Review: Old Lahaina Luau – Lahaina, HI

Hawaii is a world-renowned vacation destination, famous for its beaches, world-class views, endless outdoor activities, and of course, luaus. When it comes to luaus it can get overwhelming if you look up all the choices available on every island. Despite the fact that there are so many luaus to choose from, it doesn’t mean every luau is created equal. Picking one luau over the other could result in a significantly different experience. Out of my three luau’s this was by far the most enjoyable and authentic feeling one I have attended.

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The Old Lahaina Luau takes place just off famous front street with spectacular views of the ocean, anchored boats, and Lanai. Check-in time for this time of year was 5:15 pm so it left about 40 minutes of sun light to take explore everything and enjoy the sunset. The picture above is the view from our table. Tables are reserved and assigned based upon time of booking. The table seats 8 people so if your party doesn’t take up the entire table they may place you with another party to fill it out. Our party had 7 people so they didn’t place anyone else with us.

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Prior to entering they handed every party their tickets and a few menus. Then upon entering everyone received either a Mai Tai or Passion Fruit drink, depending on their age, along with a real flower lei. After being introduced to our server for the evening, a local Hawaiian named Jay, we decided to look around before the unveiling of the pig and serving of dinner.

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There was a Hawaiian band playing music as guests walked around prior to dinner and the luau starting. I found the music to be excellent and a very nice touch.
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View overlooking the ocean from the edge of the luau grounds. They were also taking professional photos with this as the background, available for purchase after the luau.
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View facing back towards the luau grounds from the beach.
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Another view of the luau grounds. Great view of the sun setting on the West Maui Mountains.
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Hawaiian carving sculptures set out before the luau.
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Excellent view of the seating setup. The lower tables are designed for sitting on the floor but have the closest views of the stage while the other tables are higher up with actual chairs.
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Example of the flower lei provided to every guest at the Luau.

Before it was time for the pig to be unearthed we went over to ensure a good view. Not long after a crowd started forming and we were right in front to watch them pull out the roasted pig. They discussed some Hawaiian traditions and the two pig unearthers were really funny throughout the whole process. After they ended up pulling out the roasted pig you could see it steaming and smell the aroma. Once we saw the pig they then had everyone return to their tables and wait for their servers to send them up for the buffet of traditional Hawaiian luau foods.

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The buffet had a huge selection of food and was designed well with two lines for everyone to move through. We were, however, one of the earlier tables to get in line for our food and the selection was more than could fit on one plate. Just to name a few items, they had pork, tuna, octopus, grilled beef steak, fish, vegetables, rice, and salmon. Then they also had an assorted drink list with 10 mixed drink options, local beers, wine, juice and soda. All of the drinks were complimentary. The food and drinks were both very good, I enjoyed the meal and my favorite item was the Maui style fish. Everyone tried the pork from the underground oven, I thought it was good but not everybody at the table enjoyed it since it had a very strong smoky flavor. Shortly after we finished eating they served us dessert. This came out on one large tray with forks for everybody at the table. I wasn’t able to get a picture since it was dark by the time it was served and I didn’t want to disturb everyone around me with my flash going off.

Once everyone finished eating we were able to sit back and enjoy the show. It was a great performance that incorporated the ancient story of Hawaii. My grandma, who has been to many luaus, said this was by far her favorite performance. I don’t want to give too much away about the performance for anyone wanting to go, but everyone in our group thoroughly enjoyed the show. I was able to snap some pictures throughout and they are posted in the slideshow above. Right before the show ended our server came over and told us not to leave too quickly after the show as they had a departing gift for everyone. Before we walked out they gave everyone a loaf of banana bread that ended up being absolutley delicous. If it is possible to get yourself more that one loaf, I highly recommend it.

Lastly, as everyone is walking out they have the professional photos available for purchase as well as some of the perfmorers standing around willing to take pictures with anyone who wants one. It’s a nice touch to get a picuture with one of the dancers as a way to remember the luau. However, I did notice some parents trying to force this on their kids when they didn’t want to take a picture and it ended up causing quite the scene. But since this was on the way out it didn’t change anything about the show, and in reality, the luau has no way they can control this.

Final Thoughts

Overall I really enjoyed the Old Lahania Luau and would highly recommend attending to anyone staying in the area looking to see a luau. The food was good, the show was great, and the setting right on the water with the sunsetting over the pacific was excellent. I have been to three luaus now and it was the best I have been to, and as I said earlier it was the best my grandma has ever seen. If anyone else has been to this luau we would love to hear about your experience and what you thought of the whole thing. Or if you have questions on something we may not have covered, feel free to leave it below in the comments as well and we will answer it the best of our abilities. Or maybe another reader will know the answer. Until next time!

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