Love on the Lava

Big Island resort embraces romance

By: Dawna Robertson

In the Hawaiian language, the word Keauhou means “a new beginning.” What better place for couples to embark on their new life together than at a place named Keauhou? Seems it would be a natural draw for those seeking a site to tie the knot or to share a romantic honeymoon.

Why not do both? Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort & Spa is situated in a scenic oceanfront setting that helps make a dream wedding in paradise become a reality.

Stretching along the coastline, the resort provides an exotic backdrop for its Bayside Wedding Center, which includes the Bayside Chapel, an emerald lawn and quaint gazebo.

For a more dramatic location, couples may opt for “love on the lava.” Perched on a lava rock promontory at the edge of the Pacific, the stark black rock exudes its own beauty and power to make for memorable photography. Topped with soft white sand, the rock promontory has quickly become a favorite for sharing nuptials.

To ensure a stress-free destination wedding, the resort’s Director of Special Occasions handles all the details from appointments for the bride at Hoola Spa to a tee time for the groom at nearby Kona Country Club. An in-house florist and resort executive chef add to the list of professionals who make planning a Sheraton Keauhou Bay wedding simple and smooth.

“I think brides are quite surprised when they find out how easy it really is to plan a wedding when they are not actually here,” remarked Natalie Cone, director of special occasions. “With e-mail being such a great communication tool, I can correspond efficiently with the couple, share pictures of the location, the flowers, the cake and really ease her potential stress.”

Cone continued, “After eight years of wedding and event planning, I think I can anticipate almost anything, and I can handle pretty much any ‘off the wall’ request whatever it takes to make the couple’s wedding perfect for them.”

The resort’s Romance Package is designed for couples seeking a balance of fun and relaxation. In addition to accommodations, the plan covers daily buffet or room service breakfast for two, 30-minute Hoola Spa couple’s massage and 25-minute Jacuzzi, daily mai tai reception at Crystal Blue, and champagne and chocolate-dipped strawberries welcome amenity. Rates for Deluxe Ocean Front accommodations are $345 per night, based on double occupancy, with a minimum four-night stay.

Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort & Spa features 521 spacious guestrooms and suites with the ultra-comfortable Sheraton “Sweet Sleeper” beds, and resort-wide wireless Internet access. Other amenities include the multilevel Manta Ray Super Slide & Pool with 200-foot-long lava tube waterslide, one-of-a-kind Manta Ray Experience, Hoola Spa, convention center, daily children’s program, shopping and dining options.