on June 29, 2010
We were staying at Kalahari for a Convention. So the circumstances and guests maybe a little different than staying on a normal weekend. Check-in was fairly easy (you have to go to the check-in everyday to get your water park wrist bands) They had enough staff to deal with the crowd, the wait was short. The housekeeping staff did an ok job and the maintenance staff was very quick, efficient and friendly when we called them about issues in the room.We booked the Lodge Room. We happened to get the one pictured on their website (we determined this by the wood grain on the bedroom door) This has a seperate bedroom with king bed and a sleeper sofa. It has a full kitchen with seating at the bar and a dinning table that seated 6. (but the room only slept 4) The King Bed was comfortable to sleep on, but the light from the patio shown into the room, so it wasn't completely dark at night. The room had very little storage, no closet, only three drawers in the TV amour and one drawer in each night stand. The living area was large, but there were no table lamps in the room. The only light for the area was from the over head, and that was a bit dim. The fireplace was nice, the timer was a bit annoying to have to keep turning, but I am sure it is a safety thing to keep people from leaving the room with the fire on. The light from the patio also shown into the room, making it a bit too light at night. The girls slept on the sofa bed. It wasn't very firm and the mattress sagged against the supports. It was uncomfortable enough that we put the mattress on the floor for them the second night and they slept better that way.As I said before, the dinning table sat 6 and was a bit large for the room, I guess if you got the adjoining room that it would be enough seating for everyone. The bar sat 3 in the bar stools, which was nice and we used them more than we did the table.The kitchen was stocked with cooking utensils, but it wasn't really all that complete. There were enough dishes to eat on, and silverware was plentiful, but the supplies for cooking meals were spares. It reminded me of cooking in my first apartment. You made due with what you had and somehow made it work. The fridge, stove, coffee maker and microwave were clean, but showed a few signs of their age. There were cabinets to store the food supplies in and they were clean as well. The dishwasher was missing the rollers on the bottom basket, but maintenance was quick to fix it when we called.The bathroom was nice, if a bit small. The door to the room opened right into the bath area. The tub and toilet were in their own room with the sink being across the walkway/entrance area. This was ok, but could be a bit annoying if you were trying to do things at the sink with people entering and exiting the room. The tub was a whirlpool tub, but we never had the time to try it out.Overall the room was nice enough, but it was certainly showing it's age. The wood furniture had a dark finish on it, but there were some chips and scratches so you could see it was a light color, inexpensive wood underneath. The carpet was a bit worn and faded. The table lamps were also gone from the room. I can't say that I found the room living up to the expectations they set for me by their marketing.Even though we were there for a convention, we did take advantage of the water park. With this, I was not at all impressed. We didn't use any of the outdoor options, as it was too hot and muggy, but we did spend the evenings in the indoor. It was very dimly light. The floor felt slick, and just didn't look (or feel) clean. The secondary stairs entering the river, were slimy and green in the corners. It was a bit ick factor. We did a couple of laps in the river and spent time in the wave pool. Both evenings, we couldn't wait to get back to the room to shower off, as the water left us feeling very itchy. I did not feel comfortable at all with the level of cleanliness in the water park. I can't say what the locker rooms were like, as we never used them, changing only in the room.I was also disappointed to find that everything but the water park was extra. The ropes course, the animals, putter golf all of it extra. The whole place was set up in such a way that bringing kids to just the hotel and water park could lead to a whole lot more spending and kids begging to do other things. Build-a-Stufty, Paint your own Pottery, Candy Story, Kids Gift Shop, Swim Store, Adult Gift Shop, Picture with the baby tiger, Arcade, along with several Eateries. It was all designed to make you spend lots of money there.A couple of additional things about our stay that were a bit unusual. One was that we were part of a convention. I don't know if this had anything to do with it or not, but there were a lot of younger people there. There was much running and yelling in the hallways, and people were out on their balconies having loud conversations way into the wee hours of the morning. Hotel staff seemingly did nothing about these complaints.The second, is that while we were there, there were some bad weather. There was a tornado warning with sirens that went off at 3am. We got up and checked several professional weather sites that included radar and determined that we were not in the path of any dangerous weather. We tried to go back to bed and to sleep.About 20 minutes later, after hearing several hotel guest, running up and down the halls banging on doors, the hotel staff finally come up, and start banging on doors themselves. By this time the sirens had stopped and there were only about 10-15 minutes left to the warning. They had us all go to the basement. Which if we had followed their directions down, instead of proceeding to a stairwell that was not packed with people, would have taken the 15 minutes just to get to the basement. If we had actually been in the full path of a tornado, by the time the staff directed us towards the basement, the hotel would have already been flattened. They handled the situation very poorly. I guess that means, in an emergency, you should do what you think best, and not wait for hotel staff to help you in anyway.
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