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“Best for families with small kids...but our childless group still had a blast!”

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Kalahari Resorts & Conventions
Ranked #6 of 73 Hotels in Wisconsin Dells
Certificate of Excellence
Milwaukee, WI
Level Contributor
22 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“Best for families with small kids...but our childless group still had a blast!”
Reviewed October 1, 2012

3 adult friends and I enjoyed the Groupon opportunity of a Friday night stay in a Desert room, with 4 waterpark passes. We were pleasantly surprised at how clean and themed the lobby was upon walking in...couldn't entirely rival Disney, but for Wisconsin, it's as close as we get!

The room was spacious, tidy and simple - had all the amenities needed, with 2 queens, a sofa-sleeper, and small table and chairs. The shower had great water pressure, but the beds were AWFUL - sagging in the middle like a hammock. Guaranteed, you will end up suction-cupping yourself away from your bedmate in the morning, after the two of your bodies give into gravity's pull during the night. An experience, to say the least!

The waterpark was fun, but I would not recommend for teens - I think they would get bored too easily. Wilderness has a much more expansive indoor water park; and unfortunately the outdoor parks were already closed when we visited Kalahari, so we were resigned to the indoor park only. There were some hair-raising tube slides that the more adventurous of the group tried out; the lazy river was pretty shallow and not a long "ride" but still fun to try to avoid all the drippy waterfalls throughout the river. The best part of all: there were no lines! Only one ride had a constant line due to the "one at a time" nature of that ride, but if I were to return with kiddos, I would definitely come in September (on a Friday) - you can go on as many rides as you like, as many times as you like without wait. Pretty great! Swim towels were plentiful on the day we visited, but not all of the concessions/snack bars were open...again, prob due to off-season.

Check in and check out are a bit of a time-suck, but they give you a LOT of information, coupons, and tips for the property - which was greatly appreciated. All of the staff we encountered were friendly and polite, aside from the odd little woman working in the ceramic paint shop on the lobby level. She was an odd little bird, and not customer-service oriented, so we decided not to pursue this particular activity.

The BEST PART of this resort is the insanely fun amusement park. It's very easy to drop a lotta cash in here, but oh my goodness: ferris wheel, mini golf, ropes course, laser tag, bowling! And some of the neatest arcade games I have EVER seen. Bonus was that the amusement park was well-staffed, laid out nicely, and extremely clean. Our $60 in "prize tickets" won us a ceramic chicken bank...but I carried that chicken bank with pride, because the best prize of all were the hilarious memories made of my girlfriends and I reliving our childhood in this safe, and charming environment.

Recommended for kids of all ages, but bring your big-kid wallets for the amusement park!

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank MilwaukeeGrrl
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 review, October 3, 2012
I feel compelled to tell you that I honestly laughed out loud when I read that you carried your ceramic chicken bank with pride. Made my day. Thank you for that! So glad to hear that you were able to take advantage of Groupon offer and visit. I will be sure to pass along your thoughts on the beds. We are in the process of upgrading many of our rooms, so hopefully when you return, you will be delightfully surprised. Of course, if this remains not up to your expectations, don't hesitate to let us know while on property and we will do our best to accommodate you. I also wanted to let you know that we are adding new rides into our waterpark and theme park this year and the every year from here on, so when you return, I hope there is something bigger and better than you remember. Thank you again for your review and time. Hope to see you soon!
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Chicago
Level Contributor
24 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed September 28, 2012

This resort has a great waterpark....both indoors and out....and the indorr amusement park and game rooms are awesome. Took a teen group there for an overnighter and they all loved it. Lots to do to keep them having fun.

Room Tip: if you have a larger group the shared condos are the way to go. The amenities in ours were great...
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank sburns1
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 review, October 1, 2012
Sounds like a blast! Very glad to hear everyone had so much fun visiting! Wanted to be sure that I sent a quick note thanking you for taking the time to review and visit us. See you again soon. Thank you and take care!
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Minneapolis, Minnesota
Level Contributor
21 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed September 24, 2012

As part of a family celebration, we were invited to make our very first visit to Wisconsin Dells. The Kalahari Waterpark Resort Convention Center is undoubtedly a fine choice for many, but for us, it was like entering the seventh circle of hell. The place is enormous, noisy, expensive (oh, so expensive!) and not our idea of fun. The lobby features baby lion cubs crammed into a very small cylindrical glass cage. My spouse pointed out that they had been stress-grooming because the fur on their backs was missing in spots. I believe there was also a monkey. And an ice cream and candy shop and a convenience store, and noise, lots of noise.

As my niece gave us a tour of the indoor and outdoor waterpark and the indoor "theme park" (the theme seems to be "Hey kids! Separate your parents from large amounts of cash"), my husband kept muttering under his breath, "this is so not sustainable." I believe he also referred to the movie "Contagion" at that point, just because of the large number of small children in vast amounts of water...

The food in the restaurants was virtually inedible and the prices were higher than I've paid in fine-dining restaurants in big cities. The music in Kahuna's was incredibly loud, bad pop, (so loud that it was nearly impossible to have a conversation) and there was a dance contest for small children, which, I guess, is fine if you like that sort of thing and/or have small children or you don't want to talk to the people you are eating dinner with.

Our room was fine; although the air conditioner was extremely noisy, I think, on reflection, it was probably good to have some white noise to drown out hallway sounds. Staff were very courteous. I am grateful that I have never had the job of waterpark lifeguard. The luxury condominium that the rest of our family stayed in was super-nice, and they were all happy with their stay.

As I said, we are most decidedly not the folks the Kalahari was made for.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank Journeywoman38
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 review, September 25, 2012
Thank you for coming to stay with us and taking to time to review our resort. I am sorry to hear that we are not your cup of tea, as we strive to have something that is enjoyable for everyone. However, we certainly appreciate all your feedback. We are constantly updating and adding items to our resort. So hopefully in the future we will have something that will be more to your liking. I do hope we will have the opportunity to see you again. Take care and thank you again for reaching out to us.
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michigan
Level Contributor
30 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed September 24, 2012

We purposely went after Labor Day to avoid the crowds. The outdoor waterparks were closed but the inside ones were open. We loved the Kalahari. The staff was very helpful and friendly, we even got a free upgrade on our room and it was huge, immaculate, with a great view. The restaurants were a bit pricey, the little deli/bakery in the lobby was great. Beautiful pastrys, coffee, deli sandwiches, it was all we needed for our budget. The hotel had much to do, remarkable artwork, the nicest bowling alley we had ever seen, we did not really plan to bowl, but we did (twice) as it was so clean and nice. The hotel was pretty empty, nothing was crowded. Sept. is a good month to travel. We hated to leave the place!

Room Tip: Book on line, look for specials.
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank wannadrive
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 review, September 28, 2012
We are just so glad to have you! Thank you so much for visiting and taking the time to share your thoughts. It is certainly appreciated and I will be sure to pass along your comments to our team. Very much looking forward to seeing you and the family again. Take care!
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Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
33 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed September 24, 2012

The resort was nice. My wife and I were in the dells for a wedding. We stayed in a king whirlpool suite. It was pretty much a large studio with a small bathroom. The jacuzzi tub was located in the main room next to the king bed. There was a sleeper sofa, microwave, fridge, and a makeup counter with sink and mirror. The bathroom had a walk in shower and toilet. There was not a sink in the bathroom. The toilet was in a slightly odd location behind the door with a lot of wasted space next to the shower. Not a big deal...just a little strange. The coffee pot and it's accessories were located next to the sink on the (what I'm calling) make up counter. The coffee pot and said accessories needed to be moved so my wife could get ready. The only reason this was an issue was because of the lack of outlets in the room. This made charging phones an iPads an issue too. The room also had a fireplace.

The only real complaint about the room (the lack of outlets wasn't a huge deal) was how loud the A/C was. It made falling asleep a challenge and could be a real bother if you had to sleep on the sleeper sofa, which was located right next to the A/C.

I will warn you, the food in the resort was not very good. The deli sandwiches had dry turkey, wilted lettuce and shriveled tomatoes. Damon's was you standard bar food, but the flavors were off. We had the 5 cheese mac and cheese and it just didn't taste right. We also had the BBQ sliders. They were ok, but not great. The Ivory Coast restaurant was the same way. The flavors were just off. I would recommend eating in town somewhere.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
Thank IAHawkeyes99
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 review, September 27, 2012
Thank you so much for joining us while you were attending the wedding. Certainly our pleasure and very happy to have you. We appreciate your thoughts on the Suite. The feedback helps when we are planning on renovations and improvements for the future. We have over a dozen room styles, so hopefully another style will work better for you. I am sorry to hear about your distaste for the food throughout our resort. I will pass this along to our management team. Hopefully we will see you again in the future. Take care and thank you for reaching out to us!
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Illinois
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed September 23, 2012

I went to this resort back in 2004 and thought it was great.
My boyfriend and I stayed the 19th to the 21st of September (off season, we were going for my birthday). This resort is still my favorite.
The lobby is absolutely gorgeous. Fountains, shops, coffee shops, everything! The lobby alone might be my favorite part of the hotel... completely African themed!
We arrived around 2pm, There were maybe another 2 families talking to people at the front desk? We were able to get our room right away! The front desk staff was very friendly, and we thought the African Safari themed outfits they wore were a nice touch.
We originally booked the hut room (double queen, standard) in the Sands building, which is away from all the action...still attached to the resort. We didn't particularly care if it was in the main or sands building, but when we booked it, the sands standard room was the only one available.
When she was explaining to us where our room was, it was in the main building. I didn't say anything, since I really didn't care. When we got to our room, we noticed it was on the ground floor (which I have never stayed in a hotel ever). When we walked in, it was MUCH bigger than the original room we booked! It was a two room suite! I think it's called a Royal Family Suite? So we got a complimentary upgrade (perks of coming during the off season). Our room also had the outdoor water park right outside our room! Which wasn't open so it was quite. Our entire stay was quiet. I think I heard a kid talk in the hallway once, but that was also during the day. Never heard a thing from above us, or from the rooms next to us. Beds were very comfy, comfier than our bed at home!
The water park is SO fun. The Master Blaster (water roller coaster) is the best! My boyfriend was actually scared to go on it, but he ended up loving it :) The locker rooms were very clean, no lines to any of the water slides. It was perfect!
We walked through the indoor amusement park, everything seemed fun and reasonably priced. We went bowling which was actually cheaper than bowling is where we usually go bowling!!
We did wander from the hotel a couple times. We walked around downtown. We also decided to try out Timbavati Wildlife Park! It's still in the works and will be completed by this summer, but they have some of the attractions open now. There's a lot of wild cats, Giselle type animals, zebras, kangaroos, turtles, and my favorite part: you got to feed and pet giraffes! And since we were the only ones there, we got to have them all to ourselves!!! Which is amazing to me since they're my favorite animals :)
Back to the Kalahari...we ate dinner at Kahunaville, one of their onsite restaurants, food was excellent and so was the service!! I didn't think it was expensive...it was normally priced to me. Our bill for 2 people (2 dinners with an appetizer and one alcoholic drink) was $40. We also got coffee drinks from the lobby and a sandwich a couple times, no different than Starbucks prices.

It was a fantastic stay, and personally, some of the things people complain about I just don't understand... parking and long lines to the water park? Well if you come during one of the busiest weekends in the summer, obviously you need to expect that!

I don't have a thing to complain about the Kalahari, I had an amazing stay and will definitely be back!!! I will always recommend the Kalahari to people, with or without kids!

Thank you Kalahari for a wonderful stay :)

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank Maray26
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wisconsin
Level Contributor
117 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
Reviewed September 23, 2012

Good things about the resort:
1-everything is centralize localed
2- rides are for all ages
3- Many things to do besides waterpark(bowling, theme park, movie theater)
4-easy check-in

Bad things about the resort:
1-Lifeguards that can't speak english
2-Every activity is an extra cost
3-A lot of hided resort Fees

Room Tip: Get a room by the front desk because its closer to the waterpark and quiter at night.
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank WisconsinGorilla
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 review, September 27, 2012
Thank you for visiting and taking the time to review our resort. I apologize you felt as though some fees were hidden. We do our best to ensure all additional charges are understood, so I am discouraged to hear that this did not come across. I will be sure that I connect with our management team to ensure all team members state this clearly and it is clearly listed online as well. I do hope we will see you again to show you an experience beyond all other experiences. Take care and see you soon!
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Additional Information about Kalahari Resorts & Conventions

Property: Kalahari Resorts & Conventions
Address: 1305 Kalahari Drive, Wisconsin Dells, WI 53965
Location: United States > Wisconsin > Wisconsin Dells
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:
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Wisconsin Dells
#4 Business Hotel in Wisconsin Dells
#12 Family Hotel in Wisconsin Dells
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 750
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Also Known As:
Kalahari Waterpark Hotel Wisconsin Dells
Kalahari Resort Wisconsin Dells
Kalahari Hotel Wi Dells
Kalahari Wi Dells
Kalahari Waterpark Resort

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