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“Customer service is non existent at best” 1 of 5 bubbles
Review of Kalahari Resorts & Conventions

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Kalahari Resorts & Conventions
Ranked #2 of 35 Hotels in Sandusky
Certificate of Excellence
A TripAdvisor Member
“Customer service is non existent at best”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 17, 2006

My family and a number of friends, 5 rooms in all stayed at Kalahari Jan. 8th. We did not find the front desk staff very accomodating in terms of having us room near each other despite having made the request prior to arrival. The waterpark was fun. We found it geared mostly for children 8 and over. When we checked out one of the families left a baby blanket and bathing suit in their room. They called front desk to have the merchandise sent home with one of the other families who were still at the hotel. They were rude to the family when they tried to get the merchandise back. Very unaccomodating! Housekeeping was always closed, and nobody could retrieve the items. After 19 phone calls and follow discussion with front desk, and e-mail was left with the customer service representative who never called back. The baby blanket was irreplaceable to the little girl who lost it. The housekeeping policy is that items left in the room and tagged and returned. We are absolutely sure these items were in the room. Tagged and returned they were not! All seven families have since booked in at greatwolf for march break where a friendly staff, who cares about their customers comes first.

Stayed January 2006
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (839)
Date | Rating
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  • English first
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  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
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English first
Washington Twp.,MI
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 15, 2006

My sons, ages 12 and 16, and I have just returned from the Kalahri Resort, Sandusky and all I can say is that it was a disapointment. Coming from cold Michigan, we were excited to go somewhere "exotic", fun and warm for a few days. We decided Kalahari would meet our expectations and it was close to home (anything to get our minds off the weather!).
My first impression wasn't a very good one. I had decided to take advantage of the valet parking ($9.00) since it was starting to sleet and I didn't want to walk the long distance from the parking the door. However, I was not able to move my vehicle under the roof (too many vehicles)and had to unload in the sleet anyways. Okay, I told myself they are busy, I can understand that. Later, when I checked out, I still had to walk pass 5 or 6 cars down the drive to get to my truck. I thought valet meant drop off/pickup right at the door?
As I entered the resort, I couldn't help feeling like I was walking into a mall. There are several shops, a candy store, resturants and a coffee shop. To get to the desk you had to walk past these and up a small flight of stairs. From this point it looked more like a resort and was decorated quite nicely (with the exception of the plastic plants) with alot of African flair. But we later found out this was pretty much it for their African decor.
We stayed in one of the Dessert rooms which was sparsely decorated, two small 11x14" pictures and fancy headboards. The hotel hallways are long (2 football fields long we were told) and sparse also. No chairs or pictures either. There was not enough racks to hang our towels or surface areas to put things down on. Most of our "junk" was put on the table making it unable to be used for eating. The microwave (which didn't fit)is on top of the refridgerator (which we unplugged because it was so loud), and all the lights are controlled by the main switch at the door. This became a bother when you wanted only a small light on, not to mention when going to bed you had to find your way in the dark.
Don't waste your time eating at the Karoo buffet. Most of the food is cold by the time you get it to the table. Service is lousy. We had to wait forever to get ketchup and it took at least 20 mins. to get our bill after I had told her we were done. Not much to choose from either considering the price..$11.95 for adults. We had the breakfast buffet which I got ill from later on that afternoon. The Kahunaville resturaunt had much better food and the prices were resonable. Do call ahead and make reservations. We had to wait 1/2 hour for a table without one. However you must have a least 6 in your group we were told. The pizza station near the arcade has good pizza if you can see it in the dark! Not enough lighting ..what was with that?
The waterpark itself was fun. The only problem here is that there are no elevators that go to it (it is on the lower level) and the only way to get to it is to go out to the main lobby area. The stairs to go down to it are at the base of the stairs you take to check in. So you must squeeze through the crowds and hope no one falls. This is an accident waiting to happen. The stairs tend to be slippery (they are not carpeted) and I stubbed my rubber soles on the uneven steps several times during our stay. (How do the handicapped get to the pool?) You then have to walk back past a store, through the arcade, past the putt putt and then around the corner to the waterpark entrance.
They need to put up signs showing how to get to some of the water rides. It tends to be a bit confusing and somewhat like a maze. We could find plenty of exit signs put not too many enter ones. We were also confused by the height requirments on some of the rides. You had to be 48" to play in the play structure, 48" for the basketball area (even with a parent) but only 42" to ride the Zip Coaster (a very adult type ride) and infants were allowed the indoor outdoor hot tub. Not to much for the little ones to do.
What can I say about the Zip Coaster. This is another accident waiting to happen. The ride's rafts were constantly getting stuck. When this happens, you have to wait in it untill someone comes down the tube to get you and then you are escorted down an emergency stairway. But my big concern is with how the ride stops at the end. You do NOT get splashed down into a pool of water, you DO get stopped quickly at the bottom of a tube. You have to sit a cetain way with your hands and legs braced, however we braked so hard that it threw me forward, smashed my toes against the lip of the raft and I got a bruise and rug burns on my arms where my hands were knocked out of the grips. And this is for children 42" and up?
There were also other safety issues that came to our attention. At night, many of the lifeguards do not seem to care as much. On one slide I had to ask three times if go because the guards were talking with one another. His answer was "Sure go ahead". On the same slide, different night, the alarm had rung saying it was closing time. My son and I were on our final slide for the night. The lifeguard told us to go ahead only seconds from a little girl who had just gone down. I said "Are you sure because she just went down" and he said "It's okay". I told my son we were going to wait. I'm glad we did because after going through and at the bottom the little girl had just gotten through the tube herself. If I hadn't, we would have collided with her.
Overall, we will not be coming back to this resort. I think this could be a very nice place if they spent their money better. Put less money into your suites and more into overall appearance, redesign most of it, get some elevators and take care of the safty issues. They might want to check out The Great Wolf Lodge. They could learn a little about "themes" and decorating etc. I know the one here in Traverse City is great and both my boys liked it better. I'm sure in the future we will be visiting the Wolf Lodge instead.

  • Stayed January 2006
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
26 Thank momapple
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 10, 2006

I agree with the last comment, I stayed form Jan 2-4 there is very little to do for kids under the age of five, my kids kepting asking me what else there was to do, and would have to tell them nothing. They had a baby swing in the wade pool, but only one swing out of four were there. There is two small slides the kids can go on but when it was busy the kids would have to wait for a while to go on the only ride for them in the park. There was a small slide in the jungle Gym, but it was closed off, when asked why it it was closed to the Water park manager "He stated I don't know and he would look into it, but of course every time I asked he was looking into it.

Also I brought my 3 year into the pool with a life jacket on and I was told she could not come in because she was not 48" tall. Which I think is crazy if I am in the pool with her and she is wearing a life jacket. So my 3 year old had no where to swim in a water park.

Now lets move on to the room. Great shower if you like taking a bath at the same time because the water would not drain. When I asked them to fix it they stated they would be right there, but of course it never happened. "so I took a bath and a shower at the same time.

The managers at this resort are useless they do nothing to make your stay any more enjoyable.

While I was standing in line at the front desk for 25 minutes to mention the complaints, there were two other families doing the same thing.

  • Stayed January 2006
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
22 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 8, 2006

My family and I just returned from Kalahri Resort, Ohio. We stayed Sunday, January 8th. We previously have stayed at Great Wolf several times however, this time we though we would try the "new" one in town. All in all we were equally pleased and displeased with the resort. Especially the hight restrictions for the kids (not advertised anywhere until you get there). Lets start with the positives: Awsome lobby, very helpful staff outside when you arrive, great arcade (you have to walk through it to get the water park, a noval idea), the water park grounds outside are beautiful, nice choice of restaurants and the actual water park is larger than Great Wolf on the inside. Now the negatives. We too got locked out of our room as our room key worked about 75% of the time, only 1 toilet worked in our room (thank God we had two), no hot water in one of the two showers in our room, and the height restrictions for the kids really set a damper on the trip. If you have 5 or 6 year olds forget about going on most of the slides. There is a height restriction on 48" on just about everything. Our children were disappointed to say the least. Oh, and I almost forgot... DONT WASTE YOUR MONEY ON RENTING A CABANA!! It's not worth it. Take this review as it is. Would we return? Maybe.

  • Stayed January 2006
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
28 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toledo, OH
Level Contributor
342 reviews
135 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 326 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 8, 2006

Kids were looking forward to this ride, but after witnessing this accident, we made this ride "off-limits". This alone wouldn't ruin our stay, however when combined with poor customer service, I wouldn't recommend this place. Parking is at least a quarter of a mile away from the front (and only) entrance. They won't let you pull up to the door and unload suitcases, claiming it's a fire lane. I think the problem here is that the resort is too big and poorly laid out. Not all elevators go to all floors and one of our kids got lost. Everyone has to walk through the huge video arcade to get into the water park. It's loud, the aisles are narrow, and of course the kids want to stop and play. The noise in the water park is deafening. You have to yell just to communicate with the person in the next chair. Chlorine levels are much too high. One of my children developed a rash after 2 hours and I know my eyes were burning just sitting there. The rooms were beautifully decorated. The only complaint there was that the vertical blinds are falling apart, allowing a blinding exterior light to shine in the room all night. We asked for a late check-out before arriving and when we checked in. We were told that you have to speak to the manager on the day you check out. We did this and were told, "WE NEVER GIVE LATE CHECK-OUTS BECAUSE OUR HOTEL IS SO LARGE". We asked our housekeeper if we could stay 2 hours longer and were given the same response. We had even paid $400/night for a Village Suite. Paying more doesn't always equate with a better place, so check out the rates at Great Wolf and Castaway Bay.

  • Stayed January 2006
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
27 Thank tamaralea
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 2, 2006

We just returned from a 2 day, 1 night stay at Kalahari. Arrived Jan. 2, with two adults, 4 children ages 17, 12, 8 and 8. We have visited other indoor water parks in the area, but this was our first time at Kalahari.
We arrived around 12:30. Take advantage of the valet service! Our room wasn’t ready yet, but we expected that and had dress to go right to the water park. Check in was quick, even though the place was very busy. The water park is one of the best in the area. We did not see any of the complaints from other reviews. None of the attractions were closed, the water was warm, and our kids had a great time. The highlight of the water park had to be the surf area. A great attraction, lots of fun, very helpful employees. The line can be long, but worth the wait.
We check on the room around 3:30 and it was ready (1/2 hour early). We were in a Amazon Queen room on the first floor. Two bedrooms, two bath, living room with pull out, 3 TVs, and two patio doors. The room was excellent. Beds were big and very comfortable. Everything was very clean. Very high ceilings made the room look even larger, but this may be just on the first floor. The two main room wings are very long, so ask for a room as close to the lobby as possible.
Restaurant selection is much better then the other water parks in the area, and the food is much better also. Prices are OK, considering they are in house. Food at the Kahunaville was very good, and the bartenders very entertaining. All of the kids had a great time at the game room.
On the second day the were far fewer people in the water park, and fewer employee in the food service areas. Pizza took longer then expected. We would suggest not eating at the water park, but take the time to head to one of the other restaurants or snack areas on the second floor.
When making your reservations watch prices carefully. Rates vary greatly with day/date. Our suite was $249 plus tax, but I’ve seen it for close to $400.
Some suggestions for the resort: Keep kids out of the hot tub areas. Limit at least the indoor/outdoor hot tub area to 16 or over. The outdoor hot tub area needs to be larger also, take a look at Castaway for ideas. Add another person to stage the family tub ride. The lady trying to run that the morning of Jan. 3 could not handle it. Also, add more food service people to the water park snack bar, 4 minimum.

  • Stayed January 2006
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
11 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 28, 2005

My family of 9 stayed at the Kalahari over the holidays from December 24th to the 27th. To begin, we made these reservations months in advance and our room was in the farthest continent away from the water park. We did, however, asked to be moved closer and the front desk attendant was very helpful. We ate breakfast buffet at the Karoo the 24th and 25th. Food was less than resort quality, and we did not have one piece of bread, muffin, etc. (including ice cream cones) that was not stale! We changed our Christmas Day buffet from Karoo to Kahunaville and the food and service here was good. The kids enjoyed the game room, but they had signs everywhere advertising a 55% discount card and yet when we asked to purchase several cards we were told it was a promotional deal and was over (posters did not indicate this). Then the attendant told another man working there to take down the posters.

We had two rooms and on Monday the 26th, both my sister and I were locked out of our rooms. The key codes had been terminated. We had to go to the front desk and stand in line for 25 minutes to get the keys reprogrammed. Then we had to stay at the rooms to give new keys to the other family members that were off property. (That same day, my sister had to go to the front desk at 2 p.m. to ask to have her room cleaned.) After standing in line for 25 minutes, my sister went to see the Concierge who approached the manager on duty and told him of our problem and he said, "I can't take care of this now, I have guests that need to be checked in right now". The Concierge pulled a lady from the back room who reprogrammed our keys for us.

My mother, sister, nieces and I made reservations for multiple services at the spa. We enjoyed the massage and the facials. But - PLEASE - get yourself a manicurist and pedicurist! I have never been so ripped off in my life! My nieces are 8 and 12 and do a better job than this. That was our Christmas present to each other and we would love to exchange that present for something else.

The one bright spot of the time spent here was the water park. We enjoyed the lazy river and the hot tub.

On check out day, my sister and husband talked to the Manager of Guest Relations. They told him of these bad experiences as well as the fact that we could not connect to the internet in our room. We were told that it was not functioning correctly and no one was on staff to fix it. The Manager would not listen to our concerns and repeatedly insisted that we did not have valid complaints and that "we were never really, technically locked out of our rooms". He stated that the hotel was overwhelmed with guests and he couldn't be expected to know that they were going to be inundated with so many guests. Not our problem! We paid money at an upscale resort, not the Red Roof Inn. This Manager offered my sister and husband a free night's stay, but my husband informed him that we did not want to make a long drive to this resort to be treated this miserably.

In summary, my sister lives in Streetsboro, Ohio. She works for the school system and has many, many parents waiting on her review of this facility for their future vacations. You do the math!

  • Stayed December 2005
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
30 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
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 Family Hotel in Sandusky
#2 Romantic 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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