Lahaina Town on Maui has a lot of great attractions and things to do. Of these attractions, the most sought-after activity is definitely a Lahaina Luau. Right on Front Street are two famous Maui luaus, the Old Lahaina Luau and the Feast at Lele. The Old Lahaina Luau is known for its paradise setting in one of the most iconic locations on Maui, it’s developed quite a reputation over the years but we fear it’s seen better times with other luaus taking the edge on it. These are some of the best luaus on Maui book up fast so if it’s something you know you want to be part of your Maui vacation, we recommend making a reservation soon to avoid disappointment.
The Feast at Lele offers an outstanding chef-prepared, Prix-fare menu featuring a multi-course meal highlighting the best of the Polynesian culinary themes. Combine this with choreographed entertainment accompanying each course and you’ve got one special experience. A West Maui luau is a guaranteed hit with the family and is the perfect way to start an evening in Lahaina Town!
Further up to the road are the luaus of Kaanapali and South Maui also plays host to fantastic top luaus in Wailea and Kihei.
Known as ‘Lele’ in the past, Lahaina is a popular tourist destination located in West Maui, Hawaii. Although it is graced by water, Lahaina has numerous dry spells in the year and very low rain. Thus, it is no surprise that it was called ‘Lahaina’ – meaning ‘Cruel Sun’. A lovely place to visit for those seeking comfort and relaxation, Lahaina has continued to see a rising number of visitors. About 80% of all Maui tourism comes from Lahaina per year. As some people visited Lahaina during their honeymoon travels, others fell in love with the place and were forced to purchase luxurious homes and condos.
However, apart from recreational activities and surreal views, thriving culture is on display at Lahaina. Encompassing rich history, Lahaina was the Kingdom of Hawaii from 1820 to 1845. A whaling village in the past, Lahaina remained the grounds for as many as 1500 sailors, as numerous ships left the docks each day. This time was made immortal by the novel ‘Moby Dick’ by Herman Melville, who discussed his Polynesian life in this novel of the sea.
A wonderful Polynesian offering of the past was a luau. Thought to have originated in 1819, this resembled a grand feast or party of sorts, where Hawaiian history and culture are put on display and celebrated. Before this, the Kapu system had many limitations in the intermingling of men and women. However, as the restrictions loosened, the luau became a regular feature. Called Ahaaina and Paina in the past, this feast achieved its name of ‘luau’ owing to the integral ingredient in most dishes of this feast – taro leaves.
A wonderful experience for visitors, the luau is an enlightening time. Especially fun for families visiting Lahaina, this party has a lot to offer. From delicious food to entertaining activities to stories of the Polynesian past, you will definitely not get bored. You are even recommended to join in on the festivities by partaking in many activities alongside the locals for a Hawaiian vibe.
Exhibiting a large number of luaus, you might be confused between the large variety. However, in the array of Lahaina luaus, there are some which stand out:
As you visit the historic Lahaina town, this intimate luau greets you at 505 Front street. An exclusive luau, as you enter you are greeted by a Mai tai, after which a hospitable waiter takes you to your booked table on the ocean’s shore. Making you feel like royalty indeed, the service at this luau is the best in the area. The tables can be reserved beforehand for you and your guests if you come with a large group. Or a private table for your loved one – for the romantic evening you desire. The Feast at Lele consists of most of the elements of a typical Maui luau. From historical stories to traditional performances, the display is very entertaining. If you are in search of fire-knife performances and truly local hula dances, the Feast at Lele will definitely fulfill your heart’s desire.
However, the unique aspect of the feast is what its name entails – the feast. Hosting 5 epicurean courses, the food takes you across countries and traditions. Be it Tahiti, Hawaii, New Zealand, or Samoa, all are reflected in the variety of courses, while a song and dance from that area also graced the mealtime.
The Feast at Lele is one of the smallest yet most entertaining and truly relaxing luaus in Maui. As you sit by your table, you get to witness the mesmerizing West Maui sunsets in all their glory. So be sure to book your table quickly, before the reservation list becomes full.
One of the frontrunners in the luau genre, the Drums of the Pacific Luau at Hyatt Regency is a major tourist attraction for those visiting Lahaina. As you enter this luau, in hopes of an enjoyable evening, you are immediately greeted by tropical drinks of Maui – a fresh mai tai or a fruit punch for a refreshing start to a beautiful evening. As you make your way in, shell leis are adorned around your neck as you make your way to your seats.
From 3 options for seating plans, you can opt for any of the Standard, Preferred, and VIP Seatings. The show begins with the loud and hauntingly beautiful sound of the conch shell, and the thundering of the deep drums – the commencement of a true Hawaii experience. This is followed by dance performances featuring the music of Rarotonga, Fiji, Samoa, and more. There is also a Polynesian Fashion Show as guests are shown the latest fashion styles of the sarong.
The feast is one for the Gods, as you are given choices ranging from the traditional Kalua Pork to the Huli Huli Chicken, and wonderful drinks in the open bar. The finale of the luau is a breathtaking performance of the Samoan Fireknife by three men. Hold onto your seats for this luau will definitely take your breath away!
At the Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa, the luau experience at Maui Nui Luau is one of a kind. With a choice between Standard and Preferred Seating, you are greeted by fresh flower leis as you make your way in. The prime location of this luau sets it apart from most of its competitors. Gracing Ka’anapali Beach, the oceanside seating has mesmerizing views of the surrounding ocean and cliffs.
The activities here include the unearthing of the Kalua pig in the Imu ceremony, while the hosts explain the process of cooking the Imu. This is followed by a mouth-watering feast and heartwarming performances. Tahitian and Samoan dancers graced the oceanside, with a fire dancer closing the show.
Wish to take some crafts as souvenirs? Bookmark them with a Kapa stamp, for a reminder of this beautiful luau experience.
Another beautiful luau experience at Maui, the Royal Lahaina Luau promises its guests a memorable experience. The evening is filled with Hawaiian music performed live, and breathtaking views of the sunset.
Maui’s longest-running Polynesian luau, the ceremony is inclusive of historical performances told in a story-like manner, alongside the grand fire finale. If you wish to take pictures with the dancers post-show, you are more than welcome to do so. The food is also truly reflective of the Hawaiian culture. From the roast pig made in the in-ground oven to all-you-can-eat buffets, the options for food are unlimited. The Royal Lahaina Luau also hosts the only kids (Keiki) buffet of Maui.
As you enjoy your time with your loved ones, increase your enjoyment with complimentary drinks. Opt for the refreshing cocktails, or if you don’t consume alcohol, there are non-alcoholic beverages for you too. When visiting Lahaina, having a luau experience is a must-do. So you return to your hometown, laden with information on Hawaiian culture, and a pocketful of memories you are bound to cherish forever.