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“Way Too Expensive , Totally Unorganized.”

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Kalahari Resorts & Conventions
Ranked #3 of 35 Hotels in Sandusky
Certificate of Excellence
Ohio
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Way Too Expensive , Totally Unorganized.”
Reviewed March 14, 2008

I booked for two nights. Tthat was around a thousand dollars. The restaurants were not very good & the food is expensive.
There are no signs anywhere that you would normally see in a place this size. Whomever was in charge of organizing didn't know what they were doing. There were no signs to find out where to get a towel, no information in your room or on the website about the hours for the restaurants, the waterpark, or anything else you may be interested in. Totally unorganized is what I would say about the whole place. Our phone didn't work the first night, on the second night, the toilet was clogged up, we called & nobody ever came to give us a plunger. We called again the next morning & still nobody came until we were getting ready to leave so we couldn't use it. If I"m paying that much money you would think the least they could do would be to come when we call. The only part about it that I liked was the waterpark. The rooms were set up really weird. The master bathroom was nowhere near the bedroom which is really uncomfortable when you have a few people staying with you. I won't be wasting my money again. The people working there are not very friendly. When we went to lunch, we were told that they weren't serving lunch so we had to go to the other restaurant. It's ridiculous for the staff to turn guests away. I can't even explain all of the issues that I had with this place.

  • Liked — The waterpark
  • Disliked — Bad service & the lack of organization.
  • Stayed March 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Heather8142
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Mentor
Level 4 Contributor
34 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 127 helpful votes
Reviewed March 11, 2008

Myself and two children (11 and 6) spent 2 days here over the President's Day weekend and had a ball. We booked a King whirlpool suite and paid the extra $20 for the 3rd person waterpark pass. We were able to check-in early (around 1:00) and also took advantage of the waterpark until 3:00 on check out day. The room looked new and had a fireplace and large flat panel TV above it. The fridge and microwave are always a welcome touch as well. The lounge chair folded out for extra bed space. The room also had a balcony which would have been nice in the summer. The real reason we went was for the waterpark. We have been to Great Wolf Lodge before and this was much bigger and better. My kids especially loved the large wave pool, which I've never seen indoors before. Numeorus lifeguards we're everywhere, and even though it was crowded, being a school holiday, we never had trouble finding anywhere to sit. My 6 year old was even tall enough (42") to go down most of the slides/rides with us. My only complaint would be the food service. We waited for 10-15 minutes to try and order dinner in the cafeteria, but the workers there were very few and far between. We ultimately went back into the waterpark to get food there and take it back to our room. Parking was also a little hike with stairs from the rooms, especially in February!

  • Liked — The waterpark.
  • Disliked — The cafeteria food service.
  • Stayed February 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank bcreilly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brunswick, Ohio
1 review
Reviewed March 6, 2008

We booked online for the Beat the Clock deal which consisted of 2 nights. We have 6 people in our family and the deal we got was a Desert Room for 4 people and you can add up to 2 people for $20 per person. We expected to pay $240 + tax for our family but when we got there to check in, we were told that it was actually $20 per person per day. We disputed the extra $40 in charges since that is not what the website says. The woman who was checking us in was very understanding, but the woman who was assisting her acted like we were taking money from her wallet. That turned us off a bit and I was thinking, ok, here we go, this is going to be the vacation from hell. But, as I write this, it does not appear that we have been charged the extra money, but I thought you should beware. Also, when we checked out, we saw that we were being charged $60 extra for room charges. We never charged anything to our room and in fact, 2 of the places that had charged our room are places my family did not even go to during our stay. The resort is looking into it. We didn't have to pay the extra charges at checkout, but we were told that we may be charged after the investigation. Just something else that you might want to be aware of if you stay at this resort.

The parking left something to be desired according to my husband. He had to park quite a distance from the resort and was a bit irritated by their lack of snow plowing. We arrived on Tuesday in the middle of an ice storm and didn't leave the resort until we checked out on Thursday. According to my husband, when he went to pack our things into the van, he said there was one plow out there (keep in mind this is 2 days after the storm) removing snow and pulling stuck vehicles from their parking spots. So that obviously is an area that the resort can improve on.

We had a Desert Room and it was plenty big enough for the 6 of us. 2 queen beds and a queen sofa sleeper. We fit comfortably. The rooms as stated in other reviews are a distance from the waterpark, but we didn't mind. The halls are a bit chilly so keep that in mind. Our room was very clean when we checked in. I was a little put off because it appears that housekeeping just rinsed our coffee cups out as opposed to giving us clean ones. I only know this because I noticed that one of the cups was chipped when I went to use it Wednesday morning and when I went to make coffee on Thursday, it was the same cup. Its just a horrible yuck factor for me, others may not care.

We packed instant oatmeal for breakfasts, some pop, chips, stuff for lunches, stuff for dinner the first night and then we ordered pizza from the pizza hut the last night. The 20 inch pizza is huge and was plenty of food for our family (and my husband and boys can eat ALOT). The pizza in my opinion was not too overpriced and was quite tasty. The discount coupons they gave us at check in were a bonus.

The waterpark itself is great. It wasn't overly crowed (probably because it was the middle of the week - I don't think I would want to stay there on a weekend) It is huge (no wait for any of the rides) and has something for kids of all ages. Our children range from 15 to 3. The 3 year old had just as much fun, if not more, than the other 3 children. Life jackets are required for smaller children on most of the water activities and the only bad thing about that is that the place to rent the jackets is in a location that one would easily miss. The lifeguards as a whole are nice people but they are inconsistent. In the little kids area, some of the guards didn't care if the children went down the little slides with life jackets on while others would make a fuss and make the parents remove the jackets. We were a little put off by that but it wasn't something that was horrible. Some of the water was warmer than other areas but all in all it was nice. My children did get skin irritations from all of the chlorine. I wasn't prepared so I had to buy some vaseline and baby powder during our stay. Keep that in mind as well if you have little ones with sensitive skin. Benadryl probably would have been helpful for me too.

Overall, I think that the resort was nice. I don't think I would have wanted to stay any longer than we did (two nights) because I think the kids would have gotten bored but I do believe that everyone had a great time and I am positive that we will return.

  • Liked — The value
  • Disliked — A bit of trouble during check in and check out
  • Stayed March 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank JulieAP971
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cleveland, Ohio
Level 2 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviewed March 4, 2008

My girlfriend and I stayed at Kalahari for a quick weekend getaway on a Sunday night. We arrived in the early afternoon and our room was ready for us, which was nice. The room itself was nicely appointed: it was clean, large enough, and the bed was comfy. The only problems with it were a) The television displayed a computer error message when I turned it on, and b) Through the air vent in the bathroom I could hear what was going on in adjacent bathrooms crystal clear. The walk from our room to the waterpark entrance was pretty far, but we didn't mind the exercise.

Neither of us had ever been to an indoor waterpark before, so we don't have much to compare it to, but we enjoyed the rides. The lines were very short during our visit -- the park was definitely not running at capacity (we were told that the previous day they were at 100% -- it pays to go on a Sunday!)

The highlight for us was the indoor/outdoor hot tub with the swim-up bar. We must have spent 2 hours in there alone. The drinks were pricey but good, and nothing beats relaxing outside in warm bubbling water in the middle of winter!

The park is definitely geared towards families with children, with a nod towards single adults. Overall, i was satisfied with our one night trip.

Stayed March 2008
Helpful?
Thank Mercury821
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cleveland
Level 4 Contributor
39 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
Reviewed February 27, 2008

We spent a Sunday night at Kalahari with our 5 and 2 year old. We arrived shortly after 12 and after a 15 minute wait to check in our room was ready, a pleasant surprise. We did a "choose your adventure" deal which included a room upgrade (Nomad) and our choice of 4 items. We picked a pizza dinner, children's breakfast, game room tokens, and mini golf. I really thought it was worth the Sunday night price of $199 (much cheaper than Saturday). We spent most of our time inside the waterpark which is fantastic. It has something for everyone. My 5 year old had a blast and still didn't do half of the slides available. He's only 45" and many of the big slides were for 48". But there was more than enough for him to do. Our 2 year old had a great time too. There are several kiddie areas and a lot for the 1-6 year old crowd. There are even some "dry" areas to play in just outside the waterpark entrance. The only downfall of our experience was that there is a lot of alcohol being consumed within the waterpark itself and we bumped into some adults behaving badly. Other than that, we really enjoyed our stay. After only driving an hour, one night was the perfect amount of time to spend here and we'll be back this fall.

  • Liked — The wave pool is fun for all ages.
  • Disliked — There were too many adults consuming too much alcohol.
  • Stayed February 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank EJMK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mount Clemens, MI
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed February 25, 2008

We loved Kalahari... .. our experience was awesome!! I was a bit skeptical based on some of the horrid reviews I had read on this site, but it was first class all the way. We arrived shortly after 1pm and we were able to check in to our room.The waterpark had PLENTY to keep both kids (5 & 1.5) occupied. We especially loved the wave pool and spent hours there. The place is HUGE and sprawling, our room was the first room off of the lobby area (not quite sure how we got so lucky), definately take your stroller for the little ones. We ate lunch both days inside the waterpark and had dinner at the buffet. The food was good, especially the buffet -which my husband keeps raving about, and I didn't find the food to be grossly overpriced. We did encounter a few teenage workers that were a bit indifferent or clueless, but for the most part the staff was more than pleasant. We are looking forward to a return visit, maybe this time with the grandparents, so we (the big kids) can play.

  • Liked — The waterpark and arcade
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed February 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank oandaddysmom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Anthem, Arizona
Level 6 Contributor
62 reviews
54 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 111 helpful votes
Reviewed February 25, 2008

I recently stayed here with my husband and 4 adult daughters, husbands/ boyfriends & grandchildren. We had a fabulous time. We only stayed 1 night but took full advantage of being able to use the waterpark as early as Noon even though check-in isn't until 4:00 and then again the next day we used the park until 3:00 after we checked out at 11:00. More than enough waterpark for the little one's and us older folks:) We did not experience any of the "filthy" rooms that other reviews mentioned. Our room was awesome. It had a flat panel tv, a fireplace, a patio and high ceilings which gave the room a bigger feel. It also had a table for 2, a microwave and a refrigerator. We booked 3 rooms with the "Choose Your Own Adventure" package. This package lets you choose 3 items from a list of things, free movie, free pizza and 4 soft drinks, free putt-putt, or kids breakfast buffet with adult purchase, or free tokens to the arcade. Tip, the free pizza was great and if you're at the waterpark, there is a pizza/food stand close by. It also included FREE admission to the waterpark for every guest in your room. Upon check-in they had all our tokens and pizza coupons all ready to give us in a little envelope.
Pros: Like some of the other posters said see "Ohiofirmn" 's review, this is a VERY LARGE - massive complex therefore, the parking lot is very big and walks to rooms down halls seems like you're walking forever. One pro is that the lobby was very very crowded when we checked in. I probably waited in line 45 minutes. Now I realize that that is NOT the fault of the resort. We must have come at a busy time to this popular resort. What IS the fault of the resort is not having enough room in the lobby to accommodate all those people. When we came through the front sliding doors there were people crammed everywhere. Those in line waiting to check in and those standing around with all their luggage and coolers and luggage carriers waiting to be picked up. You couldn't tell where the line ended in that mass of people. What's worse is that in that same area there were people waiting to get waited on to buy candy at the Candy Hut, there were people waiting in line for the buffet and the stairs to go down to the waterpark is also in the lobby area. This made the congestion even worse.
I must say though that the line kept moving and when I did finally get to the desk it went very smoothly and the gal was very courteous. Now for us, we were lucky that our room was ready. We were able to go to our room and change and go to the waterpark, But I don't know what we would have done if our room was not ready. We had a lot of stuff with us, too much to put in a locker. We brought it in because it was bitter cold and windy out and we didn't want to make the long treck back to the car. I guess we just got lucky that we got our room. I guess a tip would be to NOT bring all your stuff in until you find out if your room is ready or not.
Another con is that the signage for the rooms and elevators is very bad. We couldn't find our room because different rooms are in different wings of the hotel and signs telling you that are not very well marked. I would suggest, if you have a choice to pick a room number that has a low number like the rooms ending in 01, 02 etc. are by the elevators. Our room ended in ...49 and we had a very long treck down a very long corridor to get to our room. Yes it's what you can expect from a large hotel, but I wish I would have known to ask for a room by an elevator before I went.

The restaurant we ate at was good. No complaints. The mai-tai and margaritas were very good too:)

The wave pool and kiddy parks are great and the water is warm enough for us grown ups to tolerate, although the hot tubs by the adults only bar are very nice too. The lazy river is very nice, but be prepared to get water dumped on you if you don't navigate your floaty around the waterfalls. Sometimes too there are long waits to get on a ride.
ONE WORD OF CAUTION: I would not feel right if I did not mention this. Read and pay attention to the signs before you commit to getting on a ride. When they say extreme ride, they mean extreme. On most of the slides you are completely in the dark and some of them make you dizzy (so let your lunch rest before going on them:) The one that was most tramatizing for us was the Tanzanian Twister. This is the red an yellow one towards the back of the water park. There is a caution for this one: "this ride is for strong swimmers only - pool depth of 6-1/2'. This ride dumps you out through a hole that is like 6 feet above the water and then you are regurgitated in 6' of water that has a strong current while trying to find the surface after you've gulped water and find and edge to grab onto or a lifeguard there is water being dumped on your head from above. NOT very fun for me or my other adult guests. You all may be fine with it. I just wanted to let those who may have pre-teens know that this is an extreme ride. I got dumped in the water upside down and had a hard time reorienting myself. I felt like I was in a giant washing machine. We also stopped and watched other people getting dumped out into the water and at one time the lifeguard had to hit the emergency stop button that regulates the water that is pouring down on you and go and rescue a girl who was going under. I don't mean to scare you but I just want you all to protect your loved one's and make sure this ride is suitable for them.
Other than that ride, my grandchildren had a very very wonderful time. It's grandma who needs to stay off the extreme rides ! :)
/scarlett329

  • Stayed February 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank scarlett329
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

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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