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Kalahari Resorts & Conventions
Ranked #3 of 34 Hotels in Sandusky
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 2, 2013

We had a great time at the water park for our son's birthday, but unfortunately we had a bad experience in our room: bed bugs. I spotted one while reading in bed, and then another in the bed my son was sleeping in. After taking a picture of the offending creature, I killed it and it apparently already bit one of us, since it exploded blood. Alas. While I was sitting on one of the beds wondering what to do, another crawled across my pants and our choice was clear: We called the front desk and I do have to say, they were immediately reponsive. The head of housekeeping came up, looked at our picture and helped us move. They also inspected the new room with us. Needless to say, we didn't sleep much that night, but our child never woke up since the staff was so respectful about his need to sleep. We did end up being compensated for the stay and the management was very nice and apolgetic about it. I took necessary precautions and hopefully the buggers haven't come home with me. I did find a carcass in the laundry I washed, so I know they tried. I didn't feel like the room wasn't clean-- I think bed bugs are sort of a casualty of a highly mobile society and a place this that has high room turnover. I wish we had been given a cleaning budget-- I do feel like I need to throw out my rolling suitcase since I don't know how to assure bugs that may have gotten in there are out. I also destroyed one undergarment trying to wash and dry everything in super hot water and very high heat. Again, I want to be sure I note how nice the management was about this.

The water park was super-- We all had a blast. The wait was a little long for some rides, but overall, my kid had a super time for his birthday and that counts in my world. (However, if those little bed bugs turn up in my house, I will probably feel differently.)

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
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2  Thank Katie S
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 4, 2013

Aside from the major inconvenience of the unwanted critters, it sounds as if you had a wonderful time. Very glad to hear. Thank you for taking the time to visit us and reviewing our resort. Certainly our pleasure to have you! I am sorry to hear that your stay was negatively impacted by bed bugs, but glad to hear our management team took care of you the way you would expect! We take every precaution possible, and all of our housekeeping team is fully trained to detect and destroy any instances that may come along. Thank you for the suggestion of the cleaning stipend. I will pass that along. That is a great thought. Hopefully we will see you again soon. If in the future, please don't hesitate to reach out to us and we can go through every possible measure to ensure you are comfortable with your room and stay. More than happy to work through that with you. Thank you again for your time and hope to see you again soon!

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2,690 - 2,696 of 3,834 reviews

Reviewed January 2, 2013

We stayed at condo 1005, a very pricy condo December 30th and the 31st of 2012. We had four families which drove 2 hours to get here and at 4pm the manager said our room has not been cleaned as of yet and it would be 2 hours longer, at $2000.00 per night this is not acceptable. The condo next to ours was ready but we could not switch. When we complained we were told they were going to call security on us....really! Housekeeping was very nice. The first night the hot tub was not working and we were told that it couldn't be fixed until the next day. The next day maintenance came again and gave us a temporary stopper for the tub. Maintenance was also very nice.
They were understaffed for a weekend that seemed like the resort was operating full. Where is the management! The rudeness of the front desk and the careless attitude of not getting the hot tub fixed the first night ruined our high expectations of this resort and next year we will probably book at Great Wolf lodge instead

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with friends
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4  Thank Pat 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 reviewResponded January 21, 2013

Dear Pat,

Thank you for your recent Trip Advisor concern. I have reviewed the account in question and I don't see your name for any of the registered guests to that condo and I would typically address concerns to the individual who had reserved, however I do want to address your concerns and be pro-active with our actions.

First let me apologize for the delay in our housekeeping that day, I show your party pre-registered at 3:28pm and the room was turned for you just before 5:00pm. We never intend on making our guests wait for their room, however we certainly want to make sure it is clean and ready to go, so again I apologize for this delay in this process and I thank you for your patience.

I do appreciate the comments regarding our maintenance team and I'm glad they were able to assist in getting the new stopper for the hot tub to be able to be used, however I certainly can understand the disappointment of it not working the first night.

Regarding the manager you had dealt with that was rude, I have reviewed the schedule to see who would have been on at that time and I have addressed your concerns with both of them as well as the Director of the Front Office to ensure this level of service does return, as this is not the norm for our actions as a management team and I apologize on behalf of Kalahari for this behavior.

In looking at the history of the account, it seems your party stays quite frequently with our resort and if there is anything that I can assist with personally for the future, I would be happy to and please feel free to contact me.

Kind Regards,

Nicholas Hovde
Rooms Division Executive


7000 Kalahari Drive
Sandusky, OH 44870
Direct: 419.433.7296
Fax: 419.433.5054

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Reviewed January 1, 2013

I have been a customer at the Kalahari resort in Sandusky for the past 5 years. We always go there and spend the night before and New Years. Historically we have enjoyed the entire experience. When we arrived there was always a small wait as everyone was checking in but we would get through and have our room within 30 minutes. This year was a HORRIBLE experience. We arrived for check in at 4pm and the line was all the way down the hall. The lobby was chaos and everyone was frustrated. After over an hour in the line because nobody was managing the lobby and people were cutting in I got to the check in and was told my room was not ready. To make matters worse they had no estimate for when it would be ready. After camping out on the floor with our luggage and 2 kids for another hour I went to find a manager. I had asked for a manager 3 times and been told they were not available. The guest services phone was not being answered because so many people were angry. I had also asked several times if they could get someone to manage the lobby so people were not cutting in line and was told security was not available. I finally tracked down a manager, Brendan Taylor was his name. He told me that I needed to just be quiet and wait and was very rude to me. I asked what the problem was and if they were short staffed and he told me everything was going fine and this was just how it was every year. He also informed me that my room was not guaranteed for any time and that I would get a room before Midnight. Now I had been there for the 4 previous years and knew that this was not how it was. I found out that Brendan Taylor was just hired in November and he had no idea if this was normal or not. He was clearly in over his head and at one point I thought he was going to cry. I told Brendan that this was not acceptable and that this was not how it had been for previous years and asked what he was going to do about it. He told me he was going to do nothing for me. I said that was a “Damn” joke. He immediately called security and told me I was being kicked out for swearing. Roger the security guard showed up in less then a minute which was amazing since I had asked for security 3 times. I turned to walk away and Roger said “You better walk away” I turned around and said “If you make another smart remark to my back I have your name” Brendan then said “we are calling the police because you threatened us”. At this point a gentleman walked up to Brendan and Roger the security guard and very politely told them he had seen the whole thing and heard everything and that he felt I was being treated very badly and they had no grounds to kick me out. Brendan then told this nice person it was none of their business and they should walk away. I walked back to where my family was and sent my wife to get the kids out of the game room while I watched the luggage. Brendan who had been to busy to help anyone or solve any of the problems followed me with Roger the security guard. While standing with the luggage Another gentleman walked up and said he had witnessed the entire thing and he thought Brendan was out of line and that I had done nothing wrong. Brendon then proceeded to tell this nice man that it was none of his business and he should walk away before he got kicked out too. When my wife and kids showed up I grabbed the luggage and we left the building headed to our car. I had 4 total strangers follow me out of the building and give me their names and contact info as witnesses if I was going to pursue anything. One of them said he was an attorney and that I definitely had a case. Now mind you when I asked Brendan if my reservation would be canceled and my money refunded he told me with a smile that I would be charged. My family and I drove 2 miles up the road and got a nice room at the Great Wolf Lodge and had a wonderful time. I reached out to my attorney today and gave him the info and the contact numbers and names for the witnesses. As long as Brendan Taylor is the manager at the Kalahari I would recommend nobody visit this establishment.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
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16  Thank Matthew H
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 21, 2013

Hi Matthew,

Thank you for reaching out to us! In reading your review, I wanted to sincerely apologize for your experience. We are very much aware of the situation and are looking into it. I believe one of our team members will be connecting with you shortly. If you do not hear from someone soon, or I can help with anything else, please don't hesitate to email me directly. My email is KRizzo@KalahariResorts.com. Thank you for your time and thoughts and I look forward to connecting soon.

Thank you,
Kassie

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Reviewed January 1, 2013

Hit in the head by a steel pipe in the game room from the construction of the pizza restaurant, although I only ended up with a small bump and was ok, I was shocked I didn't get offered anything from front desk, I did however get a call once I got home from a mgr saying nothing like this would happen again. Overall kalahari is biggest indoor water park in the area and would go back again

  • Stayed: October 2012
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2  Thank Dnt0506
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 4, 2013

Thank you for taking the time to review our resort. I hope you are feeling all better and no longer any bump on your head. Glad to hear that the manger followed up with you once you were home, but discouraged to hear that you felt as if our team had no concern. I will be addressing this with our team, in particular the front desk as you noted. Thank you for following up with us! Looking forward to seeing you again soon! Take care!

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Reviewed December 31, 2012

Waits for some rides were often 30 minutes or more. This seemed to be largely due to the staff running the ride at the time, Several of the water park employees worked at a very slow pace. The lines at the Swahili Swirl and Rippling Rhino were both very long. Yet the employees working the ride spent a good deal of time chatting with each other and the with the operator of the Cheetah Race instead of loading rafts. Rafts were available and the green light to go was lit long before the next raft was even loaded into the slide to be boarded. On the following day of our stay, the line moved very quickly. Rafts were sent down the slide shortly after the light changed to green. It made a world of difference for waiting times. When the staff changed back to the operator from the previous day the line slowed back to a crawl. Rafts were available and the green light was lit to go but rafts were not being loaded. Kalahari is not at the level of Disney parks.

The rooms are spacious but bring an eye shade to sleep at night. The balcony light is very bright. Even with the blinds closed you cannot make the room dark.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank Charles_TA_1
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

Thank you for coming to visit us and taking the time to review our resort. It was certainly our pleasure to have you! I'm sorry to hear about the team inconsistencies within the waterpark. I have already passed this to our waterpark managers for review. They will be sure to look into this for you. I do apologize for the light on the balcony. The state mandates that we have a light on each patio due to the proximity of the airport. When you return, you feel the blinds are doing a sufficient job, please don't hesitate to let us know, and we will do our best to correct that for you. Very much looking forward to seeing you again. Take care and have a wonderful New Year.

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Reviewed December 30, 2012

Overbooked. Waited over an hour and a half past their checkin time of 4 to get my room. When customers complain and asked for refund they called security. Rude and obnoxious. Overpriced food and everything else. Waterpark is average at best. I was really hoping this could be a regular get away....not.

  • Stayed: December 2012
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3  Thank eriwen
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

Thank you for taking the time to visit us. I am sorry to hear your stay was disappointing. We do have a security team on staff at all times, however, they would only be called if there was a threatening dispute. I apologize if there was a miscommunication and this was not the case. I am also discourage to hear that you find the waterpark average. Being America's largest indoor waterpark, I would hope that you would be able to find several attractions you enjoyed. Again, I am sorry for your negative experience and hope that in the future you will give us another shot to show you just how great Kalahari can be. Thank you for taking the time to review us. Happy New Year!

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Reviewed December 30, 2012

We came for a family getaway weekend (6 adults, 2 young children) between Christmas & NY, expecting it to be at capacity & very hairy. We were told to check in at 3, but waited for 30 min for a room. No worries whatsoever. We played in the fantastic (but expensive) arcade for a while & grabbed something to eat at the cafe.

Our room was a two bedroom suite with full kitchen. It was nice, not fancy, but everything was clean & neat. The rooms are quite far from the actual waterpark, but we never seemed to mind the walk. We brought meals from home to keep in our full kitchen to save money on meals, which worked great. Lasagna in the oven, really only needed one person to leave the water early to throw in the oven & we had awesome meal, in our own room, for cheap. The rooms were tidy but smelled overwhelmingly like bleach the first day. Not sure if the drain wasn't working in our one bathroom but the bleach smell seemed to be coming from there. The noise was one of my biggest concerns. I've been to many hotels geared for children & not encountered the loud noise in my room before. All hours of the day & night, everything could be heard from the halls; drunken adults wandering in around 3am, crying children taking baths, urinating in toilets across the hall, inappropriate convos, and even sexual encounters. I'm not sure if the walls aren't insulated at all, but I was discouraged by the amount & level of noise that our family encountered.

The waterpark is great. The best time to go is in the early morning, when they open around 9. The food inside the park is your typical sandwich/fries/pizza, no big deal. There's something for everyone to do, even the bitty babies. The park fills up quick, by lunch time it's the busiest. Renting a cabana is key. They range from $249-279/day, but if you can swing it, theyre worth it for a separate sitting area, TV, and wait staff. The park was overall pretty clean. There was a lot of what looked like sand on the steps of many slides, not sure where it came from, but it didn't seem to bother anyone. The lifeguards are 99% all very young; also no big deal. When trying to engage in any conversation with them, they mostly acted like we were aliens, not knowing how or why to respond. I got many blank stares & nods. They could certainly be more friendly, but maybe they're taught to look 'all-business' and have no smiles, I'm not sure.

Overall, we'll go back. Especially in the winter it offers a fun getaway for the family. You can tailor it how you want; all-out dropping tons of money on out-to-eat meals, cabanas, arcades, & treats/booze, or you can bring your own food, retreat to your room for meals, limit how much you spend on extras, & focus on the park.

We had a good time. We'd for sure rent a cabana next time, come during the week when it isn't so busy, bring our own meals, & inquire if there are maybe slightly quieter rooms?

  • Stayed: December 2012
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Thank FrayShan
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 Romantic Hotel in Sandusky
#2 Family Hotel in Sandusky
Price Range: $129 - $259 (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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