The 4 Best Kauai Luaus [2023 Reviews]

Known as the “garden island”, Kauai is covered in lush rainforests, white sand beaches, dramatic waterfalls, and an incredibly rich culture.

Dating back over 5 million years, it’s no surprise that this Hawaiian island has so much to offer in terms of natural beauty, history, and traditions. While there are countless tours and activities available in Kauai, one of the most recommended is a luau tour.

These traditional festivities usually consist of dancing, feasting, and is one of the best forms of entertainment and cultural immersion in Hawaii.

If you want to partake in some of the top luaus in Kauai, don’t go anywhere, because we have them right here for you!

Best Luaus in Kauai

Kauai Luau Kalamaku with Open Bar and Buffet DinnerLuau Kalamaku with Plantation Owner's Dinner & ShowKauai VIP Island Dinner and Luau Kalamaku Show

Best Budget Luau

Best Luau Dinner

Best Family Luau

editors choice
 Kauai: Luau Kalamaku with Open Bar and Buffet Dinner Luau Kalamaku with Plantation Owner's Dinner & Show Kauai: VIP Island Dinner and Luau Kalamaku Show
Location:Depends on option selectedLu’au Kalamaku, 3-2087 Kaumualii Hwy, LihueGaylord's Restaurant at Kilohana
Start:Contact resortContact resortContact restaurant
Duration:3.5 hours4 hours3.5 hours
Includes:Lei greeting, open bar, buffet dinner, Kalamaku showPremium reserved luau seating, champagne toast, Lei greeting, 4-course dinnerLuau Kalamaku, transport from hotel, 4-course meal, champagne, beer, cocktails, soft drinks, alcoholic drinks

Tour Information & Booking

Tour Information & Booking

Tour Information & Booking

Quick Answer: The 4 Best Rated Kauai Luaus For 2023

  1. Best Budget Luau: Kauai Luau Kalamaku with Open Bar and Buffet Dinner
  2. Best Luau Show: Luau Kalamaku with Plantation Owner’s Dinner & Show
  3. Best Luau Dinner: Kauai VIP Island Dinner and Luau Kalamaku Show
  4. Best Family Luau: Luau Kalamaku with Buffet Dinner & Show

Kauai Luau Reviews

1. Best Budget Luau: Kauai Luau Kalamaku with Open Bar and Buffet Dinner

 Kauai: Luau Kalamaku with Open Bar and Buffet Dinner

Tour Highlights:

  • Duration: 3.5 hours
  • Location: Depends on option selected
  • Start Time: Contact resort
  • Includes: Lei greeting, open bar, buffet dinner, Kalamaku show

Whether it’s your first time in Hawaii, or you’re a seasoned visitor, this extravaganza is a must-see. While all luaus are designed to be special, the Kauai Luau Kalamaku with Open Bar and Buffet Dinner never fails to impress.

From the fresh food, to the talented entertainers and friendly service, this is one of those activities that’s a fun time for all ages. Hawaiian culture is very welcoming, and that’s expressed from the very beginning, with a fresh flower Lei greeting.

This is a great way to start things off, and now, you can check out all of the different crafts and artwork from talented local artisans. This also serves as an opportunity for acquiring unique mementos and gifts for loved ones back home!

After everyone’s settled in, you’ll witness the unearthing of the pig from the imu and enjoy a buffet of poi, lomi lomi salmon, Kalua pork baked in the imu, and different seasonal fish.

Teriyaki chicken, along with fresh fruits and salads, pineapple upside-down cake, traditional haupia, and a banana cream tart are a great way to finish up the meal.

After filling up, learn all about the Hawaiian legend of Kalamakū, or “child of the new land”. Fire poi balls and fire knife dancing offers thrills and quite an impressive experience. It’s all designed to portray the voyage islanders between Tahiti and Kaua’I had to take, taking you through a wide range of emotions!

The staff are incredibly attentive, kind, and efficient throughout the experience. We can say that you won’t want for anything during this luau tour!

More Information & Tour Booking

100% refund for cancellations within 24 hours of tour experience

2. Best Luau Show: Luau Kalamaku with Plantation Owner’s Dinner & Show

Luau Kalamaku with Plantation Owner's Dinner & Show

Tour Highlights:

  • Duration: 4 hours
  • Location: Lu’au Kalamaku, 3-2087 Kaumualii Hwy, Lihue
  • Start Time: Contact resort
  • Includes: Premium reserved luau seating, champagne toast, Lei greeting, 4-course dinner

Next up, we bring you the Luau Kalamaku with Plantation Owner’s Dinner & Show. This 4-hour excursion has been known to sell out quickly, thanks to the incredible attention to detail and high level of entertainment. If you want to learn more about Hawaii in an exciting, immersive way, then this one can’t be beat.

There are all types of luaus, and they all vary a bit. However, if you like the finer side of things and are looking for something a bit more upscale, we highly recommend this activity. Make your way to the famous Kilohana Plantation Estate, covering a whopping 105 acres. Dating back to 1896, it has quite the history behind it.

If you prefer, the tours also offer round-trip transportation from most local hotels. If you don’t want to drive or book transportation, it’s a great amenity to take advantage of.

Upon arrival, you’ll receive a warm lei greeting along with a champagne toast to really start the evening off right!

Sit down and get ready to enjoy a delicious 4-course meal at the reputable Gaylord’s Restaurant. These courses all consist of traditional Hawaiian dishes, such as Kalua pork, pineapple upside-down cake, and much more.

Named “best luau show” by Lonely Planet, you can expect the entertainers to provide a night of excitement and top-notch storytelling. They’ll show you the story of Tahitian voyagers who had to make the challenging trek to Hawaii, all through the power of dance, music, and flame.

It’s evident that every person involved is passionate about their culture, and sharing it with others. This is one of those activities that you’ll book every time you’re in Kauai.

More Information & Tour Booking

100% refund for cancellations within 24 hours of tour experience

3. Best Luau Dinner: Kauai VIP Island Dinner and Luau Kalamaku Show

 Kauai: VIP Island Dinner and Luau Kalamaku Show

Tour Highlights:

  • Duration: 3.5 hours
  • Location: Gaylord’s Restaurant at Kilohana
  • Start Time: Contact restaurant
  • Includes: Luau Kalamaku, transport from hotel4-course meal, champagne, beer, cocktails, soft drinks, alcoholic drinks

It’s no secret that Hawaii has a ton of tourists each year, and knows how to draw a crowd. Among all of those people, it’s nice to take a night out and just feel like a VIP. You can do all that and enjoy a night of adventure with the Kauai: VIP Island Dinner and Luau Kalamaku Show!

Lasting 3.5 hours, it’s the perfect alternative to going out to eat at any old fancy restaurant. Instead, head to the enormous 60-acre orchard and agricultural park that Gaylord’s Restaurant sits on. The plantation has a very interesting history, that you’ll learn about while you’re there.

Throughout the entire activity, there will be a luxury coach to transport you and the other guests so you don’t have to worry about that.

Enjoy all kinds of traditional appetizers, large plates, desserts, and delicious drinks. Some options include shrimp and scallop spring rolls, blue crab cakes, hoisin-glazed pork spare ribs, banana cream pie, and more.

We recommend trying their sparkling wine or tropical cocktails, that pair perfectly with the tasty food. The open bar is available from 5 to 7:30 PM, so may as well take advantage of it!

However, the real magic lies in the luau show. The mesmerizing fire dancers, singers, and everyone involved really help create an unforgettable experience you have to do again and again.

Once they finish with their show, they’ll even allow for some time to pose for pictures with guests to make for a great trip souvenir!

More Information & Tour Booking

100% refund for cancellations within 24 hours of tour experience

4. Best Family Luau: Kauai Luau Kalamaku with Buffet Dinner & Show

Luau Kalamaku with Buffet Dinner & Show

Tour Highlights:

  • Duration: 4 hours
  • Location: 3-2087 Kaumualii Hwy, Lihue
  • Start Time: Contact resort
  • Includes: Lei greeting, luau show, buffet dinner, alcoholic beverages, 40-minute train ride on the Kauai plantation railway, held in a covered pavilion, service animals allowed

This next adventure is just a bit longer, clocking in at 4 hours. The Luau Kalamaku with Buffet Dinner & Showis also a great option if you want to see this important part of Hawaiian culture but are on a tighter budget. Perfect for entertainment and education of all ages, bring the whole family along for this ride!

Just like many of the other luau excursions on our guide, this one also takes place  on the historic Kilohana Plantation. You can either choose to get there yourself or take advantage of their helpful hotel pickup option.

If you’d like to really enhance the entire experience, we highly recommend choosing their upgrade to ride around the 104-acre estate on the legendary Kauai Plantation Railway before dinner!

This is a fantastic way to really see the lush tropical gardens around the estate up close, while also learning more about the area’s history. Afterward, enjoy a delicious Hawaiian feast that blasts off with an exciting torch lighting and imu ceremony, where they unearth the roast pig from the oven.

Afterward, you’re free to revel in all kinds of local favorites: mahi mahi, teriyaki chicken, lomi lomi salmon, fresh fruit and veggies, banana cream pie, and more.

After you have your fill, head to the Luau Pavilion (coach will transport all guests there) where you’ll get to watch an amazing show demonstrating the story of the first Tahitians to land in Hawaii.

Fire twirlers, traditional Polynesian dancers in their traditional garb, singers and musicians all work together to create a seamless and memorable show.

More Information & Tour Booking

100% refund for cancellations within 24 hours of tour experience

Your Guide to Vacationing in Kauai

When planning any vacation, it is important to know the details about where you are going so that you are well-prepared. Figuring things out last minute, or when you actually arrive, can mean disaster for your trip and that’s the last thing you need. Here is some valuable information about Kauai that may make planning your vacation easier.

The 3 Best Sailing and Boat Tours in Kauai

Getting Around in Kauai

If you plan on seeing more of the island than just the immediate area around the resort you are staying at and a few select tours or attractions, you may want to plan on renting a vehicle. However, if your hotel or resort is centrally located around an area with a lot of the attractions you wish to visit, you will probably want to save the money on the rental car and just use a taxi or even rent a scooter or other cheaper methods of travel.

Staying Safe in Kauai

Kauai has relatively low crime rates and is generally considered a safe place to travel. However, as with any tourist destination, you always want to take precautions when traveling to protect yourself. It’s important not to show off flashy jewelry or expensive cameras. Always have your identification on you in case you are injured or sick and need to get medical help. And always keep your wits about you – don’t drink too much so you can keep your bearings at all times.

Because Kauai is an island, there are a lot of beaches to swim and many Na Pali boat tours. Don’t swim on secluded beaches unless you are familiar with the tides. When swimming at popular beaches, always be aware of lifeguards and obey their rules and instructions. When on Kauai snorkel tours, your captain and crew will brief you with safety instructions and it is important to follow these at all times.

Traveling in the time of Covid

Like many other destinations worldwide, tours and visitor attractions in Kauai have adopted special procedures.

Wearing a mask in mandatory in many locations. You will be expected to supply your own mask and wear it when you enter public buildings.

Keep your distance from other visitors who are not in your family group or bubble. You will be expected to keep your distance inside minibuses and other vehicles and when seated in restaurants.

At the time of writing, the State of Hawaii welcomes visitors but requires pre-travel testing for Covid-19. You can obtain the most up-to-date information directly from the State of Hawaii Portal.

Eco-Tourism and Sustainability in Kauai

The Hawaiian Archipelago offers many areas of outstanding natural beauty and protected wildlife areas you can explore. In order to maintain this wonderful place for future generations, many of the local tour companies operate eco-friendly tours.

When considering the tours we review on the World Travel Guides website, note that there are often eco-friendly options that empower you to become a more sustainable traveler. This is especially true around the islands of Hawaii. Take care of our world and it will take care of our children.

Communicating in Kauai

English is the official language of Hawaii. However, Hawaii is home to many cultures and you will probably run into both locals and tourists that speak many other languages. Pidgin English is the local language of Kauai. You can also hear Chinese, Filipino, Japanese, and Portuguese. Native Hawaiians appreciate Hawaiian words and locations being pronounced correctly so if you don’t know how to say something, it is best to ask. A local guide can help you as well.

What to Pack When Vacationing in Kauai

The atmosphere is very casual in Kauai. You can wear shorts even when dining at a restaurant but if you are wearing a swimsuit, be sure to wear a coverup or shirt over it. Many people wear slippers even to dine out at a restaurant as it is part of the customary “dress code” of the island; however, some places may require close toed shoes. If you are coming from one of the many Kauai snorkel tours, you will want to make sure you are covered up appropriately with an Aloha shirt or cover up as well as dry shorts and slippers or shoes.

Interesting Facts About Kauai

The highest point on the Kauai island is Kawaikini Peak and the whole island is only 552 square miles. This makes it a relatively small island. Its state bird is the Nene and the “island color” is purple. The state flower that represents Kauai is the Mokihana which can be found abundantly in the tropical forests that cover most of the island.

Get Ready to Have Fun in Kauai!

Kauai is one of those places that must be seen and experienced to really appreciate. Its beauty is unique and cannot be surpassed except by other Hawaii locations which offer similar beauty but always different. You cannot see the stunning cliffs or unique tropical forests unique to this island anywhere else.

So, pack your bags and get ready to enjoy a whole new world at your resort, on beautiful beaches, and of course, on your Kauai snorkel tours!

Kauai Things To Do

Kauai is an island paradise with many things to do. We will cover a few of them here:

Kayaking: The Wailua River is a beautiful and easy kayak paddle. There are quite a few guided kayak tours available that combine a hike to the famous “Sacred Falls”

Helicopter Ride: A great way to take in the Garden Island is from the air with a helicopter tour. You will get to see many areas of the island that you can’t see any other way because they are off limits.

Luau: The traditional Polynesian luau is a great way to not only have a great meal with entertainment but also learn about the Hawaiian culture.

Zipline: Going ziplining through the treetop is not only a great adrenaline rush but an awesome way to see the flora and wildlife in the treetops that you would never get to see!


The Luau Kalamaku with Open Bar and Buffet Dinner is our Editors Choice for the best Kauai 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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