Old Lahaina Luau, Maui – Review 2023
For our family trip to Maui, I researched all the popular luaus in Maui to decide which one we should attend. We were planning to attend only one luau, so it had to be the best in Maui!
The Old Lahaina Luau stood out as the most authentic and original luau, not part of any resort offering but a stand-alone luau experience unlike no other. I am so glad we decided to go with this one.
I recently visited the Old Lahaiana Luau in the first week of January 2023 with my family.
From the time we drove up to the venue, to the welcome we received, our private table, the setting, the scenery, the food, the music and the show, and above all the hospitality of everyone who worked there, it was a really classy and elegant experience.
In this post find out about the Old Lahaina Luau venue, dinner and show experience, where to buy tickets and how much in advance, and other frequently asked questions about this oldest and most popular luau in Maui.
Table of Contents
Where is Old Lahaina Luau?
What sets apart Old Lahaina Luau from other Maui Luaus is that it has its own independent location and is not part of any resort.
This ocean-front luau is located on the prime Front Street of Lahaina at 1251 Front Street opposite Lahaina Cannery mall.
The luau has its own parking lot next to the venue and an overflow lot across the street at the Lahaina Cannery mall.
Arrival at Old Lahaina Luau
The check-in time for the luau was at 5:15 PM and we reached there around 5:30 PM, after parking at the overflow lot and walking to the venue which took around 5 minutes.
When you arrive for parking, they tell you that the seats are pre-reserved so there is no rush to reach the venue and to take your time. Just a small thing, but sets the relaxed tone for the evening.
It was a beautiful evening that day with great pleasant weather. We were greeted at the gate with fresh orchid flower leis which were great. They checked our mobile check-in tickets and showed us to our pre-reserved seats.
Our server came instantly and greeted us. The welcome drinks for the evening were Mai-Tais and Fruit punch while the guests were settling in.
The drinks were garnished with pineapple slices and orchid flowers. They were great! After our welcome drinks, we walked around to explore the grounds.
Old Lahaina Luau Setting and Grounds
The Old Lahaina Luau’s oceanfront setting is really beautiful and so calming!
The circular stage is set against the ocean backdrop with tiki torches and coconut trees. There was a beautiful wooden canoe on the stage.
Floor Seating vs Table-Chair Seating
The rows of seating are arranged in a semi-circle around the stage with theatre-style tiers. Everyone has a great view of the stage and it seemed that there were no bad seats.
The first row of seating right next to the stage was the traditional floor seating. Here you had to sit on the floor with mats and a low-height table.
The floor seating looked inviting and had the advantage of being close to the stage but 3 hours on the floor without back support might be challenging for those who are not used to sitting on the floor for too long.
The next three rows were all regular table-chair seating. we picked this one and were in the third row from the stage.
Each table only seats one group and they do not mix groups. This might be a change since the pandemic and it was great to not be seated with strangers.
Note: You will need to decide on traditional mat seating vs table-chair seating at the time of booking so discuss with your group ahead of time!
The entire outdoor oceanfront venue was very well designed. The panoramic ocean views with sunset hues were breathtaking. The sounds of the waves crashing against the shore was very relaxing.
There were professional photographers there and you could get your photos clicked and purchase from them. There were lawn games set up for families.
Several local vendors were selling hand-made crafts, decor, and jewelry items. There was a vendor making wooden objects and I bought a wooden turtle as a souvenir. The bead jewelry items looked really nice too!
The Imu ceremony
The biggest crowd was gathered around the Imu ceremony where the Kalua pig was being unearthed from the traditional Imu clay oven.
The Imu is an oven created by digging a hole in the ground and then covered with cloth and leaves to slow roast the pig.
During the Imu ceremony, the roasted Kalua pig is removed from the oven and transferred to the metal container. This is later served as pork during the dinner main course.
5-course Dinner at Old Lahaina Luau
Around 6 PM we returned to our tables as the dinner courses were about to start. In the next 45 minutes or so we got to sample a lot of unique and beautifully decorated food.
Since the pandemic, the food is no longer buffet style but is served at the tables by servers. This was really good as our server explained each course when it arrived which was a nice touch.
The food was different than what we eat on the mainland but we went with an open mind ready to try new tastes and we were ok.
Since this is an authentic Hawaiian dinner a lot of traditional foods like taro (kalo), sweet potato, ulu (breadfruit) were used in various preparations.
During the entire dinner service, there was Hawaiian music and performances on the stage depicting ancient Hawaiian stories.
During the entire dinner and show, you can order as many drinks as needed. There was a great selection of beer, wine, liquor, and specialty cocktails like Mai Tai, Pina Colada, Lava Flow, Blue Hawaii, Chi Chi, and more.
There are a variety of soda and fruit juices available, as there are so many families with kids here.
Vegetarian / Vegan options
We had vegetarians in our group as well so I got to look at everything they had to offer.
Tip: Vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free requests have to be made 24 hours in advance so be sure to call ahead if you have special requests in your group.
The only difference between the regular menu and the vegetarian/vegan menu was in the traditional Hawaiian course and the main course. The rest of the courses were the same on both menus.
First Starter Course
For our first course, we had Taro and sweet potato chips with a taro and chickpea hummus. This was really tasty!
We also got a plate of two pineapple pieces and Haupia pudding. The pudding was ok, but I wish they gave more fruit! The one small pineapple slice was not enough ☺
The Vegetarian starter course was identical.
Second Salad Course
The salad course had a mixed green salad with a house-made dressing, freshly baked purple bread buns, and a very pretty-looking butter which was honey guava butter.
The Vegetarian salad course was identical.
Traditional Hawaiian Course
The regular menu for this course had the Kalua roasted pork, a taro leaf-wrapped pork, Poke Ahi tuna, salmon with onions and tomatoes, and poi which is steamed and mashed taro.
The vegetarian equivalent of this was perhaps the most underwhelming vegetarian course on this menu taste-wise. The vegan poke was made from raw and ripe watermelon. There was a Pohole salad and a sweet potato-taro stew to go along with it.
Main Dinner Course
For the main course, there was steak, fish, chicken with stir-fried vegetables, and sweet potato mash.
The vegetarian main course had a tofu steak with rice, stir-fried vegetables, and sweet potato mash.
The quantities served seemed less at first but were filling with all the courses combined together.
The last course was my favorite course! The dessert was a mango coconut chocolate bomb with macadamia coconut crunch and was really delicious!
There was tea and coffee service at this time as well.
After dinner, our server told us that the main show will begin around 7:30 PM and we can walk around to stretch our legs if we’d like. We walked towards the water and admired the scenery and the crashing waves.
Hula show at Old Lahaina Luau
The main Hula show begins around 7:30 PM and lasts around 45 minutes. They announce the show and ask everyone to be seated.
They start by teaching the audience how to do the traditional hula step by bending the knees and swaying the hips and gently moving the hands. It is hard to do the hula! Much respect and appreciation for the hula dancers!
The show is really good, classy, and lived up to its hype. It was really well performed with seasoned performers. The music, drumming, choreography, energy, everything was top-notch.
There was no fire dancing but we did not miss it. This is a show about Hawaiian culture and the history of hula dance and was really well narrated and executed.
After the show ended our server brought us packages of banana bread as gifts to take home. It was a sweet add-on and we enjoyed it with our coffee the next morning!
Old Lahaina Luau Tickets and Pricing
Old Lahaina Luau tickets are one fixed price and there are no separate packages to pick from. It just makes it so much easier that you do not have to decide between regular or VIP pricing like most luaus.
The best way to buy the tickets is to buy them online from the official website of Old Lahaina Luau.
We paid $229 per person for adults (13 years and older) and $140 for kids (3 to 12 years). Kids 2 and under are free.
One price for the whole Old Lahaina Luau experience and the only thing you need to decide at the time of booking is whether you want traditional seating or table-chair seating.
For special dietary preferences like gluten-free, vegetarian/vegan menus, you can either specify at the time of booking or call and make requests 24 hours in advance.
How far in advance should you book Old Lahaina Luau?
Old Lahaina Luau sells out months in advance. So it is recommended to book your tickets as soon as you know your trip dates.
The best thing is that you can cancel 24 hours in advance (for parties of 14 or less) with a full refund if you book directly so no harm in booking right away!
Tip: If the date you want is sold out online, you can get on the waitlist for that date because they do get cancellations often. This is how I got my tickets! My dates were all booked even 2 months ahead, so I got on the waitlist for a few dates and they called me with an opening!
Old Lahaina Luau FAQs
Below are some frequently asked questions about the old Lahaina Luau to help with your visit.
How much does it cost for Old Lahaina Luau?
Currently, the tickets are $229 per person for adults (13 years and older) and $140 for kids (3 to 12 years). Kids 2 and under are free. The ticket cost includes a 5-course dinner, unlimited drinks, and an awesome traditional Hawaiian hula show.
Is Old Lahaina Luau worth it?
The Old Lahaina Luau is expensive but totally worth it for the unique oceanfront open-air setting, the beautifully plated and served 5-course dinner, unlimited drinks, and the traditional Hawaiian hula dance show. The entire evening is beautifully executed by the amazing crew at Old Lahaina Luau.
How to get tickets for Old Lahaina Luau?
The best way to buy the tickets is to get them directly from the official website of Old Lahaina Luau. If the dates you want are sold out, you can get on their waitlist.
How long is the Old Lahaina Luau?
The entire experience from start to finish is around 3 hours. The start time is between 5:15 to 6:15 PM depending on the season and it ends between 8:15 and 9:15 PM, 3 hours from the start time.
What to wear to Old Lahaina Luau?
Island casual is cool here. Aloha shirts and shorts and/or flowy dresses are a great choice for some cool pictures against the stunning ocean backdrop. Flip-flops or sandals will do for footwear!
Floor seating vs Table seating at Old Lahaina Luau?
That depends on your personal preference. I chose table seating because 3 hours on the floor without back support sounded a bit much and I didn’t want to be at a weird angle to the stage straining my neck. I could easily move my chair for a better angle during the final show.
Final Takeaways: Old Lahaina Luau
Overall, Old Lahaina Luau delivers what can only be described as a great evening at a beautiful venue immersed in Hawaiian culture, food, and hospitality.
The open-air location near the ocean with the sunset and the greenery is stunning. The 5-course Hawaiian dinner was good with unique tastes and food items to try.
The authentic hula dance performances and music was energetic and captivating. It is expensive for sure, but worth it for 3 hours of a well-executed evening.
Check out my other posts about our trip to Maui!