Kalahari Resorts Poconos
My family and I recently had the chance to stay at Kalahari Resorts Poconos. We wanted one last short family vacation before the summer ended, but pools were closed. Haha! So we decided to go to an indoor water park! There are 3 near us that are pretty similar, Great Wolf Lodge, Camelback, and Kalahari. All are in the Poconos and have large indoor water parks along with other activities. Because we are not huge fans of large crowds we decided to go on our family vacation once kids were back in school. This proved to have its perks and drawbacks. Great Wolf Lodge was closed during the time we wanted to go so we decided to try out Kalahari Resorts Poconos. Here is a recap of what Kalahari Resorts Poconos has to offer, and our experience.
Located at 250 Kalahari Blvd, Pocono Manor, PA 18349 Kalahari Resorts Poconos is about a 3.5-hour drive from where we live in MD. Not too bad, but long enough of a drive where you need to bring entertainment for the kids. The resort is huge, and also offers a convention center. Very easy to get too, and is in a super quiet location. The grounds are beautiful and there is an outdoor playground available for kids, and lots of statues for taking pictures with. Since the grounds are so large you will be walking a lot. The only place you really will not have to walk too is Gorilla Grove. You can hop on the Gorilla Express which will take you to/from the Grove.
The Resort and Accommodations
Inside, the resort is themed and quite fun. When you walk in you walk into a large area that has a front desk check-in/out area, gift shops, restaurants, and a sitting area in front of a large fireplace with views of the water park. You can access the arcade from the main area as well as the convention center and the different room wings. Kalahari makes check-in/out easy. When you check-in you get wrist bands that allow you access to your room, and if you connect a credit card to your account they can be used to pay for things throughout the resort. On check-out day you are automatically checked out so there is no need to visit the front desk before leaving.
We chose a Desert Room when we booked which offers 2 queen beds. When we got to our room we were surprised to see we had been given a handicap accessible room. The room and bathroom were both very large and had tons of room for our girls to run around in. I found the rooms to be a little dark, but it matched the theme of the resort which was also a little dark. Other than the size of the room, unfortunately, it didn’t impress me that much. The best way I can explain it was the room was like a standard hotel room, and as a resort, I was expecting it to be a little bit nicer.
Every place we ate the food was delicious. There are so many places to choose from, and anywhere you are in the resort you have access to food. We had the opportunity to eat at B-Lux, Great Karoo Marketplace buffet, Ivory Coast, Java Manjaro, Sortino’s, Zulu Grill, and the Last Bite. There are so many more locations we did not get a chance to dine at. Out of all the ones we tried we loved B-Lux, Great Karoo Marketplace buffet, and the pizza we got from Zulu grill.
The only downside is the cost. Because it is a resort the prices are higher. For a family of 4, 2 adults and 2 young kids, the average cost to feed everyone was around $50.00 a meal. You can bring your own food, just not into the waterpark, so if you are looking to cut down on costs I would suggest bringing breakfast and other foods to keep in your room.
Of course, the main attraction at Kalahari Resorts is the water park, and it does not disappoint. (The water park is included in your stay.) This was our family’s favorite place to be. It is huge! There are around 14 water slides for older children and adults, but since we have 2 young kids under 4 years old we mainly spent time in age-appropriate areas. That does not mean though we adults didn’t have fun! The areas we spent most of our time were Coral Cove, the Lazy River, Splashdown Safari, Tiko’s Watering Hole, and the Wave Pool. (Our kids LOVED the wave pool. Haha!)
Also, just because we didn’t hit the adult water slides didn’t mean we didn’t go down some. In Coral Cove, Tiko’s Watering Hole, and Splashdown Safari there are a bunch of water slides available for adults and kids to go down. It was so much fun. Just a note. All kids under 48″ must use a life vest. You can bring your own or there are some available at the water park, but they are first come first serve. We opted to bring our own, and also tried out the ones provided. Safety is a priority at Kalahari and their water park staff is exceptional.
There are other activities available if you want to take a break from the water park. For young kids, there is the Adventurers Club where they can go and do art and crafts, bingo, take photos with the characters, etc. Another huge part of the resort is the arcade. Here they have indoor mini-golf, mini-bowling, escape rooms, a 7-D motion theater, and soon to be added laser tag. (Just a heads up the arcade is very loud and bright. At some points, my 4-year-old had difficulty due to the noise and flashing lights. She had fun though and won lots of tickets!)
There is also the Gorilla Grove which you can take the Gorilla Express train to get too. Gorilla Grove offers outside mini-golf, zip-lines, and a ropes course. Make sure you check the resorts schedule to make sure Gorilla Grove will be open on the days you would like to go. Because when we went it was the off-season Gorilla Grove was not open every day, and we missed our chance to go experience it. Unlike the water park, most of the activities are not included in your resort stay and do cost extra. So, if you would like to participate in these activities make sure you put some money into the budget for them.
If you decide to book a stay at Kalahari Resorts definitely make sure to take advantage of any special offers or discounts they provide. As of right now, October, a Desert room is around $250.00 a night. (And that is off-season) If you were to stay 4 days, and 3 nights you are looking at slightly under $1,000 for your room and water park access. You then will need to add on food, activities, and incidentals. In the end, you could be looking at between $1,500-$2,000 for your stay. (Since my husband is a first responder we made sure to take advantage of Kalahari Salutes discount for first responders and military personnel which dropped our price.)
Pro’s/Con’s of Our Stay
So our stay had some pros and cons. The main pro was because we went off-season while most kids were back in school this meant there were not a lot of people at Kalahari resorts. The water park was not busy, and that meant we didn’t have to deal with crowds. There were also some cons though for staying off-season. Being off-season meant Kalahari had time to do some upkeep/maintenance which meant that some restaurants were closed when we wanted to go. We also noticed customer service sometimes wasn’t what we expected, and things were not cleaned as fast as you think they should have been after staff being notified.
Overall though we enjoyed our stay. Would we go back? Yes. The wave pool is calling me and my kids. Haha! Any questions about Kalahari Resorts? Leave them in the comments! If you have stayed there before I would love to hear your experience. If you have kids and are looking for a great day trip in Pennsylvania make sure you check out my review of Dutch Wonderland HERE.