The Big Island

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Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort & Spa

Address: 78-128 Ehukai St.

Neighborhood: Keauhou Bay

City: Kailua-Kona, The Big Island

Phone: 808-930-4900

Website: www.sheratonkeauhou.com

Expert Review

Set on an ancient lava flow at the entrance to Keauhou Bay, between Kailua and Kealakekua Bay, the Sheraton presents a budget-conscious option for visitors wanting access to the Big Island's beach-friendly leeward coast, but not the high prices of Kohala's tony hotels or the honky-tonk feel of Kailua Village. First opened in the 1970s, the resort rebuilt in the early 2000s, relaunched as a Sheraton in 2004, and then underwent a $16-million renovation in the first half of 2012, focusing on room upgrades, landscaping, a new lobby area, and dining. Sitting on 22 oceanfront acres, the 509 rooms includingd 20 suites (80 percent of the accommodations have ocean views or better, and all have private lanais) start at $169/night. That includes use of the resort's splashy 360,000-gallon pool and its 200-foot-long lava-tube water slide. (Smaller kids – and their parents – will appreciate the adjacent 900-square-foot sandy-bottomed children's pool.) As its name implies, there's also a 3,200-square-foot spa and separate fitness facility. There's no direct beach access for swimming, although the complimentary Keauhou Trolley takes guests to nearby Kahalu'u Beach. Ocean-lovers, however, will enjoy the resort's nightly manta-ray viewing from its deck, or the chance to snorkel or night dive with them from adjacent Keauhou Bay, where there's also kayaking, paddleboarding, and boating. The resort is also partnered with three nearby golf courses, and has two tennis courts, a full-size basketball court, and sand volleyball court on site.

Tags: family | moderate | spa | newly renovated

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