The buffet was organized pretty well as they would invite portions of the tables at a time. The food was good, but average in general. You don’t really come to a lu’au expecting gourmet food. I think my favourite lu’au food has been Old Lahaina Lu’au in Maui. Perhaps in a bid to control portions, each plate has their own little sections – but it didn’t really stop people from loading up (which is something you should do when going to large buffets, in my opinion).
What I really enjoyed was the entertainment portion of the evening – and I think my entire family would agree. There wasn’t too much of a history lesson like other lu’aus but it was more focused on the entertainment aspect. They had a good pace of having slower hulas and performances and then kicking it up a notch with the fire dancers. I really enjoyed the performances go from female to male – with men not doing just Hakka and fire dancing but also hula as well, they were all very talented. The traditional dances spread from the islands of the Hawaii, Tonga and even to New Zealand.
Before the fire dance, they turned on the lights and asked if anyone was newlywed or celebrating a wedding anniversary. There were many people who went up on stage – including my sister Nathalie and her husband Josh who are newly weds! And what was admirable was that they took a moment with every couple to congratulate them and get to know how long they’ve been together. I was also impressed with how they handled a couple that had the woman in a wheelchair – a couple of the fire dancers came over and lifted her wheelchair onto the stage.
They also invited some of the guests to participate in challenges on stage and we all had a good laugh. The chief emcee was fantastic and hilarious the entire time, we were all very entertained by his quipping and jokes throughout the entire evening.
Of course they closed off the lu’au with the fire dancing which was phenomenal. I was amazed and also kind of scared for the dancers – as there were so many of them on stage! But they are super professional and fantastic and it’s just so difficult to describe, its something you’ll have to see for yourself.
After the lu’au was over, the performers were chatting with some people in the crowd and taking photos.
Overall, I had a wonderful time at Chief’s Luau and my family had a good experience. The entertainment alone is worth the visit, but the view is also fantastic as well.
The only thing that put a damper on this experience was a problem with payment – when we came they said that one of the tickets was cancelled and it was never cancelled on my end, but she insisted it was and so I ended up paying once again. When we arrived home, we were charged twice still and going between the administration at Chief’s Luau was frustrating because they were saying that there was a cancellation but there was none. They weren’t very pleasant dealing with this problem and we ended up having to call our credit card to reverse the charges twice as the administration didn’t want to deal with us anymore.
Would I come back to Chief’s Lu’au? I’m going to say no, it’s not just the way they handled their customer service – it’s just that I feel that once you’ve done a lu’au, you check it off your list of things to do in Hawaii and that’s about it. Would I recommend it to people? I’d say I did have a good time entertainment wise but wished I had a better experience with their customer service.