Smoking/non smoking? Smoking.
Do you have wheel chair access? Yes.
What type of alcohol beers wines etc? Heineken, corona, bud light,
bud, chardonnay, mai tais, blue hawaiian, lava flow, pina coloada. Must bring a photo ID if you want to consume alcohol.
What non alcoholic drinks do you have? Sodas and juices.
What days of the week do you operate? Every evening.
I am a vegetarian and/or have a nut allergy, can you accommodate me? Let us know 72 hours before the luau.
What is your dress code? Casual.
What should I wear? Light.
Are slippers ok? Or are shoes required? Please don't wear high heels.
Is it outside or inside? Outside.
How long does it last? 4 hours.
When does it start? 5pm.
What time do we need to be there before it starts? 4pm to 4:30pm.
What is the schedule of events? 5pm will bring activities, hukilau
on the beach followed by the imu ceremony, dinner show will follow and the
show is at 8pm.
Is there a dance/musical number? Yes.
Is transportation available? Yes.
Is parking available? Is parking convenient? At what cost? Do you validate
parking? Yes and its free.
Do you have a gift shop? Yes.
Is there audience participation? Yes.
Should we bring bug repellent? Yes.
Are children under the age of 2 allowed? Under the age of 3 is free.
Are there plenty of bathrooms? Yes
Is there Shopping nearby? Yes.
What if it is raining? Do you supply umbrellas, rain checks, refunds?
We supply ponchos if it is light rain and will offer refunds or rain checks
if it is heavy.
Does the luau represent many dances or just Hawaiian? Yes.
Does it have Tahitian dancers? Yes.
Is there a place to store valuables? No.
Can I take pictures after the show? Yes.
Can I get autographs? Yes.
Are pictures available if I don't have a camera? Yes for $15.
Security suggestions? Bring your camera wallet and photographic ID.
Paradise Cove has served malihini (guests) and kama'aina (locals) for more than 20 years as one of the largest and most visited luau shows in Hawaii. The venue is located at the beautiful Ko Olina Resort on the leeward coast of Oahu featuring brilliant sunsets from 12-oceanfront acres. Culture and history is in full celebration at this island destination as Paradise Cove puts in great effort to preserve the special characteristics that make Hawaii so unique. Every luau packages is planned and thoughtfully created to give guests an authentic Hawaiian experience starting with the fun daytime activities to the delicious food and finally the outstanding Hawaiian Revue Show.
Lush lawns and coconut palms surrounding a secluded beach makes Paradise Cove an ideal location for all special events. The splendid grounds have hosted some of the most prestigious events in Hawaii with major national and international companies. No matter the size, every event is special when it takes place at Paradise Cove. It makes no difference what you're searching for, the Hawaiian experience of your dreams exists at Paradise Cove.
Getting out to Paradise Cove Luau
Most guests attending the luau will arrive by bus. The buses pick up at several hotels and resorts in the Waikiki area. If a pick up location is not at your hotel, it is usually no more than a block or two away. The bus hosts are entertainment that is a show all of their own. Passengers will get in the island mood with activities and songs along the way. Some visitors may elect to drive to Ko Olina (about 35 miles or an hour from Waikiki with island style traffic) where parking is free and in plenty of supply during the luau. However, if you are staying at the Marriott Ihilani Resort and Spa, then just walk right over to join in the fun.
Upon arriving at Paradise Cove, you will receive a tropical Mai Tai greeting (or fruit punch for the kiddos) accompanied by live Hawaiian music to set the mood of the evening to come. As you make your way through the fast moving line where you will receive your lei and get a chance to take your picture with some of the dancers in full attire. Guests are guided to their seats where they can take a short rest to soak up the view or move right along experiencing the vast array of pre-dinner entertainment offered throughout the luau grounds.
Pre-Dinner Activities, Games, Crafts
Paradise Cove Luau is not just a luau. There is so much more to offer you won't find at any other luau in Hawaii. With 2 hours to take part in the pre-dinner activities, you won't believe there is still so much more to come. Take a casual stroll through the Hawaiian Village and learn the Arts and Crafts of the islands or try your skills at ancient cultural Games.
Hawaiian Arts and Crafts are a must on every vacation to do list. Weave palm fronds, learn to make a flower lei, and get a temporary Hawaiian tattoo. But who says you have to stop there? Play traditional games of Hawaii: oo ihe (spear throwing) and ulu maika (rolling stone disks). Take time to learn the hula before or after you watch how to learn coconut husking. Wander down to the beach for some awesome picture taking then take a ride in an outrigger canoe.
Entertainment is will be ongoing as there is never a dull moment at this luau. Don't worry about missing anything, Paradise Cove's unique concept it to guide guests from activity to activity by following the sound of a blown conch shell. Make sure to stop by the bar for island style refreshments including pina colodas, blue hawaiis, strawberry daiquiris—the list goes on and on.
After being delighted by a Shower of Flowers just turn around to participate in the Hukilau right on the beach to learn net fishing techniques of ancient Hawaii. You will feel like honored guests at the pageantry of the Royal Court Procession for the traditional underground oven cooking at the Imu Ceremony. The Imu Ceremony will unveil dinners main course of Kalua Pig as they unearth it from the underground oven (Imu) where it spent all day turning into perfection. A special amphitheater was built just for this part of the evening entertainment so that all guests would be able to take part—no huddling around a small hole in the ground at this luau.
Luau Buffet or Table Service for those with the Deluxe Package
Continue the evening with a feast in the company of friends, old and new. Return to your seats and make sure to bring your appetite to fully enjoy the extensive menu that wonderfully offers the best of traditional Hawaiian dishes, local favorites and continental cuisine—there is more than something for everyone. But don't worry, the workers at Paradise Cove are skilled in making the buffet process go as smooth and quick for 800 guests as they are at 50. There will be plenty of time to get seconds and make it back to your seat in time for the nights ultimate entertainment.
Luau Buffet Menu
Lomi Lomi Salmon
Island Fish with Macadamia Nut Crème Sauce
Steamed White Rice
Fresh Pineapple Chunks
Banana Coconut Cake
Hot Coffee or Hot Tea
Taro Rolls & Butter
(Menu is set, but may vary based on availability or seasonality of dishes.)
Paradise Cove Extravaganza
What everybody has been waiting for, The Paradise Cove Extravaganza. The most spectacular Hawaiian sunset accompanies award-winning performers as they entertain and delight you with unforgettable displays of songs and dances of Hawaii as well as other Polynesian cultures including Aotearoa (New Zealand), Tahiti, Samoa, with the ultimate Samoan fire-knife dance. Wanna join the entertainers on stage? Come on up and show off the Hukilau Hula that you learned during the pre-dinner activities.
Every good thing must come to an end, but at this Hawaii Hot Spot photo ops and vacation stories galore are yours to take home and keep forever. Paradise Cove Luau will never be more than a fond memory away.
Before You Go
Paradise Cove offers several luau packages to accommodate individual needs and budgets.
Hawaiian Luau Buffet:
The most popular and pocket friendly.
Orchid Luau Buffet:
Fit for Royalty with a flower lei greeting, center seating and extra drink tickets.
An exclusive package with the best seating and table service.
Interesting Information Paradise Cove Loves to Share
What is a Luau?
The birth of a child, a victorious battle and a bountiful harvest are all affairs that called for honoring the gods and sharing of bounty with family as well as friends. The feast and festivities were referred to as a luau and became traditional ways that the people of Hawaii celebrated these and other special occasions. In ancient Hawaii, aha aina or “gathering for a meal,” the word lu'au came into use much later on in local history and actually refers to young edible taro leaves. These leaves were and are sometime still today, used to wrap the food with in preparation to being placed in the imu (underground oven).
Prior the the abolishment of the ancient Hawaiian kapu (taboo) system in 1819, women and men were able to eat together or share the same food. Before 1819, women and men ate apart. Women were also forbidden to eat many foods some of which included pork, bananas as well as several species of fish. Now the luau is a treasured family and cultural custom celebrated all over the Hawaiian islands.
The Paradise Cove Luau continues this traditional celebration of life through sharing traditional foods, songs and dances of Hawaii and the friendship of many cultures found in the islands. And no luau is complete without an IMU.
Imu (underground oven)
Witness an authentic imu at Paradise Cove Luau. Contemporary Hawaiian luaus must have kalua pig as the main part of the menu. The term kalua refers to the process of cooking in an earth oven or imu. Traditionally, the pig was cooked in this pit and then presented to guests baskets made of coconut fronds or on banana leaves.
Throughout the world in ancient and modern times, underground ovens have been used to cook and steam food. Hawaiians used a pit oven or “imu” to cook entire pigs as well as many other foods like: breadfruit, bananas, sweet potatoes, taro, chicken, and fish. Today, you can find many Thanksgiving turkeys cooked in imus. The imu is basically steam cooker located underground. Since vast amounts of time and labor are required to prepare an imu, most of this type of cooking was carried out for large gatherings of special events, festivities, and religious ceremonies..
There are several ways to create an imu, and opinion vary the most on the depth of the pit. But, one thing is for sure, it will take a lot of work to dig a hole large enough to fit an entire pig. The sides should be sloping and go down any where from 2 to 5 feet deep by 2 wide and up to 5 feet long. The diameter and depth of the lua should match the amount of food that needs to be cooked. The hole need to be large enough to contain the food as well as the rocks and the vegetation. However, to conserve energy it is best to make the imu as compact as possible. Keep the extra dirt nearby as it will later be needed to cover the imu.
Hopefully while you were doing all the hard work digging you were lucky enough to have helpers gather kindling material. Place the kindling material in the bottom of the pit mostly in the center. Larger wood is placed around the kindling material. It is wisely suggested to not use wood that will impart an unpleasant taste to the food through the smoking process. Kiawe wood (mesquite, if you live in Arizona ) is most recommended and desired in Hawaii. Stones that aren't to heavy to carry are placed on the wood. Porous rocks retain heat better and are not as likely to break apart during the process. Stones containing moisture may explode when heated and, thus should be avoided. Now light the kindling wood, it should heat up the pit with the stones. As the wood burns down, the stones fall inward on the hot coals. Heating time can varies from 90 minutes up to 3 hours so the stones are at their maximum temperature. Then spread the hot rocks evenly along the floor of the imu—don't use your hands of course!
Fresh plant materials are needed to create the steam, which will do the cooking in the pit. Traditional plants used by Hawaiians were banana stumps, ti leaves, honohono grass, banana leaves, and coconut palm leaf . If none of the previous listed plants are available, try lettuce or corn husks soaked in water. Cover the heated stones with the green vegetation and then lay on the food which should be ready to go. For the whole pig to be cooked, the skin and the inside cavity need rubbed liberally with rock salt. Other foods may need to be prepped by wrapping them in leaves as previously stated. For the whole pig, a few hot stones should be placed inside. Traditionally old lauhala mats or worn tapa cloth were used for the final covering over the food, but now days soaked burlap bags are popular. The covering material should extend beyond the edge of the pit to keep out the dirt when the food is unearthed. Finally the loose dirt is shoveled over the entire imu to prevent steam from escaping.
Figuring out the time to cook the food depends on several factors: the heat of the imu, the thickness of the plant layers, the food—how big was that pig!. A large whole pig may take at least 5 to 8 hours. When the moment you have been waiting for finally arrives, remove the dirt from the top and carefully lift off the covering material as you don't want to get any dirt into the imu. Pull out the food you been looking forward to and may be to tired to eat. Enjoy the dinner with 50-100 of your friends an family that you invited, but waited to show up until all the hard work was over. Maybe they will do the clean up after enjoying the kalua pig with poi—after all a luau isn't a luau without poi.
Most visitors have never heard of poi until they attend the luau. And if they have seen poi they would be hard pressed to come up with a flattering comment. But, many locals of Hawaii say it's real ono or delicious as poi is a staple food in the islands.
Poi comes from taro, an ancient cultivated crop brought to Hawaii by some of the earliest voyaging settlers. Poi is made from the bulbous, potato-like underground corm of the taro plant. The taro bulb is cooked and mashed with water then aged or fermented. Just like cheese or a good wine, the length of fermentation determines the flavor. Fresh poi is called "sweet poi" and poi that has been allowed to ferment for days is called "sour poi." Consistency of poi is referred to by the number of fingers needed to dip and carry it to your mouth (one finger, two fingers, three fingers, etc.).
In ancient Hawaiian life, the bowl of poi was considered a sacred part of daily life, whenever a bowl of poi was uncovered during meals, it was believed that the spirit of Halon, the ancestor of the Hawaiian people, was present. Since Hawaiians believed that the taro plant, or kalo, was the original ancestor of the Hawaiian people. The term ohana refers to the offshoots of the taro plat, a source of life. Now ohana still refers to a social unit of family and extended relatives.
Paradise Cove luau is a great place to have poi for the first time or to try it again. It goes great with the kalua pig!
Traditional Hawaiian Games
Wonder what people did before video games? The Hawaiian made games that were made of available natural implements and demanded a high level of skill on the part of competitors. When you attend Paradise Cove Luau you will have an opportunity to take part in several traditional games.
Early island people devoted a vast amount of time to games, amusement and relaxing pastimes. Some involved great physical strength, stamina and filled with danger. Others were reserved for royalty, but most challenged those who participated. Some of the games available to guests at Paradise Cove are:
Ulu maika: Rolling stone disks. Ulu maika or olohu was a most popular sport in early Hawaii life. It consisted of rolling carefully crafted playing stones, somewhat resembling modern hockey pucks, on prepared courses. Players rolled the stones between stakes to test a their skills or down long courses to show strength. One of the best of the remaining 'ulu maika courses is located on the island of Molokai.
Moa pahee: Dart sliding. The player slides a moa, or wooden dart, between two stakes or for long distances much like the competition in 'ulu maika. The moa slides, rather than rolling like an 'ulu, and is much more hard to predetermine its course.
'O'o ihe: Spear throwing. 'O'o ihe, which was used in training young warriors in hand-to-hand spear fighting and also helped develop skills for food gathering. A target was set up and contestants stand about 15 feet away. The object was to stick a lightweight wooden spear into the target. Most people found it frustrating and very difficult. Kamehameha I was considered to be the most skillful chief in historic times in the use of the spear and likely learned many of his skill from this game.
MAKE A LEI
While checking out Paradise Cove's Hawaiian village spend time with local experts and sample the favorite arts and crafts of the islands. One of everyones' favorites is lei making.
Guests can visit with lei makers and be part of Hawaii's history for famed necklaces of flowers that are now world wide symbols of beauty and friendship. Leis are given with the love and respect that goes into making them.
The custom of giving and wearing leis came to Hawaii ages ago by ancestors from Tahiti. Leis were also considered symbols of homage and reverence and placed on sacred artifices. This custom continues on today as leis are hung on statues and various other sacred location in the islands. Check out the statues of Father Damien and Queen Liliuokalani in Honolulu which are often adorned with leis. The statue of famous island waterman Duke Kahanamoku on Waikiki Beach—likely near your hotel—is given leis daily while the statue of Kamehemeha I across from Iolani Palace is draped from head to toe with leis often 20 to 40 feet long in celebration of his birthday.
Currently leis are not only made from flowers. They can be found of fern, seeds, leaves, pods, shells, nuts and berries as well as candy and even money. If you were lucky you were greeted with a lei at the airport when you arrived in Hawaii, if not at Paradise Cove they will show you how special you are when you arrived with a lei greeting from a full attired dancer. With lei, the fragrance and form may fade, but the spirit it was given with lives forever.
Ancient Polynesian tattooing was the most artistic tattooing of the ancient world. Characterized by elaborate geometrical designs that were added to or embellished throughout the life of the owner, tattoos or body decorations were natural to the life and art of islanders throughout the South Pacific.
As a guest at Paradise Cove can get an authentic Polynesian tattoo from local artists prior to the nightly luau and show. No worries, it's only temporary. The tattoo designs are inspired by old illustrations, woodcarvings and Polynesia crafts. As a popular stop in the Paradise Cove Hawaiian Village, the tattoo hut combines individual island aspects with the history from long ago. Tattoos seem to be the only original form of Polynesian art adopted and imitated by haoles.
Ko Olina and the History of Paradise Cove
Paradise Cove is located at Ko Olina or “Place of Joy”, is an historic site on the leeward coast of Oahu. It is located where Oahu's Ewa and Waianae areas meet. During the 1940s, Alice Kamokila Campbell, an heir to the great plantations developed by James Campbell, leased acreage of this beach-front land. The beach area, named "Lanikauka'a," included a thatched Hawaiian house and three "sacred pools" where Queen Ka'ahumanu, the favorite wife of Kamehameha I, was supposed to have bathed and performed certain religious rites. Campbell but a grand estate and called it Lanikuhonua or “Where heaven meets the earth.” It is likely that this area and sacred pools, is referred to in Hawaiian history as Ko Olina, a lovely spot near the boundary of Ewa and Waianae.
During World War II, the area adjacent Paradise Cove was used as a recreation center by Army and Navy servicemen and nick named “Camp Bell.”
The shoreline at the beaches at Ko Olina is a long shelf made mostly of lava rock and coral reef. The large saltwater pool at Paradise Cove, claimed as one of the sacred pools of Ka'ahumanu, is situated at the ocean's edge and has a pristine sandy beach. The pool is protected from the ocean by natural walls of reef over which the waves flow to fill and refresh the lagoon. Paradise Cove is known among locals as good moi (fish) area and works as a great location for the nightly Paradise Cove hukilau that all guests are invited to join in on.
Paradise Cove is the one place in Hawaii you don't want to miss! And when you book it through Honu Hawaii Activities luau tickets are discounted for everyone. Book more than one activity and receive deeper discounts!