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Travel Blog #170 - Fire, Food and Fun at the Hyatt Luau
Luau’s are one of the most popular kinds of vacation activities here in the Hawaiian islands. What many visitors do not realize when they make their luau reservations is that there is actually a wide variety of different luau’s that are available. Some are larger, some are smaller, some are traditionally Hawaiian and some have more of a Polynesian theme. Today we went to one of the larger luaus on Maui. It is held at the Hyatt Regency hotel in Kaanapali and is what would be classified as a “Polynesian Luau”.
A “Polynesian Luau” is quite a bit different then a “Traditionally Hawaiian Luau” in many ways. The “Polynesian Luau” has entertainment and food that originates not only from Hawaii but also from other areas of the Pacific Rim. In addition to the traditionally Hawaiian dances like the “Hula” you will also see other acts from Tahiti, Tonga, Samoa, New Zealand and more. We arrived to the Luau a few minutes early, we were greeted by the luau manager and shown to our seats.
Once we were seated we put our equipment bags down and wandered around the luau grounds to see what was going on. The luau grounds of the Hyatt Kaanapali are located right along the ocean and when we were walking around the views of the other islands across the channel were visible out in the distance. Dancers in full costume were roaming around the luau grounds and many of the visitors were taking advantage of the photo opportunities by getting shots of them selves posing next to the dancers. We had plenty of time to wander over to the bar to got a drink before the MC came on stage and asked everyone to return to their seats for the start of the show.
The MC gave a short monologue before he declared that the luau buffet was ready. To avoid a stampede towards the food the crowd was called over to the buffet one table at a time. When our table was called I immediately finished my drink so I would have both hands free to make my plate. I made my way down the buffet line slowly, carefully piling items from almost every dish onto my plate until I eventually had a massive pile covering the entire surface of plate (which was about the size of a small cafeteria trey!).
Once I was done with the buffet I stopped by the bar to grab another drink and then I made my way back to my seat to feast. Being well practiced in eating enormous luau plates I did my best to eat with a slow pace so I could keep going for as long as possible. I will admit that there were a few items left on my plate when I was done, but I was able to eat the majority of the mountain of food that I had piled onto my plate. Feeling relaxed from the huge meal I had just consumed I proceeded to refill my drink and lean back into a more relaxed position to watch the show.
The show had a large cast and the colorful costumes were very beautiful. The synchronized movements of the dances seemed to put many of the visitors into a hypnotic like trance. My favorite act was the fire dancers who came on towards the end of the show. His skills at twirling his flaming baton were quite impressive and when he was done much of the crowd rose to their feet to give him a full standing ovation. I thought that the ovation might have been in part due to the sequencing of the acts but after the show when the cast came back out for more photo opportunities it was apparent who the crowd favorite was. There was a long line of people waiting to take pictures with the fire dancers.
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