Best Hawaii Luaus for Each Island

When you’re visiting Hawaii, there’s always a plethora of options, Hawaii tours, sightseeing, beaches, and activities that seem interesting and are pulling at your limited attention strings to try out.

The toughest part of the vacation is narrowing down the list. This decision can get even harder if you’re traveling with family or friends, and need to find something to do that everybody is going to enjoy.

But, when it comes to Hawaii, there’s one thing that is a must for every vacationer: the Hawaiian Luau. Dating all the way back to 1819 in the King Kamehameha II days, Hawaiian Luaus have been a long standing celebration of traditional Hawaiian culture.

Here’s a brief overview of how the Hawaiian Luau tours compare to each other.

IMAGELUAUDETAILS

  • Tour Duration: 4 Hours
  • Highlight: Hula Lessons and Fire Making
  • Food: All-You-Can Luau Buffet
  • Price: $$
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  • Tour Duration: 2.5 Hours
  • Highlight: Awe-inspiring Samoan fire-knife dance
  • Food: All-You-Care-to-Eat Buffet with Traditional Island Fare
  • Price: $$
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  • Tour Duration: 3 Hours
  • Highlight: Watch the “Kalua’ana o ka Pua’a”
  • Food: Hawaiian Buffet
  • Price: $$
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  • Tour Duration: 4 Hours
  • Highlight:
  • Food: Buffet Style Dinner
  • Price: $$
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By booking a luau, you’ll be able to experience Hawaii the way it’s meant to be experienced. Getting a better appreciation for their traditions, beliefs and values, it’s an adventure you won’t soon forget.

The problem though, is that there are so many Hawaii luaus to choose from (roughly 20), so it’s hard to even know where to begin. There are great luau’s on all the major islands of Maui, Big Island, Oahu, and Kauai.

After looking at pricing, reviews, what’s included, and overall experience, we’ve narrowed it down to the best Hawaii luaus on each island.

four reasons to book a luau in Hawaii

Hawaiian Luaus by Island

1. Oahu Luaus

If you plan hitting up an Oahu luau, there’s really only one that should come to mind. Chief’s Luau is ranked by many reviewers as one of the best luaus in Hawaii, not just Oahu, and for good reason. There are over 6 luau’s to choose from on Oahu, but none of them consistently rank as high as award winning Chief’s Luau does.

Produced by award winning Chief Sielu Avea, who was the original world champion for fire-knife dancing, the Chief’s Luau gives you an unforgettable Hawaiian village experience from start to finish. Located at Wet N Wild, this luau provides you with stunning views as you dive into the rich heritage of the Hawaiian islands.

Starting at 4:30pm, you’ll be treated with a Lei greeting, and perhaps a Mai Tai, before indulging in some traditional Hawaiian activities such as tattooing, fire making, spear throwing, Hawaiian music and dance. Soon after you’ll move on to a true traditional Hawaiian Luau feast including Lomi-lomi salmon, Kalua pork, pineapple cake, coconut pudding, food cooked in an underground oven and other traditional luau foods.

“Hawaiian luaus are a beautiful mix of tradition and entertainment. For a true Hawaiian experience, a luau is a must!”

Then it’s on to the show, where the Chief takes you on a journey through the Polynesian islands, so just sit back, relax, and sip on some delicious Mai Tai’s as you enjoy the show.

With an experience as entertaining and fulfilling as this, you would think it would be extremely expensive, but it’s not. Pricing ranges from $89 – $159, which is quite the deal considering all that’s included.

The main difference between pricing is how many drinks are included and your seating in relation to the show. If you don’t mind sitting a bit further away, you can save some money, but if you want to be up close and personal, it’ll be a bit more.

Conclusion

Overall, the Chief Luau is the best luau in Oahu for all the reasons stated above. When visiting Hawaii, it’s important to get to know the heritage and the history of the island. The Chiefs Luau will give you all that and more. For more info on pricing and the different packages, go here.

Pros

4 hour experience from start to finish

Luau with audience participation, music and dance

Located next to Wet N Wild Waterpark

Chief Sielu Avea

Buffet Style dinner

Accommodations for allergies and/or vegetarian preference provided

Activities including hula lessons, headband weaving, fire making, tattooing and spear throwing

Roundtrip transportation from Waikiki

Available daily

Cons

Costly compared to other luau’s

Transportation costs an additional fee

2. Maui Luaus

Similar to Oahu, Maui has six old Lahaina luau to choose from. All of them have unique and special things about them, like the Feast at Lele, but only one of them gets our vote as the best Luau in Maui. The Royal Lahaina Luau is Maui’s longest running luau, and is perfect for those staying near the Royal Lahaina Resort. Even if you’re not though, it’s worth making the trip for this old Lahaina luau.

Located on Ka’anapali Beach, this old Lahaina luau, also known as the “Myths of Maui Luau”, is the longest running Polynesian Luau. Once you’re seated with an oceanfront view, you’ll be whisked away into Polynesian culture, where you’ll experience Samoan, Tahitian, Maori, and Hawaiian dancing and music.

Dinner is followed by a traditional Hawaiian Imu ceremony, where you will be able to pick from a wide variety of delicacies as well as a special menu for children (also known as keiki). Whether it’s Kalua Pig, Asian beef stir fry, or your classic chicken nuggets for the kids, there’s sure to be traditional Hawaiian cuisine for everybody.

Of course, we can’t forget about the drinks! The classic Mai Tai is clearly the strong favorite here, but if that doesn’t suit your taste buds, there’s plenty of other tropical cocktails to wet your whistle.

Lahaina also features The Feast at Lele, an upscale oceanfront Polynesian luau with 5-course meals, Hawaiian style dances and music. Hula dancers also take the stage. Reservations are required for The Feast at Lele.

Conclusion

With pricing for adults at $93, kids at $38, and free admission for young kids under 5, this is a steal for one of the best luaus in Hawaii. You’ll be able to get a true feeling for what the Polynesian and traditional Hawaiian culture is all about in an extremely fun and entertaining way that’s a blast whether you’re a group of friends or on a family trip. To book your old Lahaina luau experience and get the party started, go here.

Pros

3 hour experience from start to finish

Located on beachfront of Kamakahonu Bay in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii Island

Hawaiian Buffet style dinner (22 dish)

Accommodations for allergies and/or vegetarian preference provided

Open Bar

Royal Court arrival, presentation, and Imu ceremony

Activities include arts and crafts, Imu ceremony, hula lessons, and fire dancing

Children ages 0 – 4 are free with purchase of adult ticket

Wheelchair accessible

Parking available

Cons

Outdoor event which may be impacted by weather

No transportation provided

Parking is an additional $5.00 fee

3. Big Island Luaus

Being that it’s the biggest island of Hawaii, you’ve got to expect that any luau on the Big Island is going to pack a punch. If you’re staying on the Big Island, or just want to make the trip from another island because it’s that awesome, there’s one luau that you absolutely must check out. It’s called the Island Breeze Luau on Kona beach and it’s been around for more than 20 years.

This luau has been rated as the best on the Big Island by both tourists as well as locals since 2000 (poll conducted each year by West Hawaii Today). Sitting beachfront on the historic Kamakahonu Bay with the lights of Kona and Mount Hualalai as your backdrop, the scene is set for a beautiful evening right from the start.

The traditional Hawaiian cuisine is amazing at this luau, as you’re treated to a traditional Hawaiian feast which includes fresh Lomi-lomi salmon, kalua pork, grilled beef, and mouth watering fresh island produce. Toss in an open bar surrounded by fire dancers and you’ll be set for a night of fun, entertainment, and delicious luau food.

Once you’re seated for dinner, you’ll be treated to their newest production, “He ‘Ohana Kakou”, which takes you deep into Polynesian cultures as well as their cousins from Samoa, Tahiti and New Zealand. You’ll be treated to fascinating stories through song and dance that will have both adults and children entertained throughout the night.

Conclusion

The Island Breeze Luau is a fantastic tour perfect for all age groups, with a beautiful breathtaking scenery under the stars. Considering you’ll be treated to Hawaiian hula, Tahitian drum dances, and the Samoan fire-knife dance, at a price tag of $101 for adults and $50 for kids (free if under 5yrs old), this is the best experience you’ll get if you decide to do a Hawaiian Luau on Big Island. For reservations and to book your tour, go here.

4. Kauai Luaus

Last but certainly not least, we have the beautiful island of Kauai. While not as many luau’s to choose from as on the other Hawaiian islands, it’s not going to matter, because this is one of the best luaus in Hawaii that you may want to make the trip for regardless of what island you’re staying at. The Smith Family Garden Luau is a perennial favorite and is ranked as the “Best Hawaiian Luau on the Island” according to the The Ultimate Kauai Guidebook.

With 50 years of tradition and four generations and counting, the Smith Family Garden Luau has stood the test of time. Located near the sacred Wailua River (a place once reserved for Hawaiian Royalty), you’ll be treated to a night of great food, music, cocktails, and of course the show.

The Rhythm of Aloha show is an authentic performance incorporating many different cultures: Hawaii, Tahiti, Samoa, Phillipines, China, and New Zealand. The show is held in a torch lit amphitheater and topped off with an erupting volcano.

Before the show begins though, you’ll be treated to Kalua roasted pig, delicious teriyaki beef, mahi-mahi, coconut pudding, family bowl of poi, and other staples of Hawaiian cuisine.

The great thing about this luau is that you don’t have to eat if you don’t want to. They give you the option of coming just for the show, so you can enjoy a night of entertainment and a tasty beverage while saving some money in the process.

Conclusion

The Smith Family Garden Luau brings you a night filled with Hawaiian hula dancers, Tahitian drum dances, and Samoan fire-knife dancers. It also includes amazing food, but the reason we love this luau is because they give you the option of only coming for the show if you already have dinner plans. Pricing for this luau is similar to others with adults being $98, juniors $30 (7-13yrs old), and kids $19 (3-6yrs old). However, if you just want to come for the show, it’s only $15 for adults, and $7.50 for kids (3-12yrs old).

Pros

4 hour experience from start to finish

Lei Greeting

Full Imu Ceremony, hula and fire dancers

Photos With Cast Members In Full Costume

Buffet style dinner

Accommodations for allergies and/or vegetarian preference provided

Open Bar

First two children ages 0 – 5 are free

Can accommodate large groups

Parking is available and FREE valet offered

Cons

Closed on Wednesdays and Sundays

No transportation provided

Why Adding a Hawaiian Luau Should be a Must For Any Vacationer

Other honorable mentions include the Paradise Cove Luau and Germaine’s Luau, also some of the best luaus in Hawaii. The Paradise Cove Luau is located near Ko Olina Beach Park on the west shores of Oahu. Great Hawaiian fare, drinks, and traditional sea life entertainment are some of the highlights of the Paradise Cove Luau.

Germaine’s Luau is a popular aquatic family venue that gives guests a unique Hawaiian village atmosphere throughout the evening along the West Oahu beach. Enjoy a royal Hawaiian feast with traditional luau foods, Hawaiian music, dancers, and entertainment.

Considering Hawaii offers so much rich history and tradition, you would be remiss if you didn’t include a Hawaiian luau in your vacation plans. There’s so much to learn, enjoy, and see when it comes to Hawaiian culture, and there’s no better way to do that than a Hawaiian luau. No matter what luau you decide to go with, we know you’ll have an amazing time and have much more appreciation for Hawaii and its people once you leave.

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