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“Lots of good qualities, A little too big for the management”

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Kalahari Resorts & Conventions
Ranked #6 of 73 Hotels in Wisconsin Dells
Certificate of Excellence
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
26 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Lots of good qualities, A little too big for the management”
Reviewed October 24, 2012

We booked a package that came with the room, waterpark, breakfast, lunch, wisconsin duck tours. The check in was a nightmare and soured the whole trip. We arrive a little bit after noon, the time you can enter the waterpark. Having never been there we went to the main building to check in and waited in line about 30 min only to be told we need go to the "Sands" part across the massive parking lot. There they had 1 person working check in and out for at least 1000 rooms. Everyone had a problem during check out for some reason. I will admit that poor checkin person remained happy throughout. We waited in this line another hour. The water park was nice for kids about 4-12 years old, any older would be bored quickly. They really only have 2 slide areas, nice to let the kids go up and down by themselves without losing them. There were never really any lines like you have at other bigger outdoor water parks, but there is just not a whole lot to do. Our room was clean and felt new. Breakfast was great. It was a buffet in a restaurant next to the indoor water park. For lunch we had a massive greasy pizza that was good, just too greasy. The resort is just a little too big to run smoothly. Also too many things that cost money everywhere, make it a better experience and charge a little bit more and I would be happy.

Room Tip: The "sands" part is new and quiet. Just a long way from the water park
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Skippington
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 26, 2012
Thank you so much for taking the time to visit us and review our resort. While some things sound as if they were great, others not so much. I ensure you have already communicated the pros and cons to our management team. I appreciate hearing your thoughts and giving us the opportunity to go beyond your expectations. I do hope you will give us another chance to show you the level of customer service you would not only expect, but deserve. Thank you.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Rockford, Illinois
1 review
Reviewed October 23, 2012

Our trip was cut short because my daughter suddenly had a fever after our first night. The manager was extremely gracious and allowed us to check out a day early without being charged. We really appreciated this because it is much easier to care for a sick two year old at home. We were able to go to the water park our only night there and it was a lot of fun for all of us. We spent most of our time in tiko's watering hole and I think we had just as much fun on the slides as our daughter did. My husband and I also took turns going down the large slides, having everything in one location makes it much easier for a family of three with a very young child. We stayed in a lodge room in the sands building and it was very nice, the full kitchen makes the distance from the water park worth it although it seems like it is just as easy to hop in the car and drive to the main resort or if weather permits to walk on the sidewalks outside, it was warm during our stay and we walked outside in about 3 minutes. We stopped at the walmart a few miles away and bought groceries, much cheaper than eating every meal at a restaurant. We can't wait to go back again in a few months and hopefully next time we'll all be healthy so we can enjoy more of the amenities.

Room Tip: Book a lodge room in the sands, it has a full kitchen, dining area, fireplace and the ability to clo...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Princessmom20
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minnesota
Level Contributor
120 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
Reviewed October 22, 2012

This year in October, we brought the grandkids for a three night stay. We never even left the hotel because we were having so much fun. The safari theme is throughout the hotel. We loved the water park. It had activities for all age groups. We enjoyed the theme park and the bowling alley. We had appetizers and drinks in the bar by the bowling alley where we watched football and nascar. The food was excellent and large portions and we just had bottled beer. We had two rooms, a regular lodge room and a two room suite with fireplace on the main level. The rooms were large and nicely furnished, but they are starting to show some major wear and tear. That is the only reason it did not get a 5 star. We have been coming here for the last 10 years and each year we have seen the rooms decline with wear and tear. We ate and drank at several restaurants and enjoyed the restaurant overlooking the waterpark the best. We are excited to return next year.

Room Tip: When you choose a lodge room, be sure to request a balcony room. They only have a handful of these r...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank adolson
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 26, 2012
It was our pleasure to have you! Can't thank you enough! Certainly sounds like you had a wonderful time, with the exception of the wear and tear of the room. I have good news... we are going through the process right now of updating many of our rooms, so when you return, I hope you will be pleasantly surprised. Looking forward to having you again. Take care and thank you!
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Level Contributor
142 reviews
59 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 173 helpful votes
Reviewed October 19, 2012

If you order a steak dinner...and receive a hamburger...you'll be disappointed, right? ABSOLUTELY! We had booked a Royal African Queen suite and received a single crappy Hut room along the main corridor. It was painfully noisy as guest came back and forth between the Amusement Park and the main lobby. If they treat you as bad as they treated us, atleast move to another location. So when we went down to complain to the front desk and receive the room we booked, I was told that they were not available and I would have to pay for an upgrade. I was told that our room was in the same "category". What a joke and a disappointment. I am confused how they could consider a two room suite the same as a single room?? When you look at their rates on the website, a hut room is so much cheaper and a different catagory than an suite!! When I brought this to their attention, they could have cared less!!! Never again!!!
We have traveled to the dells while visiting family in Wisconsin over a dozen times and we will NEVER travel here again!!! There are many other places to stay and I would highly recommend other resorts. We have stayed before at Glacier Canyon Resort and wish we would have gone there again. The resort needs updating as does the rooms. The beds are hard and uncomfortable. The rooms smell like mold as does the shower area. The staff is hard to come by and less than competent when you do find one.
We traveled with our 9 yr and 12 yr old for two nights. Our 12 yr old loved the surfing machine but was quickly bored with the rest of the resort. Our 12 yr old lasted for about two hours in both the waterpark and the amusement park. The 9 yr old was too short for the go carts and was severly disappointed when she had to ride the painfully slow "double" cart with me. I can understand requiring a second rider for shorter guest, but I can not understand why it was so painfully slow. We would do one lap for every three my son was driving and we had no way to control the speed. It was all controlled via radio by the attendant.
All in all, for what we paid, this was a huge disappointment and a waste of money. Stay somewhere else!

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank coloradotrigirl
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 20, 2012
I am very sorry to hear about your experience. We do have over a dozen room styles, so there must have been a misunderstanding. I am curious to know if you came on a Living Social or Groupon deal as those are the only promotion we have done where the room type was not specific. If you paid for a hut or desert style room the Royal African Queen would have been an upgrade charge. I am very sorry to hear that this miscommunication affected your stay. If you would like me to look into your stay to ensure you received the room style you paid for, please feel free to email me at KRizzo@KalahariResorts.com. Happy to double check that for you. Again, I am sorry that your stay was negative from your room style. I do hope I have the opportunity to make sure you received what you booked. Take care and thank you for reaching out to us.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
St. Paul, MN
Level Contributor
38 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed October 18, 2012

Have stayed at various places in the Dells over the years, but hadn't been to Kalahari in a long time. Stayed in the Sands part of the Kalahari (across the street, but connected to main resort area by skywalk). The room was nicely appointed, ok size, pleasantly clean. The waterpark is nice, but at off-peak periods they could use more staff on the major waterslides (staff run back and forth to two rides, which slows the process considerably). Water in the waterpark is nice and warm, however, chlorine levels is very very high (especially in the hot tubs), making it hard to breathe at times. Service at front desk is OK. Nothing special. No early check-ins available :(. Rooms are always priced high, since this is, after all, the Kalahari. The indoor theme park is OK, but is pricey (as is the arcade). Didn't check out the food here this time.
Overall, not easy on the budget, but always fun to do the waterslides at Kalahari!

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank KittyGirl34
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Madison, WI
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed October 17, 2012

The group - Two adults and a toddler

The room - Standard "Hut" room in the Sands Building. The other posts are right, the Sands is a hike from the waterpark area - plan on 10 minutes or so...longer if you have small kids. We were only there for an overnight so it wasn't too bad...it seems like it would get old after more than a few nights though. One thing to point out is that if you stay there in the summer the Sands does have its own outdoor pool and jacuzzi - so if you wanted a quick dip you wouldn't be stuck walking to the waterpark.

The room was clean and updated, and had a mini-fridge, coffee maker, and microwave. A small balcony on the back would have been nice in the summer but we didn't use it as we were there in October. The bathtub was also very large for a hotel room.

Drawbacks to the room were that the toilet was very loud (but the hotel did send a maintenance guy to fix it when we called) also, there was a lot of echo and noise from people walking by in the hall or in the room above. Wasn't a problem after 10 or so. It mostly seemed to be young families in the surrounding rooms, so we had no problems with loud parties or anything like that.

The indoor water park - We were a little nervous that the waterpark would be packed, long lines, etc. as we'd been told when we booked that the hotel was nearly full that weekend. Really, though it seemed pretty sparse. Most of the bigger slides had only 5-10 people in line. The only thing that looked like it had an unacceptably long line was the Flowrider bodyboarding/surfing wave.

We didn't have trouble finding a table to leave our things at, but it seemed like they filled up later in the day.

One thing I'll point out is that the staff take what seems like an extreme approach to safety on the waterslides in that they don't let you go down until the person ahead of you is all the way down and has cleared the landing pool. It was fine with 5-10 people in line but I can't imagine how long a wait it would be if people were lined up all the way to the bottom.

We felt there were a good mix of attractions and really enjoyed the "Watering Hole" which was like a separate mini water park for babies and toddlers - with its own lazy river and slides.

Food and Drinks - We had reservations at the Del Bar so did not use any of the Kalahari restaurants for Dinner. We did get drinks and Lunch in the water park...it was about $19 for three drinks - a mango blend, a virgin pena colada, and an "adult" strawberry/mango blend. One tip - they try to force you to buy the "Monster" drinks (at a hefty $23 - plus $14 for refills) by making those the only ones listed in the menu. You just have to ask for a normal size. Lunch was chicken tenders, french fries, a veggie tray, and slice of pizza - again for about $19. Everything was great except for the pizza, which was truly awful (Plastic-y tasting cheese, undercooked crust, burned pepperoni).

Room Tip: Ask for a room away from the stairs and escalators if you are in the Sands building. If you don...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank allthatjunk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
43 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed October 16, 2012

We got the package with room, indoor water park and the indoor theme park wrist bands. Since we stayed for just one night, we spent an entire evening at the water park and the next day at the indoor theme park. As soon as we entered the waterpark, we were hit by very warm and humid air and a strong smell of chlorine. But we got used to it once we got ourselves wet! My kids enjoyed the wave pool and the floatees (the ones as soon as you enter). They loved the young children's water play area as well. There was a mini lazy river for very young children. Lots of slides and fountains. Towels and life vests for children were available at different spots inside the water park. Initially we were apprehensive about taking our 2 year old as we were worried there might not be many attractions for her, but the kiddie area was very good. The indoor theme park is not worth it if you do not have wrist bands. If you are staying for more than one night, you could get a wrist band. My children went on the carousel and the other young children rides at the back of the theme park multiple times. There were also free decorate-your-own cookies in the afternoon in the lobby. There were some cubs too on the day we visited. The best part was being able to enjoy the parks for both day 1 and 2 for one night's stay! Though our room was far far away in the sands building, I loved the room. It was nicely decorated and excellently maintained. I would say about 2 days of fun for a family of 4 was very much worth the price! There's so much to do!!

Room Tip: Sands building has beautiful rooms but is a good walk.
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank sukri
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: 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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