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The Best Maui Luaus

The 7 Best Luaus on Maui

Last Updated on July 13, 2024 ⋅ Written by Vanessa Howard ⋅ Edited by Laura Schulthies

Best Maui Luaus
Best Maui Luaus

Welcome to Maui

Attending a Hawaiian luau in Maui gives you the unique opportunity to witness the beautiful telling of the history of Hawaii. A combination of culture and traditions with a mix of dress, dances, storytelling, and feasting provides an unforgettable experience for everyone. Luaus continue to play an essential role in the lives of native Hawaiians who honor the tradition of celebrating major life events and community bonds. When you’re at a luau in Hawaii, you are ohana (family). To truly experience Hawaii, keep reading for our list of the best Maui Luaus. ​​

Attending a Hawaiian luau in Maui gives you the unique opportunity to witness the beautiful telling of the history of Hawaii. A combination of culture and traditions with a mix of dress, dances, storytelling, and feasting provides an unforgettable experience for everyone. Luaus continue to play an essential role in the lives of native Hawaiians who honor the tradition of celebrating major life events and community bonds. When you’re at a luau in Hawaii, you are ohana (family). To truly experience Hawaii, keep reading for our list of the best Maui Luaus. ​​

Maui Map

Maui Map

Contents

What Is A Luau?

A Hawaiian Tradition

A Hawaiian Luau is a traditional Hawaiian feast that is often accompanied by entertainment such as music, hula dancing, and other cultural performances. The word “luau” comes from the Hawaiian word for the taro leaf, which is often used in traditional Hawaiian dishes.

The history of the Hawaiian luau dates back hundreds of years to ancient Hawaii. Originally, a luau was a feast reserved only for Hawaiian royalty or high-ranking chiefs to celebrate special occasions, such as important religious ceremonies, weddings, and births.

The early luaus were very formal affairs, with strict protocols and specific rituals to be followed. For example, men and women would eat separately, and the food would be served in a particular order based on the guests’ rank and status.

Over time, the luau evolved into a more casual celebration that was enjoyed by people of all social classes. The food and music became more diverse, and the atmosphere became more relaxed and festive.

Best Maui Luaus
Best Maui Luaus

The Luau Experience

What To Expect

LEI GREETING

Your luau will likely begin with a traditional lei greeting where you’ll receive a flower lei as a sign of welcome to the event. Please note that to be respectful, a lei should always be accepted. And the proper way to wear your lei is to drape it over the shoulders so that it hangs both in front and back. Removing your lei in front of the person who gave it to you is considered rude.

IMU CEREMONY

Before the meal begins, your luau will most likely have an imu ceremony. The imu is an underground oven that uses hot coals and stones to cook the main dish, usually kalua pork. The ritual consists of removing the layers of cloth to reveal the food. This exciting part of the cooking process is watched by all before the pork is shredded and served.

DINNER BUFFET!

Generally, your dinner is buffet-style, allowing you to sample various dishes and eat leisurely. Remember that every luau is different. Still, you can expect to see pork, chicken, and salmon offered at most. You will also find that poi (made from taro root), potato salad, sweet potatoes, salads, a variety of tropical fruits, and delicious desserts are offered.

DANCE & STORRYTELLING

Depending on your luau, you will be dazzled by traditional hula dancing and storytelling during or after dinner. The dancers will wear traditional dress and dance to music and Hawaiian chants. Your luau may even end with a traditional Samoan fire knife dance. This thrilling spectacle tends to leave a lasting impression!

Best Maui Luaus
Best Maui Luaus

The Best Maui Luaus

Best Maui Luaus: Te Au Moana Luau
Best Maui Luaus: Te Au Moana Luau

Te Au Moana Luau

This spectacular Luau experience is held at the Wailea Beach Resort – Marriott. Te Au Moana translates to “the ocean tide” and has always been a constant in connecting the Hawaiian Islands and its peoples. Dine oceanside and dance under the Maui skies as you hear the fascinating stories at Te Au Moana Luau.

The Hawaiian feast here is served family style in 3 courses, and tables are assigned in order of booking. Main course selections include delicious Imu Kalua Pork & Salted Cabbage, Huli Huli Chicken with Pineapple Relish, and Misoyaki Mahi Mahi. All are served with traditional Hawaiian sides that satisfy even the pickiest palettes.

If you are not staying at the Wailea Beach Resort and want transportation to and from the luau, this Te Au Moana Luau Tour includes transportation and souvenir photos!

Best Maui Luaus: Maui Nui Luau at Black Rock
Best Maui Luaus: Maui Nui Luau at Black Rock

Maui Nui Luau at Black Rock

Maui is shrouded in legend, and the Maui Nui Luau tells the remarkable stories of the island. Legendary Maui is the Hawaiian demigod said to have lifted the heavens from the earth, slowed the sun, and discovered the secret of fire. Maui Nui comes to life through the extraordinary storytelling in this luau experience.

The luau is held at the Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa on the famous Kaanapali Beach. The meal is served in a self-serve buffet style, and tables are reserved in order of bookings. This feast features two courses and traditional Hawaiian cuisine, including Hawaiian Style Ahi Poke, Li Hing Mui Pineapple, Kalua Pua’a, and Steamed Molokai Sweet Potatoes. Don’t skip the Mochi Pineapple Upside Down Cake or the Ube Cheesecake.

With this Sunset Luau Tour you get both pickup and dropoff to the Maui Nui Luau.

Best Maui Luaus: Myths Of Maui
Best Maui Luaus: Myths Of Maui

Myths Of Maui

The Myths of Maui Luau begins during the last rays of the spectacular Maui sunset. You can hear the beating drums and the conch shell’s call to signal the start of Maui’s longest running Polynesian luau. Marvel at the celebration of traditional Hawaiian, Tahitian, Samoan, and Māori dance. Musical performers weave the legends of the South Pacific into a spellbinding performance you’ll never forget.

Held at the Royal Lahaina Resort, the Myths of Maui Luau begins with at traditional Imu Ceremony. This is the unearthing of the Pua’a Kalua (pig) from the in-ground oven where it was prepared for dinner. During the feast, you can enjoy fresh local fish, teriyaki chicken, salads, Asian stir-fry noodles, Pua’a Kalua and more. This luau also features a special kid’s menu.

If you’re not staying at the Royal Lahaina Resort, check out this Myths Of Maui Luau Dinner and Show tour with transportation, souvenir photos and complimentary cocktails.

Best Maui Luaus: Wailele Luau
Best Maui Luaus: Wailele Luau

Wailele Luau

At the Wailele Polynesian Luau dinner show, guests embark on an exciting journey where dance is considered a means of storytelling. This luau is held in the lush tropical gardens of The Westin Maui Resort & Spa, Ka’anapali. Experience the traditions and culture through songs and dances from old and modern Hawaii.

Highlights of the Wailele Luau include the story of Pele (Goddess of Fire), Hula dedicated to Wailele (meaning waterfalls), and one of Maui’s most extreme fire knife dances called “Siva Afi.” With the traditional Hawaiian Luau cuisine, including Kaanapali Ahi Poke, Lomi Lomi Salmon, and Hawaiian Fried Rice on the menu, the Wailele Luau may be the highlight of your Hawaiian vacation!

Best Maui Luaus: The Feast at Mokapu
Best Maui Luaus: The Feast at Mokapu

The Feast at Mokapu

You can discover one of Hawaii’s most impressive luxury luaus at the Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort. This beautifully curated experience is set among a lush green lawn and the pristine shore of Mokapu Beach. Embark on a historical journey of the Polynesian ancestors who arrived in Maui, and get insight into Hawaiian values that focus on love, connection to, and responsibility to the island.

Indulge in traditional Hawaiian cuisine that the culinary team of the Andaz Maui has expertly prepared. Try Shrimp, Beef Poke, and the Hamakua Mushroom Salad for starters. Along with the traditional Kalua Pua’a, they offer Puluhu Steak and Huli Huli Chicken. Also, don’t miss out on the handcrafted cocktails that are personalized to your liking.

Best Maui Luaus: Drums of the Pacific Luau
Best Maui Luaus: Drums of the Pacific Luau

Drums of the Pacific Luau

As one of the longest-running shows on Maui, this luau is presented at the Hyatt Regency Maui, on beautiful Kaanapali Beach. During the luau, you’ll explore Polynesian culture through performances of authentic chants, dances, and songs from Maui that have influenced Hawaiian life and customs for generations.

Known as one of Maui’s most exciting luaus, the sound of the conch, and the beating of drums, will make this an experience you will never forget. During the feast, you can enjoy Ahi Poke and traditional dishes such as stir-fried glass noodles and island fresh fish.

Best Maui Luaus: Old Lahaina Luau
Best Maui Luaus: Old Lahaina Luau

Old Lahaina Luau

*Temporarily Closed

The Old Lahaina Luau is an authentic Hawaiian Luau featuring traditional Hawaiian cuisine, music, and cultural dances. You can appreciate this genuine reflection of Hawaii’s rich history while enjoying amazing ocean views. As a bonus, the Old Lahaina Luau takes place at sunset, when the sky ignites into brilliant oranges, reds, and pinks with silhouettes of palm trees.

The typical luau-style buffet has been replaced here with a taste of everything delivered to your table. This authentic Hawaiian Luau starts with sweet potato chips, crispy kalo (taro), and flavorful kalo hummus. For a palate cleanser, try the coconut haupia and sweet kulolo. The main courses include samples of steak, chicken, fish, and veggies with an island twist. Don’t forget dessert, Mango Coconut Chocolate Bombe & Macadamia Coconut Crunch with Mango Anglaise.

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