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“Definately nothing special”
Review of Hiva Pasefika Luau - CLOSED

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Hiva Pasefika Luau
Attraction details
Reviewed May 15, 2008

We booked this luau with little other choice. My family was there to attend a wedding and the night we went was the only night that was available and we also needed something in-between the north and south shore of Kauai since people were driving from both directions.
Let me preface this review by saying that I had never been to a luau before this one and I probably will never pay to go to another.
I also want to mention that everyone else that has written a review is spot on, I will just reiterate.

When you arrive at the luau you are greeted with a tiny shell lei (which I later found in a general store being sold for $1!) You are able to buy flower leis if you would like which were $5, I think. Everyone congregates out onto the lawn of the hotel right in front of the ocean and entertainment in the form of a three piece band is playing. You can learn how to twirl poi balls or get a washable tattoo, both of which are free! (Those poi balls are a lot harder than they look!!) The drinks are available here as well but the only mixed drink the single bartender makes is mai tais, although my husband asked for something special and the gentleman very kindly agreed to make it. It seemed that as long as he had what the drink required he would mix it for you.
We were then led around to the parking lot where the tent was set up. The biggest disappointment was that there was no imu ceremony. (We were all under the impression that we would get to see that.) The food was okay, definitely nothing special. I tried the poi and was pleasantly surprised!! The tent was also very stuffy, there was no air circulation even though there was a breeze outside because they has the flaps on the sides of the tent down. There were also big industrial fans mounted on the tent but those were never turned on.
I really liked the show, it was a lot of fun, and the dancers and costumes were beautiful. Everyone has to go outside to see the fire demonstration and I couldn't see that well because I wasn't in the front. And I have to give a huge thanks to the fire thrower because it was VERY windy the night we were there and it was pretty scary seeing the gentleman try to go on with the show but he did a great job nonetheless.
Overall (since I have nothing to compare this to) we had a good time. I thought the dancers knew their stuff and it was fun to see all the costumes. Would I go back? ... no Would I recommend this luau? ... I'm going to say no, because I would have liked to see the imu ceremony.

3  Thank janer00
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviews (10)
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3 - 7 of 10 reviews

Reviewed May 2, 2008

It's in the middle of a giant asphalt parking lot!
No pit (imu)!
Cheesier than usual entertainment. One of the male dancers was an embarassment to Polynesian dancing.
Virtually no seating on the lawn for early performance. (We didn't stay to find out what the after-dinner entertainment was like.)
We couldn't help but wonder what they were going to do with the left-over Mai Tai's they poured back into pitchers from the full plastic cups sitting on the flimsy card table.
The smell of food did NOT waft through the air as we waited in line.
Basically a buffet served in a tent in a parking lot for $70.00 total per adult, complete with filthy carpeting under dining tables.
The hotel refunded our money before we made it all the way into the tent, which was broiling in the sun. They didn't seem surprised when we told them it was sub-par.
Go to a fast-food restaurant first!

2  Thank mvanosgr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 18, 2008

Good family entertainment. Lots of audience participation makes this event fun. Everyone in our party ended up on stage throughout the show. The food was great but nothing special. The open bar has mai tais and mai tais.

Thank that1dude
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 3, 2008

My husband and I decided at the last minute to attend this luau. So we called around and discovered that this was the only luau available on the night in question, at $68 per person. The concierge at our resort then told us that it was in a tent, because the original stage had burned down. Well, forget it! We actually decided not to go, until I saw an ad for Activity Warehouse. Looks like they are a tour & ticket broker. We went to their tiny office about a block away from where the luau was being held and bought our tickets for $49.95 per person.
Man, I am SO glad I didn’t pay full price for this thing. It was pretty lame. You entered through the Resort Quest lobby and lined up in a hallway before being shuffled back outside. We were greeted with little shell leis, not fresh flower leis—I’m pretty sure the shells were plastic, they looked exactly like the cheapo ones they give you at Hilo Hattie. Then they take your picture (they try to sell it to you later) and lead you over to the tent. This whole process felt very cattle-call.
Incidentally, we felt the Resort Quest was not nearly as nice as the Marriott we were staying at in Lihue, from what we saw of it (the lobby, bathrooms, and restaurant areas).
As we were warned, it was in a huge white tent in the parking lot. They tried, but failed, to make the atmosphere in the tent nice. There was some fake turf covering the concrete ground, but it was sopping wet from the rains. The parts that were not covered in the turf were basically puddles. It was dark, and stuffy. They had long tables covered in plastic tablecloths and plastic chairs. We had plastic drinking cups and styrofoam coffee cups, and the desserts were served in little paper trays. There was no imu unearthing; they merely show you the pig meat in a big tray before they serve it in the buffet line. The food was actually good, except the desserts were lacking; the booze was decent. It was all you could eat/drink, so at a minimum we felt like we got a decent meal.
The dancers and musicians did the best they could under the circumstances; it was just ok, nothing spectacular. The fire knife dance was conducted outside the tent, which could have been ok, but they didn’t do it well at all. His stage was a riser; everyone had to stand and kind of crowd around, so the view was terrible if you weren’t in the front (we weren’t). The lighting was a spotlight on the side of the hotel. It felt pretty ridiculous; I’m just glad it wasn’t raining. Overall, no way would we do this luau again.

3  Thank sweethomechitown
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 25, 2007

My family (mom, my sister and sister-in-law) and I just got back from Kauai two weeks ago. We were there for one week (August 2007).

We attended this luau because it was the only one that advertised an authentic imu (pig) unearthing. We had heard great reviews about the Sheraton luau (no imu), but my sister-in-law really wanted to see the imu ceremony since my mom and I had seen one before and couldn't stop talking about it.

We booked the Hiva Pasefika luau for Tuesday, and the Sheraton luau for Wednesday.

We got to the venue early because we had heard traffic in the afternoon on weekdays is pretty bad. It's true. It took us over 1 hour from our resort (south Kauai). Anyway, we arrived and were surprised to see that the event was to take place inside of a tent.

We were greeted with the usual shell lei and the customary picture taking with two dancers. Once seated, we waited and waited to be escorted out to where the imu unearthing would take place. That never happened! We paid $68 per person and drove quite a long time for a show we thought would be unique and special. I guess more than anything we were surprised there was never an announcement.

The food selection was good, but I was not impressed by the flavors of the salads. However, the pork was pretty tasty.

If you like an open bar, then this luau is up your alley. The complimentary mai tais we were greeted with were pretty watered down. And one of the servers chased my sister down for her ID (she's 23). I don't think there was much alcohol in the mai tai she was drinking for him to worry.

The dancing was well coordinated and we all enjoyed it. But the fire dance had to take place outside of the tent. Unfortunatley seeing the fire dance was very hard because of the crowd.

Some couples paid $10 - $15 extra for preferred seating. It just means you get to go in the door before everyone else. If you get there early, save yourself the money - that is if you STILL want to attend this luau.

The picture they took of you upon entering the luau sells for $20. Bring your own camera and have someone take the picture for you. The color printer they used is pretty bad awful - makes everyone look like they have jaundice.

We were more bummed out that this luau adverstises as being authentic, but the tarp like tent doesn't lend itself to making the experience feel "authentic" at all.

Sadly, this one is not worth the money nor the drive.

7  Thank FamilyDA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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