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Favorite Maui Luaus
 by: Andrew Crawford

For any visitor to Maui, taking in a luau is an absolute must. Luaus are the most popular activity in Maui, attracting several hundred thousand visitors every year. If you are traveling as a couple, as a group, as a family or as an individual, a Maui luau offers something for everyone to enjoy. A luau offers a full evening of fun, food, drinks and entertainment, all rolled into one fun activity.

A luau is a traditional Hawaiian feast, typically featuring kalua pork, poi, haupia and other local favorites. Historically, a luau celebrated special occasions such as a king’s birthday, visits from foreign dignitaries or to honor an important chieftain. These parties often lasted for three days featuring dancing, drinking, eating and singing. Today there are many commercial luaus to choose from, where you can be treated like a king yourself.

There is not a bad luau on Maui, so whatever luau you choose, you will have a good time. That said, there are three Maui luaus, which will be reviewed here. They are The Old Lahaina Luau, The Feast at Lele and The Ka’anapali Beach Luau. These three luaus represent the best a luau can offer, depending on what you are looking for.

If you are looking for a traditional Hawaiian experience, The Old Lahaina Luau is the way to go. Featuring only music and dance from Hawaii, this luau will take you on a tour of Hawaii from the times of mythology to the present. The goal of The Old Lahaina Luau is to provide the most authentic Hawaiian luau available on Maui. They achieve this without sacrificing any of the other great things you might expect from a luau. The food is abundant and very tasty as well. Sample from kalua pork, lau laus (steamed pork wrapped in tea leafs), poi (taro root pounded to a paste), ahi poke (marinated ahi tossed with seaweed and vegetables), sweet potato, steak, mahi mahi and much more. Be sure to try some of the excellent tropical drinks provided with your dinner or order your favorite standards from the bar. The Old Lahaina Luau is one of Maui’s most popular luaus and is often sold out up to a month or more in advance so it is best to book as soon as you know you will be coming to Maui. You can book this luau through Maui Luau Guide, which also provides more info at

For the honeymooning couple or any couple looking for a more private and romantic evening, consider the Feast at Lele. The feast is the only Maui luau offering table service for dinner. The approach here is much different from any other Maui luau. A premium bar is featured, and the food is served in courses, and offers some of the finest food you may eat during your entire vacation. The meals are prepared by award winning I’o restaurant and each course represents a different culture of Polynesia. Dinner begins in Hawaii with kalua pork, fresh fish and a heart of palm salad. The second course is from New Zealand and features Maori fishcake, while the third course represents Tahiti and features steamed chicken in coconut milk. Closing out the night, is an amazing fire knife dance from Samoa performed right before you, as you are served Samoan steak with a bread fruit, shrimp and avocado accompaniment. You will be entertained as each course is served, by the dances and songs of the island culture the dish hails from. This luau is often booked to capacity as well, and it would be suggested to book as early as possible. Tickets and more info about The Feast at Lele Maui luau are available at

Families visiting Maui may find that the Ka’anapali Beach Luau is the perfect fit. In addition to the traditional luau buffet which serves kalua pork, mahi mahi, lomi lomi salmon, poi, island style chicken, sweet potato and much more, there is a children’s buffet featuring comfort foods such as chicken fingers, hot dogs and pizza for the finicky eater. The Kaanapali Beach Luau will feature all the dances you would expect, taking a tour through Polynesia, featuring Hawaiian hula, Maori stick fight dances, Tahitian war dances, a little Elvis and a little Don Ho, and of course a death defying fire knife dance to end out the nigh! This luau comes recommended not only based on the great food, drink and show, but also on value. At you can book this luau for $49.95 per adult with one free child (12 or under) per paying adult. This luau is also located very conveniently, right in the heart of Ka’anapali!

You can expect to pay between $50 and $110 per person depending on what luau you choose, but no matter which you choose you will be treated to a wonderful evening with plenty of food, an open bar and a great show to entertain you. Be sure to bring your camera or video to preserve the memories, as a Maui luau is an experience you will never forget. For more information on any of these luaus as well as every other luau on Maui, check out a complete guide to luaus on Maui.

About The Author

Andrew Crawford has lived in Maui for about 7 years, working in and around the Maui Activities field. He currently manages several websites, including He invites you to come see the magic that is Hawaii.

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This article was posted on January 24, 2006


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