The Royal Hawaiian to debut new ‘Aha ‘Āina Lū‘au

by James Wilkinson

The highly acclaimed ‘Aha ‘Āina Lū‘au, known for its accurate, authentic depiction of Hawai‘i’s history and royalty, is being revamped and is set to debut an all-new look at the majestic The Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort in June.

The first show is scheduled for Saturday, June 6 at the hotel’s Coconut Grove, on sacred land which was once the summer home of Queen Ka‘ahumanu, King Kamehameha the Great’s favorite wife.

“As stewards of this important parcel of land, it gives us great honor and privilege to share the history and culture of Hawai‘i with our visitors,” said The Royal Hawaiian General Manager Tomo Kuriyama. “The reinvigorated ‘Aha ‘Āina Lū‘au is the perfect showcase for The Royal Hawaiian’s past, present and future.”

In Old Hawai‘i, the Hawaiian people would gather to celebrate momentous occasions; these gatherings were called ‘Aha ‘Āina, which means to gather for a meal. The lū‘au experience begins with a variety of interactive cultural activities presented by Tihati Productions, the premier entertainment company in the islands. Some of the activities include tapa/kapa (barkcloth) making, lauhala mat weaving, as well as poi pounding.

And just like in ancient times, the celebration was centered around the feast. Royal Hawaiian Executive Chef Colin Hazama and his extraordinary team of culinarians are introducing a lavish, plantation-inspired menu for the new ‘Aha ‘Āina Lū‘au.

Each item was thoughtfully created to reflect their roots from the fields, land and sea around the islands. Among some of the selections are pipikaula tomato salad using Ho Farms’ tomatoes, Okinawan sweet potato salad, ahi poke, Ali‘i mushroom and tomato poke, and fresh poi and lomi lomi salmon.

From the land, there is vegan yellow curry, vegetable fried rice, huli huli (barbecue) chicken, kalbi-style flank steak, steamed fresh catch from Pier 38 and an action station featuring house-cured and smoked kalua pork.

Desserts reflect their roots in the sweet cane fields of old Hawaii such as chocolate caramel macadamia tart, pineapple upside down cake and several items featuring items from the Royal Hawaiian Bakery such as Tutu’s Coco-Bread and Royal Bakery Sweet Bread Pudding.

After the feast, the show takes centerstage, where guests are taken on a journey through time starting with the birth of Waikīkī and Helumoa, the legendary playground of Hawaiian royalty where the resort now stands.

The show introduces key members of the Kamehameha Dynasty, the history of the storied Pink Palace of the Pacific and its important role in making Waikīkī a dream destination, as well as other show-stopping numbers like a pulsating Tahitian dance, colorful hula, an ukulele virtuoso and an exhilarating Samoan fireknife dance.

The new version of the show will be held three times a week on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays, with updated pricing starting at just $75 for the show only.


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