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“Kalahari indoor waterpark” 5 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
1 review
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Kalahari indoor waterpark”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 28, 2005

We all loved Kalahari!!!! My family and friends... 10 of us in all, booked the village suite sept 25th on a sunday. We got a deal and payed $249 for the Village suite. We arrived at 11:30 a.m. and we were able to check into our very large suite right away. From the start we were impressed with the african themed lobby when we arrived inside. They left no stone unturned when it came to the detail in the rooms and the amenities. I loved the deep bathtubs and the spa like bath towels. The kitchen was fully stocked with all the utensils and dishes we needed. The furniture and the murals on the wall were like out of a magazine. In the waterpark, the family raft ride was my favorite. The body slides are completely dark all the way down and the kids loved those. My husband was determined to master the flowrider and try to figure out how to surf and stay on longer than 5 seconds. They do give lessons before the waterpark opens and after it closes for $30. The lazy river was nice and long with lots of waterfalls and squirting water fountains everywhere. Unfortunatly the zip coaster was not working when we were there, but with everything else to do it didn't seem to matter. When you arrive and get the bracelets for the waterpark they have bar codes on them so you never have to carry money around. You just use the bar code for everything there and it all gets charged to your room and you can pay for it with cash when you check out or let it remain on your credit card. In your room on the tv. through the menu buttons on the remote control you can check your daily amount of money you have spent using the bar codes and keep track of the amount that you have been spending. The Kahunaville restaurant & bar had a great bar tending show. Kind of like that movie "cocktail" with Tom Cruise where they do lots of tricks throwing bottles and juggling things around. The kids loved the the tree top play place and my husband and I even got inside to play with the foam balls and be human targets for the kids to shoot at. If you go on a weekend prepare to have a wait for rides....if you go on a sunday-thursay you will walk up to rides and get right on. We are already planning a trip around christmas. My family and I have stayed at the great wolf lodge a couple of years ago. On the way home my son heard a radio commercial for Great wolf lodge.....he said "who cares about great wolf lodge...we just left the best indoor waterpark".

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2,603 reviews from our community

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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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A TripAdvisor Member
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 27, 2005

We just returned from Kalihari Sandusky. The rooms were spacious, the resort was clean, and my wife and children had a great time on the rides that were open. Prior to leaving for the resort, we checked the website for directions and noted that they were offering discounted room rates and breakfast vouchers. When we checked in, we were told we couldn't take advantage of this offer since we made our reservation several months ago. Later, we found that two Kalihari signature rides that helped sway our decision to stay here rather than the Great Wolf Lodge down the street were not operational. The Zip Coaster was down for safety upgrades and all the body-boards for the Flowrider were broken. Upon checkout, I told the clerk that we'd like to return when the waterpark was fully operational and asked if we could receive a voucher or discount. She told me I'd have to speak with the office manager but that they weren't available. I left my cell number and rejoined my family in the arcade area, the manager never called.

  • Stayed September 2005
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dearborn Heights, Michigan
13 reviews 13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 13, 2005

We were a group of four - my parents, myself and my 4 year old daughter - getting away for a late season Cedar Point trip. I had been waiting for a discount package to get posted on their website and was thrilled to get the basic room for $99 a night. We hit CP on Labor Day and headed to Kalahari around 8pm. As we checked in, the manager gave us an upgrade to the Presidential Suite! We didn't want to leave the room but managed to go to the waterpark and ate at several of the restaurants.
The service was wonderful, room was spotless, and decor is pretty close to Disney standards. As mentioned in other reviews, children under 48" are limited to the lazy river and baby pool area. It has a waterslide which my daughter used for 5 hours straight. Unfortunately the big outdoor pool was closed after Labor Day even though it was 90 degrees outside. Water coaster was closed too. My dad enjoyed most of the slides and the surfing attraction was really cool. We never did get to the Treetop play area. I wanted to do a project at Pottery Pizazz with my daughter, but firing the ceramics takes 18 hours and we waited too long. Be sure and do this first if you're staying for two days or more. The arcade was fun and quite generous with tickets and prize "prices" compared to what we see at home.
Restaurant prices were a bit high. $10 for a hamburger/fries, $7 for kids meal of mac 'n cheese/fries. Even the fast food type areas were steep at almost $4 for a slice of pizza, or $3 for a hot dog. I'm glad I didn't bring the two teenage eating machines this time. If you have a large family to feed there are plenty of restaurants just down the street, as well as a mall, Walmart and Meijer's. They do sell individual cereals, milk, and yogurt in the coffee shop.
If you're wearing glasses at the waterpark they want you to put a sports band on them to go down the slides. Unfortunately they don't sell them at the hotel so my dad had to go to Walmart to get one. (Hint, hint to the Kalahari surf shop!) BTW, Cedar Point requires them on some non-water rides now too.
Being new the hotel is still going through some growing pains. We had a noisy pipe start banging in the wall at midnight, but maintenance was there in less than five minutes and took care of it.
Every day there is a baby animal in the lobby. We had a two week old baby lion when we visited, but they charged $27 for one photo. I think they would have had more takers at a lower price. You can look for free and he was very cute.
We loved our stay at Kalahari. I will be back and bring my husband and the rest of the family next time!

  • Stayed September 2005
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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A TripAdvisor Member
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2005

Lots of height minimums.

We were disappointed with the low number of rides our 3 and 5 year old could ride or that we could do with her. There is only one tiny pool for the kids, the basketball pool requires 48" min height even if we were in there with them. The lazy river they could do. Only my oldest with her father could do the family slide(min 42") (My daughter and I together didn't make the weight minimum 200#). There weren't really enough customers during our visit to combine with other folks (Friday Sept 2- Sat. Sept. 3).

The slides with inflatables require 48" height even if the parent rides with, very disappointing at Great Wolf we could go down with each kid. But these were also kind of scary, alot of their tube slides are in complete darkness a majority of the time. Even my husband and I didn't enjoy the slides on our own.

The water treehouse and their 2 slides are great, min height 40", but this height requirement seems loosely enforced.

Also the zip coaster was not operating during out visit either.

The play structure inside the hotel is phenomenonal, my husband and I were right in there with the kids, playing, crawling around shooting balls, it was great!

We had a nice stay but probably will be going to Great Wolf for a few more years until the kids are taller.

  • Stayed September 2005
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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A TripAdvisor Member
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
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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
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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
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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
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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