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Island Breeze Luau at the King Kamehameha Hotel

Philadelphia...
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Island Breeze Luau at the King Kamehameha Hotel

We arrive in Kona for a week on the Big Island on Thursday June 13. We're part of a large group attending a wedding and there are a lot of "group plans" so we don't have a lot of flexibility. We are spending Thurs night at the King Kamehameha Hotel, and it is our only opportunity to attend a luau. I understand it takes place at the hotel but is booked through a larger entertainment company - does anyone have any experience with this luau? I am guessing it might not be the most authentic on the island, but we would very much like to see some of the traditional dancing, music and entertainment. We have a reservation for the 5pm performance, which is 11pm our time on our arrival day from the east coast, so don't think we can hold out for the 7pm show. Wish we could - it must be more fun in the dark and the evening. Any thoughts you might have are appreciated. Friday and Saturday we'll be at the Mauna Lani Hotel and Bungalows (wedding is Saturday). Thanks!

Marianne

Big Island, Hawaii
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1. Re: Island Breeze Luau at the King Kamehameha Hotel

There are no really "authentic" commercial luaus. The one at the King Kamehameha is actually pretty good as far as these things go, the food is decent, the luau grounds renovated, and the quality of the performers is quite high. It wouldn't be my first choice of activities on the island, but it's certainly not a bad way to spend your first night. I prefer the food, setting, and show at the Fairmont, but it's the same production company and there isn't a huge difference.

Philadelphia...
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2. Re: Island Breeze Luau at the King Kamehameha Hotel

Thanks for your reply. My son and one of the young men in our group lived and worked on the Big Island for about 6 months a few years ago, and the groom's Dad lives in Kapoho. We're anxious to see and experience many of the places they have raved about. But we thought the luau at the hotel might be a nice way to ease into our vacation after a long travel day. Thanks again.

Marianne

Island of Hawaii...
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3. Re: Island Breeze Luau at the King Kamehameha Hotel

As an alternative thought, while I am not disagreeing with Sheaʻs assessment at all, you may well be a lot more tired than on a typical 11 PM. I wouldnʻt commit to doing something that costs a fair amount, because then you will be obliged no matter how you feel.

I also wonder if perhaps you wonʻt be hearing that second performance from your rooms whether you want to or not. You may even be able to catch a view from somewhere, not sure about that though.

You might more enjoy going to an oceanfront restaurant and watching the sunset and decompressing. I donʻt think you miss anything by not seeing one of these luʻaus. and much of the dancing is not Hawaiian, although it is Polynesian. I donʻt think luʻau food is very digestible either, not when itʻs all lumped together in your jetlagged digestive systems. YMMV.

My priorities would be sunset and getting toes in sand and feet in the ocean, but YMMV.

Weekend nights there is music and hula at the atrium of the Mauna Lani.

Here is a link to the Music Events calendar for the island, which lists weekly regular gigs after it goes through the special events.

http://www.konaweb.com/musicians/events.shtml

I am a big fan of island music and hula. To me they are the authentic performances, not the luʻau productions.

You might also consider waiting to see how you feel, as there could well be space for the 5 PM show, or you could discuss that with the hotel before you fly, to see how booked up they are.

Many times traveling I have noted during planning stage there is something going on when I arrive that seems like the obvious thing to do, but then after I arrive, all I do is lie down on the bed and zone out only to wake up in the middle of the night and discover I missed it and I think "just as well your body told you what it needed." But you know your own group ...

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4. Re: Island Breeze Luau at the King Kamehameha Hotel

You are going to be exhausted ++ ...and probably not all that hungry. Not that Luau food is anything to write home about. It remains a curious phenomena ...those feeling they must"do" a Luau.....at least once...

IMO, I would take a big pass on a commercial Luau ( at any time) especially flying from the East coast. Are you just going to be in Hawaii for 3nights total?

Getting checked-in, walking about a little ...a snack if you feel like it, maybe a drink....and you are going to be looking for a pillow

Many folks arrive in Hawaii in the early evening with thoughts of "the night is young"...until the 6 hr time difference and mega jet lag sets in.

My take on it would be.....Get a good rest that night so as to be feeling somewhat normal in time for the wedding.

At the Luau, your head is likely to be plopped down into a bowl of Poi.

Island of Hawaii...
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5. Re: Island Breeze Luau at the King Kamehameha Hotel

rofl at the Poi plop, Wanderlust. ;-)

Really good point about recharging batteries for the wedding.

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6. Re: Island Breeze Luau at the King Kamehameha Hotel

You're right about being tired that first nite coming from the east coast. For me, it wasn't just the six hour time difference,, but being up almost 24 hours, traveling (I live two hours from the big airports, then arriving two hours before flights, then sometimes three flights!) I'm pretty wiped that first nite! Have fun at the wedding,, and a nice visit, either way, you'll prolly catch some beautiful music and hula during your stay. :)

Philadelphia...
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7. Re: Island Breeze Luau at the King Kamehameha Hotel

Thank you all for your advice - many practical, good thoughts. Ms KamaainaK, we'll only be at the King Kamehameha Hotel for one night, then moving to the Mauna Lani for Friday and Saturday (a wedding Saturday). I think its doubtful that we'll have much of an appetite, and I suspect that you're right and our enthusiasm will exceed our energy after a day of travel and 5:30 am East Coast start time. So maybe we can enjoy some of the dancing and music from elsewhere on the property and skip the formal luau. Or better still, maybe we could make it our last activity before a 10:00 pm flight home from Kona the following Friday .

We will be on the BI arriving on Thurs 6/11 and returning to Philadelphia from Kona late in the evening of Friday, 6/21. Unfortunately, we'll be staying near Kapoho from Sunday night - Friday staying w/family and friends. I love your link to the music venues on the Kona side. Do you know of any such link to events on the Hilo side? We (my husband and I) may well break off from the group and come back to the Kona side for the latter part of the week. Thank you again for all your helpful advice! I am also going to post a second question re: night snorkeling with the mantas.

Marianne

Island of Hawaii...
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8. Re: Island Breeze Luau at the King Kamehameha Hotel

Sounds like a fun trip. :)

That calendar is an all island calendar, just hosted by Konaweb.

Check the Volcano Art Center website for their events and check store bulletin boards and windows for posters of events. Hilo Bayfront stores, Starbucks, KTA, Pahoa ..

9. Re: Island Breeze Luau at the King Kamehameha Hotel

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