Luau Information

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Luau Etiquette

  1. What is a luau?

  2. In Hawaiian the word 'lu`au' means feast. A lu`au is given for just about any reason. It could be celebrate a graduation, a birthday, a retirement, an anniversary, or just because.

  1. What happens at a Luau?

  2. A resort luau usually starts with an imu (EE-moo) ceremony. Since early in the day a whole pig has been roasting atop hot rocks in an underground oven. The first part of the lu`au typically involves learning about the Imu ceremony while a group of buff islanders uncovers the pig (now called kalua pork) and removes it for carving.

  1. At some venues, guests then move on to open bars where Mai Tais and fruit punch are liberally poured. After everyone is loosened up, the guests are invited to select their dinner fixings cafeteria-style from tables heaped high with food.

  1. While you dine, you are usually entertained with soft Hawaiian melodies played by a small combo. Later on that becomes a full-blown Polynesian review complete with dancers, chants, and drummers.

  1. What Should I Wear?

  2. Resort casual is the norm; dress pants or clean shorts, aloha shirt and sandals for men, aloha dress or mu`u mu`u for women (bring a light sweater that you can drape over your chair to reserve it). Click here for suggestions for men and click here for suggestions for women.

  1. Customs and Traditions

  2. Arrive early to see the Imu ceremony and get a good table (seating is usually banquet style). You will often be welcomed at registration with a shell lei. If you have purchased an upgrade package that includes reserved seating, you may receive a flower lei instead. And it’s a good bet that someone will take your picture, which you can purchase later.

  1. Typical Lu`au Menu

  2. Lomi lomi salmon

  3. Ahi poke

  4. Poi (you have to try it once)

  5. Kalua pork (the roasted Imu pig) Turkey, chicken, and roast beef

  6. Some kind of fish

  7. A variety of vegetables

  8. A variety of salads

  9. A variety of potatoes and rice

  10. Fresh rolls and breads

  11. Fresh fruit

  12. Haupia (yummy coconut pudding)

  13. A variety of desserts

  1. Should I Tip?

  2. Everything from drinks to dessert and tip is usually included in your ticket price. You may want to tip an individual directly if you have received personalized service from him or her.

  1. Do-It-Yourself Lu`au

  2. After you have had the lu`au experience, you may want to host one in your backyard at home. We have prepared a list of what you will need - from food and drink recipes to fun tiki trinkets. Click here start your own tradition.

Because there’s no better way to combine history, entertainment, fun and food, a Hawaiian vacation would not be complete without attending at least one Big Island luau. Seven venues vie for your attention, and because they are usually held outside under the stars all of them take place on the Kona/Kohala coast.

The talent needed to present the entertainment and cater food is limited, so not every venue presents a luau every night. Click here for the latest Luau Information in .pdf format.

Luau venues tend to sell out quickly, especially during peak tourist seasons. Please reserve your tickets early. The venues below that are marked with an asterix (*) can be reserved by clicking on the name of the event. Contact the hotel directly for reservations to events that are not marked.

Royal Kona Lu `au - Legends and Legacies *

The Royal Kona Resort in coordination with Tihati Productions presents 'Lava - Legends & Legacies,' an Island-style celebration of the best Hawaii has to offer. Presented Monday through Thursday at the Royal Kona Resort, Kailua-Kona. (reviews)

Island Breeze Lu`au *

Rated the best luau on the Big Island by visitors, locals, and travel writers, Island Breeze Luau is held under the stars upon the beachfront grounds of Kamehameha the Great's former estate. Presented Sunday and Tuesday thru Thursday at the King Kamehameha Beach Resort, Kailua-Kona. (reviews)

Haleo Lu`au *

Come and experience Firenesia, a colorful and fascinating journey throughout Polynesia, filled with excitement and incredible danger. Presented Mondays at the Sheraton Keauhou Resort, Keauhou-Kona. (reviews)

Gathering of the Kings Lu`au *

The newest theatrical luau production, the "Gathering of the Kings" is a fusion of both traditional Polynesian and modern dance choreography, retelling the story of the settlement of the Pacific. Presented nightly at the Fairmont Orchid Hotel, Mauna Lani Resort Area, Kohala. (reviews)

Sunset Luau

Not only a feast, the Waikoloa Beach Marriott Luau offers visitors a chance to experience the music, art, and dance of Polynesia. Presented Wednesday and Saturday at the Waikoloa Beach Mariott Resort, Waikoloa Resort Area, Kohala. (reviews)

Legends of the Hawaii

A top rated luau on The Big Island, this elaborate presentation wows visitors every Tuesday, Friday and Sunday at the Hilton Waikoloa Beach Resort, Waikoloa Resort Area, Kohala. (reviews)

Mauna Kea Resort Lu`au

The Mauna Kea hotel has reopened after a multi-million dollar renovation and once again offers its Hawaiian Lū‘au, a culturural experience shared by means of music, food and family tradition. Presented Tuesdays and Fridaysat the Mauna Kea Resort, Kohala. (reviews)

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