'Big Experience' Package Designed for Active Travelers

Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort & Spa is big on recreation

By: Dawna Robertson

Set to open this fall on the Big Island’s southern coast, the Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort & Spa will go into gear with a package designed for active travelers. Available from the resort’s opening on Oct. 1, through Dec. 25, 2005, the “Big Experience” will keep visitors busy with a variety of recreation and exploration options.

The multi-faceted plan allows each guest to choose one activity per overnight from the following options: one-tank certified scuba dive, Kealakekua Bay snorkel cruise, ocean kayaking, horseback riding, Volcanoes National Park tour, gourmet sunset sail, Kona Coffee plantation tour, surfing lesson, deep-sea sport-fishing, tropical rainforest waterfall hike, Sheraton Keauhou luau, round of golf on Kona Country Club’s Ocean or Alii Mountain course, day-use pass for Spa Keauhou, or a 50-minute therapy massage. Guests may choose the same activity more than once, but cannot participate in more than one activity per day.

According to Revell Newton, director of sales and marketing for the property, the “Big Experience” has it all.

“The Big Island has so much to offer as far as activities,” Newton remarked. “So we wanted to create a package that maximizes a guest’s experience as well as provides them with incredible value. This package does just that.” Newton pointed out the bonus of flexibility with the “Big Experience.” “Guests can enjoy any combination of activities,” he said. “If one person wants to golf and the other one wants to dive, they can do what they prefer in the same day.”

With a minimum two-night stay, “Big Experience” rates are from $390 nightly, based on double occupancy. Package prices are subject to applicable taxes plus a daily resort charge, and the package cannot be combined with any other discount or promotion.

The 530-room Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort & Spa is in the final stages of a comprehensive $45 million renovation. Perhaps the most anticipated aspect of the program is its multi-level “fantasy pool” that will meander through the hotel grounds, ending in a sandy-bottom pool surrounded by a sunning beach. Containing more than 360,000 gallons of water, the upper, lower and children’s pools will allow all guests to find their own place to relax, nap and splash. Two whirlpool spas will be tucked beneath landscaping and lava rock outcroppings.

A river system connecting the upper and lower pools will lead to a waterfall and guests can also enjoy a 200-foot lava-tube waterslide. With an elevation change of 24 feet from starting deck to the water and a figure-eight pattern leading to the pool, the waterslide will be the center of pool activity. A 900-square-foot children’s pool will include a large sandy area for play, sunning and lounging.

“We have brought the beach to the property, we have brought the outside in, and we really brought the feel of Hawaii to this pool,” said Wendell Lee of the Groark Design firm, the company that planned the pool. “Rarely are pools part of the interior design, but doing so at Sheraton Keauhou has really provided a tropical setting at the resort and created an unparalleled design that is sure to attract attention and be enjoyable for every guest.”

The Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort & Spa will also feature an extensive hands-on program for guests to learn about the rich culture, history and arts of Hawaii and the Keauhou area. In addition to the cultural activities available to guests, the hotel’s location at the water’s edge on Keauhou Bay offers the ideal spot for viewing manta rays that glide along the shoreline to feed in front of the hotel each evening.