We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Experience was so so”

Royal Kona Resort Luau
Book In Advance
More Info
and up
Kona Submarine Adventure and Royal Kona Resort Luau
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed September 21, 2013

Booked a Luau show here. First indication of potential problems was the LONG line of people queued to get in at "vouchers" line. Second was the parking for Luau - at top of steep hill and at a charge of $3 in addition to the $70/person charge for Luau show.
The "Cash" line had no one there but then there was no one to take vouchers either yet and it was past the stated time to start getting seated.
Soon, as we stood at head of line for "cash" purchases, people had to use the restrooms. Alas, there were NO restrooms available the Luau customers, everyone had to go UP the hill to the lobby of the hotel and seek a restroom (behind the elevators) then come back to the lines which were still waiting.
Now it started to drizzle and finally the cash register was staffed. We were all promptly informed that there would be NO refunds if it rained. NONE! Now after waiting in line for 30 - 40 minutes everyone started looking around to figure out whether to go in and take their chances (most were vacationers who NOT come back another day).
The drizzle stopped and most people started to check in when they were informed that for an EXTRA $5/person they could "sit up front in the folding chairs". The website for Luau made NO mention that there would be this extra charge for up front seating as it stated seating was on first come, first served basis so. "Come early for best seating".
We found seats behind the $5 reserved section (Entire first 2 rows of tables placed perpendicular to stage).
Ok, at least we had seats, AND THEN the rains started in earnest along with the show. The show, singers and band players were BRIEF for the first act. We got the feeling it was rushed to assure no one could gripe there was NO show.
Bar was opened, booze (pretty weak, very sweet Mai Tais plus avg bar).
Buffet was opened after everyone got to see the Pig taken from pit in the ever increasing rain.
We were drenched as staff handed out appreciated but flimsy plastic ponchos-in-a-bag.
We ate our wet food. Sat around as rain increased and made a decision to leave as it was MISERABLE!
We left, went up hill to the ONE available to Luau customer public restroom. As we left lobby, we saw lines of customers coming up hill. The Luau was cancelled, NO Refunds but, "rain checks" would be issued. Next Luau was Monday night. We were on vacation and leaving Monday plus we were staying 65 miles away.
Want to see a Luau with Hawaiian theme? Rent the video is our advice.
P.s. The food was so, so.

3  Thank Zhorshik
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review
Reviews (982)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year

519 - 523 of 982 reviews

Reviewed September 18, 2013

I have been to Luaus in Honolulu, and am not a fan of the cheesiness so often associated with luaus. This one was top notch. The food was not only good, it was served warm, hard for a buffet to do! The Mai Tais were good, free, and strong. The Emcee was funny without being corny, and the performers were professional and talented. It was great to learn history and get to try out the instruments and Maori balls! Very well done luau. And not over loaded with tour groups! Always a plus. The only downside was the long wait in line to get in, as they seemed to be running a bit behind, but we made new friends while lined up, so all good.

2  Thank MartiniMakerBahamas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 16, 2013

this is my second lua'u .. my first was a family affair .. this was a public affair .. well worth the $$ the meal was excellent as was the show.

Thank km s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 15, 2013

The little guidebook we were using rated this luau as the second best. (They suggested that the first best was at the Sheraton, but their days are so scattered, it was difficult to even plan.) This was our last night on the island, we were determined to catch a luau, so this was the best option for us. Turns out, it was really quite good!! You will wait in line for a bit until they open the reception desk just around 5:00 PM. Shortly after getting in, they open the bar. We were early in, so early into the drink line, which got pretty darned long. There are enormous punch bowls filled with Mai Tais..as you work your way down the bar the bartender will top of your mai tai with more rum. I'm not a huge fan of mai tais, but these were actually pretty good, particularly when you consider the volume they were serving. If mai tais are not for you, they had a pretty full bar where you could request a mixed drink, or even beer in the can. They had a table that had cambros full of water, coffee and then another enormous bowl of some sort of fruit juice for the kids.

As you're waiting for the show to begin, a little 4-piece band played some music, which frankly felt a little loungy for my taste. Soon, the show began, the MC was introduced. Again, he was a bit of a lounge lizard, however he was charming, kept the show moving, and did a good job hosting and introducing the numbers. And the band that was a little loungy? Wow, they actually were quite awesome playing the hard beat of the drums for the dance numbers that made up the show.

The female dancers were the the epitome of island grace and beauty. The male dancers were equally good with the harder driving, ultra masculine dances that are prevalent in the south Pacific. The fire dancer was just beyond anything you could imagine!!! Truly, he was fantastic. If I were able to peel my eyes off of his performance, I'm confident that I would have seen jaws hanging open all around the audience.

The food....well, I had low expectations but it was actually pretty good! There is an Emu ceremony where they unearth the roasting pig. If you want good photos, either sit near the pit or rush over there. I was fortunate enough to be close enough that I got a prime spot right at ringside. Perfect for photo ops! After they unearthed the pig, maybe about 15-20 minutes later they began excusing various tables to go to the food buffet lines. Those that paid the extra $5 for better seats got to eat first, but that was not a problem at all as there was PLENTY of food for all. The kalua pork was tasty, but needed a bit of seasoning help when I got to the table, they had a tasty luau chicken which was a mix of coconut milk and spinach. There was ono fish fillets, beef teriyaki and then assorted side dishes. All in all, really decent food. if you leave hungry, it is no fault of theirs. The coconut and pineapple cake for dessert? Mehh, it was ok, a bit dry. I think the pineapple was a bit better than the coconut.

Still, come for the show and be happy with the food and flowing drinks!

Tip: Make your reservation online, you'll save like $13 per ticket!! At the door was $80, online the tickets came to $67 each. You can't beat that for an open bar, plenty of food and a really good luau show.

I have read reviews that these can easily get rained out. We were lucky..the only thing our show was missing were the king and queen that are supposed to emerge from the sea. I think the waves were a bit too high on our night, but otherwise the weather was perfect (hot and steamy, but perfect really). Check the weather, I think it would be a sorry experience if it got rained out, because it's all outside!

5  Thank hugs4u
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 15, 2013

The food and the entertainment was excellent. Well worth every minute.
No dislikes here, it was a great experience

1  Thank Monika C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Royal Kona Resort Luau also viewed

Kailua-Kona, Island of Hawaii
Kailua-Kona, Island of Hawaii

Been to Royal Kona Resort Luau? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing