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“Clean, Fun, but Exorbitantly Expensive!”

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Kalahari Resorts & Conventions
Ranked #2 of 35 Hotels in Sandusky
Certificate of Excellence
Marion, Ohio
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Clean, Fun, but Exorbitantly Expensive!”
Reviewed 22 July 2010

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.

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank klkroeger11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (848)
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English first
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 July 2010

Thought we snagged a good deal with a package. One of my BIGGEST. REGRETS. EVER. Large spiders in room, hair in bathtub, and worst of all, FOOD POISONING FROM THE DINNER BUFFET. I've never felt so sick in my life. The place is loud and poorly constructed- it's really only for families, not romance. Side note, I grew up in Sandusky, OH. One of the biggest problems with this little tourist town is maintaining staffing for a place of this magnitude to run properly. The room was dirty, the staff did allow us to move rooms once, but did nothing to follow-up with the dinner buffet issue. Stick with Cedar Point Resorts- they recruit staff from all over the world every summer.

  • Stayed October 2009, travelled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank nanthony22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Moundsville, West Virginia
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 July 2010

After reading several negative reviews regarding Kalahari, we almost cancelled our reservations...we are glad that we didn't! Upon arrival, the entire resort made sense. There is a loading and unloading zone equipped with bell-hop carts to make getting to your room fast and easy. Our room was on the fourth floor but was no more than a two minute walk to the waterpark...this is contrary to what others have written in. We had the standard Nomad room with two queen beds and a pull-out sofa. The room was plenty large enough for our family of two adults and four teenagers. The room was clean but could use some updating...the floor had a few stains and the bedspreads have seen better days. The lobby area was very clean and well-designed. There are several shopping areas which included clothing, toiletries, souveniers, candy (gummies, chocolate carmamel apples, ice cream, etc.) and restaurants. On the waterpark floor, there's also stores, restaurants and an arcade. The waterpark area is very large. It would be overwhelming and probably too much for families with smaller children...but for our family with four teenagers, it was wonderful. We were there two days and they didn't get bored. The rides were exciting enough to make them want to do them over. They could have stayed another day or two. We chose the option of being able to charge food to our room which worked out well. The food was good and cost what I would expect to pay on vacation...more expensive than at home but not enough that I thought anything about it. They had fireworks one night we were there. We've seen fireworks over Niagara Falls and they didn't compare to the ones at Kalahari. Kalahari, by far, was the best fireworks any of us had ever seen.

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
5 Thank dc3008
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Decatur, Indiana
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 July 2010

This is our 3rd time to Kalahari and it was great yet again! I love to come here because we have a big age gap with our kids and they all have fun when we come here. We stayed in a 2 room family suite which was wonderful!! It was so nice to close the door to our room and let the kids stay up late in their room and they didn't have to worry about bothering us. The waterpark was clean. I could always use a little cleaner but nothing terrible!! The lines were really reasonable, but we were there Tues-Thurs. When we were leaving Thursday, things were picking up and we were glad we were checking out! Lifeguards were very attentive as well. All in all, it was another great time at Kalahari.

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
3 Thank lgable
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Orlando, Florida
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 July 2010

My family stayed at the Kalahari Resort June 28 for 3 days. It was an incredible trip. We had a condo that slept 8. In our party were four kids ages 2, 4, and two 7 year old and four adults. Upon arrival we were greeted by some very friendly folks working the front drive. At the desk we were helped by an extremely friendly agent who did a wonderful job of explaining all the many things there are to do at the resort. Our room was not ready but was expected since I arrived a bit early so the family went off and enjoyed some ice cream for the kids and some coffee for the adults.

Our room didn't take long to become available. Upon checking in to the room I was extremely impressed with all the space available. The room itself was very clean and for a property with so man kids it did not show any wear and tear as you would expect. We had a living room area, full kitchen, two bathrooms and a room with a King bed and another with two queens. The living/dinning area was very spacious and comfortable.

We did not use many of their dinning options as we had the full kitchen and cooked most our meals. On one of the days I ordered room service for my oldest son. The food came pretty quickly and everything was hot and fresh.

Now for the best part. The water park area, there are so many things to do at the resort. There are zip lines, a zoo area, indoor water park and outdoor water park. There is a cost to some of the activities but nothing I felt was unreasonable in price. The water park was extremely clean for the amount of people that are there. The longest line I waited in was about 15 minutes. Which I thought was great considering the hotel was sold out. I spent an entire day doing water slides with the older kids and another day hanging out with the younger ones doing the things they could do. The third day was a hang out and relax day. All the kids loved the lazy river and we spent quite some time there. It was a bit cooler on the days we were there so we only did the kiddie section outside for a brief time. The majority of the time was spent in the indoor water park area.

Now, when we weren't in the water park we spent the majority of the time in the huge arcade they have there. I have to admit it was the one area that we probably spent the most money because we were there for so long. There were many other options such as build your own stuff animal and miniature golf but the arcade and water park is where the kids wanted to spend their time.

The resort is incredible, there is no reason to leave the resort at all to do anything else unless your planning on going to Cedar Point. Otherwise, everything you need is right there in the resort. In total there were 8 of us there 4 adults and 4 children and I was stressed about being comfortable and was extremely surprised at how relaxing our 3 days at the resort were. I would absolutely recommend this resort to all my family and friends.

  • Stayed June 2010, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank Love2Travel1662
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Elkridge
Level Contributor
75 reviews
54 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 July 2010

We had heard of the Kalahari resort and built it in to a already planned trip to Ohio. This resort met our expectations and surpassed them! We were wowed by the facility and the hotel. There ia a great indoor waterpark, part of which is under skylight, with multiple water slides, wave pool, kids stuff, etc. There are big signs at each attraction which give you basis information such as DO NOT WEAR EYEWEAR ON THIS RIDE. Read and believe the signs. Outdoor there are pools, zip lines (for extra cost), etc. I did not see many other activities such as they advertised. Large game room, lockers, locker rooms, enough restaurants, snack bars and gift shops to keep you entertained! I recommend a stay not to exceed 2 days, I think we would have been bored a third day. No breakfast provided, before 9 only place for breakfast are restaurants or coffee shop which has cereal, donuts, etc. If you are going to coffee shop, go early as lines get bogged down with specialty coffee orders so you may be waiting a while. If you leave the premises for dinner there are plenty of chain restaurants close by. GO TO KALAHARI!

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank elizabeth57Elkridge
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Washington DC, District of Columbia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 12 July 2010

I stayed for 3 days with a large family group at Kalahari, about 20 people in total. This place is awesome! We had a 2-bedroom suite and another standard room, and the hotel lobby and rooms were spotless. When we arrived, there was a huge complimentary snack and candy basket and 2 gourmet cheese plates waiting for us in our room. Housekeeping was very attentive and cleaned and made up the room every day. They delivered tons of fresh towels every afternoon, more towels than I'd ever been provided with over my many stays at nice hotels all over the world. We needed extra cots for sleeping because there was so many of us, and those were provided promptly with clean sheets and blankets. The entire staff was very attentive and friendly, from the valet parking attendants, to the gentlemen who helped us with our luggage, to the Housekeeping staff, to the lifeguards at the waterpark. The indoor waterpark is huge, with enough to entertain young kids for days and a dozen big waterslides for older kids and adults. The outdoor pool is clean and there's lots of deck space to sunbathe. One day, we reserved a poolside cabana in the waterpark with a flat screen tv, ipod docking station, sofas and tables, which was clean and comfortable. We also visited the petting zoo to feed the exotic animals, the pottery painting shop, arcade, Spa Kalahari, and outdoor zip line. All around, a very clean, friendly, and fun place! Would definitely recommend.

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank JV201012
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: 7000 Kalahari Drive, Sandusky, OH 44870-8628
Region: United States > Ohio > Sandusky
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre 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 Business Hotel in Sandusky
#2 Family Hotel in Sandusky
#2 Romantic Hotel in Sandusky
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Kalahari Resorts & Conventions 3.5*
Number of rooms: 884
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

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