Tom’s Tips – Maui Luaus

Jul 31, 2019 | Activity Information

Table of Contents
Their is no question that the single most popular and most respected luau presentation in all of Hawaii is the Old Lahaina Luau. They for years have set the ‘gold standard’ for a quality luau and this has been proven out by virtue of the fact that during most times of the year you simply cannot get in for more than a month in advance (and they operate every day). This luau concentrates specifically on the culture of old Hawaii and you will find much of the chanting and hula dancing and music to all be based in the traditional Hawaiian culture. If you do book early enough to get in you will have the option, if it is still available, to be able to sit right up next to the stage on the ground in traditional seating (although this is a fantastic way to experience the luau I do recommend this to younger rather than older participants because it can be a very long time for many people to sit on the ground with their legs folded or tucked underneath them). Whatever your seating preference you obviously want to make your booking with us early and one advantage in doing so is that the earlier we get your reservation in for a specific date, the closer to the stage you will be seated, although it must be said that all of the seats at this luau will provide you with an amazing experience.

In all likelihood if you are choosing to attend the Old Lahaina Luau it is because of the quality experience it provides but what many people don’t realize is that the Old Lahaina people are also involved with another Lahaina Luau that also is considered of high quality called the Feast at Lele. This one also books up but not as far in advance and is also an excellent choice. The ‘Feast’ is very different from almost any other luau in a number of ways: First it takes small groups of people limited to somewhere around 200 or so people, which is very small in comparison to most luaus in the state. Secondly, no matter what your size group you will be seated at your own private table. Third, you will have table service and you won’t be walking through a buffet line because they will bring your food right to your table. Next, the way they serve you your food is very different. You will be seeing a medley of various Polynesian cultures be represented on the stage at different times during the evening. Prior to each new performance waiters will fill your table will ‘tapa’ plates of the various taste treats from that culture. There are so many unique tastes and textures that the food experience in itself will be an educational one. Although some of the foods will be unusual for you, you need to taste them all, and there will be so much food available that you are sure to be full at evenings end. After each performance your table will be cleared and a new set of tapa dishes will be served during the next presentation. In this way you will be traveling through Polynesia with a food experience moving from Tahiti, to Samoa, to New Zealand , to Fiji and of course to Hawaii. Desserts are served as the last course. In addition you will have access to an open bar which will also include specialty blended drinks like Pena Colada’s or a Lava Flow.

All the other luaus that are offered on Maui are quality as well. They typically provide for larger groups and are all located on hotel grounds in either the Kaanapali Resort area or the Wailea Resort area. You won’t be disappointed with your luau experience at any of them but you will find them somewhat easier to book into. Keep in mind that during peek seasons these will all need to be booked in advance as well and it is best not to wait until you are on Maui to book them. It is likely if you don’t that you may be disappointed by not being able to attend at all or at the very least not being able to attend on the day you would prefer.

Although the hotel luaus have many similarities there are some that will stand out due to their location or their quality of food or show. In some cases the location of your condo or hotel may be a factor for a decision. If you are staying in Kihei or Wailea for instance you might want to choose to attend one of the fine luaus in Wailea rather than take the drive all the way to the West Side particularly if you are planning to enjoy some cocktails at the event. One specific difference which is offered by the Sheraton Maui Luau is that they have a cocktail and show only option which omits the meal portion of the luau so you are permitted to come in late after the meal has been served and you are just served cocktails as you watch the performance.