What Is A Luau?

At its core, a lūʻau is a celebration- born from a traditional Hawaiian meal held to mark a significant life event or achievement. However, unlike luaus today, these gatherings were once segregated by class and gender. That changed in 1819 when King Kamehameha II put an end to the division by sitting down with women for a feast, giving way to the birth of the modern luau. Today, luaus are far from segregated, and all men, women, and children that visit Hawaii from around the world are welcome at luaus with open arms, leis, and the spirit of aloha. To help you discover the magic of Polynesian culture, explore the top five Maui luaus listed below.

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What To Know Before You Go

 

VIP/Premium Seating vs. Regular Seating: VIP/PREMIUM tickets get you a table closest to the stage (at least in the first 2 rows of tables). Some luaus also allow early entry, so you can get to the bar early and situate yourself at your table, and get some sunset photos. Some luaus also give an upgrade lei to each guest. VIP tickets are recommended if you want the best view.

What To Wear: “Island casual” – Aloha shirts for men, aloha shirts or dresses for the ladies. Some guests choose to dress up a bit more than usual.

Best Maui Luaus Line Of People

Transportation:  Uber/Lyft and public transportation are available. There is free parking at all luaus, just make sure to bring tip money if you valet.

Family Friendly: All luaus are kid-friendly. The Royal Lahaina is often regarded as the most kid-friendly and most affordable, but every luau offers a great experience for your keiki. Some have crafts and hands-on experiences as well!

Accessibility: All luaus are handicap accessible.

Dietary Restrictions: Every luau feast offers items for those that are vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free. You’ll have to ask your server or buffet attendant which items you can enjoy. At your luau, the staff is well-versed in what you can eat!

Discounts: We sell tickets at the lowest price that each luau will allow us to. Even though some luau ticket prices fluctuate seasonally, after shopping around, you’ll want to buy from us at our low prices.

Duration: Most luaus are between 2½ – 3 hours. This includes greeting, seating, drinks, dinner, show, and photo opportunities.

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The Top 5 Maui Luaus

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Grand Wailea Luau – ʻAhaʻaina Wailea

Previously known as the Honuaʻula Luau, this three-hour event takes place on the oceanfront lawn of the luxurious Grand Wailea Resort. ʻAhaʻaina Wailea takes guests on a sensory journey through Hawaiian culture, history, and lore in a pristine beachfront setting.

The Celebration

ʻAhaʻaina Wailea whisks guests back in time to an era when mighty seafaring voyagers navigated thousands of miles of open ocean- and when powerful gods like Pele and Kanaloa reigned over the islands. The luau’s nine-part show recounts the story of Laʻamaikahiki and Moikeha- Tahitian voyagers who sailed to Maui- and the lore and history of the pair’s newfound home. Emphasizing the aloha spirit, the celebration at ʻAhaʻaina Luau kicks off with a warm Hawaiian lei greeting, followed by immersive activities like Hawaiian lawn games, hula lessons, and photo opportunities with the cast. As the sun begins to sink into the Pacific, the enchanting mood is set with a torch-lighting ceremony and imu unveiling.

Best Maui Luaus Ahaaina Experience

The Feast

Guests are treated to a private table, where an extravagant Hawaiian feast is served family style. ʻAhaʻaina Wailea serves modern and traditional Hawaiian fares, including items like poke, macadamia nut-crusted mahi-mahi, Molokai sweet potatoes, kalua pig, mac salad, and much more.

The Location

ʻAhaʻaina Luau is situated on the palm tree-fringed lawn at the Grand Wailea Resort. Overlooking the famous Wailea Beach, the beating drums of the luau fall into rhythm with the waves, and guests enjoy a stunning Hawaiian sunset.

The Lowdown

    • Offered Monday, Tuesday, Thursday-Saturday, and select Wednesdays.
    • Festivities include fire dancing, imu unveiling, lei greeting, and interactive activities.
    • Standard and premium seating are available.
    • This luau fills up fast, so book in advance!

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Marriott Wailea Luau – Te Au Moana

Translated to “the ocean tide,” Te Au Moana is named after the intrinsic link that connects all of Polynesia- the Pacific Ocean. This top-rated luau places value on the ʻaina (land) and recounts ancestral stories from across the Pacific.

The Celebration

Underscoring the Hawaiian connection to the land and the incredible resourcefulness of the first Polynesian settlers, Te Au Moana narrates enchanting stories that have been passed down through generations of Pacific Islanders. Te Au Moana celebrates Polynesian culture as a whole, and the festivities begin with immersive cultural activities like tapa making, coconut husking, fishing demonstrations, and flower crafting. Priding itself on authenticity, the show at Te Au Moana features traditional hula dancing, and fire dancing, and pays homage to the warriors of the Pacific through traditional weaponry displays and warrior dances.

Best Maui Luaus Marriott Luau

The Feast

The feast at Te Au Moana has certainly earned itself a top spot among Maui luaus. In addition to private seating, personalized table service, and an open bar, the imu unveiling and live preparation of the pork is a definitive highlight of the night. Coupled with an extravagant feast of teriyaki steak, seafood pasta, pineapple coleslaw, Molokai sweet potatoes, and much more, Te Au Moana does not disappoint.

The Location

Te Au Moana is located at the Wailea Marriott, on a patch of grass situated overlooking the sands at Wailea Beach. The celebration is located just beyond the lulling tide line from which the luau gets its name.

The Lowdown

    • Shows are available Mondays and Thursdays-Saturday.
    • Children five and under are free.
    • Fire dancing, open bar, and lei greeting are offered.
    • The feast includes a three-course meal served family-style.

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Andaz Luau – Feast at Mokapu

While the Feast at Mokapu is a relative newcomer on the Maui luau scene, this celebration is far from unpolished. Located at the chic Andaz hotel, the Feast at Mokapu seamlessly blends luxury and luau- and breaks the mold of what a luau typically looks like.

The Celebration

Curated culinary delights, intimate table service, handcrafted cocktails, and riveting Hawaiian entertainment are the hallmarks of the Feast at Mokapu. Located on the oceanfront at Mokapu Beach, this first-rate show details Polynesian voyagers’ journey to Hawaii how they came to settle in South Maui. Before the show, guests can partake in Hawaiian craft demonstrations or enjoy a cocktail from the open bar while reveling in the location’s beachfront scenery. With smaller guest counts and superb quality put into every detail, the Feast at Mokapu has carved a niche into the Maui luau scene by providing one of the island’s most intimate, upscale experiences.

Best Maui Luaus Feast At Mokapu

The Feast

Andaz executive chef Isaac Bancaco crafted the three-course family-style meal at the Feast at Mokapu. The elevated island cuisine here includes the likes of ahi poke, poi, kalua pig, fresh fish, Kauai prawns, and much more. Save room for the tasty haupia tarts and chocolate cake served at dessert.

The Location

The Feast at Mokapu is nestled between the luxurious Andaz resort and the sands of Mokapu Beach. Guests sit facing the ocean, which makes for fantastic views at every turn.

The Lowdown

    • Shows are only available Tuesdays and Sundays.
    • The total duration is approximately 2.5 hours.
    • Attentive table service, open bar, lei greeting, Hawaiian activities, complimentary valet, smaller guest count, fire dancing, and incredible sunset views are all part of the package.

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Royal Lahaina Luau – Myths of Maui

Known as one of the most affordable, family-friendly luaus on the island, the Royal Lahaina Luau does not skimp on culture, cuisine, or aloha.

The Celebration

As suggested in the name, the vibrant performance at Myths of Maui brings Polynesian legends and lore to life through enchanting song and dance. Beyond Hawaii, the show highlights cultures from around the Pacific- from the awe-inspiring Samoan fire-knife dance to the rhythmic dances of Tahiti. Wrapped up by a full cast finale, the spirit of Polynesia is embodied at Royal Lahaina Luau.

Best Maui Luaus Royal Lahaina

The Feast

Myths of Maui treat guests to a royal, all-you-can-eat feast, complete with authentic Hawaiian fare. In addition to a king’s spread of fish, kalua pork, fresh poi, teriyaki chicken, and much more, Royal Lahaina Luau boasts the only keiki buffet on Maui, making the luau an excellent choice for families with picky eaters. Of course, you can also expect an imu unveiling ceremony and flowing cocktails from the open bar.

The Location

Myths of Maui Luau is situated on the golden sands of Kaʻanapali in the Royal Lahaina Resort. Set amid palms and thatched roof hales with the setting sun as your backdrop, the tropical atmosphere at Myths of Maui is right on the mark.

The Lowdown

    • Shows take place seven nights a week.
    • Great keiki value- only keiki buffet on Maui and children under 5 are free.
    • VIP and general admission available.
    • Fire dancing, imu unveiling, and traditional arts and crafts demonstrations are on offer.
    • Luau runs for approximately 2.5 hours.

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Sheraton Luau – Maui Nui Luau at Black Rock

Made famous by the nightly cliff diving ceremony at Black Rock on Ka’anapali Beach, the Maui Nui Luau is unrivaled in its location, storytelling, and ingenuity.

The Celebration

Named after the sole island that once encompassed Maui, Lanai, Kahoolawe, and Molokai, the Maui Nui Luau shares the tales and history of Kaʻanapali, the Valley Isle, and cultures from across the Pacific. Pre-show activities include a pareo fashion show- unique to Maui Nui Luau- and an assortment of Hawaiian arts and crafts. However, one of the biggest allures of the Maui Nui Luau is the nightly ritual of Lele Kawa- cliff diving. After sunset, torches are lit one by one along the point at Puʻu Kekaʻa (Black Rock) before a professional cliff diver leaps into the inky waters below. Following the ceremony, the celebration comes alive as cultures from across Polynesia are depicted through lively song and dance.

Best Maui Luaus Sheraton Luau

The Feast

Similar to the show itself, the feast at Maui Nui Luau spans a variety of cultural cuisines. While the imu-roasted kalua pig is a ceremonial focal point, guests will also be treated to the likes of seared snapper, chow mein, pohole fern salad, ahi poke, and so much more. Maui Nui’s delicious three-course meal is served tableside.

The Location

Set on the Sheraton’s 23-acre beachfront property, Maui Nui Luau’s location is tops. The gathering takes place on a manicured private lawn, steps from the sand at Ka’anapali Beach. Here, take in unobstructed views of the cliff diving ceremony and all the sunset photos your phone can handle.

The Lowdown

    • Shows are offered Monday and Wednesday.
    • The highlights include fire dancing, cliff jumping, an open bar, a fresh flower lei greeting, an imu unveiling, and a pareo fashion show.
    • The show runs for a total of 2.5 hours.
    • Keiki 5 and under are free.

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