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“another average visit”

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Kalahari Resorts & Conventions
Ranked #3 of 35 Hotels in Sandusky
Certificate of Excellence
ontario
Level 5 Contributor
45 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
“another average visit”
Reviewed March 21, 2012

I swore after last year's March Break visit that we wouldn't return for awhile, but the kids really wanted to go, and we knew many other families going at the same time, so we went ahead and booked. We went during the Ontario March Break.
We arrived on a sunday, and it was VERY busy. Lots of day pass people. The crowds thinned a little on Monday and Tuesday. We stayed the first two nights in a king lodge suite, which has a kitchen. It was very clean and the king bed was very comfortable. Our last night we moved to a nomad room, I think. It was in the basement of the hotel, and the very last room at the end of the hallway(#1260). It was pretty dingy and the hallway smelled of sewage.
One thing to note - there were at least 7 families that booked as part of a group, and we were scattered throughout the hotel. Unless you book connecting rooms, or a huge suite, don't count on being near your group. I can't believe that in a hotel that size, they couldn't have placed us at least on the same floor. We had asked upon check in if we were near any of our group, and were assured that we were "close". Turns out we were on another floor and not close at all.
The waterpark is exactly as I remembered, but maybe a little dirtier. No one is cleaning during the day - there were gobs of hair, bandaids, soaking wet towels, etc on the stairs to the rides. Do they not hose down the stairs when the waterpark closes? By Monday, a couple of the stairs were closed off and the paint was completely peeled away. I don't know if they did it deliberately in order to repaint it, but it was such a busy time, I would think they could have waited. The ride attendants/lifeguards have no incentive whatsoever to keep the lines moving. And for several of the rides we waited 25-30 minutes. The lines could move much faster if they were more efficient in loading and not so busy talking to each other. Plus none of the ride attendants, except one, spoke to us as we were getting ready to ride. I realize they see hundreds of people a day, but a "hi" wouldn't hurt. No personalities at all. They all look so unhappy.
we ate at the lobby restaurant for dinner one night - can't remember the name. Nothing special at all, but not bad. The Candy Hut is great - smells delicious and the lady working was very friendly. The arcade is a total rip off- I told my kids I'd buy them some stuff at the dollar store for cheaper. They are very strict about height restrictions in the Tree Top Play (the dry jungle gym right outside the water park entry). Must be less than 52" and there is someone standing at the entry at all times. Adult hot tub was nice. Several times during our stay something was closed down (basketball, wave pool, Zip Coaster) and every time I"ve been there the conveyor belt for the Victoria Falls breaks down. This time was no exception. Come on Kalahari, this place is a gold mine. Spend some money on maintenance. I do agree with a previous poster that tubes should be taken out of the wave pool. It's a disaster waiting to happen.
thank goodness we got a great deal. If I had paid full price, I would have been very unhappy. It's not worth full price.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank soccerlovin
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, March 22, 2012
While I am very excited to hear that you were able to return and visit with us, I am discouraged to hear that you only found your stay "average". We strive to go beyond expectations. I have already contacted the Waterpark managers with your comments in hopes he will connect with his team. One suggestion if traveling with a group, if when you book, you and everyone else can put notes in their reservations about being next to certain rooms, we will honor that and make sure everyone is as close as possible. For security purposes, we don't move rooms next to a specific parties without both parties requesting it. Hopefully this helps! Last, my favorite, very glad to hear you are a fan of the Candy Hut! Personal Favorite! Thank you for visiting and taking the time to review our resort. I hope we will have the privilege of having you again soon!
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Troy, Michigan, United States
Level 5 Contributor
53 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed March 18, 2012

I am frequent here. Every time I visit with two or three other families, and we stay in village suite. Awesome experience. The best waterpark when it comes to access from rooms to park. very good service too. always friendly people.....
I am giving 4 stars because the inside the park bars seem to be really dull. They serve dry drinks. ( I suspect management is behind this, maybe they dont want people to get drunk, but then people like me suffer. Trust me, one drink is enough for me, I dont go there to get drunk, but do expect to have some kick in a $8 margarita.)
But as I said..... good experience, nice bang for your buck.....

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank PratikA
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, March 19, 2012
Love having you and the other families a couple times a year. Thank you so much for visiting and taking the time to review our resort. I will be sure to let the Food and Beverage Director hear your thoughts on the drinks. Next time I would suggest checking out the "ZAMBEZI STINGER" at The Reserve. Very delicious and did the trick for me :) Looking forward to seeing you and your family friends again! Take care and thanks again!
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Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed March 18, 2012

It was a good time at Kalahari. It costs too much for what you get though. We had to leave the facility to eat every meal. If the prices were more reasonable to eat there, we would not have to leave the resort at all. The wait on some rides was long while some of them you could just walk right up and get on. The young ride attendants were good and bad. Some kept the lines moving right along while others spent too much time talking when they should have been getting the next group ready to go. I don't know why they got rid of the double tubes on some of the slides. It was either a family size tube or a single tube. My family enjoyed the double tubes so we could go down different slides with everyone in the family. My wife won't use a single tube, so she had a lot of time by herself. That is not why we went there. We went thinking we could have the family tubes and the double tubes. All said though, it was fun, just too expensive. Also, why not give everyone a $10 card for the arcade. You have to realize that most people will put more money on a card when the 10 dollars is used. Good time overall, but not something we would do every year, it's just not worth the bang for the buck.

  • Stayed March 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Milkman24
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, March 19, 2012
Thank you for visiting and taking the time to review our resort. Sorry to hear you miss the double tubes. We decided to remove those from our facility due to safety concerns. Hopefully you still had a blast regardless. One tip, that might come in handy for future travels, out Lodge Suite comes with a full kitchen, so I know some families opt to stay in that Suite and prepare their meals there. Hopefully that helps. Looking forward to seeing you again soon! Thanks again!
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Burlington, Ontario
Level 4 Contributor
30 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed March 16, 2012

Recently returned from a two-night stay at the Kalahari Waterpark resort in Sandusky, Ohio where we had a very enjoyable time. We stayed in a Nomad room which was an unexpected free upgrade from the room we had originally booked.
This room was fantastic. The decor was tasteful and up-to-date: very comfortable beds, nice balcony with view of duck pond, spacious room, very clean, plenty of towels, quiet - we could never hear others through the walls even though the rooms on either side of us were occupied.
The registration was smooth and the reception staff was pleasant and helpful.
The lobby was tastefully decorated and clean.
The waterpark was lots of fun with plenty of variety in attractions. I do agree with previous reviews that most of the lifeguards did not ooze great enthusiasm - this is not Disney - but they were generally pleasant enough.
Can't comment on the food as we never ate in any of the restaurants.
We would recommend this resort to others.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank onedegree
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, March 19, 2012
Very pleased to hear that you received a complimentary upgrade. Thank you for visiting and reviewing our resort. I will pass along your thoughts to our decorator. She will be pleased to hear. Thanks again for visiting and see you again soon!
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Cleveland, Ohio
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed March 16, 2012

I took my nephew and niece to celebrate their birthdays for a overnight trip. We live close but never had a opportunity to visit during the week.
When we arrived it is chaos at the front of the resort no directions on where to pull off to drop belongings or assistance. Even in Vegas with 3000 rooms they have a system for drop off and valet. We were lucky to get into our room at 1pm which was nice so we didn't have change in locker rooms.
Now for the room, Motel 6 quality at best. The beds were sunken in with big dips you could see the minute you walked in there. We had a Hut Room with a balcony, fireplace, it was just very beat up. Blinds missing, carpet dirty, shower curtain dirty, just seemed like it needed cleaned. Not worth $250!

The waterpark, yes the kids loved it! But as adults it was just not what I expected after hearing about it for years. Towels everywhere, no one picking up trash and dirty towels, very dark and depressing in some areas, the chorine was extreme, water in wave pool was filthy, dirty band-aids etc. I was also amazed how no one seemed to be watching their children, it is not daycare and lifeguards are not responsible for watching every move. The inner tubes in the wave pool should be banned, should be for swimming only. I was kicked in the head a few times since no one pays attention. Basically I felt like everyone left their manners at home!
The whole resort just felt dirty, people were walking around in swimwear and no shoes all through the hotel and restauant areas. Usually there are rules in regards to that for sanitary reasons. Also the locker room was filthy, the smell alone....

I am a seasoned traveler, I have stayed in cheap hotels, large resorts, all over the world. I have to say for the money this was a huge disappointment overall. I am glad the kids had a good time!

When I came home I was reading some of the reviews, allot are accurate. I know Kalahari is monitoring this site and see the same complaints over and over...and the same response, "sorry about what your encountered" " will send to appropriate dept". I think they are going to start loosing business if they do not at least invest in the rooms and clean up the park!!!!

We visited on a Weds, thought it would be less of a crowd. I believe it probably was lighter than weekends, but still huge lines for rides, and wave pool packed. I really think there needs to be more of a limit. Also allot of the attactions were closed, and there was not a good map when you walked in to figure out where you were and where the different attractions were located.



I would not spend $450 again to visit. Just not worth the money or all the hassle. I would rather go to a beach or go camping!!!!

Room Tip: Seems like the walk is long from any area. We were 60 rooms down the hall. Elevators seemed to have...
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank NMF
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, March 19, 2012
Thank you for taking the time to review our resort. Yes, we do monitor all the posts because we very much value all of our guests concerns and when we receive great comments, we like to give credit to those that deserve it. Like anything, things take time. Our rooms division director has/is in the process of evaluating the mattress and rooms conditions. When you stay with us, and if you ever have another concern, please don't hesitate to let us know. Everyone is more than happy to do what we can to get this corrected right away. We thank you for your input and concern, and you are already aware that I have sent this to the correct department heads. It was our pleasure to have you and hope you will give the opportunity again to show you just how great Kalahari can be.
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boardman ohio
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed March 15, 2012

I read the previous reviews on this site after we booked here and I got so worried. We found our stay to be amazing. The staff were very polite and helpful. The rooms were clean and comfortable. We booked the Fantastic Family Getaway and it included so many extras, like breakfast and arcade tokens. We even got an free in suite movie. The waterpark is Awesome! yes the lines suck sometimes, but they also suck at the grocery store. Way more fun waiting here. Our daughter is only 5, she was not quite tall enough to enjoy every attraction, but she didn't notice. Someone said something about innattentive lifeguards, we completely disagree. At the wave pool they all looked ready to jump in at only moment, and in the tree house I even seen a few interacting with the smaller children, playing splashing games or tag. The Tree Top Play area even impressed us adults. It is designated for children under six and they are strict to that policy. I felt bad for the staff, because we observed so many parents flip out over the policy. We appreciated the policy because we didn't have to worry about our child getting trampled by a bigger one in all the excitement. If there was anything I could change, it would be the alcohol. We control ourselves and do not drink, but the glasses are giant, the temperature is warm.. there were so many drunk parents with their children running amok. Made me sad for the children. As difficult as it would be for the resort, maybe making the alcohol less available in the "family" areas would set a good example for the next generation. Overall we had a wonderful time and can not wait to visit again.

Room Tip: The resort wing will be loud! It is very high traffic. The Sands wing will entail walking from the m...
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank janet z
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, March 16, 2012
Very excited to hear about your stay. Thank you so much for sharing and visiting us! The Tree Top Area is a favorite of my little one as well! Glad to hear you loved it. I hope you can come visit again and check out some of the many dining options we have on property. Looking forward to seeing you again soon!
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Clarkston, Michigan
Level 5 Contributor
84 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
Reviewed March 13, 2012

We've stayed at Kalahari 4 or 5 times over the years. Every time we go...it's as if the hotel has aged 10 years or more. Half the accessories/in the waterpark are broken or not working...same in the arcade. Kids love it...but as the bill-paying adult, you notice the downfalls. The restaurant's are extremely over-priced and busy for extreamly average food. Rooms are okay...a little musty smelling but not bad. More than likely you won't spend much time there anyhow.

The valet and bell service were great...door to door service. Staff is great as well. I just expect more when paying a 5-star price.

Not sure what else to say...just kinda "ehh"!

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank dvmharris
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, March 14, 2012
Thank you for visiting us and taking the time to review our resort. Very happy to have had you stay with us. I have forwarded your comments to our Waterpark Director and Rooms Division manager to look into. We strive to provide everyone with the experience they would not only expect but deserve. So, while I am thrilled to receive all positive feedback, your comments allow us to pinpoint the direction of improvements. Thank you again for reaching out to us and I hope we will have the opportunity to have you visit us again soon.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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 Romantic Hotel in Sandusky
#2 Family 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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