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“Some Pros, Some Cons”

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Kalahari Resorts & Conventions
Ranked #3 of 35 Hotels in Sandusky
Certificate of Excellence
Columbus, Ohio
Level Contributor
26 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Some Pros, Some Cons”
Reviewed February 7, 2012

Overall my family had a wonderful time at this resort. It was our 3rd time there and we had never had any problems before. This time however, we did have a few problems. But I'll start with the good side:

Pros:
The lobby had a very nice feel to it, and it was very big and welcoming. I loved the layout and there were many retaurants and shops. It had a huge view of the waterpark through a window in the back of the lobby. The room was nicely decorated and had a view of a small lake out front. The water park was very fun. Staff was friendly most of the time and we had a wonderful time in the wave pool.

Cons:
First of all, the lady in the Kalahari Outpost shop was rude. We were waiting to check out and she was having a conversation with the front desk lady. The beds in our room sagged in the middle, but we hardly noticed after a tiring day in the waterpark. The waterpark was dirty for the most part and VERY crowded. Lines were way too long of a wait; 20-30 minutes. In the arcade we had a very bad experience. We bought game cards but 2 of them didnt work on any of the games. We tried to get new ones but the rude teenager working the prize station said we couldn't have a refund and that he couldn't give us new ones. Very rude.

This was the first time we ever had problems with this resort. Overall we had a really good time and I recommend this resort to everyone.

  • Stayed December 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank hoho7199
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 9, 2012
Overall, it sounds like you had a very enjoyable time your stay was packed with fun all around. Thank you so very much for not only visiting us 3 times, but taking the time to review our Resort! It is very much appreciated. I am discouraged to hear about your experience with the Big Game Room and in the Kalahari Outpost. I will be sure to pass along your comments to the appropriate managers to address your concerns. Thank you for letting us know, so we know which areas to improve on. It is our pleasure to have you and hope to see you again real soon!
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (851)
Date | Rating
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English first
Roseville, Michigan
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed February 4, 2012

Our family of five (Ages 43, 35, 12, 10, and 1 year) had our 5th Kalahari visit this week. Everything went extremely smooth and the staff is exceptional. It is very apparent the majority of the staff love their jobs! In the past, the staff in the water park where very rigid and often unkind. We couldn't find one staff member who wasn't on top of their game!

We always go off season and during the week to avoid long lines and mobs of people. The Kalahari's African theme is very welcome during cold winter months!

We always pick the "Choose Your Own Adventure" package, and even though we always make our reservations last minute, there has never been an issue the staff can't handle. This time, we upgraded to the African Queen suite and LOVED it! Two separate bedrooms with heavenly beds and bathrooms, a living room, and kitchenette, all with plenty of storage so you don't have to live out of a suit case. There are three flat screen TV's and a fireplace in the living area. The balcony was connected by door walls in the bedroom and living area, and overlooked the outdoor water park and animals. The master bathroom had the most wonderful jacuzzi tub that is big enough to fit more than one person and was the FIRST that my 6'8" husband was able to completely submerge in.

Even though we also choose pizza and pop and $40 voucher for The Reserve, we always bring plenty of snacks and drinks to keep our costs down. Eating the pizza after your first day in the water park is like heaven!!! Dinner at The Reserve is always mouth watering! It was our babies first birthday and he got a cute birthday button and free desert.

One suggestion for families is to bring your own in room entertainment. I don't let my boys bring electronic video games, instead we opt for family board games. There is so much stimulation during the day that everyone enjoys this quiet family time. I would like to see some resort run activities in the evening (story time or some other wind down activity) to give the children a chance to wind down and parents a chance to visit. I met some wonderful people but only had the chance to say hi passing in the hallway.

We have gone to many waterparks and hotels in the past, but since we discovered The Kalahari, we have never stayed anywhere else. It is a family tradition!!!!

Room Tip: We have always upgraded to a suite and these have never been close to high traffic areas. Ask quest...
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank rnlaurene
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 7, 2012
6'8" and submerging in the jacuzzi tub, LOVE it! How relaxing that must be for your husband. Wonderful! Thank you so very much for taking the time to review our resort. You provided such wonderful tips for future guests, I can't thank you enough! So very glad to hear you love the pizza; that seems to be a guest favorite. Hopefully, with not coming during peak times, you are able to take advantage of some of the awesome specials we run. It is truly our pleasure having you. Thank you again and looking forward to seeing you again soon!
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Williams, Indiana
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed February 3, 2012

This was our 5th time at the resort.We went for 2 nights.Our daughter got to take her friend & they had so much fun.All the staff was wonderful (especially Katherine @ check in!The arcade is HUGE!!!Our room had full kitchen,dining room,living room,fireplace,patio & private bedroom.It was very nice & very clean.I would highly recommend this as a great place to take your family.I really like that they have such a selection in rooms from 1 person to 20+.We have taken just our kids to in-laws,nieces,nephews.Every stay has been fun.They offer alot of specials & packages so you can get a really good price.

Room Tip: A room with a kitchen in it.
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Matt K
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 7, 2012
Thank you so very much for not only taking the time to review our resort but visiting us often and giving family and friends the ability to come visit with you! We are so appreciative that you stay wih us. Hopefully you will be able to try out one of our Entertainment Villas if you haven't already. They are spectacular! I will be sure to pass along your kind word to Katherine! Thanks again for visiting us, it is our pleasure to have you!
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philadelphia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed February 2, 2012

This is our families third trip to Kalahari! We attended with a large convention of homeschoolers We loved the experience. Our daughter,13, 2012 enjoyed the slides, the wave pool. Parents like the lazy river and hot tub.the lodge rooms are comfortable and provide excellent kitchen facilities for those wanting an inexpensive trip.
We particularly like the friendliness of the staff and those that served us.We needed to move rooms this time and they were so helpful with the change .

Room Tip: Request close to the waterpark
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank 24arundel
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 7, 2012
We loved having you and are so thrilled you were able to enjoy your convention and our facilities. Sounds as if you had a wonderful time. Thank you so very much for visiting us and taking the time to review our Resort. I will be sure to pass along your kind words to all of our Sandusky team. Hope to see you again every year for years to come.
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Flint, MI
Level Contributor
74 reviews
41 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
Reviewed January 30, 2012

This is our 4th time to Kalahari. We love getting away during the winter months wearing our bathing suits and pretending to be somewhere tropical for a day or two. We typically go when there is a special price offered so when we found a nice deal online we booked right away.

I have never been here during the summer so I cant comment on any of the outdoor activities. We have never had a complaint during any of our stays. We had fun this time too and didnt experience anything that ruined our fun but I think maybe our expectations are getting higher due to our other annual vacations & experiences and this trip isnt keeping up.

Check in:

We arrrived on Sunday shortly after noon. There was quite a long line, the longest we have ever experienced there. However, the line did move quicky and all the staff was friendly and efficient during the process. We were in the waterpark in about 15 minutes.

Waterpark:

It was croweded. There was a sign at the entrance that stated the waterpark was at full capacity and they were not selling day passes. We have learned from experience that there are plenty of tables & chairs in the upper level and in other corners so we had no problem finding a place. People that complain about lack of tables are not looking past the first area when you first walk in the park.

The lines for slides were CRAZY. Plain crazy. We traveled with 6 teenagers so obviously they were there for the slides and the FlowRider. The lines were so long for slides they just gave up after one or two and ended up in the wave pool most of the time. The most disappointing was the line for the FlowRider. It was no less than 45 minutes. We thought it might get shorter in the evening but it never seemed any shorter. There are two FlowRiders but only one was open the entire time. Which I found very odd since the waterpark was "Full to capacity". This is the biggest complaint from all 6 teens - lines were just too darn long. Too much time waiting.

We have been to many amusements parks and other waterparks. We understand there are going to be lines and I dont think we are being impatient. But when the lines are so long you give up...thats just not fun.

900 rooms may be a bit too big for the waterpark, especially in the winter when there are no outdoor options.

I had read complaints about cold water or cold temp in general in the waterpark. We did not think it was cold at all. Actually it was quite warm in there.

The adult only hot tub seemed to have way too much chlorine. Made my eyes burn.

Locker Rooms:

We do not use these. I have been reading complaints about them being dirty and smelling. I have also read complaints about luggage not being delivered to the room in a timely manner after your room is available.

One thing we have learned - if you want something done right (or your version of "right") then its better to do it yourself. That said, we come to the resort wearing our bathing suits under some sweatpants/tshirts (easy on/easy off). We wear flip flops. We pack a small bag of things we may need only while in the waterpark. Everything else stays in the car until we can actually check into the room. At that point we go to the car and get it. This trip my husband just drove the car around to the nearest entrance to our room , unloaded and reparked the car. Yes this is a very minor inconvenience of going back out to the car, however we have what we want when we want it. And it just seems way less hectic for us then lugging it all in during check in time when everyone else is doing the same thing. This also means we dont need to use the locker rooms or changing rooms. When we arrive we are ready to go straight into the waterpark.

Room:

We were able to check into the room around 3:30pm. We had a Lodge Room. It was pretty far from the waterpark but at least your walking indoors and not outside! Very nice full kitchen with all the dishes/pots pans/etc. We took full advantage of this and brought along meals and snacks to prepare in the room. This worked out great for us and if we went again would choose the same type of room. The living area is very spacious with a fireplace and large table/chairs. It was nice having a bedroom seperate from the living area. I felt it was clean. The decor may be getting a little worn but nothing I was put off by. Overall loved the room.

The mattress and sheets however, need replacement ASAP. Please! The mattress was very warped toward the middle and the sheets were sooooo thin. The sheets on the sofa bed actually had holes and were shredded around the edges. For the cost of the rooms here I wish more would be spent on comforts such as nicer beds and linens. They do make a big difference and are much appreciated by the adults that are actually paying for these little trips. Seriously, this makes the difference between feeling like your staying at a motorlodge and feeling like your staying at a resort. And at these prices I dont want to feel like Im at a motorlodge while laying in bed at night because the mattress and sheets are bad.

Staff:

Everyone we experienced throughout the whole stay was nice, friendly and helpful. We requested extra sheets and pillows and they were delivered within 10 minutes.

Overall, we still do like this resort. However, the lines are getting a little annoying and things like bad sheets and mattresses are starting to make an impression. When choosing where to spend our hard earned dollars, we take into consideration many factors. Where will the kids have the most fun, where will our dollar go further and where will we will have a nice experience as well are big ones. Well this time the kids were disappointed in the lines that were out of control and eating up too much time of their day and we were disappointed in the "comfort" elements. I am not sure if that was our last visit or not but I think its worth going if you have never been.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Griswolds198
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 31, 2012
Thank you very much for continuously visiting us. Your patronage and willingness to take the time to review our resort is very much appreciated. You have also provided so many great tips for future guests. That is terrific! Very sorry to hear about the long lines. Though disappointed, hopefully between the waterpark and the Big Game Room your teenagers were able to have some fun. Thank you for giving us your input in regards to the mattresses and the 2nd FlowRider not running. I will be sure to pass along your comments to the appropriate department managers to be evaluated. We do hope that you will visit us again so that everyone can have the blast they deserve. Thank you again for your time and we look forward to having you in the future.
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Chippewa Lake, Ohio
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed January 27, 2012

My family have been going there every year we loved the place. We found everyone to be friendly and helpful, however on our recent visit on 1/22/12 my partner became violently ill after dinning at the Reserve. He was so sick he had to be rushed to the hospital by ambulance. I was really disapointed that not one staff member came over to see if he was okay. When I called about the incident I keep getting voice mails and no return phone calls. I have even sent a couple of e-mails with no responses. If this is the way they treat their regular clients I can see that they just don't care and a call to the B.B.B. may be nessasary. A report the health department was made and it makes me wonder how many other people have had this problem. I think maybe they have just gotten so big they don't pay attention to detail anymore. :(

Room Tip: The Queen and desert rooms are very nice but I found all the rooms to be very nice. Pick a room base...
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank kelly c
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 31, 2012
Very sorry to hear about your partner and hope he is doing better. Reports of this nature are taken very seriously and you can be sure that we take every precaution to be proactive regarding this issue. I understand you have been in contact with our management team regarding this issue. Of course, if you need anything further, please feel free to reach out to me. KRizzo@KalahariResorts.com
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South Bend, Indiana
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed January 25, 2012

We went to Kalahari in Sandusky, Ohio in July 2011 as a weekend get-away for my fiance & myself. We are in our mid-twenties and both had a great time! The slides are fun and just intense enough for the thrill loves (we also went to Cedar Point 3 times this year...what a lucky summer we had!!). They had stuff for the little ones to do as well as sections exclusive to adults (indoor-outdoor hot tub with a swim-up bar), wave pool, lazy river, water slides, kids only area, stores, food areas, towels on-site, plus extras that cost more money like a zip-line, safari walk & arcade (all of those seemed overpriced for what it was so I'd skip the extras & they don't allow towels outside the waterpark so the walk to the hotel room was a COLD one).

We loved the slides, thought the wave-pool was way too crowded, relaxed in the hot tub with our massive 22oz drink & enjoyed our stay overall! The rooms are nothing amazing but we didn't spend much time in our room since we wanted to get the most use out of the waterpark anyway. It did end up being an expensive trip (over $500 for 3 days & 2 nights at Kalahari...not including food or any extras), but I would go back if we find discount tickets.

The staff was nice and allowed us to print our Cedar Point tickets at 10pm using their printers + I was able to buy contact solution from the front desk even after the onsite stores were closed (I always over-pack and I forget a necessity? typical haha).

Awesome Waterpark, nice staff, okay rooms...overall a good stay!

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank 86Me_myself_and_I
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 27, 2012
Congratulations to you and your fiancee. It was our pleasure having you. I am pleased to know, with such thrill seekers as yourself (having visited Cedar Point so much) you were still impressed by our park. Terrific! Hopefully you were able to enjoy some of our restaurants or the the nightclub at The Reserve too. Always promising at enjoyable. Thank you for taking the time to review our resort and visiting us. It was our pleasure having you.
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Additional Information about Kalahari Resorts & Conventions

Property: Kalahari Resorts & Conventions
Address: 7000 Kalahari Drive, Sandusky, OH 44870-8628
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 Business Hotel in Sandusky
#2 Family Hotel in Sandusky
#2 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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