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Luau opinions

Denver
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Luau opinions

Aloha! I know that there are threads about which Luaus are best, and I have read them, but my question is a bit different....We will be returning to Maui for our umpteenth visit March 31 through April 8th. However, we are bringing our children for their first ever visit (twins who are 5, and a 2 year old) and my mom, who will be 69 in May, for what is also her first and 'dream of a lifetime' visit.

We have never done a luau on any of our visits, preferring instead to seek out great local restaurants, catch hula shows at Whaler's village or the Cannery Mall and other spots, etc. This time, though, given that this might be my mom's only trip to Hawaii, it sort of feels like we 'should' take her to one. But, when I priced out places like the Old Lahaina Luau, I was stunned to realize that it would be a $500 night for all of us to go, and the two year old is free! Now, our kids are all extremely well behaved and would eat what is offered and would love the show. But, there is NO WAY they will eat $78 dollars worth of food. So, I am struggling to justify the cost, even for what might be my mom's one and only shot...

So, are there more economical ways to see a Luau? (Coupons? Discounts?) I know that there are less expensive ones, but the ratings I have seen haven't given me a lot of confidence. And, again, should we consider this a 'must go' on our trip? I welcome any and all opinions.

We are staying near Ka'anapali for the whole trip, and we will have a vehicle. Mahalo!

California
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for Oahu
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1. Re: Luau opinions

"Drums of the Pacific" at the Hyatt is a popular luau - and there are often discounts. Give that a try.

Kapaa, Hawaii
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for Maui, Hana, Oahu
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2. Re: Luau opinions

I think it's a must for your mom especially since it's her "dream trip" and if she may not make it back. Old Lahaina Luau doesn't do discounts or coupons.

A less expensive alternative may be the Drums of the Pacific at the Hyatt. Not as good as the OLL but for an hotel luau, it rates right up there to me!!

washington
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3. Re: Luau opinions

Well, if it were my family, I would leave the kiddlets with Dad...maybe a special trip to Teddy's Burgers or Cool Cat Cafe for them, and just take my Mom to the Luau.

Make it a special "girl's memory" (or Mother-son memory if I'm off on gender:-)?) of Maui! As a Mom of a certain age, I would find that to be something really special.

Boston, MA
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4. Re: Luau opinions

If you go with mamma's suggestion (which I think is a good one), also consider Feast At Lele. The food is more varied/interesting/adventurous, the dancing is a full trip across Polynesia, and the service is excellent. Plus, it's individual table service, rather than sharing a big table with strangers.

Feast at Lele and Old Lahaina Luau are both excellent for food, venue, and entertainment. But you pay for it... It may help if you don't think of it as the price of food, but rather the price of dinner and an evening show. I believe their both about 3 hours of entertainment, and include drinks!

portland or
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5. Re: Luau opinions

Mama read my mind! Take your mom and let Dad and the kids chill out. Or ask your mom what she thinks. She may not be interested?? We had our first trip to Maui last year and skipped a luau all together and didn't miss it. Maybe next time but I was glad to spend that money on some nice dinners.

Denver
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6. Re: Luau opinions

Oh yes, mom wants to go to one! She grew up in the age of watching Elvis at the Luau, so she has dreamed about it since she was a teen.

I actually thought of just going with my mom and leaving the kids for 'Daddy's dance party night', but I know they would love the dancers, too, and to see their faces when they come to understand that they are cooking the pig in the ground would be priceless! But, yes, that is definitely a possibility.

Thanks for the tips on the other places to check out as well. Will check them out. Mahalo!

Portland, Oregon
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7. Re: Luau opinions

"....to see their faces when they come to understand that they are cooking the pig in the ground would be priceless!"

Isn't that really what you're paying the $78 for?

Well, that, and the performers, and $5 worth of food. ;-)

Edited: 09 January 2014, 20:58
Kapaa, Hawaii
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8. Re: Luau opinions

Although I think OLL is the best luau on the island, it's not necessarily the best luau for children. Those pictures you are talking about are priceless. We took our granddaughter to the Drums of the Pacific when she was 3. She had a magnificent time, drinking virgin lava flows, eating chicken and fresh pineapple until she nearly burst, she even got up on stage with her mother to do the hula. She managed to stay awake during the whole show and couldn't get over the fire knife dancers!!

Minnesota
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9. Re: Luau opinions

My kids were a little older, but they did like the OLL. It is very entertaining. It is expensive, but if you want to see their reaction... Or wait for them to get a little older to do a real Luau.

I do like Mamma's suggestion!

Kihei
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10. Re: Luau opinions

Your concerns about cost are completely justified. If you haven't been before and didn't feel you were missing something, and that you still had a great vacation on Maui, then don't go now. My wife and I have been to three or four luaus in connection with seminars and events and we don't recommend them at all. When someone asks us for a recommendation we say, "save your money" and we don't feel guilty about it at all. You are pretty much trapped there once you arrive and you may or may not get pleasant companions at your table. If you don't take mom or the kids, don't feel badly about it. Have yet another great and fun trip to Maui!