Royal Kona Luau

Experience the Rich History of Hawaii at the Royal Kona Luau
Local Expert's Rating:
4 / 5
The Bottom Line:

Experience the storytelling beauty of a luau with Royal Kona Luau. In addition to the beautiful dancing and even fire dancing, you will get to partake in a traditional Hawaiian meal that is sure to satisfy both your need for sustenance and entertainment, all while educating you a bit about the rich cultural history of the islands.

- The Local Expert Team

The Royal Kona Luau, also known on the island as the Voyagers of the Pacific, is a truly unique experience that takes place at the Royal Kona Resort, located south of downtown Kailua-Kona, on the Big Island. You as a guest to this unforgettable experience will enjoy an authentic Hawaiian Luau buffet dinner with cultural presentations, a Polynesian show featuring music and dances from greater Polynesia and Hawaii, along with an open bar. This is the truly Hawaiian experience that you simply can’t miss out on when visiting the islands. 

The Luau is an ancient Hawaiian/Polynesian ritual that is basically a social gathering meant to unite people in the celebration of a significant life event, war victory, achievement, or even the launching of a new canoe. It was originally called the ahaaina, which means gathering, celebratory meal centered on feasting on traditional cuisine with friends and family, complete with entertainment including hula and other traditional Hawaiian music.  

Historically, before the 19th century, the ancient ahaaina included restrictions on not only the food eaten but who was at the event and who partook of the fare together. For example, men and women were frequently separated as were people of various classes. In other words, this was not an event where the common people could dine or socialize with royalty. In 1819, King Kamehameha II changed the trajectory of this tradition. To show these changes, he ate alongside women and created what is more closely seen in today’s luau experience. Luau, interestingly enough, means taro plant. This name was given to the experience because it is one of the most popular dishes served at the feast.

Of course, today’s version of the celebratory luau like you will enjoy at the Royal Kona Luau is a much more laid-back experience, while still promoting the historic significance of the celebration overall and being an experience fit for royalty. It features dancers that showcase beautiful moves with historic origins and includes scrumptious fare you won’t soon forget. Thankfully, even if you are less than brave when it comes to experimenting with new dishes, there is sure to be something you will enjoy at the Royal Kona Luau. With a wide variety of Hawaiian delicacies being served, there is sure to be something for everyone, even if you prefer gluten-free options. 

When making your plans for the Royal Kona Luau, keep in mind that the dining portion of the evening will start with assorted salads and things. This will include local pineapples, sweet potato-macaroni salad, mixed green salad, Waipio valley poi, and coconut rolls. The hot entrees will include Kalua pork and cabbage, teriyaki beef, steamed fresh island fish, stir-fry vegetables, and steamed white rice. Your dessert choices will include Hawaiian Haupia pudding, coconut cake, and fresh puna papaya. The bar will feature mai tai, standard well, domestic beer, wine, coffee and tea, fruit punch, and a selection of sodas. 

The Luau highlights you can expect begin with a Hawaiian Lei greeting as you enter. This allows you to settle into your surroundings and know that you have entered an evening full of Hawaiian tradition and beauty. Then, you will enjoy an island arts and crafts presentation, followed up by the delicious Hawaiian luau-style dinner outlined above. Next up is the show part of the experience where you will enjoy a Polynesian show telling the story of the grand ocean voyage of the ancient Polynesians. You will also enjoy the amazing Samoan Siva Afi Fire Dance as the big finale to the night. This is all in addition to several fun photo opportunities in which you can document your entire night. The duration of the entire show and dinner is approximately three hours. 

Insider Tips:
-Royal Kona Luau recommends advanced booking to avoid sell-outs and price increases. 
-Children aged five and under are free, with a discounted rate for kids aged six to 11.