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“Have to go here to get full Hawaiian experience”

Smith's Tropical Paradise
Ranked #47 of 130 Restaurants in Kapaa
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $0 - $40
Cuisines: Polynesian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children
Dining options: Reservations
Reviewed February 29, 2008

Wonderful luau experience!!! The food was great and service was wonderful. The grounds are fabulous and the show was alot of fun!!! The whole family enjoyed this!!!

1  Thank leekev
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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188 - 192 of 195 reviews

Reviewed October 26, 2007

I had high hopes for the Smith's Tropical Paradise. I have been to awesome luau's such as the Old Lahaina Luau on Maui and had expectations set to standards of the "best of the island".

Smith's provided a very good atmosphere, good entertainment...though not as much "show" as I expected...it was more of a hula review than other luau's...and good, but not great, food.

The grounds are very pretty and I assume very expensive to maintain in a perfectly manicured condition. I believe the gardens and grounds are as good as one could achieve on Kauai. There were many scenic spots for photo opportunities and lots of space for a nice, uncrowded walk or stroll with your partner.

The evening began at our arrival and tram tour of the botanical gardens...every variety native and imported was represented and clearly identified. It is a great experience for learning more about the flora of Kauai.

The Imu ceremony, or unearthing of the pig, was interesting and just what it sounds like. Digging up a roasted pig from earth and leaves. Not glam at all! But the pig is tasty!

Dinner followed with open bar and any drink you could imagine...decent liquors and popular mai-tai drinks flowed. The meal is buffet style and is started with the tables toward the outer portion of the covered dining hall. If you want to eat first sit at a table on the perimeter.

The food was good...not great, but nice and filling and plentiful. The poi is a disappointment...it is a watered down version offered to tourists and nothing at all like the true traditional poi served at a family or backyard luau. They should serve it the traditional way. It is not bad with sugar and cream...or if eaten in combination with fish or meat. never alone...Yuck...

The show is entertaining, but has an "our gang" feel to it as the dancers are the same group from one performance to the next...cycled through costume changes into Hawaiian, Tahitian, Chinese and other personas doing traditional dances. Oh...the performers are also the hosts and hosteses who seated you for dinner and brought you drinks or moved you through the buffet. Hence the "our gang" school kids giving a performance...albeit a good performance. One hula girl in particular was a beauty and skilled at her craft.

Overall this venue is above average...a good one to attend while on the island.

6  Thank Roger P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 18, 2007

Smith's Tropical Paradise Luau is well worth the price. The entertainment was good with beautiful grounds. The food is served buffett style and included Kauai Shredded pork, Tereyaki Beef, chicken, fish, salad, chinese fried rice, etc.

I found the food to be tender, well seasoned and have excellent taste. I was very surprised that this turned out to be one of the best food experiences on the island.

The Mai Tai's at the open bar didn't hurt either.

3  Thank LoveHawaiiHouston
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 19, 2006

This was written up by one of the guidebooks as being the best luau. But we have no basis for comparision. The food was ok - even by buffet standards. There's plenty to eat and drink, and the staff is friendly. The show was ok, a bit slow at times, but was entertaining.

1  Thank California1128
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Broad Brook, Connecticut
Reviewed July 1, 2006

I recently attended the Smith's Tropical Paradise Luau on Kauai with my parents, siblings and 5-year-old. The food, served banquet style in the Luau Hale (house) was adequate. You were allowed to go up to the buffet as many times as you like. Not a five-star meal, but not terrible either. Smith's botanical gardens might best be described as "old-fashioned," according to my brother. First planted and designed in the 1950s, they seem to have been left unchanged since. The garden areas farthest away from the Luau Hale were particularly unkempt and featured displays of heavy equipment and tools. My daughter, however, absolutely loved the many peacocks roaming around, showing off their feathers. The gardens have a lagoon that was used for filming on the TV classic "Gillian's Island." There is also a lovely view of Manu Kapu - the Forbidden Mountain that overlooks the Wailua River. As for Smith's International Pageant, it is held in a different venue - a covered ampitheater a short walk away from the Luau Hale. You may feel obliged to leave the dinner a little bit early to get a good seat. The stage show featured dances from Hawaii, Polynesia, Philippines, Japan and China. My daughter's favorites were the Samoan fire dance, the New Zealand flaming poi balls, and the Chinese dragon dance. The exploding volcano - an unusual theatrical touch - also wowed her. If you are a couple looking for a fancy high class luau, I suggest going to a hotel. If you are a family seeking a night of Hawaiian culture and fun, Smith's will do just fine.

5  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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