Aloha, fellow island adventurers!
I must confess: there’s nothing that gets me more excited than the thought of experiencing an authentic Hawaiian luau with my boyfriend. Imagine being swept away by enchanting performances, mesmerizing stories from Polynesia, and indulging in a mouthwatering buffet feast – all while surrounded by the breathtaking beauty of the Big Island. Lucky for you and me, I’ve spent countless hours researching and attending these amazing events to find out which ones truly capture the essence of Hawaii.
I know how it feels to be overwhelmed with choices, especially when you want your precious vacation time to be well-spent. Trust me; nobody wants to leave feeling disappointed or like they’ve missed out on something special. That’s why after numerous visits with my significant other – laughing together as we attempted hula dancing and strumming ukuleles – I’ve compiled a list of Big Island luaus that simply can’t be beaten.
I see you: sitting there dreaming of swaying palm trees, warm sand between your toes, and an unforgettable night under the stars at one of these magical events. My goal for this article is to bring you closer to making that dream a reality while saving you time and worry.
Warning: Once you’ve attended one of these incredible luaus, don’t blame me if regular dinners start feeling like a total bore in comparison!
So grab your lei and let’s dive into discovering your perfect Hawaiian evening together!
Voyagers of the Pacific Luau at The Royal Kona Resort
Head to Kona on the Big Island, where the Royal Kona Resort arranges the spectacular Voyagers of the Pacific luau. You can enjoy stories from around Polynesia, learn about Hawaiian culture, take lei-making lessons from locals and eat a delicious feast at this luau.
Upon arrival, guests are greeted with shell leis and tropical drinks, then seated on the Resort’s vast lawns overlooking the gorgeous Kailua Bay. Before the show begins, you can engage in a lei-making workshop, an exotic kakau (tattoo) demonstration, and watch as the Imu ceremony takes place, where a huge cooked Kalua pig gets unearthed from an underground oven.
During the show, learn about Hawaiian history and culture in detail through beautiful performances and stories, followed by a jaw-dropping Samoan fire knife show to end the event. In addition, the dinner at this luau is an unmissable affair as it features a delicious buffet with Hawaiian classics and an open bar all night long.
My boyfriend and I loved the performances and activities at the Royal Kona Resort, and they have the best luau on the Big Island. Here’s why you’ll agree:
- You can take part in group hula lessons to learn this beautiful dance from locals.
- The luau is held four nights a week so you can book it according to your schedule.
- You can upgrade to VIP seating to enjoy front-row stage views of the performances.
Island Breeze Luau at The Kona Beach Hotel
Enjoy the laid-back environment of downtown Kona, where the Kona Beach Hotel holds the incredible Island Breeze luau. Set against the backdrop of the Hualalai volcano, this luau will take its guests back to the times of King Kamehameha as a royal procession mimics the arrival of the King on an outrigger canoe.
As the luau progresses, guests will travel across Polynesia through hair-raising Fijian war dances, enticing hulas, and a Samoan fire show. At the same time, Hawaiian chants, drum beats, and music set the atmosphere. In addition, the luau takes place near Ahu’ena, King Kamehameha’s residential estate, with serene surroundings of paddlers and boaters on the gorgeous Kamakahonu Bay.
For dinner, guests will feast on twenty-two items from an all-you-can-eat buffet featuring Hawaiian-favorite foods like Kalua roast pig, fresh island catch, barbecued chicken, and get drinks from an open bar.
We were in awe of the dances and attention to detail at this event, and we highly recommend it as the best luau on Big Island. Here’s why you will too:
- After the sun sets, you can watch Kona light up for the night from the luau’s lawns.
- The royal procession arrives with a dramatic oli (chant), and conch shell blows.
- You can shop for traditional arts and crafts during the luau.
Legends of Hawaii Luau at The Hilton
Take part in a luxury luau at the Hilton, which is worth every penny for the incredible performances and amenities provided to guests. The Legends of Hawaii luau takes place in an open-air theater, with fun pre-show activities like hula and Hawaiian language lessons, followed by incredible fire shows, storytelling, and a mouthwatering feast.
The show begins with a torch run, as Tahiti men light torches at great speed to the sound of beating drums. Following it is a blessing for dinner, which features a buffet of kalua pork with local honey and plum sauces, kiawe-smoked brisket with a passion fruit sauce, roast chicken, fresh seafood, and fruit desserts. In addition, guests will enjoy an unlimited open bar serving alcoholic and nonalcoholic drinks all night.
For the main show, you’ll enjoy a coconut husking demonstration followed by performances of hula, fire shows, and legends of Hawaii unfolding with ancestral songs in this epic show.
My boyfriend and I loved the array of activities and delicious food at Legends of Hawaii, which is undoubtedly one of the best luaus on the Big Island. Here’s why you have to try it.
- The luau features a local artisan market to purchase locally-made crafts and souvenirs.
- You receive leis as keepsakes on your table from the friendly staff.
- You can book the Alii (royal) package for premier seating, appetizers, and desserts.
Mauna Kea Luau
Set in the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel on the Kohala Coast, the Mauna Kea luau is a great choice for those seeking privacy and a smaller gathering, as it hosts intimate groups per event. With gorgeous oceanside views, this luau presents concert-style music and traditional hula dances to showcase Hawaii’s culture and traditions over the years.
Beginning in the 1960s, the Mauna Kea luau is still an island favorite affair, with an unmatched buffet serving classics such as kalua pig, island fish, Lomi salmon, sashimi, poke, and fresh island fruit like pineapple and papaya. In addition, children will enjoy the tables laden with desserts like finger-licking poi.
As for the show, you’ll enjoy a break from the usual performances and engage in running commentary from the friendly MC, who narrates the island’s history and cultural evolution. There’s also a royal procession, followed by a terrific fire show to round up the night.
My boyfriend and I thoroughly enjoyed our time at the Mauna Kea luau, and their private gathering makes them the best luau on Big Island. Here’s why you’ll agree:
- Guests will see the fishing practices of ancient Hawaiians from the Hukilau show.
- You’ll get greeted with complimentary Mai Tais on arrival.
- The desserts are island-inspired, like sweet potato haupia (coconut pudding) and lilikoi cheesecake.
Hoʻomau-A Mai Grille Luau Show
Head to the Waikoloa Beach Golf Course, where the Ho’omau luau takes place weekly, with a delicious lunch from the award-winning Mai Grille restaurant. Guests of this luau will enjoy the open-air seating beneath the stars on the expansive golf course grounds as the night of incredible storytelling of Polynesian legends unfolds.
On arrival, you’ll be greeted with a complimentary Mai Tai and a shell lei, then engage in entertaining pre-show activities like hula lessons from the friendly local instructors. Dinner consists of a mouthwatering feast of Pan-Pacific classics like roasted kalua pork, fresh island catch, Paniolo steak with a Kona coffee rub, and much more prepared by the Mai Grille’s professional chefs.
As the main show begins, children and adults alike will become immersed in the performances depicting the Hawaiian fire goddess named Pele. Her story of travels through Polynesia in search of a home, meeting with the Maori of Aotearoa (New Zealand) and the warriors of Samoa before settling in Hawaii with a demigod, will have the audience completely captivated.
My boyfriend and I loved the terrific ambiance and storytelling at the Ho’omau show, and we consider it the best luau on Big Island. Here’s why you will too:
- The show is family-friendly and has activities for all ages.
- You can get free pictures of the event online after it ends.
- The luau offers discounts for younger children and is free for toddlers.
What is the most authentic luau in Hawaii?
Many luaus in Hawaii remain authentic to this age-old celebration, such as the Ali’i luau and the Paradise Cove luau in Oahu, the Old Lahaina luau in Maui, and the Voyagers of the Pacific luau on the Big Island.
What is the most authentic luau in Kona?
Kona on the Big Island has great luaus on its resorts, with the most authentic ones being the Voyagers of the Pacific luau at the Royal Kona Resort and the Island Breeze luau at the Kona Beach Hotel.
What is the best luau on the Big Island?
The luaus on the Big Island present great performances, food, and dances, and you can find the best ones in this article. The Voyagers of the Pacific luau, the Legends of Hawaii luau, and the Mauna Kea luau are largely considered the best.
Winding Up The Best Luaus on Big Island
If you’re visiting the Big Island, be prepared for never-ending entertainment from the island’s best luaus, which promise hours of fun for the whole family. These age-old Hawaiian celebrations take you on a journey through Polynesian cultures with immersive dances, singing, and legendary tales, plus buffet dinners of fresh local food.
Want to visit the best family-friendly luau on the Big Island? Head to the Ho’omau luau at the Waikoloa Beach Golf Course.
Looking for a secluded luau for a private gathering? Try the Mauna Kea luau at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel.
Want to attend a luau with great pre-show activities? Head to Voyagers of the Pacific luau at the Royal Kona Resort.
The best luaus on Big Island have endless fun for everyone!
Last Updated on March 30, 2023 by Brigitte