The Sheraton Keauhou is no more. In its place, the Sheraton Kona at Keauhou Bay Resort has been officially blessed. Sig Zane, the designer and kumu, who led the hotel’s management and staff through the blessing Friday, said it’s now up to the employees to bring the hotel from its rebirth to its full potential.
General Manager Steve Lindburg says the hotel just completed a $20 million renovation. The public will see it in public spaces, mostly, as well as in guest room upgrades–new carpeting, new paint, and new flat screen televisions. Sig Zane Designs created artwork for the guest rooms and throughout the hotel. The hotel has converted the old Manta Bar, out close to the water, into Ray’s on the Bay, a full service restaurant with seating for 230. They’ve redone the pool bar and renamed it from Sliders to Holua, to reflect not only the cultural heritage of the nearby holua (slide) but to reflect the fact that the swimming pool has several slides. And they took the old Crystal Blue, which was the former swimming pool, and planted grass and palm trees to create a space for weddings and other events.
The hotel is the only Sheraton franchise in the state. It operates under the Sheraton guidelines and standards, but is owned by two mainland companies, Avenue Capital out of New York and Shutes Financial out of Denver. They’re managed by the Pyramid Management Group out of Boston. The primary owners, Avenue Capital, is run by two brothers whom Lindburg says absolutely love Hawaii and this location and want to do all they can to improve the hotel. They purchased the hotel in April, 2011, for $26.2 million.