Kilohanan Shopping And Luau

Kilohana Plantation: Shop Dine & Tour Kauai’s Sugar Era

Kilohana Train Ride and Kalamaku Luau

It is hard not to feel as if you have stepped back in time and a feeling of how life was lived during Hawaii’s Plantation Era. The well manicured grounds of Kilohana’s 1930’s Managers Estate sits in the middle of what used to be a 27,000-acre sugar plantation and at one time the center of Kauai business, culture and social life. From the moment you enter the foyer of the 16,000 square foot estate you will be treated to an elegant sampling of antique furnishings, decor, food, shopping, history and charm. Relax and take in the views of Kilohana mountain while dining at Gaylord’s Restaurant, a favorite spot for Sunday brunch, is settled at the edge of the courtyard of Kilohana’s Plantation Estate. For a sophisticated night out on the town the new Mahiko Lounge located in the elegant living room of the Kilohana mansion offers signature drinks, live music and a fun venue for dining and shopping.

You can easily spend a few hours on the grounds exploring the unique and beautiful shops on the ground level and second story. Check out the newest additions to the mansion, Cane Field Clothing and Gallery and Cher McMacken Art, together they occupy what used to be the master bedroom, sun-room and study.This beautifully designed boutique offers a great selection of women’s clothing, locally designed jewelry, novelty gifts, vintage Hawaiian memorabilia and a local artist corner.  Other shops include Grande’s Gems & Gallery, Sea Reflections, The Artisans Room and Men’s Hardware. Kauai Plantation Railway, Clayworks at Kilohana, The Beauty Shop and Koloa Rum can be found in separate plantation cottages located on the grounds.

Cane Field Clothing, Cher McMAcken Art, The Beauty Shop

What better way to explore the grounds of a Historic Sugar Plantation than by vintage train. The excitement in the eyes and voices of my six and nine year old escalated as we boarded the beautiful mahogany coaches being pulled by a 1939 Whitcomb diesel locomotive. The sound of the train whistle and the wheels clanking on steel tracks added the perfect amount of nostalgia as we set off to explore Kilohana’s 105 acre grounds. Exotic fruit orchards, vegetable and herb gardens along the tour supply a large portion of the fresh daily produce for Gaylord’s restaurant. At the half way mark of the tour we disembarked the train to feed the farm animals. It was hard to distinguish between the squeals of smiling children and very excited pigs.

As we pulled back into the station the sounds of the conch shell signaled the start of the Imu Ceremony, the unearthing of the roasting pig and the beginning of the theatrical  Luau Kalamaku. The center stage was a non stop melange of color, light and a brilliant production, executed by an extremely talented cast of local dancers, performers and musicians, delivering the story of Kalamaku. The fire knife dancing and flaming poi ball twirlers kept the audience lively and on the edge of their seats throughout the night. The combination of great shopping, friendly staff, great entertainment, ono (delicious) food, desserts and an overall feeling of Aloha, makes this a definite must-do Hawaiian experience on Kauai- even for local Kama’aina!