzi overlooking the valley was even better.
We spent the first part of our honeymoon at the Hyatt Regency Kauai, which was also amazingly luxurious and fun... the two were completely different experiences, since the Hyatt was all about delicious spa treatments and great service by the wonderful tropical pool, and Hale Lani was all about relaxation in a completely private environment. I was glad we went to the Hyatt first since we were exhausted from the wedding and it was a relief to have everything completely taken care of for us... but after several days there, it was nice to transition to a more intimate setting where we enjoyed cooking for ourselves and living at our own speed.
Hale Lani was a big splurge for us, as our usual vacations consist of camping or staying in cheap beach cottages - but it was worth every penny. I can't wait to go back for an anniversary sometime in the future!!
The pictures on the Secret Beach Hideaway website do a good job of capturing the beauty that is in store for you... of course, to really experience it, you have to see it for yourself! Just do a web search for "michele hughes secret beach hideaway" and the link should come up. Truly heaven on earth!!!