Last week we enjoyed The Feast at Lele with our two teen daughters (ages 17 and 14) and our teen son (age 15). On a previous trip we enjoyed the Drums of Hawaii at the Hyatt luau. This time we wanted to try something different. We love new and different foods and the more intimate venue offered by the Feast intrigued us.
First, the food at the Feast of Lele is delicious and unique. We were served items that matched the cultures represented in the dance to follow. All of the items represented a specific region of Polynesian culture in a different area of the Pacific rim. Each course included something quite exotic and cutting edge as well as a more familiar item. The taro wrapped chicken and the steak were two our our kids' favorites. My husband and I loved the fish cakes and the ceviche (pok).
The dances helped us learn more about the cultures. When presented in this format, one can see the distinctions in the dances and the cultures of the various regions. We particularly loved the Maori dances with the wagging tongues and bulging eyes of the dancers. My son completed and extensive research project on the Maori in school last year. The Haka dance was a war dance in early Maori cultures. It is now performed by professional New Zealand sports teams before competition. It is a very powerful expression of force. Seen in the Feast of Lele's venue, if one does not listen to the explanation before the performance, the facial expressions of the men are quite humorous and make the strong bodily movements seem quite funny.
Comparing the more traditional tourist luau of the Drums of the Pacific to the Feast of Lele, I'll let my kids' comments speak for themselves. The preferred the Feast of Lele for the explanations of the dances, the variety of virgin drinks offered, the venue (it is truly beautiful), the private table (our table was in an excellent location) and the variety of food. They preferred the Drums of the Pacific for the sheer fun of it. It is more of a party than a dinner. My youngest liked getting up on stage to perform, my son like taking multiple trips to the buffet for kalua pork and steak (although our waiter at the Feast brought our son extra steak and even brought him rolls from Pacifico as he really wanted a "good roll"). The girls rated the Feast an 8 on a 10 point scale and the Drums a 6 on a 10 point scale. Our son rated the Feast an 8 on a 10 point scale and the Drums a 7 on a 10 point scale.
From a parents perspective, the price of Drums of the Pacific is a real winner. They offer special pricing for teens which makes sense as they are not drinking alcohol. At the Feast we paid the same for teens and adults.
We are glad went to the Feast during this trip. Our recommendation is to take teens to the Drums of the Pacific if this is their first Luau. If they have attended a luau before and tend to be "foodie" kids or are interested in the origins of the various dances, the Feast is a great alternative.