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“Not a full blown Luau, but thankfully no buffet”

Aha 'Aina a Royal Celebration at The Royal Hawaiian
Ranked #11 of 33 Concerts & Shows in Honolulu
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Gothenburg, Sweden
Level 6 Contributor
219 reviews
52 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 133 helpful votes
“Not a full blown Luau, but thankfully no buffet”
Reviewed August 10, 2014

I had previously visited the Luau at the Hilton, several years ago, and much enjoyed it. Except for the buffet. This year, we did a gigantic Luau during our cruise to Kauai. Imagine almost 1,000 people being fed simultaneously. Yikes! We left before the show had begun…

Having brought my elderly dad with us, I still wanted him to enjoy a Luau and so our concierge recommended us this show. Dinner would be served, white linens, open bar and a show depicting the royal traditions of Waikiki as pertaining to the hotel (in part.) Sold!

The show is at the Royal Hawaiian, one of the classic hotels on Waikiki, a beautiful centennial (almost) sitting there, right on the beach in pink. I wonder what it must've looked like back then, without all the other towers sitting right on its doorstep? Impressive, for sure.

The system of getting into the show is in need of some improvement. We, and about a hundred other guests, were stuck in a queue to get in for almost 30 minutes, and since hotel guests were given priority seating in the first row, there were two lines to get out onto the lawn, but only one line to check in. We were handed tickets, which no one ever claimed. Odd. But alas, when in Rome?

Beautiful leis were once again handed out (I think we walked home with 10 lbs of nut and shell leis) and we were finally seated, drink in hand. The food was amazingly delicious given that about two hundred people were served simultaneously, the wine was good even without being able to choose one, and the show was very entertaining.

The whole thing started out with a few stations where traditional Hawaiian crafts were demonstrated, from food preparing to cloth making. Any look, no one trying to sell you anything!!! That alone was worth the price!

The show consisted of dances, singing and the tale of how Waikiki was settled, how it developed, how the king Kamehameha united Hawai'i, and then moving on to the modern days of beach boys, surfing, World War II and the modern era, always accompanied by song, dance and the backdrop of Waikiki beach and the ocean.

The highlight (spoiler alert!) is of course the Samoan fire dance you see at every Luau in Polynesia (?), and the house (lawn) exploded. Magnificent.

If you consider a Luau, but want something more VIP, less mass service, this may be the place for you. Just remember, it's a weekly show, on Mondays only.

Visited August 2014
Helpful?
3 Thank Hans H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Brisbane, Australia
Level 4 Contributor
26 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“beautiful show not enough food”
Reviewed May 15, 2014

Fantastic location! Food was good but not enough-very small portions for the price. I was rexpecting a banquet.Show was good. A good night but extremely overpriced for what you get.

Visited April 2014
Helpful?
6 Thank jojojor45
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bermuda Dunes, California
Level 4 Contributor
33 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Great fun, good food.”
Reviewed April 29, 2014 via mobile

Very entertaining show. The food was good, as was the service. The story moved along nicely, and kept your interest. The dancers were very skilled and full of energy. The narrator of the show, Misty, did an amazing job.
Fun night with friends.

Visited April 2014
Helpful?
4 Thank LovemyKing
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fayetteville, Georgia
Level 4 Contributor
43 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Expected more Polynesian/Tahitian hula and fire dancers.”
Reviewed March 24, 2014

I went to a show here in the 70's with my family and I wanted to take my daughter to see it but it has changed a lot. Maybe there isn't the interest to be these type of dancers anymore. There was only 3 Tahitian(hula)dancers and 1 fire dancer compared to at least 8 hula dancers with more and longer dances and at least 6 fire dancers backing up the star fire dancer. Now there is one performance each, short and saved for the end after what is now a dinner show. The show helped explain the history of the island through its royal families through song and dance. The free mai tais and pina coladas were delicious. The food was okay. Even though the portions were small, except for the salad, we left feeling full. The service at our table was very good. Quick response when you wanted another drink. I feel this show was much better than The Magic of Polynesia and the location next to the beach was very nice. I don't feel there was a need to purchase more expensive seating to be closer. We were in the back and could see just fine. Maybe there is a show there that focuses on more Tahitian hula and fire dancing. However, the traditional hula dancing in this show is very good.

Visited March 2014
Helpful?
3 Thank 890Angel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, Alberta
Level 4 Contributor
37 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Worst money ever spent!”
Reviewed February 20, 2014

Okay I figured that you get what you pay for, so I booked tickets for 4 for this luau in January, 2014. What a total rip-off!! While the setting was absolutely beautiful, the food was cold and tasteless - and I have had bigger shrimp than the tiny lobster tails they served. It was clear why all drinks were included as it was impossible to taste any alcohol! I expected so much more from the Royal Hawaiian and all I got was ripped off .... Over $850 Canadian later, I walked away knowing I will never visit this over priced hotel again!

Visited January 2014
Helpful?
7 Thank bcincalgary
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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