Attending various luaus prior to this one, I had already set my expectations a little too high. *sigh*
Located in Hilton Hawaiian Village’s parking structure rooftop. There are various ways to get here.
1 – up two (2) sets of long escalators; they are hidden in the middle of the Rainbow Bazaar. Something to look out for if you get lost walking on property is the Crazy Shirts store. It’s just across.
2 – if you’re coming off property / driving, take the older set of elevators in the parking structure to the sixth (6th) floor. It will first take you to the Coral ballrooms, and from there take the escalator, it’ll bring you to the check-in area. They do validate, just ask after they’ve taken you to your table.
3 – is through the Grand Waikikian, but I’m not certain.
There’s two different seatings: General (shell lei greeting, standard table seating; buffet featuring Hawaiian and island dishes) and Golden Circle Premier (fresh orchid lei greeting; premier seating, closest to the stage; first to buffet).
Tickets can either be picked up day of or pre-given, from what I saw. It with two beverage tickets.
After receiving leis (shell and orchid) we took a group photo and were escorted to our table and basically stayed at our table majority of the time. Information I was given stated that there would be interactive activities and games… The only station I saw was the tattoo station behind the stage.
There was a worker coming around with a cart full of mai tais (alcoholic and virgin).
The night went by quickly, I’m already forgetting… ha ha.
As promised, we were one of the first tables to be released to the buffet line. There are two on either side of the area. Food selection was actually disappointing. No white rice first of all. The kalua pig / pulled pork was cold. The butter was kept in melting ice and already melted as I attempted to open the package. Aside from the pig, the other meat selections were the better choices as well as the sweet potatoes.
Taking photos: If you want to take group shots and/or selfies, do it before the sun goes down, it ain’t called the Starlight Luau for nothing. Main lights throughout the luau are the stage and buffet stations. Other than that, hope the stars are bright out the night you go.
Enjoyed the entertainment, even though some of the dancers I recognized from other luaus I’ve been to. Lol. I don’t know if that’s a good or bad thing to know. There’s photo opportunities after with the dancers if you like.
After tonight, I wouldn’t recommend this so called “luau” to anyone. If this happens to be your first and the outcome was a disappointment, give it a second try at a different location! This is more like a party with distant relatives you didn’t even know you were related too and just know the people at your table.
For a better experience, activities and games AND FOOD, look for luaus outside of Waikiki. Food as in Hawaiian / local dishes. Guests if you are visiting the island and simply dislike our food just because it’s not like the food you have back home; that’s not our problem, you should’ve been aware that you are no longer “back home” and chose to visit to experience what the island has to offer.