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“Odd room, cigarette end, laughable dress code in the bar” 2 of 5 stars
Review of The Hotel Alex Johnson, an Ascend Collection hotel

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The Hotel Alex Johnson, an Ascend Collection hotel
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   523 6th Street, Rapid City, SD 57701   |  
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Ranked #21 of 52 Hotels in Rapid City
Yorkshire, England
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
“Odd room, cigarette end, laughable dress code in the bar”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 11, 2012

The hotel is in a good location and the lobby was lovely.

The room was weird, it had a living room but the layout was odd because it was essentially two interconnecting bedrooms. The sofas were far from comfortable for the short time. Cleanliness was questionable - we found a cigarette end on the inside window ledge.

The bar dress code policy was hilarious. Whilst we were warned of the no trainers (sneakers) policy and half expecting to be asked to change we couldn't quite believe the absurd enforcement of the policy. After an evening out we returned to the bar (which looks good but is short on atmosphere) where the only other people in there were two ladies sat in sport sandals, combat trousers and polo shirts looking very much though they'd returned from a hike. My husband was dressed in smart jeans, shirt, jacket and Converse - not at all like he'd been to the gym. He was of course flouting the dress code and in spite of his outwardly smart appearance was asked to change his footwear, fair enough (except for the apparently acceptable nature of full outdoor gear). Later some other chaps came in wearing trainers and generally casual attire and the same guy who'd asked my husband to change passed no comment at all. It's a daft policy, which I assume is intended to maintain an air of sophistication in the bar, that has nothing to do with the look they're trying to create. My suggestion to the hotel is to find a different way to describe the dress code they're looking for. Meanwhile, apply the policy for everyone (and please include sport sandals!) or stop the ridiculous charade.

Having said all of that, it wasn't really all that big a deal for us in the scheme of things, we were only there one night in a six month trip and the bar policy provided us with entertainment. It is, however, worthy of comment for others.

In summary, it's "all fur coat and no knickers".

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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642 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (176)
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English first
Rapid City, South Dakota
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 10, 2012

My daughter and I stayed 2 nights at the historic Alex Johnson Hotel in the heart of Rapid City. We stayed here because it was centrally located to a lot of unique downtown stores, the Elks theatre , and the newly developed downtown plaza (with it's ice skating rink and new gallery of specialty stores). We love shopping in downtown Rapid City and the Alex Johnson seemed a natural idea to stay here.
- The rooms are clean and small but are tastefully decorated with furniture that appear to be antiquish in style. There is a flat screen TV but other amenities seem to blend into the decorum.
- The bathroom is adequate size with a small vanity. The tub is good size with constant hot water and a good spray from the shower head. Towels are soft and large and plenty of them. There are 2 heavy terry cloth shower robes provided in an actual closet (with a door) in the room. There was a heavily stained floor towel in our bathroom but otherwise, was spotless.
- The beds are some of the most comfortable beds I've ever slept in (and with my back issues, that says a lot).
- The elevators are smallish (no more than 4 people per car realistically) but quick. The voice calling out the destination floor is pleasant but creepy at first.
- The convenience of having Seattle's Best coffee shop as a part of the Hotel was excellent. The coffee and service are great. Breakfast sandwiches above average.
Biggest Detraction: You have to park 1.5 blocks away on the top floor, which is uncovered, (3rd floor) of a parking garage that has no elevator and then walk to the hotel. There is a drop off zone but no closer parking.

Overall, for the ambience, convenience of some of the best shopping in Rapid City, and sleeping in some of the best beds around, you will not go wrong with staying here. I have a feeling that my daughter and I will be back for a return stay.

Room Tip: Some rooms are bigger than others by what I understand so make sure you inquire about this on check...
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Flatwoods, Kentucky
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 7, 2012 via mobile

The historical hotel is beautiful. Some things need to be changed. For the price per night, they should at least offer valet parking. Parking was in a parking garage a block or two away. It wad raining when we arrived. No shelter to unload luggage under. Bar/lounge area was nice. Rooms were ok for historical purposes but hallways smelled moldy and mattresses were uncomfortable.

  • Stayed June 2011
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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rochester, ny
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 6, 2012

This newly renovated, centrally located historic hotel would have received a 5 if it weren't for the fact that our kingbed room was small - charming, but small. So, my only advice is to inquire before you book. Other than that, a perfect 5.

Room Tip: If you care about the size of your room, ask.
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Spearfish, South Dakota
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 30, 2012

We stayed at the Alex Johnson's for husbands birthday. This is the second year in a row that we stayed here and again we were'nt disappointed. The room was clean, the pillow-top bed was fabulous, & the staff was friendly. We will be back - maybe make this an annual birthday event!!

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 22, 2012

This recently renovated hotel is a great place to stay in Rapid City. My wife and I stayed there during a recent visit to the Black Hills over the holidays. I realize it was off season, but for $59 a night for a room with king bed, it was great value. Its location is excellent, as many of the highest rated Travel Advisor resteraunts are within a block of the hotel. In addition to the comfortable room, we enjoyed the bar on the top floor with a great view of the city. I could understand how it might not be the best for families, as it has no pool, but for couples, I would highly recommend it. We would definitely stay here again if we return to Rapid City.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gillette, Wyoming
Top Contributor
58 reviews 58 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2012

This hotel is very beautiful and was very clean. The bathroom was a little small, but it served its purpose. The main down fall would be the parking situation at this hotel. We had to park down the block at the top of a parking garage, and that was very inconvienent, especially because it is winter and it was very cold. The lounge at the top of the hotel is absolutely wonderful. Beautiful atmosphere! You could go out on the balcony and view the city from the top, and though it was cold, it was well worth it.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Additional Information about The Hotel Alex Johnson, an Ascend Collection hotel

Address: 523 6th Street, Rapid City, SD 57701
Phone Number:
Location: United States > South Dakota > Rapid City
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#9 Business Hotel in Rapid City
#18 Family Hotel in Rapid City
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — The Hotel Alex Johnson, an Ascend Collection hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 143
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Since 1928, the historic Hotel Alex Johnson has welcomed visitors from around the globe. Located at the heart of Downtown Rapid City, the Hotel Alex Johnson is an easy 25-minute drive from Mount Rushmore and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Hotel Alex Johnson includes 143 rooms and suites and houses the Vertex Sky Bar, Paddy O'Neills Irish Pub, Seattle's Best Coffee, Chubby Chipmunk Hand-Dipped Chocolates, AJ's Wicked Salon and the Alex Johnson Mercantile. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Alex Johnson Hotel
Alex Johnson Rapid City

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