Grand Wailea Maui

10 Things You Should Know About the Grand Wailea Before Arriving

By | Hawaiian Islands, Maui | 11 Comments

grand poolThey don’t call it grand for nothing: The Grand Wailea—a Waldorf Astoria Resort on the south shore of Maui—has it all: beauty and romance, leisure and play, elegance and authenticity, glee and tranquility.

So spectacular is this spot, in fact, that U.S. News & World Report named it one of the top ten luxury resorts on the Valley Isle, while it caters to more than half a million visitors annually.

Planning to count yourself as one of them? Whether you’re on your way there or are dreaming up the vacation of a lifetime, here are 10 things you should know about the Grand Wailea before arriving:

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Maui Luaus opening dates

Top 5 Maui Luaus

By | Hawaiian Islands, Maui | 22 Comments

MAUI LUAU UPDATES:
(April 19th, 2021) 

What changes can we expect at Maui luaus in our new world?  Who’s reopened and which luaus are worth it?

Most luaus across the Hawaiian Islands have reopened with new protocols and pricing.  We’re in close contact with every luau and will keep you updated here.

Maui Luaus opening dates

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Andaz Luau (The Feast at Mokapu)OPEN NOW! Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays (Thursdays are only if there’s enough demand) from 5:30-8pm.  Due to their having to distance tables, fewer tables are available.  Thus there’s a price increase for classic seating from $200 adults ($100 children) to the new pricing of $240 adults ($120 children.)  Premium seating is now $350 for adults and $175 for children. This is still our personal favorite.  The food is INCREDIBLE!  Everything is top-notch.

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Marriott Luau (Te Au Moana)OPEN NOW! Preferred Ohana Seating is now available for Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.  With distancing and fewer tables, they’re only selling the premium seats at $173.96 and $104.17 for children (5 and under are free.)

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Grand Wailea Luau (‘Aha’aina Wailea Luau)OPEN NOW! Reservations are being taken now for Thursdays and Friday evenings only (with Saturdays starting in June). We went last month and it was fantastic. We didn’t know what it would be like, with new COVID protocals, but it was even better than before due to their being less than 1/2 the guests there and table service. All the changes they made were for the better. See the video Maui Guide did below. Due to the low capacity and private tables, only premium tickets are available at $225 for adults and $95 for children 12 and under. There’s also an Ultra Premium tickets for $275 for adults and $140 for children.

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Sheraton Luau (Maui Nui Luau)OPEN NOW! Wednesdays only with additional shows to be added as demand warrants (though as of April 19th, it looks like they’re sold out till July.  Let’s hope they open more shows soon!)  Like all luaus, family seating (private table) and half the tables necessitates their raising the price to $165 per adult (ages 13+) and $105 per child (ages 6-12) and toddlers 0-5 are free.

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Royal Lahaina Luau (Myths of Maui Luau)OPEN NOW BUT SOLD OUT TILL MID-NEXT-MONTH! and the Myths of Maui luau is being held daily.  Standard tickets are $125, children 6-12 are $55, and 5 and under are free.  VIP tickets are $175/adult, $105/children, and $50/children 5 and under. No “show only” tickets will be available in the foreseeable future.

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Feast At LeleOPEN NOW BUT SOLD OUT TILL JULY! Open 5 days a week. Adult tickets go for $155.21 and children ages 2-12 years old go for $98.96.

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Old Lahaina LuauOPEN NOW BUT SOLD OUT TILL AUGUST! Table and Chair seating is available online at $145.83 for adults, $83.33 for children 3-12.  For Traditional Seating, there are a few days available in March and mid-April onwards (for the time being.)

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Hyatt Luau (Drums of the Pacific) – Open select Sundays, select Wednesday, Fridays and Saturdays.  Standard table for two is $379 and $96 per additional adult and $48 for additional children 4-12. VIP is $475 for a table of two and $96 for each additional adult and $48 for each additional child 4-12.

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Few things say Hawaii like a luau.

Do a quick search of Maui luaus, however, and you may get lost in the abundance of options. Which luau is best for the whole family, and which luau presents fire dancers? With that in mind, we’ve pulled together a list of top five Maui luaus. Here they are—and what makes them magnificent.

5 best Maui luaus

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Marriott Wailea Luau – Te Au Moana

Marriott Wailea Luau slideshowTranslating to “the ocean tide,” Te Au Moana places emphasis on Hawaiians’ love and association with the ‘aina. Prior to the imu ceremony and feast, guests at this oceanfront gathering are introduced to several vital Hawaiian rituals, including tapa making—or the construction of fabric from trees and shrubs—coconut husking, and flower crafting. The feast itself is one for the records: a buffet-style extravaganza that includes grilled teriyaki steak, seafood pasta, pineapple coleslaw, and Molokai sweet potatoes. The Marriott Wailea Luau is located on a bank of grass above glimmering water, the kiawe and palm-fringed views of the Pacific are nothing short of astounding. But it’s the special, authentic touches—from displays of Polynesian weaponry to fishing demonstrations—that makes this ‘aha‘aina so delightful.

Know Before You Go:

  • Offers shows on Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays
  • Children 5 and under are free
  • Cultural interactions
  • Located at the Wailea Beach Marriott Resort & Spa
  • One of the most popular luaus throughout Hawaii.
  • Premium Seats are the only available

book now

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Andaz Luau – Feast at Mokapu

Andaz luau photosWe’re beyond impressed with everything that goes into the new Andaz Luau in South Maui.  First off, the grounds are impeccable with one of the better ocean views for watching the sunset.  Each table has a server bringing high-quality signature drinks and multiple different dishes per course.  What sets this luau apart?  THE FEAST!  The ribeye steak can compete with any award-winning steakhouse, without a doubt.  Delicious fish, local dishes, desserts and more!

Know Before You Go:

  • Offers Tuesday and Sunday shows
  • Great for foodies, couples, families
  • Unique lei greeting
  • Located at the Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort
  • This luau is new and is regarded as having the best food.  With only 2 nights a week, seats book up fast!
  • Premium Seats are available

book now

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Grand Wailea Luau – ‘Aha’aina (formerly Honua’ula)

Grand Wailea Luau slideshowBorrowing its name from the moku (or district) upon which the luau is presented, the Grand Wailea’s gorgeous production, ‘Aha’aina Wailea, tells the enchanting story of two of Hawaii’s first founders. La’amaikahiki and Moikeha were Tahitian voyagers who sailed to Maui aboard a canoe, thereafter calling the island’s sunny southern shore their home. Through chanting, dancing, and singing, the Grand Wailea Luau luxe, four-hour event reveals the evolution of Maui’s earliest people and how they came to live in harmony. In addition to traditional luau fare like Kalua pork and poi, the menu features modern faves such as macadamia nut-crusted mahi mahi, chow fun with pork char siu, and pineapple upside down cake. ‘Aha’aina Wailea—which offers hula lessons and Hawaiian lawn games—also looks out upon one of the loveliest and most photographed beaches in Hawaii.

Know Before You Go:

  • Offers shows on Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays
  • Great for kids
  • Open seating
  • Located at the Grand Wailea: A Waldorf Astoria Resort
  • This luau sells out quick!
  • Premium Seats are available

book now


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Sheraton Luau – Maui Nui Luau at Black Rock 

Sheraton Luau slideshowThis is one of our favorite luaus largely because of the location.  Don’t get me wrong, everything else they’re doing is on par with the best Maui luaus, but the Sheraton Luau has an amazing, large private lawn right on the ocean.  You can walk down and dip your toes in the ocean while watching the torch lighting ceremony and watch the cliff diver jump off Black Rock at sunset.  Guests will be treated to lighthearted, entertaining commentary along with Hawaiian and Polynesian songs, dance performances and an impressive fire knife dance. Sunset views and tropical cocktails make this the perfect date night activity, or night out with friends and family.

Know Before You Go:

      • Offers Monday and Wednesday shows
      • Great for couples and for families
      • Fresh flower lei greeting
      • Located at the Sheraton Maui Resort and Spa
      • Usually has less tables than the other luaus. Reserve before it books up!
      • This one is back up and running and one of the few luaus with availability!

     

book now

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Royal Lahaina Luau – Myths of Maui

Royal Lahaina Luau slideshowInexpensive, family-friendly, conveniently located, and with one of the best shows on Maui, the Royal Lahaina Luau is definitely in the top 5! Set upon the beautiful Kaanapali shoreline, Myths of Maui takes you on a voyage throughout Polynesia. Guests are welcomed with a shell lei and warm aloha as they begin their evening in paradise. Enjoy an all-you-can-eat buffet showcasing Hawaii’s finest cuisines and be treated to complimentary cocktails all night long. The beautiful hula and exciting fire-knife dance will leave you breathless. With an unbeatable Maui sunset as your backdrop, you are sure to have a memorable night at the Royal Lahaina!

Know Before You Go:

  • Offers shows 7 nights a week
  • Fire Knife Dancing is spectacular!
  • Traditional arts and crafts demonstrations
  • Located at the Royal Lahaina Resort

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Old Lahaina Luau

Old Lahaina Luau slideshowYes, we’ve listed 6 luaus.  The Five Maui luaus above are fantastic, and the Old Lahaina Luau is hard to place due to it’s not being available without booking months in advance (as well as fire dancing not being included.) Nonetheless, Old Lahaina Luau is consistently ranked the number one luau on the island. And for good reason: Its sensitivity to cultural accuracy renders it exceptional. Traditional luaus attended by native Hawaiians furthered their connection to the land, in that meals were served and eaten from lauhala mats on the ground. Old Lahaina Luau honors this custom, just as it honors Hawaii’s ancient form of storytelling through a passionate insistence on precision (and details that speak volumes). What’s more, Old Lahaina Luau serves uala—authentic sweet potato beer brewed exclusively for the event by Maui Brewing Co. The celebration’s ocean-side location adds to its brilliance, while the West Maui Mountains in the foreground offer a sense of mysticism.

Know Before You Go:

  • No fire dancing is offered
  • Books up months ahead
  • Offers shows 7 nights a week
  • Traditional, modern, and vegetarian options
  • Located off Front Street in Lahaina
  • UPDATE: We just went to the new south maui Luau at the Andaz – Feast at Mokapu which could replace the Old Lahaina. We know, blasphemous! BUT, it was incredible. Great food/drink, incredible fire dancing and hula show, and the location is superb.

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A little more about Maui luaus and Luau history

These ultra-entertaining feasts have their roots in ancient Polynesia, when the second king of the united Hawaiian Islands lifted the kapu that banned men and women from eating together—and royalty from dining with common subjects.

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That groundbreaking event in 1819 became known not as a luau (indeed, in the traditional sense, “luau” refers to a cherished dish of chicken and taro cooked in coconut milk) but as an ‘aha‘aina—literally, a “gathering for a meal.”

And what gatherings they were. In 1847, King Kamehameha III hosted a fête that included 271 pigs, 2,245 coconuts, 3,125 salted fish, and over 4,000 kalo plants—a staple of kanaka maoli that comprises poi.

emu luau feast

Hawaii’s contemporary take on this native ritual may be more modest in number but is no less spectacular. For most, no Hawaiian holiday is complete without attending at least one ‘aha‘aina, and nearly every major island presents luaus of epic proportions.

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FAQs

What's the difference between Regular and VIP Seating?

  • VIP/PREMIUM tickets get you a table closest to the stage (at least in the first 2 rows of tables). Some luaus also allow early entry, so you can get to the bar early and situate yourself at your table, and get some sunset photos. Some luaus also give an upgrade lei to each guest.
  • VIP tickets are recommended if you want the best view.

What should I wear to a luau?

  • “Island casual” – Aloha shirts for men, aloha shirts or dresses for the ladies. Some guests choose to dress up a bit more than usual.

Is Uber / Lyft available on the island?

  • Yes! It’s a good idea to schedule your rides. We have a bus system, but it takes much longer with stops, and it doesn’t run that late.

Is there free parking?

  • All luaus have free parking. If you valet, you should have some cash ready for a tip.

Are luaus kid-friendly?

  • All luaus are kid friendly. The Royal Lahaina is often regarded as the most kid friendly and most affordable, but every luau offers a great experience for your keiki. Some have crafts and hands-on experiences as well!

Are all luaus handicap accessible?

  • All luaus are handicap accessible.

Are there vegetarian / vegan / kosher options?

  • Every luau feast offers items for those that are vegetarian,vegan, and gluten-free. You’ll have to ask your server or buffet attendant which items you can enjoy. At your luau, staff are well versed in what you can eat!

Do any luaus offer discounts for military, retirees, or kama'aina?

  • We sell tickets at the lowest price that each luau will allow us to. Even though some luau ticket prices fluctuate seasonally, after shopping around, you’ll want to buy from us at our low prices.

How long do luaus last?

  • Most luaus are between 2½ – 3 hours. This includes greeting, seating, drinks, dinner, show, and photo opportunities.

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Still can’t decide?

Get more in-depth information about each Maui Luau.


snorkeling tours hawaii

Top 5 Maui Snorkeling Tours

By | Hawaiian Islands, Maui | One Comment

The Top 5 Maui Snorkeling Tours

Snorkeling and Maui go hand in hand for a reason: the pristine waters off the Valley Isle’s coast teem with some of the most vibrant marine life in the world. And while terrific snorkeling is found just off the beach across the island, nothing trumps taking a trip out into the Pacific—where diving under may put you within reach of everything from manta rays to Hawaiian squirrelfish.

COVID UPDATE: All of these Maui snorkeling tours are back up and running with weekly (if not daily) tours.  Small groups and distancing are being observed as well as strict cleaning policies.

Choosing the right snorkeling tour on your Maui vacation, however, is a different story. Dozens of boats line the Kihei and Lahaina harbors, ready to whisk guests to several of Maui’s most revered places. With this in mind, we’ve pulled together the top 5 snorkeling tours Hawaii’s second-largest island has to offer—and why you should book a reservation pronto:

top Maui snorkeling tours

Tour WHY DURATION:
Family MolokiniInexpensive, Family-Friendly 5 hours BOOK NOW
Adventure RaftSmall Group, Exciting 5 hours BOOK NOW
Deluxe SunriseMolokini Before Anyone Else 3.5 hours BOOK NOW
Lanai IslandDolphins, Sea Caves 5 hours BOOK NOW
Honolua BaySailing, Close By 5 hours BOOK NOW


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sunset cruise Maui

Top 5 Maui Sunset Cruises

By | Hawaiian Islands, Maui | One Comment

Top 5 Maui Sunset Cruises

Maui sunsets are as exceptional as the rumors suggest, ranging in colors from whisper pink to fiery red and reminding all who witness them that nature’s shows are the best. Savoring them from the island’s shores is a highlight for kama’aina and visitors alike, but watching them from the stern of a boat? Now that’s another story.

best Maui sunset cruises

Sunset cruises go down as one of the most popular activities on Maui for a reason: They provide beauty and romance in equal measure, as well as an ambiance seldom found on terra firma.

Here are the top 5 dusk-on-deck affairs—and why you should book a spot on one of them.


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top maui best ziplines

Top 5 Maui Ziplines

By | Hawaiian Islands, Maui | 5 Comments

Top 5 Maui Ziplines

Adrenaline junkies know there’s nothing quite like the rush of riding a zipline—and beauty seekers are just as stoked on the splendor they deliver.

top 5 Maui ziplines

Both kicks and magnificence come in spades on the island of Maui, where ziplines have been popping up with increasing frequency since Skyline EcoAdventures opened the U.S.’s first commercial tour in 2002. Crave a soaring view of Maui’s neighboring islands? Check. Keen on being surrounded by plants reminiscent of Jurassic Park? Check again. Indeed, when visiting Maui, the question is less should I go ziplining, but which tour should I choose?

LUAU WHY WHERE
Piiholo 7-LineSide-by-Side Haleakala BOOK NOW
North Shore ZipGreat Price Haiku BOOK NOW
Piiholo 5-LineFast and Fun Haleakala BOOK NOW
Skyline KaanapaliBest Ocean Views Kaanapali
Maui Zipline Co.Best For Kids Waikapu

With this in mind, we’ve pulled together our top 5 picks for Maui’s best ziplines, presented here in random order:


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Hana tours

Top 5 Road to Hana Tours

By | Hawaiian Islands, Maui | 2 Comments

The Top 5 Road to Hana Tours

A serpentine route that parallels one of the most spectacular coastlines in the world. Waterfalls galore. Plunging freshwater pools. Beaches comprised of black sand, gray sand, white sand, and even red. Tropical rainforests; radical seascapes.

Is it any wonder why the Road to Hana is considered a leading attraction not just on Maui but also on Earth?

top Road to Hana tours

LUAU WHY DURATION:
Heavenly Hana TourBest Price 9.5 hours BOOK NOW
Full Loop TourPrivate/Exclusive 8-12 hours BOOK NOW
Halfway Hana TourLess Time 6 hours BOOK NOW
Skyline Hana TourComfort 10-12 hours
Road to Hana TourExperience 11 hours

Not at all. And yet, for those who choose to eschew a self-driven exploration of Maui’s remote eastern coast, the question becomes which tour they should select. With this in mind, we’ve pulled together our top 5 picks for the best Road to Hana tours—and given you a rundown of each option.

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