Last Updated on January 20, 2024 by Kelly
If you’re planning an upcoming trip to Hawaii, you’ll definitely want to add a luau to your itinerary. The question is, which luau is the best? We think the luau at the Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort, Waikiki, is one of the best luaus the island of Oahu has to offer. We recently visited Waikiki, and we’re excited to share our full review of the luau at the Royal Hawaiian. We were so glad that we made reservations for this luau!
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About the Royal Hawaiian, A Luxury Collection Resort, Waikiki
Address: 2259 Kalakaua Avenue, Honolulu, Hawaii 96815
Hotel Reservations: To make reservations for the Royal Hawaiian Hotel on Booking.com, click here
Luau Reservations: https://www.royal-hawaiian.com/dining-overview/ahaaina-luau/
The Royal Hawaiian is a historic hotel and Waikiki icon. The hotel is known as the Pink Palace of the Pacific due to its soft pink hues and Spanish architecture. The hotel is dreamy, romantic, and elegant.
The hotel is on the same land (Helumoa) that was used by Hawaiian royalty as a retreat. Additionally, Queen Kaahumanu’s summer palace used to be located in the hotel’s Coconut Grove garden. The hotel was first opened in 1927, which makes it one of the oldest hotels in Waikiki.
The Royal Hawaiian Hotel has 528 rooms. You can find all sorts of amenities, including swimming pools, restaurants, bars, and a spa.
The Royal Hawaiian Hotel’s Aha’aina Luau
The Royal Hawaiian Hotel has one of Waikiki’s best luaus. We were able to attend their luau recently, and it was pure elegance. Each party had their own private table which was beautifully decorated. It felt like we were being seated at a fancy wedding. (Instead of being hustled into a large show!)
Before there were luaus, Hawaiians celebrated special occasions with a special feast called an ‘Aha’aina.
The luau occurs every Monday and Thursday evening, starting at 5pm for check-in. (Hours and dates are subject to change. Always confirm with the hotel.)
When you book your ticket, you’ll receive complimentary valet or self-parking. At the luau, you’ll experience a 3-course meal and dinner show. You’ll see hula dancing, fire dancing, live music, and a depiction of the history of Hawaii.
The dress code is resort casual. My daughter and I wore dresses, and my husband wore shorts with a button-down shirt.
Our Experience at the Royal Hawaiian’s Luau
We arrived to the Royal Hawaiian Hotel a little before 5pm so we could explore the property a little bit. (You don’t have to be a guest of the Royal Hawaiian to attend their luau. We were actually guests at the Hilton Hawaiian Village.) The hotel’s property is absolutely gorgeous and just dripping with elegance.
When it was time to check-in, we were personally escorted to our private table. Unlike other luaus, the Royal Hawaiian luau felt like a more intimate experience. There weren’t nearly as many people and we each had personalized service.
The table was dressed with white linens and included glassware and a Kukui Nut lei on each place setting. We were able to see the stage with the beach as a backdrop behind the performers. There was live entertainment throughout the entire evening!
Our tickets to the Royal Hawaiian’s luau came with 3 drink tokens. We could choose between Mai Tais, Blue Hawaiians, and Pina Coladas.
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The service at the Royal Hawaiian’s luau was excellent. The bartender even specially-made two banana smoothies for my toddler without us even asking!
The 3-course meal was absolutely delicious. Our meal was served in individual bento boxes, but I saw online that in previous years they had a buffet. We really loved the presentation of the meal.
Our first course contained poi, spicy ahi poke, watercress salad, roasted eggplant, and noodles with a ginger flavoring.
Our main entree consisted of steamed island fish, chicken lau lau, kalua pork, and short ribs. We were all enamored with the short ribs! The short ribs were easily one of the best meals from the entire trip!
For dessert, we had haupia pudding with dark chocolate, cinnamon crumbles, toasted coconut, and whipped cream. It looks like I didn’t take a photo of the dessert… probably because I ate it so fast!
The after-dinner show was absolutely amazing. We saw lots of different styles of hula dancing. They also had a visual representation of Hawaii’s major leaders, all traditionally dressed. There was lots of music and even a talented fire dancer.
Overall, we were so glad to have booked our luau at the Royal Hawaiian. It was classy, elegant, and luxurious! I would highly recommend it to others! We never felt rushed or part of a large crowd.
Tip: If you’re planning a trip to Hawaii, make sure to pack Reef-Safe Sunscreen.
Other Luaus to Consider on Oahu
If you’re researching luaus, you can also look into the following options:
- Waikiki Starlight Luau by Hilton
- Paradise Cove Luau
- Chief’s Luau
- Luau at the Polynesian Cultural Center
Summary: Review of the Royal Hawaiian’s Luau
We were really grateful we added the Royal Hawaiian’s luau to our itinerary. The location, food, and entertainment were all exceptional. We would definitely recommend this luau to others! If you’re looking for a luau during your trip to Waikiki, we highly recommend booking the luau at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel.
Disclaimer: We always strive for content accuracy. Since the time of publishing, travel-related information regarding pricing, schedules, and hours may have changed. Please see individual websites embedded in this post for the most current trip-planning information.