Luau Kalamaku

No Hawaiian vacation is complete without attending a luau. Roasted pigs, hula dancers, leis…we’ve all been to luau themed parties, I’m sure, but getting to attend a real luau is a whole different experience!

When searching for a luau in Kauai, all sources direct you to the same one: Luau Kalamaku. So we bought our tickets, hopped on a bus, and were on our way! This luau is held at the beautiful Kilohana Estate and plantation, built in 1896. Giant tents are set up, and upon arrival, you are escorted to your table. While waiting for dinner to be served, guests are welcome to explore the grounds, take a free hula dance lesson, or partake in the open bar, all while listening to a live Hawaiian band.



The outside areas of the estate were beautiful, and I set off to find the pig roasting pit while my sisters attended the free hula dance lesson. Hey, I had never seen a pig cooked like that before, and I was curious to see how it looked!


Turns out, it doesn’t look too exciting.


It was almost time for dinner, so I went back inside. During dinner, dancers performed some traditional Hawaiian/Tahitian dances.


Dinner!! Dinner is served buffet style, and tables are dismissed one at a time. And here is my one complaint about the whole experience. I don’t know if they were running behind or what the deal was, but I have never felt so rushed during a meal in my entire life. We had barely received our salads and pu pu platters (and by barely I mean maybe two minutes) when we were told to go get our dinner and they tried to clear our salad plates. We had to ask the servers to please leave the plates alone while we got our food. Because I hate waiting in buffet lines, I got a huge helping the first time around, which ended up being a good thing, because even though it was supposed to be all-you-can-eat, they started putting away the food after everyone made it through the line.

The food sure was tasty though! Lots of traditional Hawaiian foods, including poi.




I made sure to get lots of that roasted pig.



We just sat down with our dinner, and then the servers began setting out the dessert table. Jokingly, my sister said, “I better go get some before they take away that food too” and went to get dessert. Once again, it’s a good thing we all went then, because they seriously did start to clear away the dessert. And we were still working on our salad course. Now, we are by no means slow eaters, and weren’t stalling or lingering. They just wanted us all to finish eating that quickly, because the main show was getting ready to start.


The show was interesting. It was very theatrical, and told the story of an epic journey between Hawaii and Tahiti, and the love between a young princess and a warrior. There was dancing, music, fire spinning, and amazing costumes. Definitely a good show!



After the show, I had to take a picture with the lead male performer cause he was pretty awesome.


Aside from feeling like I had to shovel my food into my face, it was a really great experience, and we all had an awesome time at Luau Kalamaku. If they can find a way to slow down the pace of the evening and allow guests to enjoy their meal more leisurely, I would most definitely recommend this luau to anyone visiting Kauai! It isn’t the most traditional luau, but it certainly was a lot of fun!

We booked our tickets through the cruise line, but tickets can also be reserved online at the Luau Kalamaku website.

Author: Natalie Bates

LA-based freelance writer | Blogger | Craft beer drinker | Rock 'n roll girlfriend | Adventurer | Lover of tattoos, red lipstick, and popcorn | World traveler | Compassionate human | Photography enthusiast | Eco warrior | Celtic babe ❤️

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