Kalahari Resort is a vacation destination in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania. It includes meeting and conference facilities, along with a hotel, spa, multiple restaurants, an arcade, and the largest indoor waterpark in the United States. The décor has an African theme, and that can be seen throughout the resort. We joined family members here for one-day in early summer, and while we didn’t have time to do everything at Kalahari, we did enjoy many of the activities on offer.
The accommodations are numerous ranging from standard two-bed rooms, to luxurious multi-bedroom suites. We only saw a standard room, but it had two queen beds, a bar area with a table and chairs, and a small bathroom. The rooms are accessed using plastic armbands that are given to you at check-in. All registered guests are also given admission to the waterpark included in the price of the room and it is accessed using this same wristband. This is a very convenient solution to making sure you never lose your room key or park tickets!
The hotel has three signature restaurants, B-Lux Grill & Bar, Double Cut Charcoal Grill and Sortino’s Italian Kitchen. We ate at the Italian restaurant, and other family members ate at the steak house the previous night, and were all pleasantly surprised with the quality of the food. For those looking for something more casual, Kalahari has many other options including buffets, fast food and African themed restaurants. I have to say that I wasn’t as impressed with the fast-food selections for the price we paid. We ate at one of the marketplaces for lunch, and while the pizza we ordered was ok, it wasn’t worth the nearly $30 we paid for it. If you can afford it, I would try to eat at the signature restaurants.
The 40,000 square foot arcade and entertainment area is on the way to the indoor waterpark. In order to play the games you need to purchase a game card and load it with credits. Many of the arcade games give tickets and those can then be traded in for toys and candy. The area also has an escape room, mini golf, mini bowling, a 7D motion theatre, and a virtual reality experience. We didn’t get to try all of the activities but you could easily spend half of your day, and a lot of money, just in this entertainment area.
The real highlight of the resort is of course the indoor waterpark. There is also a smaller outdoor waterpark with a large pool and slides for kids. The indoor waterpark is a 220,000 square foot facility with pools, water activities, lazy rivers, and a variety of water slides. Slides range from tranquil to extreme, and they do not disappoint. You can casually slide down a tube in a family raft, or free-fall down a nearly vertical body slide. The indoor waterpark is kept at a consistent 85 degrees, so it’s very comfortable for all the water activities. Guests can store their belongings in lockers and relax at one of the many tables or, if you feel like splurging, can reserve a bungalow complete with private hot tub. Both the indoor and outdoor waterparks can be accessed with the same wristband that opens your resort room. Day passes can also be purchased on-site or online and you will be given a different colored wristband when you register. Towels are provided, but they are small and not all that nice, so I would still recommend bringing your own.
We didn’t have time to try the spa on this visit, but the spa menu listed services such as massages, body treatments, skin care, manicures, pedicures and hair treatments. As I mentioned previously, Kalahari has an African theme, and there are a variety of gift shops that sell souvenirs with this theme. We bought a couple of nice artifacts to add to our home décor, but you can also buy plenty of Kalahari branded souvenirs as well.
I tend to travel to the Pocono Mountains most often for the outlet shopping and sometimes during the winter months for the skiing. However, visiting Kalahari was a good opportunity to explore a destination that I often hear about, but never really thought of visiting before. While our time at Kalahari was short, we enjoyed all of the activities on offer, especially the many waterslides. It is definitely a place focused on family vacations, but there are plenty of activities for adults to enjoy as well. I’m not sure we would choose to go back to Kalahari as a couple, but I would definitely go back for a family vacation. There are also plans to continue to expand the resort, so we’ll have to wait and see what else they add to this already substantial vacation destination.