These testimonials are from actual visitors who where kind enough to share their feelings and experiences at Paradise Cove.
Aloha! A local salutation shared with all guest that enter the secluded beach cove nestled in Ko Olina. We arrived at the tropical luau destination just before 4:45p.m. As it proved to be excellent timing we checked ourselves in and were treated to a complimentary Paradise Punch while we waited. Promptly at 5:00p.m. we were beckoned in by all of the service host down a guided path. Surrounded by lily ponds and lush tropical plants. All of the service hosts were friendly and referred to each guest as “Cousin”. Many of the malihini (Hawaiian for out of town guest) are welcomed as extended family of each host. As we journeyed onward we were treated with a cool tropical Paradise Cove Mai Tai (Non-alcoholic available). Shortly after our group was joined by two production dancers for a unique and memorable photo opportunity.
As we entered the cove we looked for our table. The hosts were all very personable in assisting us as all the tables were assigned seating. We were booked for the Orchid Luau Buffet, and our seating was center stage. As we got settled at the table we went on to explore the secrets of the cove. There were several activities going on around us so we decided to check them all out. The canoe ride is a must for any out of town guest. A short ride around the lagoon, the waters are calm as a break wall prevents the waves from flipping you over. The Hawaiian skill games were also fun and just for participating we each received a shell lei. The tattooing was next as young talented kama’aina’s (Hawaiian for locals) draw beautiful water art on our arms. The Aunties making lei we also busy weaving beautiful ankle bracelets and head lei for each guest. Each of these activities are complementary for guest. Although tipping is not required or expected it’s a great way to show your appreciate for their talents.
The sounding of the Pu or Hawaiian Conch shell signifies the beginning of evening. Guest gather under a tree for a short Hula lesson and how to wrap a Padeo. When finished the Pu sounded again calling the guests over to the Imu (Hawaiian underground oven). A brisk tree climbing exhibition by Cousin Keoki to the top of the palm tree was a sight to see. Once at the top he released Plumeria out of his sack in a Paradise Cove “Flower Shower” to the guest below. A staging arena fronting the imu allow guest to await the arrival of the royal court and the unveiling of the Kalua Pua’a (Hawaiian for Smoked Pig) for underground oven. Shortly after some dancing and music the Pu sounded again as all the guest made their way to the cove.
A quick demonstration of a Hukilau (Hawaiian reeling in of the fish) was shown by the staff and special guests as to participate. As we watched them pull the nets in, the sun slipped into the ocean. We were even lucky to catch a Humpback whale splashing in the waters as the sun faded away.
After a couple of housekeeping announcements (location of the bathrooms, scheduled events, etc…) A respectful Pule (Hawaiian prayer) was given and the buffet lines opened. I noticed the Orchid package groups were invited first followed by the Standard packages. There were six buffet lines ready to serve all of us. The Deluxe package guest were treated to table side service.
The buffet offered many great food selections fresh salad, macaroni salad, lomi lomi salmon and island favorite Poi. The main courses were Island Fried Chicken, Kalua Pig and Mahi Mahi accompanied by rice were all very well presented. The dessert table (my personal favorite) offered, fresh pineapple, Haupia (Coconut) and Banana Coconut Cake. Fortunate to have the company of my husband as a Hawaiian food expert all of the dishes sampled were to his standards. The Kalua Pig was not too salty and the lomi salmon and poi “Hit the spot!” in his very own words.
During dinner we were entertained with a interactive hula show with guest on stage sharing their talents. The production staff did a great job of teaching and educated the guest of different styles of dance from traditional hula to the spice of Polynesian.
Short intermission was given for guest to walk about to use the restrooms and get ready for the main show. We found the gift shops near the bar filled with island keepsakes and the photos we took when we entered were ready for pickup. The group photo of us turned out great and we purchased it for $15 (per copy) as our romantic memory. Returning to our seats the main program began under a clear Hawaiian night. The stars over head made for a romantic evening for newlyweds, anniversary couples and birthdays. The staff hosted a great show and even tried to get my husband on stage to shake his coconuts to the rhythm of the drums. A quiet moment during the Hawaiian wedding song was inviting as couples young and old danced in the sand under the stars. Followed by a fierce fire dance by local talent, Kahikili, as he played with fire stopping the hearts of all the guests.
At the conclusion of the evening all of the guests made their way out to the buses and cars parked out front. There was more excitement to our evening but some things are better left unsaid for you to experience on your own. We found romance, culture and a feast fit for Ali’i at Paradise Cove. Everyone left the cove having a great time thanks to the excellent job of the staff. From the lei greeters, activity staff and production dancers everyone is one big Ohana.
- Lei Making with the Aunties.
- Canoe Rides for two in the secluded beach cove.
- Hawaiian Skill Games: Rock Rolling or Bowling Disk (‘Ulu Maika) and Wooden Dart Sliding (Moa Pahe’e)
- Hawaiian Spear Throwing (O’o ihe).
- Polynesian Tattooing.
- Photos with tropical parrots.
- Come early if you are driving so you beat the bus groups.
- Buy the Orchid package.
- Ride the Canoes / Polynesian Tattoos for everyone. (Don’t worry parents it comes off).
- Take the Hula lessons and if asked GO ON STAGE. Everyone will love you!
- Bring single dollar bills for gratuity. (Activities, Cocktail Hosts and other appreciated services).
- Drink Responsibly and enjoy the show under the stars.
May 25, 2013
Highly recommend this luau. Our family group of 13 consisted of people from 70 yrs old down to 3 yrs old. We all had a great time. Food was excellent and lots of it. Entertainment was top-notch. Couldn’t get the grown-ups to volunteer but our 3 year old got on stage and did the hula!
Phyllis Maietta May 21, 2015
I’d like to take a moment to thank you for a wonderful evening filled with great food, activities, and entertainment. You proved that reviews truly are in the eyes of the beholder. If I had depended solely on what I read on a travel blog, I would’ve missed out on one of the most exciting experiences ever.
Wilma Esparza June 23, 2015