Enjoy the Party When You Book an Oahu Luau

Ryan, Senior Traveler, US

22 August 2017

I once knew someone who said she’d go to the ends of the earth. Now that’s dedication.

How about you – is there a party for which you would go to the ends of the earth?

How about a luau in Oahu, Hawaii?

You cannot go to Hawaii without going to an Oahu luau.

What’s a luau?

luau is more than a party: it’s family; a feast with traditional food and traditional entertainment; a celebration; a cultural experience.

But most of all, it’s fun.

There are many places in Hawaii with these experiences.

The biggest problem is which ones to recommend because if you go to just one, you’ll think that’s the best one. It’s difficult to pinpoint which is the best.

They’re all fun because they all have similarities and they all have their unique differences. You need to experience more than one. So let me tell you about three of them.

  1. Polynesian Cultural Center (Ambassador Ali’i Luau Service)

Simply the best all round package.

At the Ambassador Ali’i Luau Service, you get a full day experience. With different package options to suit different tastes, this is more like a theme park where you can enjoy activities throughout the day and learn about Polynesian history.

6 Mini Cultures in One

One of the main attractions, you get to see the Islands of Tahiti, Hawaii, Fiji, Aotearoa, and Samoa … all without leaving the confines of the Polynesian Cultural Center.

These six are the main islands of Polynesia. And the Polynesian Cultural Center preserves, displays and shows the cultures of these islands.

Entertainment second to none

If you want a Polynesian show that encompasses love and tradition, family and culture; all combined with a strong story line that’s jam-packed with action; then the Polynesian Cultural Center is the place to be.

The Hā: Breath of Life show will take your breath away.

Imagine over 100 native Polynesians coming at you from all sides in surround sound, dancing, and singing, with the use of animation and special effects.  All are acting out the symbolic love story of Mana and Lani.

This is the life story of a young couple’s journey through the Polynesian Islands. The show is all about the different aspects of life: growing up, being in love, getting married and going through life and all its struggles.

And at the Polynesian Cultural Center, they tell you a story in a way that you can identify with. The lifestyle is similar to most people.

So you could be watching it and smiling to yourself, saying, “Yep, that’s me … and that … and that …”

It is unique and unlike anything else you’ve seen before. 

Like coconut?

Good. Because at the Samoan cultural center you get to learn to climb a coconut tree – it is an unusual skill. Then you get to husk a coconut.

Once you’ve finished husking the coconut, you will learn how to open one … wait for it … with just a stone. Wouldn’t that be a neat trick to show your friends and family back home?

And if that wasn’t enough, you even get to make coconut milk. Yummy.

Talking about yummy…

How about the food at the Polynesian Cultural Center?

Well, there’s plenty to choose from. But what I want to talk to you about is the …

The Taste of Polynesia

This is like a snack bar where they put together a few of the local dishes from the different islands.

You can stop off at these snack bars, as you make your way from village to village, and enjoy the food and the atmosphere.

At each cultural community, you’ll find a menu with their unique delicacies.

luau oahu

For example, you’ll be salivating when you try the Panipopo in the Samoan community. It’s a very popular sweet snack made up of a bun that’s dense yet soft and fluffy.

Served with a generous serving of coconut cream sauce poured all over it, once you taste the Panipopo and you’ll be smiling from ear to ear.

That’s just one example from one cultural village. And there’s plenty more.

So what do you get?

For an all-inclusive price of $144.95 with, your Polynesian Cultural Center (Ambassador Ali’i Luau Service) includes the full VIP experience.

After the initial shell lei greeting, you will visit all six of the island villages – sampling the culture along with the food.

You’ll get a grand tour of Laie on the tram and get involved in the activities of the natives.

And let’s not forget the Hawaiian Journey.

Here you see the canoe pageant, the Taste of Polynesia, wood & tiki carving, the Hawaiian mission settlement, cooking demonstration and the Iosepa “voyage of discovery.”

I wish I could tell you everything you experience on this journey, but there’s just way too much to tell. You’ll have to go there and see for yourself.

Oh, I almost forgot to mention, you get to sit in individual seats for the Ha: Breath of Life show. Like sitting in the box at a football match.

And if that’s not enough, you also get a backstage tour and a DVD to take away as a souvenir of your time there.

Need transport?

Depending on which hotel you’re staying at, round-trip transport starts at just $25 for each person.

Seating for the Ali’i Luau begins at 4.45pm for the early show and 7 pm for the evening show.

Need to cancel for any reason?

No problem. Just give them 24 hours’ notice so they can allocate your seat to someone else.

  1. Chief’s Luau, Oahu

Consistently voted the best luau venue in all of Hawaii, most people consider Chief’s Luau at Sea Life Park second to none.

If you want fun, as in fun-ny, this is the place to be. On a scale of 1-10, Chief’s Luau is an 11.

You are guaranteed a Luau experience you’ll never forget.

You’ll laugh till you cry. 

But don’t expect it to be a show where you just sit and watch. The program is very much audience participation, so the Chief just may call you out.

You won’t just be watching the show. You’ll be part of it.

And there’s something for everyone, of all ages.

Who is Chief Sielu Avea?

Born and raised in Samoa, Chief Sielu Avea is regarded as the top entertainer in Polynesia. There’s no one funnier in all of the South Pacific.

When you watch the way Chief Sielu engages with the audience, as I have, you will understand what makes him unique.

With his hilarious jokes and spectacular world championship winning fire-knife dance, you’ll be dazzled.

The location with its fantastic views of the ocean and Rabbit Island just adds to the atmosphere. The Chief’s luau may just be the best part of your entire trip.

And let’s not forget the food you’ll be feasting on. In fact, ‘feast’ may just be the right word for it.

You’re spoilt for choice.

You’ve got a buffet of mixed island greens and diced Pineapple; the taro & assorted dinner rolls; steamed white rice and Hawaiian sweet potatoes; succulent butter & garlic braised vegetables and vegetarian chow mein; the roasted guava barbecue chicken and island fish – Asian style; pineapple cake … and …

And that’s not all.

Throughout the activities, there’s also coffee, tea, drinks and Poi & Lomi Salmon.

Maybe you’re vegetarian or have allergies. No problem. Just ask for the special menu.

After all, everyone who attends the Chief’s Luau is special.

And considering all you get, the price may just surprise you.

But before I get to that, here’s what’s included:

  • Check in at the check-in table at 4.30pm.
  • At 5 pm you’re greeted in typical Hawaiian style with interactive fun, including hula lessons, headband weaving, and fire making. And for the brave among you, there’s tattooing and spear throwing.
  • The Imu ceremony starts at 5.40pm, followed by …
  • The Luau feast at 6.15pm. Hawaiian style.
  • At 7.30pm the Chief takes you through the ‘Journey through the Polynesian Islands’ show, which takes you through to the end at 8.30pm.

oahu luau

  1. Germaine’s Luau

As with all the rest, if you only go to Germaine’s Luau, you’ll say this one is the best of the lot. And in its way, it is.

It’s certainly the best luau in Honolulu.

Called a backyard style luau, it has a homely feeling. Like a big party in your backyard with just enough guests. It’s a perfect deal if you prefer a smaller luau.

Did I mention the property is on the beach, a stone’s throw away from the ocean?

Unique Hawaiian culture

You’ll experience Hawaiian culture in a way that’s specific to Germaine’s Luau, with delicious authentic Hawaiian food and plenty of options.

And let’s not forget the show.

With amazing dancers, the hula and the fantastic fire thrower – the highlight of the show – it’s an evening in Honolulu that’s not to be missed.

I have to say, if you want a luau with an authentic family atmosphere, Germaine’s Luau is the one to go for.

oahu luau

There are three packages to choose from:


The Original Luau Package:

  • You’re greeted with a shell lei.
  • Seating is in an open dining area – sit anywhere you want here. No reservations needed.
  • There’s an American and Hawaiian style buffet. Eat and drink all you want. No limits on tea, coffee or soft drinks.
  • Go here for more details.

Hibiscus Luau Package:

  • You’re greeted with a shell lei.
  • Seating is in a reserved area.
  • American and Hawaiian style buffet. Eat and drink all you want. No limits on tea, coffee or soft drinks.
  • Go here for more details.

Plumeria Luau Package:

  • When you arrive, you’re greeted with a Kukui Nut Lei by a Polynesian Model who is also your guide. You also have your photo taken with your guide.
  • You’ll sit in the best seats – front center in the dining area.
  • You’ll have a Plumeria Hostess attending to you.
  • American and Hawaiian style buffet. Eat and drink all you want. No limits on tea, coffee or soft drinks.
  • And more …
  • Go here for more details.

Polynesian Cultural Center

$89starting at
$89starting at
  • Ali'i Dinner Show
    (Ha: Breath of Life)
  • Go Native Activities
  • Canoe Pageant
  • 9-13 hour show
    test tooltip
  • No Transportation Included
  • Buffet & Unlimited Soft Drinks, Coffee, and Tea (No Alcohol Included)
  • Upgrades Available
  • Available Monday-Saturday

Chief's Luau

$90per adult
$90per adult
  • Cheif Sielu's Show
    (the original world champion fire-knife dancer and Polynesian comedian)
  • Best rated luau in the state
  • Award winning firedancers
  • Four-hour show
  • Roundtrip from Waikiki (at $16)
  • Buffet (special menu available) & 1 Adult Drink Ticket
  • Upgrades Available
  • Available Daily

Germaine's Luau

$96per adult
$96per adult
  • Dance Act
    (dances from the islands of Samoa, Tahiti, New Zealand, and Hawaii)
  • Samoan Fire Knife Dance
  • Hula Dance
  • Four-hour Show
  • Roundtrip from Waikiki (at $20)
  • Hawaiian/American Buffet & Unlimited Soft Drinks, Coffee, and Tea + 1 Standard Drink Ticket
  • Upgrades Available
  • Available Daily

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