Aloha, fellow Kauai enthusiasts!
I recently embarked on a scrumptious journey to discover the most amazing Kauai luaus. My boyfriend and I have been hitting these enchanting shores for years now, soaking up Hawaiian and Polynesian culture through their mouth-watering feasts and captivating performances. Trust me, as someone who’s witnessed countless hula dances and sipped many Mai Tais, you’re in for a treat with this article.
You see, luaus are more than just an island-style buffet dinner; they’re celebrations of life itself! Weddings, birthdays—you name it—with each luau comes a unique ambiance that captivates your senses. But with so many options out there, how do you pick the perfect one? Fear not—this Kauai luau guide will guide you through my top recommendations so that you can enjoy every last bit of tasty island fare without any regrets.
In all my research and personal experiences (which involved delightfully full bellies), I’ve narrowed it down to just a handful of best Kauai luaus along Kauai’s picturesque shoreline. Whether your heart is set on panoramic ocean views or lush garden surroundings, our list has got you covered!
Warning: Luau hopping may cause sudden dance outbreaks, intense cravings for savory kalua pig—oh yeah, and memories that’ll last a lifetime!
Now grab your lei because we’re about to embark on the ultimate Kauai luau adventure!
Luau Kalamaku at the Kilohana Plantation
Start your vacation with a fun night at the Luau Kalamaku, an award-winning luau located on the historic Kilohana Plantation in Kauai. This Kauai luau promises an authentic luau experience, with an entertaining night on the island as you witness Polynesian history through captivating performances, enjoy hula dances, and watch fire dancers put on a terrific show.
Your evening begins with a fresh flower lei greeting, after which you can tour the plantation grounds and watch arts and crafts on display by local artisans. For dinner, watch a whole Kalua pig unearthed from an underground oven in the traditional imu ceremony and feast on a buffet meal of Hawaiian classics like Mahi Mahi, teriyaki chicken, Lomi Lomi salmon, and a variety of local vegetables, fruits, and side dishes.
The best part of this luau is the main show held in the Luau Pavilion, which tells the story of the first Tahitian explorers to land in Hawaii. You’ll become immersed in the tricks performed by flame twirlers, the graceful choreography of Polynesian dancers, and live music played on traditional instruments handmade by the musicians.
My boyfriend and I became fans of this luau for its incredible performances, and we consider it the best luau in Kauai. Here’s why you will too:
- You can upgrade your ticket to include a train ride on the Kauai Plantation Railway.
- Guests can take photos with the cast after the end of the performance.
- There’s an open bar serving tropical drinks, which you can purchase.
Smith Family Garden Luau
The Smith Family Garden luau offers an unmissable show on a family-run tropical garden that faces the Wailua River. Guests of the luau will feel a strong sense of Ohana in this close-knit gathering as they explore the beautiful gardens, feast on a delicious Hawaiian luau buffet, and watch performances showcasing Polynesian cultures and history through the ages.
Start your evening by wandering through the gardens among native plant and flower species, followed by watching the roast pig unearthed from the imu (underground clay oven), which signals dinner. Then, enjoy delicious foods from around Hawaii during the buffet and toast your Kauai vacation with complimentary beverages and tropical cocktails from the bar.
Next, head to a torchlit lagoon theater for the ‘Golden People of Hawaii’ show which includes dances and music from the many ethnic groups inhabiting Hawaii. Marvel at the colorful costumes and enticing performances from Tahiti, Hawaii, China, Japan, the Philippines, New Zealand, and Samoa, such as fire-knife displays and Asian lion dances.
We love the Smith Family’s incredible display of culture, and they undoubtedly host the best luau in Kauai. Here’s why you’ll agree:
- You’ll see peacocks roaming the grounds from the luau’s expansive grounds.
- There are fruit orchids and bamboo trees surrounding the luau, making for a great photo op.
- You can tour the entire estate as part of your ticket before the show begins.
Auli’i Luau at Sheraton Kauai Resort
Resort luaus are common in Hawaii, and you can find the only oceanfront luau Kauai at the Sheraton Hotel. Located on Poipu beach’s stunning oceanfront setting, the Auli’i luau promises unmatched sunset views, family-friendly activities, and an incredible buffet feast. The best part; the Auli’i luau is locally owned and operated, so it’s also the most authentic luau in Kauai.
Food at this luau pays homage to traditional Hawaiian classics with an all-you-can-eat buffet of Kalua pork, fresh poke, Huli Huli chicken, teriyaki beef, and much more. In addition, you’ll enjoy unlimited pours of your favorite drinks – from Mai Tais to tropical cocktails from the open bar.
Get a drink, and settle on the beach to watch the stunning sunset as the show begins. The performances feature much more than traditional luaus, with spirited performances of the Siva Afi, a fire dance of Samoa, Kahiki, a drum dance from Tahiti, and of course, a beautiful hula.
My boyfriend and I love the Auli’i luau for its terrific location and facilities, as it’s the best luau in Kauai. Here’s why you’ll agree:
- You can get an upgrade to enjoy front-row seats facing the performers.
- The VIP tickets provide fresh flower leis for women and black shell leis for men.
- The luau features legends and stories in their performances from around Polynesia.
Ahi Lele Luau
Take part in this one-of-a-kind luau and fire show held within the Anaina Hou Community Park, focusing solely on local dancers’ performances. The Ahi Lele Luau Fire Show is organized by a local family that hosts small groups at a time to keep the gathering intimate and ensure each group gets individual attention.
You’ll be seated on pods of chairs facing the stage, which lights up with tiki torches for the main show and welcomes performers with the steady beat of drums. Watch as the professional dancers play with fire while keeping up with the drum beat with swift Tahitian dance moves. We were completely captivated by the performance, which increased in pace as the skilled dancers chanted tales and legends of Polynesia.
However, since the luau is all about the fire performers, there isn’t a buffet dinner included, but you can purchase a dinner luau box before the show with a choice of beverages.
You don’t want to miss the Ahi Lele show, as it’s one of the best luaus in Kauai and the most authentic.
- The stage show also includes a coconut husking demonstration in the manner of old Hawaiians.
- A host narrates the history and traditions of Polynesia onstage, which keeps the audience hooked.
- The luau is free for children aged two years and younger.
Havaiki Nui Luau at The Grand Hyatt Kauai
Experience a luxury resort luau like no other at the Grand Hyatt Resort in Poipu, which premiers an all-in-one luau featuring authentic Polynesian performances, a high-quality dinner buffet, cultural activities, and local vendors selling handmade crafts. The Havaiki Nui luau is ideal for families as the show is free for children aged 5 and under and has exciting activities for them.
You’ll be greeted with shell leis on arrival and explore the gorgeous resort lawns in search of your seats. Next, indulge in a delicious dinner buffet with food from all around Hawaii, like traditional imu-roasted kalua pig, Huli Huli chicken, volcano-spiced island fish, fresh seasonal vegetables, and appetizers and sides made from local produce.
For the main show, learn the story of Hawaii’s culture through ancestral dances of Samoa, Tahiti, New Zealand, and Hawaii, which depict their travels through the South Pacific. In addition, this luau delivers a Siva Afi (fire knife dance) that rivals the best in Hawaii and will have you on the edge of your seats.
My boyfriend and I always visit the Grand Hyatt on our trips, as they deliver the best luau in Kauai. Here’s why you’ll agree:
- Upgrading to the premier ticket gives front rows to catch the action up close.
- An open bar with dinner serves tropical cocktails all night.
- The luau has incredible desserts like pineapple upside-down cake and guava mousse cake.
Wrapping Up The Best Luau in Kauai
Kauai delivers some of the most entertaining and authentic luaus in Hawaii, offering hours of fun in the island’s best locations. In these immersive events, you can learn about Polynesian cultures through interactive storytelling, hula dances, fire shows, and hands-on activities like lei-making and coconut husking.
Want to attend the best family-friendly luau in Kauai? Head to the Smith Family Garden Luau and the Havaiki Nui Luau.
Looking for delicious buffet dinners on your luau? Try the Luau Kalamaku and the Auli’i Luau.
The best luaus in Kauai have something fun for everyone!
Are luaus worth it in Kauai?
Yes! The luaus in Kauai are the highlight of the island’s activities, as they take you on a journey through Hawaiian culture, traditions, and cuisine through immersive dance and musical performances. You can find some of the best luaus in Kauai in this article.
How much does a luau cost in Kauai?
A luau in Kauai typically costs between $130-$200 and includes dinner buffets, drinks, cultural activities like hula and ukulele lessons, and music and dance performances. However, the luaus are free for kids aged 3 and under in most venues.
Where can I see the luau in Kauai?
There are great luaus in Kauai’s resorts and private estates, which are open to the public. You can attend some of the best luaus in Kauai, are the Luau Kalamaku at the Kilohana Plantation, the Havaiki Nui luau at the Grand Hyatt, and the Smith Family Garden Luau in Wailua.
What can luau guests expect from a traditional luau dinner and Polynesian entertainment?
Luau guests can anticipate an unforgettable experience at a traditional luau, complete with delicious Hawaiian food, lively cultural performances such as hula dancing and fire knife dancing. The evening usually starts with a warm lei greeting followed by an imu ceremony where Kalua pig is unearthed from an underground oven. Guests can then indulge in various delicacies while enjoying incredible Polynesian entertainment.
What sets the Smith’s Family Luau apart from other luaus in terms of its authentic celebration of Polynesian culture?
Smith’s Family Luau stands out for its beautiful setting in a family-run tropical garden facing the Wailua River and its strong emphasis on Polynesian culture. Through exciting Hula dancers’ performances, imu ceremonies, and fire poi ball dancing, visitors get to embrace the essence of Hawaii alive alongside delectable traditional Hawaiian food.
How does Ahi Lele Luau Fire Show reflect the rich traditions of both Hawaiian Islands and other Polynesian islands?
Ahi Lele Luau Fire Show provides an exceptional showcase of Polynesia’s heritage through vivid storytelling focused on swift Tahitian dance moves chanted tales, legends of not only Hawaii but also surrounding Polynesian islands. This intimate gathering within Anaina Hou Community Park highlights remarkable fire knife dances performed by skilled professionals committed to preserving their history.
At most luaus like Tahiti Nui Luau or Havaiki Nui Luau ka Hikina, what similarities are present regarding music and performance styles practiced across different parts of the Pacific region?
Most luaus like Tahiti Nui Luao or Havaiki Nui Luao Ka Hikina often demonstrate similar music styles played on handmade instruments alongside breathtaking performances featuring ancestral dances from Samoa, New Zealand, China among others. All these routines – including the fascinating fire knife dances and hula dancing – highlight interconnectedness within the broader Pacific region ultimately paying homage to varying yet intertwined cultural traditions throughout Polynesia.
Last Updated on May 24, 2023 by Brigitte