If you’re planning a vacation to Hawaii, a luau should be at the top of your to-do list.
There are numerous shows throughout the islands, but which are the best luaus in Hawaii? To find out which luaus have the most epic scenery, tastiest food, family-friendly atmosphere and more, read on.
1) Chief’s Luau
Situated on an Oahu mountaintop at Sea Life Park, Chief’s Luau provides panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean. The memorable setting frames all of the activities, and you can choose with experience you prefer: the Royal Experience, the Paradise Experience, or the Aloha Experience. Each experience enables you to enjoy a delicious authentic Hawaiian buffet, an adult beverage, and a shell lei greeting. Right from the start guests are engaged in Hawaiian culture.
Before dinner starts gather as the pig feast is unearthed, then settle in for an all-you-can-eat luau buffet. The size of the group at Chief’s Luau keeps the atmosphere somewhat intimate, while the talent on stage tells the story of Polynesian culture with a lot of dancing and comedy. I laughed at this luau more than any other I’ve attended. Plus, the 10-minute 8-man fire dance finale is one of the most impressive you’ll see anywhere.
2) Drums of the Pacific Luau
As the first luau I ever experienced, Drums of the Pacific certainly holds a soft spot in my heart. It was the first time I ate some of the Hawaiian delicacies a traditional luau buffet serves; the first time I witnessed the dances and traditions of Polynesian cultures; and the first time I viewed a truly amazing Maui sunset.
With Drums of the Pacific located at Hyatt Regency Maui Resort, just steps from Ka’anapali Beach, luau guests have direct access to stunning views of the Pacific, which become even better as the sun sets into the sea. Also, the luau features arts and crafts demonstrations, a traditional torch-lighting ceremony, and an intricate imu (underground oven) ceremony. Bonus, the luau hosts an open bar. At the end of the show, the talent is available for pictures and such, too, so don’t miss your photo-op!
3) Germaine’s Luau
Germaine’s Luau transports guests (literally) to Kapolei, Oahu from designated Waikiki locations. I say literally because most, if not all of Germaine’s guests, travel via complimentary bus to the luau location. The trip takes about an hour, but the tour ride is fun and made lively by comical group leaders. Germaine’s stands out for its beachside location near Barber’s Point Lighthouse.
It’s a guaranteed Instagram-worthy setting. Before the show starts, watch as the Kalua Pua’ is unearthed from the imu. Then prepare for an all you-can-eat-island-style buffet. Three free alcoholic drinks are included with tickets, too. The talent at Germaine’s features the Polynesian traditions of similar luaus, but their dancing takes it up a notch. I felt like I was at a party at this luau and I’m sure you will too.
4) Island Breeze Luau
Island Breeze, located at the Courtyard Marriott King Kamehameha's Kona Beach Hotel on the Big Island, ranks as one of the best luaus in Hawaii for several reasons. First, the luau’s beachfront locale is historic as it is Kamehameha the Great's former estate in Kailua-Kona. Secondly, the backdrop of passing fishing boats, paddlers in outrigger canoes, and the lights of Kona and Mount Hualalai is unlike any other. Thirdly, the show is totally family-friendly.
This royal Hawaiian experience journeys through all of the Polynesian islands, from the Fijian dances of war to the graceful Hawaiian luau, and ends with a daring fire knife dance. The seating, which is definitely designed to help you make friends with your neighbor, is intimate with luau talent parading through the aisles. A 22-dish traditional Hawaiian buffet, is all-you-can-eat, and the open bar will keep you stocked with beverages. One of the most historical luaus around, Island Breeze is a true cultural experience.
5) Paradise Cove Luau
This is one of the best luaus in Hawaii because of the intimate, familial atmosphere. Right from the start, guests are made at ease and treated with the perfect amount of aloha spirit. The setting on the west coast of Oahu provides beautiful sunsets, while the pre-show interactive activities, like Shower of Flowers, Hukilau on the Beach, and the Imu Ceremony, make Paradise Cove Luau an interactive experience for the whole family. Arts and crafts demonstrations are also on-hand. Learn how to make a lei, grass skirt, and more.
As this is a Honolulu luau, the courtesy transportation from local hotels is really convenient to use and a total bonus if you plan on indulging in a few free mai tais. The show at Paradise Cove Luau has some of the most extravagant costumes of any luau I’ve been to, and the dancing is some of the best as well. Splurge on the Deluxe Luau Package if you can to get a front row seat to the show.