Without a doubt, The Old Lahaina Luau is the best Luau on Maui–at least according to all the reviews. The one regret that we had on our first trip to Maui was that we didn’t attend this luau. When planning our honeymoon we thought, “We went to a luau on Kauai, we don’t need to go to another one this time,” however, once we arrived on the island we wished that we had made a reservation for this popular event. Unfortunately, the Old Lahaina Luau sells out weeks and sometimes months in advance so we missed our chance on the first attempt.
When we decided to go back to Maui for Christmas, we both agreed that it was time to attend another Luau. We didn’t want it to sell out again, so we made our reservations two months out. (Just a tip: supposedly, the earlier you book, the better your seat).
The night of the luau we checked in as two ukulele players sang and entertained the guests. We were greeted a friendly “Aloha!”, a fragrant bright pink and white lei, and a strong Mai Tai (they also had non-alcoholic versions available for the kids). We were shown to our seats and then encouraged to check out the open bar and explore the grounds.
The Old Lahaina Luau grounds are immaculate. The backdrop of swaying palm trees, sailboats, expansive ocean views, and the offshore islands created a peaceful scenery. We enjoyed the sunset while sipping on Mai Tai’s and watching other guests learn how to hula dance, basket weave, and play the ukulele.
I always worry about getting paired up with random strangers at a dinner table (you never know who you’re going to sit by) but we hit the jackpot that night. We sat across the table from two sisters originally from England. Throughout the night we learned about how they grew up in England, and how one now lives in Canada and the other lives in New Zealand, which makes Hawaii a good meeting point. The other four seats were taken up by a family from Texas. (Uh, hello! I’m a Cowboys fan! Clearly, we were instant best friends! Even though the husband was a Denver Broncos fan) ;) The conversation flowed easily that night, which made our evening that much more enjoyable.
The thing I really enjoyed about the Old Lahaina Luau was that it focused on the traditions of the Hawaiian people. The hula dances take you through centuries of history explaining how the hula was created, how it changed over the years, and the hula in today’s society. The performers were exceptional and the costumes (or lack thereof ;-) ) were extravagant. Even though this luau does not include the flashy fire dancing like some of the other performances, I enjoyed the more traditional approach.
For just over $100 we had dinner and entertainment for the entire evening. The service was better than excellent, the drinks were strong, the food was traditional Hawaiian fare and delicious, and the performances were magnificent.