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“Disappointed” 2 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
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Disappointed”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 31, 2012

Overbooked. Waited over an hour and a half past their checkin time of 4 to get my room. When customers complain and asked for refund they called security. Rude and obnoxious. Overpriced food and everything else. Waterpark is average at best. I was really hoping this could be a regular get away....not.

  • Stayed December 2012
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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, January 1, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to visit us. I am sorry to hear your stay was disappointing. We do have a security team on staff at all times, however, they would only be called if there was a threatening dispute. I apologize if there was a miscommunication and this was not the case. I am also discourage to hear that you find the waterpark average. Being America's largest indoor waterpark, I would hope that you would be able to find several attractions you enjoyed. Again, I am sorry for your negative experience and hope that in the future you will give us another shot to show you just how great Kalahari can be. Thank you for taking the time to review us. Happy New Year!
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2,387 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 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 (559)
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English first
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 30, 2012 via mobile

We came for a family getaway weekend (6 adults, 2 young children) between Christmas & NY, expecting it to be at capacity & very hairy. We were told to check in at 3, but waited for 30 min for a room. No worries whatsoever. We played in the fantastic (but expensive) arcade for a while & grabbed something to eat at the cafe.

Our room was a two bedroom suite with full kitchen. It was nice, not fancy, but everything was clean & neat. The rooms are quite far from the actual waterpark, but we never seemed to mind the walk. We brought meals from home to keep in our full kitchen to save money on meals, which worked great. Lasagna in the oven, really only needed one person to leave the water early to throw in the oven & we had awesome meal, in our own room, for cheap. The rooms were tidy but smelled overwhelmingly like bleach the first day. Not sure if the drain wasn't working in our one bathroom but the bleach smell seemed to be coming from there. The noise was one of my biggest concerns. I've been to many hotels geared for children & not encountered the loud noise in my room before. All hours of the day & night, everything could be heard from the halls; drunken adults wandering in around 3am, crying children taking baths, urinating in toilets across the hall, inappropriate convos, and even sexual encounters. I'm not sure if the walls aren't insulated at all, but I was discouraged by the amount & level of noise that our family encountered.

The waterpark is great. The best time to go is in the early morning, when they open around 9. The food inside the park is your typical sandwich/fries/pizza, no big deal. There's something for everyone to do, even the bitty babies. The park fills up quick, by lunch time it's the busiest. Renting a cabana is key. They range from $249-279/day, but if you can swing it, theyre worth it for a separate sitting area, TV, and wait staff. The park was overall pretty clean. There was a lot of what looked like sand on the steps of many slides, not sure where it came from, but it didn't seem to bother anyone. The lifeguards are 99% all very young; also no big deal. When trying to engage in any conversation with them, they mostly acted like we were aliens, not knowing how or why to respond. I got many blank stares & nods. They could certainly be more friendly, but maybe they're taught to look 'all-business' and have no smiles, I'm not sure.

Overall, we'll go back. Especially in the winter it offers a fun getaway for the family. You can tailor it how you want; all-out dropping tons of money on out-to-eat meals, cabanas, arcades, & treats/booze, or you can bring your own food, retreat to your room for meals, limit how much you spend on extras, & focus on the park.

We had a good time. We'd for sure rent a cabana next time, come during the week when it isn't so busy, bring our own meals, & inquire if there are maybe slightly quieter rooms?

  • Stayed December 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 29, 2012 via mobile

Had a blast with kids but they ended up with lice from this place. Please check and clean rooms, change sheets. :/ its hard to carry around an id with a bikini on....make color coded wristbands? Kids were running up and down hall walls when we were trying to sleep. Prices are very high, it was our first time going with two adults and three kids. Staff was friendly. Didn't eat there because food was pricey.

  • Stayed November 2012
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 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, January 1, 2013
Thank you so much for visiting us and taking the time to review our resort. Certainly our pleasure to have you! I am sorry to hear about your concerns with the noise and the lice. If you ever have concerns with either while on property, don't hesitate to let us know right away. We have many procedures and standards in place for both instances, and we are more than happy to go through them with you. I do hope you enjoyed yourself within the waterpark. Take care and have a wonderful New Year.
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Washington, Pennsylvania
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 29, 2012

I went here with 4 other girl friends for a girls week end trip. so fun!
it was affordable and a ton of fun!
the rooms are very nice and clean. enough space for everyones personal items.
the water park is big, good room temp and so fun.
if you want a drink at the bar, take your ID. they card EVERYONE even the old old people!! that is the only complaint.. which i guess is a good thing, but a huge pain in the butt, they should give differnt color wrist bands for over 21.
over all a fun family place!
the breakfast buffet is nice, good variety of items.. pricey

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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, January 1, 2013
Thank you Erin for reviewing us and coming to stay with us! Excited to hear you had a wonderful time! I appreciate your thoughts about the ID wristbands. I will be sure to pass along that info to the appropriate department heads for review. Just wanted to send a note thanking you for your time and we look forward to seeing you again soon!
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Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA
Top Contributor
202 reviews 202 reviews
55 hotel reviews
Reviews in 112 cities Reviews in 112 cities
83 helpful votes 83 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 28, 2012

First trip to Kalahari with family (kids ages 8-12). Have been regulars to Great Wolf in Traverse City in the past. The room was spacious and clean. We had a problem with a tub drain and they took care if it promptly. We had booked a two room suite so that we could bring a 6th person. I prefer a firm mattress and the beds were soft.

I know that water resorts are pricy but I want value as well. Even though this water park is larger and geared towards older kids than great wolf, it was not up to the same cleanliness standards. If I am spending hundreds of dollars and waiting in long lines, I don't want to see algae growing, band aids that have fallen off or gum stuck to the floor. This was a big turn off and the main reason I did not give 5 out 5 stars on the rating.

Had dinner in the great Karu. I ordered off the menu but the family had the buffet. My chicken sandwich was OK. Not good or great, but for $10 I was satisfied. The family felt similar about the buffet. Nothing was great but there was something for everyone to eat.

Overall the family had a lot if fun and will definitely come back if we get some of the special promo offers others have mentioned. We'll just not do it during a winter break so we can avoid the lines.

Room Tip: Stay on first floor to avoid elevators as they get jammed up.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 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.
RCGenk
Top Contributor
128 reviews 128 reviews
97 hotel reviews
Reviews in 80 cities Reviews in 80 cities
90 helpful votes 90 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 28, 2012

I'm not one to usually write negative reviews but this is our second time to this water park (we wanted to give it another try) and this time around, we again had a very mediocre experience. There's certainly better choices out there, price/quality considered.

Here are my honest pros and cons:

Pros

• Good variety of activities (water park and other indoor activities)
• Relatively large rooms
• Friendly & helpful staff
• Good food choices for breakfast & dinner (buffet)
• Convenient parking [valet available if desired]
• Kid friendly activities that are free (low cost, or included in package deals)


Cons

• Outdated rooms
• Borderline sanitary rooms (we were constantly sneezing, our sheets had candy stuck to it when we first walked in, etc…)
• Extremely noisy fridge in our room (had to unplug it so we could sleep)
• Hardly any noise insulation (could hear every door, cleaning people, etc…)
• VERY expensive (Price/quality not worth the return for us – we paid roughly $500/day for 2 adults and 2 kids!) There are many other places to go for this kind of money (including warm places where you pay for airfare). And that’s considering we had a “package deal”, where we SAVED money!!
• Internet was shaky at best! Supposedly high speed – good luck getting on it from your room! More stable in the lobby area.
• Relatively expensive buffet ($22/adult & $16/young child) if not included in your package.
• Inside the water park, food choices are very poor (100% junk food options)
• Water in the infant pool area was very cold (barely heated in my viewpoint. A lot colder than any other pool, which seems strange)

Again, I'm not normally one to write negative reviews (you can review my other experiences where I usually point out the positives). But, when it's not that good I also want to share it... Feel free to contact me with any questions.

Room Tip: Ask to inspect the room before accepting. Not sure if they will allow this but I wish we had asked...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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, January 1, 2013
We certainly appreciate you coming to visit us! Thank you for taking the time to visit us twice and review us. We very much appreciate your thoughts. While we look forward to all positive reviews, we are encouraged but reviews like yours, giving us the opportunity to make changes and show you the experience you would not only expect from Kalahari but deserve! I have already contacted the appropriate department heads to review your thoughts and implement the changes we see fit. Thank you for giving us this opportunity. I do hope you will give us another shot and we will see you again. Take care and Happy New Year.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kingsville, Canada
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 28, 2012

I like everything about Kalahari except….
I just went in October and again in December with me son and meet friends as-well. Both times we went during the week. One reason is for the price and second for the crowds. I was disappointed the first time in how a few of the slides never opened during our stay. I thought this was just an isolated incident. When I booked in Dec they informed me the splash pads area (not sure of the correct name) would be closed due to maintenance. I was OK with this but was glad they at least told me. The front desk staff was friendly. We had to wait for our room but I was use to this and didn't let it bother me. Went to the park and started to wait and wait in lines. They had both basketball areas closed, one hot tub closed, one wave runner closed, and about 4 of the slides closed. Same thing the next day. I wrote to them about this. They pretty much agree that they close attractions due to capacity and to offer lower prices.
I go during the week to avoid crowds. I just don’t think it’s worth the travel for me to go and only have 1/3 or half the park open.
Rooms were clean and food was good.
All I’m saying is Kalahari should inform everyone booking what they are getting and then you can make a decision if you still want to go.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
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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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