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Best Luau in Kauai

philadelphia
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Best Luau in Kauai

Share your thoughts on the best luau in Kauai.

California
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1. Re: Best Luau in Kauai

Smith's has a better show but the Hyatt's has better food. The Hyatt's show is only good if it's not raining and they hold it outside.

California
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2. Re: Best Luau in Kauai

This is one of the most asked questions and one that is easy to go back and read about.

Smith's is popular as is the one at Gaylord's. The cruise ship crowd likes that one. On this website it lists others but the one at the Princeville Hotel is no longer. There is now one at Mediterranean Grill and perhaps soon at HBR.

www.summitpacificinc.com/kauai-luau.html

California
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3. Re: Best Luau in Kauai

PS You can do the Smith's but not eat dinner there.

Kaua'i, HI
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for Kauai, Poipu, Lihue
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4. Re: Best Luau in Kauai

Aloha from Kaua'i!

There are so many lu'aus here on Kaua'i to choose from - some pretty generic, some stand out for varying reasons.

All of them feature great dancers and musicians - we have an abundance of them here and the quality of the dancing/music is never really an issue that I've ever heard with any of them. The choreography can be very different from one to another as well depending on who produced it - many lu'aus here are done by a big O'ahu company - Tihati Productions, that does many, many hotel and other lu'aus in the islands.

My personal opinion is that Smith's Family Lu'au at Wailua is the most "Kaua'i style" lu'au here - strictly a Kaua'i production with Kaua'i folks performing and running it as they have for about 50 years now. It gets pretty high ratings here on TA if you do a search on it.

Lu'au Kalamaku is very high tech for Kaua'i - it gets rave reviews pretty much across the board and is certainly a state of the art production - as mentioned, it is very popular also with the cruise ship crowd - buses come in from the cruise ships for this lu'au when it is in port.

Smith's Family Lu'au is very low key comparatively - it is set in a lovely garden setting (Smith's Tropical Paradise) and the actual performance is in an open air ampitheatre - the dancers aren't quite as Hollywood style (no wigs, "falsies" etc.) as some of the other shows - and it does also showcase some of the other Pacific Rim region dances as well as the standard Hawaiian and Tahitian (with some Samoan fire knife thrown in) that you see at pretty much all lu'aus. I'm just partial to it because it isn't as high glitz or high tech - more "traditional" if there is such a word to be applied to a visitor lu'au.

It just depends on what you are looking for - I doubt you would be disappointed in any of the lu'aus here, especially if you haven't been to one before.

Good luck with your choice!

Malama Pono,

Janet

KauaiBeachLover
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5. Re: Best Luau in Kauai

Where are you staying? That makes a real difference. You don't want to enjoy the luau, have a couple of Mai Tai's and the have to drive on strange roads for long distances.

Santa Rosa...
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6. Re: Best Luau in Kauai

Jebett, I see your Summit site shows the luau at the Coconut Beach Resort. Is that one still in existence? I didn't think it was because I never hear a thing about it anymore or on this board either.

I remember going to it many years ago when it was the Sheraton Coconut Beach (the hotel that has gone through so many hands over the years). I just remember that for a long, long time it was considered the best and most authentic luau on Kauai. Okay, I'm dating myself here.

So I'm wondering if it really is still operating and if anyone here has attended it lately. Outside of one of my sons getting sick during the show (a number of years ago) I had to agree it was the best I'd been to.

Healy, Alaska
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for Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska
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7. Re: Best Luau in Kauai

Smith's has been our favorite! :)

Santa Rosa...
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8. Re: Best Luau in Kauai

I do think of Smith's show as a pretty theatrical production with some pretty involved lighting and sound stems, some pretty technical use of the natural backdrop of the hillside slope, rock and shrubbery surrounding the stage area. Not forgetting their rendition of Pele actually rising up out of the volcano, if they still do that. That has quite a Vegas-type element to it, imo.

But to me this is a positive thing. This isn't meant as a criticism as I prefer this to,say, the Sheraton luau. The backdrops, sound, lights, (everything but the dancing which was excellent) I found amateurish and it could have used some more of a professional theatrical element.

So I myself steer people from the Sheraton luau. Maybe it's improved because I saw it just weeks after it began. I also never recommend the Hyatt luau to friends because of the sheer size of the operation. I'd like to try the luau at Kilohana someday soon.

Kaua'i, HI
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9. Re: Best Luau in Kauai

Aloha from Kaua'i!

In regards to the question posed about the lu'au at the old Sheraton Coconut Coast property - which is now the Makaiwa - the lu'au there which was held for a year or more in the parking lot in a tent after the "Lu'au Hale" burned - it has been shut down for over a year now.

Also to clarify: I don't mean to say that Smith's doesn't have any technical or production values - it isn't something somebody does in their back yard - it is a little less "Hollywood Hula" style IMO than some other lu'aus here - again, JMO.

Malama Pono,

Janet

Kauai, Hawaii
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10. Re: Best Luau in Kauai

Smith's is centrally located in Wailua, and is a comfortable and entertaining luau that will hold your interest. I really like the food. It's wonderful to be able to stroll (or ride through) the grounds before the luau starts. Very educational and includes ALL the cultures that make up Hawaii.

The bulk of the cost is for the food, so if you want to see just the show, that's also possible. (I'd suggest eating there and enjoy the dinner show as well, unless you are on a time crunch or on a severe budget crunch.) If time isn't a problem, you can make an afternoon/evening of it by taking the Smith's boat ride up to the fern grotto as well. It's definitely geared toward the visitors, but because so is entertaining and educational regarding the area, flora and fauna. Just a fun time, if you go with the "visitor activity" attitude.

If you are staying super far north, such as Ha'ena, I'd suggest staying up there and trying the Mediterranean Gourmet. Likewise if you are staying on the extreme west side, you might stick to one of the south shore luaus.