#TravelTuesday: Kalahari Resort Rocking Round Rock

by Marika Flatt on April 27, 2021 in Travels, Austin,

Kalahari Resort is already making a splash in Round Rock since its opening in November 2020.

As the fourth and largest Kalahari (there are also locations in Ohio, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania) with nearly 1,000 rooms, Kalahari is the perfect place to escape to for your summer destination–if you have kids. Whether you (they) want to relax or play all day in the indoor waterpark, Kalahari Resorts and Conventions in Round Rock is great for a family getaway. 

The indoor waterpark is 223,000 square feet with 30 waterslides, 20 pools and whirlpools, and fun attractions like the FlowRider, ZeroVision Wave Pool Experience, Grotto adult swim-up bar, special kids’ areas, private cabanas and waterfalls. Photo courtesy Kalahari Resorts

Fun For All

Right now, Kalahari Round Rock is about 80% capacity — so be ready for lots of people! Masks are required indoors. (Although masks are not required at the pool area outside, the indoor waterpark or while seated at a restaurant.) 

The four main restaurants, the indoor waterpark (everything is bigger and better in Texas!) and the adventure park, Tom Foolery, are available through day passes. Day passes? Yes! That’s because the resort’s operators are excited about bringing in the locals around the Rock.

The new Kalahari Round Rock offers 1.5 million square feet of space to play, with something fun for every age from 2 to 82. Waterpark passes are included with an overnight stay. Courtesy photo

Locals Welcome

Kalahari is also encouraging locals to come in for their new Amatuli festival with live music from 6-9pm on Friday and Saturday nights. This festival was inspired by the Amatuli Gallery, an actual market and gallery in South Africa where all the crafts are original and handcrafted. To plan ahead for future events and live performances in Round Rock, check out the Amatuli schedule

In Round Rock, Amatuli features a marketplace where local artisans and African craftsmen feature their trades, live music jams in the background, and a delectable bar serves up hand-crafted cocktails all around a fire pit. 

Providing more authentic eye candy, Todd and Shari Nelson, Kalahari’s owners, commissioned 100 representations of love from artisans in Africa which will be auctioned off to raise money for charity. (Have a look at all of them in the hallway that links the hotel to the convention center.)

Double Cut is Kalahari’s signature contemporary steakhouse. It features the highest quality cuts of meat cooked over hot coals. Local diners and resort guests can enjoy dinner, a bourbon bar and extensive wine selection. Reservations are strongly encouraged via OpenTable.com. Courtesy photo

From Fine Dining to Must-Have Burgers & Shakes

As far as resort dining goes, you’ll find Double Cut Steakhouse, a signature steakhouse experience, featuring a menu with robust selections including steak (of course), seafood, chops, chicken and vegetarian dishes. If you would rather opt for a nice Italian dining experience, Sortino’s satisfies the appetite and soothes your soul with the flavors of Italy and the warmth of family. Sortino’s features the Italian Kitchen, Pizzeria, Cafe & Gelato and Vinoteca wine lounge

The indoor waterpark is 223,000 square feet with 30 waterslides and 20 pools and whirlpools. Photo courtesy Kalahari Resorts

Kalahari’s Mexican restaurant, Cinco Ninos, has absolutely delicious burritos and enchiladas! Cinco Ninos exudes a modern Mexican vibe (the murals are fantastic!) plus a tequila bar encompassing all the resounding classic flavors as they intertwine with a sizzling plate of pure goodness. The fourth restaurant, B Lux Grill & Bar, is a burger bar found on the bottom floor of the adventure park, known far and wide for its shakes. (Open until 11pm.) There’s also a sweet gift shop, adorably decorated with all kinds of goodies, that is a magnet for hungry eyeballs.

Calling All Fun-Seekers

Thrill-seekers who like an indoor crowd (not many folks will want this during the pandemic) will get an unforgettable experience with a visit to Tom Foolery’s adventure park. The designer of the park is from Disney (evident when you see and hear all the “bells and whistles”) and has created a 5D theater, mirror maze, laser tag, a VR underwater experience and even an indoor mini roller coaster. 

The indoor waterpark is quite amazing, with slides running everywhere, a very long lazy river and an adults only area called The Grotto, with a swim-up bar. 

Guests 21 and over can enjoy beverages in The Grotto, a secluded, swim-up bar in the indoor waterpark. Photo courtesy Kalahari Resorts

Other sites to see and experience are the speakeasy piano bar inspired by an actual bar in Saint Maarten called Redd, and the animal sculptures that you find all around the hotel grounds, which were purchased from artisans in Africa. 

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Tom Foolery’s Adventure Park is 80,000-square-feet of fun for every member of the family. Photo courtesy Kalahari Resorts

Cover photo courtesy Kalahari Resorts

Marika Flatt, named 2021 Outstanding Austin Communicator, is the Travel Editor of Texas Lifestyle Magazine. Hear her Weekend Trip Tips on the statewide NPR show, Texas Standard, and see her travel suggestions on TV shows across the state. Flatt resides in Round Rock, along with Kalahari.