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When we lived on Oahu, we lived a short distance from a famous luau. Whenever there were tourists in town, we would book tickets, buy and enjoy buffet food and mai tai. Since then, we’ve learned a lot about luaus and experienced firsthand the different levels of quality and experience you can get.
What Is The Best Luau On Oahu
If you want to enjoy a luau, we have a list of the best luaus in Hawaii that are worth your time and money.
Toa Luau Is One Of The Best Things To Do On The North Shore Oahu
Before we get into the list of the best luaus in Hawaii, here are a few things to help you understand what to expect from a luau and decide if it’s the best Hawaii event for you.
Until the 19th century, there was a cupping system that was a set of religious rules and societal restrictions. Hat translates as forbidden or set aside as sacred. A luau in the modern sense was impossible because men and women were not allowed to eat together. In addition, women were forbidden to eat certain Hawaiian foods, such as seafood, pork, or bananas.
An ancient Hawaiian celebration was called aha’aina. They focused on culture and sports and followed a cup system. These special events have been a large part of Hawaiian and Polynesian culture for centuries.
In 1819, King Kamehameha II completed the tomb system. To mark the completion of the process, he held a large ahoya with men and women to eat and celebrate.
Best Hawaiian Luaus
The word luau (lou-ow) means youthful youth. Luau was a traditional meal eaten during aha’aina ceremonies and consisted of chicken or squid cooked in coconut milk or taro. In 1850, the word referred to a ceremony performed at a feast.
Today’s luau has been influenced by advertisers, focusing less on eating and dancing Hawaiian food and less on ceremonies such as the aha’aina. But at today’s luau, you will hear some beautiful Hawaiian songs.
There are two main parts to a luau: the party and the entertainment. Most luaus follow the same format of arrival and pre-show entertainment, dinner (buffet, family style or platter) and then the main luau show. Luaus usually last 2-3 hours, although we have included one on our list that is all day.
Luau dishes include traditional Polynesian seafood and new foods brought by missionaries, whalers and agricultural workers from around the world. For example, a luau often includes kule, poi, kalua pork, lomi lomi salmon, and lau lau. Learn more about these foods here.
Toa Luau: North Shore Oahu Luau Review
For entertainment, there are many luaus dances from a mix of Polynesian islands. The fire knife dance is a Samoan tradition, not Hawaiian. It is interesting to see different dances from each Polynesian country. But some luaus, like the Old Lahaina Luau, are distinctly Hawaiian in dance, food, and storytelling.
Luaus don’t have a dress code, but they are a celebration. Take the opportunity to dress up in something festive. Wear an aloha shirt if you have one, or just put it on vacation. It’s a beautiful night and you’ll be taking lots of pictures, so have fun!
Luaus typically cost between $100 and $300, which includes your food, drinks and entertainment. Alcoholic beverages may become more expensive depending on the type chosen. This price does not include the tip, which is very popular with servers and bartenders.
It depends on what you expect. Luaus can be a wonderful experience that is the most memorable part of your vacation. Or they can be frustrating and something you wish you hadn’t. But it is important to know what you expect and what you will like.
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If you’re heading to Vegas for the shows, a luau is right up your alley, so find your type and book fast. If you don’t care about the prices and just want to enjoy the evening show, you might want a luau.
But if you’re on the fence, here are a few reasons why many people give up. Because of the high price, they expect the food to be better. But these luaus can seat more than 100 people and are often buffet-style and include traditional dishes, so it may not be the best meal on the island. If you’re looking for high-end gourmet food and don’t care about entertainment, a luau may not be for you. But don’t worry, we have included some methods at the end of this article.
Want to explore other great island experiences? We bring you our favorite tours and activities.
Read about the best Luaus in Hawaii hosted by the island. But first, a quick note about prices. we haven’t included prices here because we’ve seen prices go up and change frequently. We will update prices from time to time, but the price shown here may differ slightly from the current purchase price.
Choose Your Luau Oahu Experience ✔️ 12 Amazing Options
Explore these 4 Maui luaus to find the perfect one for you. For more information and more luas, see our Top 5 Maui Lauas.
Undeservedly considered Maui’s best luau, the Old Lahaina Luau offers the very best of everything you’d expect from a luau. The Old Lahaina Luau is located on historic Lahaina Beach and offers a spectacular view of the sunset.
Why do we love it? The venue for this show is second to none. Combined with good food and preschool activities, this luau is a great luau with a small, intimate feel.
Another option in Lahaina, the Lele Festival offers a different experience than most luaus. It’s almost a dinner show, with each course accompanied by island history and dance. For example, the first course is a traditional Hawaiian meal with a presentation of Hawaiian songs, dances and songs. The second course focuses on the food and entertainment of Aotearoa in modern New Zealand.
What Is Proper Luau Attire?
Compared to what you’ll find at other luaus, there’s less interaction (such as not walking to see the underground furnace or
Located at the Andaz Hotel, it’s hard to find fault with this luau. They are a bit pricey (probably the most expensive on Maui), but they offer a unique experience. There are fun activities before the luau starts and then you can enjoy the show. In a way, everything seems very close. One thing to note is that they do different reservations for tables, so you won’t be dining alone with a party.
Why we love it? If you’re looking for a unique luau, this one is definitely worth it. The Andaz landscape is magical even after sunset. When you’re in a hotel, it somehow adds and elevates the mood of the evening.
If you’re looking for a great venue, great service, no buffet line and more, this unique luau in Wailea is for you. Wailea Beach Resort creates a truly unique atmosphere on the lawn overlooking the ocean. The food is served family style and the show is shown against the backdrop of a spectacular sunset. One thing to note is that they do different reservations for tables, so you won’t be dining alone with a party.
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Why we love it? this is upscale luau fare, and it’s premium. The location, size, service and food are top notch.
Arriving on the scene in 2021, Toa Luau has become one of the best luaus on Oahu. And the price is high. Located in Waimea Valley on Oahu’s North Shore, you can see fun Hawaiian activities like festivals and coconut peeling, then relax for a good show and a good meal. This luau is great for families because they have a show at 1pm so you can get back to Waikiki in time for bed.
Choose from three luau packages and showtimes (1:00pm and 5:00pm). Ticket price includes drink tickets and cash bar.
Why we love it? Waimea Valley is worth visiting for its location alone. Activities and a Polynesian show make this family fun.
Paradise Cove: One Of The Best Luau On Oahu, Hawaii
This is Oahu’s largest fire dance, brought to you by World Fire Knife Dancer leader Cielu. Chief’s Luau is known for its entertaining MC. Laughter, knife play and dancing are the highlights of this Polynesian show.
This luau has the challenge of being 45 minutes west of Waikiki on the beach. But travel options are available, and don’t let a water feature ruin your experience. The food is also not as good as other Oahu luaus.
Why we love it? this luau is a favorite among fans of the creative industry. This is one of the few games where the jokes and stories are as fun as the dancing.
If you are looking for a luau in Oahu, this is the first one
The 14 Best Luaus In Hawaii: Our Honest Review
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