When in Hawaii its hard not to fall for some tourist activities and cliches, like attending a luau. While the event isn’t particularly ‘realistic’, one can take pleasure in a few mai tai’s, good food and amazing fire dancers – with a few attempts at retelling Hawaiian history. After a bit of research we chose Luau Kalamaku, because of its high rating and gluten free dinner options.
The luau offered free transport from our hotel to the plantation, and we arrived about 90 minutes before the show was set to start. The evening began with a train tour of the property, which although lovely and scenic, I would recommend skipping unless you have kids. Instead opt for a rum tasting in the Kōloa Rum Company Store which is also located on the property. I bought a fantastic bottle of spiced rum, with lots of vanilla notes. If rum tasting doesn’t interest you, you can explore the plantation houses and there are some nice shops on the property as well.
The show began with an Imu Ceremony, the unearthing of the Kahlua pig, which is a pig traditionally cooked in an earth oven. The dinner consisted of a nice buffet meal, with quite a lot of variety and clearly marked gluten free options, plus lots of mai tias. During the meal, traditional hula and music is performed, followed by the official show.
The show was part theater, part visual spectacle. It was a loosely based story of the Polynesian discovery of Hawaii and had lots of drumming, fire and fantastic costumes. Overall, it was very well done and lots of fun. I would highly recommend Luau Kalamaku if you are looking to attend a luau.
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