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“Great hotel - coming from a travel agent!!”

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Kalahari Resorts & Conventions
Ranked #6 of 74 Hotels in Wisconsin Dells
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed September 15, 2010

You know, being a travel agent, I have been to many destinations and many hotels and resorts ranging from small to very large. After reading MANY of these reviews, I felt like I had to put my opinion in. I cannot believe what people are complaining about. I never write reviews, but again, felt that I had to. I'm going to comment on as much as I can so here goes.....
1. People are complaining that the resort is too large and it's hard to find things. Yes...the resort is huge.....helloooo....it's the kalahari. If you go onto their website or take the time to review a brochure, you'll know how large this resort really is. Being as large as it is, surprisingly enough, it's VERY easy to get around. There are signs everywhere. If you choose to stay in the main building and not The Sands, it's fine. We NEVER got lost, it's too hard to get lost! If you don't like large resorts, don't come here.

2. Rooms...we had a 2bdrm/2 bath suite. It was great. We travelled with a 6 and 2 year old so there was plenty of room for all to enjoy. Our room was very clean, maid service came promptly every AM. Plenty of towels everyday. There was absoluletly nothing wrong with our room. I can't comment on other people's rooms, only ours and I can only say good things about it....at least the room itself. Beds, yeah, they're a bit hard. I loved them....that's me. If you don't like hard beds, you'll hate it. Pillows, I hated them. They're feather pillows. I like large firm pillows, but that's me. Most hotels/resorts I stay at have these type pillows anyways and the only reason I mention them is from other people complaining. Soundproof? God no. If you have a small child that naps during the day, ask for a quieter area on the top floor. We were on the 3rd floor and I know there was a toddler having their fun running around upstairs. Walls are thin so if you need quiet while you sleep, bring your earplugs, that's what I did. No biggie. We also had a balcony overlooking the outdoor waterpark. We arrived on Labor Day and it was a bit cold, so not too many people outside. The music wasn't loud. Now, if we went on a weekend or sometime in the summer, I'm sure I would've heard alot more noise than what we did. Again, just bring your earplugs people.

3. "scary masks". OMG....come on people. It's the Kalahari. It's African themed! There are going to be masks everywhere and NONE are "scary". If your child cries because of the "scary masks" and you have to put a towel over them....I've very sorry.....but your kid has some issues. I love kids, but that comment I read was absolutely ridiculous.

4. Food.....personally, we thought the food was good. Nothing to brag about, but it was good. Even the pizza was pretty good which surprised me. We ordered a BBQ pizza and it was delicious. We ordered the pizza right in the indoor waterpark and it was ready in 1/2 hour....the normal wait for a pizza. The Great Karoo was decent and the Pina Colada Chicken at Kahunaville was awesome. Didn't go to Damon's. Being that it was slow (kids back to school after Labor Day), we had the advantage of no long lines anywhere and service was quick. For you people who complain about long lines with food and whatnot....what do you expect....this is a large resort and when it's at full capacity during busy season....of course there will be lines!!! If you don't like lines - don't go on the weekend....don't go during spring break or during a holiday break. Come on...think about it!!!!

Can you tell I'm pretty aggravated about some of these people's reviews!!

5. Waterparks - pretty decent. Again, we have a 6 year old and a 2 year old so the waterparks in our opinions were great. The indoor waterpark was pretty good although the wave pool wasn't much at all. Lazy river was ok, I've been in much better. Outdoor waterpark...not too sure. We arrived on labor day, the last day it was open (except weekends) and it was pretty cold. Our 6 year old lasted only 20 minutes before she wanted to go to the indoor waterpark. I can't review that except for the center kid area that she was playing on was really cool. She loved it. As far as the life vests go....yes...if your child is under 48", no matter if they know how to swim or not, they need to wear one. The kids may not like it, but you know what, it's for their own safety. Again, this is a large resort and there are alot of guests there. If guests are going to complain about this safety policy, then don't come here. God forbid the resort cares about their guests safety!!! They have many life vests here, but we brought our own for our 6 year old. They have infant vests also of which my 2 year old son wore. He didn't like it at first but quickly learned, he was not going in the water unless it was on. After awhile, he was fine.

6. Indoor amusement park. I don't know what people are complaining about here. It has a ferris wheel, go carts (which I didn't like but my husband and daughter had fun on them), laser tag (which I did not try so can't comment), LOTS of games, mini golf (just ok), rock climbing, bowling, carousel and a ropes course....of which someone put in their review "not safe". IT'S SAFE PEOPLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You need to wear gym shoes. If you don't have gym shoes on, they make you wear those Croc shoes. They also put you in this harness and hook you up to the bars. If you miss a step, YOU WILL NOT FALL. It's 3 levels high and I watched smaller kids do it. Under 46" or so, kids need a parent to go with them. I did it twice, my husband did it 3 times. My daughter was afraid. The 1st time, she only got through the 1st part. The 2nd time she tried it, she got through 3 parts. Employees and other guests completely understand if you can't get through it. Not a big deal, you just go back. Once you start, it's not like you have to finish if you feel like you can't. Again, IT'S SAFE!!!!!
The indoor amusement park also has this area in the back that all the kids can climb and jump around in....you know....like those things they have in those McDonals's playlands....only MUCH BIGGER. Make sure you bring socks or they won't let you in. Is it worth $25pp if you're not staying at the resort, yes, I think so.....but only if you try everything! We went everynight with our daughter because it was included in with our stay, but I don't know if I would spend $25pp for age 6 years and over had I not stay there.

7. Some guy complained about the parking lot. This is a huge resort holding over 1000 rooms - OF COURSE THE LOT IS GOING TO BE BIG!!!!!!!! Again, if resort is at full capacity, expect to walk. If you don't like a large resort - DON'T STAY THERE! The parking lots are fine and there's plenty of space. Drop the wife/kids off at the front and park the car. Don't be lazy - walk and quit complaining!!!!

8. Pool towels....yes....they're scratchy. WHO CARES! If you don't like "scratchy" towels, bring your own. I did. No biggie.

9. Room safes....they're there.....LOOK. Our safe was in the first room you walked in to inside of the nightstand. Normally they're in the closets, but we did have to look. Normal safe and easy to work, but don't complain that there is no safe when every room has one.

10. Smell of chlorine........OF COURSE YOU'RE GOING TO SMELL CHLORINE IN THE INDOOR WATERPARK!!!!! Yes it's strong. It's called.....an indoor waterpark.

11. Average price - $300/night. No....I most certainly would NOT pay $300/night for this resort. We had a great deal and only paid $150/night plus resort fee/taxes. We also had b/fast included each AM and $50 dinner coupons. I would have no problems whatsoever spending that amount again should the deal come up, but $300/night. NO. Unless you're in a villa or something, maybe, but I did not see those rooms so I can't comment on those.

12. Spa, sorry - didn't go - can't comment. They did have some kids spa services available, but I thought it was too pricey to try.

Well - I'm certain by now you're thinking what kind of travel agent is saying comments like this, but it just really erks me when guests complain about such trivial things. Any person that travels a great deal knows that when a resort is at full capacity, especially a very large resort like the Kalahari, will not get the best customer service. If you want great customer service - go to a Four Seasons people. Our entire stay (4 nights), we only had 1 cranky waitress. Maybe she was having a bad day, I don't know, but all other staff in all areas were great and so long as you treat them with respect, they'll do the same for you. You treat people the way you want to be treated. If you don't like crowds, long lines, walking alot (you DO walk alot), scratchy towels, then don't come here, at least when it's busy. Oh....and by the way.....there is also a theatre attached to the resort. We didn't go, but it looked like a normal theatre showing quite a few movies. Don't know the prices.
Anyways, would I come here again? YES. I do have to admit, I will try the Wilderness during the summertime because they are known for their outdoor waterpark, but in the winter - I will most certainly go back to the Kalahari (when the price is right). They have LOTS to do and for short stays, you won't see yourself leaving.....unless you've never been to the Dells and have to try all of the other hokey downtown stuff :) Yeah - I did that stuff, my daughter had a good time. Downtown was only 10 minutes away......and BTW....if you have small kids, go to the Deer Park. The deer just follow you around and you can feed them right there. Both of our kids loved it, but buy the crackers in the store first - totally worth it! The deer will not even give you a chance to get the food out of those little machines in the park - they'll eat the food right out of that container before you can get to it!!

And I guess I should say this as well.....if you're thinking about taking small children in that Top Secret place (the upside down White House), if your kids are afraid of a haunted house, think twice about going. I personally thought it was most definelty a waste of money but there are parts in the house where it's pitch black with loud noises. I'm glad I didn't take my 2 year old. Just don't go unless you have a coupon!

All-in-all.....HAVE A GREAT TIME AT THE KALAHARI - YOU'RE ON VACATION - ENJOY YOURSELVES AND QUIT COMPLAINING!! You'll have a great time and I would highly recommend this resort to anyone, but just please remember, if you're going during a busy season - there are LOTS of people.....lots.

  • Stayed: September 2010, traveled with family
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5  Thank DTLTA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed September 11, 2010

We had seen this hotel on the news and thought it would be fun to stay. We got there and it was sooo big, it was hard to find anything. The water park was small and not worth the money. It is more for younger children. They have a few older kid attractions, but mostly activity pools.
The amusement park wasn't great eithor. It had a go-kart track, a ropes course (not safe) and lasar tag. The lasar tag just threw you into an open room
When we went to order dinner at the small window by the waterpark our dinner took forever to get, then when we got it, it wasn't that warm. Nor did the food taste good.
The service was O.K. But not spectacular.
Next year we will try to stay at The Great Wolf Lodge.

  • Stayed: April 2010, traveled with family
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Thank Secret_Traveler101
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 8, 2010

Great package deal from their website for one night. Ended up getting a $50 credit at a restaurant as well as 2 adult and 2 kids breakfasts free. Free upgrade to a royal suite (2 bedrooms and 2 baths). The food was great. The buffet was good for dinner. The waterpark was fine . Only did the indoor park. Enough to do for a 2 1/2 year old. Had a great time!

  • Stayed: September 2010, traveled with family
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1  Thank punkin0916
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 3, 2010

After a great vacation in the Dells last year at Great Wolf Lodge, my family and I had high expectations for our stay this year. Unfortunately, we decided to try the Kalahari for something different this year (we just returned home yesterday). Never again while I consider the Kalahari! It started going downhill upon arrival as we waited in gridlock just to get through the parking lot. Then we got into the lobby and there were 50 people waiting to check in.

This resort has extreme rules compared to the other waterparks in the Dells, life jackets are mandatory at all times for kids 48" and under, even in the pools. One of the snotty lifeguards whistled at me and told me that my baby (which I was holding) needed a life jacket and I told her that I was not going to go in the pool and she said "Well, your baby is too close to the pool - the baby needs a life jacket!" I hope someday this snotty young girl has a really colicky baby so she can see what it's like to have an infant in a life jacket for three days straight. We were at the Kalahari with friends and we all started calling the lifeguards 'the gestapo' because all we heard all day long was the lifeguards blowing their whistles and yelling at families that were just trying to have a good time.

The variety of the waterslides was also disappointing - they had quite a few baby slides and a good number of big tunnel slides (i.e. completely dark the entire way) but not a lot of intermediate slides and that is what we were looking for. The lines for all of the tube/family rides were really long. I felt like we spent our whole time at the Kalahari waiting in line. Just getting some nachos at a concession stand took 30 minutes. All of the foodservice staff appeared really inefficient or extremely understaffed.

Unfortunately, we also purchased the 'family getaway package' they were offering which included breakfast each day, one lunch, one dinner, indoor amusement park passes, etc. Sounded like a good deal, but we were disappointed over and over. Instead of being able to eat in the resort restaurants we had to hike over to Banquet Hall C in the convention center for our 'free breakfast' each day and the breakfast was the same every day. The lunch voucher was only good at one concession stand which, of course, had an extremely long line. The indoor amusement park was a waste. Maybe if our kids had been tall enough for the ropes course or some of the older kid attractions. Most of the place was just arcade games.

It seems to me that this resort is just overbuilt - too many people/too many rooms for the amount of waterpark space and other amenities that they have. Doesn't help that they let non-guests into the waterpark. Again, wish we had gone back to Great Wolf Lodge, what a great place - very family friendly, competent staff, no crazy rules or rude lifeguards - it has everything!

  • Stayed: August 2010, traveled with family
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3  Thank Chaska_MNChaska
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 30, 2010

We have stayed here 6 times since last Oct. I had one problem once and it was fixed immediately. The staff is phenomenal. The spa services are great. Free wine tasting every night. Food is reasonably priced and good. Beds are comfortable and I have never heard noise from the hall or around us. The indoor park is also great and the wristband is worth the $. Free shuttle to Crystal Grand Theater (we saw Kenny Rogers). Overall in the winter you don't even need to see your car while you are there. Everything is right at your fingertips. Check in lines can be long, but they always have many people at the computers to help and I think you would find this at any major hotel (we go to Disney 2 times a year and I guarantee we have a longer wait there). I have stayed in 5 different room types and have been happy with every single one of them.

  • Stayed: August 2010, traveled with family
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3  Thank mickey778
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 30, 2010

Although, we have gone here a few times in the past, this will be our last time. The service for food was disgusting, slow and incapable. The only good place to go was the Great Karoo and this was because it was a buffet and you served yourself. Don't even think you're ever going to sit down in a chair outside because they are always taken with dirty disgusting towels. The pool is too full all the time and full of people not using swim diapers. The only relaxing part of our time there is staying in the Sands condo building that you access through the walkway. Usually weekdays are less busy but not when they put out an internet special. Then it becomes a madhouse. Not to mention the noise of loud music, running around kids and screaming adults until all hours of the night and morning. Too boot our coffee maker in our room was broken and it spilled all over our entire toiletries we brought.

This is absolutely NOT a couples place either. It's for people who have young children. Our 12 year old was bored most of the time. There's really nothing for the bigger kids. Stay downtown and get free passes to Noah's Ark. Don't waste your money here. We won't again.

  • Stayed: August 2010, traveled with family
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1  Thank AM601
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 26, 2010

My fiance' and I went up for a 3 hour drive, having never been to the Dells before. Decided on the Kalahari because their special that night happened to be better than the special offered by the Wilderness.

I can't believe how much this place has to offer. The staff was friendly and check in was a breeze. We hit the outdoor and indoor water parks, which are completely massive and amazing. We went on every water slide numerous times like little kids. There is plenty of things to do for both adults and children. The food is great and not over priced. We went through downtown and bought some fudge and candy. If you like pizza, there are tons of pizza places around. The movie theater in the hotel also has a special $5 for weekday/night movies.

I will be back within the next month. I recommend staying here for anybody.

  • Stayed: August 2010, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank isp5982
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

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:
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Wisconsin Dells
#4 Business Hotel in Wisconsin Dells
#12 Family Hotel in Wisconsin Dells
Price Range: $129 - $219 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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