Ask any frequent Maui traveler and they will tell you that a luau should be No. 1 on the list of not-to-be-missed activities. Great for all ages, couples or families, and anyone who is interested in learning about Hawaiian culture in a limited amount of time, a luau is the best way spend an evening on the island. Enjoy a Hawaiian feast complete with imu-roasted kalua pig, poi, and other Hawaiian favorites; watch perfected performance with traditional dances; and sit back under the starlight with a fresh mai tai in hand.
Located right in the middle of the action (or, as much action as can be found on Maui), Old Lahaina Lu'au seats nearly 500 guests in its dedicated space on Lahaina’s focal Front Street. Because it has been around since 1996, these guys have everything nailed down—so much so that the performance was awarded Reader's Choice for Best Luau in Hawaii by Hawai'i Magazine in 2015. Just remember to book your tickets in advance: The show is at 100 percent capacity almost year round.
Just under two miles from Old Lahaina Lu'au (and, incidentally, brought to you by the same company), Feast at Lele celebrates the music and culture of Hawaii, New Zealand, Samoa, and Tonga on a beautiful beach-front property. This is one of the best luaus to attend as a couple since everyone gets a private table—that means no sharing your space with strangers on your romantic vacation. Another highlight that helps to keep the ambiance alive is the table service, a unique feature when you consider almost every other luau is offered buffet-style.
You can find Te Au Moana on the grounds of Wailea Beach Resort in luxurious Wailea. This luau focuses primarily on the history of Maui, and its interactive aspects make it perfect for both adults and children. One of the highlights of Te Au Moana is the show, which culminates in a world-class fire dancing performance that most attendees consider the best on the island. If your budget allows it, splurge for the preferred seating: You will get a killer view of the sunset and be the first to hit the buffet.
The Drums of the Pacific Lu'au at the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa has been entertaining visitors to the island for about 40 years. The show has plenty of variety when it comes to food, and the beachy location in Kā'anapali sets the scene in an unforgettable way. The luau includes a traditional imu ceremony and dances from Hawaii, Samoa, Fiji, New Zealand, Tahiti, Tonga, and Rarotonga.
Located at The Westin Maui Resort in Kā'anapali, the Wailele Polynesian Lu'au celebrates all of the Polynesian Islands through dance, music, and food. The luau boasts “Maui’s only extreme fire knife dance performance,” and it certainly does not disappoint. The luau runs on Tuesdays and Thursdays, with additional shows during the week in the summertime and over the holidays. Be aware that if you choose traditional (as opposed to premium) seating for this luau, seats will be first-come, first-served; arrive early to score seats with your whole party.
Legends of Kā'anapali Luau
The vintage-esque Kā'anapali Beach Hotel, self-described as “Hawaii's Most Hawaiian Hotel,” could only deliver a luau that's intimate and fun. It may not be as flashy as some of Maui’s other performances, but the Legends of Kā'anapali Luau (held on Monday nights only) prides itself on being more authentic. Story-telling and cultural activities such as coconut cracking and poi pounding will definitely be the highlight of the evening—all topped off with a hula show and history lesson on the beautiful West Maui region of Kā'anapali.
Snorkel fans will recognize the Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa as the property in front of Black Rock Beach, a popular cliff-diving and snorkeling spot in Kā'anapali as well as an idyllic place to watch the sunset. This luau is generally considered one of the most family-friendly luaus on Maui, thanks to the abundance of activities before the show even begins. And for adults, if the location doesn’t get you there, maybe the unlimited drinks will.
It’s no surprise that this luxury luau would take place on the grounds of the lavish Andaz Maui Resort in Wailea. Tickets to the Feast at Mokapu will cost you a pretty penny, but the bi-weekly event is backed by some pretty rave reviews. The show is performed by some of the finest dancers on Maui, and dinner consists of 15 dishes served up ohana (family) style by the five-star hotel’s Executive Chef. Drinks are included.
Also known as the Royal Lahaina Luau due to its location at the Royal Lahaina Resort in West Maui, the Myths of Maui Luau is one of the longest-running shows on the island. Families with picky eaters will be happy to learn about the kids' buffet menu, which consists of mac and cheese and chicken nuggets. The luau also offers show-only packages—a rarity on Maui—so that visitors who want to enjoy the show without dinner can pay a discounted rate.