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“Fun Place, Poor Customer Service”

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Kalahari Resorts & Conventions
Ranked #3 of 35 Hotels in Sandusky
Certificate of Excellence
A TripAdvisor Member
“Fun Place, Poor Customer Service”
Reviewed February 8, 2006

I visited the Kalahari, Sandusky on January 5th and 6th. I traveled with a friend and combined our five kids.
Very Fun, Nice suites/rooms.
The pool areas could have be a little cleaner. My three children, 8,5, and 4 really enjoyed the water park.
Customer Service needs much imporovement. We had an incident upon check out...We checked out of our room before 10am as required. We packed up our room checked out, but stayed on the premises as the hotel allows you to do. We played more at the waterpark and had lunch at one of the hotel's restaurants. We finally decided to leave at apporximately 3:30pm and when getting the kids into the car to go, my 8 year began to cry realizing she left her "Game Boy" bag in the night stand drawer in the hotel room. She was very upset because she had just got this new Game Boy from Santa 11 days earlier. I ran into the hotel from the parking lot hoping and praying that it would still be there. I asked the front desk if the room had been checked into and it was not. I was given a key to check the room and I ran to the room. I hoped that the cleaning staff had over looked it and it would be there. It was not. At this point I hoped the people on the Kalahari staff that cleaned this room had enough integrity to turn in the Game Boy bag to management. Security found nothing but assured me that they would handle the situation. I was told that they know who enters all the rooms by security cameras that are placed in the hallways. I left that afternoon having faith that the management would be able to locate the Game Boy bag from the staff members that were in the room and return it to me. After many phone calls and qutie frankly the run around, a month has gone by and we still do not have resolution. "Customer Relations" last promised me a call on the 26th and they have never called back.
It was an unfortunate lesson for myself and my 8 year old. The Kalahari staff person that conveinently found the Game Boy bag scored a very old (no value) game boy, a brand new Game Boy SP, and seven games.
Needless to say it has left a very bad taste in our mouths and we do not plan on returning again.

  • Stayed January 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
11 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed January 26, 2006

My family of 5 stayed Jan.20 and 21 and had a blast. The entire staff got a thumbs up in our book. It was warm and all of the rides were working all weekend. The lifeguards were attentive and everywhere. My 42" daughter was allowed in the basketball pool with a parent. She would rather be in the Lazy River and in the treehouse. I think you should go and experience this great family getaway.

  • Stayed January 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Columbus, Ohio
Level Contributor
15 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 90 helpful votes
Reviewed January 25, 2006

My family of 6 (2 adults and 4 children ages 11,9,5, & 2 1/2) just returned home from 5 days (4 nights) at the Sandusky waterparks (great Wolf Lodge, Kalahari, & Cast Away Bay). We stayed at Kalahari for one night and LOVED the room. We stayed in one of the "African Queen" suites and it was VERY NICE! But....that's about all we liked at this resort (except the pizza....VERY GOOD!)
My older two kids (11 & 9) liked the Flowrider and the Zip Coaster....but my 5 & 2 1/2 year old sons had almost NOTHING to do. Most of the attractions had a 48 inch height requirement. The only thing for little ones was the "dry play area" which only kept them entertained for an hour max. I also agree with the other reviewers about the lifeguards being worthless (at least the ones who were "working" while we were there. All they did was run around and play (with each other) and did not pay ANY attention to the patrons.
The front desk staff was not friendly OR helpful (in fact only one staff member- a security guard- was friendly at all). They also tried to add charges on our bill for services that we did NOT use!
My advice is to stay at either Great Wolf Lodge or Cast Away Bay....MUCH BETTER!

  • Stayed January 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
16 Thank Kris H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed January 23, 2006

Our family of four visited Kalahari this weekend. We had a wonderful stay. I have to admit I was concerned after reading many of the negative posts within the past few months. We had been to Great Wolf before and was wanting to return again, but Great Wolf did not offer any specials on the weekends. We decided to give Kalahari a try and booked in November for the $299 special for a weekend stay.

We stayed in a desert room which we found to be quite spacious. Loved the theming of the resort. Our room was very clean, we found the staff to be helpful. The only constuctive advise for improvement was to add more lifeguards on the weekends. Our kids loved the waterpark, game room and the tree top play place. I disagree with previous posts that there is nothing for little kids to do. Our kids are a little older, there were activities for the younger kids. I don't feel it's appropriate to take poor swimmers down a waterslide who cannot swim well. I worked at a water amusement park out west, and that is a major safety hazzard. Expect when you have younger kids, that it is likely they will not be able to participate in everything and plan accordingly. Our kids loved the flowrider, zip coaster, lazy river. I wasn't a fan of riding down most of the slides in the dark, but there are fast open air water slides in the treehouse to enjoy.

We found the staff helpful. We ate most of our meals in our room, due to the convenience of having a microwave and refrigerator and planned accordingly and brought our meals to maximize our time in the waterpark. We did dine at Kahunaville before departing and enjoyed our dinner and felt that it was a good value. The candy hut has great variety and the ice cream serving size for a single scoop is huge. Two cones were enough for our family to share!

We enjoyed seeing the lion and the kangaroo in the lobby. Those of you who may be interested in bringing a DVD player or video game system, you can plug these into the television in the room. We were told the televisions could not accomodate them, so we left ours at home. That is something we will remember for a future trip.

Upon our return the following day we received a survey asking for feedback regarding our stay. I thought that was a nice touch to solicit our suggestions, if any, to make improvements.

We were very happy with our stay and will return again. While we enjoyed our stay at Great Wolf Lodge in the past, we will return to Kalahari instead. A better value for the price and unless your kids are under 8, it's likely they'll be bored after a day.

  • Stayed January 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • 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
Reviewed January 21, 2006

1. NOT FOR LITTLE KIDS under 42"- There is only one space for children under 42", unless you count the water playground area (there is dripping water over head, and a huge bucket that pours water in huge quanitites every few minutes).
2. LIFEGUARDS DO NOT WATCH WATER- Not all, but majority did not watch the water. Saw one near drowning and broken nose at BABY area on our stay. Could have been prevented. Sad.
3. MANY UNSAFE BOLTS STICKING OUT AROUND WATER PARK- nets are anchored down to floor by big bolts sticking out of floor. Looked so unsafe.
4. DRY PLAY AREA HAS LITTLE SUPERVISION AND MANY EXITS- It was hard to keep an eye on your kids and with 2 exits spilling out into the gameroom, I was a nervous wreck.
5. ROOM SERVICE SENT FOOD WITH NO SILVERWARE, and never delivered it after we called and asked for it. Try eating yogurt, waffles, pancakes and eggs with no spoon...WOW! Same problem with dinner at the restaurant...brought food with no silverware, and had to wait 5 minutes for them to bring it to us.
* BUT..Room was nice and clean although it was the longest hallway I'd ever seen (I didn't mind, but I'd feel bad for the elderly or physically challenged *Great waitress at dinner buffet, she should be promoted to manager...wouldn't recommend this resort.

  • Stayed January 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • 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
Reviewed January 20, 2006

I was just at the resort..Jan 19. The lifegaurds are no help what so ever. My cousin and I were goin down one of there slides on a double tube, right when we got out the tunnel the tube flipped leaving me to fall right on his head, the lifegaurd just sat there and didnt even ask if we were ok. Another bad thing is the stairs by the emergency room or to go down another way to the lazy river are a big hazard, we were walking down that way and i slipped and fell right down those stairs... wet feet with slippery steps dont mix.. they need carpeting or some other type of non slip material to go on those steps. I fell so hard my back still hurts... lucky i wasnt carrying my 18 month old daughter. There is nothing for kids under 6 years old to do. The hot tub was great besides the point that they allow kids in there. There shouldnt be children under 18 allowed, because there all splahing around and it was annoying cuz your supposed to be able to relax in a hot tub. IF ur planning on goin take your own food and drinks, that place was soooooo over prices... and the food isnt worth the price.. i paid $17 dollars for my dinner and $6.50 for a mixed drink... I will never go there again.

  • Stayed January 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • 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
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
Helpful?
23 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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