Resort's Dive Plans Focus on Rays

Reed Travel Features

KONA -- Kona Surf Resort & Country Club is marketing the viewing of the manta rays seen nightly from the hotel's saltwater pool deck.

The Big Island hotel created commissionable scuba packages, including one that features a night dive to view the rays, which have wing spans of up to 10 feet.

It is promoting the program as the Manta Ray Experience and is introducing a manta ray logo and slogan "Sunrays to Manta Rays," which will be used in advertising and promotions.

"Since the hotel opened 25 years ago, manta rays have come to feed on krill in the illuminated waters fronting the hotel," said Glenn Berk, Kona Surf's director of sales.

"This is a unique and incredible experience that is a must-see activity for visitors."

The Manta Ray package includes a room for five nights, an economy car for the stay, a night boat dive and a two-tank morning dive.

The price is $695 per room, double occupancy.

The Manini package features three nights' accommodations, a car for the stay and a two-tank morning boat dive for $395 per room, double occupancy.

Both packages include tax, and additional divers can be included by adding 20% to the total price.

The 530-room hotel also is offering a free snorkeling trip, normally priced at $29, when a two-tank dive is purchased by a certified diver at the regular price of $89.

For further information on diving and dive packages, call Manta Dives of Hawaii, the hotel's in-house activities desk, at (800) 982-6747.

Other packages offered by the hotel, which are commissionable at 20% and booked through the hotel at (800) 367-8011, include:

* Rooms, Wheels & Break-

fast, starting at $160 for an oceanview room, with a Dollar or National rental car and breakfast for two.

* Room & Breakfast and Room & Car, both packages starting at $119 a night.

All package rates, including the scuba diving plan, are effective through Dec. 23.

Kona Surf is managed by Otaka Hotels & Resorts, which also operates the Hawaiian Regent and Hawaiian Waikiki Beach in Waikiki.

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