Old Lahaina Luau Review, Photos, and Tickets

Updated Sep 24, 2023 ,

Old Lahaina Luau Dancers

Are you looking for tickets to the best traditional Hawaiian luau in Maui? If so, look no further than our favorite, the Old Lahaina Luau!

The Old Lahaina Luau is a great way to spend an evening in Maui. They provide some of the best entertainment, food, and drinks the island has to offer.

But don’t just take our word for it – check out the 5-star reviews from past attendees! Many have called the Old Lahaina Luau the highlight of their vacation and with good reason.

In this post, we’ll review what an evening at the Old Lahaina Luau is like, including things to see, what’s for dinner, the music and dancing, and how to book your tickets. Let’s dig in!

Should You Attend the Old Lahaina Luau?

I’ll get right to it for those who want a quick answer. You can’t go wrong with the Old Lahaina Luau. The owners have been running this luau since 1986 and have greatly improved it over the years based on guest feedback. Book your tickets well in advance as it sells out quickly due to their popularity.

Arriving at the Old Lahaina Luau

The Old Lahaina Luau is located on the water at the end of Front Street in Lahaina, that’s closest to Ka’anapali Beach. It’s a beautiful location set up like an amphitheater that gives you incredible sunsets and a good view of the show from any seat in the house.

Once you’ve parked and made your way to the entrance, you’ll walk through the lobby (there may be a quick line) that’s filled with items and information about the history of the luau and Hawaiian culture. Be sure to take everything in, as there are a lot of interesting things to see here.

After that, you’ll check in and be greeted by your host with the gift of a fresh flower lei that you can wear throughout the evening. Your host will escort you to your table, where you can place drink orders before dinner starts.

A table and chairs or traditional mat seating with a low table are offered but can only be chosen when booking your tickets. Additionally, seating assignments are in order of first reserved, so be sure to book your tickets well in advance!

Walking the Grounds

After you’ve been seated and had a few sips of your Mai Tai, take some time to walk the grounds at the Old Lahaina Luau. There are a number of activities and things to see, including wood carving and lei-making with items to purchase if you’d like to take something home.

This is also a good time to visit the water to check out the oceanfront view. Just before dinner, you can snap amazing sunset photos here, depending on the clouds.

The Imu Ceremony

An imu is an oven created by digging a hole in the ground and is traditionally used at Hawaiian luaus to cook the kalua pig. The imu is covered with layers of cloth and leaves, which helps keep the steam in and slow-cook the meat.

The imu ceremony is held before dinner and is relatively quick, so be sure not to miss it. During the ceremony, you’ll learn more about luau history as your hosts lift the cloth and leaves covering the pig. The pig is then transferred to a large metal container where it will make its way to the kitchen to be shredded and served as tasty kalua pork.

Dinner at the Old Lahaina Luau

After you’ve had a chance to walk the grounds and check out the imu ceremony, it’s time to settle back into your seat and get ready for dinner. This is also a great time to order another drink (it’s an open bar, so keep them coming).

The dinner portion of the Old Lahaina Luau used to be a buffet, but since the pandemic, it has changed to table service. We’ve done the buffet before and found that we actually enjoyed the table service better, so that was a welcome change!

Dinner starts out with a basket of taro and sweet potato chips along with coconut haupia and sweet kūlolo, followed by salad and a bread basket. Next, you’ll be served an assortment of kalua pig, laulau (pork wrapped in taro leaves), ahi poke, and lomilomi salmon for the table to share.

For the main course, each person gets their own plate that consists of steak, chicken, fish, and island veggies. The Old Lahaina Luau does accommodate vegetarian, vegan, or gluten-free meals with 24 hours of advance notice.

Finally, your dinner will conclude with a decadent dessert that consists of mango coconut bombe and macadamia coconut crunch with mango anglaise. There’s also a coffee and tea service if you need something to perk you up for the trip home.

Hulu Dancing and Hawaiian Music

Before dinner starts and during your walk around the grounds, you can hear the sounds of local musicians playing a variety of island songs that add to the ambiance of the evening.

During dinner, you will be treated to a traditional Hawaiian hula show and music that takes you on a journey through the history of the Hawaiian islands. You’ll hear the beat of the drums as hula dancers tell the story of early Hawaiians all the way to the present day.

The hula dancing at Old Lahaina Luau is spectacular and fun to watch. The dancers are all well-trained in hula, and many have been practicing it since they were children. They take it very seriously, and the show they put on does not disappoint.

One thing to note is that the Old Lahaina Luau does not have fire dancing. That is because fire dancing is not a traditional part of Hawaiian luaus as it is on other islands in Polynesia (Old Lahaina Luau strives to be authentic). If fire dancing is important to you, consider checking out Feast at Lele which is operated by the same company as Old Lahaina Luau.

Old Lahaina Luau Tickets

Old Lahaina Luau Hula Dancing

Most people will tell you to book your tickets well in advance because tickets sell out quickly. As of this writing, I’m able to book a table three months in advance. So, I would say somewhere between three to six months in advance is probably safe.

We recommend booking your tickets through Hawaii Activities. They offer the same price as booking direct, but you also get points toward a discount on your next purchase.

When booking your tickets, you will have the choice between a table and chairs or traditional mat seating in the front row. We’ve never done the traditional mat seating before, but I bet the view is pretty good!

Click the button below to check your dates and see what the cost for your evening will be.

More About the Old Lahaina Luau

Old Lahaina Luau Sunset

Is the Old Lahaina Luau Authentic?

The Old Lahaina Luau is often billed as authentic because it only includes elements from traditional Hawaiian luaus instead of all Polynesia like some other luaus. So, in that sense, it is an authentic Hawaiian luau. However, that isn’t a good or bad thing. It just means the food and entertainment are strictly Hawaiian. Check out the Feast at Lele if you’re interested in a luau that covers more than just Hawaiian culture.

Location and Parking

The Old Lahaina Luau is located at 1251 Front St in Lahaina on Maui’s West Side. There is a parking lot, but it’s often full early. When that happens, you can park across the street at the Lahaina Cannery Mall. The walk back is only a couple of minutes.

What to Wear?

This isn’t a formal feast; it’s a casual party. Wear whatever is comfortable, or bust out that Hawaiian shirt you’ve been dying to show off! I’ve seen some people mention a light jacket, but I’ve never needed one. The temperature is still usually great at that time in the evening.

How Long is the Luau?

The Old Lahaina Luau runs about three hours with five showings a week and starts between 5:15 and 6:15 p.m., depending on the time of year.

Justin and Katie Busa

Meet the Authors

Aloha! We’re Justin and Katie, the owners of Maui Hideaway. We’ve been visiting Hawaii together with our family for 20 years and would love to share the experience of the islands with you. Whether you’re looking for a place to stay or just some vacation advice, we’re here to help!

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