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My Experience at Paradise Cove Luau in Hawaii

Dear Hubby and I were told that we couldn’t go to Hawaii without going to a luau. I’ve always been curious about what a real luau was like, so I didn’t need much convincing to check it out.

In Oahu, there are two luaus that you can attend. When Dear Hubby and I were at the International Market, a local resident told us that Paradise Cove was the one we wanted to attend. We took his word for it and we weren’t disappointed!

Dear Hubby was able to get us discounted tickets from the Navy Exchange ITT (Information, Tickets, and Tours) office. We were picked up at 4pm at a designated area very close to our hotel. The bus ride over to Ko Olina Resort, where the luau took place, took a good 45 minutes from Waikiki Beach. Traffic was heavy, but the tour guide helped the time pass away by telling jokes and getting everyone on the bus involved and hyped for the event ahead.

Upon arriving at Paradise Cove, you are given the choice of an alcoholic or non-alcoholic Mai Tai. I had the non-alcoholic one and it was fabulous! Dear Hubby drank about three of them. No, seriously, he drank about three of them. That’s how good it was.

Mai Tai from Paradise Cove

Mai Tai

Next, you are ushered through a walkway and given leis made out of shells or flowers. Your picture is taken, which is available for purchase at the end of the luau. There are several events that you can take part in while you are waiting for the official festivities to begin. Several vendors were around so that you could purchase souvenirs. There was also an area where you could participate in arts and crafts.

luau handcrafted headpiece

My handcrafted headpiece!

The area in which the luau was held was beautiful! It was beachfront and on a lot of land. The weather was perfect and a slight breeze continually flowed off the ocean.

Some of the luau attenders got to participate in a canoeing event. Dear Hubby and four other guys were picked to participate in a special ceremony. They had to put on a grass skirt and dance around in front of everyone. But Dear Hubby didn’t mind. He enjoyed having permission to clown around and have fun.

After that, we went over to the Imu ceremony, which included the removal of a pig that has been cooked underground. Here’s a picture of them removing the pig. We didn’t have this pig for dinner though. 🙂

Removing the Pig from Underground Oven

Removing the Pig from the Underground Oven

The dinner was buffet style and the food was good. The only thing about it was that if you wanted to go back for seconds, you had to go back quick because the buffet didn’t last too long after the last person was served. But I had no problem with that because I got everything I wanted the first time around.

The live performances started after most people were done with dinner. It was very entertaining! The performers had several different routines that included sticks, maracas, and even fire! Here are just a few of my favorite pics from the event.

Paradise Cove Luau

Dancers with sticks

Paradise Cove Luau Group Performance

Group performance with maracas

Fire Dance Performer

Fire Dance Performer

Overall, Dear Hubby and I thoroughly enjoyed the Paradise Cove Luau. It was lots of fun and we made memories that will last a lifetime!

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{ 2 comments… add one }
  • ben February 24, 2014, 12:10 AM

    My wife and I are in Hawaii for first time. I was wondering if the pig ceremony was idolatry going against Jesus. After reading your post my wife and I are planning to attend the luau.

    • Tonya Nash February 24, 2014, 10:36 PM

      Hi Ben. I didn’t get that feeling whenever we went to the pig ceremony. If you have concerns, that part of the ceremony is not required. Some people hung out on the other side of the beach during that ceremony. Enjoy your time in Hawaii! 🙂

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