The word “luau” in Hawaiian means “feast” and is what we locals call our “parties” where we celebrate special occasions (baby showers, birthdays, graduations, etc.).
Ancient Hawaiians would entertain their luau guests by singing, dancing and playing their drums, flutes and conch shells. They would also pass on the ancestral inheritance received by their “kupunas” or elders, through singing and dancing the “hula”.
Attending a luau while on Maui will be a unique opportunity to soak in the history, legends and myths of the Hawaiian people, their hospitality, cuisine, etc. All of it while having fun – lots of fun!
If you’re staying in West Maui – around Lahaina or Ka’anapali – the following luaus are going to be your best options.
The heart of Lahaina town is home to Hawaii’s most recognized luau, the award winning Old Lahaina Luau, as well as its sister luau, the Feast At Lele, Maui’s only fine dining luau. Both luaus feature oceanfront settings and breathtaking views of Maui’s sunsets and are usually booked up 365 days a year.
Top tip: The Old Lahaina Luau booking system will assign your seats according to the day your booking is received, so early booking is a must and will definitely determine how close to the stage you’ll get to sit.
The Old Lahaina is also the only luau which offers traditional seating – in addition to regular table seating – where guests sit the “ancient way”, on a pillow (lots of fun, but perhaps suited to limber bodies!).
Just beyond Old Lahaina Town is Kaanapali Beach, Maui’s most renowned beach and home to some incredible luau shows. There you’ll find the Royal Lahaina Luau, the Sheraton Luau, the Westin Wailele Polynesian Luau and the Drums of the Pacific Luau at the Hyatt Regency Maui.
All of these well-known Kaanapali luaus are located oceanfront and feature a Polynesian Revue, where guests get to enjoy not only Hawaiian hula but also dances from South Pacific nations such as Tahiti, Fiji, New Zealand, Cook Islands and Samoa. They also offer VIP or Premium seating for those who want priority service and an up-close and “hot” encounter with the dancers, musicians and those incredible fire-knife dancers!
All of our West Maui luaus feature dinner, open bar and the luau show. Our luaus begin between 5 and 6 pm, depending on the season, and last approximately 3 hours. Except for the Feast At Lele Luau – which features private tables and a 5-course sit down dinner – all luaus on Maui feature an all-you-can-eat dinner buffet, picnic or round tables that will sit anywhere from 8 to 10 guests each, pre-show activities and the “imu” ceremony (the unveiling of the Kalua pig). Most luaus are open 7 nights are week.
Deciding on the Best Maui Luau for you
To help you decide which Maui luau is the right one for you and your party, we created a luau comparison chart which will show you the features of all of our Maui luaus.
Our concierges also have access to up-to-the-minute availability and can confirm and guarantee your seats.
Other Luaus on Maui
Our honest opinion is that Maui visitors staying anywhere in West Maui should definitely choose a luau in West Maui and not venture over 2+ hours driving (roundtrip) to Wailea, the only other area offering luaus on Maui.
If You’re Not Staying in West Maui …
Those staying anywhere outside West Maui, whether in Kihei, Wailea (South Maui), Kahului, Maalaea, Wailuku (Central Maui) or Upcountry (Kula, Haiku) may want to consider scheduling their Lahaina luau on the day they plan their visit to Lahaina town or when spending the day at one of the famous West Maui beaches.