Catatonique, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Catatonique, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

9 Best Oahu Luaus: Our Top Picks

Spencer Lowe

The key to choosing a great luau is cultural accuracy. You’ll want to find an event that serves up delicious Hawaiian and Polynesian delicacies like kalua pork, taro, and poke. The entertainment should also feature authentic demonstrations like traditional hula or Samoan fire knife spinning. 

So, tracking down the best, most authentic luau can be a bit tricky and time-consuming. Luckily, we've collected a list of the best luaus on Oahu. If you choose from this list, you’ll be attending a wonderful cultural event that strives to recreate a proper luau experience. 

Best Luaus on Oahu

Germaine’s Luau

When: Tuesday through Sunday from 5:15 to 8:45

Where: Barber’s Point Lighthouse at 91-119 Olai St, Kapolei, HI 96707

Cost: $90-110 based on age and package

Trip Advisor Rating: 3.5 stars

Germaine’s Luau isn’t quite as culturally accurate as some of the events on this list, but the food is still delicious, and the show and presentations are quite entertaining. It was once featured on the morning talk show Good Morning America. When you’re there, it feels like you’re at a backyard barbecue, on the beach! To make a reservation, call (808) 672-2520.

Chief’s Luau

When: Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday from 5:30 to 8:30

Where: Wet’n’Wild at 400 Farrington Hwy, Kapolei, HI 96707

Cost: $100-150 based on age and package

Trip Advisor Rating: 5 stars

This luau is produced by a world fire-knife dancing champion, so you know the entertainment will be phenomenal. It is hosted at the Wet-and-Wild Waterpark after hours on Sundays, Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays.

Paradise Cove Luau

When: Everyday 4:00 to 8:45

Where: Paradise Cove at 92-1089 Alii Nui Drive, Kapolei, HI 96707

Cost: $80-200 based on age and package

Trip Advisor Rating: 4 stars

The Paradise Cove Luau begins with a mai tai cocktail greeting, and then you are encouraged to roam the Hawaiian village recreation. Throughout the village, you can participate in games, crafts, and activities like dart sliding, spear throwing, and lei stringing.

Food from a traditional underground Imu oven is served with a cultural show. This is consistently ranked as one of the best luaus on Oahu. It’s also located on the beach in Ko Olina, so you’ll get amazing sunset pictures while you’re there. 

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Diamond Head Luau

When: Monday, Thursday, Friday, Sunday from 5:00 to 7:45,

Where: Waikiki Aquarium at 777 Kalakaua Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815

Cost: $90-160 based on age

Trip Advisor Rating: 4 stars

This luau is unique in several ways. It is a farm-to-table experience, meaning that all the food is grown and prepared nearby before being brought to you as a buffet. It grants admission to the Waikiki Aquarium during the luau. It also features:

  • fresh flower lei
  • mai tai cocktails

...and cultural activities such as

  • hula lessons
  • lei making
  • headband weaving
  • ukulele lessons
  • and temporary tattoos

Dinner is served with a hula and fire dancing performance. 

Ka Moana Luau

When: Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday at 5:00

Where: Sealife Park at 41-202 Kalanianaole Hwy Waimanalo, Hawaii

Cost: $80-170 based on age and package

Trip Advisor Rating: 4.5 stars

This luau takes place at Sea Life Park and includes admission to the park, which can be redeemed up to seven days after the luau. There is a hula show, as well as other Polynesian performances during dinner. Before you eat, you can check out coconut tree climbing demonstrations, sample poi, or take hula and ukulele lessons. 

Toa Luau

When: Monday and Wednesday from 4:45 to 8:30

Where: Waimea Valley at 59-864 Kamehameha Hwy Haleiwa, HI 96712

Cost: $115-170 based on age and package

Trip Advisor Rating: 5 Stars

The Waimea Valley Park also offers an excellent luau in their botanical gardens. You’ll be able to take the hike through the beautiful tropical foliage before arriving at the famed Waimea Falls.

Your ticket also includes a flower lei, cultural activities, an umu demonstration, a kava ceremony, and, of course, a luau dinner with a Polynesian show. To take advantage of your same-day admission to the valley, be sure to arrive a couple of hours before check-in. 

There is currently a $40 per person couples deal on this luau’s silver package. 

The Polynesian Cultural Center Luau

When: Monday through Saturday from 12:00 to 9:00

Where: Polynesian Cultural Center at 55-370 Kamehameha Hwy Laie, Hawaii 96762

Cost: $60-250 based on age and package

Trip Advisor Rating: 4.5 stars

The Polynesian Cultural Center hosts one of the best on the island. The luau at the center is one of the best-researched, most authentic experiences you can attend.

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Admission also includes admission to the Polynesian village recreations, a truly special experience offering a wide range of cultural activities. On top of it all, the Ha: Breath of Life show is an extremely well-done and entertaining Polynesian presentation.

This luau starts the earliest and runs the furthest into the night of any on Oahu. This is a full-day affair, but if accuracy is important to you, it’s worth it. 

Waikiki Starlight Luau at the Hilton

When: Sunday through Thursday from 5:30 to 7:00

Where: Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki at 2005 Kalia Road, Honolulu, Hawaii, 96815

Cost: $100-200 based on age and package

Trip Advisor Rating: 3 stars

The Waikiki Starlight Luau offers familiar experiences with the added bonus of outdoor stargazing at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Hotel in Waikiki. The luau features:

  • lei greetings
  • hula performers
  • acrobatic fire dancers, and
  • authentic Hawaiian cuisine

The dinner buffet includes:

  • kalua pork
  • fresh island fish
  • and huli-huli chicken

Don’t forget to try out the conch shell-blowing challenge! We should tell you that this luau is more touristy and less culturally accurate than others on our list. However, it is conveniently located.

Aha’aina Luau at the Royal Hawaiian

When: Monday and Thursday from 5:00 to 8:00

Where: Royal Hawaiian Hotel at 2259 Kalakaua Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815

Cost: $150-200 based on age ($20 for 4 and under)

Trip Advisor Rating: 4 stars

This luau seeks to recreate the ‘Aha‘aina’ feasts of ancient Hawaiian Royalty, before the days of the first luaus. These events were celebrations of food, mele (song), and hula. Of course, this event has familiar necessities like:

  • dinner
  • a show
  • cultural activities such as storytelling
  • Kapa (bark cloth) making
  • poi-pounding

We’d like for our readers to know that this luau is less culturally accurate than most of the options on this list, but the location and ease of access are hard to beat. 

Oahu Luau Travel Shaka GuideMezzapictura, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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Are Luaus worth it?

Luaus are always a pricey affair, especially if you’re attending as a family. However, the experiences you’ll have and all that is included in each package make them well worth the costs.

If you booked each of the activities, dinners, and shows you’ll partake in separately, you’d pay much more than you do for an entire luau.

At a luau, you’ll learn a lot about Polynesian culture while eating a wonderful meal and experiencing phenomenal entertainment. So, yes, they're certainly worth the price! 

Is transportation provided?

Some offer transportation from popular lodging areas. Germaine’s offers free transportation from Waikiki. Paradise Cove, Ka Moana, Toa, and the Polynesian Cultural Center luaus offer paid transportation for around $20-$30.

Can you attend only the show? 

Each of the luaus on this list offers various packages, some of which allow you to see only the show. This is a great option if you already have dinner plans, want to limit costs, or want to see a cultural demonstration.

What’s the best Luau on Oahu?

It’s a hard choice, but the Polynesian Cultural Center is extremely well-versed in Hawaiian and Polynesian culture–go figure! The food is wonderfully prepared and the entertainment authentically reflects the cultures from which it comes. The Hawaiian villages also offer tons of entertainment and education and are a stunning attraction in their own right.

RELATED: Ultimate Oahu Travel Guide and 

Need more help picking the best luau for your trip? Check out this guide here

Visiting Oahu? Shaka Guide has 6 tours on the island. Check them out here!

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