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“World’s Coolest Indoor Waterparks” signs meet arriving visitors at the new Kalahari Resort in the Pocono Mountains. The signs adorn the tall wooden walls separating the newly opened Kalahari Resorts & Conventions (official name) from phase 2, which will double the size of the resort.
Our group was very fortunate to preview Kalahari a couple of days before the official opening. We were guided around the property by the founder’s son, Travis Nelson. The Pocono Mountains location is the third Kalahari Resort—after Wisconsin Dells and Sandusky Ohio.
So that this article is not filled with only my impressions, I asked other #DCTravelBlogger group members to share thoughts about Kalahari Resort.
I was most impressed with how the family wove the story of their trip through Africa into every aspect of the resort from the Rwandan coffee to the handcrafted decor. It was also exciting to discover that Kalahari really is a family-run business. The business is obviously huge and yet the son was giving a tour and the father popped into the cafe to help the baristas keep the line moving. You can tell they care and want to be there for their guests.
— Tiffany Mast, TogetherTraveler.com
The entire property is Africa themed and Travis passionately interlaced our tour with stories of the family’s research expedition to several African countries. From that visit, they acquired all of the artwork that decorates the Kalahari Resort.
I was taken by the attention to detail of the decor of the property. The fact the family went to Africa to connect with the artisans and purchase directly from them is pretty amazing.
— Jessica van Dop DeJesus, DiningTraveler.com
But what about the water park?
The Kalahari Resort water park is 100,000 square feet of adventure and relaxation. The entire facility is indoors but with a retractable roof for when the weather is pleasant. There are separate areas for toddlers, young children, and teens and adults; so the entire family can have fun in the same place. A special experience is the FlowRider, where you can learn to surf. Then again, the lazy river has its merits.
You can rent a cabana (with lounge chairs, TV, and refrigerator), for a hang out or central meeting place. There are plenty of other areas to relax including two beverage stations (indoors) and an outdoor pool with its own swim up bar.
While the water park is the main draw, there are other activities. Including a Family Entertainment Center (with indoor bowling alley, indoor mini golf, and video games), shopping, fitness center with on-site trainer, and a spa facility.
The spa was unlike a spa you typically see at a conference center/resort. It was large, luxurious and had its own pedicure room perfect for a secluded break from the chaos of the indoor water park.
— Lacey Faeh, ALaceyPerspective.com
Want a fun place for your next business meeting? The Kalahari Resort has a massive convention and meeting facility for business gatherings, family reunions, weddings, and other events.
The Kalahari Resort property offers several eating options, ranging from a distinctive dining oasis to a buffet restaurant. My favorite, of course, is The Last Bite, their candy and ice cream shop. How about these amazing ice cream sandwich benches?
The current Kalahari Resort has 457 hotel rooms and suites.
To paraphrase a conversation I had with the only other guy on our tour, “good thing we are not staying here, because we would never leave.”