Hale Koa is the Best Rated Luau on Oahu, Hawaii

Looking for One of the Best Rated Luaus on Oahu, Hawaii?

We visited Oahu, Hawaii for the first time in January 2013. Our primary purpose was to attend two gymnastics meets for my daughter. However, we were looking for things to do on Oahu for some entertainment and enjoyment. Attending a luau was top on our list.

One of the other gymnastics moms visits Oahu twice a year, visiting her in-laws. She recommended the Hale Koa Luau for the team and their parents. Not only is it a superb show, but it is incredibly affordable and centrally-located for those of us staying in Honolulu.

The Hale Koa Luau has a TripAdvisor ranking of 29 of 128 Attractions in Honolulu. There are only two luaus that rated higher, but both are over an hour away from Waikiki: (1) the author of Oahu Revealed liked the Polynesian Cultural Center Luau the best, but it can be up to a 90 minute drive from Waikiki and costs close to $100. Because it is run by the Mormon church, alcoholic beverages are not allows: (2) Germaine's Luau was rated second best, but it is about an hour from Waikiki and was only ranked 72 of 128 Attractions in Honolulu on TripAdvisor.

My family and I stayed at the Hilton Hawaiian Village, about 1/2 mile away from the Hale Koa. We attended its luau about 6 days later, and I must say that, for twice the expense, the luau was close to, but not nearly as entertaining as the Hale Koa luau.

Bottom line - if you are staying in Honolulu/Waikiki, you should consider attending the Hale Koa luau. For its price, menu, entertainment and more, it is one of the best values for the best rated luaus on Oahu, Hawaii.

Hale Koa Luau on Oahu, Hawaii
Hale Koa Luau on Oahu, Hawaii | Source
5 stars for Hale Koa Luau, Oahu, Hawaii

Sample Royal Feast Menu at the Hale Koa Luau

SALADS (served Family Style): Cucumber and Papaya, Seaweed, Lomi Lomi Salmon, Fresh Pineapple

MAIN COURSE: Adult & Youth - Kalua Pig, Mahimahi, Shoyu Chicken, Teriyaki Beef, Fried Rice Poi, Sweet Potato

DESERT (served family style): Banana Fritter and other sweets

CHILD MENU - Kalua Pig, Shoyu Chicken, Fried Rice

All adult meals come with the luau entrée and one cocktail

Youth and child meals come with virgin drink or luau punch

Information for the Hale Koa Luau in Honolulu

Address: Hale Koa Hotel, 2055 Kalia Rd Honolulu, HI 96815 (approximately 10 miles from the Honolulu International Airport)

Phone number: (808) 955-0555

When are Luaus Offered: Monday and Thursday evenings each week in the Hale Koa Hotel Luau Garden; Gates open at 5:30 p.m.

Prices: Prices as of 2013 are: $49.50 for adults, $15 for kids 11-17, and $6.95 for kids 10 and under. You are required to book online because this Luau is at a military hotel; you have to be military to purchase in person.

Tickets may be purchased at the Hale Koa Hotel Reception Desk, by phone (808-955-9676) with a major credit card, or at Special Services ticket outlets on Oahu Military Bases

Attire: Comfortable Hawaiian attire is encouraged; no dress code required

Attractions: Complimentary leis, live music, lei making, coconut frond headband making, professional photographs ($15 each), imu ceremony

Program: Dinner and dessert served; one complimentary drink (alcoholic or non-alcoholic); free coffee; variety of Polynesian dancing, hula dancing instruction, fire dancing and honoring US Veterans and active service members

Parking: $7 daily for hotel guests (this is a great deal compared to the Hilton Hawaiian Village less than 1/2 mile away, which charges $27 per day for self-parking)

Gymnasts Learning to Hula Dance at the Hale Koa Luau

Beautiful Hawaiian skies at a luau on Oahu
Beautiful Hawaiian skies at a luau on Oahu | Source

What to Expect at the Hale Koa Luau

When we attended the Hale Koa Luau in January 2013, it had been raining most of the day. However, by the start of the luau, the skies had cleared and it was very comfortable. Rain or shine, the thatched roofs will keep you dry.... and you don't have to worry about being cold in Hawaii!

If you are not staying at the hotel, friendly employees will direct you to the luau garden, which is at the back of the hotel near the beach. The gardens are well-maintained and you will be warmly greeted with a lei and cocktail (or virgin drink).

For the first hour, enjoy the live music, have professional photographs taken with dancers, make a frond headband and/or a lei bracelet. Enjoy the complimentary drink. Additional non-hosted beverages are available at the centrally located bar.

You will know that the luau is officially starting when they blow the conch shells. At this point, you will gather around the fire for the imu ceremony and watch as they remove the roasted pig from the underground oven. Be prepared to have your dinner on display!

After the emu ceremony, you will be asked to take a seat (assigned seats with your tickets). Servers will bring the family style salads, then will clear plates to serve the main course. During the meal, enjoy the main event - the luau show hosted by Glenn Medeiros! You will be taken on a virtual tour of Polynesia with traditional songs, dances and even a fire throwing demonstration. Halfway through the show, volunteers from the audience are invited on stage to learn how to hula dance!

Because this luau is at a military hotel, there are generous discounts available for those in the service and veterans. More importantly, you will not want to miss the amazing conclusion of the luau show, with a tribute to all branches of the military, that will not leave a dry eye in the house.

We highly recommend this luau, and hope you enjoy it too!

Gymnastics team enjoys a luau on Oahu
Gymnastics team enjoys a luau on Oahu | Source

Hale Koa Luau Fire Dancers

Have you ever been to a Hawaiian Luau?

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Making leis at a luau in Hawaii
Making leis at a luau in Hawaii | Source
Imu ceremony: Hale Koa Luau, Oahu, Hawaii
Imu ceremony: Hale Koa Luau, Oahu, Hawaii | Source

The Hale Koa Hotel on Waikiki

A markerHale Koa Hotel, Honolulu -
2055 Kalia Road, Honolulu, HI 96815, USA
[get directions]

Reacting to the emu ceremony, displaying the cooked pig at a luau
Reacting to the emu ceremony, displaying the cooked pig at a luau | Source
Enjoying the Hale Koa Luau on Oahu, Hawaii
Enjoying the Hale Koa Luau on Oahu, Hawaii | Source
Learning to hula dance at the Hale Koa Luau
Learning to hula dance at the Hale Koa Luau | Source

Hale Koa Luau South Pacific Dancing

© 2013 Stephanie Hicks

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Comments 21 comments

Hawaiian Scribe profile image

Hawaiian Scribe 3 years ago from Hawai'i

Thanks for an enjoyable hub. I've never been to the Hale Koa Luau, but it is in a good accessible location for those staying in Waikiki. I love the luau and night show at the Polynesian Cultural Center in Laie for its authenticity. The best price deal for PCC is $69.95 for a day going through all of the villages there, a buffet dinner and a seat at the night show. Also, the hole in the ground where the pig is cooked is the "imu", not "emu" (like the bird). Always love your hubs. Voted up, beautiful, interesting, pinned. Aloha, the other Stephanie


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 3 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Thank you so much, Stephanie (emu - whoops... hahaha!) I'll correct that now.

I have heard about the luau at the Polynesian Cultural Center, as well. Would love it if you would write a hub on that one. I so appreciate you reading and commenting on my Hawaii hubs. Aloha! Stephanie


LongTimeMother profile image

LongTimeMother 3 years ago from Australia

That looked like great fun. What a wonderful experience for the children. It's a very long time since my last visit to Oahu, but I remember it fondly.

Voted up.


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 3 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Hi LongTimeMother,

I'm pretty sure the kids will remember this luau for the rest of their lives. So entertaining and enjoyable. Oahu is indeed a fantastic place to visit!

All the best, Steph


billybuc profile image

billybuc 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

Never been to Hawaii! For some reason I don't think it will ever happen. Too many things on my bucket list and no money. LOL Tends to cramp my traveling plans.

Anyway, this place looks lovely and I'm glad you enjoyed it.


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 3 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Never say never, Bill! :)

I suspect that accomplishing the things on your bucket list will give you much more satisfaction than traveling to a location that is so popular with tourists (crowds, overspending, etc.)

While Hawaii was indeed very nice, I actually get more relaxation and enjoyment - especially when it comes to staying within our budget - simply by visiting the Oregon Coast with my kids, husband and dogs!!


Tracy Lynn Conway profile image

Tracy Lynn Conway 3 years ago from Virginia, USA

I have never been to Hawaii and I am terrified of such a long flight from the where I live on the East Coast of the U.S., but I do dream of it and love to hear stories about it. A friend of mine talked about a Luau she went to with her kids in Hawaii, she even celebrated her daughter's birthday party in a Hawaiian theme complete with authentic dishes and a volcano cake, I was quite impressed. Looks like you have done a fabulous job of outlining the luau options and making the rest of us jealous. Voted up!


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 3 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Hi Tracy,

Thank you very much - a Hawaiian luau sounds like a great way to celebrate a birthday! Best to you, Steph


Gail Meyers profile image

Gail Meyers 3 years ago from United States

Wow, Steph! It looks like this was an amazing trip. You took some great pictures, too. After something like two feet of snow in the last couple of weeks I may just sit here and stare at this hub for a while. lol


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 3 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Hi Gail, you are right that it was an amazing trip! And, its snowing here in Oregon too. So I'd sure like to go back to Hawaii! Cheers, Steph


Kalmiya profile image

Kalmiya 3 years ago from North America

Thanks for the photos and videos of Oahu! That fire dancing looks quite amazing. We're currently cool/dry in Ontario but I would trade that for Hawaiian warmth any day!


always exploring profile image

always exploring 3 years ago from Southern Illinois

I have never been to Hawaii, but i would love to. I enjoyed reading your hub, looks and sounds like a fun place to visit. Thank you...


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 3 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Hi Kalmiya,

We were very fortunate to enjoy such a nice trip to Oahu and the amazing Hale Koa luau! It is still snowing here today in Oregon.... I would love to go back to the beautiful lush tropical foliage and warm sunshine in Hawaii too. Cheers, Steph


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 3 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Hi always exploring,

Hawaii is a nice, fun place to visit. Hope you get the chance to travel there someday. Best, Steph


bdegiulio profile image

bdegiulio 3 years ago from Massachusetts

Hi Steph. Looks like a great time was had by all. Went to a luau 20 years ago on Maui, which was great. If we get back there we'll check out the Hale Koa Luau, looks like fun. Thanks for sharing with us.


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 3 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Hi Bill - we haven't visited Maui, but I am sure there are some great luaus on that island, too. Cheers to you, Steph


DDE profile image

DDE 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

sounds an incredible place to be and experience, and by the look of it all must have had a great time.


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 3 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Yes, we enjoyed an experience that will be a memory for a lifetime at the luau. Thank you so much! Steph


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 3 years ago

Love the opening photo of the man with the counch shell. That alone entices me to visit this beautiful place. The videos were so entertaining. They really know how to put on a show! Glad you had such a wonderful time. Thanks for the tour and tips on how to enjoy this island.


excellasys profile image

excellasys 3 years ago from US

Ah memories, I recall this long ago. Nice Hub Steph. The Polynesian Cultural Center was the luau I was able to see and it was fabulous.


Kristen Howe profile image

Kristen Howe 17 months ago from Northeast Ohio

Great hub Stephanie for those who would love to go to Hawaii on a vacation. This is an excellent and well-informative travelogue. Voted up for beautiful!

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