Welcome to the colorful world of Waikiki luaus, where the music is lively, the drinks flow freely, and the spirit of Aloha is in the air! Here, the word “luau” is a synonym for “fun-filled blast”! We’re here to hula through the hassle and surf you over to the best luaus in Waikiki. So, grab your lei, let’s hula!

What is a Luau?

Royal Hawaiian Waikiki
© Royal Hawaiian Waikiki

A Luau is a traditional Hawaiian party or feast that typically features food, such as the luscious kalua pig, poke, and Hawaiian sweet bread, music, and dance. Imagine the beautiful beaches, the rhythmic ukulele strumming in the background, and graceful hula dancers telling captivating stories through their movements, while you’re savoring scrumptious Hawaiian delicacies. Luau is the perfect way to immerse yourself in Hawaiian culture. Learn more about it in this article.

Top 5 Luaus in Waikiki 

1. Rock-a-Hula

© On Stage Waikiki Beach, LLC

Rock-a-Hula Luau combines the glitz and glamour of Las Vegas-style entertainment with Hawaiian heritage. The venue’s breathtaking location, coupled with its exquisite design inspired by traditional Hawaiian elements, sets the perfect scene for an authentic luau experience. For anyone looking for a fun and unique way to spend an evening in Waikiki, the Rock-A-Hula luau dinner and show is an island “must do”! With a combination of traditional and modern Polynesian performances

Gourmet Hawaiian buffet 

Rock-a-Hula features an array of dishes that are a testament to Hawaii’s culinary heritage. Indulge in a premium luau buffet at the start of your night, showcasing a delectable array of island favorites, such as macadamia nut-crusted fish, teriyaki-glazed chicken, lomi lomi salmon (ceviche), and a carving station offering roast beef and kalua pork. The evening promises top-notch entertainment alongside delicious cuisine for a memorable experience.

Sunset ceremony and entertainment options

Embark on a “Hawaiian Journey” through the decades, guided by talented performers showcasing music and dance from the 1920s to today. Marvel at hula dancers, Tahitian drummers, fire knife performers, local musicians, and an outstanding Elvis tribute artist serving as your host.  A magnificent spectacle with gifted performers doing flaming knife dance, Hawaiian hula, and even tributes to well-known performers like Elvis and Michael Jackson, comes next.

2. Aha Aina Royal Hawaiian Luau

Aha Aina Royal Hawaiian Luau
© Royal Hawaiian Waikiki

The Aha Aina Royal Hawaiian Luau, staged on the grounds of the historic Royal Hawaiian Hotel, offers an unrivaled luau experience. More than just a traditional Hawaiian feast, Aha Aina is a stunning celebration of Polynesian culture, presented against the breathtaking backdrop of Waikiki Beach. Additionally, this luau holds the honor of being the only oceanfront dinner show in Waikiki, making it a truly unique experience.

Polynesian-influenced feast details

The feast at Aha Aina is a culinary voyage, offering a sumptuous buffet of Hawaiian delicacies and Polynesian-influenced dishes. The menu features island favorites like imu-style roasted pig, fresh ahi poke, and delectable tropical fruit selections. The star highlight, however, is the Royal Alii feast, a lavish spread that includes succulent whole-roasted pig and traditional lau lau pork. Accompanied by a dessert bar boasting treats such as guava cake and haupia, the culinary journey at Aha Aina is one to remember.

Live music, hula, dancing performances

The Aha Aina Royal Hawaiian Luau perfectly combines culinary excellence with mesmerizing entertainment. As the sun dips below the horizon, the night comes alive with live music, hula dancing, and spellbinding performances that weave tales of the islands’ history. The evening is rounded off with a vibrant, high-energy fire-knife dance, a thrilling spectacle that leaves guests on the edge of their seats. This combination of authentic island cuisine and riveting performances ensures an unforgettable luau experience at Aha Aina.

3. Queens Waikiki Luau

Queens Waikiki Luau is renowned for its captivating blend of traditional Hawaiian customs and modern entertainment. The Queens Waikiki Luau is set amidst lush tropical gardens that resonate with the echoes of the Island’s vibrant history. The evening begins with a warm Aloha welcome followed by the unearthing of the roasted pig, a spectacle that sets the tone for the immersive cultural experience that lies ahead. The air, filled with anticipation and the enticing aroma of the feast, pulls you into a world that is as delicious as it is enchanting.

Highlights of the Hawaiian buffet

The Queens Waikiki Luau presents a gastronomic extravaganza that showcases the best of Hawaiian cuisine. Indulge in the succulent kalua pig, delicately seasoned and slow-roasted to perfection in an imu, the traditional Hawaiian underground oven. Enjoy a serving of lomi salmon, a tangy and refreshing salad that is sure to tantalize your taste buds. Let your senses be overwhelmed by the unique taste of Poi, the classic Hawaiian dish made from fermented taro. Finally, to round off the perfect Hawaiian meal, savor the haupia, a creamy coconut pudding that is the very essence of tropical delight.

Luau activities and cultural experiences

The Queens Waikiki Luau is much more than just a feast; it’s an interactive cultural journey. Engage in traditional Hawaiian arts and crafts, try your hand at the ukulele under the guidance of local musicians, or take part in a hula dance lesson. As the night progresses, settle in for an electrifying showcase of Polynesian music and dance. The pulsating drums, the swift, graceful movements of the hula dancers, and the fiery spectacle of the Samoan fire knife dance create a mesmerizing tableau that will leave you spellbound. The Queens Waikiki Luau offers an unforgettable fusion of culture, tradition, and entertainment that will leave you longing for more.

4. Waikiki Starlight Luau

Waikiki Starlight Luau
© Hilton Hawaiian Village - Waikiki Starlight Luau

The Waikiki Starlight Luau, nestled in the heart of the Hilton Hawaiian Village, offers a unique Aloha experience under the starlit Hawaiian sky. This luau provides one of the most picturesque settings in Waikiki, with lush tropical gardens, cascading waterfalls, and the stunning backdrop of the Pacific Ocean. The ambiance is further enhanced with tiki torches casting a warm, inviting glow, creating a truly enchanting evening.

Gourmet Hawaiian buffet

The Starlight Luau is famed for its lavish buffet that celebrates the rich culinary traditions of Hawaii. The centerpiece of the feast is the succulent Kalua pig, slow-roasted to perfection in the traditional imu (earth oven) style. Other highlights include a scrumptious variety of island favorites like lomi lomi salmon, Huli Huli chicken, and fresh island fish. For dessert, indulge in a selection of tropical treats, including haupia (coconut pudding), sweet bread, and fresh pineapple.

Sunset ceremony and entertainment options

As the sun gracefully slides into the ocean, the Waikiki Starlight Luau comes alive with a vibrant display of traditional Hawaiian entertainment. The evening kicks off with the dramatic torch lighting and imu ceremony, followed by the pulsating beats of Polynesian drummers and the hypnotic swaying of hula dancers. The grand finale is a spectacular fire knife dance that embodies the spirit and passion of the Islands. The Waikiki Starlight Luau offers an unforgettable evening filled with the sights, sounds, and flavors of Hawaii.

5. Diamond Head Luau

Diamond Head Luau is renowned for its intimate and interactive approach to showcasing Hawaiian culture. Here, visitors don’t just watch, they participate. From lei-making to hula lessons, guests are given a hands-on experience that truly immerses them in the island lifestyle. The luau takes place in the lush, tropical setting of the Waikiki Aquarium, providing a stunning backdrop for an evening of entertainment and dining.

Highlights of the Hawaiian buffet

The culinary delights at Diamond Head Luau are as unforgettable as the setting. The buffet offers a variety of traditional Hawaiian dishes featuring locally sourced ingredients. Taste the succulent kalua pork, a tender and flavorful masterpiece that has been slow-cooked to perfection. Enjoy the refreshing flavors of poke, a raw fish salad that is a staple in Hawaiian cuisine. And don’t miss the haupia, a creamy coconut dessert that provides the perfect sweet finish to your meal.

Luau activities and cultural experiences

Diamond Head Luau is not just about food and dance; it’s an opportunity to experience the rich culture and traditions of the Hawaiian people. Join in the arts and crafts demonstrations, try your hand at ukulele lessons, or learn the ancient art of hula. As the sun sets, sit back and enjoy the spectacular Polynesian revue, a vibrant showcase of music and dance that tells the story of Hawaii’s unique cultural heritage.

Which Waikiki Luau Should You Choose?

When selecting the best luau for your visit, several considerations come into play. Each luau has its unique charm, and your choice would largely depend on your personal preferences.


Rock-a-Hula sets itself apart with its infusion of rock ‘n’ roll into the traditional Hawaiian performance, creating a unique harmony of cultures. This fusion show is ideal for visitors seeking a modern twist on the classic luau. Recognized for its Las Vegas-style revue, this luau features talented artists impersonating superstars like Elvis Presley and Michael Jackson, all with a Hawaiian twist.

Aha Aina Royal Hawaiian Luau

Aha Aina Royal Hawaiian Luau, held at the historic Royal Hawaiian Hotel, offers a touch of luxury and grandeur. It’s a perfect choice for those aiming for a high-end experience that combines Hawaiian culture with the elegance of a royal feast.

Queens Waikiki Luau

Queens Waikiki Luau caters to history enthusiasts with its strong emphasis on traditional Hawaiian customs and practices. Its stunning location in the Queen’s Surf Beach adds a touch of natural beauty, making it an excellent choice for nature lovers.

Waikiki Starlight Luau

Waikiki Starlight Luau at Hilton Hawaiian Village stands out with its expansive gourmet buffet and spectacular fireworks display. It’s a top pick for foodies and those seeking a vibrant, festive atmosphere.

Diamond Head Luau

Diamond Head Luau stands out for its commitment to sustainability and local agriculture. The farm-to-table buffet offers guests the opportunity to savor locally sourced Hawaiian cuisine while enjoying traditional Hawaiian arts and crafts. This luau is ideal for eco-conscious visitors looking to engage in authentic Hawaiian culture actively.

Booking Tips and Discounts

Securing the best deals for your unforgettable luau experience relies on a few tried and tested strategies. Early birds catch the worm; booking your tickets in advance not only guarantees availability but also often comes with early booking discounts. Don’t underestimate the power of a simple internet search for discount codes or special offers; you might just stumble upon a great deal!

Recommendations for Securing the Best Deals

For the best deals, consider booking your luau through HawaiiActivities.com. Our online marketplace frequently offers special packages, seasonal promotions, and limited-time deals on luaus and other local activities. Plus, we provide comprehensive information about each luau, including customer reviews, which can help guide your decision.

Book your Waikiki Luau Experience Today!

As we surf to the end of our luau journey, take with you the knowledge that each of these luau experiences offers more than just a taste of the Islands – they offer a step into the rich and beautiful culture of Hawaii. From the rhythmic pounding of the traditional hula to the sizzle of the kalua pig roasting in the earth oven, luaus in Waikiki invites you to immerse yourself in a cultural experience that is as vibrant and diverse as the Islands themselves. Allow the vibrant culture of Hawaii to leave footprints on your soul. Aloha!