Planning and trip to Hawaii and looking for an experience uniquely to Hawaiian? A luau is a must. On Maui, our number one choice is the Old Lahaina Luau. It’s a great way to get a better appreciation for traditional Hawaiian cuisine, music and dances. And, you will get to learn a little bit more about their history.
Be sure to reserve in advance since it does fill up. At this point, you have a decision to make. You have the choice between Traditional Hawaiian mat seating or Conventional Tables and Chairs. Having tired both, if you aren’t comfortable sitting on the ground for hours, opt for the conventional table option. Your back and hips will thank you. If that’s not a consideration, pick the traditional seating. The tables are closer to the stage and you will get a slightly more authentic experience.
When you first arrive, you are greeted with a fresh lei and a tropical drink. A luau greater will show you to your seats. Take advantage of this time to explore the grounds before the more formal part of the evening starts. The luau grounds are ocean front so it’s a great place to watch the sunset and take great pictures. Luau photographers are around to take pictures that you can purchase on the way out. And, all drinks are included in the cost and the bar is open throughout the evening.
As you are waiting for dinner, one thing that you will want to make sure you check out is the unearthing of the kalua pig from the “Imu”. Not sure what that is? It’s a traditional Hawaiian underground oven. Don’t worry, the meat is not cooked directly in the sand. First, it is wrapped in green vegetation like banana leaves or coconut palm leaves before being burried.
The evening starts with the meal. The buffet style dinner is mostly regional cuisine, the main feature being kalua pork. There’s lots of options! Even for those with food restrictions and those that are just plain picky. It’s a great opportunity to try poi if you haven’t yet! The menu can be found here.
The best part of the evening is by far the show! Show is based on the story of the Hula. It starts with ancient Hawaiian Hula and moves on to more modern versions. The narrator tells the story of Hawaiians during the various dances. Expect many costume changes, fire and fantastic dancing!
Wear something dressier, but comfortable. There are professional photographers walking around ready to take your picture, so consider wearing something that you’ll want to see yourself wearing years later. Maybe on your bookshelf at home. I may or may not be speaking from experience. Also, the sun will quickly set once you arrive so, you might want to bring a light sweater.
Don’t forget your camera and a bit of money for souvenirs or photos. Fortunately, the rest is all included.
Is it worth it? Currently, the rates are $125 per person (adult rate). Yes, it’s a bit expensive. But, you get drinks, a buffet meal, a flower lei, an awesome show and an experience you won’t soon forget.
Wary Travelers Tip:
If you are staying in the Ka’anapali Resort area, the Maui Bus runs between Whaler’s Village and Cannery Mall which is located right across the street from the Old Lahaina Luau site. It is only $2 per person. A great option for those wanting to take advantage of all the tropical drinks available at the luau.