Loosely translated, a LU‘AU is a BIG FEAST with a lot of SINGING, DANCING AND FESTIVITIES. Backyard lū‘au have been part of the Hawaiian culture for centuries and are ingrained with the makahiki festival: a time of great celebration marking the start of the harvest season and a new year in ancient times.
Today, commercial lū‘au have developed with the tourist trade and are major resort attractions. Many lū‘au temporarily closed due to COVID-19, so be sure to check with individual venues to make reservations and ensure they have reopened.
Lū‘au entertainment is almost always homegrown and showcases the considerable performance skills of hundreds of singers, dancers and more. Dinner also is a prime exhibition of the islands’ best, with a traditional main course of kālua pig that’s slow-roasted all day in an (underground oven), and then unearthed just before the meal.
At POLYNESIAN CULTURAL CENTER, experience a modern spin on the traditional lū‘au experience. In addition to staples like kālua pork, ‘ahi poke and poi , the ALI‘I LŪ‘AU menu also includes vegan offerings such as pulehu broccolini, ‘uala hasselback and tofu poke.
In West O‘ahu, PARADISE COVE LŪ‘AU welcomes guests to its secluded oasis with Hawaiian music. Guests stroll the village, sipping mai tais as they learn some arts and crafts or challenge themselves with some traditional games. THE SHOWER OF FLOWERS kicks off the HUKILAU ON THE BEACH at which guests learn about net fi shing and are treated to an imu ceremony. Soon, the evening of revelry commences with a feast of traditional Hawaiian dishes, island favorites and continental cuisine — guests enjoy dining with friends, old and new, with the island’s stunning sunset as a backdrop. While the food is top-notch, so is Paradise Cove Lū‘au’s renowned entertainment.
At Hilton Hawaiian Village, find WAIKĪKĪ STARLIGHT LŪ‘AU , an open-air lū‘au that showcases the heritage of the Pacific Islands, thanks to its VOYAGES ACROSS THE SEAS production that will have guests thrilling to fire knife dancers and Samoan, Tahitian and Hawaiian dance.
Enjoy panoramic views of downtown Honolulu to the Wai‘anae mountain range at EXPERIENCE NUTRIDGE LŪ‘AU (experiencenutridge.com). Located at NUTRIDGE ESTATE , this experience features four hours of interactive activities including cultural workshops and games, education on Hawaiian protocols and traditions and a farm-to-table dinner. Round-trip transportation from Waikīkī is available.
EXPERIENCE NUTRDIGE LŪ‘AU 808-531-5050
POLYNESIAN CULTURAL CENTER 808-293-3457