All in all, Kalahari delivered the goods. The outside of the building is quite impressive with the waterfalls and the swans and the bridge and once we walked inside, the oohs and awes continued. The main building of this resort is up to Disney standards. I almost thought I entered the Animal Kingdom Lodge in WDW. It was very clean and expertly decorated with attention to every detail of the African motif. We were immediately treated to the aroma of baked goods being cooked up in the little bakery just after entering the building. I was a little lost in the building because of its vastness, but I was directed by an extremely friendly staff member where I needed to go to get to the waterpark. I did not stay over night at Kalahari because we live so close, but if the main building is hinting at what the rooms are like, I can't imagine a nicer facility.
Now, as far as the waterpark is concerned, there were just a few issues. First is the overwhelming smell of chlorine. It's like going to the YMCA tripled. The air circulation does not seem to be doing much in the way to lessen this issue, because it was also over-the-top muggy inside. On the plus side, we went on a Thursday and right when it opened, so we were treated to an almost empty facility. We were able to hop on and off slides for most of the morning. Another issue is that, if you are new to the facility, there are no signs pointing you to different attractions. If you want to know where the entrance to a slide is, or what kind of slide it is, you have to wander up to the sign that is directly by its entrance. My daughter and I kind of happened upon slides rather than knowing where to go. Now, the slides themselves are simply amazing! The rides make up for the mugginess and the chlorine smell (which we got used to after an hour or so). My daughter kept switching as to which one was her favorite. The wave pool and the lazy river ride (my personal fav) were also extremely fun. Again, I truly believe they are at Disney standards as far as fuun and amusement go.
The outside portion of the waterpark is, frankly, just so-so. If you like the zip chord thing or the the climbing tower (both extra $) then the outside is great. If you are looking for more slides then I am afraid you are going to be disappointed. There is mostly just average pools to relax in. There is a small kids area with slides, but nothing more.
Here's the rub for this resort, they are going to gouge you and your wallet for all it's worth. The entrance fee into the park WITHOUT an overnight's stay for only my 7 year old daughter and I was $78! Unreal! Not only that, I paid $15 for lunch and that was with my daughter and I sharing a piece of pizza, a soda, a small bag of bbq chips, and (as a splurge) a $4.26 cup of Dip-n-Dots. Are these people nuts? It's Ohio for goodness sake! I pay this much at Cedar Point and they have roller coasters and fresh air! Come on! I understand they have that all-inclusive resort thing going for them, but they aren't in the tropics or Orlando, they're in northern Ohio.
Bottom Line: loved the place but not darn near $85 worth of love; won't be back anytime soon. If you can afford it, you won't be disappointed. Clean, nice staff, excellent rides.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Kalahari Resorts Sandusky provides water parks, Safari Outdoor Adventure Park, indoor/outdoor water park, catering/wedding facilities, spa, salon, fitness training in fitness center, dining options, and more.Over 850 beautifully appointed authentic African-themed guest rooms and suites offer coffeemaker, vacation sized refrigerator, microwave, free high speed Internet access, voice mail, TV, iron/ironing board, in-room safe, pay per view movies, and much more. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Kalahari Waterpark Resort
- Kalahari Hotel Ohio
- Kalahari Waterpark Sandusky
- Kalahari Resort Sandusky Oh
- Kalahari Waterpark Hotel Sandusky
- Kalahari Water Park
- Kalahari Resorts & Conventions Sandusky, Ohio