Tahiti Nui’s luau is an intimate gathering of family, friends, and neighbors, something only found in this corner of Hanalei since 1963. Widely regarded as the best luau on Kaua’i, there are many reasons that make this place special. With their warm and friendly staff, talented performers, family-style dining experience, and accessible location, Tahiti Nui has everything you could ask for in a luau.
The first thing that sets Tahiti Nui apart from other luaus is their convivial hospitality. From the moment you walk in, you are greeted with a smile and a warm welcome. The staff is attentive and always ready to assist with anything you need. Whether you have a question about the menu or need a recommendation on what drink to order, the staff is more than happy to help. Their enthusiasm and passion for their job are infectious. It’s evident that many have worked here for years: servers, bartenders, hosts, chefs, and luau performers. Some have grown up here, showing how Tahiti Nui takes great care of their people, employees and patrons alike. The vibe is comfortable, warm, and casual: think grandma’s house plus a family get together. Don’t be surprised if you are on a first name basis with everyone by the end of the night.
Malisa R. visited earlier this March, and shared on Yelp, “Incredible food, service, and views. I'm in love with Hanalei. Small, family businesses make this place more magical…Everyone that worked there was so attentive. The whole vibe is awesome. Magical experience!”
Tahiti Nui’s performers are another special piece of the puzzle. The restaurant’s weekly family luau features traditional Polynesian dance and music, including hula, fire dancing, and drumming. The performers are proud to share their talent and culture, creating a show that is both personal and meaningful. With song, dance, and music, you can’t help but feel your heart has been touched by the Tahiti Nui family. This connection is what drives them, and what makes the Nui luau a one of a kind experience.
Another thing that sets Tahiti Nui apart is its intimate atmosphere. Unlike other luaus on the island, Tahiti Nui is a smaller restaurant that accommodates a limited number of guests each night. This intimate and personalized experience allows guests to truly immerse themselves in the culture and enjoy the show without feeling crowded or rushed. It feels like a family party because that’s precisely what it is for Tahiti Nui’s owner, Nanea Marston, who prides herself on keeping the legacy of “warmth, welcome, song, drinks, dance, and food” alive and thriving.
From Yelp, Liza S. from Milwaukee writes, “They host one of the most authentic family style luau's on the island. It's more intimate than the bigger guys and is pretty amazing if you like low-key and special.”
No luau is complete without a delicious dining experience, and Tahiti Nui delivers on that front as well. The restaurant uses locally sourced ingredients to create a menu that is not only delicious but also sustainable. The luau starts with the imu ceremony, layers of cloth and leaves are removed to expose the kalua pig and sweet potato from the underground oven. Steaming pork is removed and taken to the kitchen for shredding. Aromas whet your appetite before everything gets displayed and served buffet style. The menu also features a variety of dishes that are inspired by Hawaiian and Polynesian cuisine, including seasonal greens, poi, lomi lomi salmon, purple sweet potato, fresh island fish, tahitian poisson cru, and chicken long rice. Each dish is beautifully presented and bursting with flavor, making it easy to see why Tahiti Nui has such a loyal following of foodies.
Lastly, Tahiti Nui’s location plays a big part in the experience. Situated in the heart of Hanalei, a picturesque town on the north shore of Kaua’i, the restaurant is surrounded by lush green mountains that overlook the beautiful Hanalei Bay. You instantly feel at home.
With their hospitable staff, soulful performers, delicious dining, and stunning location, it's easy to see why this restaurant has become an essential destination for both locals and visitors. Whether you're looking to celebrate a special occasion or simply want to experience the magic of Hawaii, Tahiti Nui is the place to do it.