The 10 Best Luaus In Maui, Hawaii
Experiencing a Luau in Maui is a must for visitors to the island. A luau is best described as a grand Hawaiian party, incorporating traditional music, dancing, and a huge feast of local delicacies. The tradition stems back to the 1800’s. In ancient Hawaii under the ‘kapu’ system, women and men were not allowed to eat together. In 1819, king Kamehameha II rewrote the rules of Hawaiian society and held a grand feast inviting both women and men, which gave birth to the luau.
Luau’s can vary in content and style, but traditionally will incorporate food such as slow cooked kālua pig, Lomilomi salmon, poke, and tropical fruits. In modern society luaus are held to celebrate any occasion, so you could have a birthday luau, a graduation luau etc. Though all of the luau’s that visitors will experience in Maui are designed specifically for tourists, they are great fun, and an exciting way to get a glimpse into Hawaiian culture.
Feast at Lele
This is smaller luau experience, great for couples. Located in Lahaina Town, this luau is operated by the same company as the Old Lahaina, the Feast at Lele offers a 5-course gourmet meal at private tables, with table service, and music and dance between the different courses. The dishes reflect various Polynesian countries, including Aotearoa, Tahiti, Samoa, and Hawaii, rather than being specifically Hawaiian dishes, though the menu will feature the classic kalua pork. The dance and music accompanying each course reflects the culture of that region, including the Haka, Samoan Salsa dancing, the sensual Tahitian dance and of course, the Hawaiian Hula. The menu has been designed by Executive Chef Adrian Aina, one of the most acclaimed chefs on the island, so you are sure of great quality food.
The Feast at Mokapu
Held at the Andaz Hotel, This is the most upscale Luau on the island, and is great for anyone looking for a more intimate experience, with 100 – 150 spectators, with a 3 course dinner served to guests directly at their tables, so no need to queue at the buffet. The strong cocktails are made to order, and the service is exceptional. You finish the night with a complementary photograph to keep. Although great quality, this is the most expensive Luau on Maui. You can choose to form standard seating or go premium for a view form the front row. This is an interactive story telling experience, starting at the Polynesian settlers in Hawaii and progressing through the years.
Maui Nui Luau
This Luau, located at Sheraton Maui boasts the best location on the island, right on the beach at Black Rock and within an easy walk of most of the beach hotels. This is a great family friendly luau and kids can learn traditional Hawaiian games and get a few traditional (temporary) tattoos. At the Maui Nui Luau you can choose a cocktail only ticket and enjoy the drinks and the show but not the feast.
Old Lahaina Luau
Started in 1986, this luau is held on the beach with great sunset views, surrounded by palm trees and candles. You will be greeted with a fresh flower lei and a local cocktail, before the show begins with the unveiling of the Kalua pig from the underground oven. You’ll then will enjoy a 5-course feast while embarking on a musical journey through Hawaiian history. This show is more focussed on history and culture than most others, so a great choice if you want to learn as well as party. Seating is either on tables or seated cross legged on the floor in the traditional style. The owners also own 3 other acclaimed restaurants on the island, so the food is guaranteed to be top quality.
Te Au Moana - Wailea Beach Resort
Te Au Moana Luau, which translates as the ocean tide, gets our vote for family favourite Luau. The evening starts with a lesson in traditional Hawaiian rituals, and guests will make their own lei and you can learn how to husk a coconut. The show features a lot of audience participation, which the children will love, and the food is served in a buffet. Expect to see traditional staples such as chicken long rice, grilled beef (pipi ko’ala). You can opt for the premium experience for better seats and earlier access to the buffet.
Legends of Kā'anapali Luau
Hosted at Kā'anapali Beach Hotel, The Legends of Kā'anapali Luau boasts the largest tiki torch in Hawaii, with the Luau focusing on the story of the Polynesian migration to Hawaii. Expect a frenzy of dancing and firewalking, with a whole roasted pig being the centrepiece of the huge buffet. This is a great value for money luau.
Drums of the Pacific Luau at the Hyatt Regency
As the name suggests, the beating of drums and hypnotic chanting mark the start of the Drums of the Pacific Luau. This luau, held in a huge outdoor amphitheatre showcases the culture of all of the pacific islands, exploring the connections and differences between the different cultures. This is the longest running luau on the island, hosting more than 2 million guests since its birth in 1980. Expect to see the fire knife dance from Samoa, and the classic Hawaiian hula. The good quality buffet features all of the classic dishes, but this luau is best known for its huge desert selection, featuring rich chocolate brownies and local coconut pudding.
Myths of Maui Luau
Myths of Maui at Royal Lahaina Resort is another great child friendly option, with bracelet making, face painting and a dedicated kid’s buffet. For the adults, the cocktails flow freely.
Wailele Polynesian Luau
This beachfront Luau at The Westin Maui Resort showcases music and dance from across Polynesian culture, with a focus on Hawaii. As well as the traditional dances such as the Hawaiian Hula, you’ll be able to experience the Mori Haka and Samoan fire dancing.
The Grand Luau at Honua’ula
This Luau at the Grand Wailea Hotel tells the story of La’amaikahiki and Moikeha, who travelled to Maui from Tahiti by canoe. The food is typical Hawaiian cuisine, but with a more modern take. You’ll also get a chance to learn how to Hula.
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