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“Disappointed....” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Kalahari Resorts & Conventions

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Kalahari Resorts & Conventions
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7000 Kalahari Drive, Sandusky, OH 44870   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 34 Hotels in Sandusky
Certificate of Excellence 2014
A TripAdvisor Member
“Disappointed....”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2005

We just arrived home after a night at the resort. Upon arrival, we were very disappointed to find out that the Zip Coaster was not working - we were not told this when we made reservations - only AFTER we checked in, we found this out. In addition, apparently they just changed all of the height restrictions for children. My 46" daughter could not do anything there but go on the lazy river, the baby pool/slides, and the body slides in the center activity area (which she did not like doing). She was able to go on the family slide, also. The outdoor pool was not open until 3pm, so until then her choices were very limited. The basketball pool and the cross-over rope pool were closed to her due to her height restrictions. Please be warned - a 5-6 year old child has very limited choices in this park. Most activities have a height restriction of 48". It is quite convenient that this is also not advertised anywhere - until you get into the park. Please call ahead and ask questions before making your reservations, so that you will not be disappointed like we were.

  • Stayed August 2005
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,606 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
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English first
Ashburn, Virginia
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
76 helpful votes 76 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 30, 2005

I booked at the Kalahari based on the reviews of this site. Overall, not a bad hotel, but one I'm not sure I'd book again.

First, the location - the Kalahari is on US 250, no where near anywhere else. The closest restaurant is a good 15 minutes away. Cedar Point is approximately 20-30 minutes away (depending on traffic). Coming off the Turnpike, the hotel sneaks up on you fast - after passing feed stores, corn fields, and other farms, you see this massive building with enormous letters stating "Indoor Water Park."

When you arrive, you have two options - valet parking ($9/day) where you can unload your bags or drop off your guests, park in the free parking lot, check-in, then drive back, unload your bags, move car back to free parking lot, and go to your room. Why you couldn't drop off your bags when you first checked in was never explained by the traffic coordinator.

The first thing you see when you do arrive through the front doors is the candy hut? Registration is off to the right and you don't actually see the water park until you pass the candy hut, restaurant, and giant plastic elephant.

We stayed in the Safari Bunkroom - an option not available to book via the web site. Only when I called the 800 number, was that option and others, available to us. Overall a great room, but the bunkbed comes with no ladder. Unless your child has good upper body strength after a day at the water park, try to use one of the available room chairs to get in and out. The kids have their own TV in the bunkroom, but the bunkroom is only separated by an open wall between the adult bed and the bunkroom.

One thing to keep in mind - the indoor water park is not limited to hotel guests - anyone can use it. During the weekends, the water park can be filled with people during the day, but between 7 - 10 PM empties out, making it nice for hotel guests. Our 3 year old loved the toddler area as the water was less than 2 feet deep, so no life vest was needed. During our stay the zip coaster was closed for renovation (something I didn't understand as the hotel was less than 3 months old). The longest wait was for the family raft ride, where people waited up to 20-30 minutes.

Both restaurants offered great food. Kahunaville has a sports pub restaurant feel and menu to it and only open for lunch and dinner. The Great Karoo is buffet for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, offering different choices for each meal each day. We found little to no wait for the Great Karoo.

The hotel has tons of activities, besides the water park, for adults and kids to do. Unlike other Sandusky hotels, it does not offer a free shuttle to Cedar Point ($5 per person via the concierge).

Don't expect for the high room rates that you will find exclusive clientele. Most people we saw checking in had 5-10 people staying in one room, and distributing the cost evenly. The hotel is a favorite for slumber parties.

We enjoyed our stay there and if we had to do it again, would just do the Kalahari activities and not go to Cedar Point. If Cedar Point is in your plans, stay at a closer hotel that offers the free shuttle.

  • Stayed August 2005
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Virginia
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 29, 2005

We spent three days here and had a great time. We stayed in a 3 bedroom Village Suite which was only three weeks old and extremely nice-leather sofa, fully equipped kitchen, murals on the walls etc. A little bit of a trek to the waterpark but still close enough to go back and forth all day long. We have five children of varying ages and they all loved it. The flowrider was definetly the favorite for the older boys. The resort is so creative and very theme oriented. The outdoor pool is fabulous. Service was very good and I was very pleased with all of the lifeguards...and there are plenty everywhere. We will certainly return many times.

Stayed August 2005
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Waldorf MD
1 review
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 28, 2005

I had occasion to plan the summer vacation of my 2 grand children and their father. The original booking was at the Wolfs Lodge but I was informed by my family in Ohio of a “new” facility that I might want to think about. I canceled Wolfs Lodge and made reservations at the Kalahari Waterpark Resort for them. Prices were comparable with Kalahari being a few dollars more and the fee for the cancellation. This was a smart move to rebook since my grandchildren have nothing but raves about the facility. Out of the three water parks at Cedar Point, Kalahari to them was the king of parks beyond all measures that thrill the minds of 6 and 10 year olds. My son in law was right in there with them and to hear him tell it, this beat the Caribbean cruise, the beach vacations, and with the added joy of relatives 2 hours away, set a new standard for family vacations. A slight problem had come up and the management offered to move them to an upgrade, which they declined since the problem was so minor. The feed back was that the rooms were great, the really leading edge of the envelop in water park rides were nothing short of fun-nomenal. The food was first rate, and once again, a key factor in any successful vacation, the staff made sure they had a great visit. A comment from the 10 year old was, who needs Cedar point when you have Kalahari.

Needless to say, they are planning a return and may not wait until next summer to do it.

  • Stayed July 2005
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Bloomfield Hills
1 review
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 28, 2005

I rarely write review but this resort compelled me to do just that. It's the best place to stay in Sandusky. Our initial intent was to find a place to stay overnight after a long day at Cedar Point and maybe go back to Cedar point the next day for Soak City. We had a group of 12 (3 families) with kids from 3 to 10 years in age. When I found this place we figure at this price it was worth staying even if we spent a few hours at the water park as most hotel in this area were $99/night per room. We had a village suite (3 bedroom, 3 bathroom, kitchen, living area, balconies, etc.) for just $350/night this included 12 water park tickets alone worth (12 x $25) $300. The rooms were excellent with all the amenities plenty of TVs, phones, high speed Internet access, even the kitchen appliances were high-end appliance not the standard hot point stuff you get at most. We've travel pretty extensively in the US and around the world and this was one of the best values we've ever gotten. Housekeeping was very prompt; none of our request took more than 5 mins to be completed. Even major requests like wanting a TV the kids could hookup a Digital Video player to (the standard TV’s in most hotels disable the auxiliary ports). They had an extra TV in our room in 5 mins. The rooms were very clean, functional, well-decorated and used quality material and furnishings.

Do keep in mind we went during an off peak time and this place from what I understand only opened in May of 2005 so let's hope they can keep up this great hidden gem in Sandusky.

  • Stayed August 2005
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
A TripAdvisor Member
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 27, 2005

This place is great. We just returned from 3 days at the Kalahari in Sandusky, Ohio. Everyone, from the bell men, to the front desk staff, to all the shop employees, etc., they're all great. They bend over backwards for you, no matter what the request. If you're considering a trip to Kalahari, DO IT! You won't be disappointed. They treated My Wife, my 2 year old son, and I like royalty. Oh, yeah, there's lots of great stuff to do too.

  • Stayed August 2005
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 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.
A TripAdvisor Member
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 27, 2005

We loved the Kalahari Resort! It's a resort where everyone in your party can find something to do.....have a massage, go to the fitness center, ride the family waterslide, or just chill (relax) out on the balcony or take a picture with the tiger cub for an extra thrill. This is a nice African themed resort. Nice sized clean rooms and freindly employees are a plus.

P.S. The Kalahari in Wisconsin Dells is bigger!

  • Stayed August 2005
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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.
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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
#3 Best Value Hotel in Sandusky
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
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 
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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