6 Questions to Ask Before Booking a Luau

by Mariam Beard • Last Updated: October 9, 2022

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Are you planning to visit Hawaii and looking to book a luau? As a concierge in Waikiki, I’ve heard many misconceptions and questions about luaus. In this article, I’ll answer the most common questions about luaus so you can make an informed decision when booking your luau.

#1 What is a luau?

A luau is a traditional Hawaiian feast. It typically includes dinner service, cultural activities, and a show. The show usually includes hula dancing, Tahitian dancing, Tongan dancing, and fire knife dancing.

#2 A luau costs…HOW MUCH!?

The cost of a luau can vary depending on a few factors. Where the luau is located, how big it is, and where you are seated in the luau all affect the price. Most luaus will have tiered seating, with the front section seating having more amenities such as more drinks and a fresh flower lei. Prices for luaus have been increasing over the past few years, with the Grand Wailea luau going from $112 per person in 2016 to $265 per person in 2021.

#3: Do you have any dietary restrictions?

Most luaus will serve pork, chicken, and fish. Some luaus offer vegetarian or vegan options, but you may need to request them in advance. Make sure to check the luau menu before booking to ensure that you can eat the food offered.

#4: What is included in the luau?

Some want to sip on a mai tai. Others may want a mocktail. Not all luaus serve alcohol. For example, the Polynesian Cultural Center does not included alcohol.

If you plan on going to a luau that includes drinks, compare the packages to see how many drink tickets each package includes. It may end up being a better value to upgrade to the next highest package for more drink tickets and better seating.

#5: Is the luau on the beach?

Not all luaus on Oahu are on the beach. Some luaus are on grass, and some are not even oceanfront. If you specifically want to go to a luau that is on the beach, make sure to check before booking.

#6 How do I get to the luau?

If you’re staying in Waikiki, you can walk, Uber, Lyft, or take a taxi to the luau. Most luaus outside of Waikiki offer round-trip transportation for a fee.

BONUS: What is the best luau?

There is no one “best” luau. Different luaus cater to different guests. For example, the Royal Hawaiian luau is great for adults because it is in the heart of Waikiki and has a full bar. The Polynesian Cultural Center luau is great for families because it is an all-day event with access to the villages, dinner, and a night show. Paradise Cove is great for families because it is on the beach and has cultural activities for kids.

Ultimately, it is all about finding what works best for you and your family. I hope these questions help you get started on thinking about what you

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Aloha! I'm Mariam.

I'm an Oahu resident sharing my adventures here in Hawaii to help take the guesswork out of planning your trip to Hawaii.

I've worked full-time as a concierge for a decade and have planned thousands of itineraries for travelers like you!


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