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“Good food, but poor service” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Gaylord's at Kilohana

Gaylord's at Kilohana
3-2087 Kaumualii Highway, Lihue, Kauai, HI
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Ranked #5 of 98 Restaurants in Lihue
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Price range: $12 - $30
Cuisines: Pacific Rim
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Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, Delivery, Late Night, Outdoor Seating, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: Nuhou
Description: Gaylord's offers one of Kauai's most beautiful settings for lunch, dinner or Sunday brunch. Located on the ground floor of the historic Kilohana Plantation home, diners are seated around an open-air courtyard with views of the plantation grounds and Mt. Waialeale in the distance. Our kitchen uses only the freshest, seasonal ingredients supporting our local farmers and fishermen. Our 67-acre sustainable farm provides much of the produce and herbs used in our dishes and cocktails. Menu items include starters like fresh Ahi Poke, Seafood Spring Rolls and Organic Greens Salads; Local Fish, Meat and Vegetarian Entrees; and Banana Cream Pie for Dessert! After your meal take a walk around the Kilohana grounds, shop in our assorted boutiques, visit the rum shop or take a ride on the plantation train. Join us at Gaylord's to enjoy the best of what Kauai has to offer in island food and experience. Call for reservations and details on weekly entertainment. Memorable by day...Unforgettable by Night.
Seattle, Washington
13 reviews 13 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Good food, but poor service”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 24, 2013

We typically like to have dinner out at a fancy place for our final night in the islands. Last year and this year, we chose Gaylord's. Unfortunately, the experience was not as good this year.

On the positive side, the food was very good. I shared the crab appetizer with my daughter - good chunks of crab in a creamy sauce. I had the Ahi main, and it was perfectly rare and very good. My daughter had the scallops and my wife had the Hawaiian swordfish (name escapes me). Both enjoyed their dishes.

However, the service was not good. We felt like we were being ignored in favor of the other tables - perhaps the waitress thought they would be better tippers. We got no check back on our meals, our drinks were late in arriving, and were slow to be re-ordered. Perhaps the most infuriating was when we asked for refills of water. The busboy said, "sure", and then went to every other table refilling their water before refilling ours.

So, all in all, a disappointing end to a great trip.

Visited February 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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605 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Boise, Idaho
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
“Excellent food and service”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 19, 2013

My wife and I had dinner here based on the recommendation of a friend. The salad, spring rolls, shrimp and filet mignon were excellent. The food had unique and tasty seasonings. The service was superb, and our waiter had good suggestions and a knowledgeable understanding of the menu. The ambience in the Gaylord Plantation home restaurant was comfortable and added to the enjoyment of the meal.

Visited February 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Senior Contributor
48 reviews 48 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
117 helpful votes 117 helpful votes
“Terrific in every way possible!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2013

We dined here for Valentine's Day, and our dinner experience was truly exceptional in every way. I use the word "experience" because your visit to Gaylords is far more than just a typical dinner. You feel like you are in a private residence, at a grand party, being served home-cooked food and have your own private waiter to serve it to you.

SPECIAL RECOMMENDATION: The seafood pot pie. Unbelievably good. We had some concerns about ordering it, as we thought it may be too creamy, and not contain enough seafood. Our waiter assured us that this was not the case, so we ordered it. It was chock full of seafood like you would not believe! It had so much flavor, without being too rich or filling. The crust was light and fluffy. Simply outstanding.

We sat toward the end of the large U-shaped outdoor dining area. It's a little quieter on the end. When you make your reservation, request being seated at the end. You'll be overlooking the expansive and impeccably manicured lawn. It's gorgeous.

The service was outstanding. Again, it was like we had our own private waiter. But without him being invasive. Very friendly, relaxed, laid-back yet attentive.

We also had the beef filet, which was equally outstanding.

Then there's the desserts. Oh my. The banana coconut pie melts in your mouth. And the fruity ice cream pie, well it LITERALLY melts in your mouth.

This is a 100+ year old mansion. It used to be a private residence and sits on a very large, retired sugar plantation. It is well preserved and really gives you a sense of what "old Hawai'i" must have been like.

After dinner, we sat on a vintage couch and were entertained by the pianist. Yes, there is a grand piano and the fellow playing was very talented. We sat and had an after-dinner drink, while listening to beautiful music. Another couple doing the same got up and danced a few times to their favorite songs that they requested and were played graciously by the musician. Another couple joined us, celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary. We shared stories, took photos of each other, and had some laughs.

We left feeling like we had just been to a private party and served some of the best food we've ever had in our lives.

A few years ago, we had the opportunity to dine here on a Sunday for brunch. We were rate it as the best brunch we have had anywhere in the world.

Gaylord's is exceptional. No visit to Kaua'i is complete without a visit.

  • Visited February 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
“I wanted to like this place!”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 17, 2013

It would have been just fine but the night I went for dinner there was an event happening on the property: Mayhem at the Mansion which was some type of live fight. So there were cars parked all over the lawns and the worst part was the VIP/sponsor reception being held in Gaylord's bar.

It seemed like close to 100 fight fans, tattooed from head to toe, all dressed is some variation of black, many of them drunk ,roaming the halls and partying like they were in Las Vegas. When their reception ended and it was time for the fight, instead of going out the front door and around to the back where the mansion was, they all paraded directly through the dining area. Many stopping right in the middle of diners to greet each other and chat on their cell phones. It was ridiculous and not what you expect when spending so much money for a meal.

My waitress was doing the best she could but she was busy and the hostess was clueless. I wouldn't go there without calling to confirm that there is no special event that night. If you're going to spend $60/person or more, you shouldn't be subjected to this.

  • Visited February 2013
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Robin V, Public Relations Manager at Gaylord's at Kilohana, responded to this review, February 20, 2013
Please accept our sincere apologies for your compromised experience at Kilohana. A small cocktail party that was booked in our lounge prior to the fight event grew into a much larger & unruly group. Our staff made every effort to move the unplanned guests out of the space but, admittedly, there was disruption to our diners. We hope to have the chance to you serve you again under normal circumstances.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Top Contributor
63 reviews 63 reviews
40 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
71 helpful votes 71 helpful votes
“Gayloard's Restaurant”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 15, 2013

Gaylord's Restaurant on the Plantation has excellent food. We had the best dinner of our two week stay in Hawaii at this restaurant. We also enjoyed a very pleasant lunch the last day of our trip here. The location is beautiful, the service is good and the food was creatively prepared. The only downside of our dinner was a family with loud, obnoxious children -- the parents are to blame, it was way too late for pre-schoolers to be out. The parents did not care that they were disturbing other diners and took their time wrapping up their meal while the kids screamed. It was a blessing to seem them finally leave.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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