If you’re looking for the best luau in Hawaii, you can stop looking. This is it. Maybe a bold statement, but I’ve been to a lot of luaus in Hawaii and I know when I’m impressed. And I’m impressed.
Before attending this luau, I’d long heard that it was the best on Maui. The Old Lahaina Luau has the reputation for being the most authentic (but still crowd pleasing) luau in the islands, so I had pretty high expectations. Watch the video below to see what I thought…
Since this luau is the most popular one on Maui, it often books up months in advance, so I recommend making reservations as soon as you know your travel dates. I booked our tickets about 3 months in advance and we had great seats (your seating assignments are made in the order that tickets are reserved).
The Old Lahaina Luau grounds are right on Front Street in Lahaina (west Maui) and while there’s a tiny parking lot right by the entrance, there’s plenty of free, overflow parking across the street at the Lahaina Cannery Mall. We were told to arrive at 5:15 (depending on the daylight at different times of the year, it may be later) and although many people were streaming in, we got checked in and seated right away.
RELATED: Not very familiar with Maui? Read up on the lay of the is(land) and where to stay plus my favorite beach resorts, budget hotels, condos, honeymoon resorts, family friendly resorts, luxury resorts, and boutique hotels plus my area specific guides (including where to stay, eat, and things to do) for Wailea, Ka’anapali, the north shore, and upcountry plus my review of staying at the Four Seasons Maui.
We were greeted with fresh flower leis and mai tais, which made a great first impression. I’ve been to other luaus where you get a shell lei (or have to pay to upgrade to a flower lei) so this was a nice touch. It’s also worth mentioning that the mai tai (which had plenty of rum in it) was served in an actual glass (imagine!) with a pineapple slice and orchid on top. Every other luau I’ve been to in Hawaii (including some of the “best”) usually just hands you some sort of fruit punch in a tiny plastic cup so this set the stage for a nice evening.
Next we were shown to our table. The tables are arranged in a tiered semi circle around the stage and everything overlooks the ocean. The bottom tiers feature traditional seating on cushions at low tables while the upper tiers have tables and chairs. You choose your seating category at the time of booking, but your spot within that category is assigned based on a first come first serve method (when you book) as I mentioned above.