Schedule: Wednesday and Saturday at 5pm
Schedule: Saturday at 5pm
Schedule: Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday at 5pm
Cruise Ship Passengers
Big Island Luaus are not possible for cruise ship passengers in port in Kona unless the ship is spending the night there. NCL passengers have their best opportunity to do a luau on Maui and you can find access to this information on our Maui Luau page.
Which luau to attend on the Big Island? Well, things are getting pretty interesting in the luau scene on the Big Island.
The luau that is currently creating a lot of buzz is the Gathering of the Kings at the Fairmont Orchid. We just attended this relatively new luau and enthusiastically recommend it to our clients. The buffet is lavish and diverse, fusing creative cuisine with the traditional flavors of Polynesia. The show is really well done; traditional dances from these cultures are presented, and in between the traditional dances are more contemporary dances that ties the plot line of the show together (sort of Cirque du Soleil-esque but without all the flying). Of course, the show finale and crowd favorite is the fire knife dancer. All in all it’s the best luau experience on the Big Island. Get your reservations early, especially if you’d like to sit in the front reserved seating section.
For those who are staying in Kailua-Kona town or one of the condo properties along Ali’i Drive and don’t relish the idea of an hour drive to and from your luau, you might want to attend the Island Breeze Luau which is held at the King Kamehameha Hotel near the pier at the Kailua-Kona Harbor. This luau offers a feeling of authenticity due to its incredibly historic location. The beachside arrival by canoe of the luau’s Royal Court is very unique and makes for great photos. This luau has been voted the “Best Luau on the Big Island” by the readers of West Hawaii Today for seven years in a row. We really appreciate the reserved seating upgrade; for those of you who are reading this a few weeks or more before your arrival you should grab some of these reserved up front seats while you have the chance!
For guests who are staying in Waikoloa, Mauna Lani, or Hapuna, we recommend the Gathering of the Kings. But if a Saturday night doesn’t work for your itinerary, there is also a good Wednesday night choice with the luau at the Waikoloa Marriott. While they don’t offer the vast culinary selections as the Gathering of the Kings, their food is high quality and they have all the essential luau basics; their kalua pig and Molokai sweet potatoes are especially tasty (Molokai sweet potatoes have an incredibly deep dark purple color). Be sure to stroll down by the ancient fishponds … at sunset on a calm evening you can get an incredible picture of the palm trees of Anaehoomalu Beach reflecting on the water of the fishpond. This luau is only held on Wednesdays and Saturdays and advanced reservations are necessary.
If you are staying north of the airport, you don’t want to drive all the way into town when the best luau choices are close by. If you are staying south of the airport in Kailua-Kona, you might consider the drive to the Gathering of the Kings. If you aren’t up for the drive, get reserved seating at the Island Breeze Luau.