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Review of Kalahari Resorts & Conventions

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Kalahari Resorts & Conventions
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1305 Kalahari Drive, Wisconsin Dells, WI 53965   |  
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Ranked #9 of 72 Hotels in Wisconsin Dells
Certificate of Excellence 2014
des moinesoines, Iowa, USA
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 22, 2010

We just got back from the Kalahari and will defenitly be going back! We got an online deal with taxes the room for the 6 of us was $207 dollars, we ended up spending $55 for add ons at check in so the total was $262. We stayed September 19th and checked out on Sept 20th. Here is what we got, 6 indoor theme park passes (normally $20 each=$120) $70 food credit to Kahunaville, $60 for breakfast to the restaurant in the lobby, 6 waterpark passes( normally $32 each, four came with the room but the other two were part of the add on =$64) and five fresh baked cookies from there AMAZING bakery in the lobby. All totaled not including the room and the four waterpark tickets we were PAID to go there $67!! AND that was a free hotel room in one of the nicest and largest hotels in Wisconsin. Here is what we thought about the resort itself

1) Room- basic room, average size, beds ok, nice flat screen, great view of the closed outdoor waterpark, clean. nicely decorated, quiet, no problems.

2) Indoor theme park- defenitly not a "theme park" by any stretch but very nicely done and laid out, to me it is the perfect size for me and the kids I could let them go from ride to ride without having to have them by my side, it was small enough that I could round them all up easily but offered a fun array of activities, Go carts were super fun and they let the little ones ride with the parents, NO BUMPING ALLOWED lol, the funnest part was trying NOT to run into each other LOL! Fun for 1 year olds to 15 and in my case 30! Mini golf in Mini but nice for the littles, there was a merry go round, a plane ride, a play area, and a swings ride for the little ones, there was one attendent between the three rides, but mine were the only kids on them so it was like having their own personal attendent. My 7 years old daughter LOVED the rock wall and the ropes course, both I found to be well attended and safe. My 12 year old played in the arcade ALL the time, they had quite a few awsome games for him, and the lazer tag. I don't know if it is worth $20 per person, but the rides individually are pretty costly and if you are going on multiple or are there for more then one day then it is defenilty worth it. I think we got our $20 worth.

3) Dining- Kahunaville is expensive there were 5 kids and 4 adults and the bill was $140 and we didn't leave full, the food was good. Kids liked the chicken strips and I have the pina colada chicken which was good. We did have a $70 credit so the bill ended up being $70 so not to bad for 9 of us but at full price would have been hard to swallow.

Breakfast at the restaurant in the lobby was $5/kids meal and the adult entrees were $8-9 each and all needed to have add ons for an additional cost, I have french toast which by themselves were $8+ and added sausage links for an extra $3, They were good though, again expensive, but good! the service was excelent, and very thourough.

Bakery- they have this little bakery shop also in the lobby that is AMAZING and very reasonable for deserts I got a tiramasu for $4.50 and a HUGE peice of the most amazing chocolate cake for $5, and each of the kids took home a cookie the size of the heads compliments with our room package.

4) Waterpark- we had just come from the wilderness and I would say that it is pretty comparable, although I liked the it was all in one spot and kept all the kids happy in one location, I can see with older kids that want to swim and younger kids that are in the 0 depth entry it being very nice for families. We enjoyed the wave pool and the lazy river and the kids really liked the basketball area, We have a one and two year old that were required to wear life jackets, no big deal to us as the wear them anyways. My 12 year old had his heart set on the Flowrider and spent hours on line watching the you tube videos only to find it closed when we got there! That is how it goes sometimes though. He still had fun on the toilet bowl and the other slides. Said they were not quite as fun as the Wilderness but he enjoyed them.

5) the BEST was the bowling alley/bar/lounge/pool and dart area. After the kids were exhausted and in bed we snuck out for a few games of bowling, and some drinks, the place is very nice and a good size too. Looked new and well kept , bowling is 4.50 a game and the shoe rentals $3. But there were three of us and every game the winner got a free game so subsequent games were $3 each. Not bad! Had the game on and a ton of flat screens all over the place. The drinks were $4 for the specials (yummy) and bottles were $4.50 and they were open till 12 am. It was so nice to get to do something for us and relax at the end of the day without having to leave the hotel, darts were like $3 for all three of us and they have pool too. About half way through playing my one year old woke up and was scared by the unfamiliar surroundings my teenager simply brought her down the hall and up the stairs to us. She had a grand old time sipping the Shirley Temple and cheering us on! It was a blast and I would book the Kalahari again just to go bowling again! lol!

Really it was a great stay and we defenitly got our monies worth.
FYI, we always book the week after the summer season and get GREAT deals! It is also the Wo-Zha-Wa Days festival and they always have a lot of deals, parades, and activities. I know that I always read these reviews and they help me a lot so I hope you find this helpful as well.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled with family
    • 5 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.
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1,962 reviews from our community

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  • 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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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Portuguese first
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English first
13 reviews 13 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 21, 2010

My family of 4 stayed at the Kalahri at the end of August. We had a great time. Except when my 5 year old daughter fell out of her tube outside going down the "toilet bowl". I asked the life guard before she started if she was seated properly or would fall out. He didn't tell us to have her sit differently. Then, when she fell out and was screaming, he couldn't stop the water and go rescue her. He had to stay at his post and contact a supervisor. Since he didn't have a phone or walkie, just a whistle, noone seemed to be responding. Meanwhile, my daughter stopped screaming and I couldn't see where she was and if she was okay. Finally a former employee not on duty went down and found her and sent her on her way. I was not impressed with the lifeguards. And management didn't respond to my review on their own website.
Be careful of the outdoor slides if you have smaller children riding alone. My daughter was tall enough for the ride. I just didnt put her in the tube properly and wasn't told otherwise.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled with family
    • 2 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 21, 2010

I am a travel agent and been busy last summer so havent had a chance to bring my kids to an outdoor waterpark. I choose Kalahari resort to see it myself and YES, I will highly recommend Kalahari to my clients. Customer service-excellent! I have no complain at all.. Life jacket is for the safety so why complain... We had dinner at Great Karoo and I love it since its a buffet, all you can eat Prime Ribs and Crab legs, we also had wine tasting at the bar. We had our room ready prior to check in time which is 4 PM, we arrived at around 12PM.. I like the express check out. Our room cleaned and plenty of towels. We will definitely go back again, can't wait!

Alma Kaczor

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled with family
    • 5 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
19 reviews 19 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 15, 2010

You know, being a travel agent, I have been to many destinations and many hotels and resorts ranging from small to very large. After reading MANY of these reviews, I felt like I had to put my opinion in. I cannot believe what people are complaining about. I never write reviews, but again, felt that I had to. I'm going to comment on as much as I can so here goes.....
1. People are complaining that the resort is too large and it's hard to find things. Yes...the resort is huge.....helloooo....it's the kalahari. If you go onto their website or take the time to review a brochure, you'll know how large this resort really is. Being as large as it is, surprisingly enough, it's VERY easy to get around. There are signs everywhere. If you choose to stay in the main building and not The Sands, it's fine. We NEVER got lost, it's too hard to get lost! If you don't like large resorts, don't come here.

2. Rooms...we had a 2bdrm/2 bath suite. It was great. We travelled with a 6 and 2 year old so there was plenty of room for all to enjoy. Our room was very clean, maid service came promptly every AM. Plenty of towels everyday. There was absoluletly nothing wrong with our room. I can't comment on other people's rooms, only ours and I can only say good things about it....at least the room itself. Beds, yeah, they're a bit hard. I loved them....that's me. If you don't like hard beds, you'll hate it. Pillows, I hated them. They're feather pillows. I like large firm pillows, but that's me. Most hotels/resorts I stay at have these type pillows anyways and the only reason I mention them is from other people complaining. Soundproof? God no. If you have a small child that naps during the day, ask for a quieter area on the top floor. We were on the 3rd floor and I know there was a toddler having their fun running around upstairs. Walls are thin so if you need quiet while you sleep, bring your earplugs, that's what I did. No biggie. We also had a balcony overlooking the outdoor waterpark. We arrived on Labor Day and it was a bit cold, so not too many people outside. The music wasn't loud. Now, if we went on a weekend or sometime in the summer, I'm sure I would've heard alot more noise than what we did. Again, just bring your earplugs people.

3. "scary masks". OMG....come on people. It's the Kalahari. It's African themed! There are going to be masks everywhere and NONE are "scary". If your child cries because of the "scary masks" and you have to put a towel over them....I've very sorry.....but your kid has some issues. I love kids, but that comment I read was absolutely ridiculous.

4. Food.....personally, we thought the food was good. Nothing to brag about, but it was good. Even the pizza was pretty good which surprised me. We ordered a BBQ pizza and it was delicious. We ordered the pizza right in the indoor waterpark and it was ready in 1/2 hour....the normal wait for a pizza. The Great Karoo was decent and the Pina Colada Chicken at Kahunaville was awesome. Didn't go to Damon's. Being that it was slow (kids back to school after Labor Day), we had the advantage of no long lines anywhere and service was quick. For you people who complain about long lines with food and whatnot....what do you expect....this is a large resort and when it's at full capacity during busy season....of course there will be lines!!! If you don't like lines - don't go on the weekend....don't go during spring break or during a holiday break. Come on...think about it!!!!

Can you tell I'm pretty aggravated about some of these people's reviews!!

5. Waterparks - pretty decent. Again, we have a 6 year old and a 2 year old so the waterparks in our opinions were great. The indoor waterpark was pretty good although the wave pool wasn't much at all. Lazy river was ok, I've been in much better. Outdoor waterpark...not too sure. We arrived on labor day, the last day it was open (except weekends) and it was pretty cold. Our 6 year old lasted only 20 minutes before she wanted to go to the indoor waterpark. I can't review that except for the center kid area that she was playing on was really cool. She loved it. As far as the life vests go....yes...if your child is under 48", no matter if they know how to swim or not, they need to wear one. The kids may not like it, but you know what, it's for their own safety. Again, this is a large resort and there are alot of guests there. If guests are going to complain about this safety policy, then don't come here. God forbid the resort cares about their guests safety!!! They have many life vests here, but we brought our own for our 6 year old. They have infant vests also of which my 2 year old son wore. He didn't like it at first but quickly learned, he was not going in the water unless it was on. After awhile, he was fine.

6. Indoor amusement park. I don't know what people are complaining about here. It has a ferris wheel, go carts (which I didn't like but my husband and daughter had fun on them), laser tag (which I did not try so can't comment), LOTS of games, mini golf (just ok), rock climbing, bowling, carousel and a ropes course....of which someone put in their review "not safe". IT'S SAFE PEOPLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You need to wear gym shoes. If you don't have gym shoes on, they make you wear those Croc shoes. They also put you in this harness and hook you up to the bars. If you miss a step, YOU WILL NOT FALL. It's 3 levels high and I watched smaller kids do it. Under 46" or so, kids need a parent to go with them. I did it twice, my husband did it 3 times. My daughter was afraid. The 1st time, she only got through the 1st part. The 2nd time she tried it, she got through 3 parts. Employees and other guests completely understand if you can't get through it. Not a big deal, you just go back. Once you start, it's not like you have to finish if you feel like you can't. Again, IT'S SAFE!!!!!
The indoor amusement park also has this area in the back that all the kids can climb and jump around in....you know....like those things they have in those McDonals's playlands....only MUCH BIGGER. Make sure you bring socks or they won't let you in. Is it worth $25pp if you're not staying at the resort, yes, I think so.....but only if you try everything! We went everynight with our daughter because it was included in with our stay, but I don't know if I would spend $25pp for age 6 years and over had I not stay there.

7. Some guy complained about the parking lot. This is a huge resort holding over 1000 rooms - OF COURSE THE LOT IS GOING TO BE BIG!!!!!!!! Again, if resort is at full capacity, expect to walk. If you don't like a large resort - DON'T STAY THERE! The parking lots are fine and there's plenty of space. Drop the wife/kids off at the front and park the car. Don't be lazy - walk and quit complaining!!!!

8. Pool towels....yes....they're scratchy. WHO CARES! If you don't like "scratchy" towels, bring your own. I did. No biggie.

9. Room safes....they're there.....LOOK. Our safe was in the first room you walked in to inside of the nightstand. Normally they're in the closets, but we did have to look. Normal safe and easy to work, but don't complain that there is no safe when every room has one.

10. Smell of chlorine........OF COURSE YOU'RE GOING TO SMELL CHLORINE IN THE INDOOR WATERPARK!!!!! Yes it's strong. It's called.....an indoor waterpark.

11. Average price - $300/night. No....I most certainly would NOT pay $300/night for this resort. We had a great deal and only paid $150/night plus resort fee/taxes. We also had b/fast included each AM and $50 dinner coupons. I would have no problems whatsoever spending that amount again should the deal come up, but $300/night. NO. Unless you're in a villa or something, maybe, but I did not see those rooms so I can't comment on those.

12. Spa, sorry - didn't go - can't comment. They did have some kids spa services available, but I thought it was too pricey to try.

Well - I'm certain by now you're thinking what kind of travel agent is saying comments like this, but it just really erks me when guests complain about such trivial things. Any person that travels a great deal knows that when a resort is at full capacity, especially a very large resort like the Kalahari, will not get the best customer service. If you want great customer service - go to a Four Seasons people. Our entire stay (4 nights), we only had 1 cranky waitress. Maybe she was having a bad day, I don't know, but all other staff in all areas were great and so long as you treat them with respect, they'll do the same for you. You treat people the way you want to be treated. If you don't like crowds, long lines, walking alot (you DO walk alot), scratchy towels, then don't come here, at least when it's busy. Oh....and by the way.....there is also a theatre attached to the resort. We didn't go, but it looked like a normal theatre showing quite a few movies. Don't know the prices.
Anyways, would I come here again? YES. I do have to admit, I will try the Wilderness during the summertime because they are known for their outdoor waterpark, but in the winter - I will most certainly go back to the Kalahari (when the price is right). They have LOTS to do and for short stays, you won't see yourself leaving.....unless you've never been to the Dells and have to try all of the other hokey downtown stuff :) Yeah - I did that stuff, my daughter had a good time. Downtown was only 10 minutes away......and BTW....if you have small kids, go to the Deer Park. The deer just follow you around and you can feed them right there. Both of our kids loved it, but buy the crackers in the store first - totally worth it! The deer will not even give you a chance to get the food out of those little machines in the park - they'll eat the food right out of that container before you can get to it!!

And I guess I should say this as well.....if you're thinking about taking small children in that Top Secret place (the upside down White House), if your kids are afraid of a haunted house, think twice about going. I personally thought it was most definelty a waste of money but there are parts in the house where it's pitch black with loud noises. I'm glad I didn't take my 2 year old. Just don't go unless you have a coupon!

All-in-all.....HAVE A GREAT TIME AT THE KALAHARI - YOU'RE ON VACATION - ENJOY YOURSELVES AND QUIT COMPLAINING!! You'll have a great time and I would highly recommend this resort to anyone, but just please remember, if you're going during a busy season - there are LOTS of people.....lots.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Madison, Wisconsin
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 11, 2010

We had seen this hotel on the news and thought it would be fun to stay. We got there and it was sooo big, it was hard to find anything. The water park was small and not worth the money. It is more for younger children. They have a few older kid attractions, but mostly activity pools.
The amusement park wasn't great eithor. It had a go-kart track, a ropes course (not safe) and lasar tag. The lasar tag just threw you into an open room
When we went to order dinner at the small window by the waterpark our dinner took forever to get, then when we got it, it wasn't that warm. Nor did the food taste good.
The service was O.K. But not spectacular.
Next year we will try to stay at The Great Wolf Lodge.

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
19 reviews 19 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 9, 2010

Great package deal from their website for one night. Ended up getting a $50 credit at a restaurant as well as 2 adult and 2 kids breakfasts free. Free upgrade to a royal suite (2 bedrooms and 2 baths). The food was great. The buffet was good for dinner. The waterpark was fine . Only did the indoor park. Enough to do for a 2 1/2 year old. Had a great time!

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled with family
    • 5 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.
Chicago, Illinois
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 7, 2010

I have made my last visit to this place. We stayed in a two bedroom suite/

1) Shower in bedroom was defective
2) TV in 2nd bedroom was defective
3) Food ordered via room service arrived cold
4) Waterpark has a policy that everyone under 42 inches has to wear a life jacket. So if you have any children who are small but can swim, get ready for them to constantly come up to you to force the child to wear a jacket.

It seems like the place has just gotten so big that they can't handle keeping the rooms working well and they are instituting policies that just allow them to handle the flow.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
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Additional Information about Kalahari Resorts & Conventions

Address: 1305 Kalahari Drive, Wisconsin Dells, WI 53965
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Wisconsin > Wisconsin Dells
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
#4 Top resorts Hotel in Wisconsin Dells
#8 Family Hotel in Wisconsin Dells
#9 Romantic Hotel in Wisconsin Dells
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 750
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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