Review of Kauai’s Luau Kalamaku at Kilohana Plantation: Polynesian Show & Buffet Dinner (2024)

by | Jan 9, 2024

Luau Kalamaku” by Mind on Fire Photography is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

Have you ever wondered what it feels like to step into a world where ancient Hawaiian culture vibrantly comes to life?

Luau Kalamaku at Kilohana Plantation in Lihue, Kauai, offers just that – an evening that seamlessly blends traditional Hawaiian customs with spectacular theatrical performances.

In this review, we’ll delve into the enchanting world of this unique luau, providing essential insights into what makes it a must-visit destination.

From the moment you are greeted with a traditional lei, to the final fiery twirl of the poi balls, Luau Kalamaku promises an experience filled with cultural richness and historical depth.

Set on the historic grounds of the 105-acre Kilohana Plantation, this event is more than just a feast for the senses; it’s a journey through time.

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This review of Luau Kalamaku is written by Bryan Murphy, an expert in Hawaii travel and a top-rated podcast host. The post may contain affiliate links, meaning I may earn a small commission if you use the provided links. Learn more on my privacy policy page.

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Our honest review of Luau Kalamaku will cover the captivating performances, the sumptuous feast featuring local delicacies, and the array of activities that make this luau stand out.

Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler, join us as we uncover the magic that makes Luau Kalamaku a truly unforgettable Hawaiian experience.

Ready to learn more about luaus in Hawaii? After reading this blog post, check out our in-depth article on The Best Luaus in Hawaii.

Overview of Luau Kalamaku at Kilohana Plantation

Hula dancer at Luau Kalamaku on Kauai

Hula dancer at Luau Kalamaku on Kauai. Credit: @_bbubbyy on Instagram

Imagine stepping into a world where the vibrant culture of Hawaii comes alive with music, dance, and a feast under the stars. This is what you find at Luau Kalamaku at Kilohana Plantation in Lihue.

It’s more than just dinner; it’s an evening packed with Polynesian culture. From hula dancers to fire poi ball twirlers, every moment tells a story as rich as the Garden Island itself.

Kilohana Plantation has deep roots in Hawaiian history. Its 105-acre estate showcases beautiful buildings from days long past and houses an artisan market full of local crafts.

It sets the stage for a night filled with tradition—a show that even echoes journeys like those in the movie “Moana.”

As you sway to melodic tunes, indulge in local flavors including purple mashed potatoes and tender kalua pig watching performances that will dazzle you with skill and bravery.

And if adventure calls, hop on a train ride around tropical orchards or watch kids’ faces light up feeding animals.

People talk about how amazing this experience is—Lonely Planet even calls it the Best Luau on Kauai! Planning your visit is easy; book online and choose extra treats like lei greetings or special photos to remember your night forever.

Ready for an unforgettable evening? The story of Hawaii waits to unfold before you at Luau Kalamaku.

Location and History of Kilohana Plantation

Kilohana Plantation stands proudly in Lihue, on the Coconut Coast of Kauai. This 105-acre estate is steeped in history, dating back to 1935. The wealthy Wilcox family built it and shined as the most lavish home on the island at that time.

Today, Kilohana opens its doors to visitors from around the world looking for a taste of Hawaiian culture and history.

The grand mansion at Kilohana Plantation shows off what life was like during Hawaii’s plantation era. Its elegant architecture takes you back in time, making it not just a place to visit but an experience in itself.

You’ll walk through a piece of history where every brick tells a story of Kauai’s past.

With its rich heritage and easy access for tourists staying on Kauai, Kilohana serves as an enchanting gateway into traditional Hawaiian customs and celebrations.

Here, you’re invited to explore lush gardens, ride the historic plantation railway, or revel in one of their famed luaus under starlit skies.

The Artisan Market at Kilohana Plantation

The artisan market at Kilohana Plantation is a treasure trove where you can meet local artisans. They make beautiful things like jewelry, crafts, and cool souvenirs with their hands.

You get to see them work and learn about what they do. This place is special because you help support local artists when you buy something.

Walking through the market feels like a journey into Hawaii’s heart. You’ll find art that shows the islands’ spirit and home decorations that bring Hawaiian style to your house. Each piece has a story of Kauai’s rich culture.

After exploring the market, get ready for an amazing Polynesian show coming up next!

The Polynesian Show Experience

Performer at Luau Kalamaku on Kauai with fire

Luau Kalamaku” by Mind on Fire Photography is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

Prepare to be dazzled by the Polynesian Show at Luau Kalamaku, where the night comes alive with energetic hula dancers, mesmerizing fire poi ball twirlers, and heart-pounding traditional fire knife dancing.

This is beyond entertainment; it’s a captivating voyage through the rich cultural tapestry of Hawaii that you’ll remember long after your visit.

The Hula Dancers, Fire Poi Balls, Traditional Fire Knife Dancing

Get ready for an evening filled with the magic of Kauai at Luau Kalamaku. You’ll be swept away by a dance journey through Polynesian culture and history.

  • Graceful hula dancers set the stage with their flowing movements, telling stories of Hawaiian legends and traditions.
  • Feel the heat from fire poi balls as skilled performers twirl them through the air, adding excitement to the night.
  • Watch in awe as traditional fire knife dancing lights up the scene. Dancers move with speed and precision, their knives blazing.

The Buffet Dinner

Dive into a lavish buffet brimming with local Hawaiian favorites that will tantalize your taste buds and leave you eager to explore every flavor on offer.

Highlight of Local Favorites in the Menu

You’re in for a treat at Luau Kalamaku when it comes to food. The buffet here is full of Hawaiian dishes that people love.

  • Mashed Purple Potatoes: Try the mashed purple potatoes mixed with coconut milk. This dish is creamy, sweet, and a true local favorite.
  • Kalua Pig: Don’t miss the kalua pig. It’s cooked in an underground oven called an imu, which makes it super tender and tasty.
  • Green Salad & Macaroni Salad: These salads are fresh and perfect for starting your meal. They’ll cool you down with crisp flavors.
  • Fresh Fruit: Enjoy slices of pineapple, melon, and other fruits. They are juicy and remind you of the sunny Hawaiian Islands.
  • Poi: Taste poi for something different. It’s made from taro plant and is a traditional Hawaiian food.
  • Mini Dessert Bar: Kids will love the mini dessert bar! With little treats just their size, everyone gets something sweet.

Optional Add-ons in the Luau Experience

Seating at Luau Kalamaku on Kauai

Seating at Luau Kalamaku on Kauai. Photo credit: Luau Kalamaku

At the Luau Kalamaku, you can make your night even more special. Choose from exciting extras to add to your evening of fun and culture. 

  • Plantation Train Ride: Before the luau starts, hop on the vintage train. It takes you around the Kilohana Plantation grounds. Listen to stories about sugar cane farming and see the beautiful landscapes.
  • Premier Package: Want seats close to the stage? Pick this package for premier seating. You’ll get a great view of all the dances and fire shows.
  • Imu Ceremony: See how an authentic Hawaiian luau dinner is made. Watch as they take food out of an imu, a traditional underground oven.
  • Cultural Artisan Market: Arrive early to check out local crafts and art. Buy gifts or keepsakes hand-made by Hawaiian artists.
  • Photo Opportunities: Bring your camera for special moments! Meet dancers and take pictures with them right before the show begins.

Reviews and Feedback from Previous Attendees

Moving on from the exciting add-ons, let’s talk about what others think of their time at Luau Kalamaku. People who have been to this luau share great things. They often say it’s one of the best luaus in Kauai with kids.

Many love that they get free drinks all night, including tropical juices and cocktails for adults.

Families especially enjoy the full show, complete with hula dancers and fire performers. Reviews on travel sites glow with stories of kids watching wide-eyed as dancers move like characters from Moana’s story.

Even Lonely Planet agrees, calling it the Best Luau on Kauai. Guests leave happy and full of memories that last a long time after their Hawaiian vacation ends.

How to Make Reservations for Luau Kalamaku

You want to see the Luau Kalamaku show at Kilohana Plantation. It’s easy to book your spot for this amazing Hawaiian experience. Follow these steps:

  • Pick a date that works for you. The calendar will show which days are available.
  • Choose between standard or premium seating. Premium gets you closer to the stage!
  • Decide if you want to add extras like a train ride around Kilohana Plantation.
  • Fill in your information. They’ll need your name, email, and payment details.
  • Double-check that everything is correct and click to confirm your reservation.

Our Advice for Attending Luau Kalamaku

If you’re staying on Kauai, Luau Kalamaku is definitely one of the best. Especially if you’re traveling as a family. However, one of the biggest questions we get is, “Are luaus worth it?” Meaning, is attend a luau while visiting Hawaii?

I believe attending a luau at least once is a must-do. It can be a memorable experience. That being said, I feel some luaus feel too commercial and offer only a sliver of true Hawaiian culture.

In reality, a luau is simply a celebration of an event. The luau, a traditional Hawaiian feast and celebration, marks important occasions like childbirth, victories, and harvests, honoring the gods and sharing joy with family and friends.

So, when you’re considering attending a luau, it is our recommendation to find one that is authentic and culturally sound. Luau Kalamaku is one of those luaus.

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Luau Kalamaku Review Wrap-Up

Now you’ve got a sneak peek at Luau Kalamaku on Kauai. This place lights up the night with amazing dances and yummy food! Think of the fun train rides, cool hula shows, and lots of tasty treats.

It’s not just another luau; it’s a real Hawaiian party that brings smiles to everyone. If you go, this luau will give you stories to tell for years!

FAQs for Luau Kalamaku

1. What makes Luau Kalamaku at Kilohana Plantation stand out?

Luau Kalamaku stands out as one of the best luaus on Kauai with its thrilling theatrical show and the traditional imu ceremony. Plus, you get to enjoy a buffet of local flavors and dance to familiar Hawaiian music!

2. Can I ride the Kilohana Plantation railway if I attend Luau Kalamaku?

Absolutely! In addition to enjoying the authentic luau, you can also hop aboard for a ride on the Kilohana Plantation Railway by choosing the correct package.

3. Will my kids enjoy themselves at Luau Kalamaku?

Yes! Kids love trains just as much as they’ll appreciate the fantastic fire dream featuring fire poi balls during the show—there’s plenty to keep little ones happy!

4. Does Luau Kalamaku offer opportunities for photos with performers?

Definitely! There is an opportunity to take photos with graceful dancers right before their epic performance begins!

5. What part of Polynesian culture will I experience at Luau Kalamaku?

Get ready for an unforgettable evening where you can witness stories about Pele, the Fire Goddess, be amazed by hula dancing and watch fire breathing performances that honor Hawaiian cultural traditions.

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Bryan Murphy

Bryan Murphy

Bryan Murphy, owner of Hawaii’s Best Travel, is a certified Hawaii destination expert from the Hawaii Visitors Bureau. He actively participates in the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau as a member and has a strong educational background focused on local culture and sustainability. As the host of “Hawaii’s Best Travel,” a top-30 US travel podcast, Bryan combines his years of experience with valuable insights. He connects with a broad online community, reaching nearly half a million people, and offers a richer, more responsible way to experience Hawaii.