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Are you planning a trip to Hawaii and want to experience an authentic Hawaiian luau? The cost of a luau can vary widely based on the type and size of the event, your location on the islands, and what’s included, from food and drinks to entertainment and more.

If you’re short on time, here’s the quick answer: expect to spend $80-$150 per person for a standard luau in Hawaii including food, drinks and entertainment.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll break down what factors impact the cost of a Hawaiian luau, provide price estimates across the islands and types of luaus, detail what’s typically included, and offer money-saving tips to help make this iconic Hawaii experience accessible within nearly any vacation budget.

Average Cost of a Luau in Hawaii

Luaus are a popular activity for visitors to Hawaii, offering a glimpse into the islands’ vibrant culture and cuisine. But how much does it actually cost to attend one of these colorful feasts? Here’s a breakdown of the average pricing.

Admission Fee

The admission fee to a luau can vary greatly, with prices typically ranging from $80 to $180 per adult. Most luaus cost between $100-$150 per person. The fee usually includes the dinner buffet, non-alcoholic beverages, and the Polynesian entertainment show.

Some of the pricier options may include add-ons like premium seat locations, lei greetings, or additional drinks.

Children and Senior Discounts

Many luaus offer discounted rates for children and seniors. Children are usually defined as ages 4-11, with rates around $60-$100 per child depending on the luau. Seniors typically get around a 10-20% discount off adult prices.

Some luaus allow kids under 3 or 4 to attend for free when sitting on a parent’s lap and not taking up an extra seat.

Food and Drinks

The buffet dinner at a luau generally offers a mix of Hawaiian and Polynesian cuisine like kalua pork, lomi salmon, poi, rice, sweet potatoes, pineapple, coconut cake, and more. Upgrades to add lobster tails or premium meats may be available for an additional cost.

Alcoholic beverages like mai tais, beer, and wine typically range from $8-$15 per drink. So factor in extra costs if you want more than just the included non-alcoholic beverages.

Private Events and Large Groups

Those looking to hold a private luau event or have a large group attend can often receive discounted bulk rates. Private events allow the party to have exclusive access. Group sizes to qualify for discounts vary by location, but usually apply for parties with 20+ people.

Quoted prices depend on the luau selected, group size, event date, and additions chosen.


Though not required, it’s customary to leave a tip at a Hawaiian luau to show appreciation for the service and entertainment, similar to tipping after a nice dinner. An average tip would be 15-20% of the admission fee per person. Some luaus add on a built-in gratuity fee.

So the total bill may end up being a bit higher than just the base ticket price.

Luau Component Average Cost
Admission Fee (per adult) $100 – $150
Children’s Admission $60 – $100
Senior Citizen’s Admission 10-20% off adult price
Food & Drinks Included buffet, $8-$15 per alcoholic drink
Gratuity Tip (optional) 15-20% of admission price

So for two adults, expect to spend around $300 or more by the end of the night after adding drinks, tips, and any potential upgrades. For a family, costs can easily exceed $500+ for a luau experience. While not exactly cheap for the average family, attending a luau makes for an unforgettable Hawaiian vacation memory worth splurging on.

Factors That Impact Luau Pricing in Hawaii

Location on the Islands

The location of the luau on the Hawaiian Islands can significantly influence pricing. Luaus in prime beachfront properties on popular islands like Oahu or Maui generally cost more than those situated inland or on less trafficked islands.

For example, a seaside luau in Waikiki with top-notch views and amenities may run $150+ per person, while a smaller community luau on Lanai could be under $100 per head.

Transport is another locational factor. Remote venues often include round-trip transportation in their packages to offset the inconvenience for attendees. More isolated luaus may also keep prices lower to attract patrons willing to make the trek.

Size of the Luau

Larger luaus with hundreds of guests typically have lower per head prices thanks to economies of scale. They make up in volume what they lose in per person profit. A luau for 500 could run $80 per ticket, while an intimate 25-person affair may cost upwards of $200 as they seek to cover overhead and entertain fewer people.

Bigger also isn’t necessarily better either. Smaller luaus offer a more personalized, authentic experience that some view as worth the premium. Ultimately, it depends on one’s preferences and budget.


The inclusions in a luau package heavily influence rates too. Most luaus include the feast and entertainment, but additions like open bar, keepsake photo, flower lei greeting, transportation, etc. raise the base price.

A simple luau could be just $60 for the food, show, tax, and fees. Yet one packed with cocktails, photos, floral arrangements, etc. could easily exceed $200 per individual. Paying more upfront takes the surprise out of hidden charges, but the basic luaus allow you to choose what, if any, extras suit your needs.

Luau Prices on Different Hawaiian Islands

Oahu Luau Prices

Oahu is home to the most luau options in Hawaii, with prices ranging from budget to premium experiences. The average cost of an Oahu luau is $80-$150 per person, depending on the inclusions.

Some of the most popular Oahu luaus include Germaine’s Luau with ticket prices starting at $108 and Paradise Cove with tickets from $89. These mid-range luaus offer a traditional Hawaiian feast, open bar, and Polynesian entertainment.

On the high-end, Royal Hawaiian Luau is considered one of the best on Oahu with tickets costing around $195. This luau includes premium food and drinks, lei greeting, and front row seats for the show. Budget options like Hula Grill’s Waikiki Starlight Luau start at $65 with a simple dinner buffet and hula performance.

Maui Luau Prices

There are fewer luau options on Maui compared to Oahu, but you can still find top Polynesian entertainment. Average prices range from $95-$190 per person.

The Old Lahaina Luau is a long-running favorite priced at $125. Their oceanfront location and authentic Hawaiian cuisine make it a top choice. Another premium pick is the Wailele Polynesian Luau at $190 per person, including an open bar and interactive culture lessons before the main show.

For great entertainment on a budget, check out Feast at Lele at just $95. Their unique luau offers tastings of Hawaiian, Fijian, Tahitian, and Samoan cuisine throughout the evening.

Kauai Luau Prices

As Kauai’s luaus book up fast, aim to reserve tickets 1-2 months in advance. Only two major luaus operate on Kauai, with average prices ranging from $78-$134.

Smith’s Tropical Paradise Luau is popular for its beachfront location and fire dancers, with tickets starting at $78 for adults. Their luau feast and Polynesian show will give you a memorable Kauai experience.

For a more premium, elevated luau, Luau Kalamaku is a top choice at $134 per person. Their inducted chef and interactive atmosphere make it stand out as one of Hawaii’s highest rated luaus.

Big Island Luau Prices

Like Kauai, the Big Island also has fewer luau options, but what they offer is authentic entertainment and Hawaiian hospitality. Expect to spend around $80-$140 per person.

Kona’s Island Breeze Luau starts at $89 for their beachside feast and show. For a more premium experience, Gathering of the Kings offers an elevated menu and interactive culture lessons for $140.

Some luaus, like the Hilo Hawaiian Hotel’s Luau, include extra add-ons like lei greeting, guaranteed front row seats, mai tais, and photo packages for an additional fee.

Types of Luaus and Typical Costs

Hotel Luaus

Hotel luaus are among the most popular and convenient options for visitors. They are usually held on the hotels’ expansive grounds or beaches with views of the ocean and often incorporate Polynesian entertainment such as hula dancers, fire knife dancers, and traditional Hawaiian music.

According to Priceline, the average cost of hotel luaus is about $120 per person including food and entertainment.

Beachfront Luaus

For a scenic, romantic atmosphere, beachfront luaus can’t be beat. These celebrations bring all the components of an entertaining luau, such as a traditional Imu pig roast and lively Polynesian dancing, right to a picturesque section of beach on the Hawaiian coastline.

Prices typically run from $80-150 per person depending on included features.

Cultural Luaus

Cultural luaus offer visitors a more educational and immersive look at native Hawaiian traditions. They often incorporate detailed narrations about the origins of luau gatherings as well as exhibits of historical artifacts and crafts.

With an emphasis more on cultural celebration than flashy entertainment, prices for cultural luaus tend to range from $65-100 per attendee.

Money-Saving Tips for Luaus in Hawaii

Attending a luau can be one of the highlights of a trip to Hawaii, but the costs can really add up. Here are some great tips to save money on your Hawaiian luau experience without sacrificing the fun.

Book Early

Like most things, booking your luau early can lead to big savings. Many companies offer discounts for early bookers, with prices increasing as the date gets closer. Booking a few months in advance can save you upwards of 20-30%. The early bird gets the deals!

Look for Package Deals

Many hotels and activity providers offer luau packages that bundle the show with transportation, drinks, and sometimes even dinner. These combo deals can offer great value compared to purchasing each piece individually. Shop around for the best package that fits your needs.

Skip the Frills

If you’re looking to seriously cut costs, consider a basic admittance ticket without any extras. Most luaus offer a range of upgrade options like lei greetings, premium bar access, and reserved seating that quickly increase the base price.

While those additions enhance the experience, the core show remains the same if you forgo the expensive extras.

Go Local

The hotel luaus aimed at tourists generally cost more than independent shows at local venues. Venturing out to a community luau can provide an equally entertaining and authentic cultural experience for up to 50% less.

You’ll get all thrill of the roasting pig, hula dancers, and fiery knife dances without the resort upcharges.

Share Expenses with Friends

Luaus often charge per person, so gathering a group of friends to attend can lead to major savings. Most shows offer discounts for larger parties, with the per head costs decreasing with each additional member. Splitting one bill for 10 with friends beats five separate bills for pairs any day.

Attending a luau can be a memorable delight, especially when you implement these money-saving strategies. With a little planning and flexibility, you can enjoy all the Hawaiian culture, cuisine and community while keeping your wallet happy.


Attending a luau is often a highlight for many visitors to Hawaii. With an average price between $80-$150 per person, luaus offer the chance to take part in a beloved Hawaiian tradition, feast on local cuisine, watch mesmerizing hula dances and fire knife performances, and make unforgettable memories during your island getaway.

By factoring in your ideal location, event size and inclusions, you can find the perfect luau to match your Hawaii vacation budget and expectations for a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Hawaii has luau options to delight attendees across price points and interests. Use this breakdown as a guide for estimating costs when planning your Hawaiian luau adventure.

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