Four women hula dancing at a Luau in Kauai.

6 Best Luaus in Kauai For a Spectacular Experience (2022)

If you’re looking for a good luau on Kauai, you’re in luck! While there are a lot of luaus to choose from on the island, not all of them are created equal.

We’ve done all the research for you and compiled a list of the 6 best luaus in Kauai. Below are our top picks.

  • Smith Family Garden Luau
  • Ahi Lele Luau Fire Show 
  • Auli’i Luau
  • Luau Ka Hikina
  • Luau Kalamaku Kauai 
  • Havaiki Nui Luau (Grand Hyatt Kauai Luau) 

All luaus feature singing, dancing, fire performance, and other forms of celebration. We strongly suggest that you include attending a luau in your list of things to do when visiting Kauai. This guide will help you pick the best luaus in Kauai on your next trip.

1. Smith Family Garden Luau 

There is a reason why guests consistently hail the Smith Family Garden Luau as the best on Kauai. Despite not being on a beach with a panorama of the ocean, the setting in the midst of a garden is breathtaking. After receiving your shell lei, you could go on a tram tour with narration or enjoy a leisurely stroll through the gorgeous 30-acre garden park. You can actually smell the flowers along the way.

The Rhythm of Aloha Show kicks off at 8 pm featuring vibrant, genuine performances from Hawaii, Tahiti, Samoa, the Philippines, New Zealand, China, and Japan in a roomy outdoor amphitheater with an exploding volcano effect. As the artists engulf you in an eclectic festival of dances that highlight the ethnic groups who have come to call Hawaii home, night-blooming lilies bloom before your eyes.

The main event is the feast that presents a real kalua pig roasted in an earthen imu oven, chicken adobo, a bowl of poi from the Smith family, and a selection of salads and sweets. The plentiful buffet offers lomi salmon, kalua pig, teriyaki beef, adobo chicken, garden isle greens, poi, three bean salad, jello, oriental fried rice, assorted fresh fruits, coconut cake, haupia, rice pudding, coffee, punch, soft drinks, mai tais, beer, wine, and a regular bar.

Performance Highlights and Features

  • Lei salutation
  • Imu ceremony with kalua pig roasted in an imu oven
  • Hawaiian hula dance
  • Fire knife Samoan dance
  • Tahiti drum dance
  • Erupting volcano

Tables: The dining portion of the event takes place around rectangular or square tables, and the entertainment is at an outdoor but covered amphitheater.

Food: Drinks and food are both unlimited with an elaborate buffet spread.

When is the Luau

  • 5:00pm to about 9:00pm (4:45pm start time Nov – Feb)
  • February – October: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday
  • June – August: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday
  • November – January: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday

Location: 3-5971 Kuhio Hwy, Kapaʻa, HI 96746

Price

  • Adult: $125
  • Jr. (7-13): $35
  • Child (3-6): $25
  • No charges for cancellations made more than 24 hours in advance. 50% charge if cancellation is made within 24 hours of your scheduled luau.

Attire: Casual and comfortable island clothing

Pros 

  • One of the most reasonably priced options with an imu ceremony
  • Offers separate venues for dining and performances
  • Showcases hula, Polynesian, Japanese, Filipino, and other dance styles

Cons

  • Free-for-all seating could seem uncomfortable
  • Tendency to overcrowd; high capacity (400+ at maximum)

Tips to Enhance Your Experience

  • If you want, you can book only the show (without the food).
  • The first-come, first-served policy applies to seats, so get there early.
  • You can preserve memories with pictures of your visit. The cost of professional photos is $26. These are taken at the beginning, and you can buy them after the luau.

2. Ahi Lele Fire Show

The Ahi Lele Luau Fire Show is an exciting show with a more intimate community vibe that is not as extravagant as the luaus at the big resorts.

Since a local family produces the show, it is as genuine and original as it gets. The spellbinding performers portray the tale of the Polynesian islands using fire and dance. There is a Tahitian-style dance, drumming, traditional chants, and fire at the event.

You should not expect the lavish meal you find at bigger luaus because the Ahi Lele Fire Show primarily focuses on the fire display. If you purchase a VIP Ticket, you can enjoy early access, a front-row reserved seat, a dinner buffet, and a mai tai or non-alcoholic beverage of your choice, while general admission will only include the dinner buffet and early entrance. 85% of the produce provided is organic and locally sourced from Kauai.

Performance Highlights and Features

  • Coconut show
  • Fire-focused performance
  • Polynesia drums

Tables: An outdoor Porter Pavilion with seating pods. No tables are present. You can see the stage where the performance takes place through the aperture in the pavilion.

Food: Buffet dinner and child food boxes

When is the Luau: Wednesdays from 6 pm to 9 pm

Location: 5-2723 Kuhio Hwy, Kilauea, HI 96754

Price

  • All-Ages VIP Ticket: $139
  • General Admittance: $119 (Show Only: $79)
  • Children 12 and under: $79 (Show Only: $49)
  • 0-2 years old: Free
  • Taxes and fees are additional to the price
  • If you cancel with more than 24 hours notice, they keep $15 per party; $30 if there are five or more people in your group. Otherwise, no cancellations are permitted.

Attire: Casual with comfortable shoes

Pros

  • Locally produced content presented in an intimate setting
  • Not your typical for-profit luau
  • It has a fire-centered performance
  • The playground and mini golf are close to the community center

Cons

  • There is no imu ceremony
  • Extra drinks are an additional charge

Tips to Enhance Your Experience

  • A front-row table and a drink get included with the VIP ticket. Age has no bearing on this price.
  • First come, first served for seats; VIP receives seats closer to the front.
  • There is plenty of on-site, free parking.

3. Auli’i Luau

The Auli’i Luau is considered the finest luau in Poipu and is housed at the Sheraton Kauai Resort. Being the only luau in Kauai with ocean views makes it a major attraction.

The Hawaiian family-run Auli’i luau takes satisfaction in being entirely run and owned by locals. Every traditional musical pulse and every Polynesian dancing step radiates authenticity. Speaking of dancing, you will witness much more than just hula. Energetic performances include Kahiki, a Tahitian drum dance and Siva Afi, a Samoan fire knife dance. 

The spread is more than only poi, and Kalua pork for guests. The Hawaiian island’s diverse culinary offerings are especially savored and enjoyed. Fresh poke, huli huli chicken, and teriyaki beef are among the specialties available on the buffet.

You will appreciate the mai tais and blue Hawaii regardless of your drink preference. Spend the evening lounging on the beach while enjoying the local landscape and live music.

Performance Highlights and Features

  • Shell lei welcome
  • Hawaiian hula dance
  • Fire knife dancing
  • Dances from New Zealand and Samoa
  • Tahitian drum dance
  • Tables: No cover, circular tables outdoors. A shared table. 
  • Dinner: Buffet-style dining experience including wine, beer, and pre-prepared beverages (not a full bar.)

When is the Luau 

  • Thursday and Saturday: 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm.
  • Check-in begins at 5:30 pm.

Location: 2440 Hoonani Rd, Koloa, HI 96756 (Sheraton Kauai Resort)

Price They list their prices before taxes and fees. The prices listed here are for standard seating. It costs $25 to upgrade to premier seating.

  • Adult: $178.69
  • Teen (13-17): $139.12
  • Youth (4-12): $114.38
  • 0–3-year-old: Free (must sit on a lap)
  • There is no charge for cancellations made more than 24 hours in advance; within 24 hours, it is 50%.

Attire: Casual Hawaiian style

Pros

  • Pre-festivities are wonderful
  • Beautiful outdoor setting
  • Ideal for guests at the Sheraton
  • The only Saturday show

Cons

  • No imu ceremony and slightly expensive
  • Some customers believe the drink options are inadequate and that there is no open bar

Tips to Enhance your Experience

  • Premiere seating includes the first four rows of seating. You may also use the premier check-in queue.
  • It includes gratuities.
  • Wheelchairs are accessible at the luau.
  • Not available for only the show.
  • There is assigned and fixed seating.
  • A photo costs $20. A freelance photographer will take the pictures.
  • There is plenty of free parking available. 

4. Luau Ka Hikina

On Kauai’s east shore, Luau Ka Hikina takes place at the Sheraton Coconut Beach Kauai Resort. Hosted on the recently constructed, on-site, open-air Event Pavilion, Halau Ho’okipa, Luau Ka Hikina is just across from the ocean and fronts the historic royal surfing grounds. 

Luau Ka Hikina invites you to take part in an unforgettable night honoring Hawaiian and Polynesian heritage, accomplished with a locally sourced, traditional Hawaiian feast with a contemporary point of view and live music. And this is better than the live music put out by Mike Tyson in that Hangover movie!

The festivities begin with an impressive torch-lighting ceremony and include mesmerizing hula Kahiko (ancient hula) dances directed by award-winning Kumu hula (hula master) Leilani Rivera Low.

The spread includes roasted veggies, Molokai sweet potatoes, Hawaiian macaroni salad, teriyaki beef, steaming fish, kalua pork, chicken, salad, buns, rice, and poi.

Performance Highlights and Features

  • Traditional Hawaiian welcome with mai tais and tropical mocktails
  • Have fun at a hosted open bar until the performance begins.
  • Beautiful location – facing historic royal surfing grounds on the picturesque east side of Kauai
  • Chance to acquire a genuine, handcrafted keepsake
  • Ceremony for the torch lighting
  • Delicious luau feast with a large selection of island-style foods
  • Dazzling Polynesian performance featuring hula that has won awards as well as Tahitian, Maori, Tongan, and Samoan dances
  • You can purchase flower leis, and proceeds go to the local school.

When is the Luau 

  • Days: Tuesdays and Thursdays
  • Duration: 5 pm to 10 pm (2.5 to 3 hours)
  • Check-in for a luau at 5 pm

Location: 650 Aleka Loop, Kapaʻa, HI 96746

Price

  • For adults aged 14 and above, $179
  • Juniors Ages 7 to 13 $115
  • Children aged 3-6: $75
  • Infants ages 1-2 Complimentary
  • Special rates for Kama’aina or Hawaiian residents

Attire: Casual, beachside, Hawaiian

Pros

  • Yummy food spread
  • Offerings from local vendors
  • Enjoy communal seating in the exquisite luau pavilion
  • The open bar served before the performance

Cons

  • Pool is small
  • It’s relatively new compared to other luaus
  • Limited customer feedback and reviews available

Tips to Enhance Your Experience

  • Seating on a first come, first seated. 
  • Kids will love the pre-show activities.
  • Ideally situated along the highway makes it simple to visit the North Shore, South Shore, and even West Shore of Kauai.

5. Luau Kalamaku 

Luau Kalamaku is another excellent option for getting a genuine Hawaiian experience. Located in an outdoor pavilion, you will find Luau Kalamaku at the magnificent Kilohana Plantation in Lihue.

Visitors may arrive early so they can meander through the Plantation grounds, soak in the splendid natural beauty, and peruse the handmade Kauai items manufactured by local artisans. 

A spectacle of traditional flame twirlers, Polynesian dancers, and the tale of the Tahitian explorers who sailed to Hawaii are some of the presentations in the performances.

You can reserve the Luau Kalamaku with Plantation Owner’s Dinner and Champagne Reception for a wonderful treat. 

Alternatively, you can begin your evening with a champagne reception and lei welcome. After that, get ready to indulge in the four-course Hawaiian dinner at the well-known Gaylord’s restaurant. Finally, choose first-rate seats for the Luau Kalamaku performance to round off the evening.

Performance Highlights and Features

  • Kilohana Plantation Train travel is optional.
  • Lei greeting
  • The imu ceremony
  • Hula performances in Hawaii
  • Twirlers with fire poi balls
  • Fire knife dancing
  • Crafts fair featuring local craftsmen

Tables: There are round tables in a large covered tent for meals and the show. Without a breeze, ventilation can be inadequate.

Food: The Luau Kalamaku has a diverse buffet spread, and also offers a Plantation Owners evening, which includes a 4-course meal. The bar is open.

When is the Luau

  • Tuesday through Friday from 5 pm to 8:30 pm 
  • Start Times: Check-in from 4:45 to 5:30 (5:15 pm – 5:25 pm for the Plantation owner’s Evening)

Location: 3-2087 Kaumualii Hwy, Lihue, HI

Price: The buffet at this luau offers ordinary and VIP seating options as well as a plantation owner’s evening package. Taxes and fees are additional to the listed prices.

Kalamaku Luau (buffet)

  • Adult: $146/$171
  • Teen (13-17): $98/$123
  • Child (3-12): $56/$83
  • Infant (age two and under): free

The Plantation Owners Evening at Gaylord’s Restaurant (4-course meal)

  • Guest: $205
  • Infant (age two and under): free

Attire: Evening casual resort attire

Pros

  • It offers a fine dining experience for those expecting VIP treatment.
  • Provides comfortable transportation options

Cons

  • It seems like everything has an additional cost
  • When there is no breeze, an open-air tent can get heated

Tips to Enhance Your Experience

  • You can reserve transportation for an additional fee.
  • You will not be charged if you cancel more than 24 hours in advance. No-shows are chargeable. There is no mention of a 24-hour cancellation period.
  • You can’t book only the shows.
  • There are designated seats. The first few rows are yours if you purchase premium seating.
  • There is plenty of on-site, free parking.

6. Havaiki Nui Luau (Grand Hyatt Kauai Luau)

The Havaiki Nui Luau at the Grand Hyatt Kauai in Poipu is yet another delightful luau on Kauai. It offers the complete package, including an unlimited meal, an open bar, a hula, and extravagant entertainment. The event also goes by the moniker Grand Hyatt Kauai Luau.

For sure, you won’t go back hungry from this luau! The buffet features delicious dishes, including traditional imu-style kalua pig, huli huli chicken, locally caught fish with spices, seasonal veggies, appetizers, and salads cooked with fresh, local produce. You won’t want to miss the pineapple upside-down cake, guava mousse cake, haupia, or other delectable Hawaiian sweets, so be sure to keep space for dessert.

You won’t be underwhelmed with the show here, either. Enjoy ancestral dances from Polynesia, Samoa, Tahiti, New Zealand, and, of course, Hawaii as they tell the tale of traditions of island culture.

If you want the best seats and a souvenir tiki glass, consider spending a little more money on the premier entrance. They do not offer this at the moment, but they may do so in the future.

Performance Highlights and Features

  • Shell lei welcome
  • Cultural activities
  • Hula Hawaiian dances 
  • Traditional performances
  • Fire knife dance
  • Local vendors
  • The dinner buffet has an open bar

When is the Luau

  • Available on Wednesdays and Saturdays between 5:30 pm to 8 pm
  • Begins at: 5:30 pm

Location: 1571 Poipu Road, Koloa, HI 96756

Price

The prices listed are pre-taxes/fees. The total cost includes a cover fee and a gratuity.

  • General Admission: $175
  • Teenager (13 to 20): $117
  • Child (5-12): $80
  • 0 to 5 years old: Free

Attire: Evening casual resort attire

Pros

  • Free for kids under the age of five (most luaus only include two and under)
  • If you arrive early, you can walk around the fabulous beachfront property

Cons

  • No imu ceremony
  • The cost is somewhat on the higher side
  • A venue outside is prone to rain

Tips to Enhance Your Experience

  • If you cancel 24 hours in advance, there is no charge, but you get charged 50% within 24 hours.
  • Unless previously allocated as part of the Premier package, seating is first come, first served.
  • Photos cost $35.
  • Parking is available at The Grand Hyatt for free in several sizable parking areas. 

What is the Most Enjoyable Luau in Kauai?

The Smith Family Garden Luau is fantastic for a variety of reasons. To begin with, it takes place in a large area. You will appreciate that the feasting and performance sections of the show are kept separate so that everybody can have a spectacular view of the amphitheater.

Is a Luau in Kauai Worth it?

Not attending a luau in Kauai is like not visiting the Eiffel Tower when you’re in Paris. The only way to truly appreciate something is to experience it where it originated. A genuine Hawaiian luau is the best way to experience the richness of Kauai heritage, culture, and traditions. There are so many things to do in Kauai. We strongly suggest you set aside some time to go to a luau there.

The Verdict

On the scenic island of Kauai, there are many luau options. Your experience at a luau in Kauai will undoubtedly be the one you will always cherish. You can enjoy an imu ceremony at Smith Family Garden Luau and Luau Kalamaku. 

If you’re looking for the most sumptuous food on Kauai, Luau Kalamaku has some amazing selections. The memorable Ahi Lele Luau Fire Show is a reasonably priced luau in Kauai. Choose the one that best fits your preferences, schedule, and budget, and you can leave the rest to the Ohana spirit!

Mahalo for reading our post! Until next time, Aloha!