Pre-Spring Break at Kalahari Resort & Spa

 Between Covid and a long winter I know many of us have had cabin fever pretty bad lately.  Our governor recently lifted the travel ban in our state so we felt we could safely go  someplace other than just work and the grocery store! 

Before anyone thinks that we are being careless, I will state that we do realize that the virus is still out there but we are being safe and responsible. If places are going to be open for business, why not "safely" support them. I worry that so many businesses are not going to recover from this and will close permanently. 

Anyway, my sister and I were both able to get away to an African themed resort in the Poconos.  Indoor water slides, heated pools and hot tubs, were just what we need when it was only 39 degrees outside.

First off, the theming of this resort is just wonderful. I felt like I was back at Animal Kingdom Lodge at Disney. 

The resort had several sit down restaurants and many grab and go places to eat. It had a full service spa with a salt cave and hydrotherapy room. There was a full arcade, bowling, virtual reality rooms, and escape rooms. And then of course the main event is the Water Park .

We spent so much time at the water park that we didn't bother doing much else ( except This photo was taken from the second level and only shows a portion of the park.

The park had a wave pool, a surfing simulator, a lazy river, a roller coaster raft slide, several body slides, several tube slides, some raft racers, and several hot tubs.  

There were 2 swim up bars, but  they were closed during this time.  Our favorite place to hang out was in the grotto! This was one of the hot tubs that was in a cave like structure and had access to the outside as well. One night they were playing some 80's and 90's music and it was so fun to just hang out and "water dance" ( I will add that we were the only ones in there at the time and since it was in a cave, no one else could see us!)

My sister had been to this place before but this was my first visit so here is my honest review. (If you don't care to read a review of the resort, please scroll to the bottom and read what put a damper on my trip).

The resort itself gets an A+ for theming and cleanliness. 

The indoor water park get's an A for variety and having something for everyone of all adventure level.  There were several body slides that my sister did that I was not brave enough to try ( like the ones that shoot you straight down) but I still rode all the tube slides and some milder body slides and felt like it was just as much fun. 

The restaurants get a B. When we first got there we ended up eating at the market by the pool. The variety was slim and it was pricey for what you got.  

My sister and friend got the BBQ chicken pizza and said it was good. I got a chicken Cesar wrap that came with fries and the fries were horrible.  My friend got the black bean burger and said it was fine.

 A much better option for grab and go food was the Coffee shop upstairs. It was set up like a Starbucks and served Starbucks products, but also had a large selection of sandwiches, salads, and desserts.

We didn't discover this till later that night and it became our new favorite place.
 Note: They do not accept Starbucks gift cards.

The place had 4 sit down restaurants ( reservations suggested) and a buffet.  The buffet looked so yummy and super clean , and there weren't many people in that restaurant each time we passed yet we still couldn't bring ourselves to eat at a buffet. Not yet....maybe not ever.

One night we made reservations at the Italian restaurant on site. I had read reviews that it was over priced for what it was but we decided to try it anyway.  Our other  sit down options were a fancy steak house, or a bar and grill that looked to serve a lot of burgers and fried food. We would have like to ate at the Ivory Coast restaurant but it was temporarily closed during our visit. 

I wanted to splurge on dessert so I had a Caprese salad and it was wonderful. I was second guessing myself, thinking I should have got pasta, but to be honest I can make pasta at home but I can not always make fresh Caprese salad!  My friend got a  dish she was not really pleased with and regretted getting it for the $30 some dollars she spent on it.  We also had two types of bread with our meal. One was a tomato bread that was awful ( so mushy) and the Focaccia bread was super hard.

However, we went back to the Starbucks Coffee shop for a late night dessert and it did not disappoint.

The actual hotel rooms I will give a  B.  The room  was nothing more than a basic hotel room but I did appreciate the little touches like the African animal art and the towel animal.

 How can a towel animal not make you smile.  One thing I did not appreciate was the metal latch that stuck out from the door ( which was right beside the sink. ).

 When I was using the sink, I bumped my elbow on it and scraped it all up. Yup, that left a mark.  Why would they even put that there so it sticks out? 

Customer service and friendliness a C+. This was a hard one to rate as some of the employees were really friendly but most of the ones at the water park were not.  Then I saw this sign and I guess it explains it.

Although they were masked, the employees were not allowed to carry on conversations with the guests.  This made it hard when we had questions about a slide or directions.  However, the employees at the restaurants and coffee shop were wonderful! 


The water park was open till 9pm so one night after dinner we decided to go back down and do a few slides since it was way less crowded than in the afternoon. Since we had a room at the resort, we didn't feel the need to pay $25 to rent a locker. It was 7:45 pm when we got there so we knew we only had an hour and 15 minutes. How much could go wrong in that amount of time???  

We laid our towels and shoes on a lounge chair and then walked into the pool ( and then eventually walked to another part of the park).  I will note that you do not need to bring your own towel, but we did. 

When we got back to our chairs, my shoes were gone! It was clear that someone had stolen them. Yes, I understand that the resort is not responsible and that is why they offer lockers to rent, but still. I was angry that someone would steal my stuff.  I reported it to security and asked to fill out a loss prevention form ( which was such a hassle in itself).  They had me check lost and found, which I knew they wouldn't be because why would someone  take shoes off a chair only to give them to lost and found?  Despite the staff saying they will continue to look out for them, I knew they were NOT lost. Someone stole them.  It's a good thing I had a room there because I had to walk back to my room ( in a different part of the resort) barefoot! Could you imagine if I had to drive home that night?

  The next day I talked to some different staff members and they said they would watch the security cameras from that area.  They said they would have ways to find out who stole my shoes.  I had a tiny bit of hope. But after a few hours the verdict was that my lounge chair must have been just out of the camera's view! Yup, just my luck! 

I told Scott what had happened the night before and he had already ordered me a new pair of shoes. 

Women's Crocs Swiftwater Sandal

Scott bought me these shoes for Christmas and I had never even worn them besides this night down to the pool. I know the shoes can be replaced but just knowing that someone stole from me had me really upset!  Yes, I should have never worn new shoes to a water park. Next time I will wear Dollar Store flip flops! 

I guess lesson learned! 

What lesson have you learned while on vacation or visiting some place?  Will you do even a little bit of traveling this Spring? Has your state lifted the travel ban?  -M


  1. There is a Kalahari resort (as well as a few other waterpark resorts) in Wisconsin Dells. I've never been, but a lot of people from the Chicago area go there. Your review is just what I would expect from this kind of place! I guess most people don't go there for the food, lol. So sorry about your shoes. Who steals shoes?

    1. Yes, I did see that there is one in the Wisconsin Dells! I think that park might actually be even larger. So disappointed about the shoes!

  2. AHHH man - that's a bummer about your shoes. I love me some Croc sandals - they are so comfy.
    WHY IS THAT THERE? Does that latch pull down to give it more security? that hanging out is awful.
    It looks like a great place though.
    I thought that sign was a joke - no eye contact & no conversations... that's strange.

    1. That was the first time I even wore those Crocs. Their soles never even touched the outdoors!
      Yea, that was such a silly place for that latch!

  3. I love the African theme! It would feel like the Animal Kingdom. Bummer on the shoes, though.

  4. I agree, you can safely during the Pandemic. I did several times and had a great time and did not get sick.

    This looks like an awesome place to go and relax. Too bad about the shoes. If I had worn my expensive Oofos, I would have cried....

    1. I actually brought my Oofoos as well but left them in the car!

  5. We're from Michigan and we're not completely open. Our friends however, live in Ohio and that's how we wound up at the Kalahari resort in Sandusky. It was a great time and everything you said it was. It was a much needed break for our friends and all of our kids too. What a blast! We will go again that's for sure! We will be sure to get a cabana the next time though. Finding seats and chairs was quite the workout. Thank you so much for explaining and showing us the explanation about the aloof lifeguards. I'll be sure to show that screenshot to my wife because it was one of the things we couldn't figure out. All in all it was a great trip and we look forward to going there again!

    1. Hi Walt, thanks for reading my review! Yea, I'm so glad I saw that sign about the life guards ( although I saw it on our last day there). Glad you had a great time in Sandusky. I wonder how similar the two parks are?

  6. I can't believe someone stole your shoes; that's so weird and random! What would even be the chances that they would fit?! Glad to hear that other than that it sounded like a great trip. It sounds a lot like Great Wolf Lodge which we have here... the food typically is overpriced and not that great at our local resort either.


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