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“Broken Promises, broken promises, credit never received” 1 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
Milan, Michigan, United States
2 reviews
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“Broken Promises, broken promises, credit never received”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 21, 2012

I have made a good faith effort to resolve a credit issue with Kalahari Resort after a horrendous visit on June 10 – June 11, 2012. issue with Kalahari Resort after a horrendous visit on June 10 – June 11, 2012. We booked an overnight visit to Kalahari Resort back on January 23, 2012 for a June 10, 2012 overnight visit. The stay required pre-payment in the amount of $132.69.

When we arrived at the resort at 1:30pm on Sunday, June 10, to check in the resort was absolutely jammed packed. According to their policies “Check-in begins at 4:00pm. Should you arrive as early as 12:00pm, you can pre-register and begin to enjoy the Waterparks. Check out is no later than 11:00am. After you have checked out, if you have the time, we invite you to stay with us to enjoy the Waterparks and the many other great Kalahari amenities and services available”.

After waiting in the check-in line for over an hour and a half I was told that a room was not ready and that I should check back in at 4pm. The front desk clerk instructed me to call from a house phone to see if our room was ready and explained that there was an express line to avoid the main line for those already pre-registered. We were given our water park passes and sent on our way. Coincidently, guests in our same group ten people back in line received their room immediately and where able to check in with the same type of room reservation for the same type of room.

At 5:30pm, I called reservation/front desk to see if our room was ready. I was put on hold for over 30 minutes. At 6pm I was told that our room was ready and to proceed to the express line for those pre-registered. Upon arriving in the front lobby I was greeted by another hour long line for the pre-registered guests. After waiting, I was told that our room was not ready after all. I spoke with a manager and after another long wait I was given a room.

My family including two small children proceeded to the room. As we approached the room I noticed that the door was not only unlocked but that it was open. I flagged down a member of the housekeeping staff only to be told that we had no business being in the room. After another round of dealing with the management, I told them that we take that room if housekeeping could inspect it. At this point I needed to get my kids feed and settled for the night.

As we unpacked we noticed a wet spot on the floor and placed towels on it. It turned out to be a very large disgusting flood. I once again contacted the management and had to have another housekeeping staff member come to assess the situation. In the end the only thing that we could do was wait for them to clean the carpets, around 11pm – Midnight or live with the wet spot. We opted to place towels of the spot and deal with it.

During this whole ordeal I called the front management office no less than a dozen times and never could speak with a manager.

The next morning I got up at 7am in an attempt to speak with a manager to no avail. I stopped by the front desk three other times that morning and never did connect with a manager. Every time I left my name, room number, and my cell phone number.

We checked out as required. At that point I stood and waited for a manager. After waiting 30 minutes I spoke with a front desk manager, Faris Pallacey. I explained our outrageous experience to him including sharing images of the rooms condition and he immediately agreed to credit my Visa for all charges related to our visit ($132.69 + $115.08). He even extended the offer to stay with them gratis and I politely explained that I was not interested in returning. I asked him for a credit receipt and he said one was not available but he assured me that it was taken care of. I asked again and he showed me a screen where he just processed the credit/return.

On June 18, 2012 I reviewed my online Visa statement and there was no credit. I telephoned Kalahari and attempted to speak with Mr. Pallacey. After trying several more times over the course of several days I finally spoke with him on June 21, 2012. I refreshed his memory on my visit and he acknowledged speaking with me on the morning of June 11 and crediting my account for all charges. He again said that he processed the credit and it must be in there accounting system. He promised to check with accounting and contact me.

June 21, 2012 was the last time that I could get Mr. Pallacey to addresses me. I have called weekly (6/27, 7/6, 7/12, 7/18, and 7/27) since then to no avail.

I've attempted to reject the charges through Visa but Kalahari disputed my rejection stating that I was offered a late check out and should not have expected more. Well I did expect more since I was promised numberous times by their own management that my credit card was credited for all charges. Empty promises!

I've got a promise. I am going to tell every single person that will listen that this was the worst hotel experience that I have ever had. As a certified meeting professional I have traveled a lot and have spent millions on hotels and this experience astounds me. If this was the last place on earth I would never ever spend another thin dime here. Period!

The pictures illustrate the condition of the room.

Room Tip: There is not a decent room in the place. A rest area parking lot would be a better stay.
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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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2,387 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    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 (559)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Rochester, New York
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 19, 2012

I found the resort while searching the internet and our family visited last Oct 2011 from upstate NY. We stayed in a hut room, which was average, but the park was awesome. My kids (teens) loved it and we definitely plan on visiting again. We wanted something a little more than Splash Lagoon that year and we got it.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kassie R, Social Media Coordinator at Kalahari Resorts & Conventions, responded to this review, September 21, 2012
We are so happy that you were able to find us! Thank you so much for visiting and glad to hear the kiddos had an awesome time! We have over a dozen room styles, so feel free to explore on our site for more options. Thank you again for your time and looking forward to seeing you next year.
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Brooklyn, Wisconsin
1 review
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 17, 2012

The prices are as much as Disney and the service is not even half as good then the noise from the rooms next to us and in the hall just kept on till about 2 am and you can call the front desk all you want nothing is going to help

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kassie R, Social Media Coordinator at Kalahari Resorts & Conventions, responded to this review, September 19, 2012
I'm sorry to hear about your experience, but appreciate hearing your thoughts so that we may improve. I'm sorry you felt as if our front desk team didn't do anything to help the noise in your area. We do have a full security team on at all times that would handle this, so I apologize that you felt as if you were ignored and the problem was not corrected. I will be sure to pass along the info. Thank you for reaching out to us and hopefully you will give us another shot in the future to show you just how great Kalahari can be. Take care!
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Bedford, Ohio, United States
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 13, 2012

I went 2 years ago to take the kids and they loved it as all kids do at water parks in the winter. There was a convention going on which seems to always be the case here and the kids next to us were slamming the door every 2-3 minutes now I called down to the front desk they said they would take care of it never did no one ever came to talk to them went on from 9pm till about 3am both days we were there.The water levels on are first visit both days were to low so we could not ride any of the water slides which angered me but who cares im just the one paying for it.OK next visit we check in put are bags in the hall way to the hotel to the west of the front desk where the windows over looking the water park are and while im getting a drink a person tells me my bags are getting soaked because a pipe busted in the ceiling great start right.Well now I have to spend half the time drying all our clothes. Ok so we go to dinner service was horrible. Food was good and decently priced.Still left a 20% tip which I should not have . Go to the water park and first line i get into I waited 1:45 minutes just to be sent back down because lift was broke bring the rafts up. The only thing good about both trips was the spa hands down I love it.On the last day as we were leaving we go to breakfast and we sit there for 45 mins some comes over finally takes our order and we dont see him for another 45 mins I leave my wife stays then a 1/2 later she leaves crying saying lets just go I asked did they ever bring the food she says no.I do have to say that the second time i was there the owners son or daughter was getting married so the family and all there guests were the first to get served and everyone else got what was left speaking about service and attention.

Room Tip: we had the jacuzzi suite it would have been nice if we could have enjoyed it
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kassie R, Social Media Coordinator at Kalahari Resorts & Conventions, responded to this review, September 17, 2012
Sorry to hear about your experiences. Based on the statement of a wedding for the child of the owner, I am assuming you were hear about a year ago for your second visit. I sent your review to both the management that would have been present during that time and any change in management, so that concerns can be evaluated. I apologize you had a negative experience. We do appreciate you sending us your thoughts. This helps us to be the best we can be. Take care and I hope you will give us another shot in the future.
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Akron, Ohio
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 13, 2012

We just came back from a 2 night stay at Kalahari. We have stayed at Castaway Bay with another family, and have driven past a few times and thought "Woah, that place is huge!". We were looking for something to do, and Kalahari posted a Groupon for $99/nt during the week so we figured we would try. It worked out very well for us. We went by ourselves (2 adults + 2 year old) and stayed in a Dessert room. The room was okay, it worked for us. Nothing fancy. The furniture was a little worn, the bathroom was nice, good tv, and there was plenty of room for the pack and play.
The water park was HUGE. We kept finding new things to do! The water and air were much warmer than Castaway Bay. The wave pool water was nice and warm. The toddler play area was a little too chilly for my liking... we just did a few minutes and then warmed up in the wave pool. The lazy river was great, that was our favorite. Unfortunately, several of the rides need 2 people, and we didn't have any extra riders so we didn't get to try any of those.
I will say the lifeguards at Kalahari were not nearly as professional or attentive as the ones at Castaway Bay. In their defense, the waterpark was dead when we went, and obviously there are more of them at Kalahari, but there were a lot of side conversations going on. And the one guard in the lazy river (he was in the water) had his back to the water and was leaning on the rock wall resting. I get it, I was a lifeguard once, but you have to pay attention to what's going on.
The food was good. They had a few different options. The 2nd floor restaurant was closed when we were there, probably because it was so slow. We ate on the 3rd floor restaurant for dinner the first night because we didn't feel like going out. I felt like we received good value there. Food was decent, and the server was attentive. I also love the fact that you can charge to your room key. I could lock my purse in the room in the safe and not have to carry it everywhere. None of the food was really overpriced, keeping in mind that this is a resort so everything is going to be a little more expensive than if you left. But, its convenient, reasonably priced, and even the pizza we figured would taste like a frozen pie turned out okay. The candy and coffee stores were nice touches. Loved being able to get a sundae @ 9:30 and not leave the resort.
The arcade was fine. Good balance of big people and little people games. Our LO just liked to press all the buttons and see the lights :) But, its something to do other than the waterpark. There was a also an outside playground and a tree house inside. There are plenty more options if you just need to get out of the water for a little bit.
All in all, it was a good trip that I would do again. I probably wouldn't pay full price for a room, but if you can find a good deal or find a family to split a room with it would definitely be worth it. We will probably be back, and bring some friends with us!

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Kassie R, Social Media Coordinator at Kalahari Resorts & Conventions, responded to this review, September 17, 2012
Thank you so much for your time and visiting us. We really appreciate you taking the time to post your feedback. Helps us to determine the areas we need to improve upon. I am also very glad that you were able to take advantage of the Groupon offer. We do our best to run great specials throughout the year, so hopefully you can find another one too. We would love to have you visit and friends come along. We have a over a dozen rooms styles, sleeping from 2 to 44 people, so we can for sure find the best option for you. Looking forward to seeing you again soon. Take care!
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Ledyard, CT
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 9, 2012

I was a little nervous prior to our arrival at Kalahari as I had read some bad as well as good reviews. Upon arrival, I thought the resort might be very noisy after seeing the large crowds of families checking in. That was not the case. It was very quiet in the hotel rooms area. Our primary reason for going to Kalahari was for a wedding, but all of us enjoyed the water park immensely. Our party consisted of 5 adults (ages 36-64) and a 4 year old. The rooms were clean and comfortable. The restaurants were good - good food at reasonable prices.
We are very glad we came. We travelled from CT.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Kassie R, Social Media Coordinator at Kalahari Resorts & Conventions, responded to this review, September 10, 2012
So wonderful to have you visit all the way from CT. That's awesome! I hope the wedding was just stunning and everyone had an excellent time. Thank you for staying with us and taking the time to review our resort. Hopefully you will be able to come out and visit us again soon. Certainly our pleasure and looking forward to it! Take care and thanks much!
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Pittsburgh, PA
Top Contributor
62 reviews 62 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 39 cities Reviews in 39 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 9, 2012

We arrived on a Monday late morning for a two night stay. Pre-registration and check in process was fairly efficient, considering the number of people checking in and checking out at the same time. Water park gets more crowded and lines get longer as the day progresses, so it is best to try and hit the popular slides as early as possible. Rooms are clean and comfortable. The only complaint is that the sink area is located out in the room and not closed off in a separate bathroom area.

On the second day, we took advantage of the early enrty to the water park for hotel guests only, and we were able to go on all our favorite slides repeatedly with very little wait time. By the time late afternoon came around we had enough (even for our 10 y.o. boy), so I think a third day would be unnecessary for most families. The arcade is huge and provides hours of amusement for the kids after they had enough of the water park. The bars and food places are a little pricey, but nothing too extreme or out of the ordinary for a resort property. The Great Karoo buffet is fantastic (see my separate review). Overall, it was a very pleasant and enjoyable stay, and I would highly recommend it for a nice two or three day family vacation.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kassie R, Social Media Coordinator at Kalahari Resorts & Conventions, responded to this review, September 12, 2012
We are so pleased to have you. Thank you for visiting! Great pics too! Looks and sounds like you were able to take advantage of almost everything that Kalahari has to offer. Hopefully you can return again and check out our Safari Outdoor Adventure Park. Lots of fun! Thanks again for visiting and hope to see you soon!
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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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