There’s nothing like an authentic luau to introduce you to the Hawaiian Islands’ rich culture.
Our evening at the Kona Village Resort on Hawaii’s Big Island began with a tour of the resort’s grounds. As our golf cart rounded the first bend, it was easy to see why vacationers fall in love with this place on their first visit, vowing to return time and again. Black lava cliffs and sandy beaches give way to a protected bay full of beautiful fish. Once the site of a Hawaiian fishing village, the property is rustically splendid, characterized by thatched-roof hale (pronounced ha-lay – Polynesian inspired bungalows) on 82 Big Island acres.
There are no televisions, radios, telephones, or air-conditioners here. Meals are included in your stay, as well as snorkeling, tennis, the use of a fitness facility, lei-making, stargazing, and fishing the traditional way… with bamboo poles. If you’re in the mood for something a bit more adventurous, additional activities – SCUBA diving, sailing, windsurfing, and stand up paddleboards – are all excellent options.
The luau is also included, and as we watched traditionally prepared foods emerge from the imu (Hawaiian earthen oven), the spiced, mouth-watering aroma of the kalua pig drifted towards us. Lomi lomi salmon, poi, and other dishes like fresh island fish, chicken, salad, tuna sashimi, and tropical fruits were also part of the buffet spread.
After our first complimentary Mai Tai, the food filled us up, just enough room for one more drink. And then the show started… tales of past adventures, song, dance, and fire filled the night and we sat back and took it all in. I think we were still smiling the next morning, after dreaming of fantastical days and magical nights. Kona Village’s luau is one cultural event you won’t want to miss.