Whether you have lived in Hawaii your entire life, or are vacationing in the islands for the first time, there is little more entertaining than attending an authentic Hawaiian luau. With so many popular luaus, how do you choose the best one? Do you go for the most affordable option, the event with the coolest entertainment, or the dinner that offers the greatest selection and best kalua pork? Whatever your priorities, here are 15 of the greatest Hawaiian luaus.
1) Alii Luau at Polynesian Cultural Center
A royal celebration of Hawaii’s cultural heritage, the Alii Luau features live entertainment as well as some scrumptious Hawaiian food. For the full experience, make a day of it and explore the Polynesian Cultural Center’s many exhibits during the day and see Ha: Breath of Life after the luau.
2) Old Lahaina Luau
This popular Lahaina luau is located on the beach, and was opened in 1986 when the four owners felt that there was a need for more culturally sensitive entertainment. Often considered the best luau on Maui, the Old Lahaina Luau is dedicated to showcasing traditional Hawaiian music, dance and food.
3) Smith Family Garden Luau
Located in Kapaa on the island of Kauai is this intimate family-centric luau, nestled within a 30-acre botanical garden with fruit orchards, bamboo forests and various walking paths.
4) Haleo at Sheraton Kona Resort + Spa
Performed at the scenic oceanfront Sheraton Kona Resort under the stars each Monday and Friday evening, this is quite the spectacular luau. Get to the luau early to meet the entertainers before the show and participate in interactive arts and crafts.
5) Waikiki Starlight Luau at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach Resort & Spa
The Starlight Luau is clearly the most convenient choice for anyone staying in Waikiki. Guests can compete in a conch shell blowing challenge, join a group hula lesson, or simply relax with authentic cuisine and a cocktail under the stars.
6) Drums of the Pacific Luau at the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa
From a lei greeting and refreshing mai tais to a Polynesian fashion show, live music, torch lighting ceremony and an all-you-can-eat buffet and dessert bar, Drums of the Pacific has got it all.
7) Luau Kalamaku
Cultural demonstrations, made in Kauai crafts, and a stroll through the Plantation’s grounds are followed by traditional Hawaiian cuisine and a live theatrical show filled with hula, fire dancers, and a heartwarming story.
8) Sunset Luau at the Waikoloa Beach Marriott
Watch classic Polynesian entertainment and eat from a selection of contemporary fare and Hawaiian cuisine while the sun sets over ‘Anaeho’omalu Bay.
9) Paradise Cove Luau at Ko Olina
With various luau packages, and a magnificent setting overlooking the sunset, Paradise Cove luau cannot be beat.
10) The Feast at Lele
Set on the very beach where the royal family of Maui would feast and entertain, lele is the ancient name for Lahaina.
11) Auli’i Luau at Sheraton Kauai Resort
A Polynesian buffet and traditional dancers are the highlight of this outdoor oceanfront luau in Poipu.
12) Mauna Kea Hawaiian Luau at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel
From a warm lei and mai tai greeting to tables laden with traditional Hawaiian cuisine to a children’s hula lesson and fire dancing entertainment, the Mauna Kea Hawaiian Luau is a stunning menagerie of entertainment.
13) Germaine’s Luau
Since 1976, more than three million guests have experienced Germaine’s, a traditional luau that has recaptured the spirit of Old Hawaii.
14) Havaiki Nui Luau at the Grand Hyatt Kauai
On the grounds of the luxury beachfront hotel, the Havaiki Nui Luau serves up traditional fare sure to nourish your soul and performs mesmerizing stories told through song and dance that are sure to fill your heart.
15) Island Breeze Luau
On the shores of Kamakahonu Bay and Ahu’ena, Island Breeze Luau has been rated the best of West Hawaii since 2000, and features the arrival of the Royal Court aboard an outrigger canoe.
What did you think of this list? Did I miss your favorite luau? Share you ropinions with us in the comments below.