Maui is home to some of the best luaus in the state and the two that top every list are the Feast at Lele and the Old Lahaina Luau. But which one is best? 

In the Feast at Lele vs Old Lahaina Luau debate, this is what you need to know: the Feast at Lele is better for a quieter crowd who wants to skip the buffet. The Old Lahaina Luau is best for visitors who want to experience a traditional luau. Of course, there’s even more to consider. Here is everything you need to know to decide between the Feast at Lele and the Old Lahaina Luau.

 

Feast at Lele vs. Old Lahaina Luau: A Complete Comparison

The Feast at Lele and the Old Lahaina Luau are two of the best luaus on the island, if not in the entire state of Maui. They are both located in Lahaina on the west side of Maui and offer oceanfront entertainment.

Though the luaus offer very different experiences, they are both owned by the same owners. These owners also own some of the best restaurants in town, including Aloha Mixed Plate, Star Noodle, and Leoda’s Kitchen and Pie shop.

What’s the difference between the two? Here is a complete breakdown comparing the Feast at Lele with the Old Lahaina Luau. 

Feast at LeleOld Lahaina Luau
Price per person

Adult: $130.00 + tax

Child (12 & under): $95.00 + tax

Adult: $115.00 + tax

Child (12 & under): $75.00 + tax

Start and end times

5:30 pm – 8:30 pm October – January 

6:00 pm – 9:00 pm February – April & September 

6:30 pm – 9:30 pm May-August 

6:15 pm – 9:15 pm: June – August

5:45 pm – 8:45 pm: March – May & September

5:15 pm – 8:15 pm: October – February

LocationLahaina – oceanfrontLahaina – oceanfront
Food5-course meal themed from different Polynesian island, table serviceBuffet dinner offering a wide variety of traditional and contemporary food
DrinksMai Tai’s upon arrival. Open bar. Tropical drink upon arrival. Open bar. 
EntertainmentThemed dances that go along with each course, including a fire dancer.

The unearthing of kalua pig from Imu underground oven. 

Traditional Hawaiian dancing and hula. 

Capacity300 guests496 guests
SeatingPrivate table for your partyTraditional Hawaiian Mat seating or standard table and chairs. All shared seating. 
VibeDinner show that caters to a more adult crowdAn interactive evening that would keep all ages entertained
Tripadvisor rating4.54.5
Best forA romantic evening, a dinner show type luau, an interesting variety of foodA traditional luau, families with kids, pickier eaters (you can always find something at the buffet you like!)

Feast and Lele and Old Lahaina Luau Similarities

Both of these luaus are highly rated on Tripadvisor and offer a full meal, a drink upon arrival, and an open bar. They also both are in Lahaina and located on the oceanfront.

With either option, you’re going to get a high-quality luau and an evening you enjoy. 

Feast at Lele and Old Lahaina Luau Differences

There are a few key differences that will make your luau experience extremely different between these two options. 

The first and most obvious difference between the luaus is the dinner. The Feast at Lele offers a seated dinner and your party has a private table. Old Lahaina Luau offers a buffet dinner and you’re seated either at a traditional mat table or standard table. 

The structure of the entertainment is different as well. With Old Lahaina Luau you’ll spend the first hour of the luau walking through demonstrations of traditional Hawaiian life as well as the traditional unearthing of the kalua pig from the underground oven, or Imu. Once seated you’ll watch a show telling the story of Hawaiians through dance.

At the Feast at Lele, the entertainment is much different. With each of the five courses, there is a corresponding dance to go along with it. For example, the course with food from New Zealand will showcase dancing from New Zealand. 

Another difference that is easily noticed is the size. The Feast at Lele seats 300 attendees. The Old Lahaina Luau is nearly 60% larger, with a capacity of 496 people. Because of the smaller size, the Feast at Lele can offer private tables for your party. With nearly 500 people, Old Lahaina Luau offers large tables, which you’ll likely share with people you don’t know.

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Which Maui Luau Has the Best Food?

The best food is very subjective, but the food options between these two luaus are distinct. 

The Feast at Lele offers five courses. These courses offer traditional food from a different Polynesian island: Hawaii, New Zealand, Tahiti, and Samoa. While many reviewers on Tripadvisor rave about the food (and the fact they don’t have to stand in a buffet line), there’s a negative to this: you aren’t able to modify your food choices to fit your preferences.

If you aren’t an adventurous eater, you might not enjoy everything in the “feast” and leave feeling less than satisfied with your meal. The plates are small, but you’ll sample around 14 different foods. You can find a sample menu on the Feast at Lele site

The Old Lahaina Luau sticks to the more common buffet-style dinner, which you’ll find at most luaus. Yes, you’ll have to wait in the buffet line, but you’ll also have the option to eat as much or as little as you’d like and you can steer away from the less adventurous foods if that’s not your style. The buffet offers over 20 different options and you can find a sample menu on the Old Lahaina Luau site

Does Old Lahaina Luau Have Fire Dancers?

While not a traditional Hawaiian dance form, some people really want to make sure that their luau experience includes fire dancing. If that’s important to you, do not book Old Lahaina Luau. At Old Lahaina Luau they try to keep things as traditional as possible.

Because fire dancers aren’t traditional, you won’t find them as part of the lineup at Old Lahaina Luau.

You will enjoy a fire dancing portion of your evening at the Feast at Lele. So if fire dancing is a deal-breaker for you, you’re better off booking Feast at Lele. 

Are Drinks Included at Old Lahaina Luau and Feast at Lele?

When you’re spending so much on a ticket, you might be worried that you’ll end up walking out with a much higher bill after drink costs. Don’t worry, a full open bar is included at both Old Lahaina Luau and Feast at Lele. 

How Far in Advance Do You Need to Get Tickets for Old Lahaina Luau or Feast at Lele?

I found this shocking considering the large capacity each luau has and the fact that they run seven nights per week, but if you want to get tickets you must book early. 

Surprisingly, though it has a larger capacity, Old Lahaina Luau sells out faster than Feast at Lele. Booking tickets well before your trip is important to ensure that you get the date that you want. 

Feast at Lele tickets tend to not sell out as quickly, but you’ll want to book early as well. The earlier you book, the better chance you have of getting a prime seat. And since you’ll be seated for nearly the entire event, a good seat is important. 

Which is Better — Feast at Lele or Old Lahaina Luau?

Because these tickets aren’t cheap, you’ll want to be sure you book the right luau. Which one is better? It depends on what you’re looking for. 

If you want a traditional experience that includes activities outside of just dinner and dancing — like the unearthing of the pig from the Imu — you’ll want to book an evening at Old Lahaina Luau. 

If you would like a smaller, more intimate dinner and show experience — and you’d rather stay away from a buffet dinner — you should book a night at the Feast at Lele. 

Both luaus offer a great, yet different experience. Once you decide what kind of atmosphere and evening you want, you’ll be able to easily pick the show that’s right for you.

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Erica Gellerman

Erica Gellerman

Author

I'm the co-founder, with my husband Jordan, of The Hawaii Vacation Guide. We live on Maui with our toddler Henry and our sweet but quirky dog Hattie. You will most likely find me on the water on a SUP or swimming in the waves.

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