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Published November 12th 2018
Activities, traditional cuisine & entertainment
As soon as I stepped off the bus, I knew I was in for a memorable night. The mood was set: Hawaiian music played as I was welcomed with a shell lei and a Mai Tai. I was welcomed to paradise: Paradise Cove, to be precise.
When visiting Hawaii, experiencing a traditional luau is a must-do activity. Located at the Ko Olina Resort, Paradise Cove is one of the Hawaii's largest luau shows. Set on 12 acres, with lush lawns, a beautiful beach and coconut palms, this is the perfect place to celebrate Hawaiian culture and history, learn traditional arts and crafts, play fun games, experience authentic food and witness spectacular performances.
Gates open at 5pm and this provides visitors with plenty of opportunity to wander around the village. Creating headbands and bracelets with banana leaves and flowers was popular with all ages. Expect queues at the arts and craft tables, so it is recommended to head there first.
The games are a lot of fun. Test your skills at traditional Hawaiian games including spear throwing, stone disk rolling and dart sliding.
The feast and show begins at 7pm and what a feast it is! Combining traditional Hawaiian dishes with local favourites and continental cuisine, the banquet includes salads, Poi, Lomi Lomi salmon, stir fried vegetables, baked chicken, Kalua pig, beer battered island fish, taro rolls, cold steamed sweet potato, steamed white rice and fresh pineapple. The menu may vary as it is based on availability and the seasonality of dishes.
The pork from the underground oven was delicious. Falling off the bone, this meat was succulent and a highlight of the meal. Save room for dessert as treats include jelly, cakes, fruit, shortbread biscuits, brownies, chocolate mousse and a traditional dessert of coconut cubes.
As the stunning Hawaiian sun sets, Paradise Cove's performers entertain guests at the Paradise Cove Extravaganza. Guests are led through the eras of hula dancing. The flamboyant costumes, amazing choreography and songs embody Hawaiian and Polynesian culture.
A variety of packages are available. The Hawiian Luau package is the basic package and costs $97 for an adult, $85 for youth aged between 13 and 20 and children 12 years and under are $75. For the more adventurous, the luau can be combined with a snorkelling excursion with the turtles and dolphins or surf lessons.
Children aged 3 and under are admitted free of charge providing they do not take a dinner plate or a seat on the bus or at the Luau.
Transport from Waikiki hotels is available for $16. Pick up begins at 3.45pm.