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Kalahari Resorts & Conventions
Ranked #3 of 34 Hotels in Sandusky
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 14, 2008

We have the largest suite which came with 12 waterpasses, we only need 9 but we had plenty of room. The room was very clean.
We checked in at around 3 and went to our room and unpacked and the kids and adults changed into our swimming suits and we were at the waterpark by 4. We had a 3,6,10,10 and 20(special needs) kids and 4 adults. We love the addition to the waterpark especially the wave pool. We stayed until around 7 at the waterpark, then we went back and got changed and went to eat the the BIg Kahana restaurant/bar. Our service was good and the food was good overall, a little pricey but about what you expect to pay at a hotel. They did have a 4 nacho special posted on a couple of different signs, but when we tried to order that the said we had to sit at the bar to get it. We also have a half off appetizer coupon from the room but of course the one we ordered was the one they didn't honor it for. It was on the coupon so that was our fault for not reading it better. The kids enjoyed the restaurant and the DJ played a couple of songs the kids liked and they got up and danced. We went back down to the arcade and played some games for a while and then everyone was getting sleeply so we turned in for the night. In the morning we made our own breakfast.Pancakes, eggs and bacon. The full size kitchen was great. We called and got a late check-out at noon unstead of 11 so we all went back to the waterpark from about 9:45 until 11:45. The kids once again had a ball in the wave pool. My 6 year old did get into trouble from a lifeguard though. He was putting his legs on top of the intertube and having his butt in the middle and his arms around the sided, I guess you are not along to do that so the lifeguard blew his whistle at him and told him no to get off the tube. I was helping watching another boy and by the time I got to my son he thought he wasn't aloud to have a tube at all, I explained to him that we can't sit inside with you feet over the other side was my understanding. I go him another tube and we should him how to just sit on it and hold the handles but keep feet inside. Once again this same lifeguard blew his whistle and said if I have to tell you again you are out of here for good. Now let me say I really appreciaite all the lifeguards they have and I think the do a very good job but, by this time my 6 year old is crying and scared and doesn't want to swim anymore, I understand that they have be on guard but if he could have explained himself to my son what exactly he wanted him to do and not do that would have been I much better sitation. For one thing you cannot hear very well in the wave pool and my son does have some hearing loss. Anyway my husband went over and talked to the lifeguard and also his boss and just thought he needed to deal with the people on there age level, you could tell rowdy teenagers to do what they are suppose to do but maybe explain it to the younger ones. We are not the kind of family who just takes off and lets the staff to take care of our kids. We are always in groups and keep very close eyes out. Anyway, Lee(our son) saw the little play area behind the wave pool and asked if he could go there, I said yes I will could with you and we could check it out. He wanted to know if there were going to be any lifeguard there and I said yes because they are here to help us, he wouldn't go and do that ruined the whole morning for him. He would not get in so I took him but ti the room and we got packed up. Overall the place is great and we will come back again, this trip was probably our 5 time so we do enjoy,

  • Stayed: January 2008, traveled with family
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1  Thank Laura M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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3,504 - 3,510 of 3,762 reviews

Reviewed January 13, 2008

We just returned from our stay at the Kalahari, Jan. 11-13. Stayed in a combination suite which was huge, very clean, and had lots of room for the kids (ages 2, 3 & 6) to run around in. Had a full size kitchen, so we brought food and drink for breakfast, lunch and snacks. So glad we did because the food was pricey! The waterpark area was AMAZING!- so much for the kids to do, especially for young children. We ordered room service from Kahuanaville and ate in the restaurant the next night. The food received mixed reviews from our party- some great, some awful. Drinks were good, but weak. No need to carry around cash - we charged almost everything to our room (very convenient!). It seemed like the crowd was heaviest in the afternoons and evenings. We went to the waterpark first thing in the morning and stayed until 1ish, then spent the afternoons napping, putt-putting, gaming and just lounging around. There was so much to do, you need at least 2 nights to enjoy it all. Only issue was with customer service at the front desk. Front desk clerk would not give members of the party keys even though it was arranged ahead of time. We were told that the keys might be at the other customer service desk, but no move was made to call the other desk until we requested the clerk to do so. We also arrived to find our room open with our belongings inside (and unsecured). Thankfully, nothing was stolen. We were told that either maintenance or the cleaning staff left the room open, but promises to review security footage were never followed up on. We were also promised a follow-up call from management that we never received. We had to go to the desk again the next day to settle the issue in person. Despite the customer service issues, everyone had a very fun time and we plan to go again next year.

  • Stayed: January 2008, traveled on business
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10  Thank lovetog0
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 12, 2008

If you are coming to Kalahari for the waterpark I suggest you buy a daily pass for $34.00 a day and stay at cleaner hotel down the road. (There are several new hotels within a mile of Kalahari with much better rates!) You'll have easy access parking, a cleaner, quieter room, and probably better service. Our experience is as follows:

We arrived to the Kalahari on the 22nd of December for 2 nights. Upon arrival in our car we had to wait until the bellman could find an open spot for our car. We were able to check-in rather quickly. We found our room to be very dirty with crumbs all over the carpet and the bathroom floor covered with hair. The bathroom sink was clogged as well. The front desk was very quick to set us up in a new room. The hotel was VERY crowded. One of the staff members mentioned to us the hotel had never been this full.

As we were leaving our room the next morning, we were asked by 3 different house keeping personnel if we would be out of the room so they could clean. We returned to the hotel at 3:00 pm to find our room unmade. We left again for the evening, making a call to house keeping to request a cleaning. When we returned at 11:00 pm, we found our room just as we left it. Tired, we called down to the front desk and the excuse given to us was they could not keep up with the amount of guests staying in the hotel. She then said, daily room cleaning was not offered. Obviously they could not handle the numbers they had staying in the hotel.

A full hotel also meant a full parking lot. We had a long walk from the lot to the hotel in very cold and windy temperatures.

The waterpark was very full every day. Kalahari sells daily passes for $34, which made for even longer lines at each slide. The waterpark staff, however, was very friendly.

The resort rates, which include the waterpark, are not cheep! When I pay higher rates I expect to be taken care of, which includes a clean room with fresh towels each day. Afterall, I'm on vacation!

  • Stayed: December 2007, traveled with family
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7  Thank GNaper
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 9, 2008

My family and I just returned from a 3 day stay at the Kalahari. The hotel in general was huge and very nice, we stayed in a Village Suite and had plenty of space for 3 or 4 more couples to stay comfortably in the room.
It was an overall pleasant experience, the waterpark was big and nice and the expansion that opened in Dec 07 made it even better with plenty of waterslides and things to do. My 4 year old daughter really enjoyed the wave pool and huge kids play area with 2 big kid slides she could go down by herself. The waterpark was also quite warm and comfortable inside and the water temperature a little chilly but not to bad. We rented a cabanna and really loved having a nice comfy place to sit and have a snack or just relax, a little pricey but definitely a must have for next time we visit. There was a baby lion in the lobby every morning and my daughter really liked checking it out, pictures with the lion were 25 dollars so we decided to skip, although overall we found the resturants and shops to be very reasonably priced.
A couple of disapointments for me were that the waterpark really wasn't very clean (this is to be slightly expected since the place is really huge and tons of people running around) and the floors are quite slippery. Also the lifeguards on duty seemed very young and didn't watch the kids comming down the slides very well so you had to make sure your child was pulled immediatly from the slide as to not get plowed into by the next kid comming down (my husband saw a 4 or 5 year old girl get hit at literally full speed by a full grown man comming down the slide due to the fact that the life guard wasn't watching properly). I ordered a candy basket to have waiting in the room when we first arrived and it wasn't there, after calling the front desk it was brought up quite promptly. Also the coffee machine in the room was junk, good thing there is a great little coffee shop down by the waterpark. The room and hotel was clean as far as I could tell, although the maids left a dirty towel and washcloth hanging behind one of the doors in one of the bathrooms in our room.. they also never came in to change the beds or tidy up the rooms. None of this really mattered to much, as we all had a great time and definitely plan on returning sometime in the future. The best tip I could give would be to not spend a ton of money on a huge room and instead go for the more modest room and rent a cabana (cabana, not the creepy, dungon like "bays" for 99$) inside the waterpark for 150$, it is well worth it and has a TV and refridgerator and several comfortable areas to sit, lay and relax.. you DEFINITELY get wore out from all the walking, swimming and stair climbing!

  • Stayed: January 2008, traveled with family
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9  Thank riesaneed
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 1, 2008

The waterpark is freezing cold! Kids lips turned purple! Maybe because of expansion? Had to sit in hot tub to get warm whiched caused water to feel even colder upon re enter.
Also-staff seem stressed or just flat out rude! We will be going else where from now on. This was our 3rd and last trip!

  • Stayed: December 2007, traveled with family
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8  Thank shart1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 31, 2007

Just returned from our trip to Kalahari a few hours ago (New Years Eve) This place was incredible. After the first night of riding, my husband and I actually had slight motion sickness because we were able to ride so many fun tubes. This was a last minute trip and we weren't sure if there would be enough rides to keep our two children, 12 and 14, amused. But we were definitely glad that we had booked the 2nd night--we needed the sleep before our 4 hour ride home. We have been to Disney, FL several times and this park was definitely better. Not nearly the lines or walking between rides. Seemed to me there were actually way more rides than Disney. The atmosphere was not as hyper as Disney and more like the Portofino Bay Resort at Universal. Resort was great and the meals were really good at reasonable prices. LOVED IT!!!

Only drawback--injured my foot by stepping on something and had to have it removed--believe it or not--waterpark without waterproof bandages. Can I hear a duh?

  • Stayed: December 2007, traveled with family
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5  Thank beachriders
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 31, 2007

Wavepool was great. We wanted to see the newly expansion part of the waterpark. No signs where to line up on the water slides. People were either cutting in line or ended up leaving their tubes along the stairs and moving on to the next water slides. There were kids feces along the stairs believe it or not and people actually ended up stepping on them. Some people just have no respect for others. The next day they were still there and smered along the way up of the stairs. No one bothered to cleaned them. Our bedroom blanket was covered with fried rice between the sheets from the people who stayed there before us. I guess they don't change their sheets. More like recycling dirty sheets. Seems like the housekeeping don't care about their job. How could someone actually miss something like this. Floor was another thing also. Looks like they only vaccum where you walk on and pushed the other garbage on the side walls. Sink was backing up and we had to wait till the water clears until we used the water again. It was dirty to begin with. Check in was at 4 but didn't get our room till 5:30. As mentioned by other people, there are very long line ups and when we came back later we still had to wait. Front desk isn't as happy as they used to be. You need more people person up there. These guys should be working in a drive through. I had great stays with them before but this time was a different story.

  • Stayed: December 2007, traveled with family
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2  Thank JPJJRAMZ
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 44870-8628
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: $146 - $406 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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