Maui Luau Guide
The Best Tropical Beach Luaus on Maui
Independent Maui luau reviews. Pricing and schedules for the best luaus on Maui. Find the perfect Wailea or Kaanapali beach Lahaina luau to attend during your Maui, HI vacation.
Here you will find my independent reviews of some of the best Maui luaus. They are all beach and sunset luaus but the luaus hosted by the major resorts may be moved indoors if it rains.
A Hawaiian beach luau is the cherry on top of a Maui tropical vacation--a chance to immerse yourself in Polynesian culture and sample traditional Hawaiian foods.
The food at luaus on Maui will usually be served buffet style. In fact, the only luau in Maui where diners are served at their tables is the Feast at Lele. All the others are buffets.
There will almost always be an Imu pit. This is a depression in the sand where a whole pig wrapped in the leaves of the Hawaiian ti or banana plant is roasted all day long surrounded by hot lava rocks.
In many cases the roasted pig will be raised from the Imu pit in front of the luau guests.
This is the traditional way of making the Kalua (which means cooked underground) pork found on most Maui luau menus.
Another Hawaiian luau staple is poi which is the cooked, mashed corm of the taro plant. Poi is a nutritious food with an unusual paste-like consistency and a very mild flavor. It is considered by many mainlanders to be an acquired taste.
One of the biggest treats on the menu will likely be the fresh, island-grown fruit. Even if you are not normally fond of fresh fruit, try it here.
Ripe pineapple grown in the rich, volcanic soil here develops a sweetness all its own. And Hawaiian papaya is far superior to the Jamaican or Mexican varieties.
There will usually be a couple of fish dishes, fried rice, assorted salads and often a baked sweet potato dish.
You will have several dessert offerings to top off this all-you-can-eat meal.
Drinking at Maui Luaus
An open bar is usually included in the ticket price.
Beer, wine, mixed cocktails and even non-alcoholic fruity drinks are included.
I do not drink but most people who do say that there is not much alcohol in the drinks which is not surprising when you consider that they are available at no extra charge.
Unless you are attending a luau at your accommodation, remember to designate a driver to get you back to your lodgings safely.
Maui Luau Shows
Royal Lahaina Luau performers.
These are mainly Polynesian reviews which feature the songs, dances, chants and traditional attire of Tahiti and Samoa as well as those of Hawaii.
A small number of luaus on Maui feature a Hawaiian show which focuses only on the culture and customs of the Hawaiian people.
This type of show immerses you more deeply in Hawaiian tradition but you will miss out on the fast-paced Tahitian dances and the exciting Samoan fire knife display.
Kaanapali Beach Luau
This is where the best luaus on Maui take place. This is not surprising as most of the luaus are located in this area in West Maui.
Kaanapali Sunset Luau
Sheraton Maui Luau
The Kaanapali sunset luau takes place at 5:00 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays only.
The festivities begin at sunset with the blowing of the conch, the lighting of the torches and the beating of the drums.
This beach luau overlooks the famous snorkeling spot, Black Rock. Luau guests will be able to watch the cliff divers leap from the rocks into the Pacific below.
The show is a Polynesian review complete with hip-shaking Tahitian dancing and a Samoan fire knife performance.
The best of the buffet offerings here are the teriyaki steak and mahi mahi (fish) sauteed with Macadamia nuts and capers.
Open bar is included in the $89-$97 adult ticket price. Children under 6 are admitted free. Older children (6-12) cost from $50-$60 depending on your seating choice.
*The tables here are round so some guests will be facing away from the stage. Arrive early and chose your seats accordingly.
The Drums of the Pacific Luau is one of the best luaus on Maui. The festivities take place, each evening, on the spectacular grounds of the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort.
The Feast at Lele is the most upscale and romantic of the Maui luaus. This is also the best luau in Maui for people with mobility issues who cannot stand for long periods or walk very far.
The Royal Lahaina Resort luau may be the best Lahaina luau for the money because of its family-friendly pricing.
The Lahaina Beach old Lahaina luau is one of the most popular and authentically Hawaiian Maui luaus.
If you are staying on the south side of the island, you might like to attend a Wailea luau instead of traveling all the way to Lahaina.
The best thing about the Outrigger Marriott Wailea luau is the entertainment. This is a very interactive show. The performers encourage audience participation and they get it.
The Grand Wailea Resort also hosts a Wailea luau but as I've never attended it and don't know anyone who has, I cannot comment further.
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