Loving The Westin Maui Luau

The Westin Maui’s Wailele Polynesian Luau enchants with dazzling performances and excellent cuisine

By: By Deanna Ting

The Details

Wailele Polynesian Luau at The Westin Maui Resort & Spa

Commission is available to agents who have a signed luau contract with the resort.

I’ll never turn down a luau. One of my earliest and fondest family travel memories involves waking up at dawn on Hawaii’s Big Island and heading down to the beach to watch the ceremonial lowering of a whole pig into its sandy imu (underground oven). So, when I was given the opportunity to go to yet another luau, this time at The Westin Maui Resort & Spa, I didn’t hesitate to say yes. 

The Westin Maui’s luau features fire-knife dancing. // (C) 2010 The Westin Maui Resort & Spa

Westin Maui’s luau features fire-knife dancing.
// (C) 2010 The Westin Maui Resort & Spa

The Wailele Polynesian Luau reminded me of all the reasons why I love luaus. It was warm, inviting and exciting and, even better, the food was fantastic. Unlike the majority of Hawaii luaus, this one is not a buffet. Instead, food is served in four courses, family-style, so clients never have to wait in a line for their first taste of ahi poke (marinated raw tuna) or pipi kaula (beef jerky).

When clients first enter the luau, they are greeted with a shell lei and whisked to a photo area to pose for pictures with performers from the show. Attendees can peruse the wares of local artisans, learning how to tie a pareo (sarong) and weave coconut fronds. They’re also encouraged to order beverages such as the signature Westin Sunset cocktail, Tahitian Hinano beer, soda and juice.

Before our luau began, a slight drizzle started falling, but that didn’t deter the waitstaff, who quickly provided us with towels. We gathered around the tables, set up for up to eight people and, it was wonderful getting to know our fellow diners. Guests can book either premium or traditional seating, with premium seats offering the best views of the stage at the hotel’s Aloha Pavilion. At my table, I met two newlyweds who had been married on Oahu only a few days before; they had decided to marry and honeymoon in Hawaii and their wedded bliss was, well, contagious.

The show began with a conch-shell call and a tiki torch lighting that illuminated the cloudy skies. Soon, we were being served our first course: a platter of ahi poke with limu (seaweed), lomi lomi salmon, pipi kaula, dried mango and taro chips; a fresh green salad; and just-baked taro rolls with butter. Dances and performances commenced, beginning with a traditional chant, followed by a mesmerizing Tahitian dance and various forms of hula.

Songs and dances were interwoven throughout the entire meal, and before we began to dig into our food, the emcee always made sure to explain the significance of each dish to us. Main entrees included seared fish, kalua pork, poi and teriyaki beef. At the end came the decadent dessert platter, filled with haupia (coconut pudding), macadamia nut tartlets, Kona chocolate cake and pineapple caramel cake.

The piece de resistance, however, was the fire-knife finale, featuring the talented skills of Tavita, a third-generation dancer who doubled as one of the luau’s musicians. It’s something your clients have to see for themselves — and something they won’t soon forget from their trip to Maui.

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