The 3 Best Big Island Luaus [2024 Reviews]

The Big Island is a blast, pretty much no matter what you’re doing. However, if you really want an authentic Hawaiian experience, we highly recommend checking out a luau.

However, not all luaus are the same – some incorporate more activities into them and some have better quality that end up being more highly-rated than others.

If you’re looking for one of the top luaus on the Big Island available, check this out!

Best Luaus on the Big Island

Voyagers of the Pacific Luau w/ BuffetIsland Breeze Luau on the Big IslandPilikana - A Kona Inn Luau Polynesian Show

Best Luau Dinner

Best Luau Show

Best Budget Luau

editors choice
 Big Island: Voyagers of the Pacific Luau with Buffet Pilikana - A Kona Inn Luau Polynesian Show Ticket
Location:Royal Kona ResortKing Kamehameha Kona Beach HotelKona Inn, 75-5744 Alii Dr Ste 286, Kailua-Kona
Start:Contact resort5:30 pm4:30 pm
Duration:3 hours3 hours3.5 hours
Includes:All-inclusive island-style buffet, complimentary cocktails, Polynesian Show, Samoan fire knife danceAlcoholic beverages, dinner, Luau show, shell leiDinner, alcoholic beverages, Luau show, shell lei, Hula lesson, Hawaiian games

Tour Information & Booking

Tour Information & Booking

Tour Information & Booking


Quick Answer: The 3 Best Rated Big Island Luaus For 2024

  1. Best Luau Dinner: Voyagers of the Pacific Luau with Buffet
  2. Best Luau Show: Island Breeze Luau on the Big Island
  3. Best Budget Luau: Pilikana – A Kona Inn Luau Polynesian Show

Big Island Luau Reviews

1. Best Luau Dinner: Voyagers of the Pacific Luau with Buffet on the Big Island

 Big Island: Voyagers of the Pacific Luau with Buffet

Luau Highlights:

  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Location: Royal Kona Resort
  • Start Time: Contact resort
  • Includes: All-inclusive island-style buffet, complimentary cocktails, Polynesian Show, Samoan fire knife dance finale

Let’s start things off on the right foot, with the Big Island: Voyagers of the Pacific Luau with Buffet Tour! This 3-hour excursion is a wonderful way to get insight into Polynesian culture and more of the traditional side of Hawaii that’s not to be missed.

Located on a gorgeous oceanfront setting on Kailua Bay, you’ll get to try some amazing food while watching these amazing shows.

Head over to the Royal Kona Resort, where you’ll be escorted to where the luau show is held. You’ll be welcomed with an aloha shell lei, which is the best way to start out any adventure on the Hawaiian islands.

Next up, they’ll show you craft demonstrations, which are very interesting. As this is an interactive experience, you will get to partake in much of it, learning how to make some yourself. After learning, everyone will begin to head over to a juicy, all-you-can-eat feast!

This buffet consists of flavorful, traditional Hawaiian dishes all made with locally-sourced ingredients. These include, but are not limited to, coconut rolls, Hawaiian sweet potatoes, macaroni, Lomi Lomi salmon salad, stir-fried veggies, Kaluah-style pork, and more.

Oh, and you do have complimentary cocktails included, such as Mai Tais, wine, beer, as well as plenty of soft drinks. Don’t forget the dessert! Hawaiian Haupia pudding and coconut cake are there for the taking.

Enjoy it all as you listen to the pounding drums, watching the Voyagers of the Pacific Luau show, including live song and dance, along with Samoan fire knife dancers!

More Information & Tour Booking

100% refund for cancellations within 24 hours of tour experience


Other Experiences You May Enjoy:


2. Best Luau Show: Island Breeze Luau on the Big Island

Luau Highlights:

  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Location: King Kamehameha Kona Beach Hotel
  • Start Time: 5:30 pm
  • Includes: Alcoholic beverages, dinner, Luau show, shell lei

Next up, we bring you yet another incredible 3-hour luau adventure that you have to fit into your schedule! If you’re looking for an exciting time for the entire family, this is a great option.

The Island Breeze Luau on the Big Island is a wonderful value, and is one of those things you just have to do if you’re on the Big Island.

Your Luau starts out at the Kamakahonu, which offers some amazing views of the water. You’ll be welcomed with a shell lei, but also with friendly demeanors and incredibly knowledgeable staff. This is something that makes a big difference – the welcoming attitude of everyone.

Take a seat under the stars, settle in, and get comfortable because you’re going to be entertained by some world-class dancers and musicians. Enjoy complimentary drinks, which include tropical-inspired cocktails, wine, beer, and many soft drink options.

The food is also amazing, and comes from one of the best restaurants in all of Hawaii.

The traditional performances are exhilarating to watch, and tell the story of Pele, the fire goddess. She travels through Polynesia, and the dance tells all about her experiences – namely her meeting the demigod, Kamapua’a.

There are hula lessons, which are so much fun for kids all the way to grown adults. It’s a great way to bond with your loved ones, get out of your comfort zone, and learn more about Polynesian culture, history, and cuisine.

Instead of going to a restaurant, try this experience instead! Leave with your stomach happy, a smile on your face, and new skills acquired.

More Information & Tour Booking

100% refund for cancellations within 24 hours of tour experience


Other Experiences You May Enjoy



3. Best Budget Luau: Pilikana – A Kona Inn Luau Polynesian Show

Pilikana - A Kona Inn Luau Polynesian Show Ticket

Luau Highlights:

  • Duration: 3.5 hours
  • Location: Kona Inn, 75-5744 Alii Dr Ste 286, Kailua-Kona
  • Start Time: 4:30 pm
  • Includes: Dinner, alcoholic beverages, Luau show, shell lei, Hula lesson, Hawaiian games

This next tour is one of the most unique in all of the island. This Polynesian show is very intense, in terms of the world-class quality of entertainment.

However, the Pilikana – A Kona Inn Luau Polynesian Show tour is one of the best choices for couples, or for the entire family! This one is a great choice if you’re on a tight budget, but really want to learn more about the local culture.

It’s also a bit longer than the others we’ve covered, and we felt like you do have some more activities available to participate in. Like the other two, you’re welcomed with a shell lei which sets the mood off to a great start. As everyone sits down, they’ll be offered a beverage of their choice.

Plenty of soft drinks and juices are available, however, alcoholic beverages like cocktails and wine are also included for the adults. Try out a hula lesson before the entertainment starts!

We found the instructors to be super welcoming, friendly, and knowledgeable. Kids especially tend to love these lessons, and it’s hard to get them to sit down afterward!

The excitement is contagious, and continues building as the show starts! This special Polynesian show is made to honor and remit the ancient stories that have been passed down for centuries through the form of original compositions and unique choreography only found here.

As you watch fire performers and dancers, enjoy a delicious dinner composed of traditional Hawaiian dishes like Kalua pork, coconut rolls, and all kinds of desserts. The ocean view in the background just makes it that much more enjoyable, and offers the perfect background to this majestic scene.

More Information & Tour Booking

100% refund for cancellations within 24 hours of tour experience


FAQs About Big Island Luaus

big island luaus

What are the Pros and Cons of Going to a Big Island luau?

Pros:

  • You’ll get to taste authentic Hawaiian cuisine, such as kalua pig, poi, lomi lomi salmon, and haupia. Some luaus also offer vegetarian and gluten-free options.
  • You’ll enjoy live entertainment, such as hula dancers, fire knife performers, and ukulele players. You might even get to join in the fun and learn some moves yourself.
  • They will give you some history and legends of Hawaii, such as the story of Pele, the goddess of fire and volcanoes, or the legend of Maui, the demigod who pulled up the islands from the sea.
  • You should have a memorable night with your family or friends.

Cons:

  • You’ll have to pay a hefty price for the experience. Luaus are typically $80 to $200. Some luaus include transportation, drinks, and souvenirs.
  • You’ll have to deal with crowds and lines. Attending a Luau is a very popular among tourists. You might have to wait in lines to get your food, drinks or seats. Some luaus have hundreds of guests at a time, which can make it feel less intimate and authentic.

Do you tip after a luau?

Some luaus include a gratuity in the ticket price, so you don’t have to worry about tipping. The rule of thumb is to tip 10% of the ticket price per person,. You can tip the performers directly after the show or leave your tip at the reception desk.

Of course, tipping is optional and not expected at a luau. The performers and staff are happy to share their culture and hospitality with you. Just remember if you enjoyed the luau and want to express your gratitude you can always tip above and beyond the included tip.

What is the best Big Island Luau?

If your budget allows spending a little extra we recommend the Voyagers of the Pacific Luau with Buffet. This luau has the best food of the others and a amazing fire-dance show to end the evening. Not too mention some great scenery!

What is the cheapest Big Island Luau?

If you are on a strict budget we recommend the Pilikana – A Kona Inn Luau Polynesian Show. The luau does have a more limited buffet than the one we recommend above but what they have is still high quality along with a good show after dinner!

What do you wear to an authentic luau?

  • Don’t wear anything too formal or too casual. A luau is a festive and relaxed event, but not a beach party. You want to look nice, but not overdressed or under dressed.
  • Do wear something colorful and comfortable. A luau is a celebration of life and culture, so you want to reflect that in your outfit. Bright colors, floral prints, and loose-fitting clothes are perfect for a luau.
  • Don’t wear shoes or socks. A luau is usually held on the grass or sand, so you want to feel the earth beneath your feet. Plus, shoes and socks can get hot and sweaty in the tropical climate. Either go barefoot or wear sandals or flip-flops.
  • Do accessorize with lei and other Hawaiian items. A lei is a traditional garland of flowers that is worn around the neck or head as a symbol of aloha (love and respect).

Are Big Island luaus all you can eat?

Most luaus are a buffet-style, so you can fill your plate with as much food as you want. Other luaus have a set menu, where you get a fixed number of dishes. A few luaus are a hybrid are a have a combination of both where you can choose from a variety of options.

But no matter what kind of luau you go to, you can expect to enjoy some delicious Hawaiian cuisine, such as kalua pig, poi, lomi lomi salmon, chicken long rice, and haupia. And of course, you can’t forget the entertainment: hula dancers, fire performers, live music, and more.

Is it worth going to Big Island luau?

Whether a luau is worth it really depends on what you’re looking for. If you want an authentic and immersive experience a luau might not be the best option. Most luaus cater to tourists, and they can be expensive, crowded, and cheesy. You might not get to taste the real flavors of Hawaiian cuisine or see the true diversity and richness of Hawaiian culture. You might end up thinking you’re at a theme park. If you are just looking for an entertaining evening it’s hard to go wrong going to a luau.

How long does a luau last?

Luaus are almost always held in the evening because they are for dinner. They usually start at dusk and last for 3-4 hours (i.e. between 4-5 pm and 7-9pm). The entertainment portion is after dark so that the fire dancer show is more dramatic in the dark. It wouldn’t be as exciting in the daytime.

What is the best luau for families?

While all luaus have activities designed to entertain kids before the buffet dinner, the Island Breeze Luau is especially well known to be more family and kid friendly as it strikes a good balance between family entertainment and adult entertainment.

Tips to choose the best Luau on the Big Island for you

Location

Where the Luau is located is something you should consider. Each luau offers different settings and atmospheres, depending on whether they are by the ocean or in a tropical garden. You should think about what kind of environment you would enjoy the most.

Check out the menu

Each of the Luaus we review has a unique menu with a flavor Hawaiian cuisine. The menu should give you a taste of the island’s flavors like Kalua pig that is cooked in an imu to poke, huli huli chicken or teriyaki beef. Most luaus also have vegetarian options and drinks made with local flavors.

Check out the show and entertainment

When you are looking at the available options for luaus on the Big Island, take a look at the shows they are performing. All luaus have some form of entertainment but they vary to the types of shows and how long they are. All have some traditional dances shows that are unique to the luau such as hula dancing or fire knife dancing. Most luaus also have some kid friendly entertainment like bracelet and headband weaving.

Food
Entertainment
Value

The Voyagers of the Pacific is our Editors Choice for the best Big Island luau

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Robert Baker

Robert is a content writer and editor at World Guides to Travel where he shares his love for the great outdoors. He also writes in-depth travel blogs for other websites around the world. Robert is passionate about the environment and uses his writing to educate people about the advantages and importance of sustainable living. Robert enjoys creative writing. In 2009, his children’s novel Sally Hemings & the Good Associates won the Children’s Fiction section of the You Write On Book of the Year Award.
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