Hawaiian Luau in The Lounge (July 19, 2023)

Aloha and mahalo! Last Wednesday we hosted our first event with Courtyard by Marriott, Hawaiian Luau in The Lounge. The event served as one of the most unique and exciting productions we’ve been involved with this year, all taking place within the beautiful environs of the Courtyard.

The idea was born in early June when Courtyard approached us with an enticing proposition. They revealed that special guest Chef Gabe Balenzuela from the Sheraton Kauai would be visiting their Nagoya hotel for a single night, and they wanted to curate an authentic Hawaiian-themed event to showcase some of the cuisine that he prepares. As a frequent visitor to Honolulu for work, I have a deep appreciation for Hawaiian culture, aesthetics, and – of course – their vibrant parties! Instantly, the concept of a luau, a traditional Hawaiian festivity brimming with delicious food, captivating entertainment, and lively music, came to mind.

Leading the culinary journey was Chef Gabe, who artfully created eight classic luau dishes, such as loco moco rice bowls, kalua pork sliders, fish tacos, huli huli chicken, kalbi ribs, poi mochi, haupia, and malasadas. This flavorful array was an undeniable highlight of the event, earning rave reviews from attendees, many of whom I heard say, “this food is incredible!”

No luau would be complete without the enchanting sway of hula dancers. The Tokyo-based hula group Halua Na Lei o Ka Ipo Laua’e lent their expertise, starting off with a spectacular performance. As the evening progressed, attendees had the opportunity to learn some hula moves themselves through a short tutorial that had everyone dancing and feeling the Hawaiian spirit.

As the sun set, the event transitioned to its final act – an ‘island jams’-inspired set by DJ K1. Known for his considerable talent and experience playing in premier nightclubs from Japan to Europe, notably Ibiza, Spain, DJ K1 deftly carried the tropical vibes into the night.

Luau in The Lounge was an extraordinary event that brought a fresh and invigorating vibe compared to our recent endeavors, a sentiment echoed by many attendees. I’d like say thank you to Courtyard and Sheraton Kauai for the opportunity, Chef Gabe, Halua Na Lei o Ka Ipo Laua’e, DJ K1, and all the dedicated staff involved in the production. Lastly, a heartfelt mahalo to all those who attended and helped create such a memorable night!


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