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“Excellent Vacation” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Kalahari Resorts & Conventions

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Kalahari Resorts & Conventions
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   7000 Kalahari Drive, Sandusky, OH 44870   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 34 Hotels in Sandusky
Clearfield, Pennsylvania
1 review
“Excellent Vacation”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 10, 2011

This was our family's second trip to Kalahari and as with the first trip, everyone loved it! The kids cried when we had to leave. We had five kids with us ranging from 3 to 10 and they all loved it. Staff was very polite. Rooms were clean. Many amenities on site so you don't even need to leave the resort. We will definitely be returning.

Room Tip: The suites are definitely the better way to go.
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,389 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (560)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Hamilton, Canada
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 8, 2011

We have been to the Kalahari resorts in Sandusky and we love it! The rooms are beautifully done up and very clean! The staff are friendly as well. Although the staff are a bit chatty and slow, what are you supposed to expect, their kids! But we had a lovely time! My kids are ages 10 & 12, so we weren't chasing them around the indoor waterpark letting them wander by themselves. But when they were outside they enjoyed hanging out in the pool with their dad and gazing at the animals in the zoo. They loved the zipline although the lines were long (1-2 hours). When the lines calm down(early evening) they had a blast! We enjoy the Kalahari very much and are excited to stay again next week!

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Etiwanda California
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2011

Family reunion at kalahari waterpark. The rooms were spacious and clean. Staff was courteous. Great for Families with children. Waterpark was awesome.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Northville, Michigan
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 4, 2011

We went to the resort for the first time on 8/1/11. The watermark was alright, most everything was working. Arcade was nice, my son enjoyed the mini bowling. Dining is very expensive and food wasn't that great, pizza in the watermark was 15.00 for 8 pieces and it tasted like cheap frozen pizza. Now the room...that was a joke. 234.00 and the box spring was broke, your head suck way below your feet. I went to the front desk to complain so they sent maintenance, he proceeded to come back and shove a piece of ply wood under mattress...really????? I think for the price we paid they should have at least changed our room or at least discounted it...after 4 pillows to prop you up, no sleep and a backache..we should have went and bought a blowup mattress. All and all my teens seemed to overcome and have an ok time, but after dropping almost 500.00 for an overnight trip..I think it wasn't worth it..I've had a better time at Great Wolf Lodge. I won't be going back..

Kathy.....Salem michigan

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pittsburgh
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 4, 2011

Unfortunately, I’m going to forget to say some of the great things about this place. Let’s start with this, the heat index was 104 digress when we got there. However the indoor area was extremely comfortable and pleasant. We were greeted by a pleasant and courteous desk agent at check in. Upgraded our room for an extremely reasonable price.
Got to our room, suits on and out the door. Went to the zip line. Every single employee on the zip line was friendly, talkative, courteous and attentive (remember heat index of 104) . “How you surviving the heat? How’s your stay, is everything going well” Even the guy that delivered my pizza at 10:30pm from the resort inquired on how my stay was.
Service people walking down the hall make eye contact and great you. Just a well run resort from top to bottom.
For something to improve on. Check out is 11:00am. It’s a zoo trying to get your car loaded. This is because everyone checks out but stays for the day at the resort. It’s included in your room. So everyone waits till the last second to get out of their room and car loaded. But I’m really stretching to find something to improve on.
Can’t wait for a chance to go back

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newmarket, Canada
1 review
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 2, 2011

Kalahari may have the largest indoor waterpark in the US, but the overall experience certainly isn't the best. We spent 4 nights and 5 days there at the end of July, 2011, using the waterpark, restaurants, arcade, and other activities. Our kids had a great time. We had an okay time. Here's how it broke down for us:

The Good
- The room was great. We had what I think they call a 'Lodge Room' which has a separate bedroom, pullout couch in the living room and well stocked kitchen. It was like a small cottage, and very nice overall. Clean room, decent beds, nice firework and the balcony was a good addition. Full points for the room
- The indoor waterpark attractions, in general, were very good. Wide range of different water slides and play areas that kept the kids occupied for hours. The lineups in the morning and evening were minimal (staff said it's been really quiet overall this summer) so it didn't take long to onto the actual rides
- Most of the restaurants were excellent. The Reserve (the "nicer" restaurant), the outdoor poolside restaurant, the coffee shop, and the snack bars in the waterpark all had great food at reasonable prices
- The staff were very friendly and seemed to be working really hard to do a good job. Full points for effort there.

The Bad
- The "Great Karoo" restaurant is a disaster. You wait 45 minutes to get seated for breakfast, then see a dozen empty tables on the way to yours. The buffet is setup in a single line instead of stations, so there's perpetually a lineup. When you finally get up to it, the dishes are either empty, picked over, or cold. Ordering from the menu is no better - you wait another 45 minutes and your meal comes out cold. We complained to hotel management and their excuses was that it was "very busy". Everyone else working at the resort seems to think 2011 is a really dead summer, so I'm not sure why the Karoo is so spectacularly busy.
- The maintenance, and efficiency in the waterpark needs work. Many of the larger slide rides are bogged down by a tube conveyor system that was perpetually jammed (enough that staff have a gaffe beside it to fish out the rafts that get stuck). Paint is peeling on some of the towers so your kids come off the rides with paint chips stuck to them. The zip coaster is awesome when it works but it was shut down 3-4 times per day for servicing.
- The outdoor waterpark seems like an afterthought. There's really nothing there for kids over 5 so even if the weather is great, you only get to stay outside for 15-20 minutes then your kids get bored and you end up back inside.
- You can't charge anything to your room account after 11:00 on checkout day. Most of these resorts invite you to stay until closing on the day you checkout, and at other places you can continue charging things to your room until closing time - handy for buying lunch and snacks at the waterpark when all your stuff is packed in the car already. Kalahari doesn't allow this, which is a lame policy but it would be okay if they at least told you about it. It wasn't listed on the room bill (which invites you to stay for the day) or in the hotel guidebook in the room, so we found out the hard way when our kids were at the snack counter. I had the fun experience of trotting out to the car, soaking wet, and fishing around for my wallet to find a credit card.
- Unhappy tiger cubs in the front lobby and unhappy looking animals outside (giraffes, zebras) makes the place seem more like a questionable roadside zoo than some place that takes conservation seriously

Recommendations:
- Don't stay for more than 2 days
- Stay well clear of "The Great Karoo" - get breakfast from the coffee shop, lunch poolside, and dinner at The Reserve
- Use the waterpark in the morning, before it gets backed up and dirty, and over dinner time, when the teen staffers have had a chance to clean it up a bit

Room Tip: Ask for a room in the Sands wing, which has its own (smaller but much less crowded) pool.
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 2, 2011 via mobile

Management looks to you like a #. been there for years and wont go back. The watermark is so over packed with the ppl staying and the day-times passes that are bought so ppl are always running into you. The water doesnt smell or look clean either.

  • Stayed July 2011
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Kalahari Resorts & Conventions

Address: 7000 Kalahari Drive, Sandusky, OH 44870
Location: United States > Ohio > Sandusky
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Family Hotel in Sandusky
#2 Business Hotel in Sandusky
#4 Romantic Hotel in Sandusky
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Kalahari Resorts & Conventions 3.5*
Number of rooms: 884
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Kalahari Resorts Sandusky provides water parks, Safari Outdoor Adventure Park, indoor/outdoor water park, catering/wedding facilities, spa, salon, fitness training in fitness center, dining options, and more.Over 850 beautifully appointed authentic African-themed guest rooms and suites offer coffeemaker, vacation sized refrigerator, microwave, free high speed Internet access, voice mail, TV, iron/ironing board, in-room safe, pay per view movies, and much more. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Kalahari Waterpark Resort
Kalahari Hotel Ohio
Kalahari Waterpark Sandusky
Kalahari Resort Sandusky Oh
Kalahari Waterpark Hotel Sandusky
Kalahari Water Park
Kalahari Resorts & Conventions Sandusky, Ohio

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