When booking a trip to Maui, one thing people often consider is a luau. But which luau is best for you? Luaus on Maui are often ginormous parties with hundreds of people. For those looking for a large party, these luaus are perfect. Others prefer something more romantic or intimate. Thankfully, Maui has this type of luau, as well. Here is our list of favorite luaus on Maui.
- Old Lahaina Luau (Lahaina)
Generally considered the best luau in all of Hawaii, the Old Lahaina Luau, located behind the Cannery Mall in Lahaina, is pretty much sold out seven days a week. Not only serving great food, the show is also authentic and fun. The downside of this luau, if there is one, is the sheer enormity of it. You’ll be sharing your evening with nearly 500 other people (it holds 496, to be exact). That said, if you choose one luau to attend while on Maui, and you had the foresight to book it in advance, you will be greatly rewarded at the Old Lahaina Luau. (Old Lahaina Luau)
- Feast at Lele (Lahaina)
More of a fine dining experience with entertainment than a traditional luau, go to Feast at Lele if quality of food is your first priority. Rather than serving a buffet-style meal, this is a sit-down a five course meal at your own table, featuring cuisine inspired by Tahiti, Aotearoa (New Zealand), Samoa and Hawaii. The meal is prepared by the same folks that operate three of the most popular restaurants on Maui – Star Noodle, Leoda’s Kitchen and Aloha Mixed Plate. After each course, you’ll see eye-popping dancing and entertainment from each locale. (Feast at Lele)
- Migrations: Luau Show Kihei
Unlike the massive luau’s in the more touristy areas of Maui, this one is limited to just 50 guests (reservations are required). It’s billed as Maui’s only interactive luau. During the evening, you’ll work with a master lei maker to create your own head lei, choosing from a variety of flowers, shells and other traditional elements. You’ll also have the opportunity to perform the ‘awa drinking ceremony, where you’ll share a drink of coconut water and ‘awa root. The dancers don’t perform on a stage, rather they are table-side. The food is all locally sourced with table service, not a buffet. The night concludes around a fire pit where the performers and guests share thoughts and gratitudes. If you’re looking for an intimate, romantic luau, this is a great option. The event takes place on the last Wednesday of every month. (Migrations: Luau Show)
- Royal Lahaina Luau (Lahaina)
Maui’s longest running luau, the Royal Lahaina Luau is located right on Ka’anapali Beach at the Royal Lahaina Resort. Unlike other luaus, all seating is reserved, so you don’t need to worry about lining up an hour before the event to secure seating. This luau is the least expensive of the “big” shows and gives you the most bang for the buck. It doesn’t have the best food or show, but it’s very satisfying. For families on a budget, this is our top choice. (Royal Lahaina Luau)
- Drums of the Pacific Luau (Lahaina) Located in the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa on Ka’anapali Beach, the Drums of the Pacific Luau has many things going for it. The food for a large luau is good. Considering it’s a large buffet, they also keep things quite orderly. You never feel rushed or like they’re going to run out of food. The show is fun, taking you on a “tour” of the Pacific islands, with stops in Fiji, Samoa, New Zealand, Tahiti, Tonga and of course, Hawaii. It finishes with a lively fire-knife dance. The one downside to this luau is that it doesn’t take place on the beach, instead it’s indoors in a large hall. (Drums of the Pacific Luau)
RELATED: A Brief History of the Luau
Have you been to a luau on Maui? Tell us your favorite in the comments below, on Twitter @HIOceanProject and Facebook @hawaiioceanproject, or send us a picture on Instagram @hawaiioceanproject.