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“Expensive but still a lot of fun”

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Kalahari Resorts & Conventions
Ranked #3 of 35 Hotels in Sandusky
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed December 28, 2012

First trip to Kalahari with family (kids ages 8-12). Have been regulars to Great Wolf in Traverse City in the past. The room was spacious and clean. We had a problem with a tub drain and they took care if it promptly. We had booked a two room suite so that we could bring a 6th person. I prefer a firm mattress and the beds were soft.

I know that water resorts are pricy but I want value as well. Even though this water park is larger and geared towards older kids than great wolf, it was not up to the same cleanliness standards. If I am spending hundreds of dollars and waiting in long lines, I don't want to see algae growing, band aids that have fallen off or gum stuck to the floor. This was a big turn off and the main reason I did not give 5 out 5 stars on the rating.

Had dinner in the great Karu. I ordered off the menu but the family had the buffet. My chicken sandwich was OK. Not good or great, but for $10 I was satisfied. The family felt similar about the buffet. Nothing was great but there was something for everyone to eat.

Overall the family had a lot if fun and will definitely come back if we get some of the special promo offers others have mentioned. We'll just not do it during a winter break so we can avoid the lines.

Room Tip: Stay on first floor to avoid elevators as they get jammed up.
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  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
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2  Thank Edelan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,588 - 2,594 of 3,722 reviews

Reviewed December 28, 2012

I'm not one to usually write negative reviews but this is our second time to this water park (we wanted to give it another try) and this time around, we again had a very mediocre experience. There's certainly better choices out there, price/quality considered.

Here are my honest pros and cons:

Pros

• Good variety of activities (water park and other indoor activities)
• Relatively large rooms
• Friendly & helpful staff
• Good food choices for breakfast & dinner (buffet)
• Convenient parking [valet available if desired]
• Kid friendly activities that are free (low cost, or included in package deals)


Cons

• Outdated rooms
• Borderline sanitary rooms (we were constantly sneezing, our sheets had candy stuck to it when we first walked in, etc…)
• Extremely noisy fridge in our room (had to unplug it so we could sleep)
• Hardly any noise insulation (could hear every door, cleaning people, etc…)
• VERY expensive (Price/quality not worth the return for us – we paid roughly $500/day for 2 adults and 2 kids!) There are many other places to go for this kind of money (including warm places where you pay for airfare). And that’s considering we had a “package deal”, where we SAVED money!!
• Internet was shaky at best! Supposedly high speed – good luck getting on it from your room! More stable in the lobby area.
• Relatively expensive buffet ($22/adult & $16/young child) if not included in your package.
• Inside the water park, food choices are very poor (100% junk food options)
• Water in the infant pool area was very cold (barely heated in my viewpoint. A lot colder than any other pool, which seems strange)

Again, I'm not normally one to write negative reviews (you can review my other experiences where I usually point out the positives). But, when it's not that good I also want to share it... Feel free to contact me with any questions.

Room Tip: Ask to inspect the room before accepting. Not sure if they will allow this but I wish we had asked...
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  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
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2  Thank RCGenk
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 reviewResponded January 1, 2013

We certainly appreciate you coming to visit us! Thank you for taking the time to visit us twice and review us. We very much appreciate your thoughts. While we look forward to all positive reviews, we are encouraged but reviews like yours, giving us the opportunity to make changes and show you the experience you would not only expect from Kalahari but deserve! I have already contacted the appropriate department heads to review your thoughts and implement the changes we see fit. Thank you for giving us this opportunity. I do hope you will give us another shot and we will see you again. Take care and Happy New Year.

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Reviewed December 28, 2012

I like everything about Kalahari except….
I just went in October and again in December with me son and meet friends as-well. Both times we went during the week. One reason is for the price and second for the crowds. I was disappointed the first time in how a few of the slides never opened during our stay. I thought this was just an isolated incident. When I booked in Dec they informed me the splash pads area (not sure of the correct name) would be closed due to maintenance. I was OK with this but was glad they at least told me. The front desk staff was friendly. We had to wait for our room but I was use to this and didn't let it bother me. Went to the park and started to wait and wait in lines. They had both basketball areas closed, one hot tub closed, one wave runner closed, and about 4 of the slides closed. Same thing the next day. I wrote to them about this. They pretty much agree that they close attractions due to capacity and to offer lower prices.
I go during the week to avoid crowds. I just don’t think it’s worth the travel for me to go and only have 1/3 or half the park open.
Rooms were clean and food was good.
All I’m saying is Kalahari should inform everyone booking what they are getting and then you can make a decision if you still want to go.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
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3  Thank Sun_bather
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 27, 2012

This is our third straight year going to Kalahari in December. We were sent an awesome deal this year which included $30 in Fun Arcade cards, 3 rounds of mini golf, retail coupons for all venues. We probably paid for three nights what you would in one night on a normal basis. We had a mishap with our shower where the faucet fell off. They immediately changed our room within 5 minutes and even upgraded us. The service was amazing in the arcade as well. We really could not have asked for a better stay. We could spend our money on various other things rather than blow it all on the hotel room. The kids loved the tree house as well. The spa is a little overpriced for the nail service and quality of it but everything else, down to the free cookies for the kids was A plus. Even santa was amazing. Thanks for the great stay and we look forward to next year!

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank Rich S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 20, 2012

We booked a great priced special that allowed us to upgrade to the 2 room family suite. Large, clean, comfortable rooms with double bath. Added 2 more people at check in no problem and no extra cost. Cost of the room was less than the price of the 6 day passes to the water park.
Water park clean. Nick, water park supervisor, was a great help and friendly face to see around. Fresh clean towels only available by the door. Having towels on the far side would have been more convenient sometimes.Girl working at the arcade was a great help.

Room Tip: Haven't seen the one room units but the 2 room family unit was well worth the money.
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  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
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Thank Trish B
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 reviewResponded December 24, 2012

Our pleasure to have you Trish and thank you for taking the time to write a review! I have already passed along you comments to Nick and his managers. You will have made his day! I wanted to be sure to send you a little note thanking you for visiting and connecting with us. We are very much looking forward to seeing you again. Take care and Happy Holidays!

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Reviewed December 19, 2012

We enjoyed our stay. The room was nice. We had a nice meal and the waterpark was fun. Money was the problem. We bought some food at the dessert counter and were shortchanged. This was quickly corrected. We had a nice dinner at The Great Karoo and put the tab on the room. When we checked out there was a big over charge on our dinner. ($47.31) It took a bit of time at the check in desk to get this corrected. But when I received my next credit card statement the incorrect charge was still there. Three phone calls to Kalahari only got me to an answering machine.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank jeri9
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 reviewResponded December 24, 2012

Thank you for visiting us. It was certainly our pleasure to have you! While I'm glad you hear you enjoyed your stay, I'm discouraged to hear about the charging issues. If you have yet to have the amount accurately adjusted, please don't hesitate to contact me at KRizzo@KalahariResorts.com. I am more than happy to look into that for you. Again, I am very happy to hear about the positives of your stay, but I want to apologize for billing issues. I hope we can resolve these quickly for you and you will feel comfortable about returning. Thank you for reaching out to me! Take care and hope to speak with you soon!

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Reviewed December 17, 2012

Took my daughter and her friends and they loved it. We had a Lodge suite it was very clean. Actually the whole resort was clean and we stayed on a busy Saturday. All the employess were nice. Yes the walls between room are thin and you can hear everything and there are lots of kids running the halls and loud adults but its kind of to be expected at this kind of resort. The kids got food in the water park and had no complaints. The desserts in the candy shop were delicious.

Room Tip: I emailed and asked for a higher floor room and a later checkout and the resort was happy to oblige...
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  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Thank Ldb9446
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 reviewResponded December 19, 2012

Thank you so much for taking your daughter and her friends for a little getaway. It was certainly our please to have you and can't wait to see everyone again! Just wanted to be sure that I sent a quick note letting you know how much we appreciate you! Take care and very much looking forward to seeing you 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

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 - $326 (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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