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“Great waterpark for winter, OK for summer”

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Kalahari Resorts & Conventions
Ranked #6 of 73 Hotels in Wisconsin Dells
Certificate of Excellence
Gurnee, illinois (Chicago area)
Level Contributor
8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
“Great waterpark for winter, OK for summer”
Reviewed July 30, 2006

We've stayed here for many years. The indoor waterpark is the biggest in the Dells and this is the only place to stay outside of summer months. The outdoor waterpark is still fun, but small compared to the Wilderness.

The rooms are clean and staff is accommodating. I recommend staying in the Condo's even though the walk is farther.

The indoor waterpark is warm (unlike the Wilderness that is cold). They have rides for all ages. Parking during peak periods is tough, but who cares, because once you park, you don't need to leave.

The only issue I have is that this resort let's in the outside public with day passes. This sometimes overcrowds the waterpark during peak times.

I recommend this for non-summer months and recommend the Wilderness during the summer.

  • Stayed May 2006, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
6 Thank grozgroz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (667)
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English first
St. Louis, MO
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed July 27, 2006

We had planned a road-trip vacation driving from St. Louis to several places north, with Wisconsin Dells being our first stop. We were planning to hit one of the outdoor water parks until we checked the weather for the coming week. Rain and 75 degrees is not our ideal waterpark. We then found the Kalahari Resort. We had an absolutely Wonderful experience. The staff was friendly and attentive. We had a problem with our room keys on day 2 and they promptly replaced them and had maintenance fix our door. Because we booked so late we were upgraded to a Suite. The Suite was fabulous. It had a nice view of the outdoor waterpark from the balcony, a fireplace, 2 bedrooms, 2 full bathrooms (1 with a jetted tub), a sitting area with sofa sleeper and 3 TV's (with monitoring of the indoor waterpark if you wanted to keep track of older kids). The suite also had a microwave and refrigerator.

The waterparks were always clean and the kids had a blast! They did not want to leave to go on to our next stop. Our 3 year old asked if we could stay there forever and still asks to go back. The rides themselves did not have huge lines even in peak times.

I could recommend this resort to everyone with kids!

  • Liked — The Indoor Waterpark
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed June 2006, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
4 Thank Cracker412
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Southern Illinois
Level Contributor
15 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed July 24, 2006

This was our first trip to the Kalahari or The Dells. I booked our stay via their website. The website shows a beautiful, huge resort with wonderful waterparks. I was afraid I would show up and be disappointed. I had nothing to fear. This resort is an absolute family vacation dream!

Our party consisted of two early 30's parents, a 2 year old, a 10 year old, a 12 year old, and a 14 year old. My family and nephews had a blast every second. The hotel was very clean, every staff member was pleasant, the desert room had enough room for a short stay, and the waterparks were better than expected. The hotel was busy, but not crowded.

The sweet shack was too good. The prices were typical of a resort. They were on the high end. We didn't eat at the restaurants. We drove to Wal*Mart and stocked the fridge in our room.

Plan on spending a little more than you expect. This place was just too good. They offer hair braiding, airbrush tatoos, etc. My husband and older kids went to the Desert Cinema to catch a late night movie.

They charge a deposit upon arrival of $50 per person that is refunded at the end of your stay. Just tell them to turn off your phone and pay per view movies and you won't be charged the deposit. Also, request a room credit card for all the extras in the resort. They charge it to your room and you don't have to carry cash.

My only complaint is my vacation ended too soon! We're already planning on a return trip next year if possible. This resort is perfect for families with kids to entertain. My advise is go and have a fantastic family vacation, getaway, whatever....just go!

I never heard any noise near our room. I'm sure it was there in some areas of the hotel. This resort is family oriented, so giggling, excited kids are everywhere. So, you should expect some noise.

The website is kalahariresort it is even better than they advertise.

  • Liked — Good value
  • Tips/Secrets — Bring extra cash...this place is great!
  • Stayed June 2006, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
9 Thank happy_family2001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Illinois
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed June 29, 2006

We stayed in the Nomad rooms and I never heard any other guests the whole time we were there! The hallways have a Quiet Zone-Sleeping Rooms sign posted at the entrance to the halls and they must have worked! The rooms were larger than we expected with a nice little fireplace and balcony. The carpets are berber and the hall carpets are THICK and very pretty! This is probably the cleanest room that I have ever seen in a hotel! The towels are thick and they give you a ton too!
The waterparks are very well staffed-except the hot tub areas (be careful with little ones) and they are very unobtrusive. There isn't the constant whistle blowing as in other waterparks, but they are very alert!
There is plenty of space for everyone and we never had to wait very long to ride. The only thing that gets an oldie like me is the amount of stairs that you have to climb to get everywhere!

We really enjoyed the little gift shops, eateries, and game room all under the same roof! We will definitely come back to the Kalahari!

  • Stayed June 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank Patti P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Central Illinois
Level Contributor
11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
Reviewed June 29, 2006

We just took our first trip to the the Dells and stayed at the Kalahari Resort. The resort is immaculate and beautiful. We stayed in a Nomad room which was one of the least expensive. The rooms are huge! Two adults and four children could easily stay here. The gas fireplace was beautiful and came in handy when the nights got chllly and you come back to your room all wet!

I read another review that said it was noisy, but we did not hear any noise at all...not even a toilet flush or shower running, absolutely no hallway noise either. I even commented to my husband that there wasn't any noise here, unlike the Hampton in St. Louis where we had just stayed.

The water in the outdoor waterpark was a little chilly, but there was so much to do. The hot tub with the waterfall was wonderful.

The indoor waterpark was great. There is something for EVERY age group. My four-year-old had a lot to do and so did my 9-year-old. Since there is only one way to get in and out it seemed pretty safe too.

My only concern was that some hot tubs were unattended by lifeguards and sometimes were empty of adults. There were also times when some of the slides at the top were unattended, although there was a lifeguard at the bottom. I just though this was a little dangerous for little ones that may get away from a parent.

We stayed for two nights and my only complaint was that our kids did not want to go anywhere else! :) '

The town has something for everyone...all kinds of waterparks, racetracks, amusement parks, haunted houses, magic shows, etc., but what I loved was the quaintness of the mom and pop hotels that line the main road and are so cute ... they have been there forever but most are immaculate and so nostalgic. It was nice to go to a tourist town that wasn't lined by high rise hotels. We loved it. ALOT of Kodak photo opportunities!

Helpful?
16 Thank DisneyGal65
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
minnesota
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed June 28, 2006

I don't normally write reviews so the fact that I am is significant! We just got back from three nights at the Kalahari resort. Check-in was supposed to be 4pm. We got there a little early and decided to chance it. Well, we were not only welcomed but we lucked out and were given a room with a balcony, which was not what we paid for. Check-in took us 10mins. The foyer of the hotel is magnificent, so more than enough time to gape at while waiting for your turn at the desk.
The girl at check-in gave us our room number, necessary paper work signed and waterpark wrist bands in hand off we went to our room. The room had two queen beds and a sofa bed. It was a really nice room which included a microwave and fridge. The decor throughout the resort is magnificent! Our balcony overlooked the car park but was great, especially for free!

Here's the concise version. The waterparks are fabulous for both adults and children. The resort restaurants are pretty average/awful especially the Great Karoo. Service was terrible and the food cold and nasty. The cocktails throughout the whole resort were superb, especially the 'master blaster' (pina colada with a shot of kahlua!) at $6 each there weren't bad. At the outdoor park they have waitresses taking your order for drinks which we used more than once! The Kalahari provides cards to check expenses to your room. This was really useful and meant not trailing cash or cards around with you deathly afraid of them being stolen.

The coffee shop, Nina's of course requires you to mortgage your home or sell your first born in order to afford an expresso! However, it's like that at most trendy coffee shops. Krispy creme donuts cost $1 each, 20oz bottled soda's cost $2 as does 20oz bottled water. Take soda along with you and avoid that cost. A pretzel was $3.99, hot dog at the concession stand by the pool was $4. There are three stores in the resort selling T shirts etc. These were a little pricey, the cheapest Kalahari advertising T shirt being $20.

I visited the spa for their signature pedicure. $95 for 75mins of sheer heaven! The gal was attentive without being annoyingly chatty, a trait I truly appreciate! I enjoyed the experience and the results. I would recommend it. My teens loved the games room, cinema and of course the waterparks. They supply towels and pretty much anything goes, not too much evidence of annoying rules. However, on the flip side loads of adults were swigging beer from glass bottles in and around the pools. That is a complete no no for me. The life guards appeared attentive and were very polite.

My husband spent a lot of time in the foyer at the fireplace surrounded by jungle like vegetation reading his book. The ambience was wonderful.
I did not hear children in the corridors, drunken parties, doors slamming etc. Unfortunately I also didn't hear the keys of my lap top tapping either as the Kalahari charges $10 for 24hrs internet access. Uh uh not doing that! So tortured by the thought that there might be that one e mail we have to answer right now we did stick $2 in the machines in the lobby which allowed us 8 mins of internet delight. Eh... nope wouldn't let us access any MSN or Yahoo sites, stinkers! Of course we find this out AFTER they've snatched our two dollars!
All in all we will definately go back. Loved it with mild frustrations with the quality of the food, cost of internet access and general inflated costs in the stores. Won't stop me from returning!

  • Stayed June 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank jewell1966
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed June 23, 2006

Overall the property was a very nice "family resort". Nicely kept up for the most part...Although I waited to see if the housekeeping staff would ever notice and scrape the wad of gum firmly planted on our front door sill off...Never did after a week of watching and waiting.

We paid a premium price for one of the Royal Suites and never got a decent night's sleep in it for the whole week we were there. Totally inadequate sound insulation between the floors, coupled with a predictably high percentage of kids in sugar-spiked hyperdrive guarantees you'll never get to sleep before midnight. Noise and vibrations from kids running and bouncing on beds etc. literally shook the light fixtures loose downstairs in our suite night after night. This wasn't an isolated instance...we had two different neighbors above us during our stay...with identical results.

Quiet hours begin at 11:00pm and the desk staff was quick to notify violators (3 strikes and you're out is the policy) if you called it in. But, quiet hours aren't posted anywhere, and frankly with a 3 strikes policy (which equates to 3 nights), either the violator or the victim is statistically probably leaving anyway so what difference does it make?

The property was very nice, but the unresolved noise issue in the sleeping rooms really ruined it for us and I wouldn't recommend it to anyone for that reason. Yes, we all know it's a "family resort", but when you're literally spending thousands of dollars to stay there, you should be able to get a decent night's sleep regardless.

Stayed June 2006
Helpful?
17 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: 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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