When it comes to partying Hawaiian style, there truly is no other celebration quite like the Hawaiian luau.
Although many different Polynesian cultures celebrate luaus, Hawaii’s well-established tourism business has helped to foster a luau tradition through the islands that has transformed the modern Hawaiian luau into a spectacle that cannot be missed.
While travellers can still find more intimate luau experiences in Hawaii, here’s a breakdown of five grand and fantastic luaus for visitors to delight in across the islands.
1) The Old Lahaina Lu’au
From humble beginnings, The Old Lahaina Lu’au opened in 1986 and now seats 496 guests nightly with nearly 100% capacity year round.
Located oceanfront, The Old Lahaina Lu’au showcases an array of Hawaiian traditions, including music, cultural dances and demonstrations and a buffet of traditional luau cuisine — all while the sun sets over Maui.
So for travellers to Maui who want to experience a luau with all the fixings, this may just be the place.
The luau begins with guests individually greeted with fresh lei and given a tour of the luau grounds, where they can learn more about Hawaiian history. It’s within the first hour that guests will also get to witness the Imu presentation, a traditional part of almost every luau. The Imu is an underground oven and during the Imu presentation the Kalua Pig is unearthed before it is served at dinner.
At the great luau feast guests can enjoy many of Hawaii’s most famous traditional dishes, including Poke, Poi (taro), Big Island Sweet Potato, Pipi Koala (grilled beef steak) and much, much more — including Kalua Pig of course!
During the entertainment portion of the evening, guests will learn the stories of the Polynesian migration across the Pacific to Hawaii as well as enjoy various styles of hula, including ancient hula and the hula of today, influenced by immigrants and tourism.
A premium open bar is also included in the ticket price: US$114.48 per adult (tax included) and $78.12 per child (12 and under). Infants not occupying a seat are free of charge.