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best luau in Kauai

morninglemon Nov 13, 2012 06:48 PM

Will be in Kauai in mid-December, staying at a hotel on the east side of the island, will have a rental car. We're looking for luau with REALLY GOOD FOOD, and most importantly, the roasted suckling pig. Anyone have recs? I found a few outdated posts from a few years ago, and more recent ones came from boardies who suggested "homemade" luaus. That's not an option since we're staying at a hotel.

Would prefer a luau NOT at on a hotel property, unless it really is the best on the island.

Thanks!

  1. b
    Beach Chick Nov 13, 2012 08:18 PM

    Aloha..
    I have never put good food and luau together..
    I've been to the one at the Grand Hyatt Kauai that was lovely but it was comped so I have no idea on price.
    Smith family luau is popular.
    I would eat at Red Salt in Poipu and go crash the luau at Grand Hyatt..
    St. Regis hotel in Princeville would have a decent luau..big $$

    3 Replies
    1. re: Beach Chick
      morninglemon Nov 14, 2012 12:58 PM

      oh man, that's a shame. my friend and i want good food but we feel obligated to attend a luau since it'll be our first time in Hawaii.

      What are your thoughts on these (in terms of food, ambiance):

      Smith's ($78)
      Grand Hyatt ($97)
      Sheraton Kauai ($95)

      1. re: morninglemon
        b
        Beach Chick Nov 15, 2012 07:22 AM

        Aloha..
        For the food, I would suggest Grand Hyatt..
        Heard the Smith Family Luau has a better show.
        For me, I would do the Grand Hyatt...beyond gorgeous resort and the setting for the luau is lovely.

        1. re: morninglemon
          kaleokahu Nov 17, 2012 08:24 PM

          Hi, morninglemon:

          I like the Sheraton's, mostly because Auntie Kapu's troupe is so good. The food's ono, too!

          Aloha,
          Kaleo

      2. m
        Mag454 Nov 16, 2012 07:26 PM

        IMO the best luau is Luau Kalamaku at Gaylord's. They do the pig, provided by Imu Hut. The show is really well done and draws you in and the food is decent...I think the food at luau's are pretty much consistent across the board, although Kalamaku was missing the haupia, which was a disappointment to my local friends! I would say second best would be Smith's, which was a little more traditional. The Hyatt's luau is okay, not my favorite and I have not seen the new Sheraton luau- they completely re did it after the renovations were complete.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Mag454
          morninglemon Dec 25, 2012 08:12 PM

          We ended up going to Kalamaku. The show was excellent, and the food was mediocre. I understand now about how you really cant expect decent food at these things. I also learned by then that I don't like lomi!

        2. scottca075 Nov 19, 2012 07:57 AM

          Commercial luaus are not noted for "REALLY GOOD FOOD" and they don't do "roasted suckling pig", they have Kalua pig done in imus usually.

          If I had to pick one, it would be the Smith Family Luau over the Grand Hyatt. Smith's is good and there is no need to drive all the way to Poipu for a luau.

          1. m
            MarkC Dec 29, 2012 10:56 AM

            We just got back from Kauai, and had the luau at the Grand Hyatt in Poipu. It wasn't cheap ($94) but I would give it a thumbs up if you're looking for a luau. Food and drinks were good, and the show was pleasant and satisfying. It's a rather laid back experience, none of the wildly twitching butts I remember from "Mutiny on the Bounty". Ours was located in the pretty garden area. I understand that if the weather is bad, they have in indoors, which isn't as nice, so just check the weather report.

            Personally, I would choose whichever luau is closer to you. There can't be a huge difference among them, and it's not worth a long drive, in my opinion. We were able to get a reservation at the Hyatt at the last minute, when the other luaus were sold out.

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