Video by David Corrigan | Voice of Stephanie Salazar
KEAUHOU, Hawaii: A new beginning was marked by this Hawaiian blessing in Keauhou… where an ocean side resort has been renamed and refurbished.
Company officials say Keauhou means “new beginning”… And now, the 22-acre Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort & Spa marks a new beginning now that is has been renamed the Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa at Keauhou Bay, after an extensive $16-million renewal.
According to Kamehameha Investment Corporation president Kyle Chock, considerable resources went into the revitalization of the resort’s physical plant.
Hawaiian cultural leaders Sig Zane and the Kanaka’ole ohana performed the blessing on Saturday.
The ceremony included a cutting of a thatching of koa, liko, kupukupu, maile, ki, kikui, and pili … and then the consumption of the sacred foods like kalo, ulu, fish and pa’akai.
The closing prayer, Ho’ulu Keauhou…written by Nalani Kanakaole.
Zane has done more than bless the site… his hand can be seen everywhere.
Suites, and ocean rooms have been brightened with the addition of Sig Zane’s visual art inspired by the ulu, or breadfruit tree, which is also represented throughout the resort and woven into team member’s attire.
Company officials say there is now an enhanced arrival experience, lush landscaping, a refurbished port cochere, and the Silversword lobby bar now hosts daily wine tastings.
There are new stores and restaurants, like the Flying Fish, Ainakai, Paakai Point, and the highlite… according to Chock…
Ray’s By The Bay also features the favorite ocean mascots of Keauhou: manta rays, which are visible in the illuminated waters directly off the new restaurant from a special viewing area along the shore.
The huge swimming pool area is now complemented by enhanced meeting space and an improved fitness Center.
Aside from all the improvemnts, Chock says Keauhou remains a premier destination for an authentic Hawaiian experience.
The renovation and rebranding of the Sheraton Kona is just one of the big changes at the greater Keauhou resort.
Outrigger’s Keauhou Beach Hotel will shut down in October, laying off over 100 employees. Kamehameha Schools says they plan to demolish the hotel structure itself and restore a portion of the cultural landscape in Kahalu’u makai that has been covered or impacted by the hotel and its surrounding structures for decades. Once the hotel structures are removed, additional cultural restoration can begin.
Chock, who is also President and CEO of KBH, Kamehameha Schools’ for profit subsidiary, declined to speak on about the closing on Saturday.
But he did speak about the future vision for maintaining and sharing the cultural footprint of Keauhou and Kahalu’u.