…………………..is Paradise Cove.
In my humble opinion, that is.
We’ve tried other luaus across the island and not one is like the other. From the show to the food to the location. There’s no shortage of luaus to choose from, all depending on what your preference is. For me and my family, we enjoy a beautiful sunset with our toes in the sand, great food, an awesome show, and activities to keep everyone busy and having fun. This is where Paradise Cove ranks #1 for us and every visitor we’ve had. And we’ve had A LOT of visitors! Many have been repeat guests at our home and have been to other luaus across the island and unanimously agree with us about Paradise Cove.
There are only two that offer a location directly on the beach, and that is Germaine’s and Paradise Cove.
Paradise Cove is located at the last exit on H-1 headed west from Honolulu. It’s quite the drive, especially for us as we live on the opposite side of the island, across the Koolau mountain range, but it’s so well worth it!
Here’s the low-down:
When you check in, each member of your party will receive a pre-loaded card with $12 for adults, or $7 for children. Look at this card as a gift card from Paradise Cove. You can use it to buy drinks with from the bar or to buy items from the gift shop. Once the gate opens for admission onto the property, you’ll be greeted by a beautiful landscaped waterfall with a pond of waterlilies and a complimentary Mai Tai drink for adults and fruit punch for those under 21 before you are given a shell lei and your picture is taken with luau dancers (available for purchase towards the end of the night).
You’ll be escorted to your table, and once you have your seats saved you are free to roam the grounds of the property and partake in the various activities that they offer for you before dinner is served. This is usually a good hour, if not a little more. So don’t rush and enjoy yourself! There are 12 beautiful acres to walk about and enjoy. All activities are free of charge, but if you’re at the tattoo’s or the crown making station, please tip the staff. It’s unbelievably expensive living here, and the tips help more than they do anywhere on the mainland.
I’d recommend getting the orchid wrist bracelet and crown done first. Grab a seat a table and you’ll be shown how strand your own bracelet and how to weave your own crown out of palm fronds. I recommend it being the first thing you do so because I’ve noticed at several visits that the ladies pack up relatively early into the evening. Next, if you’d like to get a temporary polynesian tattoo, jump in line for that as the line gets insanely long and there’s only two artists available.
Afterwards enjoy a little Hawaiian bowling, give your spear throwing skills a shot, take an outrigger paddle ride through the lagoon where you might catch sight of a sea turtle or two, or learn to master the poi balls.
The staff will sound a calling for the Hukilau on the Beach- watch the men bring in the fishing nets from the lagoon, as well as to watch the Shower of Flowers, a Hawaiian climb a palm tree barefooted to the top where he’ll drop beautiful orchids from a hip pouch onto the crowd below.
Eventually you’ll make your way over to the outdoor amphitheater facing the ocean to watch the Imu Ceremony- unveiling of the kalua pig that you’ll have for dinner with a small hula dance show for the opening. If you’ve never had kalua pork before, let me tell y’all… you’re in for a treat! Cooked in an underground oven (basically a hole dug in the ground, heated by hot lava rocks) and seasoned only with banana leaves and sea salt, well…it’s nothing short of AH-MAAZZING.
At the end of this demonstration, you’ll be able to walk the beautiful grounds again. Dipping your feet in the ocean, walking barefoot across the soft sand or lush grass…taking photos of the stunning sunset from the west side, and if you’re visiting during our whale season (Oct-May) you’ll be lucky enough to watch the humpback whales breaching just off shore!
The show is family friendly with a little bit of clean adult humor added in, and crowd participation is plenty. The crowd gets two chances to go on stage and take a hula lesson, which my kids always love to do. The emcee is always full of Aloha and wit. The dancers are amazing, and the costumes are gorgeous. The fire dancer…he’s the best I’ve seen yet. Always the highlight of the show!
For the love birds, old and new…there is a special time when they dim the lights and couples are welcome to dance under the moonlight to the music of the live band softly serenading you. Great for all the romantics out there!
Dinner is served buffet style and consists of tossed salad, pasta salad, macaroni salad, fresh fruit, lomi-lomi salmon, poi, rolls, sticky rice, island fish with mac nut cream sauce, fried chicken, kalua pork, chocolate or coconut cake, fresh fruit and more. Eat up! As long as the food is out, you can go back for seconds! After dinner, enjoy free coffee by the Hawaiian Islands coffee brand, sit back and enjoy the tradewinds blow through your hair, the sand under your toes, the sound of the ocean and enjoy the show.
There are packages to choose from, we always choose the basic one. Even though that package only gives wing seating, we always have a great view. There are other packages available, with such offerings as a flower lei instead of a shell lei, private seating with waitstaff service bringing your dinner to you, front and center seating, servers to bring your cocktails to you wherever you are versus having to go to the bar yourself, etc. Check out the link for more information:
Check in time is at 5pm, and to maximize your time on the property without feeling rushed, you should arrive at 5pm.
Aloha, enjoy and get your hula on!