AN EVENING AT THE GRAND HYATT KAUAI LUAU
If you have never been to the Hawaiian Islands and decide to go - a luau should DEFINITELY be on your list of things to do. Since it was our first time in Kauai (and in Hawaii in general) I knew I wanted to find an authentic luau experience, so when we were given the chance to partner up with Grand Hyatt and attend their Kauai Luau, I was SO excited! In case you don't know, the tradition of the luau began in 1819 when King Kamehameha II (you may remember me mentioning him and his descendants in my blog posts about our ATV adventure and Nā Pali Coast excursion) finally removed the religious laws that were in practice. All of the men and women came together to celebrate with a giant feast to commemorate this historic decision. What we have today is a traditional Hawaiian feast coupled with Hawaiian dances and an explanation of that history. The Luau at Grand Hyatt had ALL OF THE ABOVE AND MORE!
When we arrived, we were immediately greeted by the staff and received beautifully carved Kukui nut leis. They led us to our premier table, front and center, provided us with some delicious appetizers, or pupus, of edamame, shrimp, meat, and taro chips and offered both mai tais and mocktails (we opted for the mocktails!). They even had a photo area set up where you could take a picture in front of a glowing ALOHA sign - the O was a giant pineapple which was so cute! Walking around the luau venue, we visited various stations of Hawaiian crafts and wares for sale, an open bar area where you could order drinks, and last but definitely not least, the buffet area. Perhaps my favorite part of the buffet was the kalau pig. Traditionally, Hawaiians have an ancient imu ceremony at each luau, where a pig is cooked underground upon hot stones and covered with layers of leaves and cloth. It was absolutely delicious and so succulent. Along with the pig, the Grand Hyatt Kauai Luau offered a variety of the Hawaiian dishes - traditional huli huli chicken, lomi lomi salmon (a medley of smoked salmon, tomato, onions and green onions), fresh caught fish, hawaiian ahi poki, and of course poi (taro that is pounded by stone into a paste). We tried them ALL, even though I may not have been the biggest fan of the poi! Check out all of these delicious food options!
While we feasted under the stars, the conch shell signaled it was time for those swaying hula hips that I have seen in countless films to begin. The rhythm of pahu drumming got louder and louder as the luau master opened the evening with stories of Polynesia. We were shown the fashion that Polynesian men and women wear, learned the history of the islands of Tahiti, Samoa, New Zealand, and Hawaii through song and dance, and got treated to a fire twirling show! If you're lucky, you may even get called up to show off your hula hips and dancing skills! Two couples from our table got called up - I think Ryan was kind of relieved it wasn't us! HAHA!
All in all we had an amazing experience at the Grand Hyatt Kauai Luau and I would highly recommend it if you are heading to Kauai. It truly painted a great picture of Polynesian tribal life. The food was delicious and the dancing was incredible. Plus, afterwards, all the performers lined up so people could take a picture with them. It was such a magical evening and I am so glad we got to experience it!
Here is everything that is included with the premier admission that we were gifted!
Cultural activities prior to dinner and show
Front of line access to enter the Luau
Reserved shared seating, in our first two rows closest to the stage
Upgraded Kukui Nut lei
Welcome cocktail, open bar Pupus at table upon arrival, first to dinner buffet, and Polynesian entertainment
Complimentary souvenir Tiki Glass to take home
Framed picture from Pacific Dream included
Luau Buffet Menu
Salads & Appetizers: – Watermelon, Maui Gold Pineapple, Kauai Sunrise Papaya – Grand Hyatt Kauai Farms Baby Greens, Local Cherry Tomato, Cucumber, and Carrot – Papaya Seed Dressing and Lilikoi Vinaigrette – Local Favorite Pancit Noodle Salad with Sesame Vinaigrette – Hawaiian Ahi Poke – Poi and Lomi Lomi Salmon
Entrées: – Imu Style Kalua Pig – Grilled Grass Fed Makaweli New York Steaks – Traditional Huli Huli Chicken – Volcano Spiced Local Catch with Yuzu Buerre Blanc and Mango Coulis – Moloka’i Sweet Potatoes and Coconut Glaze – Lemongrass and Ginger Scented Steamed Rice – Seasonal Wok Fried Vegetables – Poi Rolls and Butter
Desserts: – Coconut Cream Pie – Chocolate Mousse Cake – Haupia – Pineapple Upside-down Cake – Guava Mousse Cake – Warm Pineapple Bread Pudding – Freshly Brewed Starbucks Kopelani Blend Regular and Decaffeinated Coffee and Tazo Teas
Complimentary Drinks: – Full Bar – Domestic Beer – Banquets Choice of Wine – Mai Tais – Non-Alcoholic Punch – Assorted Pepsi Soft Drinks
Our evening at the Grand Hyatt Kauai Luau was comped in exchange for the blog and social media coverage we provided. However, I am not being compensated for this post. Thank you to Grand Hyatt Kauai for having us for your beautiful Luau!