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“Great show, terrible buffet”

Kilohana Plantation Estate
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Luau Kalamaku and Buffet Dinner
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Luau Kalamaku with Plantation Owner's Dinner and Champagne Reception
Ranked #5 of 55 things to do in Lihue
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Built in the 1930's, Kilohana Plantation is a historic landmark and premier visitor attraction offering visitors and locals a glimpse into Kauai's past combined with assorted island-style activities, dining and shopping. Ride on our Kauai Plantation Railway, winding its way through the plantation's working farms and orchards. Learn about Kauai's history, enjoy the beautiful views and stop to feed the pigs! Take the afternoon to stroll the grounds and explore the 16,000 sq. foot plantation home. Stop in at Koloa Rum Co. for a rum tasting or for a full "Rum & Dining Experience." Visit the various artisan shops located around the grounds and both upstairs and downstairs in the home. Established in 1986, Gaylord's restaurant is a Kauai tradition. Set in the courtyard of the estate, it offers fresh, island-inspired food and beverages for lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch. Make lunch a part of your fun afternoon on the estate or make reservations for a romantic dinner. Memorable by day, unforgettable by night. Or check out Happy Hour in the new Mahiko Lounge. Luau Kalamaku is Kauai's only theatrical luau telling the story of the original Tahitian voyage to the Hawaiian islands. An interactive experience, it offers all the exciting luau features including an imu ceremony, torch lighting, Polynesian knife dance and of course traditional music & hula. Choose one or all of the features that Kilohana Plantation has to offer. Open daily, you'll love the chance to see a piece of Kauai's history while experiencing the best of the island today!
Useful Information: Bathroom facilities, Food available for purchase, Wheelchair access, Activities for young children
Toronto, Canada
Level 5 Contributor
66 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Great show, terrible buffet”
Reviewed December 21, 2013

The show was amazing, the experience ok. The meal was awful, the buffet was cold and really no taste at all. Nothing for children...The drink policy , only 1 drink per person at the bar, out of plastic cups. No bottle service fo wine...would not recommend the evening ...too bad you could not buy show only

Visited December 2013
3 Thank KCLCToronto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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624 reviews from our community

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English first
Yarmouth, Maine, USA
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Great Experience”
Reviewed December 3, 2013

We visited the plantation as part of the rum tasting, and we had a blast. Great experience with very knowledgable bartenders. I wish we could have spent time and toured the whole plantation, but from the little we saw, it was absolutely gorgeous.

Visited April 2013
Thank pwbuchanan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Birmingham, Alabama
Level 6 Contributor
120 reviews
32 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 145 helpful votes
“Luau at Kilohana Plantation”
Reviewed November 23, 2013

I have dreamed of visiting Hawaii since I was a little girl, and I've also dreamed of being a hula dancer. So attending a luau during one of my dream vacations was an absolute must. However the Luau at Kilohana Plantation did not live up to my expectations. At first I thought it was the jet lag, but it was the general consensus of a party 8, of which only two of us had arrived that day.

Although the grounds are absolutely lovely, this luau is set indoors, under a very large pavilion. You are seated at large round tables, and frankly I felt like I was attending a convention or conference dinner, rather than a luau. In order to prevent long lines, each table is instructed when it is their turn at the buffet . I could have skipped the buffet altogether, because the food was dreadful, and barely warm. For the price of admission, the food should at least be edible.

This luau is plugged as a "theatrical" luau, and you literally have to follow the program, to understand what is going on. I did not particularly enjoy the story line, and would have preferred the dance without the theatrics. That being said, the dancers were all very good, and the fire dancers were the highlight of the show.

Visited May 2013
2 Thank OUTCRUISIN2610
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Las Vegas, Nevada
Level 6 Contributor
1,242 reviews
608 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 566 helpful votes
“A little bit of everything.”
Reviewed November 21, 2013

An old plantation house, a train ride, a luau, some shopping ( my wife loves the jewelry store upstairs) and the my favorite, the Koloa Rum Store. They have some really cool Hawaiian souvenirs and some awesome Hawaiian rum. The best part is they do a rum tasting. Taste it, like it and take it home.

Visited November 2013
Thank Mike O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Union, Kentucky
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“The best history of Hawaii show and Luau on Kauai”
Reviewed November 4, 2013

No visit to the Island of Kauai is complete without visiting the Kilohana Plantation near Lihue.
The plantation was originally a sugar plantation in the 1930's. The owner Gaylord Wilcox had this magnificent home constructed which today houses a restaurant and bar , a rum distillery, shops, a Luau, and a train station / ride around the plantation.
The Luau is held on Tuesdays and Fridays but one may also attend the Hawaiian Experience Show by purchasing show only tickets. I recommend this option if you have already attended a Luau. You may want to have dinner in the restaurant to take advantage of the fresh vegetables and fruits grown on the plantation before attending the show.
They seat you up front next to the stage at 7 pm. You may help yourself to desert and a Mai Tai or two before the show begins. .
The participants are within reach and the fire dancers are so close the heat from their fires warms you. I have attended many Luaus but this show best depicts the history and founding of the Hawaiian Islands. The cast is a great cross section of personalities which enhances and furthers the story.
After the show the performers stay for pictures with the audience and one may tour the Wilcox plantation home and shops to avoid the ensuing traffic jam.
If you choose the show only vs the Luau and show I recommend going early to ride the train which takes you through the gardens and if you are over 21, do the rum distillery tour. Make sure you have your picture id for the rum tour and tasting.

Visited October 2013
1 Thank dkeeling
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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