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“Great, Great, Great!!!!”

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Kalahari Resorts & Conventions
Ranked #3 of 35 Hotels in Sandusky
Certificate of Excellence
Buffalo, NY
Level Contributor
12 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Great, Great, Great!!!!”
Reviewed March 9, 2010

We stayed at the Kalahari Resort in Sandusky, OH on Aug. 17-19 2009. We picked the Kalahari for 2 main reasons, we needed a hotel that was close to Cedar Point and we needed a hotel that had rooms big enough for our group. The kalahari met both requirements and then some. It is only about a 5-10 mins. drive to cedar point, and they had plenty of different room options. We drove from WNY and arrived around Noon. I went in to see if any of our rooms were ready, they were not eventhough we had requested early check-in because the computers were down. I was not upset by this because at most hotels early check in is hard to get even if the computers were up and running. I was however greeted pleasently and quickly at the front desk, and told a little about the resorts dining options, activities, and where things were located. I was also told about the water park and given wristbands for the group and invited to use it right away. We opted to just leave our luggage in the car, and go to cedar point for the day and check in when we came back. There were 11 of us total. We decided to get 1 village suite for 9 of us, and 1 regular room for our other 2 friends. The Village Suite was unbelieveable. Very large (basically 3 hotel rooms conected and a living room, dining room and kitchen. ) We also had 3 patios (1 large off the main room and 2 smaller on each side) It had a large dining table and a bar with stools, a full kitchen and living room with fireplace. It was also very clean and pretty. I didn't see our friends room, as they mainly hung out in the suite with the rest of us, but they say it was just as nice and I have no reason to not believe them. We were on the 1st floor on the other side of the building from the main entrance. It was a slightly long walk to anything (down the hall, through the arcade, up the stairs, through the lobby.) But as we are all in our mid-late 20's we didn't mind, plus we've been walking all over cedar point for 2 days whats a 5 min walk in your hotel? The first night we ate at Kahunaville. The restaurant was set up weird. it had long picnic tables for larger groups as well as tables and booths, it had a big bar in the middle but at the back had a stage and children's activities. They had bikini contests and 2 for 1 drinks and coloring contests for the kids. weird. I will NOT hold this against Kalahari and it wasnt bad, just weird. Also we had horibble service, our waitress while polite was never anywhere to be seen. Good thing the prices were decent and the food was very good. After that we tried out the indoor waterpark , it was busy but not ridiculously crowded. Fun for all ages. the only dissapointment was a few of the water rides were not running like the zip coaster. It wasn't enough to ruin our time it would take a lot more than that. We went back to the room and played cards, and had a few drinks, sat on the patio and hung out. We stayed up very late on both nights of our trip. We never had any problems with noise from the hallway or the rooms near us. No one complained about us either, were not inconsiderate but we did get a little loud at one point. we appologized to our neighbors on both sides the next morning, especially since one had 2 young children, they both said they never heard a thing. As for rude guests we didn't encounter any, and as for rude staff members, everyone we talked to was friendly and more than willing to help out and suggest things to do. The last morning before check out my friend and I went to the lobby to play with the baby tiger they had there. You could take pics of it, get your picture taken with it and play with it. It was about $45 but it was awesome!! I don't know if the tigers are there all the time but im glad we got the opportunity. I really liked the express check out you just dropped your room statement off in a box in the lobby after you reviewed and signed it, you could keep your room keys. No waiting in line at the front desk, just drop and go. The only thing I din't like was all the places to get a snack or drink and room service closed at 10 or 11pm so if you got hungry late you were sol. Overall I would say that Kalahari is a large beautiful resort. They have many activities from a petting zoo and camel rides, to pottery making, to the waterpark and arcade w/ mini-golf. Plus kahunaville and other areas to eat. It does attract many guests especially on the weekends or in the summer, if you are not prepared to see more than 100 other people there than this is not the resort for you. We are going to cedar point again this August, only we are staying for 3 days and there will be 16 of us. We are 100% going to return to kalahari and a main reason for the extra day is so we can spend more time at the resort, especially checkingout the hot tubs and out door pool area we didnt get a chance to visit. We loved this place!!!

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Rach72906
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Ohio
Level Contributor
57 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed March 8, 2010

Here is the letter that I wrote to Kalahari today.

I just wanted to inform you that my family and I had one of the most aggravating and potentially unsafe stays at your resort this past weekend. We arrived on Saturday March 6th at noon. I knew that our room would probably not be ready, which it was not, so we headed to the waterpark area to rent lockers. We originally rented two lockers in which I had to wait in a long line just to do so but then discovered that there was no way our luggage would fit in two so I came out to rent a third which took me 30 minutes to do so because one of the workers left her post for some unknown reason and I was just unlucky enought to be in that line. I saw this as common theme with your staff in that instead of just having one line and your staff just taking the next person if you got in the slow line you just had to suffer (all the lines I waited in were slow). You also need more staff to work behind the counters with the number of people that you have visiting over the weekend.

After getting almost everything in three lockers my husband and I and my two children headed out to swim and wait for our room. We walked around the entire park TWICE to put down our one bag and towels and could not find one chair or table without something on it. I am sure your organization had no idea how many people were actually in the park as you did not even have anyone checking wristbands at the entrance as I noticed you did on Sunday. The number of people I witnessed in the park on Saturday was frightening. I was furious that you had allowed so many people in the park that day that we could not even set our belongings down that I went back to the front desk to let them know we needed a room and "coincidentally" our room was ready. Although I will have to say the young woman who dealt with this problem and another issue I had later appeared to be genuinely sorry and helpful. My husband dropped his bag off once I got the key and we headed to the wave pool. My husband and I are both attorneys and I can assure you that the number of people you allowed in the wave pool was disturbing. We did nothing but knock in to people and it was not even fun. After a few hours of literally fighting the masses I decided to put the rest of our things in the room which took me two trips because we were all the way at the end of the hall (room 2255). I was dismayed to see the incredible number of young people all wearing red shirts (I was to learn they were from a church group that had rented rooms for about 1,000 people) that just stood around in the middle of the hallway which then forced me to continually say "excuse me" so I could go down the hall with our luggage. Since I have two younger children I was worried what would happen at night so I went to the front desk to complain about the kids from this group and the front desk clerk was not very nice about it and just said I should call security if there was a problem rather than investigating the relevant complaint I had about the kids in the hallway.

Unfortunately the problems with the kids were just as I suspected at 10:30 pm right across from our room one of the "leaders" of the group was talking so loudly in the hallway to the kids who were constantly coming in and out of their rooms and letting the doors bang shut that I got out of bed in my pyjamas and went outside to ask them if they were planning on doing this all night. The "leader" was apologetic but all through the night the kids were in and out and banging doors. I did not bother to call security based on the reception I got from your staff earlier when I complained.

The next morning I did complain to the same woman I first complained to about the room being ready and again she was the only nice one of your staff and she apologized and stated we could have a later check out at 12:30. That was great except that when we got to our room after swimming at 12:00 the key did not work and I had to walk all the way back down the hallway dripping wet and cold to the front desk. I got another clerk who also wasn't particulary nice and told me that we had inadvertently been checked out. She gave us until 1:00 which was hardly anything great considering I had to wait in line to even talk to someone so by the time I got back to the room it was 12:35. The funny thing is that my brother met us at Kalahari that weekend and also had problems with his stay and he was given a late checkout of 12:30 but his key didn't work either!

I plan on posting this complaint on TripAdvisor and if you do not respond to my complaint I will also note that on my review. I also will be complaining to the Ohio Dept. of Agriculture for what I feel were unsafe practices with letting in the number of people you did on Saturday.

I will say that the cleaning staff were friendly and they did have good pastries to buy. If you can go when it is not busy I am guessing that your stay would be a one thousand times better than mine was.

Stayed March 2010, traveled with family
Helpful?
1 Thank CathyOhio
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
detroit, MI
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed March 7, 2010

The resort is filled with fun things to do, and the staff is very nice and helpful. We enjoyed the water park, however, it was way overcrowded. There weren't enough rafts, probably because they were all floating in the lazy river. Food is very overpriced and having to pay 13 bucks a night for valet is ridiculous, I would think for how much you pay to stay, parking for hotel guest should be free. There are signs posted in the hallways to be quiet, but nobody seems to care. We were woken up every morning by 7, by rude guests in the hallways. At night, people would be loud also. I think the halls should be monitored more. We plan on returning, and I would recommend this place to anyone, but never on a weekend. To many rude people who don't seem to care that you are there to get away and enjoy yourself. A little respect goes a long way.

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank missriss2620
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
michigan
1 review
Reviewed March 7, 2010

I love this place, it's got all you need for a great time in one place. And it turns the dull winter blues into loads of fun for the whole family>>>>

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank sdr_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Michigan
Level Contributor
9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed March 2, 2010

The Kalahari Resort and waterpark in Sandusky is our favorite place to go as a family. My son is a fish who just can't get enough of this place. The water park has SO MUCH to do... Something for everyone. The water park has it all, from water roller coasters for those looking for the extreme fun to the lazy river where you can just relax and let the water take you on a little journey.

The hotel is gorgeous from top to bottom with great staff. We've been to this place at least 6 times within the 3 years and always have such a hard time leaving. We used to stay at a certain water park down the road, but as my son got older, the theme at that other resort started to seem a bit more aimed at the younger children. When we found the Kalahari, we couldn't have been happier. The safari theme through out the place is suitable for any age. The place not only caters to the young, but the young at heart too! My hubby and I enjoy this place even without the kids!!!

During one particular visit last year, we had a little bit of a mishap. I was astounded by how well my family and I were taken care of after that. Those who run the Kalahari really DO care about their guests and it shows.

I tell all my friends and family about this place....If you're looking for a fun water park (both indoors and outdoors), you can't find a better place than this!

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank scrappinmad2005
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Detroit
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed March 1, 2010

I have been going to Kalahari for the last 5 years and this past weekend was horrible. The hotel was sold out and the water park was over crowded. Half of the slides were closed and a couple of other attractions were also closed. Our room was barley cleaned never vacuumed. The restaurants service was very and the employees were rude to include the manager we talked to. I spent almost 2K on the weekend with my family we had a condo with 3 room and an additional room and will not return. They lost a good customer.

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank cwf25
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
shepherd83
1 review
Reviewed February 27, 2010

We just sadley left Kalahari yesterday after our short stay. This was our second year to visit and we loved every minute of it. Last year we booked a Hut room and were upgraded to a dessert room when we requested to be closer to my sister and her familys room. This year we decided to splurge a little on a King Lodge room which is equipped with a full kitchen, full size fridge,microwave,oven/stove,dishwasher, separate bedroom with a King bed and bathroom equipped with a jacuzzi style tub. Upon arival we immediately noted that this room was more like a small apartment rather than a hotel room, very nice. Our only complaint would have been that all the lodge rooms are located in the Sands building that was a long (but well worth it) walk to the water park, arcade and other amenity's near the main lobby so we tried to make sure we took everything we might need with us as to make less trips walking the 4 very long halls. We took grocery's with us and cooked all of our meals but 1 in our room which helped save a bit on our trip as eating out can get a bit costly. Our room was quiet with comfortable beds and everyone was quickly off to sleep around 9 or 10 at night when we finally returned to our room to retire because although fun, the water park is also very tiring (especially for the little ones,) We traveled with our 2 children, our daughter is 6 and our son is 2 and there is tons of activity's for children there ages and of all ages....everyone's favorite area was the wave pool. The staff went above and beyond to assure our stay was enjoyable, our bell hop even went so far to put our milk ect in the fridge upon our arrival and helping us to our room, when I tried to help unload the cart he insisted, your on vacation, leave the work to us. We went in the winter last year as well and are looking forward to perhaps visiting this summer sometime so we may enjoy the outside water park as well. Ive seen others comment on the price but if you watch there website and facebook fan page for deals you can find rooms for as low as 99 dollars a night for a family of 4 which includes passes for each guest to the waterpark.

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank shepherd83
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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