One of the first things visitors to the islands think of is a good luau when it comes to Hawaii. After all, luaus are heavily featured in movies and TV shows filmed in Hawaii. From “The Brady Bunch” to “Forgetting Sarah Marshall,” luaus are heavily associated with Hawaii and the Hawaii experience.
The 10 Best Luaus in Hawaii
A luau, properly written as lū`au, is a social gathering from Polynesian and ancient Hawaiian culture, meant to gather the community to celebrate any important achievements.
In old Hawaii, only ali`i, or chief, could partake in many of the foods offered at the luau, including pork, bananas, and moi, a fish known as “the fish of kings.” Additionally, women and men were segregated when it was time to eat.
Though there were many rules for luaus in the past, thankfully, anyone can enjoy this memorable experience in modern times! Let’s dive deep and see what each island provides for a fantastic luau experience.
The Best Big Island Luaus
Hawaii, also known as The Big Island, is the largest island. It is also the youngest. Hawaii island is perhaps, most well-known for its volcanoes that are always making the news. Mauna Loa is partially active, while Kīlauea is active and part of the Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park.
Of course, there’s more to the island than just volcanoes. There are many places of interest across the island, from Akaka Falls or Ka Lae, the southernmost point in the United States. But what about luaus? Well, of course—this is the Hawaii island we’re talking about, after all.
Legends of Hawai`i Lūʻau
Hilton Waikoloa Village | 69-425 Waikoloa Beach Drive, Waikoloa Village, HI 96738 | (808) 886-1234
- When: Sunday, Tuesday, and Friday night
- Where: 69-425 Waikoloa Beach Drive, Waikoloa Village
- Family Friendly: Yes
The Legends of Hawaii Luau at the Hilton Waikoloa Village is one of the Big Island’s top-rated luaus. This outdoor luau begins with lessons in the Hawaiian language and hula.
Then it moves on to a torch run that showcases the men of Tihati lighting the torches of the Kamehameha Court. You’ll receive a beautiful Hawaiian lei and be able to enjoy unlimited cocktails and non-alcoholic drinks from their open bar.
Before sunset, there will be a Hawaiian blessing that opens up a traditional Hawaiian feast. Finally, you get to experience the Legends of Hawaii, a journey filled with song, dance, and a mind-blowing fire knife dance!
Voyagers of the Pacific at the Royal Kona Resort
Royal Kona Resort | 75-5852 Alii Drive, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740 | (877) 631-9793
- When: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday from 5:00 pm
- Where: Royal Kona Resort
- Family Friendly: Yes, they advertise their luau as being family-oriented and kid-friendly.
Voyagers of the Pacific, located at the Royal Kona Resort, is set in front of gorgeous Kailua Bay. This interactive show celebrates Hawaiian history and tells the story of the South Pacific through song and dance, all leading up to the Samoan fire knife ritual.
You’ll learn about the rich history of Polynesia at this oceanfront luau while you treat yourself to an all-you-can-eat buffet. Like Hawaii, which is a melting pot of cultures, the food on the menu features traditional Hawaii and Asian dishes.
Read Next: Where to Stay on the Big Island
The Best Oahu Luaus
O`ahu, called “The Gathering Place,” is home to Hawaii’s state capital, Honolulu. Numerous important historical events have taken place on this island; however, it is perhaps most known for its shopping in the present day.
After all, it is home to Ala Moana Shopping Center, the largest open-air shopping center in the world. It isn’t just shopping that you can find here; there are many life-changing cultural experiences to enjoy on Oahu, including fabulous luaus.
Paradise Cove Luau
Ko Olina Resort | 92-1089 Aliinui Drive, Kapolei, HI 96707 | (808) 842-5911
- When: Sunday through Saturday from 5:00 pm
- Where: 92-1089 Aliinui Drive, Kapolei
- Family Friendly: Yes; children three and under are free if they do not occupy a seat.
The Paradise Cove Luau is one of the most luxurious luaus you can treat yourself to on Oahu. Incredibly immersive, your luau experience starts with a Mai Tai greeting and a casual walk through a Hawaiian village so that you can learn arts & crafts and play games.
Then, you’ll proceed on to the shower of flowers, which is precisely as delightful as it sounds. You’ll even get to witness a traditional imu ceremony in which you’ll learn about ancient rituals from old Hawaii as you see how your dinner is being prepared.
Voted Hawaii’s best luau in the Honolulu Star Advertiser from 2014 to 2019, you won’t be disappointed if you splurge and treat yourself to this epic experience. Bear in mind that seating is contingent on the package you purchase.
Polynesian Cultural Center Luau
Polynesian Cultural Center | 55-370 Kamehameha Highway, Laie, HI 96762 | (800) 367-7060
- When: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday from 12:45 pm
- Where: Polynesian Cultural Center
- Family Friendly: Yes; children under the age of three are free.
The Polynesian Cultural Center is a “must-visit” for guests visiting Hawaii for the first time. This anecdote is doubly true of their award-winning luau buffet. There are four different packages to choose from, with some being so popular that they sell out for weeks at a time.
The luau experience includes a Royal Court procession, traditional food, and live entertainment with lush gardens as the backdrop. The evening show “Hā: Breath of Life” is truly breathtaking.
Over 100 Polynesian natives perform to tell the story of Mana and his beloved Lani. The performance, combined with special effects and surround sound, will take your breath away.
The Best Maui Luaus
Known as “The Valley Isle” for its lush, green valleys, Maui is the second-largest island in the state of Hawaii. Condé Nast Traveler readers voted Maui “Best Island in the U.S.” for over 20 years.
That’s no surprise, given its world-famous beaches where you can spot humpback whales breaching during the winter. Maui is also well known for its farm-to-table cuisine and its luaus, including the Old Lahaina Luau, which attracts visitors worldwide.
Old Lāhainā Lūʻau
1251 Front Street, Lahaina, HI 96761 | (808) 667-1998
- When: Sunday through Saturday (Schedule may vary)
- Where: 1251 Front Street, Lahaina
- Family Friendly: Yes; infants are free if they do not occupy a seat.
The Old Lahaina Luau is arguably one of Maui’s most famous luaus, attracting visitors globally—and there’s a reason it’s so popular. Each guest receives a fresh flower lei before being escorted to their reserved seats, and, of course, don’t miss out on their fabulous open bar!
Additionally, their bar even has locally made Maui Brewing Company’s bikini blonde lager! As for dinner, a five-course pre-set meal consisting of everything from fresh pineapple to mango-glazed BBQ chicken will be served at your table by hosts.
Not long after, entertainment starts as the sun sets, and you’ll enjoy an award-winning production that showcases the evolution of hula. Old Lahaina Luau is award-winning and has received rave reviews from all over the country.
Praised by Fodor’s Maui and Lanai as “the best Lu’au you’ll find in Maui” and The New York Times – Travel praising the food as “authentic Hawaiian, and delicious.
Drums of the Pacific Luau
Hyatt Regency Maui | 200 Nohea Kai Drive, Lahaina, HI 96761 | (808) 667-4727
- When: Daily from 5:15 pm
- Where: Hyatt Regency Maui
- Family Friendly: Yes, and children up to age three are free!
Drums of the Pacific is easily one of Maui’s most popular luaus. Winner of multiple luau awards, Drums of the Pacific is an interactive “must-see,” particularly if you’re a guest at the Hyatt—you’re already there after all.
This particular luau takes you on a journey through Polynesia, and includes a traditional imu (earth oven) ceremony! Whether you book standard or VIP seating, you’ll be able to enjoy a first-class plated dinner that includes ahi poke, oven-roasted mahi mahi, and even a fresh Maui Gold pineapple.
The difference between standard and VIP is that VIPs are seated closest to the stage and get the first stab at dinner. If you’re worried about what your keiki (child) will eat, they also offer chicken nuggets and mac and cheese for the kids.
Feast at Lele
Shops at 505 | 505 Front Street, Lahaina, Maui, HI 96761 | (808) 667-5353
- When: Daily, starting at sunset
- Where: 505 Front Street, Lahaina
- Family Friendly: Yes, and children under the age of two are free as long as they lap sit.
The Feast at Lele is brought to you by the creators of the Old Lahaina Luau. “Lele” is the ancient name for Lahaina, where the luau occurs. As you dine on a five-course meal, set among a panoramic view of West Maui and its breathtaking sunset, you’ll watch performances that take you across Polynesia.
Enjoy dances from Aotearoa, Tahiti, Samoa, and Hawaii, where you’ll learn about the cultures through the art of dance. The Feast at Lele features an open bar like the Old Lahaina Luau. Don’t forget to order one of their most popular drinks—the Mai Tai.
Read Next: Where to Stay on Maui
The Best Kauai Luaus
Anglicized as Kauai, Kaua`i is known as “The Garden Island.” This lush island offers many sights, from the breathtaking Na Pali Coast State Park to the Kauai Plantation Railway.
The latter is a recreation of an old Hawaiian Sugar Cane Plantation Railway reminiscent of Hawaii’s sugar plantation past. So, it goes without saying that they also have quite a few showstopping luaus for you to see!
Sheraton Kauai | 2440 Hoonani Road, Koloa, HI 96756 | (808) 634-1499
- When: Thursdays, Saturdays, and Mondays (seasonal) from 5:30 pm until the drinks stop flowing
- Where: Sheraton Kauai
- Family Friendly: Yes, and children up to age three are free!
The `Auli`i Lū`au is family-owned and operated by native Hawaiians. The choreographer and director, Mi Nei Oliver-Martins, and her family are local and work hard to share an authentic Hawaiian experience with guests of their luau.
The pupus (appetizers) are contingent on what kind of seating you book (premier or standard); however, you’re sure to love the food no matter which you choose!
Their traditional entrees are “broke da mouth” (delicious), and you can’t miss eating local-style huli huli moa (rotisserie chicken). Aside from their epic menu, `Auli`i is the only luau on Kauai that is beachfront!
Grand Hyatt Kauai Luau
Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa | 1571 Poipu Road, Koloa, HI 96756 | (808) 240-6456
- When: Wednesday and Saturday from 5:30 pm
- Where: Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa
- Family Friendly: Yes, and children up to age 5 are free!
Grand Hyatt’s luau includes a buffet dinner, open bar, and, of course, entertainment. The luau is interactive, so you should expect to participate, lest you be surprised.
Read Next: Where to Stay on Kauai
The Best Lanai Luaus
Properly written as Lana`i, Lanai is the smallest island in Maui County. Billionaire Larry Ellison owns 98% of the island, with the remaining 2% of homes being privately owned.
Lanai City is the only settlement on the island, so that’s where you’ll find your authentic luau on the beautiful “Pineapple Isle.” There is only one luau available on Lanai; however, it is at the prestigious Four Seasons Resort Lanai at Manele Bay and is worth considering!
Luau at Four Seasons Resort Lanai at Manele Bay
Four Seasons Resort Lanai at Manele Bay | 1 Manele Drive, Lanai City, HI 96763 | (808) 565-2000
- When: By private booking only
- Where: Four Seasons Resort Lanai at Manele Bay
- Family Friendly: Yes. Because this luau operates based on private booking, you can tailor it to your needs.
The Four Seasons at Manele Bay is breathtakingly beautiful—this is doubly true for their luau garden. The caveat is that unlike other luaus in Hawaii, the luau at the Four Seasons Resort Lanai is done only by private booking.
Surrounded by tropical plants, their open-air private luau can accommodate up to 800pax. Their menu offers a selection of vegan, gluten-free, nut-free, and dairy-free options—there’s truly something for everyone!
So, What’s the Best Luau in Hawaii?
Although there are eight main islands—the Big Island, Maui, Kauai, Oahu, Molokai, Lanai, Niihau, and Kahoolawe—only six of them are visitable, and only five islands offer great luau experiences.
Whether you book a private luau at the Four Seasons Resort on Lana`i or give Maui’s famous Old Lahaina Luau a chance, you’ll be entertained with a full ʻōpū (stomach) by the end of the night. When it comes to luaus in Hawaii, you really can’t go wrong no matter which one you choose!