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“Worst stay ever.”

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Kalahari Resorts & Conventions
Ranked #7 of 75 Hotels in Wisconsin Dells
Certificate of Excellence
Windsor
1 review
“Worst stay ever.”
Reviewed September 22, 2008

This was the worst trip ever. at least half the attractions in the water park were closed, there were a number of safety concerns that seemed to be ignored. the housekeeping was non existent. and the dining was terrible. Save your money and go somewhere else. I contacted them to complain and was turned over to voice mail. nice.

  • Liked — Kahunaville
  • Disliked — everything else
  • Stayed September 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank dan12345Windsor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Pepin
Level 3 Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed September 22, 2008

I loved this resort. So many activities on site. Great resturants and waterpark! Great for all ages. We stayed in a whirlpool suite and it was just great. huge room with everything you could think of.

Only have 2 complaints, first the lockers at the waterpark cost 5 dollars with a 5 dollar deposit. We had spent all our cash and only had a debit card and they wouldn't take it. I only wanted to use the pool for an hour before checkout and didn't want to pay for a locker. I think hotel guests should be able to get a locker with there stay.

Kahunaville bar and resurant advertised night club dj's and bar show but we went there and they didn't have any music and I didn't see any bar flair for the 2 hours we were there, was looking forward to that.

But besides that everything was great, very clean and fun.

I would go angain in a heartbeat.

  • Liked — Huge place lots of activties.
  • Disliked — Locker prices
  • Stayed September 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank bobbiejo1982
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level 5 Contributor
90 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 149 helpful votes
Reviewed September 3, 2008

We stayed at the Kalahari for 4 nights at the end of August and had a great time! I did not have any problems with customer service, everyone was very nice. We stayed in a 2 room family suite. The suite was great, very roomy and had 2 bathrooms. The bathrooms were great, with nice big tubs as well as showers. Nice toiletries were provided. The room was very clean, housekeeping was great. The only bad thing about the room was that the climate controls were hard to figure out. Also, they have this funky system where you have to insert a room key to work the lights. It is supposed to conserve energy, but I thought it was inconvenient. I would not want to stay in the sands building. It is about 3 blocks away from the waterpark, no lie! The lobby of the hotel was very nice. It had nice shops, a bar/restaurant and a great ice cream parlor/sweet shop. There was also a great coffee and pastry shop. During the afternoons, there were baby tigers and a kangaroo that you could take pictures with for a fee. The food at the Kalahari is not so good. We had breakfast buffet at the Great Karoo, and although it looked good, the food just wasn't that tasty. We also ate at the snack bars by the pool. The food was just ok and very expensive. Pizza was nasty. You would be better off eating at Cracker Barrel and Dennys, which are nearby. The hotel has a nice arcade for the kids. Games are nice and not too expensive. Another nice feature is Kamp Kalahari, a kids' activity center with crafts, games, contests and movies. Most activities are free or for a nominal fee. My girls 10 and 7 LOVED this.
Of course, the main attraction at the Kalahari is the waterparks. Here there were no disappointments. Both the indoor and outdoor parks were huge, with tons of stuff to do. Compared to Great Wolf, the slides are taller and scarier. However, Kalahari also has more pools for just swimming and splashing. Not every pool is part of a waterslide, and that is very nice. There were ample tables and chairs outside during our stay. Inside, it was harder to find a table. The indoor waterpark is also awesome. The lazy river is huge and is connected to the wave pool. I loved how you could go down a tube slide, shoot out into the lazy river and float on down to the wave pool. The family raft rides were fun, not scary at all. The master blaster was very rough and fast, but not too scary once you got used to it. The indoor waterpark also has 5 large hot tubs, a big plus. The flow master surf ride looked very cool, although no one in my family was up for it. The teens appeared to be loving it. The only negative thing about the indoor waterpark is that you have to enter through a crowded locker room. Since you don't have to stay at the hotel to use the waterpark, the locker room is very busy and by the end of the day the floor was nasty with hair, band aides, etc. Overall, cleanliness of the waterparks seemed ok. Our experience at the Kalahari was very positive and we would stay there again. Compared to Great Wolf, the Kalahari is bigger and the waterparks have more to offer. However, Great Wolf seems cosier, cleaner, less crowded and has better food. I like the atmosphere at Great Wolf better, but the Kalahari definately has more to do.

  • Liked — Nice room, great waterpark, lots to do.
  • Disliked — Expensive, bad food.
  • Stayed August 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank crazywith3kids
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Joliet IL
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed September 3, 2008

I stayed at the Kalahari twice this summer, one sun night in late June, and mid Aug Sun-Mon-tues. both times checking in on Sun
the wait was about 10-15 min. I never encountered any rude staff. Everyone was helpful and nice. Some of the teenage lifguards look like they hate their life but thats the age I think.
I stayed with my adult son and 13, 11 & 8 yr old the 1st time and
the second time just me & the kids. both times the room was clean, no complaints. when we stayed 2 nights the maid arranged my daughter's stuffed animals on the bed. Our first stay we didnt get the pool side view or balcony (got the room key late-8pm maybe thats why) I sent an email about it and they made sure we had the balcony poolside the second time.
Loved the waterparks inside & outside. I had older kids and they loved all the slides, it seemed to me there was plenty of little kid areas too. they all loved the outdoor kid area even thought they are older. we got tired eventually, but never bored.
I highly recommend the flow rider lessons. (if taken after park closes) they let you go on over & over using the whole thing, not
half, and for a long time. we left at midnight and people were still
going. the instructor was very energetic and helpful. be careful
girls in 2-peice the water is strong and lots of girls lost their suits!
Food was pricey and not great but we didnt want to get dressed to go out. pizza was pretty good. The kahunaville restuarant was too loud for me (was tired by then) food was ok. the girls had a lot of fun painting pottery & at the arcade.
Overall we had a great time and would definately go back . I do wish they had a "tornado" type ride and there ought to be more than one lifeguard at the wave pool. Loved the slides esp. master blaster. I did not find the floor to be either slippery or dirty. while the kids were in flow rider lesson they were soaping down the whole locker room so they clean it really good. the girls loved the baby animals in the lobby. Definately lots of fun and no problems at all.

  • Liked — slides, pools, nice room, atmosphere
  • Disliked — no tornado ride, only 1 lifeguard at the wave pool
  • Stayed August 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank 4goldn1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
Reviewed September 3, 2008

We have been going to the Kalahari for the better part of the last seven years now. Usually, we visit during January, as it provides a nice break from the sometimes harsh Midwestern winters. Over the years we have seen the Kalahari grow through various expansions, as it continues to evolve.

Last week marked the first time we had been to the resort during the summer months since our first visit in 2001. The trip was a last minute decision, so when we looked online for the best deals we decided to choose the Rest and Relaxation package, which included a $50 spa gift card, a voucher for breakfast for two at one of the onsite restaurants, and a whirlpool suite complete with fireplace.

After we had checked into our room early without incident, we opened the envelope containing the elements of our package and discovered that instead of one gift card and one voucher, we had apparently received one for each of the three nights of our stay. A pleasant surprise, to say the least.

The following morning, we made use of one of our breakfast vouchers, only having to pay for our side dishes and drink upgrades. We followed that with a couples massage at the spa, using our $150 in gift cards for the $230 treatment.

During our stay, we also took full advantage of the outdoor waterpark we had not experienced in so long. The final morning of our stay, we used another or our breakfast vouchers, this time for the breakfast buffet. The first morning, we did not realize the buffet was eligible, which would have been nice considering it offered the full menu and we only had to pay for the tip this time.

Of all of the times we have stayed at the Kalahari, we have tried various different rooms, from ones with a fireplace to the condos to the whirlpool suite. All have been very nice. The only complaint I would have concerning this particular stay was that we met a nice family from Canada who had driven ten hours to visit the park and were upgraded to the Royal Presidential Suite on only their second visit to the resort. As someone who has been a loyal visitor, it would be nice to receive a similar gesture of appreciation and not have it seem like the hotel is more concerned with rewarding those who come from further away than those who come often. It just felt to me like they were trying to hook new patrons, which is fine, but you shouldn't forget about your regulars either.

All in all, though, a nice trip, as always.

  • Liked — Lots of activities onsite
  • Stayed August 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Mardukas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minnesota
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed August 28, 2008

I stayed one night at the Kalahari with my husband and two children, six & three years old. We were very excited once we pulled into the parking lot to get upstairs as quickly as possible, take a tour and get to the water park. After my husband checked us in, we hauled all our luggage, toys, etc. to the elevator. And waited. Waited. Waited. After what seemed like an eternity, the doors opened and we got to go up to our room. Once we got there we got our things situated, our son was the first to use the toilet. He went. He flushed. It wouldn't flush and turned into a gushing fountain. Called front desk. She was very polite and said she would send someone up right away. Twenty-five minutes passed and no one came. I called and was informed that 'they forgot to call maintenance' and that someone would be right up. I informed her that by now the room stunk and pretty soon we were going to have our own little water park. So after about seven more minutes maintenance came and fixed the problem. Okay. I was willing to chalk that up to bad luck and give the place the benefit of the doubt.
When we got to the water park, we went on the Master Blaster, which was super fun. The kids enjoyed the 'kiddie' pool with the slides. They got bored after about an hour of that. Most of the pools, rides there seem geared towards teenagers/adults, from what I could see. We still had a good time at the water park. Watching the body surfing was entertaining. The only things that really bothered me about the water park were that in addition to all of the guests staying there with access to the park, people who weren't staying there could come in and use the park, for a fee. Also, the floors were VERY slippery. Even walking carefully, we all slipped at least two to three times a piece. Not to mention litter from napkins and fast food laying on the ground. And used bandaids. I saw staff see the garbage/band-aid and leave it on the ground. Some garbage I passed again and again over the three hours we were in the waterpark.
After the waterpark, we decided to order some room service (we had forgot to activate it, but were informed we could order and pick it up) I ordered at 6:00pm and was told it could be picked up by 6:35pm. My husband and daughter went to pick it up. They returned at about 7:10pm. My husband told me that they had 'forgotten to put our order in and would get it out as soon as they could'. Well, when my husband got back with the food, they had forgotten my meal. I called them at 7:15pm to inform them of this, and they said my meal would be sent to my room promptly. I got my meal at about 8:00pm. At this point, I had made my mind up that we would not be coming back. I was also glad that we had not booked this place for our whole trip. Before coming to Kalahari, we stayed two nights at The Great Wolf Lodge, and it was amazing. I have no complaints about them whatsoever, the only regret is that we hadn't stayed there one more night.
We are pretty laid back people, and I can understand mistakes will be made, but to happen consistantly within such a short period of time is unacceptable. Especially when we only had one night to spend there, we spent most of it waiting because of the service.

  • Liked — Leaving
  • Disliked — Dirty floors, bad service, all the waiting
  • Stayed August 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank StillwaterFour
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
St. Paul, Minnesota
1 review
Reviewed August 26, 2008

We spent our last few days of summer vacation at the Kalahari in Wisconsin Dells. We love the Dells but, our experience at the Kalahari was incredibly disappointing.
We expected to be truly impressed with the Waterparks and Resort especially when you pay $450 a night. The Waterpark was average (compared to the Wilderness) The room was nice and large but, we couldn't keep the climate in the room under control. All night we were either freezing or boiling hot. We had to get up several times during the night to try and correct the temp. Annoying!!
The second night was far worse. After returning from dinner about 9:30pm. We came back to our room to discover the room above us (filled with young,drunk adults) was playing incredibly loud music, swearing, slamming doors and running back and forth in the room. You can imagine how difficult it was trying to get young children to bed and how frusterating it was to listen to this crap on our vacation.
What makes this worse, we ended up calling down to the front desk SEVEN times to complain but, the Manager and Security couldn't figure out what room the noise was coming from. They actually asked if they could come in our room twice to listen to the noise to find out where it was....OMG what a bunch of idiots. In the meantime we are getting more and more angry. We will NEVER stay at the Kalahari again. There are clearly better resorts to stay at in the Dells for much less $.

  • Liked — The size of the room
  • Disliked — Customer service
  • Stayed August 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
Thank irishjoey
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
Reservation Options:
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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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