Maui is home to many of Hawaii’s best luaus. No other island prides itself so much on their luaus. Of those luaus, the Old Lahaina Luau has gained a lot of notoriety of the years as being the best among them all. However, it would appear they haven’t been improving the experience and other luaus have taken over as the best luaus on Maui. What the Old Lahaina Luau lacks in terms of fire-knife dancing, pre-show activities, and ambiance, these three luaus more than make up for. Certainly, the Old Lahaina Luau is still a good luau. The service is among our favorite features, but we’re looking for entertainment and an authentic experience. The Old Lahaina Luau can feel stuffy, rigid, and doesn’t create the vibe we are looking for in a luau.
Sorry Old Lahaina, these are the three best luaus on Maui.
1. The Marriott Wailea Luau – Te Au Moana
A Perfect Evening Enjoying The Best of Polynesian Culture
Over the last few years, the Marriott Wailea Luau, also known as the Te Au Moana, has transformed itself into the best luau on Maui. Why is it the best luau on Maui you may ask? First, it’s the setting and how it matches with the show. The setting is surreal. It’s perfectly situated in Wailea on a grassy section in front of the Marriott Wailea Resort. This luau also provides incredible sunset views behind its thoughtfully placed stage for all of its performances of the evening. As the performers go through the expertly choreographed show you’ll find yourself drawn into the hula dances of Polynesia. You’ll feel the excitement of the fire-knife show finale. Something the Old Lahaina Luau doesn’t offer.
The second reason we love this luau is the huge buffet. Wow. Luau food is usually a standard type of buffet with Polynesian dishes, all of them have Kalua pork, Lomi Lomi Salmon, salads with papaya seed dressing, huge dessert areas, etc and most luaus do ok in this area, but the Marriott Wailea Luau buffet is legendary. We also love the flow of arrival, getting the fresh flower lei, and having a full-service bar to walk up to and they don’t skimp on the drinks either! Using only high-quality spirits, the bar at the Marriott Luau can make you all of the island drinks you can think of and any other type of drink you may like. This luau is classy, but its also downright fun. They always invite guests on the stage to perform with the dancers and get the crowd involved making the evening more social and inviting.
A luau experience is about how it leaves you feeling. This luau left us feeling full of the Aloha Spirit. This will soon become the most popular luau on Maui once the word completely gets out.
2. Hyatt Regency Luau – Drums of the Pacific
A Ka’anapali Beach Classic Luau
When staying in Ka’anapali there’s no need to leave the resort to experience a fantastic luau. The Drums of the Pacific Luau in Ka’anapali at the Hyatt Regency Resort is one of Maui’s very best events and has been going strong for decades now. They have recently reinvented themselves and deliver a wonderful, inspired performance. The setting of the Drums of the Pacific affords everyone a great view of the stage, not just those sitting in VIP or preferred. You’ll enjoy the beachfront setting and the ability to walk around the luau grounds. This luau offers great music, a wonderful buffet with everything you would expect on a luau buffet, and a scintillating fire-knife performance to conclude the evening.
3. Feast at Lele
A Maui Luau for Foodies and Couples
Attention foodies, this is the luau for you. A gourmet, Prix-fare menu at the Feast at Lele sets this luau apart from all the rest. Waiters and waitresses take care of all of your needs throughout the evening as they bring you dishes paired with dances from the different islands of Polynesia. It’s truly a sensory journey through the islands like nothing else we have experienced. The food is simply amazing, you can almost hear everyone simultaneously say ‘oooohhhhh” and ‘Mmmmm’ as the dishes make their way to the tables. This luau in Lahaina doesn’t take as many people as other luaus offering a more intimate experience for couples. It’s on the beach at 505 Front Street in Lahaina where the sounds of the ocean blend with the setting sun creating a magical evening you’ll never forget.
Furthermore, the dancers are very talented and the fire-knife dance finale is also unique in that you’re just so close to him you can almost feel the heat from it. We were impressed by the drink menu as well, not your typical luau drinks, more of something created by a Polynesian mixologist, resulting in a very delightful; evening. If you’re a foodie looking for a luau, look no further.
In conclusion, the Old Lahaina Luau has had a great run at the number one spot for a few years now and many of us would agree that they will need to find a way to improve to get that position back as the Marriott Wailea Luau, the Feast at Lele and the Hyatt Drums of the Pacific are working harder to craft the perfect luau experience. Fire-knife dancing is always a highlight of any luau and a night at the Old Lahaina Luau just doesn’t include that. Maui is home to many great things to do and even has Pearl Harbor tours departing from there. A nice alternative to a luau is a dinner cruise and Lahaina is famous for them. We recommend a company like Lahaina Cruise Company and its Maui Princess Dinner Cruise.