Planning a trip to Maui, Hawaii and want to check out a Maui luau? See how I break down the top 12 best luau in Maui so you can find out the right one for your family. Scroll to see all the best Maui luau deals!
This post on the best luau on Maui was originally published August 11, 2019 and updated April 3, 2021 and contains affiliate links which means if you purchase something from one of my affiliate links, I may earn a small commission that goes back into maintaining this blog.
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How to Pick the Best Luau in Maui
There are so many fun things to do in Maui that it can be hard to figure out which ones are worth the “splurge.”
No matter how many times my family travels to Maui (and it’s a lot), we always make time to attend a traditional Hawaiian luau. It’s the one activity our whole family enjoys doing together.
But Maui luau tickets can be expensive. That’s why it’s so important to do your research ahead of time to make sure you’re investing in the right one for your family.
Because planning a Maui vacation can be a bit overwhelming, I’m breaking down all the top choices and Maui luau reviews to save you a little time!
All right! Let’s dive into the best luaus on Maui!
Check out my complete Maui Travel Guide for Families!
Hawaii Luau FAQs
A Hawaiian luau is a celebratory gathering that usually includes a big feast of Hawaiian food and Polynesian dancing. Some luaus are strictly Hawaiian while others include dancing from New Zealand, Tahiti, Samoa, and Fiji. Attending a luau is the top thing to do in Hawaii.
Typically, luau food consists of kalua pork, teriyaki chicken, lomi lomi salmon, chicken long rice, macaroni salad, and a variety of other food items. Some luaus do offer vegetarian options or can cater to dietary restrictions. It’s always a good idea to contact them ahead of time to make sure.
Absolutely! It’s really easy to do a luau with kids. There are tons of hands-on crafts and activities and the show is pretty entertaining. Many Maui luaus even have kids’ menus! However, there are a couple that cater more toward couples than families.
Should I Go to a Luau in Hawaii?
Before I deep dive into the top Maui luaus, I want to have an honest conversation about whether or not you should add a luau to your Maui itinerary.
Luaus are a super fun activity if you like learning a bit about other cultures, like to try a variety of foods, and enjoy an energetic atmosphere.
However, if you’re on a tight budget and can only afford one “big” event during your Maui vacation, it’s a good idea to look at all the options (snorkeling tours, boat trips, guided tours, helicopter rides, ziplining, etc.)
Find the Best Maui Luau for Your Family
I have to kick off this list with the most popular luau in Maui: Old Lahaina Luau. It’s been around for years and is usually sold out, so it’s important to book your Old Lahaina Luau tickets before your trip.
The reason it’s so popular is that when you read Maui luau reviews, tons of families say it’s one of the best luaus in Maui for kids.
The Old Lahaina Luau has won countless awards like “best luau in Maui” and “favorite luau on Maui” from multiple publications. Check out the latest prices and more details.
I know that people usually want to know all about the food. Old Lahaina Luau offers some tasty food options including crab salad, grilled beef, fried rice, two kinds of poke, and tons more food.
Plus, it’s a great place to get traditional luau food like kalua pig, poi, chicken long rice, laulau, etc.
What’s extra cool about the Old Lahaina Luau is that guests can choose to sit on traditional Hawaiian mats near the front for the full luau experience. The entertainment starts right at sunset starting with Tahitian dancing.
It’s a great place to see both ancient and modern hula styles.
How to Find a Luau in Lahaina, Maui
Most of the luaus on Maui are located in Lahaina. So if you are staying in Lahaina, you can easily walk to several of these Lahaina luau options.
Wondering what bring to Hawaii? Find out in this Hawaii packing list.
If you’re looking for a more unique Hawaii luau experience, you’ll probably want to check out the Feast at Lele. It’s organized by the same people who created the long-running Old Lahaina Luau, but it’s a totally different format.
It’s definitely a more upscale Maui luau where they serve you courses of higher-end Polynesian fare. Think of it as a fine dining experience with entertainment sprinkled throughout the night.
If you enjoy Hawaiian cocktails, you will be in HEAVEN. They have some of the tastiest luau cocktails that you can enjoy before the luau and throughout the evening. Check latest rates and more information.
After grabbing a cocktail, you’ll be escorted to a private table just large enough for your party. Their tables for two are perfect for honeymooners or those on a kid-free date night!
Your server will bring you an appetizer and several courses of delicious food from all over Polynesia. It’s a great way to try foods you normally might not have the opportunity to taste.
As each course comes out, performers take the stage to highlight a few dances from that Polynesian island. There are breaks in between so you can chat with your party or walk around.
Oh and this Maui luau is right on the beach! Perfect for sunset photos (yes, they have a photographer) and taking a romantic walk on the beach before dinner starts.
This is definitely my pick for the best luau in Maui and possibly the best luau in Hawaii (especially for couples.)
[irp posts=”3780″ name=”7 Reasons Why the Feast at Lele is the Ultimate Maui Date Night”]
Another awesome Lahaina luau option is the Myths of Maui Luau, which is located at the Royal Lahaina Resort. It’s actually the longest-running oceanfront luau on Maui.
This luau runs every night, so it’s one of your best bets for scoring luau tickets during your trip (especially if it’s a last-minute decision.)
I recommend booking tickets for Monday or Saturday nights for the best seats. Those seem to be the least crowded nights. Check out the latest prices and more information.
If you have dietary restrictions, this might be your best option for a luau in Lahaina. They have both vegetarian and vegan choices and can create allergy-friendly meals (especially if you call ahead.)
And families with kids will appreciate the kid’s buffet, which offers things like chicken nuggets, mac and cheese, hot dogs and chips.
For families with babies and toddlers, you can bring your stroller and they even have designated areas to park your stroller. And kids under 5 years old are free, which can save some money.
For those staying at the Hyatt Regency Maui, you’ll probably want to book this luau in Lahaina. The Drums of the Pacific Luau is always advertised in Maui tourism brochures/magazines and it’s worth checking out.
If you want a unique Maui experience, this is the only luau I know of that features dances from the Tuamotus, a French Polynesian chain of islands. Check out the latest prices and more information.
That’s in addition to dances from Hawaii, Tahiti, Samoa, Cook Islands, New Zealand, and Tonga. Drums of the Pacific definitely focuses more on the action-packed Polynesian dances.
Another cool thing about this Hyatt Regency Maui luau is that they also have a Polynesian fashion show where guests can see the many creative ways to wear a sarong.
They sell sarongs (also called pareo) all over Maui, so this is an inexpensive Hawaii souvenir to bring home and it doesn’t take up much space in your suitcase!
Where to Find a Maui Ka’anapali Luau
If you are staying up in Ka’anapali (just north of Lahaina), you don’t need to drive far to find a luau. In fact, you can even just take an Uber from your hotel/resort if you aren’t renting a car.
This Kaanapali Beach Club luau is one of the newest luaus on Maui. Their show Huaka`i: Journey Through Polynesia is offered every Wednesday night.
This Maui luau is about 3 hours long (with the show itself being 2 hours long.) This is a bit shorter than other luaus, which can be nice for families with younger kids.
This is one of the best accessible luaus on Maui, so it’s perfect for people with strollers or wheelchairs. If there’s rain, the show may move indoors to their ballroom. Check the latest prices and more information.
I’d also say that it’s the best Ka’anapali luau for guests who have gluten sensitivities, as most of their menu items are gluten-free.
Plus families will appreciate their kids’ buffet with kalua pork sliders, mac and cheese, and chicken strips.
There’s another Ka’anapali beachfront luau that’s worth mentioning. It’s the Maui Nui Luau (which used to be called the Ka’anapali Sunset Luau) and it takes place at the Sheraton Maui luau.
This Maui luau is run by the world-renowned Polynesian entertainment group Tihati, who produce many luaus throughout the Hawaiian islands. Check latest prices and availability.
If you’re heading to Maui on a budget, this is the luau to book. You can skip the dinner portion and just pay for cocktail seating ($39 for adults, $22 for kids 13-20, and $17 for kids 12 and younger.)
If you do this option, you can easily make your own food or grab inexpensive food around Ka’anapali and then head to the show.
This makes it the cheapest luau in Maui and perfect for picky eaters. Plus, there are great Kaanapali beach luau reviews for this show!
7. LEGENDS OF KA’ANAPALI LUAU
If your kids have been asking to see a tiki statue, this Legends of Ka’anapali Luau features the largest tiki in Hawaii!
If you’re staying at the Kaanapali Beach Hotel, you’ll be happy to know that you’ll get a special discounted rate if you let them know you are hotel guests.
This Ka’anapali luau only takes place on Monday nights, so you’ll want to book ahead of time to guarantee a seat.
Another hotel luau that’s worth mentioning is at the Westin Maui Resort & Spa. They host the Wailele Polynesian Luau, which is near Ka’anapali Beach.
The hotel was recently renovated and their luau stage was totally redesigned. It’s also ADA accessible, which is helpful for families using strollers or wheelchairs.
This Westin Maui luau features dances from Hawaii, Fiji, Tahiti, New Zealand, and Samoa.
Their luau website does an awesome job of detailing the dietary restrictions for all their luau menu items.
For kids, they have a kids buffet that features children’s favorites like pizza, spaghetti, hot dogs, chocolate chip cookies, and more.
Where are the Wailea Luaus in Maui?
If you are staying on the South Shore of Maui, there are a few luaus in Wailea.
If you are lucky enough to stay at the gorgeous Grand Wailea Hotel, you have an easy walk to the Grand Luau at Honua`ula.
The cool thing about the Grand Wailea luau is that they give you the option to check in early to get your wrist bands and then you can hang out at the pool bar or the beach until doors actually open.
This saves you precious time waiting in line so you can soak up more of your Hawaiian vacation. Check the latest prices and more information.
What really sets this Wailea luau apart from the rest is that it focuses on Hawaiian stories and theatrical presentations. Some of the stories you’ll hear involve mermaids, ancient gods/goddesses, voyagers, and more.
Because of that, the show features a mix of traditional Hawaiian dancing as well as unusual and impressive feats!
They also have an extensive menu including allergy-friendly dishes and vegetarian/vegan options.
One of the most expensive luaus in Maui is the Feast at Mokapu at the Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort and it’s perfect for Maui honeymooners.
Adult tickets start at $200 and children’s tickets start at $100. The focus of this luau is on the menu created by Executive Chef, Isaac Bancaco. Check the latest prices and more information.
If you haven’t heard of this luau before, that’s probably because it’s pretty new. I think it launched in April 2018.
If you are staying at the Marriott Wailea Beach Resort in Wailea, you have an amazing on-site luau run by the Polynesian entertainment group Tihati.
It’s the Te Au Moana luau and you’ll get to sit outside on a grassy area. Plus, this Wailea luau has one of the best ocean views. Check the latest prices and more information.
Performers will present guests with fresh flower leis or wooden fish hook necklaces as they arrive (always a hit with the kids!)
It’s very similar to the rest of the luaus in Maui, so I’d recommend it primarily to people staying in the Wailea area who don’t want to drive up to Lahaina.
Is There a Kihei Luau in Maui?
If you are staying in Kihei, you’ll most likely need to head South to Wailea or North to Lahaina to see a luau. There used to be one, but it’s not running anymore.
Your Top Luau Questions Answered
WHAT IS TYPICAL LUAU FOOD?
With so many people having dietary restrictions or sensitivities, food has become a hot topic. So, I’m here to break it down for you.
At most authentic Hawaiian luaus, you’ll find the following items:
This is the most famous Hawaiian luau food. It’s a whole pig that’s been roasted underground in a Hawaiian oven called an imu. The imu is filled with hot rocks and they wrap the pig in banana leaves.
The pork is so tender that it falls right off the bone. It’s served shredded and it’s very delicious. Here’s a good Instant Pot Kalua Pork recipe to try at home.
So, at whatever luau you choose, they will probably make some sort of joke about poi tasting like wallpaper paste. That joke is getting pretty old and it doesn’t give poi the respect it deserves.
Poi is basically mashed-up taro root that is fermented and has the consistency of pudding.
The trick is to think of it as a condiment and eat it with fish or meat. It helps enhance the flavor of the protein and it will take your food to the next level.
Chicken Long Rice
Unless you go to a traditional Hawaiian restaurant, this is probably your best chance at tasting Chicken Long Rice.
It’s long rice noodles with bits of chicken sprinkled in. And it’s served in a chicken broth. But there are way more noodles than soup.
It’s perfect for picky eaters.
Huli Huli Chicken
If you like barbecue chicken with an island twist, you’ll love Huli Huli Chicken!
Each place makes it a bit different, but it’s typically chicken that has been cooked on a rotisserie with sauce.
It’s so good on its own or you can stick it inside a roll for a little Huli Huli chicken slider!
This is a super traditional Hawaiian food that you can only find at certain luaus. It’s typically pork (or sometimes fish) wrapped up in ti leaves and steamed.
If you see it at your Maui luau, grab it so you can try it!
Lomi Lomi Salmon
This is very similar to ceviche, where it’s chopped up raw fish mixed with diced tomatoes and onions.
You usually eat it on its own, but you can also eat it with tortilla chips.
Personally, I like to mix it with poi and kalua pork for the ultimate bite!
Yes, it’s just what it sounds like. Basically macaroni noodles with a lot of mayonnaise and usually some shredded carrots.
This is another option for picky eaters. It also tastes great mixed in with a little meat to balance the flavors.
This is the most famous luau dessert and it’s made with coconut.
These little white squares are like creamy coconut jello. They are cold and make a refreshing palate cleanser! Plus kids usually enjoy eating it!
WHAT’S APPROPRIATE LUAU ATTIRE?
I know when people are packing for their trip to Maui, they always ask about what to wear to a luau. So, here are my top picks:
For women, you most likely will want to wear some sort of dress. That’s primarily what you’ll see.
Most people take a lot of photos at luaus, so you’ll want to keep that in mind as you choose your outfit. Also, most Maui luaus offer a shell lei or purple orchid lei, so that might affect your outfit choice.
But, there really isn’t a need to buy a new dress! Just take a peek in your closet for something brightly colored or a white dress always looks nice.
For the best shoes to wear, I tend to always wear sandals. You probably won’t want to risk heels, especially if the luau is on grass or near the beach.
But, you’ll also see men wear polo shirts or any kind of button-down shirt. Think dressy casual.
Men can easily pair Aloha Shirts with khaki pants or shorts. Or linen pants or slacks of any kind.
And men often get a shell lei, purple orchid lei, or sometimes they get a black kukui nut lei at the luau.
Hawaiian Clothes for Kids
And don’t forget about your kids! While they can wear anything they like, it’s so much cuter if they wear Hawaiian print!
Other Entertainment on Maui
If you are looking for evening entertainment other than a luau, this is one I’ve heard about that might be fun:
If you like comedy and magic, then this is the show for you! In this 4 hour event, you’ll get to eat, drink, and participate in this interactive comedy and magic show. And because it involves the audience, no two shows are alike.
Ticket prices started at $84 (as of April 2021) so it makes it a bit cheaper than doing a luau.
All guests must be 21 or older, so this isn’t a family-friendly option.