A common question people have when planning a visit to Kauai is “what is the best luau on Kauai?” And the answer almost always comes down to two luaus, the Smith Family Garden Luau near the Wailua River and the Luau Kalamaku at the Kilohana Sugar Plantation in Lihue. The Luau Makaiwa at the Sheraton Kauai Resort is also a contender.
The two “big” luaus on Kauai are the Luau Kalamaku and the Smith Family Garden Luau. Both luaus have their supporters for best luau on Kauai, and it seems it’s about a 50/50 split. But you can’t go wrong when deciding between the two. Both luaus offer a professional, fun-filled night of fine dining and entertainment.
Luau Kalamaku with Plantation Owner’s Dinner & Show
If you want to experience one of the best Luau’s in Kauai, look no further than the Laua Kalamaku at the Kilohana Plantation. You can enjoy a delicious dinner while being entertained by fire dancing and other notable activities.
Both the Luau Kalamaku and Smith’s Garden Luau feature dinner and a show. At Smith’s Garden Luau, visitors first eat dinner in a pavilion in rows of tables before moving to the amphitheater for the show. At the Luau Kalamaku, the tables are arranged around a central stage. Tables closest to the stage are circular, with some tables towards the back arranged in rows. At the Luau Kalamaku, visitors watch the show from the dining tables.
In our experience, the Luau Kalamaku seems a little more refined and Smith’s Garden Luau a little more family-oriented and vintage. Consider Smith’s if you will have children attending, but children will enjoy both shows. Overall, both luaus have their strong points without any negatives to add.
Smith’s Family Luau is more convenient to Kapaa and Kauai’s North Shore towns of Princeville and Hanalei, while the Luau Kalamaku is more convenient to the Poipu area. (Both luaus are convenient to the Lihue area.) And both cost about the same.
The Luau Kalamaku and Smith’s Garden Luau tie for first place for the best luau on Kauai!
Luau Makaiwa at the Sheraton Kauai Resort
If you’re staying in the Poipu area on your Kauai vacation, and especially if you’re staying at the Sheraton Resort, you should consider the Luau Makaiwa.
The Luau Makaiwa begins with a cocktail reception followed by a welcoming ceremony with old-style hula dancing. Next up is the dinner buffet with kalua pork, huli huli chicken, lomi salmon, and haupia! After dinner, the evening show features traditional Polynesian performances by the local hula school Halao o Leilani. The luau is held under large open tents near the ocean. Consider a light jacket, especially if there is the potential for rain (common on the island), as evening temperatures can sometimes become coolish.
With a beautiful oceanfront location, the Luau Makaiwa is smaller and more reminiscent of luaus found at resorts on Oahu and Maui. Overall, this is how a luau should be – on the ocean with hula dancing – and this luau is also heartily recommended by the Kauai Travel Blog.
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