We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Cheesy at best”
Review of Firenesia Luau - CLOSED

Firenesia Luau
Attraction details
Reviewed 14 July 2010

I only bought tickets to this event because it was part of a conference I was attending at the Sherraton Keauhou Resort. I have been to many Luau events in the past and this is NOT athentic. The food was better than some, the free Mai-Tai drinks were so watered down that 5 didn't even give me a buzz, and the show was rather corny. Obviously, an attempt to squeeze in an example of each type of Polynesian dance (Maori, Samoan, Tahatian, Fijian, Hawaiian), along with fire dancing, into a lip-synched production. I was not impressed.

2  Thank Flying99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviews (11)
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year

7 - 11 of 11 reviews

Reviewed 24 March 2010

We were looking for an authentic luau (like most folks in HI) and this was suggested to us. Well for starters, it was raining so we were ushered into the hotel banquet hall Can you say "Aloooooohaaaa". The seating was wedding style round tables with watered down Mi-Tai's, marginal food buffet (the pork was good) and the most cheesiest show you've ever seen. Lip-sync'd performers on a raised platform in a banquet hall....How authentic! Even the story line was bad. The ONLY things that made the event even remotely nice was moving us outside to watch the fire baton twirling (10 minutes) and that we met a nice family from Norway and had good dinner conversation.

1  Thank hogridinfool
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 February 2010

Going to a luau is almost a requirement for visitors to Hawaii along with visiting Hilo Hattie's, snorkeling and eating Loco Moco. Not all luaus are created equal. Some go for fully authentic Hawaiian food while others use some imaginative and creative techniques to "improve" what Hawaiian cuisine has to offer. Firenesia fortunately falls into the later categoy.

The traditional Hawaiian fare at a luau is fresh fruit, laulau (fish and/or pork steamed in taro leaves), poi (a tasteless purple goo made from taro) and a steamed pig cooked in a pit. At the Firenesia luau, the chefs of the Sheraton Keauhou spice things up a bit and generally improve on Hawaiian food (although nothing can improve poi!). Instead of steaming the pig in a pit, they smoke it, making it very flavorful and rich. They do serve laulau, but they spice it up a bit. They also add more modern fare like ahi poke, potato-mac salad, rice and steak teriyaki.

There is also an open bar. They serve sodas, beer, wine, fruit punch and mai tais. As many as you want up until the show starts. Trust me, you'll want a bunch of booze in you for the show because it's so silly.

First my bias. I'm trained as an anthropologist so when I go to see cultural events that are supposedly representative of a particular culture, I look for a certain measure of authenticity. Ultimately, I'd like to see a series of performances by native performers doing native things. But that's not what Firenesia gives you. Somewhere along the line, the luau turned into dinner theater, and bad dinner theater at that.

Firenesia attempts to weave a story line around several Pacific island cultures and does so very poorly. While ostensibly a show about Polynesian culture, the show includes some native performances from Fiji which, last time I checked, was not part of Polynesia but rather a part of Melanesia. But no matter, they included them anyway. The other cultures (mis)represented were Maori, Samoa, Tahiti and, of course, Hawaii.

Ultimately, the athleticism and grace of the performers could not overcome the silly story and the fact that the lead performers were lip syncing their lines was a total mystery to me. Why do that? It's so obvious!

So, on balance, the good food but the poor show balance out to an average experience.

1  Thank muttmutt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 December 2009

We did not do our homework. We wanted a traditional Luau, with the native dancing and music. This was a lip-synched production of how fire was spread throughout the region. The food was plentiful but mediocre in my opinion. The open bar was wine and beer and Mai Tais. We were disappointed.

2  Thank StevieK88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
See more reviews
Reviewed 28 June 2009

This was a much smaller, more intimate luau than any other I have been to. However, the seating leaves much to be desired. It is not elevated, so unless you sit in front you can't see the best. It might be worth paying extra for the alli upgrade. There is a separate waiting line and you get to be seated before the general admission. You get seated right up front, get nut shell leis, and get to go through the buffet first. Plus you have some interaction with the cast.
The food was excellent!!!! Best of any luau I have been to. Very flavorful! Mai Tai's were plentiful and an open bar was included until show time.
The show was fair, nothing spectacular, again would have been better if you could have seen better.
Would recommend coming if you are staying elsewhere as it will give you a chance to view the Manta Rays that swim up to the shore here and can be enjoyed from the viewing deck after the luau.

This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers who viewed Firenesia Luau also viewed

Kailua-Kona, Island of Hawaii
Kailua-Kona, Island of Hawaii
Kailua-Kona, Island of Hawaii

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing