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“The kids loved it! But the adults agree, the place has issues!”

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Kalahari Resorts & Conventions
Ranked #3 of 35 Hotels in Sandusky
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed August 1, 2008

My mom and I took the kids, (boy 10, girl 4) to Kalahari for 3 nights. July 27-30.

My husband and I took the kids a couple years ago before the expansion. We were really excited about returning and seeing all the new stuff.

We arrived on Sunday checked in about noon and our room wasn't ready. We changed and headed for the waterpark. We called about 3pm and our room was ready, and so were everyone else's in the resort. It was mass chaos. It took almost an hour for my son and I to locate a luggage cart, get it through the masses of people, wait for the elevator, and unload it. People loaded their luggage on the carts, then sat in the lobby and waited for their room to be ready. Taking a cart from someone who needed it right then. It was ridiculous! Why are people so freakin' rude? : (

Our room was in the new section. Nice room but a very long walk from the main lobby and waterpark. My mom has trouble walking and when I asked for a room closer to the lobby , I was told there were none. If I knew we had to walk 3 miles to get back to the room everytime I would have requested a closer room, but mom made it and you live and learn.

The housekeeping was poor! We had to call and request more washclothes or towels everyday. They would leave us 1, with 4 people in the room. Hello! Never a new bottle of shampoo, no new coffee and no toilet tissue. We ended using tissues because we got sick of calling and asking for things that should have been done when our room was cleaned.

The place was crowded. There was a dance competition there. With the outside pool open, the lines inside weren't too bad. But I don't think I would want to be there at capacity in the colder months. The lines could have moved faster if the lifeguards did a better job and were more efficient. On the racer slides, the guard was more interested in talking to the neighboring guard, then telling the riders when it was safe to go. I got tired of waiting and just went with my kids when I felt the coast was clear.

The family raft ride line took forever because they were only using 2 rafts. It took forever for the turn around. We spent 1/2 hour waiting in line then the conveyer belt broke. Not their fault, but why not tell us. After yelling to the guard countless times, he reluctantly told us he thinks it may be fixed in 20 minutes.

The kids loved the slides, especially the flow rider. The guards were great on the flowrider. They helped my son do some tricks. And helped my daughter get acquainted on what to do . She's only 4, and the guards were more then wonderful with her. Both my kids went on the flowrider, probably 20 times in the time we were there, One of the guards even rode with my daughter on the board and did some tricks wth her.

We had some meals included with our package. We ate at Kahunaville and the Great Karoo, plus had pizza and ice cream. All the food was good to very good. Pricey but normal resort prices.

Our package also included game tokens for the kids. Alot of the games were broken plus for 500 tickets, we received , one push-up pop and 2 ring pops. The prizes left alot to be desired. I'm glad we didn't pay for those tokens.

The kids liked the tree top play place and the mini-golf. The kids had a really good time and were disappointed when it was time to go home . As someone else stated, kids don't see what adults do. They loved everything about this place.

Even with the problems, we all had a good time. The only reluctance I feel is with the poor safety report Kalahari recently received, you would think the guards would be extra attentive. This was not the case. Plus even with the expansion, there are alot of room , plus with the sale of day passes, I feel in the colder months , the lines for the slides may grow very long.
I'm not sure if we'll return again. A new indoor waterpark closer to our home will be complete this fall. We 'll try this one out first.

  • Stayed: July 2008, traveled with family
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2  Thank PittsburghSteelerfan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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3,384 - 3,390 of 3,713 reviews

Reviewed July 31, 2008

We had a great time here, but apart from the very large indoor waterpark, this hotel is average (3 star).

We tried both the Great Karoo and Kahunaville restaurants, which were good value for the money. Kahunaville also provided entertainment activities for the kids. We had the prime rib buffet and the breakfast buffet at Great Karoo and Miso Salmon, Hibachi Stir Fry, Kid's Pizza, and Turkey and Ham Wrap at Kahunaville. The food was very good. Waiters and waitressess at both restaurants were excellent.

We stayed for two nights in a Hut room, where we had reasonably comfortable beds, but where the housekeeping was less than impressive (looks like all they did was a very quick and not too neat re-making of the beds - they did not vacuum).

Our kids (aged 9 and 11) had a blast (they love swimming and water parks) but I was less than impressed by the cleanliness of the indoor water park (kids tend not to notice these things). Much of that had to do with the fact that food was available inside the park and the staff did not do a very good job of keeping on top of the inevitable spills and drips (like they do at Disney or Universal Studios, for example). Thus there was food and drink all over the place, which quickly got tracked around by the people who stepped in it. Outdoor footwear was also allowed inside the water park, which doesn't help in the cleanliness department. The steps up to many of the slides had accumulated dirt in the corners of each step. I do not think they are cleaned often because there is no way this amount of dirt could accumulate in a day (or even in a few days).

We all enjoyed the arcade and mini-golf. The arcade is similar to those found in Chuck E Cheese restaurants, where the kids win tickets that can be redeemed for prizes at a prize counter. You get free passes to the mini-golf when eating at the on-site restaurants.

My kids would love to go back to this place, but I am not in a hurry to return. If they did a better job at keeping the water park clean, I'd go back in a second (apart from the cleanliness, it is an excellent facility). I loved the FlowRider as much as the kids and many of the slides were great. The kids really loved the wave pool.

  • Stayed: July 2008, traveled with family
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2  Thank OnTraveler_8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 29, 2008

We spent 3 nights at the Kalahari with 6 granchildren (all 7 and under) and their parents. Everyone had a great time with Kalahari exceeding expectations in all areas. The hotel was at 95% plus occupancy but we never felt crowded, never experienced service problems and overall had an exceptional stay. We ate lunch and dinner in the hotel/waterpark and were pleasantly surprised by the service and quality of the food as well as prices which were below what one would find at similar resorts. We are well traveled and generally stay at 5 star properties so the negative reviews we saw on Trip Advisor were out of line with what we experienced.

  • Stayed: July 2008, traveled with family
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1  Thank bill and peg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 28, 2008

I have traveled with my children all over the world, and this place is a great resort for children. It was by no means dirty at all. There were tons of things to do all day long. Yes there are quite a few teenagers working at the resort. I don't think many grown ups would want to stand and run water rides all day long as a full time job. The water was clean and a great temperature. There were tons of sldes and water rides. The floors do get quite wet, but anywhere there is thousands of gallons of water and children the floors are going to get a little slippery. The rooms were also very nice. We had a nomad room, which is one of the lower priced rooms and it was very nice with a mini fridge, microwave, 2 queen beds, a pull out sofa, and fireplace. The food is reasonably priced for a resort and was pretty good too. One thing to be careful of is the indoor surfing/wakeboarding (flowrider) my children 10, 14, and 15 loved this and spent all day on it. You have to sign a waiver to do it....Which should send up a red flag..my daughter broke her wrist after about 5 hours of doing it. I would totally let them do it again, my son (10) actually did it the next morning after my daughter broke her wrist. Just a fair warning that there is a fairly good chance of getting some bumps and bruises, or losing your suit:) First aid and the staff were wonderful helping splint the wrist and getting us directions to the nearest ER. We are planning a return trip the end of the summer as soon as the cast comes off:)

  • Stayed: July 2008, traveled with family
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1  Thank sk8ermom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 21, 2008

http://www.sanduskyregister.com/articles/2008/07/19/front/doc4882a2983eb4c030483944.txt

This is voted the worst waterpark for safety and hygiene( Health Dept). Rooms are dirty and so it water.! No lifeguards on duty when we were there only kids ( teenagers) playing around the pool!
Dangerous for anyone as the rides are not safe and supervised. I complained and was yelled at! Go anywhere but Kalahari.

  • Stayed: June 2008, traveled with family
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4  Thank jsmoe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 21, 2008

Just got back from Kalahari yesterday. We loved it. The waterpark was everything we thought it would be. It was not crowded at all. Check it was easy. We parked in the back lot near the sands entrance so parking was not an issue. Kahunaville was so much fun. The kids had a blast in the limbo and hula hoop contests. Food was excellent and reasonably priced. Front desk staff was very helpful. She helped with my on-line check-in for my Southwest flight at 6:00 am in the morning. Now that is service. We played indoor golf and spent some time at the arcade. Our room was clean and had a nice view of the outdoor pool. We will be back next year.

  • Stayed: July 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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1  Thank JANICEANDJIM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 20, 2008

As far as hotels in the Cedar Point area go, this is the nicest and newest. However, be prepared for ALOT of children and the normal wear and tear that comes with them. Although I suppose children are to be expected so close to a large amusement park.

  • Stayed: October 2007, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Cleveland1978
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: $147 - $324 (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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