Hukilau, Royal Court Procession and Imu Ceremony
The three most popular pre-dinner activities which you won't want to miss are the Hukilau, Royal Court Procession and Imu Ceremony. The Hukilau on the beach is unique to Paradise Cove and a lovely addition to a luau. Guests learn how Hawaiians have for centuries spread their nets into the sea and gathered them to shore filled with fish for the evening's meal.
Following the Hukilau, guests wander over to Hawaii's only Imu Amphitheater. Paradise Cove has taken what is normally a brief Imu Ceremony and expanded it to a nice pre-dinner show unto itself with Hawaiian music and dance, the Royal Court Procession and finally the unveiling of the evening's main course as the kalua pig is dug up from the imu (underground oven) where it has cooked all day. Paradise Cove's Imu Amphitheate is a brilliant innovation with bleacher style seating so that everyone can view the show. At most luaus guests have to crowd around a small pit where most can't see what's going on.
Hawaiian Luau Buffet
Finally it's time to return to your assigned seat and have dinner. As at most luaus guests are escorted to the buffet line by table. For such a large crowd I was impressed how smoothly and quickly this process worked. Paradise Cove offers most of the standard luau food items: salad greens, pasta salad, macaroni salad, poi, dinner rolls, steamed white rice, lomi lomi salmon, island fish, fried chicken, and of course the kalua pig. Deserts include fresh pineapple, coconut banana cake and haupia (coconut pudding.)
The food at Paradise Cove is neither the best nor the worst that I have had at a luau. It is somewhere right in the middle. Considering the large number of guests being fed, they do a good job. The kalua pig was moist and quite good.
Paradise Cove Extravaganza
The highlight of any luau and the part that most guests will consider most when deciding whether they enjoyed the evening or not is the after-dinner show. It's the last thing that guests will see before they depart and it's important for every luau to do a good job entertaining the guests.
Paradise Cove's after dinner show is excellent. The show hosts are entertaining, funny and personable. The dancing is professional and well choreographed. Guests will enjoy the dance and music of several Polynesian cultures including Aotearoa (New Zealand), Samoa, Tahiti and of course, Hawaii. Their Samoan fire-knife dancer is excellent.
Guests have an opportunity to join in the fun by going on-stage to learn to do the Hukilau Hula or just have a quiet dance with a loved one to the music of the Hawaiian Wedding Song.
Much too soon the evening ends and it's time to return to your hotel or resort. As guests board their buses, wander to their cars or walk back to one of Ko Olina's accommodations, it's a good chance that they've had a great time at Paradise Cove.
I can say without any hesitation that if you attend one luau on Oahu, the Paradise Cove Luau is the one to choose.
If You GoParadise Cove offers several different packages and seating choices. You can view them on Paradise Cove's excellent website.
If you'd like to get a better idea of all that Paradise Cove has to offer, be sure to check out our huge Paradise Cove Luau Photo Gallery.