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“Very good experience at Kalahari”

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Kalahari Resorts & Conventions
Ranked #3 of 34 Hotels in Sandusky
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 29 December 2010

Our school booked a block of rooms for the night of December 20th, and we had about 60 rooms. We valet parked, which was worth every penny of the $13 to not have to run through the parking lot in 20 degree temps. We tried to get our own cart to move our luggage, because we didn't have any cash on hand to tip the bellman. When we explained this to Kevin, the bell captain, he immediately took our bags and insisted that he he wanted to help. He was very kind and charming. Out of 2 rooms, one was ready at 1pm, so we moved our luggage into the room. We were very concerned about bedbugs that we had read so much about, but Kevin even assisted us as we checked the mattresses (and 9 days post visit, no bites have shown up!). We headed to the waterpark, and our children enjoyed many of the attractions. It was pretty crowded, but got considerably less crowded after 6pm, and by 10pm, it was a ghost town. Everything seemed to be working well. We ordered pizza from the zulu grille, i believe it was called. A little chaotic, and somehow my order got lost in the shuffle and I waited over 30 minutes for a small pizza. However, when it came out, the person cooking came out and apologized, and even gave us an additional pizza at no charge for the wait, which I thought was a very nice gesture. My children were highly disappointed that for the Tree top play you have to be under 52 inches, because they have played in there for past years and always had a blast. But it makes sense to only allow the little ones in there. Although, it would be nice if maybe from 10pm-12am they opened it for bigger kids to enjoy. The next day, we had a quick breakfast from the little coffee shop which was sufficient, and headed back to the waterpark by 9am. It was quiet until 11ish. Our group did have the grand cabana, which was a nice meeting place and place to put your luggage, but personally I don't see the value in paying the $200+ price for it. We tried to get a late checkout, but were denied. This is where the valet came in handy, had them bring around the car, put luggage etc in, and the reparked it, and we headed back to the waterpark. Had lunch from the Zulu, ordering and pick up much more chaotic than the day before, food was average. Overall, it was a very nice 2 day trip, and one we will do again.

  • Stayed: December 2010
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Thank givepa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 26 December 2010

I visited the week of the 13th and I could not have had a better time.

This was my first visit to this resort and I was very impressed with the indoor waterpark. Kids were still in school so the waterpark was empty with no lines. They still had all attractions open despite the low attendance. The indoor/outdoor hot tub was amazing to try in the dead of winter! I had read reviews that the waterpark was too cold but I did not expieriance this. The entire waterpark was impressively warm for how large it is and how cold it was outside. The slide selection was among the best I've ever encountered at any waterpark indoors or outside. Water was heavily treated which was fine with me as I don't want the water to have bacteria or anything of that nature in it. For those sensitive to heavily treated water its probably a good idea to shower after finishing at the waterpark.

The room was amazing, a king whirlpool room, and had a nice gas fireplace. Room was very clean and quiet. Again the hotel was not close to full so it may be noisier during peak season but I didn't hear anything all night. Room service was delicious and not really overpriced.

For those looking for a romantic getaway that is fun filled and relaxing I must recommend this resort. However try and avoid peak times and stay when school is in session as I did. No lines at the waterpark means tons of non-stop fun! There is nothing better then going to a warm indoor waterpark in the middle of a cold Ohio winter!

  • Stayed: December 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank DejaVuNitro
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 December 2010

We spent the 2010 Christmas weekend here, our first visit to Kalahari. The first thing that needs to be said is that the staff is outstanding. Every employee we encountered: the housekeeping crew, arcade staff, bartenders, lifeguards, desk personnel, etc., were all more helpful and friendly than we ever anticipated. Our room was clean, I did not see any bed bugs though getting down and checking the box springs I did notice quite a few stains. Otherwise the room was fine - getting a fireplace was a huge plus to helping those bathing suits dry in a hurry. The microwave is precariously balanced on the fridge - you have to see it to understand how humorous it is. The shower was plenty hot, towels and bedding were adequate but nothing special.
Waterpark: First, let me say it was super crowded!!!! In addition to overnight guests, day pass guests arrived by the truck load! I agree with other posters in that the water temps vary greatly in the park. ** My biggest complaint is that so few rides allow you to wear eye glass or googles. ** It's a very real problem for non contact wearers or those who don't want water in their eyes! Also no outside food or beverage is allowed in. (Sodas are $2.50, plenty of snack bars inside the park.) And prepare to go up lots of stairs, and in our case, wait in long lines. Some rides felt like Cedar Point in terms of wait time. 25 min to go down a 10 second waterslide is ridiculous. On the plus side, there are many areas to explore, the lifeguards are quite attentive, and there is no shortage of tables and chairs. The cabanas look nice though we did not rent one.
And for extra fun, in the hotel are a build a bear type store, a paint your own pottery (hugely overpriced), a clean, kid friendly arcade, and a nice kids play/climbing area in which no one under 52 inches is very strictly enforced.
Overall, it was a enjoyable time and while we won't hurry back, we may very well visit again sometime in the future.
(Oh yes, the baby tiger exploitation was troubling, I agree with the previous post - I understand the place has a very elaborate African theme but you don't need the real animals.)

  • Stayed: December 2010, travelled with family
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1  Thank KikisDeliveryService
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 December 2010

In the midst of crappy Ohio winters, an indoor waterpark sounded like a great treat. The temp of the water park is great, unless your wet (which is kinda the point here) then it is freezing. Seriously, my girl parts are cramped from being at full attention for 2 days straight. The water temps around the park vary, if you go into the basketball areas, it's nice and toasty, just about everywhere else was freezing!! The Lions Lair, which is for smaller kids, was like ice water. My kids lips were blue, but being kids, they kept going back for more. The lines for all the cool stuff - anything that slides, are such a long wait. Also, most of the slides are pitch black for a majority of your ride.

**Tip: When we went back at night, between 9-10, the lines were super short!! Our stay was on Mon. & Tues. though, not sure if you'd have the same advantage during the weekend?

After enduring an uncomfortably chilly day at the waterpark, you have to get back to your room (soaking wet of course). Prepare for the beginning stages of hypothermia to set in while walking back to your room. OMG, I've been warmer on a skiing trip!!

** Another Tip: If you rent a locker for $10 a day and bring changes of clothes, you can avoid the cold trip back to your room (although the 10 min. you spend changing in the locker room are equally as frigid - so maybe not so much of a tip as it is "Choose Your Own Adventure". Also, there was no way this was going to fly with my kids - they wanted in and out of the waterpark by the quickest means possible.

The cleanliness of the rooms are questionable. My kids kept picking up "sparklers" and I was wondering where they came from - they were sequins they found on the floor of the room. The tub had mystery particles floating about. Reading reviews of bed bugs, I really wished I would have investigated the cleanliness more thoroughly, but no one has bites, so I think we are okay in that department. Also, I noticed that some of the other reviewers had complained about linens, we were short a blanket for the pull-out bed and it was brought to our room within 15 minutes of asking (again, we were there during the weekday, maybe less busy). We did have a difficult time bringing down the temp in the room - it stayed pretty hot (78) despite having the air set for 65. Okay to me though - the less hotel linens on my body, the better.

By day two I was already over it and wished it was time to go, but the trip was for the kids so I bucked it up and spent another day freezing in the waterpark. This is when disaster set in. At the end of this day we came back during the evening (for the line advantages of course) and my 7 year old started to cry (which isn't normal for him - he's a boy's boy). I asked him what was wrong and he said his legs were burning. I pulled up his shorts (thinking swimsuit chaffing) and it looked as if someone stuck a hot iron to his leg - his skin was red and shiny and textured (a cross between welts and hives). As I investigated and found the same on the other leg, he began to really cry and say it was burning bad and starting to burn everywhere. I called my DH to come down and look and within a minute, his entire body was covered. I couldn't carry him because there was no where to touch him that didn't burn, so he choose to walk - more like a waddle because every move had his shorts rubbing his skin. The medic said it was a reaction to the chlorine and to give him benedryl and a warm bath (which is quite the opposite of what to do for chemical burn, but the jury is still out on this one - chemical burn or chlorine reaction?). It was very scary and apparently not to just me, other parents who saw my son's skin gave a horrifying look, palm over mouth and then begin to pull their kids from the water as we made our way through the park. I don't know the "hows" or "whys" of why this happened, but my guess is that someone got sick in one of the pools so they upped the chemical levels? We still had another full day, but opted to leave the next morning. My other two had similar reactions and wide spread rashes that burned like sunburn, but nothing like my seven year old. Two days later, they all still look red and sunburned and complain that it burns (especially when it comes time for showers).

So, in the end, my opinion is that I would not return as a guest in the wintertime. The temperature was just too cold to allow for the experience to be enjoyable.

Also, if you plan on spending a few days here (as a mini-vacation), make use of the showers and have your kids rinse after leaving the pool and shower when you get back to your room - get the chlorine off their skin, maybe that can help lessen the chance of a reaction to the chemicals.

The resort said they had no other instances of chemical burns or reactions to the chlorine, but they didn't take any kind of incident report or anything for us, so I'm not sure how they would even keep track if they did.

  • Stayed: December 2010, travelled with family
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7  Thank ThreeLittleStinkers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 December 2010

OUR FIRST ROOM HAD BED BUGS!!!! We had to wash EVERYTHIG and move to a new room. They tried to blame it on allergies. We only had issues when we were on the beds. Both my husband, two children and self were fine all day and had no problems when we were in the new room. Our family has been to Disney and many other hotels and has NEVER had any problems with allergies. The sad thing is they cleaned the room in the morning and put another family in the room with the bed bugs.

  • Stayed: December 2010, travelled with family
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39  Thank yellolab620721
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KalahariResortOhio, Guest Relations Manager at Kalahari Resorts & Conventions, responded to this reviewResponded 23 December 2010

An independent, state-certified pest control operator inspected the room and confrmed that there were no bedbugs in the room.

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Reviewed 14 December 2010

Took the kids and grandkids Dec 10 and 11. We loved the waterpark. Wished we could have gotten a cabana or bungalow but they were sold out. Our room was fantastic, the food at the reserve was really good and the service from everyone was outstanding. Loved it!

  • Stayed: December 2010, travelled with family
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2  Thank marykrohne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 December 2010

After staying in line for 40 min to check -in we had to drag our bags to our room because they didn't have available carts. The room was small and not very clean. I found dirty towel under the bed and a lot of hair on the pillow. Had to call front desk and wait 30 min after the phone call for new sheets and pillowcases. Had to make my bed myself because there was no available housekeeper. The waterpark is cold and expect to be in line for at least 30 min for each slide. Very loud during the night: people are running in hallways, kids are screaming and bunch of drunk people in the hallways making all kind of noise. But the worst thing in the resort is their petting zoo and animals that you can take picture with. They are scare, sad and you can see how uncomfortable they are being stuck in small cages all day. They had little bear -you can see he wasn't even old enough taking away from his mom -laying in the cage and literally crying because he was hungry and scare. He is being pushed and punched by staff member who was trying to make him stand up and stay still for the picture. When I asked the staff member why if it necessary to that rude to the poor animal and where they live, he rudely told me that I should mind my own business, it's their bear and they can do whatever they can to him. Next day it was little tiger and again I asked the same question and another staff member told me that they live somewhere, but he don't know where and don't know what will happen to those animals when they will grow up.
I will never return to Kalahari resort, I will never let my kids go back there. They are making so much money already -so they don't nee to torchure the animals for even more money. I contacted their management and got no response. My next step will be the news papers

  • Stayed: September 2010, travelled with family
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13  Thank missrussia74
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KalahariResortOhio2, Guest Relations Manager at Kalahari Resorts & Conventions, responded to this reviewResponded 9 December 2010

MissRussia74, thank you for taking the time to address your concerns regarding your stay with us. We are sorry to hear that your stay was less than satisfactory. To address your concerns regarding our animals, our facility is inspected and regulated by the United States Department of Agriculture and is maintained in full compliance at all times. The Wild Acres Ranch has over 50 years of experience in managing, transporting and caring for zoological animals. We assure you that these animals are well cared for and loved. As for your reference to a “little bear,” we have not had a bear cub at our facility for over 2 years. If you would like to discuss your concerns further, please contact us directly.

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Additional Information about 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 Romantic Hotel in Sandusky
#2 Family Hotel in Sandusky
Price Range: £109 - £288 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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