Comparing 11 Best Hawaiian Luaus in Oahu, Hawaii

Ali'i Luau

If you are traveling to Hawaii, you have to consider having dinner at a luau.

Your trip to Hawaii will be even more memorable with moments that fully represent Hawaii and Polynesia.

Some of those luaus are held in Waikiki, so you can just walk there and get fully immersed in one of the most “Hawaiian” things on your trip.

Here are some of the places where you can experience the best luaus in Oahu, so pick the one that is most suitable for your trip.

This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.

Best Luaus in Waikiki / Honolulu

Waikiki Starlight LuauAha’ainaQueens Waikiki LuauDiamond Head Luau
LocationHilton Hawaiian VillageThe Royal Hawaiian HotelInternational Market PlaceWaikiki Aquarium
Venue TypeOpen Air
Grass Surface
Open Air
Grass Surface
Semi Open Air
Grass Surface
Open Air
Grass Surface
WhenSun-Thu
17:30-20:15
Mon
17:30 – 20:00
Sun, Tue, Sat
17:00 – 20:00
Sun, Mon, Thu, Fri
17:30 – 20: 00
PricingAdult: $170 –
Child: $110 –
Infant: Free
Adult: $200 –
Child: $149 –
Young Child: $20 –
Lap Child: Free
Adult: $107 –
Child: $87 –
Infant: Free
Adult: $159 –
Youth: $139 –
Child: $89 –
Lap Child: Free

A typical luau can last for 2-3 hours including pre-show activities, and you might be like many of us who want to save as much time as possible for all the other activities you have planned.

Fortunately, there are a few luaus within Waikiki, including the one at International Market Place that just started this year.

Hilton Hawaiian Village – Waikiki Starlight Luau

TripAdvisor
YouTube

The first one of the list is “Waikiki Starlight Luau” at Hilton Hawaiian Village.

Conveniently located at the Hilton Hawaiian Village in Waikiki, I would say this luau currently has the best buffet of all luaus in Waikiki.

This luau is held every Sunday to Thursday night on the Great Lawn of the famous Hilton Hawaiian Village – located off of the lagoon. The Polynesian show named “Voyage Across the South Seas” is their program.

Venue – Open Air/Lawn

This luau used to be held at a rooftop of the Mid-Pacific Conference Center in the resort, but not moved its location to the Great Lawn, right by the lagoon.

At the sunset, you get a good view of the luau as the sky turns orange with silhouette of palm trees by the lagoon and the ocean.

Pre-show Activities

Before the show, you can enjoy various cultural activities such as lei-making and Polynesian tattoo, so you can be immersed into “Hawaii”.

You will be taught dance and poi-ball, and have some fun while they have a hula contest with customers going up to the stage.

Food

In addition to traditional Hawaiian cuisine, there are also extensive international foods such as fried rice and sushi rolls.

Above all, it is always nice to have a good Luau within Waikiki, without taking much time to commute.

Pricing

  • Golden Circle Seating – Adult: $170, Child: $110, Infant: Free
  • Diamond Premiere Seating – Adult: $210, Child: $150, Infant: Free
WhenSun-Thu 17:30 – 20:15
Access2005 Kalia Rd, Honolulu, HI 96815
More InfoHilton Hawaiian Village – Waikiki Starlight Luau
ReservationWaikiki Starlight Luau – showclix

The Royal Hawaiian – Aha’aina

Youtube
TripAdvisor

If you want to avoid a long commute, but still want to enjoy a nice view, Aha Aina at The Royal Hawaiian Hotel might be the one for you.

It is a little expensive compared to other luaus, with price ranging up to $200+, but you can stay in Waikiki and enjoy high quality entertainment with the ocean and the Diamond Head in the background.

Venue – Open Air/Lawn

This luau is held at the Ocean Lawn and pays homage to “Helumoa”, the land now beneath the resort, which was the legendary playground of Hawaiian royalty.

Having a luau right in from of the sea of Waikiki with Diamond Head and Waikiki Beach in the background sounds like a perfect way to celebrate your vacation in Waikiki, doesn’t it?

Pre-show Activities

The pre-show consists of traditional Hawaiian time-honored activities such as kapa-making (cloth made of pounded bark), poi-pounding, and na lawai’a (tending of fishing tools).

Food

They currently serve three course meal, not a buffet which is popular among other luaus. It is a bummer that you cannot fully enjoy the feast of typical Hawaiian Luau.

Pricing

  • Standard: Adult – $200, Child: $149, Young Child: $20, Lap Child: Free
  • Premium: Adult – $220, Child: $169, Young Child: $20, Lap Child: Free

When17:30 – 20:00 Every Monday
Access2259 Kalakaua Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815
More InfoAha Aina Luau Official

International Market Place – Queens Waikiki Luau

Conveniently located in the heart of Waikiki, the International Market Place offers a luau called “Queens Waikiki Luau”.

This is one of, if not the most affordable luau on the island charging only $107 for the back row seating.

Venue – Semi Open Air/Lawn

As I just said, this luau is held inside the International Market Place’s Queen’s Court.

I know what you are thinking. “Yeah yeah, a luau inside a shopping center. It’s a mini-luau.”

No. It is a full-fledged luau show with interactive cultural activities, traditional Hawaiian food, and lots of performances that lasts for 3 hours.

Yes, fire knife dance inside a shopping center.

Pre-show Activities

Through their interactive activities, you can learn to twirl fire knives, use flower pom poms and poi balls, and they do a great job at keeping everybody involved in the activities and feels a part of the show.

Food

Their buffet menu covers all the must-eat luau menu like Kalua Pork, BBQ Chicken, and Lomi Lomi Salmon and desserts like Coconut Cakes, and Fresh Pineapples.

This luau just started this year, but is a great option as it is one of the few luaus you can conveniently access within Waikiki.

Pricing

  • Back Row Seating – Adult: $107, Child: $87, Infant: Free
  • Middle Row Seating – Adult: $127, Child: $107, Infant: Free
  • Front Row Seating – Adult: $157, Child: $137, Infant: Free
WhenSun, Tue, Sat 17:00 – 20:00
Access2330 Kalakaua Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815
More InfoQueens Waikiki Luau Official
ReservationAdmission to Queens Waikiki Luau

Waikiki Aquarium – Diamond Head Luau (Temporarily Closed)

Hawaii Discount
TripAdvisor

“Diamond Head Luau” (also referred to as “King’s Luau”) is a luau show held in the ocean front courtyard of Waikiki Aquarium at the end of Waikiki.

This luau also offers Hawaiian cultural experiences through activities like hula lessons, ukulele lessons, lei-making, and Polynesian tattoos.

You can see the sunset over the Waikiki ocean, and a relaxing time colors the night on the beautiful island of Oahu.
It is also a unique advantage of this particular luau that you can visit the aquarium before the show.

Pricing

  • Adult: $159
  • Youth: $139
  • Child: $89
  • Lap Child: Free
WhenSun, Mon, Thu, Fri 17:30 – 20:00 (Temporarily Closed)
Access2777 Kalakaua Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815
More InfoDiamond Head Luau Official
ReservationDiamond Head Luau Official
TransportationAvailable

Best Luaus in North Shore

Ali’i Luau and Hā: Breath of Life showToa Luau
LocationPolynesian Cultural CenterWaimea Valley
Venue TypeSemi Open Air
Concrete Floor
Open Air
Grass Surface
WhenMon-Sat
17:00 – 21:00
Mon, Tue, Wed
17:00 – 20:30
PricingAdult: $184.95 –
Child: $147.96 –
Young Child: Free
Adult: $115 –
Child: $95 –
Young Child: Free

In north shore, the most famous luau is the Ali’i Luau at the Polynesian Cultural Center.

Combined with the night show “HA: Breath of Life”, Ali’i Luau is easily the biggest, most sophisticated cultural entertainment on the island.

Polynesian Cultural Center

Ali’i Luau

Ali’i Luau

Hā: Breath of Life show

Polynesian Cultural Center

The Polynesian Cultural Center near the North Shore offers one of Hawaii’s most famous luaus and the largest Polynesian show on the island.

The quality in performance, food, and venue is top-notch. Some people say that PCC luau is touristy, but I would say it is sophisticated and professional.

Full-day Experience

Unlike any other luau packages in this article, Ali’i Luau and the Breath of Life night show comes with a full-day experience at the Polynesian Cultural Center. To be more precise, you get free 3-day pass to the “villages” in the center.

It is a lot more than a few activities you go around and try for some 30 minutes, so you can check out this article if you are interested.

▶︎ Food and Shows! A Day at the Polynesian Cultural Center

Venue – Semi Open Air/Concrete Floor

The luau and the night show have dedicated venues for each, free of wind, rain and noise.

Both venues are built like an amphitheater, where the seats get higher the further you get, allowing everyone to have good views of the stage.

Food

Food is great with lots of variety, and comes with a free, delicious, non-alcohol Pina Colada smoothie served in a real pineapple. Alcohol is not served inside the center.

Show

The “Ali’i Luau”, focuses on the works of Queen Liliuokalani, including the famous “Aloha ‘Oe”. Good thing about this Hawaii-centered show is that you get to enjoy variety of hula and Hawaiian music throughout the show.

“HA: Breath of Life” show that follows Ali’i Luau is where you see other Polynesian dances and fire knife dance. This show is performed by more than 100 casts, and no other show on the island takes place in a large theater that can hold 2,700 people.

You can learn more about Ali’i Luau in this article.

Pricing

  • Ali’i Luau Package – Adult: $184.95, Child:$147.96, Young Child: Free
  • Super Ambassador Luau Package – Adult: $242.95, Child:$194.36, Young Child: Free
WhenMon-Sat 17:00 – 21:00
Access55-370 Kamehameha Hwy, Laie, HI 96762
Official WebsiteLuau & Diner Options
PackagesPolynesian Cultural Center Official
TransportationAvailable

Waimea Valley – Toa Luau

Toa Luau
Toa Luau

Up on the North Shore, a luau called “Toa Luau” is held in Waimea Valley.

Toa Luau has everything you need from a luau, but it is also intimate and friendly. Some might say this luau is more authentic than other luaus.

Venue – Open Air/Lawn

Also its location, Waimea Valley, is one of the things that make Toa Luau unique.

Due to its lush valleys, abundant resources, free-flowing streams and geographic location, Waimea Valley was home to many people of the Kahuna class (experts in their field of study) throughout history.

Pre-show Activities

You can enjoy the cultural activities and traditional demonstration of Umu and Kava ceremony.

The tickets to the luau also includes admission to Waimea Valley. So it is recommended that you arrive at least 2 hours before your luau check-in to explore the valley, Waimea Falls and the botanical gardens.

Pricing

  • Silver – Adult: $115, Child: $95, Young Child: Free
  • Gold – Adult: $145, Child: $125, Young Child: Free
  • VIP – Adult: $175, Child: $145, Young Child: Free
WhenMon, Tue, Wed 17:00 – 20:30
Access59-864 Kamehameha Hwy, Haleiwa, HI 96712
More InfoToa Luau Official
ReservationToa Luau at Waimea Valley

Best Luaus in Leeward Coast

Paradise Cove LuauKa Wa’a LuauChief’s LuauGermaine’s Luau
LocationKo Olina ResortsAulani ResortWet ‘n’ Wild Hawaii
Venue TypeOpen Air
Sand
Open Air
Lawn
Open Air
Grass Surface
Open Air
Sand
WhenEveryday
17:00 – 21:00
Everyday
17:00 – 21:00
Sun, Mon, Wed, Thu, Fri
17:30 – 20:30
Tue-Sun
17:30 – 21:30
PricingAdult: $125 –
Youth: $105 –
Child: $90 –
Young Child: Free
Adult: $179 –
Child: $99 –
Infant: Free
Adult: $155 –
Youth: $135 –
Child: $110 –
Infant: Free
Adult: $135 –
Junior: $115 –
Child: $95 –
Young Child: Free

In leeward coast, or around the “Ko Olina” area on the southwest side of the island, there are a few luau options too.

Most popular ones would be the ones at Ko Olina resort and Aulani resort.

Ko Olina Resorts – Paradise Cove Luau

Yelp


LEVITATE STYLE

Paradise Cove Luau is held at Ko Olina Resort on the west side of Oahu, 40 minutes by shuttle bus from Waikiki.

This luau is one of the largest in the luau show on the island and is very popular.

Venue – Open Air/Sand

The Paradise Cove’s venue is located right by the water of Kau’la Bay.

It is pretty nice that they can afford to host all these activities outdoor, which can be very difficult in the luaus, for example, in Waikiki area.

Since it is on the west side of the island, you will be enjoying the pre-show activities and the actual show while the sun is setting behind the main stage.

Pre-show Activities

During the pre-show, you can learn how to make a traditional Hawaiian lei, get temporary Polynesian tatoos, or test your skills at Hawaiian games like spear throwing and dart sliding.

They also have demonstration of climbing palm trees and traditional underground oven cooking, and you can learn the net fishing techniques of old Hawaii in the “Hukilau on the Beach” activity.

Food

Ticket includes complimentary Mai Tai Punch (alcohol or non-alcohol).

If you just want to try luau food but are not sure if you will like it, don’t worry. In addition to traditional luau food, they have some American food options like fried chicken, salad, macaroni salad, pasta salad, corn, etc.

Pricing

  • Hawaiian Luau Package – Adult: $125, Youth: $105, Child: $90, $Young Child: Free
  • Orchid Luau Package – Adult: $150, Youth: $135, Child $110, $Young Child: Free
  • Deluxe Luau Package – Adult: $210, Youth: $185, Child: $160, $Young Child: Free
WhenEveryday 17:00 – 21:00
Access92-1089 Ali’inui Dr, Kapolei, HI 96707
More InfoParadise Cove Luau Official
ReservationParadise Cove Luau
TransportationAvailable

Comparison with Aulani Luau

Compared to the Ka Wa’a luau held at the Aulani Resort which is just 10-minute walk away, this one is considered more traditional with more pre-show activities, and has a better venue right by the beach with no tall buildings around.

Aulani Resort – Ka Wa’a Luau

TripAdvisor

In Ko Olina area, Aulani the Disney Resort also offers their luau called “Ka Wa’a”.

The “Ka Wa’a” luau features the legends and lore of ancient Hawaii, and tells the story of the canoe voyage of ancient explorers who reached the shores of Ko Olina.

As you already know, Disney is no stranger to great storytelling and entertainment.

Venue – Open Air/Lawn

TripAdvisor

Hālāwai Lawn in the Aulani Resort is the venue for this luau. It is a well-maintained lawn right outside of Ewa tower, so it is very convenient if you are staying at Aulani, and you don’t have to get worried about getting your feet sandy.

Pre-show Activities

There are also pre-show activities including traditional arts such as flower arranging and paʻi ai taro pounding, so you can have some fun even before the 3-hour Disney-quality entertainment.

Food

Twitter
TripAdvisor

The luau comes with a three-course plated bento dinner featuring Hawaiian favorites like pulled pork, island fish, steak and chicken, rice and taro, and a plated trio of desserts.

Although having bento instead of a buffet is one of the measures that this resort took due to the special occasion under COVID-19, people who have visited seem to be satisfied with the good food in the 2 compartment bento box and the desserts.

They also have allergy-free options, and sign language interpretation (call (844) 284-7644)

Pricing

  • General Seating – Adult: $179, Child: $99, Infant: Free
  • Preferred Seating – Adult: $199, Child: $119, Infant: Free
WhenEveryday 17:00 – 21:00
Access92-1185 Ali’inui Dr, Kapolei, HI 96707
More InfoKA WA‘A – A Lū‘au at Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa
ReservationKA WA‘A – A Lū‘au at Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa

Wet ‘n’ Wild Hawaii – Chief’s Luau

Pinterest
Pinterest

Wet ‘n’ Wild Hawaii is popular for water attractions such as a flowing pool and water slide.

A luau show is also held here, surrounded by towering cliffs and the blue sea. The MC by world-renowned Polynesian entertainer Chief Ciel is very popular.

A demonstration of ignition and a dance experience with customers on stage will be exciting.

Of course, you can also experience Hawaiian activities such as hair bands and tattoos made from palm leaves.

Pricing

  • Paradise Experience – Adult: $155, Youth: $135, Child: $110, Infant: Free
  • Royal Experience – Adult: $195, Youth: $165, Child: $155, Infant: Free
WhenSun, Mon, Wed, Thu, Fri 17:30 – 20:30
Access41-202 Kalanianaole Hwy, Waimanalo, HI 96795
More InfoWet ‘n’ Wild Hawaii – Chief’s Luau
TransportationAvailable

Germaine’s Luau


Ang Sarap

flickr.com

Germaine’s Luau boasts a 40-year history, taking good care of good old Hawaii.

This luau, which was selected as the best luau in the United States, is one of the luau that has the most local vibes.

The shuttle bus guide is very cozy, but the excitement of the show is at the highest level.
Of course you can enjoy it without problems even if you are not a native English speaker.

Venue – Open Air/Sand

Germaine’s Luau is held at a dedicated open air venue right by the ocean.

Pricing

  • The Original Luau Package – Adult: $135, Junior: $115, Child: $95, Young Child: Free
  • Plumeria Luau Package – Adult: $175, Junior: $150, Child: $140, Young Child: Free
WhenTue-Sun 17:30 – 21:30
Access91-119 Olai St, Kapolei, HI 96707
More InfoGermaine’s Luau
TransportationAvailable

Best Luaus in Windward Coast

Sealife Park – Ka Moana Luau

Sea Life Park Hawaii
EliteConciergeHawaii

Sea Life Park is famous for activities like playing and swimming with dolphins, but the luau show that takes place after the park closes is also popular. This is also one of the few luaus held on the beach.

Luau admission also includes admission to Sea Life Park which is valid for 1 year.

Venue – Open Air/Lawn

A great location surrounded by the sea and mountains gives you a different side of Hawaii than the popular tourist spots you might always see.

Pre-show Activities

At this luau also, you can also make palm leaf headbands, experience hula and ukulele lessons, and watch the traditional luau classic, the Imu ceremony.

Pricing

  • Moana Classic – Adult: $129, Youth: $109, Child: $89, Lap Child: Free
  • Moana Splash – Adult: $149, Youth: $129, Child: $109, Lap Child: Free
  • Moana Celebrity – Adult: $199, Youth: $179, Child: $159, Lap Child: Free
WhenSun, Mon, Tue, Wed, Fri 17:00 – 21:00
Access41-202 Kalanianaole Hwy, Waimanalo, HI 96795
More InfoKa Moana Luau Official
ReservationKa Moana Luau
TransportationAvailable
Parking also available for $10 (cash only)