A couple months ago, hubs the kids and I went to Paradise Cove Luau during our family vacation to Hawaii! This Luau came highly recommended on Trip Advisor, but there were also some unsatisfactory reviews. Ultimately, we enjoyed ourselves and whether you’re most interested in the performance, the food, the drinks or the activities, this review will give an honest description so you can decide if it’s a good fit for you and your family!
Note: This review is not sponsored, paid or otherwise incentivized. All opinions are my own.
This luau is in Ko’Olina, (Oahu, HI). We were literally close enough to walk from Disney Aulani. It’s also very close to the Four Seasons Resort! Lots of the attendees were walking from either of those resorts to get to the Luau. If you are staying at another hotel, there may be a shuttle that can pick you up.
After you check in, you get a flower or shell lei, a complimentary beverage, (Mai-Tai or non-alcoholic punch) and get a photo taken with the hula dancers! Everyone who worked there was friendly and the parking attendants! Definitely great service and great attitudes from everybody there.
This is what I was most impressed with. I thought a Luau was just dinner and a show but there were so many activities to do! Traditional Polynesian games, arts & crafts ( make your own lei ), polynesian tattoo art, riding in a canoe, lots and lots to do there before the show even begins. Bring cash for tips because a lot of the people working at these events can’t charge you but definitely deserve something for their services.
I will be honest the grounds are a bit shabby, especially when juxtaposed with the shine and polish of nearby Aulani or the Four Seasons. The chairs are very flimsy plastic chairs and the tables are wobbly. It’s a real good time and everyone should still come just dont expect a lot of polish and shine unless you get the VIP tickets.
The drinks weren’t very strong but they tasted DELICIOUS! They will card you at the bar so bring your ID (even if you usually dont carry it around when you travel)! Also, your ticket includes a gift card you can use at the bar for drinks or in the gift shop!
I’ll be honest: the food was forgettable. It is served buffet-style and is all you can eat. Nothing was bad but the food was not the high point of the evening (the performances were). I will say the pork they served was very flavorful! I had a big helping of it and it was my favorite item.
The show was wonderful, as to be expected. The musicians, singers and dancers were fantastic. A note about this show: there is a LOT of audience participation. They will want you to come onstage and dance, sing along or shout out answers to questions. They will ask people to stand to recognize birthdays, anniversaries, honeymoons, etc. It begins to be tedious after awhile. What I’m trying to say is it’s very interactive so if you’re a theatre purist and just want to sit back and watch a show, beware.
In case any souvenir nuts (like myself) are reading this, there is a marketplace open during the Luau where you can buy souvenirs! There are also various kiosks where you can buy jewelry and other wares. If souvenir shopping was on the to-do list, bring your purse to the Luau!
Overall, this Luau was a blast and our whole family had a great time. Definitely check it out if you get an opportunity to take your family or friends!