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“Vacation on Short Notice” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Kalahari Resorts & Conventions

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Kalahari Resorts & Conventions
3.0 of 5 Resort   |   1305 Kalahari Drive, Wisconsin Dells, WI 53965   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #14 of 80 Hotels in Wisconsin Dells
Harris, Minnesota
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Vacation on Short Notice”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2012

We just got back from four nights and five days at the Kalahari Resort. I hope this review is helpful.

Reservations - When we initially called to make the reservations about 3 weeks in advance we were quoted $601.00 for three nights (Monday - Thursday) in the Lodge Room. We waited until 2 weeks and got a GREAT deal. Four nights (Monday - Friday) in the Lodge Room, 2 adult breakfasts, $80 in spa credit, $40 in dinner credit, water park and theme park access for the duration of our trip, 2 monster cocktails, 2 games of bowling, 1 lg pizza, 2 fountain sodas for an end cost of $746. The person that took our reservation (Agate) was EXTREMELY kind and set the tone for our vacation.

Arrival - We were a little disappointed that we couldn't get into our room until after 4pm. But understandable since that is the time we were told. The line was a bit long. We checked into the Sands Building. There should have been one line for check-out and one line for check-in.

Room - Beyond our expectation. The room was perfect for myself, husband and our two children (2 1/2 and 4 1/2). The sofa sleeper is rather uncomfortable for my hubby and I, but fine for the kids. The kitchen itself is perfect, has all the amenities of home, very large fridge. Everything worked great. The balcony was very nice as we are smokers and utilized it quite a bit. The bathtub was amazing. Jets worked great. Water temperature was perfect. Everything about the room was PERFECT. Would highly recommend the Lodge Room. It is quite a bit of a walk, but the hotel has a two-seated "car" stroller that was only $5 per day to rent and was well worth it since at the end of the night the kids were pretty tired to make the walk. I would have no issues with renting this room again.

Service - The service at the sweet shop was horrible. We patronized it every day and never received good service. The sweets are to die for, but at one point I wanted to tell the gal behind the counter (sorry, forgot her name) to either smile or get a new job. The waiters and bartenders at Kahounaville were the best by far. Very accommodating and very polite. Waterpark staff left little to be desired, except for the lifeguards as they were very helpful assisting getting our young ones on and off the attractions. I have stayed at many resorts throughout the US and I will say that I was rather disappointed with the overall service. It was either GREAT or HORRIBLE.

Spa - Would NEVER do again. Not even with $80 credit. We got a couple's massage and after leaving an 18% tip it was still $191.00 for a 50 minute massage. I realize you pay "resort prices" but the massage, although relaxing, wasn't worth the money. Doing it over, we would have just gotten a simple pedicure and called it a day.

Waterpark - Better than expected. There is something to do for all ages. I wish the ice cream stand would have been open one of the days but I realize we went during off-peak season, but then it should be removed. I think an "empty" vender is quite tacky. Our little ones LOVED all the attractions for their ages. If the kids would have been older, we would have spent the entire day there. I don't understand why nothing but food and beverages purchased "on property" are allowed in the waterpark. This is quite unfair to those of us that have small children than "snack" non-stop. The Zulu Grille doesn't open until 11am and we were there at 9am when the park opened. Our kids were hungry by 10:30am and we had to purchase pretzels, cheetos, and water at the snack bar for a ridiculous price. If I could have been able to bring in small snacks or a sandwich for the kids it would have been much better. We thought of renting a Cabana but after knowing that we couldn't bring in our own snacks we opted out. Again, we spent WAY too much. One slice of pizza was $5. Carrots and dip were $3. Chicken sandwich $10 with fries. Soda $2. So one person for lunch was between $12 and $15. The food was good, but about the quality of Culvers. Crazy expensive. Make sure your belly's are full upon entrance.

Theme Park & Arcade Games - Not many rides that accommodate young children. We spent two additional days in the Dells before we arrived at the Kalahari and the Theme Park at Knuckleheads was much better. Our 2 1/2 yo LOVED the Ferris Wheel and Go Karts. However, the first time "David" (who was one of the nicest staff members) never asked his age and then the while we were getting off the ride and got back in line they had a shift change and the new person told us he couldn't ride. He SAW us get out of the go Karts as he came on his shift. My husband said he was 4. Both our boys just kept getting off and going right back in line. The Go Karts were a blast. However, the requirement of a 4 year old is ridiculous. It should just be that if they don't meet the height requirement they should be able to ride with a responsible adult. The soft play area is worth the price of admission (which is free!) It was a great place for my husband and I to relax with a cup of coffee at the end of the night and really wear out the kids for bed. In the same area is a carousel, swings and an airplane ride. Again, the height requirements are ridiculous. Our youngest couldn't ride the airplane and our oldest was too tall for the swings. We have been to MANY theme parks and never have encountered this issue before. So, although we had free wrist bands for the rides, we felt there just wasn't enough rides at this theme park compared to others we visited in the Dells. The arcade games are WAY too expensive. We spent HUNDREDS of dollars on games, proudly gathering tickets during the entire week to walk away with two coffee mugs, a Dora pen, and a large slinky (combined retail cost MAYBE $25). I wish they could have tracked how much was put on our Kalahari Fun Cards from start to finish, if it was a place like Vegas, I have a feeling our entire trip would have been "comped".

Bowling - The bowling alley is BEAUTIFUL. Unfortunately when we arrived there was only 1 person on staff. We bowled one game and didn't receive our lunch until the 9th frame. It took FOREVER to get two sodas and two waters and the bar didn't open until 4pm. The gal that was there I felt so sorry for. Although you could see how frustrated she was because she couldn't clone herself to be in five places at once to help all the people that were waiting, she kept a smile on her face and apologized left and right. (Attention Kalahari Management...look at who was working about 1pm on Friday, February 24th and thank her...because if it wasn't for her positive attitude we would have been irate).

Restaurants - Amazing. We ate at Damons and the Great Karoo along with all the snack bars located throughout the facilities. Although pricey, the food was fantastic. I would HIGHLY recommend the salmon at Damons and the breakfast buffet at Karoo. Although we brought plenty of food to cook in the room, we found that the food was so amazing we ate out much more than intended.

All in all, this resort was very nice. We would stay again if we received a similar package. Although we got a great deal on the room, we definitely made up for it on how much we spent while on the property (don't ask...ouch). Although if you think about it, that is even better for the resort because I would much rather get a great deal on the stay and then be able to not be on a "budget" with all the amenities they have to offer. We tried booking it for the same time next year and they said that the packages don't come out until 3 or 4 months before the time to book. That was very disappointing.

I would definitely recommend this resort to anyone looking for a great time. Although it sounds like I pointed out the flaws of the resort, we really would stay again. I would just put ourselves on a tighter budget with how much we spent on the property and not let myself get caught up in the excitement.

One last tip - if they have the Lion Cubs there. SPEND THE $50 getting a picture! That was one thing we had NO PROBLEM doing. The handler let us spend time after the picture with the cub petting him, answered questions we had about the wildlife park where they were from and although the picture wasn't to our expectations, the ability to actually spend time with such a majestic creature is a memory we will hold onto forever!

Room Tip: The Lodge Room is WELL WORTH the time it takes to walk over to the Waterpark and Theme Park. Besides...
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  • Stayed February 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
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 10
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, February 27, 2012
What an amazing review?! Thank you so very much for taking the time to review our resort and list the tips and props to our employees. Thank you! I too love the Lodge Suite, with the full kitchen, it makes it much easier to stay within a budget by cooking within your room. I wanted to be sure to let you know I passed along your info to all the managers of the appropriate departments, so that credit can be given to those that deserve it and situations handled where that needs to be addressed as well. Again, thank you for your time and looking forward to seeing you again!
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1,803 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
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (441)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Woodstock, Vermont
1 review
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2012

The front desk staff was not helpful. Check in process was poorly handled- long lines and did not provide enough information about the park and did not give us any direction.
Stay was not worth the value paid for. Very expensive for just 1 indoor water park The lady at the front desk said the higher rates depend upon the number of occupancy which was not reflected at all by the number of people we saw in the watermark and theme park. The indoor theme park was loud. The music was blaring no one should be subjected to such overwhelming sensory load. The room was very clean and the bed comfortable. Not coming back here anymore.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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
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, February 27, 2012
While I'm glad to hear that you enjoyed our rooms and your stay, discouraged to hear about your experience with check in and sensory overload in the Theme Park. We pride ourselves on having things to do and imagery everywhere you look, but understand how that may be overwhelming for some. I apologize that didn't meet your expectations. Also, I have already addressed your issues with the front desk manager. Sorry again for your experience. I hope that someday you will be able to give us another try. We truly appreciate your feedback as it is beneficial to continuing our improvement. Take care and thanks again!
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Omaha, Nebraska
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 24, 2012

Our family , three adult children and seven grandchildren, spent a funfilled three day weekend at the Kalahari. The rooms are a bit pricey but they include the waterpark admission and we received a room special for the theme park. It was a great experience for all ages. The teens and preteens were kept busy and there were no complaints about not being "plugged in" to TV, computer games etc.The water park had a good mix of big kid and little kid slides and activities.The food was easily available, reasonably priced, and good quality.The service was prompt and cheerful. The theme park had a few too many "games" that required extra coin for my taste but the kids enjoyed it and the big attractions like the climbing wall, go carts, and lazer tag were all included. All in all a great weekend.

Room Tip: The Sands is a little farther to walk but the rooms are very nice with outside verandas,higher ceili...
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  • Stayed February 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
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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, February 27, 2012
Thank you so very much for you and your family coming to visit and then taking the time to review our resort. It was our pleasure to have you! With so much to do under one roof, there is plenty to keep kids of all ages busy. Hopefully some of your grand children were able to check out our new thrilling slides and had a blast on them. We are very proud of Tufani Falls, so it is our pleasure to see everyone enjoy them. Thank you again for reviewing our resort and visiting. Hope to see you and the family again soon.
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Oshkosh, WI
Senior Contributor
49 reviews 49 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 22, 2012

We had a terrific time and for some reason got a free upgrade on our room. We reservedthe Desert Room and got upgraded to a 2 room double fireplace suite in a private area. We loved the quiet and the in-room refrigerator and microwave. Buy the dry indoor playground wristbands and don't miss the FREE delicious sugar cookies in the lobby from 3-4PM SUPER fun!

Room Tip: Don't wait for the surfing ride if the line is too long...you'll waste all of your time wait...
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
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, February 24, 2012
How wonderful to have you come and visit us. Thank you! We are very pleased to hear you enjoyed your stay. Thank you for passing along your tip about the free cookie decorating. I usually try and have to get some work done in that area during those times too :) Hope to see you again soon. Thanks again!
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Wisconsin
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 21, 2012

We rented a condo with kitchen, king size bed and two queens. Extremely clean, pleasant appearance, large enough to socialize in the condo - seating for 5 in living room and seating for 6 at kitchen table plus another 3 at breakfast bar. My husband and I took the sleeper sofa, which I thought was quite comfortable. Safe provided in room. Nice balcony. No complaints. Only issue was it was quite a walk (all indoors) to the water park - I think it's that way for all the larger accommodations- but it was not a problem for us. However, if you've got people with mobility issues it would be quite a haul.

Room Tip: If you have mobility issues ask for rooms closer to the water park.
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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 3
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, February 22, 2012
It was our pleasure to have you. With so many indoor options all under one roof, the walk can be a bit long, thank for the tip to our future guests. One tip we also suggest, just in case anyone has little ones, is bring a stroller as they are allowed in the waterpark. Otherwise, you are exactly right, guests can request closer rooms and we do our very best to accommodate. Thank you so much again for visiting us and reviewing our site. Hope to see you again soon.
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Janesville, Wisconsin
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 21, 2012

We have stayed in the Wisconsin Dells on several occasions and this was the second trip where we chose one of the "waterpark resorts". First, as far as the hotel and the rooms go - they are probably the nicest in the dells. The room was very large and we chose a suite that included a full kitchen, fireplace and whirlpool tub in the bathroom. The bed was very comfortable and the accommodations were very pleasant. The staff was very nice and we also had the opportunity to enjoy their on-site spa for a massage and the service was excellent.

Our only disappointing aspects came regarding the operating hours of some of their restaurants. We found that their main restaurant, Great Karoo, was actually closed the first day we were there and then on the second day we wanted to try their Italian Buffet that they advertise everywhere throughout the resort, only to find out that they were not having it that night. Needless to say, we were very disappointed and even mentioned it at check-out and suggested why the resort does not better communicate the restaurants hours, but the staff just told us that it was because of occupancy and they usually don't know themselves the hours each day. Huh?

The indoor water park and indoor theme park are not the "best" in the dells, but were completely adequate for our stay....try the "surfing simulator" it is a great time and a great workout.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 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
    • 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.
Kassie R, Social Media Coordinator at Kalahari Resorts & Conventions, responded to this review, February 22, 2012
I am very pleased to hear that you were able to enjoy one of our fully equipped suites. Thank you for visiting and taking the time to review our resort. I will be sure to pass along your comments in regards to the in-house dining hours and communication among the staff and guests. This is a very informative tip. Sounds like you enjoyed the FlowRider, resort favorite. Hope to see you again soon. Thank you for visiting.
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mukwonago
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 21, 2012

As we would expect this is a very nice clean property. Hotel rooms are pretty standard with an african theme. Lobby has several shops and trinket stores. My daughters were dying for ice cream. A little pricey at $2.90 for a kiddie cone. We only stayed one night but this is our fifth time at this park. We like it because the waterpark is all in one area. It was nice and warm inside the park. We got there a little later than usual but they offer free cookie decorating from 3-4 in the main lobby. We ate off the property for dinner. There are tons of places within less than a mile. Culvers, McDonalds, Subway, Dunkin Donuts, Burger King, Dennys, Uno's etc. Overall a nice winter getaway.

Room Tip: Avoid a ground floor room.
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  • Stayed February 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
    • 4 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, February 22, 2012
We are so grateful you have chosen to stay with us 5 times, thank you! Also, thank you for taking the time to review our resort. While there are many dining options near, hopefully next time you will be able to try out on of the many in-house restaurants, of event Kahunaville to check out the flare show. Hope to see you again soon and we can't thank you enough for visiting.
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Additional Information about Kalahari Resorts & Conventions

Address: 1305 Kalahari Drive, Wisconsin Dells, WI 53965
Location: United States > Wisconsin > Wisconsin Dells
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:
#2 Business Hotel in Wisconsin Dells
#7 Top resorts Hotel in Wisconsin Dells
#11 Romantic Hotel in Wisconsin Dells
#12 Family Hotel in Wisconsin Dells
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Kalahari Resorts & Conventions 3*
Number of rooms: 750
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Kalahari Waterpark Hotel Wisconsin Dells
Kalahari Resort Wisconsin Dells
Kalahari Hotel Wi Dells
Kalahari Wi Dells
Kalahari Waterpark Resort

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