The name and look have changed several times since 2000, but this excellently priced resort overlooking Keauhou Bay and the ocean just keeps getting better. The first dramatic renovation of the former Kona Surf, closed in 2000, came in 2005, when walls were removed to open panoramic views, rooms were modernized to Sheraton standards, and an enormous, multi-level fantasy pool was added to offset the lack of beachfront. Another $20-million makeover, completed in late 2012 and overseen by cultural expert and textile designer Sig Zane, has added more splashes of bright color, improved landscaping, and highlighted the area’s rich cultural history with new signage and tours. In addition to the sandy-bottomed pool, water slide, and kid-pleasing fountain play area, there’s a lounge just for teens, with Xbox, Wii, and table tennis. The vast majority of rooms have lanais, at least 80 percent with partial oceanview—all the better to ogle the manta rays that frequent this area. You can also spot rays from the lanai off Rays on the Bay, a vivacious restaurant/lounge with firepits and tasty cocktails. Check online for one of the frequent deals.